iMarket Solutions Blog : Archive for the ‘SEO’ Category

Key Updates to Google My Business and Google Ads with COVID-19

Thursday, June 25th, 2020

A lot has changed over the past several months. Many of us have updated our lifestyles so that we spend more time at home, include face masks as a part of our outfits when we do go out, and perhaps wash our hands more often than we used to. There has been a large effort involved in trying to adjust to all of the changes that have come with the effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Of course, along with all the changes to our offline lives, there have been plenty of changes to how things are working online too. Google has brought their fair share of changes to their Google My Business and Google Ads products in an effort to adjust to changing business needs.

Our job here at iMarket Solutions is to make sure we keep you updated on what is going on with Google and how their changes and updates are going to impact your business.

3 Key Updates from Google You Should Know About

Here are some of the changes involving Google My Business and Google Ads in response to the current pandemic that we think you should know about:

Google Ad Credits for Small Businesses: Google announced in March 2020 that they would be allocating $340 million in ad credits for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to help them stay connected with their customers. Google first started to release these ad credits in New Zealand and after several weeks, began rolling these out to U.S. businesses last week. The maximum amount provided to small businesses will be $1000 per eligible company (so if you have multiple accounts, the grant will only appear in one of them.) If you receive funds from the Google Ads credits, the ad credit will be automatically applied to either a Google Search, Google Local Services or Google Display Account as determined by Google. The credit can not be moved to another Goggle account and must be used on the account applied to by December 31, 2020.

Google My Business Reviews Have Returned: Starting in March, Google halted the publication of new reviews and replies to reviews in Google My Business. This applied to any businesses that were not a part of the healthcare industry. Google has since resumed publication of reviews in Google My Business for companies in the home services industry. This is great news! The reviews submitted during this “pause” have now been published as well. Make sure you continue to request reviews from your customers—and don’t forget to reply to any new reviews that pop up, too. Remember that 82% of consumers read reviews for online businesses!

Updates to the Google Algorithm: Google didn’t skip a beat when it came to updating their search engine algorithm. This latest Core update started in early May and the rollout was completed around the middle of the month. The algorithm update will impact search engine results for content based on questions of quality, expertise, presentation, production, and comparison. Moving forward, it is advisable to check on-site content to ensure it conveys expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness as this will affect your organic leads and traffic, along with your keyword visibility.

If you already work with iMarket Solutions, then you know that we will continue to keep you updated on changes like these as they can affect your online presence. We work hard to be a reliable provider of COVID-19 resources for contractors. This includes keeping you abreast of anything that can impact your business.

Of course, if you have any questions, you can reach out to your marketing coordinator at any time. If you don’t already work with us, we would love to talk to you and become your go-to resource for your digital marketing strategy.

We are Dedicated to Contractor Success. Contact iMarket Solutions today to learn more.

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SEO Trends and Predictions: Part 2

Monday, May 18th, 2020

In part 1 of this topic, we discussed our 4 top predictions for 2020 when it comes to SEO. Voice search, E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness), interactive media, and proximity in relation to reviews are all major players in how successful or unsuccessful your SEO results will be.

Fortunately, the team here at iMarket Solutions is the authority on this topic, and here to help you improve your SEO results while keeping our finger on the pulse of SEO changes and developments in order to inform contractors on how to best market their products and services.

Below, we’ve shared a few more trends that are equally important to keep in mind when it comes to SEO. Read on, and please contact our team with any questions you might have!

  1. Diversification

What we mean by diversification is the idea of having multiple URLs in Organic Search Results from the exact same company. In summer of 2019, Google reported that according to consumer feedback, searchers don’t like seeing multiple results for the same company in the same search. So Google Search updated to provide more site diversity.

In 2020, it’s predicted that due to this change, big, well-known sites like Yelp and Home Advisor will be impacted in the most negative way, as they no longer have multiple results on Page 1 of search. The biggest winners of this change are small business owners, since the likelihood of showing up on page one will increase. The best way for your home services business to prepare for this is to have a solid SEO strategy in place!

  1. Search Suggestions by Google’s AI

For 2020, we’re expecting a smarter and better artificial intelligence (AI) response from Google. Imagine a consumer searches the question “Why does my AC smell?” If you made that search a few years ago, you’d get results ranging from residential and commercial air conditioning to even vehicle air conditioning.

If you were to search this question in Google right now, under the search bar you’d see options for “car,” “truck,” and even “camper,” to help you narrow down your search even more. This shows that Google likely has a better understanding of search intent and is taking steps to provide the best experience for the customer. They want to be able to give the best recommendation, and this is a great way for them to do it.

With Google offering guidance for unclear search queries, or search queries with more than 1 meaning, search volume will likely rise for more of what we call long-tail keywords. An example of a long-tail keyword is “central air conditioning repair in Boston, Massachusetts.” With this specificity, it’s very likely the search query will result in a conversion.  This is a trend that everyone in the home services should be paying attention to this year, and iMarket Solutions is here to help!

  1. Local Service Ads & Google My Business

2020 is seeing more integration between Local Service Ads and Google My Business.

