Running a successful home inspection business requires wearing many hats, and growing your online leads is one of them. While home inspectors get a good chunk of their business through referrals from real estate agents and homeowners, maintaining a professional online presence through digital marketing tactics can help you spread the word about your company and get new clients.
While most home inspectors are knowledgeable about construction and different home systems, not many have marketing skills. Luckily, you can learn basic marketing techniques from the many online sources that are available today. Still, understanding which marketing techniques are the best for your business and how to use them effectively requires more time and research.
This article is for you if you are a busy home inspector trying to figure out how to grow your presence and get new customers from online marketing tactics.
1. SEO Strategy: This is how users can find you online
Your website is your digital storefront. To ensure your best online marketing tool is being found, your website needs to be optimized for SEO. But what is SEO?
SEO stands for “search engine optimization,” a set of techniques that make your website user-friendly and position your content in organic search results. A good SEO strategy is critical for growing your website’s traffic because organic search is the best way for people to access your website and learn about your services.
Code minification. According to Geek Boots, code minification minimizes code and markup in your web pages and script files. It’s one of the main methods used to reduce website load times and bandwidth usage. Minification improves site speed and accessibility, resulting in better user experience and higher traffic.
Minification strips a code file of all data that isn’t required to execute the file. According to Geek Boots, minification is performed after the code for a web application is written but before the application is deployed.
Website speed. Also called website performance, this refers to how quickly your website can open in the browser. If your website renders poorly in a browser, it will hurt user experience, website performance, and SEO. According to Cloudflare, those websites optimized for speed get better traffic and conversion rates, which means growing revenue.
Google Search Console. This is one of the best free marketing tools that allow you to keep tabs on your website’s traffic and key metrics like the demographics and location of your website’s visitors.
You can also use it to monitor how well your content performs over time and plan future adjustments to boost your traffic based on your analytics.
SEO involves creating, optimizing, and promoting online content to grow your business. And yet, there are two distinct types of SEO, on-site and off-site SEO. An on-site SEO is all about what your website shows to a search engine and includes several factors.
Here are some of them:
Keywords are ideas and topics that define what your content is about. Regarding SEO, they’re the words and phrases that searchers enter into search engines, also called “search queries.” Placing keywords in your content allows you to boost traffic organically without relying on costly ads.
As a local business owner, be sure that your keywords target your geographic area. Otherwise, it’s difficult for a small business to appear on keywords everyone wants to rank for.
Meta description and meta title. To optimize your website for SEO, you must include keywords throughout your content. You should always strive to place keywords in your content when it makes sense contextually and avoid stuffing keywords where they don’t belong.
One of the most important places to include your keywords in your meta description and title.
The meta description summarizes your article or page which helps Google understand your content. The meta description is normally limited to a certain number of characters, so you must be particularly creative with how you use keywords.
Another spot where you always need to include your keywords in your meta title. The meta title is used in HTML to describe your web page’s topic or blog posts. Titles can be found in the title of a search engine result page and the top bar of an internet browser.
Link building is acquiring links from authoritative websites (preferably in your niche) to grow your website’s credibility, traffic, and standing in search engines. Link building is a common digital marketing strategy and a critical component of the SEO plan. The more authoritative backlinks you can get, the better your chances of beating your competitors in search rankings.
Finally, consider using a link-building tool like Ahrefs or SEMrush to help you examine your direct competitors and uncover their direct sources. Out of the two, SEMrush has a larger link index, but it is recommended to learn about SEMrush plans and pricing before committing to using it.
How can I find sites that want to link to mine?
The easiest way to find websites that could give you backlinks is by conducting basic online research. Look for keywords and queries related to your niche in search engines and see which websites best answer these questions in their content. You can reach out and ask if they will link to your website, which may lead to a negotiation.
Another option is to look for link-building groups on Facebook. This option is particularly popular with blogs and small websites that can quickly exchange backlinks with you.
2. Facebook Ads: How Facebook users can discover your business
Aside from search engines, users can also discover you through Facebook. Social media has quickly become one of the best tactics to market your business online. Since Facebook boasts the most users of any social media platform, it makes sense to invest some time and effort into learning how to boost traffic through Facebook.
Intention vs. circumstance
There’s a big difference between discovering certain content by intention and circumstance. When users look for something intentionally, they typically have a specific question in mind and know what they are looking for. This is different from circumstances when someone is simply looking for entertainment. Social media users are more likely to discover your business through ‘circumstance’ while scrolling. Therefore, executing your online social media marketing strategy must be intentional and tactical.
Know your audience
Before you dive into Facebook, you should learn about your audience. Since Facebook requires heavy spending on marketing campaigns, you need to know who your audience is before you see any results. Luckily, Facebook offers a stellar analytics page where you can learn about your audience’s demographics, location, hobbies and interests, and other important metrics that will help you target your ideal customers better.
Define your goal
Now that you know your target audience, you need to think about what you want to achieve with your campaign. This is a critical step because there’s a big difference between creating brand awareness, selling your product, and generating leads for your business. Your goal determines your language, how you will reach your audience, and how much money you will need to spend.
3. Content Marketing: How to spread your idea and influence your target audience
After you create your content, you need to make sure that it reaches your audience and influences their decisions to benefit your business. This is where content marketing comes in. It can be done through many channels, including email, SMS, social, and more. Generating online marketing content can be tricky as there is a lot of content. So, wherever you can communicate your niche and separate yourself from other people marketing to your audience online, take advantage of your expertise.
