Build Your Own Garage Door Leads Engine
Relying on referrals and paying for garage door repair leads aren’t good long-term effective strategies for your garage door repair business. In this post, I discuss ways that you can build a sustainable lead generation engine for your garage door repair business.
You Can't Rely on Referrals for Repair Leads
Garage door services businesses face a unique challenge that many other home services providers don’t have to deal with: the lack of referrals. Homeowners tend to welcome other contractors into their homes and onto their property more frequently. Landscapers, home remodelers, HVAC pros, and electricians are much more likely to get called in on an annual basis than garage door repair people.
As an example, garage door springs will last the typical homeowner around 7-10 years – and that’s assuming the spring is rated for only 10,000 cycles.
There are of course many other components that can fail with a garage door (hinges, cables, rollers, etc.), but the overall demand for garage door pros is going to be lower than many other home services providers.
As a result, you’re unlikely to have a very effective referral network with neighbors referring neighbors to you for garage door repair services. Since you can’t rely on referrals to keep your business going, you’re going to have to find a way to make sure that your garage door repair business is in front of homeowners the moment they’re searching for a solution to their garage door problem.
Paying for a Lead Service Has Hidden Costs
Paying for garage door leads can certainly be helpful to supplement a strong internal lead generation strategy, but it does come with hidden costs.
Poor Quality Leads
Many times, you’ll receive poor-quality leads from the garage door leads companies. These leads may not be a fit for your services. The leads may not be feasible from a distance or services standpoint, and you end up paying money for nothing.
Leads Aren't Exclusive
You may also run into a situation where the leads that you’re receiving aren’t exclusive. There are major home service websites that will provide you with the exact same leads that they’re providing other garage door repair contractors.
Oftentimes, this means that you have to be the first contractor to get in touch with the prospective lead in order to have a chance at winning the job. There are actually class-action lawsuits aimed at some of the largest, most well-known lead generation companies for the way that they provide leads to contractors.
You Still Have to Convert Prospects into Customers
Lead generation services may help you to get in front of the customer, but you still have to do the hard work of making your case to the prospect that you’re the right person for the job. This can be time-consuming and expensive and you’re going to lose more jobs than you win, despite the effort.
When You Stop Paying the Repair Leads Also Stop
If you don’t have an alternative way to get leads, you’re hooked. You’re completely dependent on the lead service. You’ll need to keep buying leads in order to keep your business afloat.
Get More Business With a Garage Door Leads Engine
The solution is to build your own lead generation engine for your garage door repair business. To do this, you need to have a strong Internet presence that makes it easy for prospective customers to find you and make contact with you. The Garage Door Leads Engine consists of the following components that I will get into much more depth within the following sections:
- Google Ads
- Local SEO
Your Garage Door Repair Website
The key component to creating your own garage door leads engine is an effective website.
Building your own garage door repair website is essential for attracting customers and converting customers. Unlike using a cold lead service that brings you cold leads, the garage door repair website will warm these leads up for you. You’ll effectively promote your services and your previous work – they’ll have a really good idea of who you are and the quality garage repair work that you perform.
By the time that someone does pick up the phone to call you, they’ll have less of a price shopper / lowest bid mentality. Instead, you’ll have already built up trust in their eyes, and they’ll be much more likely to want to work with you than some nameless, faceless contractor calling them out of the blue.
Your domain name should be your brand name if it is available (and it should be).
If you haven’t actually started a garage door repair business yet, you may wish to choose a business name that includes either the service and/or the location. As of the time I’m writing this in 2021, search engines do give some preferential treatment of domains that include location and/or service (e.g. DoverGarageDoorRepair.com). Whether search engines like Google and Bing will continue to give domain names like this a leg up in the rankings is unknown.
Having a modern design that is focused on converting prospects into customers is essential.
Your website really isn’t about you.
Your website is about your prospect and how you are the perfect choice to solve their problem
In order to achieve this, your website should have the elements below.
The book “Don’t Make Me Think” by Steve Krug best explains how to create a website that your site visitors can easily use. For your garage door repair website, it is essential that your site follows conventions that your target customers are used to.
As an example, most contractor websites have a static menu along the top and a phone number in the upper right to make contact. This is what your prospects expect. Make it easy on them by sticking to convention.
When you force a website visitor to think about how to navigate and use your website, they become confused and leave your website. You missed a chance to get a new garage door customer.
Obviously, your website shouldn’t look like it has a design from 5+ years ago. The implication is the same as if you showed up for a garage door repair in a tank top and jorts.