In 2018, Local Service Ads gained a lot of momentum, with HVAC and plumbing verticals being launched in nearly every major metro area in the US, and select cities in Canada. With Google My Business, users were able to select a radius for their service area, and can input any service or product in their search.

In 2019, Local Service Ads launched nationwide while Google My Business users were now required to select cities, counties, or towns for their “service area” and could select a predetermined list of “services offered.” Both of these align with how Local Service Ads are set up.

It’s believed that these two services will continue to operate as separate lead generating channels for the foreseeable future, and changes to each product will make them more similar. Google will consistently continue to test the Search Results Layout.

Contact iMarket Solutions for Your Digital Marketing Needs

As we said in part 1, Google always has and always will continue to make changes throughout the year, every year. We will always keep you informed of these changes and how they impact your contracting business! Stay on top of these trends by partnering with an experienced marketing partner.

Contact the professionals at iMarket Solutions for the expertise that you need. We’re dedicated to contractor success!

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SEO Trends and Predictions: Part 1

Friday, May 8th, 2020

In a previous post, we covered the top Google updates that will impact home services businesses in 2020.

What do Google updates mean for SEO for the Home Services industry in general? They’re just a small part of a much bigger puzzle, giving us historical clues to help make educated predictions for the future.

Read on as we uncover 4 of the biggest predictions for 2020, and stay tuned for further trends!

  1.     Voice Search

“Voice Search” has become perhaps the biggest buzzword in the digital marketing industry as of late. Google Home, Alexa, Siri… there’s a shortage of information on smart speakers and voice assistants, and how they’re the “next big thing.” It’s vital that we be mindful of this. 

  • More than 66 million Americans owned a smart speaker by the end of 2019
  • 30% of web browsing will be screen-less in 2020

Generally speaking, the larger a purchase or investment is, the lower likelihood there is of being a qualified conversion from Voice Search. Still though, contractors should care about Voice Search. A study done by Search Engine Journal looked at categories where people do actually make a purchase using Voice Search, and it showed that while percentages are relatively small, categories included “everyday household items,” “appliances,” and even “local services.”

We recommend you do everything you can to be found on Voice Search. To reach Google Home and Android phone users, this means you must be signed up for Local Service ads. To reach Alexa users, you need to be listed on Yelp. Finally, for Siri users, you must be listed on Apple Maps.

  1.     E-A-T

E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. If you’ve watched our webinars in the past, then you might have heard us talk about Search Rating Guidelines. This is a 200-page document that Google sends to real people—meaning it is not an automated process—to help them evaluate search results and provide feedback.

Google’s algorithm is designed in a way to essentially reward websites that provide the highest level of E-A-T. Our prediction for 2020 is that Google will find a way to automatically quantify the E-A-T score of websites, which may include the following actions:

  •  Crawling Secretary of State Websites
  •  Auto-Verifying Professional Licenses/Insurance
  •  Crawling Website Content for Awards and Certifications
  •  Counting How Many Times Your Brand Name is Mentioned on the Web

The steps you can take to prepare for this is to:

  • Ensure your business has all of the proper licenses and state registrations.
  • Make sure your website accurately reflects your competitive advantages, including all awards, local community involvement, and even staff details plus local affiliations and partners.

You can improve your E-A-T by seeking online reviews from satisfied customers, making sure your “about us” page contains relevant details, getting more involved in the local community, and focusing on providing great customer service.

  1.     Interactive Media

Think about how personal it is for a homeowner to have a stranger come into their home. This presents an opportunity for the home services industry, and videos are a great way to help build trust! Here are some interesting interactive media statistics to ponder: 

  • Videos are the preferred type of content [customers] want to see from a brand or business – Hubspot
  • 66% of consumers prefer watching a video to reading about a product. – Wyzowl
  • YouTube is the second most popular website after Google. – Alexa

Videos engage users for a longer time on your website—nearly twice the amount of time they would otherwise, according to Forbes. The more time customers spend on site, the more likely a chance there is for a conversion, and videos can help increase SEO results.

The 2020 prediction for interactive media is that search results will continue to evolve, with our research in the HVAC space showing that up to 10% of search results might include a video snippet.

How can you get prepared? First off, if you have videos of your business, send them our way! Additionally, if you are considering hiring a professional videographer or photographer, let us know. We have a comprehensive website media guide we can send your way. Keep in mind, videos are also a great way to involve your service techs and boost morale among your employees as they’re simply fun to do.

  1.     Proximity and Reviews

According to SEO authority, proximity—distance from the consumer—and customer reviews play a huge role in a consumers’ decision to make a purchase, or in the case with home services, schedule services. In fact, these are two of the top factors for ranking in the local map pack that come up in search engine results.

Reviews have become increasingly important within the last 4 years, and will continue to grow in importance. Contractors and service-based businesses should prepare for reviews to increase in value. While proximity should be the #1 factor for many search queries such as things like “bike repair shop” or “restaurants near me,” reviews may become the #1 factor for many other search queries, such as “plumber in Burlington” or “air conditioning replacement.”

