Ways to Optimize Your Blog for Professional Tradesmen

July 2, 2012

For those of us who write blogs, we do it with the sole purpose of sharing insights and tips that hopefully make your job easier. Our biggest challenge once the killer content is written is to make sure as many eyes as possible see it. Professional tradesmen are always on the go, and I want to make sure they get what they want in short concise bits of information.

It’s true optimization is usually associated with search, but you can insure that your content performs well on social media platforms. I recently read a post by Heidi Cohen, 11 Tactics to Optimize Your Blog that I found very interesting and wanted to share some of the points she makes:

  • Focus on just a few keyword phrases – prioritize them by the words you want to cover.
  • Create great headlines – you need to catch their attention so they stop and smell the roses.
  • Use good photos/graphics – It’s true a picture is worth a thousand words and it attracts readers.
  • Make your posts easy to read – use headings and bullet points. It also helps search engines.
  • Make content spreadable – RSS feeds, emails or social media.

Those are some thoughts. Care to add to the list?

New Survey Shows that Mobile is Important to Professional Tradesmen

June 27, 2012

It should come as no surprise to anyone that smartphones and tablets are changing the way we all communicate and do business. This couldn’t be more true, especially for small businesses like contractors. These guys are “time starved” and are not sitting behind a computer all day. They are out taking care of business.

A recent survey by Cargo and Inc. Magazine in emarketer.com showed the vast majority (915) of U.S. small companies place importance on wireless communications and smartphones for their businesses. Tablets were not far behind at (64%). You can certainly bet that contractors of all kinds are on the top of this list.

Technology that Is Important to Their Business According to US Small-Business Owners, March 2012 (% of respondents)

So, if you’re not considering mobile as a key way to communicate with those professional tradesman, you should be.

Here’s a simple tip to get started: Adapt your mobile web presence for Apple OS-based devices (iPads make up 79% followed by Android devices at 39%).

Reaching Contractors via Mobile. Still Not a Believer? See what Grainger is doing.

June 19, 2012

We’ve talked a lot about mobile and what it means to both manufacturers and distributors when trying to reach the professional tradesmen. For those who are still on the fence about mobile and where it’s going, here is some useful info.

I recently read a few articles in emarketer.com on mobile that brought up several good points. emarketer.com interviewed Geoff Robertson from Grainger on how they are using mobile in their sales process.

Here are some highlights:

  • Over the past 12 months, Grainger has seen a 400% increase in mobile activity.
  • Beyond the location and availability issues, Grainger is trying to help companies streamline their workflow by giving those who are requesting the parts to list them, and then those responsible for purchasing can sign off all using mobile technology.
  • Over 50% of their users feel comfortable ordering over mobile devices.
  • Google has an entirely separate algorithm for mobile device searches.
  • Google reported that 1 in 7 searches are now done on mobile devices.

If you don’t have a mobile strategy in place, it should get on your radar screen soon or you’ll be missing lots of opportunities.

If you like this post, you might want to read:

Are You Targeting Emails for Your Mobile Marketing?

Why a Mobile Strategy is so Important to Reach the Professional Tradesmen

What’s Your Mobile Media Strategy for 2012?

What Kind of B-to-B Marketing Is Working Best For You – Traditional, Digital or Social?

April 18, 2012

Now that most companies are back on the offensive and are actively spending more money on marketing, I thought I would ask you where are you getting the best results?

I know the big focus and conversations over the last few years have been on social. Have you jumped in yet, and if so, what kind of results are you getting? What about traditional things like print ads in trade journals and direct mail? Is anyone gaining traction with these?

So to answer my own question, we’re finding in our self promotion that both traditional as well as social media are playing important roles in new business development

A few years ago, we added social media to our marketing mix with this blog. It’s been a major commitment by us to do 2-3 posts a week, but our strategy is paying off. We not only have clients following us, but also potentials who are looking at going after the professional tradesmen.

The blog increases our visibility and also visits to our website. We’ve had a run on inquiries over the last 6 months from folks who have been following us and like what we’re saying. From the market overviews to Podcasts with industry leaders, they have recognized that we specialize in a niche market they are trying to reach and have come to us for help. What’s nice about these new business opportunities is that we’re not competing for the business.

All of our new business isn’t coming from social. We’ve had a print campaign going for the last three years in the leading trade journals where we put a false cover on the copies that go to potential advertisers in those markets. This too has brought us several new business opportunities.

So what’s working for you?

What Are You Doing to Grow Your Email List of Professional Tradesmen?

February 22, 2012

I know we all know “CONTENT IS KING” and we focus on putting out good stuff. But we should be just as focused on building the list to whom we’ll be sending all this valuable info.

It’s a fact that if you have an engaged database of subscribers, you have a captive audience not only for them to read, but to share. I recently read a post on problogger.net by James Penn entitled, 10 Ways to Get More Email Subscribers For Your Blog that I thought brought home some key points.

Among them are:

  • Use multiple opt-in forms – have 3-4 in your newsletter template. The more you have, the better the chances of them signing up.
  • Offer a freebie for signing up – give them a report, industry trends or white paper for signing up.
  • Use your most popular posts – they will continue to bring in traffic.
  • Create special reports on industry issues – use already existing content to create.
  • Ask readers to join your email list – what better way to get people on board

These are some great tips. What are you doing to increase your email lists?

Are You Using Landing Pages? If Not, Maybe You Should Be.

February 8, 2012

No matter what kind of promotion you’re doing, when going after the professional tradesmen, the bottom line is you want them to ask for more info and ultimately a sale. You can’t do that in an ad(print or digital) by itself. You need those that are interested in whatever it is you’re selling to go somewhere to get more info.

A landing page is ideal for a next step in the lead process. A good landing page will target a particular audience using a unique page that allows visitors to download the appropriate content (you wouldn’t have the same offer for say a tradesman and for a design engineer). They also help you track and monitor activity by offers so you know what works and what doesn’t.

I recently downloaded an e-book, Optimizing Landing Pages by Sarah Goliger from Hubspot that outlines the basics on what needs to be included, how to get them shared, using them as a lead nurturing tool and thanking them for responding.

Here are some highlights:

  • By directing them to a specific page with an offer and the appropriate form to fill out, it makes it more likely that they will complete the form and convert to a lead.
  • If your visitors decide to download your offer, why not invite them to share your content?
  • Lead nurturing is a very important part of the process. 50% of those who respond aren’t ready to buy just yet.
  • 78% of sales that start with a web inquiry get won by the first company that responds.
  • By sending a follow-up thank you to those that downloaded material, you have the opportunity to offer them additional info and downloads, as well as asking them to share this with others via social media.

So if you’re not using landing pages, you may want to give them a try. I think you’ll see that you’ll not only get more leads, but better quality ones.

If you like this post you might like:

Product Landing Pages: Tips on How to Improve their Performance

The Best Way to Reach Professional Tradesmen: Drip or Closed Loop Marketing?

Tablets and Smartphones are Changing the Way Manufacturers Will be Reaching the Tradesmen

November 16, 2011

Today’s digital environment is rapidly evolving driven by the increase of devices people use to consume content. This holds true for the professional tradesman as well (remember they are consumers too).

With smartphones, tablets and other connected devices, consumers have become digital omnivores according to a new study out by comScore. Their new white paper, Digital Omnivores: How Tablets, Smartphones and Connected Devices are Changing U.S. Digital Media Consumption. Findings include:

  • Consumption away from desktops and laptops is really growing.
  • Smartphones are the catalyst to mobile media consumption.
  • Tablet traffic is becoming  notable and rising quickly.

Download a copy of the white paper.


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