Since you take so little effort in your appearance as a professional, the customer will assume your effort with their garage repair will be subpar as well.
Your web design should compare favorably to other websites in your niche, but shouldn’t be cutting edge with new technologies that a web designer wants to implement.
Your website visitor wants their garage door repaired – fast. They aren’t looking for an amazing design experience.
Don't Give Your Customers Motion Sickness
This is a widespread problem for many local business websites. Many web designers will include a lot of motion on their websites. The motion should be limited or completely eliminated as it distracts the visitor from the message you’re trying to convey to them. A distracted website visitor will often times leave. Other experts in converting prospects to customers agree.
Designed for Mobile
It varies by industry, but your website must look great on mobile. It must also function just as well on mobile as it does on desktop computers.
Around half of your website, visitors will likely be visiting your site from a smartphone. If your site doesn’t work well on mobile, you’ll lose half of your prospect pool.
Google also uses mobile performance as a primary ranking factor in the search engine results. A fast, logically laid out website design is essential for ranking well.
The typical Garage door repair website should have the following sections:
Your home page gives an introduction to your business and how you are the best choice to solve their garage door problems. You’ll want to briefly describe your services, showcase your work, describe your service area, and present customer testimonials.
You’ll want to have multiple services pages – each describing in-depth how you provide that service to your customer. Actual photos and video of the services being performed can be extremely powerful in demonstrating your expertise and making it much more likely a prospect will call you. Sample services pages you may wish to include on your garage door repair website include:
- Garage Door System Installations
- Garage Door Opener Repair
- Hinge Replacement
- Spring Replacement
- Garage Door Cable Replacement
- Miscellaneous Repairs
Similar to services pages, you’ll want to have a location page for each of your service areas. On these location pages, you’ll have information about that particular location – along with jobs that you’ve performed in that location. You can even include maps showing service calls that you’ve completed within each location.
Homeowners want to get to know and trust the person that they’re letting into their home and paying for services.
Many garage door repair websites don’t have the owner’s photo or name anywhere on the site. This is also typical of lead services websites.
About pages are a great opportunity to differentiate yourself from these lead services sites.
The about page tells the story about you and your business. Your name and photo is a must, and if you have employees, they should be there too. A video message on your about page also will help you to build a connection with your prospects, further increasing the trust factor.
An essential part of building the website for your garage door repair is to include a blog. Having an active blog can help tremendously with search engines.
You’ll include photos, videos, and writeups of repairs on the blog. Before and after photos work great as well.
It does take work to update and maintain a blog, but when done properly, blog posts can rank well and bring in more visitors to your garage door repair website from search engines.
Your garage door repair website should have a contact page that makes it easy for prospects to get in touch with you. Multiple ways to contact you are ideal – including phone number, form, email, and even chat options.
The purpose of a landing page is to convert prospects in customers.
Landing pages are web pages on your garage door repair site that support marketing campaigns – like a Google Ads campaign (covered later in this article). In general, you’ll send paid advertising traffic directly to this page.
If designed properly, your services pages will function extremely well as landing pages to support paid ad campaigns. Your home page will rarely – if ever – be used as a landing page for paid ad campaigns.
For paid search campaigns, the landing page very closely matches the user’s search, as well as the ad you created for the service. It also demonstrates that your garage door repair company has the capability to quickly and effectively solve their problem. This page also makes it extremely easy to make contact with your business.
Calls to Action
A call to action is a prompt that makes it easy for a website visitor to make contact and should be present on every page of the website.
Having a bold call to action permanently fixed in the upper right of each page is usually the best strategy. Your prospects can read through your services, and when they’re convinced, the call to action (usually a phone number) is always clearly visible regardless of what page they’re on.
You can also mix calls to action in elsewhere on your pages – like midway through the content – and also with a contact form on the bottom.
Having real customer testimonials on your website builds trust among prospects.
Video testimonials are the most credible, photo testimonials are good. Written testimonials have the least impact on prospects because they can easily be faked.
If you get good video or photo testimonials, you’ll be one step ahead of your competitors.
Photos and Video
Whenever possible use actual photos and videos of you, your employees, and the jobs that you performed. It builds trust that you’re a real business. Avoid stock photography if you can.
Your Website Isn't About You
This may sound odd – but your website is about your customer – not you.
The customer doesn’t care at all about you or your business EXCEPT how your company and your experience can solve their garage door problem.
Speak directly to your customer (as I’m speaking to you in this article). Use the word “You” frequently in your text – it will keep you focused on your audience.
Each time you mention your certifications, years of experience, services, etc. – you need to follow it up with “…and what this means to you is”. Put everything in the context of how it can solve their problem.