Proximity shouldn’t play as big of a role as reviews do when it comes to service-based businesses, and we believe this is something Google has recognized in recent years. In 2019, Google made changes, such as removing the “Service Area Radius” and replaced it with an area for business owners to add individual cities/towns.

Although we believe that Google will continue to make proximity the #1 factor for local-based search queries, reviews will continue to increase in value, specifically for service based businesses. The best way for you to prepare is by talking to us about your current review management plan, and how it can be improved.

Contact iMarket Solutions for Your Digital Marketing Needs

SEO is an industry that changes very quickly. Google always has and always will continue to make changes throughout the year, every year. The best way to keep up is by partnering with a marketing team that understands all the ins and outs of digital marketing, and how SEO plays a role. Be sure to read part 2 for a few more trends you can expect as we progress through the year!

Contact the professionals at iMarket Solutions for the expertise that you need. We’re dedicated to contractor success!

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5 Google Updates That Will Impact Home Services SEO in 2020

Wednesday, March 25th, 2020

With 2020 in full swing, do you have all of the info you need to master Google’s search results? If your answer is no, our team is here to give you the details!

Google pushes updates out on a daily basis, so it would not be surprising if you’ve ever felt overwhelmed. The most frustrating part can be that most updates will have zero to little impact on your business, but you certainly don’t want to miss the ones that do.

Keeping home service businesses including HVAC, plumbing, electrical and solar in mind, we’ve collected the top 5 Google updates that will have an impact on your business moving into 2020. 

#1: Google Added Favicons to Organic Search Results

In late May of 2019, Google introduced favicons to mobile organic search results. At the time, it had been over a year since Google had made a major change to the design of search engine result pages. A favicon, which is a small visual that represents your brand, is now placed to the immediate left of a search result, next to the URL of the featured page. Starting in January 2020 Google began testing this treatment in desktop results as well.

Because a favicon is unique to your website, it’s a great way to draw attention to your result using colors and shapes that will draw the eye. Websites that do not define a favicon using Google’s guidelines will show a standardized, blue icon that looks like a folder. As a home service business, it’s important to use whatever tools are available to help your business stand out against the competition. We recommend using a favicon that contrasts against a white background. 

#2: Search Ads Are More Integrated within Search Results

Where favicons are displayed for organic search results, Google now displays a black “Ad” disclaimer next to PPC ads. Based on a user study which asked 428 users to identify ads over organic results, “users were unable to distinguish them between 77% and 83% of the time…”

Google’s new favicon result appears to show an improvement in user advert recognition, however, there is also a large increase in the percentage of users who think that natural search results are adverts.”

While Google is still testing this format on desktop, we may see a behavioral change in the way users interact with organic and paid listings. If your home service business is not capturing leads through different marketing mediums, you may miss out. 

#3: Google Has Recently Rolled out a Core Algorithm Update

Google continually tweaks its search results on a daily basis, but generally reserves major changes to its Core Algorithm for a few limited batches within a year. The Core Algorithm is essentially Google’s secret sauce, so when changes are made to this formula, it will have a major impact on search results globally.

Though Google has not released the nature of the most recent update in January 2020, one thing that contractors can count on is that if they have low-quality content, they may see a negative impact in their search rankings. On the flip side, contractors that have high-quality content may see a positive impact in the search rankings. Since fully rolling out, iMarket websites have seen a 3.83% increase in keyword visibility on the 1st page of search engine results.

#4: Search Crawlers Have a Better Understanding of Searchers’ Intent

In October of 2019, Google released BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers), an update that impacts around 10% of search queries. The purpose of this update is to better understand natural language and searchers’ intent. More specifically, it enables search robots to process words in relation to all other words in a sentence, rather than one-by-one in order.

This is especially relevant for home service topics that may produce unrelated results such as “garbage disposal,” which may be a garbage disposal system, but it could also be a garbage disposal facility. The role of BERT is to catch the meaning of search queries to produce more relevant results.

#5: Organic Click-Through-Rates Have Declined on Mobile

With content-rich Google attributes such as PPC ads, Google Local Service Ads, rich snippets and Google My Business owning the top half of search result pages, user behavior is leaning away from the traditional organic click that we have become accustomed to in the last two decades. The result of this is that over half of all searches result in a paid-click or no-click action according to leading search data vendor Sparktoro.

With this being the case, it’s more important than ever that home service companies use a varied marketing approach to ensure that they reach their audience. Companies that focus on their brand, building a presence through SEM, SEO, Google Local Service Ads, and reputation management, will have the upper hand in this “zero-click” environment.

Amp Up Your Home Services Marketing Goals for 2020

What are your goals for 2020? Knowing how these Google updates will impact the home services industry, are you thinking of adding SEM? Reach out to our team let us know what you’re ready to learn more about this year.

To learn about what we offer, contact iMarket Solutions today. We are dedicated to contractor success!

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Connecting Your Brand Purpose to Your Vision

Monday, January 20th, 2020

Last month we posted a blog about brand reputation and how you can improve your SEO results. Now, we want to go more in-depth about the connection between your brand and your vision. While we mentioned briefly the importance of understanding your brand and the importance of the “why,” we’d like to delve into how it relates to the “where.”