Social media content
Social media is one of the most important vehicles for spreading your content, communicating with your users, and executing your online marketing tactics. Remember that social media is all about sharing content and creating value for your community, so you must consider how to keep your audience engaged through your daily posts.
You also need to figure out what social media channels you will use. Remember that different social media pages attract different audiences and serve different purposes.
For example, Facebook has an older demographic than Instagram or TikTok; Twitter shares short updates and generates conversations. Instagram is used for inspiration, education, and building a community around your brand. While you don’t need to use every social media platform to succeed, choosing the platform that best serves your audience will allow you to get the most out of your online marketing efforts.
Whether you pay to promote your content on Google or create an online marketing campaign on social media, you need to ensure you send the right message to your audience that will resonate with them and help you grow your business.
Your content copywriting should be clear and concise, hitting the main pain points of your ideal customer. Be sure to research who your target demographic is and why they should want to give you their business. This research should be reflected in the copy.
Similarly, we recommend investing in quality design for any advertisements you plan to run. A strong design can get more people to interact with your ad. However, polished graphics also convey a sense of professionalism and trustworthiness in your business. Online graphics geared to marketing to your audience must be polished as you are appealing to people without a tangible object or fist hand experience. It’s typically a good idea to outsource graphic design instead of trying to do it in-house or hiring a friend or family member.
Blogging should be a top priority for any online marketing strategy. Your blog content is the most powerful tool for promoting your content. Unlike social media platforms owned by third-party companies and subject to constant algorithm changes, the blog is yours, and you have complete control over it.
A quality blog helps to establish you as an authority in your industry and allows you to grow your audience without relying on the whims and fancies of social media. Aside from helping you to sell your offers and services, your blog is also a perfect tool for building backlinks and growing your credibility as a home inspector.
To create great content for your blog, you need to understand what your audience is looking for. Take some time to look into their problems and questions, and write detailed content that delivers the best response and provides more value to your audience than your competitors.
After you gain at least a small customer base, it’s time to start collecting data from them. One of the most important things you can do is ask your customers to share their email addresses.
Email marketing is one of the most powerful ways to communicate with your audience and keep them in the loop about your products and services. And, unlike social media, your subscribers are truly yours because a third-party company does not own your email list.
It’s also a great way to solicit information and ask what your customers are interested in, their concerns, and what they think about recent developments in the industry.
Many email marketing tools like ActiveCampaign and ConvertKit can help you schedule email campaigns and ensure your audience stays up-to-date on all your developments. Planning your emails according to your other online marketing tactics to help drive devoted customers to campaigns and become champions for your business.
Customer service can be very time-consuming, and as a busy owner, you must ensure no time is wasted. While you can still address your customers’ questions and concerns, you can do it in a way that doesn’t distract you from other tasks.
Chatbot platforms are perfect for creating chat sequences with the most frequently asked questions that can help your customers resolve your questions on the spot. This is a great way to automate your business and focus on the most important aspects that will help you grow and increase revenue.
4. Affiliate Marketing: Earn money on autopilot
Affiliate marketing is a way of earning additional income from your website by promoting products and services made by third-party companies. The affiliate partner typically creates content promoting a specific product or service and receives a commission when someone purchases it from their website.
How do affiliate marketing programs work?
Most affiliate programs are free to join, and aside from affiliate sales, you can also reap bonuses for hitting a certain number of sales and clicks to a website.
This performance-based opportunity can turn into a lucrative business if done right and bring an additional revenue stream to your business. Most monetary commissions are paid monthly; however, some affiliate programs have bi-weekly payouts as long as you hit the required threshold.
Types of affiliate programs
Different affiliate programs exist and depending on your business needs and online marketing campaigns, you should choose what works best for you. Here are a few options:
Unattached affiliate marketing is the most basic type of affiliate marketing, where you have no connection to the product or service you are promoting. All you need to do is place affiliate links in the content via Google and Facebook and hope that someone will click on it and buy it so you can earn a commission.
The reason why unattached affiliate marketing is a popular option is that it requires the least work. It takes time and effort to build a reputation and a community around your business, and as much as a website is a great thing to have, most people don’t want to do the work or simply don’t have time.
Related affiliate marketing requires a certain online presence through a blog, podcast, or social media. While you don’t always have to use the products you advertise on your channels, they are typically related to your business and add more value for your customers who might be interested in them.
That said, you should genuinely support the product or service you are promoting because your customers will sense if you are being disingenuous and just trying to make a quick buck.
Involved affiliate marketing establishes a clear connection between your business and the product or service you are trying to promote; involved affiliate marketing implies that you have tried the product and can recommend it to your audience based on your positive experience.
As someone who has tried the product, you can give your audience a detailed scope, talk about its pros and cons, and give a candid, unbiased review that will help them make the most informed decision.
Final thoughts on using digital and other online marketing tactics to grow your home inspection business
Online marketing is a crucial part of growing your business. Gone are the days when you could rely solely on word of mouth, and most home inspection firms know that the Internet is a goldmine where you can acquire leads and spread the word about your business. Choosing the right marketing tools for your business will help you to establish yourself in the market, build a solid clientele and grow your business.