Search Ads on Google and Bing
The second component of getting your garage door leads engine in place is advertising.
You need to get website visitors coming into your website. The quickest way to do this – especially on a new website – is through ads on Google and on Bing search engines.
Search Ad Campaign Components
You will create ad campaigns for each of the services that you offer. The main ad campaign components you need to set up are Keywords, Ads, and Landing Pages.
Keywords are phrases that you’ll bid on that you believe will closely match what users are searching for in Google. If you’re bidding on keywords that are closely related to a user’s search, this may trigger the display of your ad on top of the search results.
Keywords you might bid on would be: “garage door repair near me” and “broken garage spring”
You’ll have separate ads for each service that you offer. The ad for springs will talk about garage door springs and your ability to fix them. Garage door cable ads will talk about garage door cables. You can’t create a one-size-fits-all ad. It takes some effort to create many different ads that are relevant to each service offering.
When someone clicks on an ad, they are taken to a landing page that is designed to convert the prospect into a paying customer (landing pages are covered earlier in this article).
Search Ad Campaigns: Tracking Costs and Revenue
You will be charged each time a prospect clicks on your ad (pay-per-click advertising). So you’ll want to make sure that your ad campaign is finely tuned and your landing pages are effective at creating new customers. You’ll want to very closely track the cost of ads and make sure that it is more than covered by your revenue from incoming leads from ads.
Should You Use Search Ads?
While ads can be expensive, they are also highly effective. People with garage door issues have an urgent need that needs to be resolved. Ads allow you to get your advertising message in front of very motivated people right when they need your services the most.
Local Services Ads
Google has an offering that allows ads for your garage door repair business to appear on top of the search engine results page. These ads are pay-per-lead ads and differ from pay-per-click ads on the search network (covered above).
As with most things in marketing, if you’re going to try Local Services Ads, be sure to measure the revenue you receive from the ads versus the total advertising cost.
You want to make sure you’re getting a good return on your investment.
Pros of Local Services Ads
- Easy to set up
- Very little day to day management required
Cons of Local Services Ads
- You have very little control over ad placement compared to traditional search ads
- You have pass an approval process with Google in order to be eligible
The third major component of creating your garage door leads engine is search engine optimization (SEO). We recommended above that you start out by creating a paid search ads campaign in order to get some paid traffic into the website. Now, we’re focusing on getting some visitors to your garage door repair website for free.
The goal of search engine optimization is to get your website to rank high up on the search engine results page. This results in people clicking on your link in the results and arriving on your website for free (unlike paid ads).
While it usually takes many months until seeing results, SEO is a highly effective way at generating leads for your garage door repair business.
The three major components of search engine optimization are: keyword research, content building, and backlinks.
Keyword Research for SEO
The keywords that you’ll focus on for SEO are similar to the keywords that you used for paid search. You’ll want to identify keyword phrases that people who are looking for your service offerings are likely to search for.
For garage door repair, keyword phrases you may wish to rank for would be “garage door repair houston”, “broken garage door spring”. Many of the keywords will seem obvious, but you’ll want to use keyword research tools to come up with some hidden gems.
Here are some of the tools that I like to use for keyword research to come up with nonobvious terms that would be great to rank well for:
Once you’ve identified keywords that you’d like to rank for, you’ll want to create content around those keywords.
Creating SEO Optimized Web Content
Once you have keywords that you would like to rank for, you’ll develop web pages for that content.
Warning: Creating content without doing keyword research first may be a tremendous waste of your time. Make sure you have appropriate keywords selected prior to creating content.
The types of pages that seem to rank well in Google are informational, in-depth content as opposed to “buy now” types of transactional pages.
Here are a few examples of content pieces that may rank well for a garage door repair business are provided below.
Try to document as many garage door service calls as you can with photo and video. Even though it may seem repetitive to you, doing so can help you rank for services in certain locations. When someone in Milwaukee sees a blog post in the search results about your company replacing garage door rollers at a house in Milwaukee, they’ll know that you can help them too. Better yet, they’ll see from the blog post what an awesome job your company does and will be much more likely to convert.
How-To / FAQ
Google likes informational content that answers questions. If you produce a series of articles with photos and videos that address questions people have related to garage door repair and maintenance, you may rank for these articles and get free traffic to your website.
Create a YouTube channel and embed your videos within your content on your website. Video is a powerful way to show just how good your company is at providing garage door services. You can also link to your main website in the description of your YouTube video as a source of additional free traffic.
Once you have your content completed, you’ll want to make sure that the content has a decent chance to rank well.