Read on as we uncover the steps you can take to organically improve the foundation by which your search results are generated. By putting these two concepts together, it’ll be much easier to reach your goals, and your customers will intuitively pick you over other competitors.

Steps to Success

If you’re going to improve your brand’s reputation and utilize the strength of SEO to reach success, you’re also going to have to connect your brand’s purpose to your vision. Keep in mind your own brand’s belief and the realistic goals you’ve taken to get there.

Purposes like “being profitable” or “being successful” won’t work nearly as well, because customers don’t like working with contractors that are just in it for the money. Customers like working with people that have an inherent set of values, things that make them leaders in their field and eventually leaders of their competitors.

Step 1: Figure Out the “Why” of Your Brand

In the TED talk we linked last month, Simon Sinek talked about the “why” of your business. Many brands simply exist to make a profit, and while that might be fine for them, it should never be a reason for a brand existing. Ideally, your brand should have a purpose that is tangential to making a profit, so the profit can come as a result.

Perhaps your brand’s purpose is to provide friendly customer service to everyone in your area, or maybe you’re on a mission to provide affordable heating to your community to get through cold winters. This purpose is genuine, authenticity drips from it, and your prospective customers or community members will notice. After all, consumers are intuitive, they can tell when you’re sincere. This type of purpose can uniquely separate you from the tens or hundreds of other companies out there that provide similar services.

Step 2: Define the “Where” of Your Brand

While the “why” of your brand is important, it’s not everything. You’re still going to have to take your company in the right direction that can make your purpose a reality. This is what we call a vision. A brand without a vision is like a bird without wings, even if you have the desire to fly, you’ll never get there without growing wings.

A vision can constitute the ultimate goal of your company. How are you supposed to serve your business’s purpose if you can’t realistically get there? For premier HVAC companies to perform what their purpose espouses, they need a realistic direction to head towards. A vision can be something like “being the leading contractor in your area,” or “meeting a certain amount of promises to every customer,” ensuring that your brand is always working towards your purpose.

Step 3: Build a Framework Between Them

Once you’ve got your “why” and your “where,” then you’ve got to work on marrying these two aspects together. The purpose of your brand should always be in line with the vision of how you see your brand practicing what it preaches, so to speak. 

If your vision takes your brand in a direction that’s opposite to the purpose of why you run your company, then it’ll be harder to reach your goals and make the necessary steps to be successful. Profit comes naturally to a business with a strong relationship between its purpose and its vision.

“What Does This Have to Do with SEO?”

So, what does all of this talk about purpose and vision have to do with SEO? Isn’t that a large portion of what iMarket Solutions does?

Sure, SEO can be a powerful tool to reach your desired goals with a structured approach, but it’s not the only tool that a contractor can use to be successful. SEO for contractors, in conjunction with a framework built from a strong purpose and a clear vision (the why and where), is an almost surefire way to be successful in a sea of competitors.

The fact of the matter is, if you’re in a competitive market it’s likely that your competitors are using basic SEO principles to help grow their visibility. To compete with this, you need to have a brand advantage that resonates with search users. When you focus on creating a brand that is true to a purpose, this will reflect in naturally-built positive customer reviews, backlinks from reputable resources, and higher conversion rates from organic visitors.

Many of your competitors offer the most profitable services, charge the most profitable amounts, and work with customers up until it’s not profitable anymore. Customers are more sensitive to these business practices now more than ever, which is why your brand’s purpose and vision are going to matter a great deal in the business world to come.

In Summary

When a contractor doesn’t have a purpose that resonates with their target audience, they’re fighting against the current. Making a profit and building your customer base isn’t just done by search engine strategies and marketing tools. Behind every successful company lies a solid foundation of bedrock that consists of a strong vision and an even stronger purpose. SEO strategists, marketing companies, and everyone else enjoys working with a contractor that’s dedicated to something.

Your purpose, your cause, or even your belief is what dictates the direction your company will head more than anything else.

To learn about what we offer, contact iMarket Solutions today. We are dedicated to contractor success!

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Building Brand Reputation and Improving SEO

Tuesday, November 26th, 2019

If you’re not already familiar, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization—the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results ( The real question is, what does this have to do with brand reputation?

In the traditional digital marketing agency setup, these are two entirely different entities, but could disassociating these two key areas be a mistake? We certainly think so! In fact, as part of our dedication to contractor success, iMarket Solutions is in the process of aligning these two departments into one. But, why?

Over Half of All Website Visits Come From Organic Search

We’ve discovered that 57% of all traffic in the HVAC and plumbing industries comes from organic search versus all other marketing platforms combined.

That is an average of 13,795 website visitors per year.

Realistically, you will find that a large portion—about 70%–of these searchers never intend to convert, whether that traffic is coming from your blog, outside your service area, or it’s just a web user doing some research.

If we remove this traffic from the picture, we’re still left with a little over 4,000 users in a year’s time, and with the average qualified conversion rate that means about 1,000 qualified leads in that time. This is a solid number of course, but what if you could achieve even more?

What If Your Organic Search Results Showed a Different Picture?

