Marketing Matters: Targeting the Right Audience
By Stephen Alberts, Countertop Marketing Co.
When marketing your countertop shop online, you want to make sure you are targeting the right audience. It starts with good search engine optimization, ensuring your website appears wherever and however potential clients are searching for it. Google ads and Facebook/Instagram ads work well for shops, but I’ve seen many shops burn money by not having them set up correctly. Regardless of the platform, before you schedule your next ad campaign, consider these strategies that will help you leave a lasting impression.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
When working on an SEO campaign for your fabrication shop, you want to rank higher on the Google search page. The higher you rank in Google, the more traffic you will get to your website. With SEO, you need to think like your customer. What are they going to type into Google to find a countertop?
- Granite countertops
- Quartz countertops
- Marble countertops
- Countertops near me
- Kitchen countertops
- Bathroom countertops
Now it’s impossible to know whether it’s a homeowner doing the searching; it could be a restaurant, a builder or a contractor looking for a shop. That said, most of the leads from organic Google search results are homeowners (about 90%).
Do’s and Don’ts:
- Do have a strategy with SEO, whether you are working with someone or doing it in-house. If this isn’t a skill set you have among your staff, outsource it, and don’t overlook it.
- Do make a thorough list of keywords that you want to leverage in Google and then create specific pages for each one.
- Do make sure to use all the major keywords you want to leverage on your homepage.
- Don’t ignore your homepage. We see this often, a homepage that barely has any content in terms of words. Your homepage is the most visited page on your site, so you want Google to see that you sell marble countertops or that you specialize in fabricating kitchen and bathroom countertops.
Now that you know about keywords and have a plan for SEO and organic search results, you can use a similar strategy with Google ads. These ads usually show at the top of a search page, just above where the organic results appear. Sometimes you’ll find ads at the bottom as well.
When running these ads, you pay for each time someone clicks on it, either a search ad or a display ad. A search ad is the Google search result for your company, but you essentially pay Google to appear at the top of the list. You’ll leverage the exact keywords you’re using for SEO.
A display ad is a banner ad that appears throughout websites like weather.com and news sites. You can set up different audiences to see your display ads. For instance, you can show to people who are age 35+ and in the top 10-50% income level. Google will place your ads on sites in front of this audience.
Again, you won’t know if a tradesperson or consumer is clicking on these, but you can assume most traffic will be from consumers.
With Google ads, you can do a couple of things:
- Break out your campaign so you have your keywords in certain ad groups. For instance, your kitchen countertop terms should be in a kitchen countertop ad group. And within that ad group, you should have kitchen countertop ads. And then, when someone clicks that ad, they should land on a page about kitchen countertops. The journey will be super relevant and convert more traffic into leads. Make sure that the page they land on references that specific search term.
- With display ads and even search ads, you can add an audience to target. Demographics, including age, sex, marital status, education, income, geographic area and personal interests, determine audiences. Consider fencing your ads in a specific geographic area or targeting certain income levels or age ranges — ones that might be more likely to take on a home remodel project.
Do’s and Don’ts:
- Don’t waste money on bad keywords. Ensure you’re using keywords that will appeal to your business and draw in the right customer.
- Don’t forget about negative keywords. What is a negative keyword? Let’s say you are a higher-end shop and don’t want to show when people type in “affordable countertops.” Add “affordable” as a negative keyword. You are telling Google not to show your company when someone types in that word.
- Do keep it relevant. Make sure to reference each search term when someone lands on that page. If they land on a page that doesn’t support the keywords, they’ll bounce by clicking that back button, and then you’ve just wasted money on a click that won’t result in a lead.
Facebook and Instagram Ads
Facebook and Instagram run on the same ad platform. You can dig into different targeting strategies and an audience’s demographic when running these ad campaigns.
Unfortunately, if you want to go after homeowners, you can’t pick a “homeowner” interest to target anymore. Facebook removed that, so you will have to get clever about it. Maybe you target 25- to 65-year-olds around your area who like home and garden topics like interior design, furnishings or kitchen interests. Or, if you want to go after a builder, you can target a home construction interest and then pair it with relevant tool company names.
Social media is very visual, so what you can do here more than in Google is call out the audience in the ad. If you want to reach more homeowners, try speaking to them in the ad. Maybe you have a kitchen countertop package or want to promote how quick your turnaround times are. If a builder sees this, they might scroll by it since it doesn’t speak to their needs as much. To attract a builder’s attention, talk about how you work with builders and contractors in the area and how easy it is to subcontract the work to your shop.
Do’s and Don’ts:
- Do get specific. You want to target individuals, not just your whole area’s population. With social media ads, you are paying for the reach, which amounts to impressions — the number of times users see that ad.
- Don’t spend your money all in one place. Social media ads run for a period of time based on the spend. When the ad spends out, the campaign pauses until you put more money against it. Start small, see what works, and keep spending if you see the results you want.
- Don’t rest on just one campaign or one demographic. Try different approaches to reaching a potential customer and learn as you go. Test other interests for targeting. For example, if you want to target higher-end customers, maybe you target people who like luxury cars. Think outside the box with your audience targeting!
- The days of the Yellow Pages are long gone. When homeowners want a countertop, they hit the internet from their phone or computer. You must be right there, front and center, when they are searching. The beauty of digital marketing is that you are in control. You choose the keywords that represent your business, you pick the audiences to target, and you set the budget. After your marketing campaigns are dialed in, you’ll have a predictable way to grow your business.
About the Author
Stephen Alberts is the owner of the Countertop Marketing Co. and STONE ENGAGE. They specialize in helping countertop companies grow the retail side of their business outside of word-of-mouth and referrals. They also offer software to help you engage more with customers and close more countertop projects. To learn more, visit countertopmarketingco.com or stonengage.com. You can also email Stephen at email@example.com.
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