There are many paid tools available that will help you to optimize your existing content. For example, if you’re trying to rank well for “garage door repair Houston”, these paid tools will tell you what kind of keywords you should be using, how long your article should be, and what kind of frequently asked questions your content should answer.
Using these tools is beyond the depth of this article, but you can check some of them out below:
Backlinks for SEO
“Backlinks” are websites that link back to pages on your website.
Based on actual data, backlinks are currently a significant ranking factor in Google’s algorithm. If you have multiple high-quality websites linking to your content, you’re much more likely to rank well on the search engine results page.
The Problems with Backlinks
Even if you have highly relevant linkworthy content, if you ask another website owner to link to your content, they’re likely to either say “no” or ask for money. Paying for links is against Google’s webmaster guidelines. If Google’s algorithms believe that you’re paying for links, you may get penalized and may not be eligible to appear in search results at all.
I Can't Pay for Backlinks so What Can I Do?
Start out by getting your garage door repair company listed in as many free directories as possible (described in the next section – LOCAL SEO). These directories aren’t going to be high-quality backlinks, but they demonstrate to Google that you’re a legitimate business trying to stake a claim for your brand on the Internet.
Other potential avenues for you to obtain backlinks include:
Your garage door leads engine wouldn’t be complete without a solid Local SEO strategy.
Local SEO differs slightly from SEO in that local SEO is focused more on ranking well in your local area. The main components of SEO that we’re going to discuss here are Google My Business, Citations, and Facebook.
Google My Business
You must register your garage door company with Google My Business (GMB). This is a free online presence for your business that appears prominently in the search engine results.
In your GMB listing, you can upload your logo, photos of work, updates via GMB posts, hours, and other relevant information about your company.
You can also receive and respond to reviews – which is very important – as people searching for your business are likely to see those reviews
Citations are listings for your business in various online directories. Some directories are very obscure, while others are well known.
Listing information typically contains information like your business name, address, phone number, services, website, email address and a brief description of your business. The name, address, phone and website should be consistent across all of your citations. It is possible that having inconsistent or conflicting citations could hurt your position on the search engine results page.
While there isn’t a direct correlation between number of citations you’re listed in and your ranking in Google, it is still a good idea to get listed in as many relevant directories as possible. This may serve as a signal to Google that your company is a legitimate business looking to protect its brand by claiming all relevant listings.
Completing citations is a time-consuming process. There are third party services that can help you with building citations for your garage door repair business and making sure those citations are consistent across directories. Some of these services are shown below:
Having a Facebook page for your garage door business is a good idea. This is another signal to the search engines that you’re claiming listings for your brand in all relevant places.
While you likely won’t receive a lot of leads from Facebook – even if you advertise on Facebook – this is another area where people can learn more about you and your business.
The good news is that there are third party services that can automatically post your garage door blog posts that you put on your website to Facebook (and Twitter, and Google My Business).
Is your garage door repair leads engine working? There’s no way to tell without having solid reporting tools in place. You need to be able to measure each and every aspect of your marketing efforts.
We use a free reporting tool called Google Data Studio to consolidate and summarize data from various sources. There are many sources of data that you need to account for to ensure you’re getting a good return on your investment. Here are just a very few to consider:
- Revenue from leads – Your revenue obviously must outpace your total costs in order to have a successful garage door repair business
- Cost of Paid Ads – Both Google and Microsoft Ads have robust reporting that can be uploaded into other reporting systems
- Numer of leads from Various Sources – You need to know if a lead was generated from SEO, Paid ads, Google My Business or even other sources like Facebook. Call tracking (below) can assist with that.
- Call Tracking – You need to use a third-party call tracking service and have dynamic numbers on your website so that you know the source of each phone call. Your website will show a different number for each of your marketing channels. For example, someone who clicked an ad will see one phone number on your website, someone who found you through SEO will see a different number when they arrive on your website. When they call you, they will be properly attributed to the channel that they came from.
- Measuring Site Traffic – Google Analytics and Google Search Console are valuable in determining where traffic to your website is arriving from
- Rank Tracking Software – After creating content, you’ll want to be able to automatically track how content in your site is doing in search engines. Rank tracking software can assist with that effort.
You now know the steps involved in building your very own garage door leads engine.
The advantage of building this leads engine is that you should eventually have enough leads coming in from SEO that you’ll no longer have to pay for lead services or even paid ads.
This process is obviously very complex and will take up much of your time. If you’re looking for a partner to help you build the garage door leads engine so that you can focus on servicing customers, contact us.