It’s not enough for your business to just show up in organic search results. Your business must be portrayed in the right way, which we’ll delve into more detail about in the 5 tips below.

Nearly half of U.S. adults, according to a survey conducted on behalf of, use an internet search to learn more about a business before moving forward with a purchase, particularly in the service industry. From that survey, 45% of respondents say those search results made them decide not to work with a business—nearly 1/4th of all searchers actively claim their decisions are swayed by social cues!

56% of respondents found the information they saw in search results solidified their decision to work with a business, showing that consumers are more swayed by positive results than they are put off by negative results—but you have to have a convincing positive search presence otherwise you’ll miss out on a large chunk of your potential audience that needs your service.

A Strong Reputation Will Have a Greater Impact on Your Bottom Line

What is your company’s current reputation? You can start figuring this out by doing a search on your own to uncover review ratings, 3rd party review websites, social media profiles and more. You may find something about your company that looks off, or represent areas of opportunity.

You should also look at your competitors that come up and take a look at the “people also searched for” section to get a grasp of where your focus should be when attempting to improve your brand reputation. This reputation won’t be built or rebuilt overnight—we don’t have the magic bullet, nobody does—but the tips shared below provide long-term solutions that any contracting business can adopt.

As you read through these, keep in mind your budget, how much time and resources you’re willing to spend on reputation improvements, what areas need the most improvement and where you can start to make the biggest impact.

Tip #1: Understand Your Brand

The first step is often the hardest, and there’s no exception here. Many brands are lost when it comes to their branding, and buyers are intuitive—if your brand isn’t genuine, customers will pick up on it. You must understand your purpose and commit to it. This starts with knowing your “why.”

This concept is illustrated by author Simon Sinek in his TED talk as well as his book, “Start with Why.” We encourage you to check this out, and also inquire about iMarket Solutions’ full business workshop. Once you know your “why,” you’ll want to connect to your vision, or where you want to be as a company. Your question should be about how you can influence customers to choose your business over the dozens, if not hundreds of other options they have.

We could talk all day just on this topic, but we encourage you to reach out to our team for more information!

Tip #2: Get Involved in the Community!

Community involvement doesn’t have to be complicated. For instance, one of our clients does an annual blanket drive in order to support their local church and community, bringing positive attention to their brand. They’ve been doing this for 6 years now, and over 30% of their online reviews mention compliments such as how their techs are considered family, and how they’re friendly, polite and courteous.

Of course, not all these results may come from the company’s community involvement, but by focusing on efforts like this, you’ll show you live by your values and purpose. And an increase in buzz from trustworthy resources helps increase your website’s level of trust in Google’s eyes, helping your website rank higher over time for competitive keywords. This is true for recent events as well as older events—if you participated in a community event in the past, try to get the organization to link back to your site.

Tip #3: Use Your Website as More Than a Platform for Describing Services

Your website can and should be so much more than just a brochure of your products and services—in fact it’s one of your most powerful tools for marketing, setting the tone for your company and customers’ perception of your brand.

Relevant information on your site that sets your business apart includes things like:

  • What your team is about—what sort of training, certifications, and background checks do they receive? Are there visuals on your site of your team at work?
  • Community involvement and partnerships, including brand partnerships.
  • Unique service offerings.
  • Photos and other tidbits that engage your customers.

If there’s anything you can take away from this, we’d want it to be that your website content is vitally important in building a strong reputation that improves search rankings.

Tip #4: Own Your Brand Narrative

Google doubles as both a search engine and a review resource, so it’s important to ensure it’s optimized from both angles. You want to take charge of the narrative going on here, as well as other common review platforms like Yelp, Angie’s List, Better Business Bureau, Facebook, and HomeAdvisor.

Of course, you’ll never have direct control over these properties, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. How? By asking your trusted customers to leave reviews, particularly on Google My Business. 

That said, you cannot offer incentives for these reviews—we suggest strict adherence to Google’s guidelines regarding this matter—, but you can work on building a strategy to request and respond to reviews. Seriously, respond to every single review you get to address the feedback you’re receiving, whether it’s positive or negative. When done in a tactful way, this will help increase trust in not only your customers’ eyes, but in Google’s eyes as well.

Tip #5: Listen to Your Customers

This goes beyond looking at the feedback you’re receiving through reviews—though this is part of the process. There are other areas where your customers are talking—listen to recorded phone calls, read through your form submissions, review Google messages, and take note of chat conversations to get an idea of how your brand and reputation are being perceived.

Engage with your customers, your employees, and even your close friends and family to see what they think of your brand, to get a better idea of how your company is perceived.

Remember, even the smallest shift toward improving your company’s reputation will begin to show in the way customers perceive and interact with your brand and marketing. We urge you to start from a place of understanding for your brand, and a partnership with a marketing agency that understands your specific business needs and opportunities.

Contact iMarket Solutions to learn more about our comprehensive digital marketing products for contractors. Our purpose is to be dedicated to contractor success. Everything we do is informed by this purpose.

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How Can You Attract More Website Traffic?

Wednesday, November 20th, 2019

Your website is the core of a successful digital marketing strategy. After all, 95% of customers find businesses online through their websites. But having a website with an attractive design, eye-catching calls-to-action, and friendly navigation doesn’t mean prospects will actually see it. A website that potential customers can’t find may as well not exist at all. Driving traffic to a website is what makes a digital strategy work.

Finding methods to pull more traffic to a contractor website is a core part of how iMarket Solutions helps our customers succeed in a competitive marketplace. Just as a strong digital presence through a website is essential for digital marketing success, so is a well-considered strategy created to channel traffic to the site.

You have a great website—What marketing tools will drive more traffic toward it and toward your business?

Top Marketing Tools for Stampeding Customers to Your Website

There are an immense number of digital marketing tools available to send potential customers to your contractor website. Here are a few we consider essentials:

Search Engine Optimization: SEO is still the number one tool to make your website visible to search engines and people searching for your services. A website optimized to garner traffic needs relevant keywords and phrases that search engines can easily locate and interpret. The landscape of SEO continually shifts, so any strategy to attract customers to a website must evolve to stay current with the algorithms and guidelines of the major search engines.

Social Media: Mid-sized businesses require social media to send people to their sites. Social media may seem like an impossible maze to navigate, but all these platforms have the same basic use: to develop “word-of-mouth” campaigns with a wide range. Your customers are already “hanging out” on social media, where you can approach them with a casual pitch rather than an aggressive hard-sell. A strong social media presence not only increases website traffic, it achieves other goals like building trust with customers and increasing the chance of conversions.

Search Engine Marketing: Search Engine Marketing (SEM) means using pay-per-click ads on search engines to attract traffic to your site when customers are looking for relevant services. You pay a variable amount to the search engine based on how useful customers find the ads. The better your SEM strategy, the more traffic your site receives and the less you pay for the pay-per-click ads.

Responsive Website: When we call a website “responsive,” it means the site responds to a visitor’s screen size and orientation, then alters the layout for the best visitor experience. Your potential customers use a plethora of devices to access your website. From screens as large as smart TVs to smaller smartphone screens, a successful website must adapt to whatever device a visitor uses. Don’t let customers slip away because they can’t easily navigate your site on their device of choice.

Managing Tools Into an Effective Strategy

This isn’t a comprehensive list of methods to increase website traffic. No list can be comprehensive, because digital marketing technology sprints toward the future with the speed of a cheetah. You don’t have to worry about exhausting yourself chasing that cheetah—with iMarket Solutions, you have the perfect ally to keep pace with both current and future tools. We specialize in creating success for HVAC, plumbing, and electrical contractors, so we understand how to design a strategy to drive relevant traffic to your website. We use cutting-edge technology to see that your contractor website is not only visible to prospects, but engages them, creates trust, and drives them to contact you.

For the help you need to grow your business and website traffic with an exceptional digital marketing strategy, contact a member of our team. We have the experience, knowledge, and tools to make your contractor business a success by increasing website traffic. For more than a decade, our team has sailed atop the churning sea of digital marketing, making the sailing smooth for contractors like you.

iMarket Solutions is a leader in digital marketing solutions to help contractors thrive. Contact us today to assess how you can boost traffic to your website and boost conversions.  

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Should Contractors Have a Blog?

Wednesday, November 6th, 2019

The short answer? Yes.

The long answer? Yes, but it’s complicated.

Without a blog on your company website, you’re missing a huge opportunity. Blogs provide a way to connect with your customers and community. They are an opportunity to show personality, and to give your company a voice that can separate you from other contractors in your service area.

Not only is a blog the perfect chance for communicating with your customer base, but there are literally no downsides to having a well-maintained, informed, and frequently updated blog!

Blogging Helps Edge Out Competition

There are other businesses out there that do what you do. That doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of consumers out there willing to switch to your service, it just means it’s harder for them to find you if you don’t have the right online presence. A well-planned blog is your way to display the personality, expertise, and voice of your company. With a frequently updated blog, you can:

  • Highlight the differences in your services.
  • Talk directly to your prospective audience.
  • Steer consumers from making poor decisions.
  • Showcase why your team is the one to choose.
  • Build trust with your community.

We’ve got the Data to Prove It

Don’t believe us? Many business owners want to ignore the idea of any kind of marketing for contractors. The fact of the matter is, the data all points to blogs being a central piece of successful business growth—and we can prove it. 

  • Blogs are trustworthy. Blogs are the 5th most trusted source for accurate online information.
  • Great blogs catch attention. 75% of search engine users don’t scroll beyond the first page of results. With a well-maintained blog, the chances of you showing up on that page increases.
  •  Blogs pull positive results. 55% of bloggers report positive results from blogging. Of those 55%, 30% report strong results. These positive and strong results vary from increased website traffic and higher user engagement, to greater revenue. 

A Comprehensive SEO Strategy

For the unfamiliar, SEO stands for “search engine optimization,” which is a process by which your company can be ranked higher in web searches for your service areas. A frequently updated, high-quality blog is a great tool for your company’s SEO strategy. Blogs are a natural way to increase your search engine rankings because search engines value fresh, organic content that uses relevant keywords that meets the needs of online searchers.

More than 95% of customers find local businesses online, which means you need digital brand management that can make the changes necessary to connect with those customers. We can provide an effective SEO solution for contractors that uses the creative voice of a blog with the science of a proven SEO strategy to bring more leads and impressive results!

Constant Communication

Dialogue is a two-way process. Customers don’t just want to call a robotic line, they want to speak to other people when they’re looking for quality services. Writing a blog post provides communication to customers, but also to the community at large.

This communication can be about a topic that shines a light on the experience your team has and the great work they do. For all the effort that goes into an updated blog, the statistics say it often ends in new leads being generated.

Trust is the #1 Priority

The people scouring through a search engine for information about how to repair their HVAC system or what sort of water treatment system they need just want help.

Blogs are written by people as a way to convey information, personality, and experience. Trying to advertise your way into someone’s home might work. But many businesses out there are sneaky about it, and homeowners don’t take too kindly to this, naturally. Blogs are natural advertising. They tell consumers that there is a person behind the product, a team on the other end of the phone, someone who is willing to give them advice while asking for nothing in return.

Paid advertising is one effective way to attract leads, and blogs are how you get recurring customers. That trust is worth its weight in gold.

What Now?

Blogging is part of a comprehensive digital brand management and SEO strategy. When you choose a marketing company to manage your SEO efforts and your blog, you want a company that is knowledgeable about your business and committed to using the best practices to attract quality leads for your contracting business.

We’ve been working with contractors for years; we have the tools and experience necessary to build an SEO strategy that will yield promising results!

iMarket Solutions is your resource for leading digital solutions. Allow us to assess your current SEO and blogging strategy to see where your opportunities are. Contact us today! Dedicated to Contractor Success.

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How to Get Great SEO Results for Your Contracting Website

Thursday, October 24th, 2019

We wish we could tell you there was a super quick and easy method for this. If we were to describe in one phrase what it takes to get your contracting website on page 1 of Google, we would say “time and patience.” Well, that and an experienced marketing team who knows what it takes to properly optimize your site.

Getting your website to rank on a search engine page means understanding how it indexes, analyzes, and then ranks a website. Search engines, including Google, have a large index of all the pages of all the websites they know, and your contracting website can only show up on search engine results pages (SERPs) if it’s in that database. This is where SEO (search engine optimization) comes in!

What Is SEO?

If you’ve ever done any marketing online, you’ve probably heard the acronym “SEO”. But if someone asked you to explain it, could you? 

The concept of search engine optimization is actually fairly simple. It’s the process of getting traffic from organic search results on search engines. By organic, we mean free—you’re not getting ranked due to paid advertising. Paid search marketing and PPC (pay-per-click) are important parts of a contractors’ digital marketing toolbox, but not what we’re discussing today.

Generally speaking, the fundamental steps to SEO success are:

  • Figuring out what homeowners and business owners are searching for as it relates to your business.
  • Optimizing each page of your website for target keywords and keyword phrases.
  • Increasing the “crawlability” and “indexability” of your website.
  • Creating share-worthy, compelling content that earns links, citations, and amplification.
  • Producing a great user experience, including fast page load times.
  • Ensuring your website is accessible to both search engines and humans.

One very important factor to remember about SEO is that it’s just as much about people as it is search engines themselves. You have to know your audience! Know the words they’re using, what sort of content they wish to consume, even the different verbiage they may use based on their locality.

Why Is SEO So Important?

There are a number of digital marketing tools that help make contractors successful. Paid advertising, social media marketing, reputation management, and even live chat are all things that can help you acquire leads and convert them into customers.

But the majority of online traffic is driven by search engines. Organic search engine results cover more digital real estate than any other form of online marketing, they appear more credible to the educated consumer, and they receive far more clicks than paid advertisements. In fact, according to, SEO has ~20X more traffic opportunity than PPC on both mobile and desktop.

How Does Google, and Other Search Engines, Work?

Search engines have three main functions – to crawl, index, and rank.

Crawling means scouring the internet for content and looking over the code and content for each URL they find. They’ll look at things like the URL for the page, the meta-data, the content of the page (text, images, videos, etc) and how each page is being linked to. This will help search engines understand what keywords and phrases the page is most relevant for.

Indexing means storing and organizing the content that’s found during the crawling process. Once a page is in the index, it’s in the running to be displayed as a result to relevant searches.

Ranking is the part you’re likely most familiar with—it’s providing the pieces of content that will best answer a searcher’s query, which means that results are ordered by the most relevant to the least relevant.

Not All Search Engines Are Created Equal

Have you ever noticed that when talking about SEO, “Google” almost seems synonymous to “search engine”? Google does have the largest market share, and it’s the one that the SEO community pays attention to most—because this is where the greater majority of people search the web!

In fact, over 90% of web searches occur on Google. This is not to say other search engines aren’t important, but rather to stress the need to use Google’s quality guidelines when developing your SEO strategy.

Should You Hire a Marketing Professional to Help with Your SEO Efforts?

When you work with a marketing team to develop a strong strategy for your contracting business, you’ll want to work with one who knows the ins and outs of Google, SEO, and most importantly, your business!

We’ve only just brushed the surface here on what it takes to make sure consumers find your website. Working with our team means you’ll stay up to date on all the SEO tools necessary to build a beautiful and functional website, and have access to whatever digital marketing needs you may have.

iMarket Solutions is the expert in digital marketing and SEO for contractors. To learn more about how our SEO services can help you grow your business, contact us today.  Dedicated to Contractor Success!

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Why Should Contractors Utilize Digital Marketing?

Wednesday, September 25th, 2019

When it comes to getting your name out there and converting local homeowners into loyal customers, there are many marketing methods that can help you along. Creating the right overall marketing strategy is an essential part in helping your contracting business grow. These days, this means creating a solid digital marketing strategy.

Digital marketing is, in the simplest terms, the marketing of your products and services using digital technologies, both on the internet and other forms of digital media. In the last few decades, digital marketing has drastically changed the way brands and businesses utilize technology in their marketing efforts.

At iMarket Solutions, we are dedicated to contractor success. This means we believe in helping contractors form a reputable digital footprint in today’s online and mobile environment. This isn’t optional anymore—it’s what your contracting business needs to separate itself from your competitors. What exactly does this look like?

The Benefits of Digital Marketing for Contractors

Today’s consumers are increasingly becoming more mobile and web-based than ever before. Sure, marketing efforts such as advertising products and services through direct mail, or from a booth at a home or trade show is still valuable. But, to truly reach homeowners and even business owners where they’re at, you need to be visible online. There are a number of benefits to this, including:

Brand Development: A beautifully designed website, reputable social media presence, and solid online reviews are just a few of the ways you can garner attention for your contracting business. Building a brand from the ground up, or even entering a new vertical, can be overwhelming. But with the right support, you can quickly gain leads and conversions.

Lead Generation: If you want to enable your business to create enormous traffic and subsequent sales and conversion, the best way to do so is with digital marketing. Digital agencies can bring in leads through content marketing, email and social media marketing, optimized web forms, A/B testing, and more.

Low Cost, High ROI: Marketing and advertising your brand is one of the biggest financial burdens you’ll never need to take on. But marketing through digital platforms provides you with an affordable alternative to traditional marketing such as cold calling or advertising in magazines and direct mail. The best part is, digital marketing offers a substantial return on investment.

Reputation: The idea behind a careful digital marketing strategy is to gain the attention of potential customers and current customers long enough to build a credible reputation that keeps them coming back. Online reviews, social media presence, and how your company communicates using these digital mediums can help build and maintain a great company reputation in the communities you serve.

Our Comprehensive Products

Not all digital marketing products are right for each and every contractor. It’s important that you work with a qualified team with a specialty in marketing for contractors to determine the best strategy for your specific needs as a contracting business. Contact a member of our team today to learn more about any of the following services we provide!

  • Website Design
  • Digital Brand Management with SEO
  • Review Generation & Management
  • Email Marketing
  • Social Media Management
  • Search Engine Marketing
  • Local Services by Google Support
  • Remarketing
  • Live Chat

“How Can I Get Started?”

Digital marketing can seem overwhelming to a contractor who’s never had a solid online presence. Fortunately, that’s what iMarket Solutions is here for. Getting started with digital marketing means first creating a well-designed website with great, unique content and a strong town-by-town strategy for your service areas—and ensuring that the whole site provides a positive user experience.

Or rather, it means contacting a digital agency with the purpose of delivering HVAC, plumbing, and electrical contracting businesses with the best solutions for their digital marketing strategy to design that website. And your company’s website is just the beginning!

iMarket Co-Owner and Co-Founder Gary Elekes has found that the contractors with the most successful digital strategies have followed this model for getting started in digital marketing:

  • Have your provider publish blog posts at least 1-2 times each month.
  • Encourage and drive customer reviews as much as you can to all review engines—not just Google.
  • Get busy with collecting emails, and launch a solid email campaign strategy that targets existing customers.
  • Tie in your social media accounts with a strategy for community and cause marketing, using Facebook ads, Facebook posts, Instagram posts, and Retargeting.
  • Check to see if Local Services by Google is available in your area, and if it is, don’t wait! Sign up, get vetted, and tie in your ads to your customer reviews.
  • Invest in a paid search model through Google paid ads.

Gary Elekes Co–Founded iMarket Solutions in 2010 with Andrew Allen. Gary is also the Founder and CEO of EPC Equity, a private equity group established to acquire, operate, and grow businesses in the home services trade. Additionally, Gary serves as President of EPC, Inc., EPC Training, Inc., two companies he has sold to EGIA and operates them for EGIA.  He still maintains and operates EPC Consulting independently, and has also been an active contractor since 2002, currently owning and operating HVAC and Plumbing companies in Arizona.

To learn more about how to get started, simply reach out to our team. We’ve been working with contractors for years, and we understand the unique needs you face when getting your name out and attracting leads.

iMarket Solutions is your resource for leading digital solutions. Please allow us to assess your current digital strategy and see where your lead opportunities are. Contact us today!

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