The phone no longer rings with home improvement leads as it did 25 years ago because local buyers, landlords and interior designers typically go to Google first. So, why do Google Ads remain a mystery and the greatest untapped advertising tool for many home improvement businesses?

It’s every business’s goal to expand its market reach and to make sure you’re marketing to the right type of person. Google Ads can send a significant number of visitors your way, the leads you’re getting should be relevant to your home improvement product or services. 

If you’re looking to improve your lead quality, then this blog is for you, with top tips and best practices to help your paid advertising campaigns increase leads and traffic.

#1 Use location targeting

Targeting into a specific location gives marketing managers and business owners the ability to show your ads to reach people with specific interests – namely, people who are interested in your products and services – and show them relevant ads.

Source: Screenshot - Google Ads Location Setting

Google ads is all about how to get the right messages in front of the right people, at the precise moment.

To decide on your targeting ask yourself:

  • WHO is the target audience? 
  • WHERE are they online?
  • WHAT are they interested in?

When you create a new campaign in Google Ads, the location targeting nearly always defaults to the country you’re in, but every once in a while, it will actually default to “All locations,” meaning—you guessed it—everywhere in the world.
It makes zero sense to advertise to people who you cannot service or would be unprofitable for you. Google Ads offers highly customizable location targeting options you can use to include the best locations for you and exclude those that will be a waste of budget.

Additionally, make sure you have your advanced targeting settings selected to only “Those in my area” as opposed to “Interested in my area”. This might not have a massive impact, but no incremental win shall go un-won or something like that.

#2 Find the right keywords    

Over 51% of shoppers use Google to research their purchases before buying.

Search intent helps identify what keywords to select based on why people search. They’re divided into three categories:

  • Navigational – the user wants to find another web page
  • Informational – researching a topic
  • Commercial – desire to make a purchase

To choose the right keywords with the best results you need to think like your customer.  High intention keywords are those backed by commercial intent. If someone is searching with high intent and the keyword reflects a service they are looking for, they are likely to buy from your business.

Let me explain. Searches such as ‘buy low-cost water boiler’ are very different from ‘water boiler broken’ queries. One is a commercial key phrase and the other is informational.

Source: Screenshot of Answer The Public 

Ideally, you should offer content on all three areas with the goal of completing your call-to-action (CTA). Your keywords will target different landing pages or web pages dedicated to those search phrases.
Consider using free tools like Google Keyword Planner to identify relevant keywords. Targeting highly specific keywords might go a long way in generating qualified leads. Still, there’s also a way to ward off undesirable clicks. Remember to filter out negative keywords to avoid wasting your budget on low-quality leads.

#3 Optimise your landing pages and follow Ads policies

One great way of ensuring your site is getting relevant leads is by making your landing pages more aligned with what users are searching for. You can do this by tailoring your landing pages to the needs of your ad groups. If possible, create unique landing pages for each group. As always, get straight to the point. Put your call-to-action above the fold to grab the visitor’s attention immediately they land on your page. It’s also crucial for your landing pages to be accessible and easy to manoeuvre. Google is very strict with the quality of landing pages they allow and won’t hesitate to disapprove or ban your ads if they don’t meet the set standards and policies.

#4 Determine where your leads are coming from using URL tracking

Knowing where your leads are stemming from is essential in measuring the effectiveness of your campaigns. You can use parameters such as UTM to determine the lead’s details like which campaign they came from or the keyword they searched for.

Source: Reflect Digital

#5 Use ads that pre-qualify visitors

Many advertisers make the mistake of creating ads focused solely on increasing click-through rates. To ensure you are getting traffic relevant and targeted to your business, consider writing ads that pre-qualify visitors.
Remember, it’s essential to keep testing different strategies. The world of paid advertising is constantly changing, and you never know what will be effective at what time. 

#6 Use all the ad extensions

A quick search for “painter and decorator near me” nearly all the ads look the same if you look at just the text. But the one that stands out and gets your attention? That’s the my builder ad that has the image extension.

Source: Screenshot of google search for painter and decorator near me 

The image extension clearly helps the my builder ad stand out from the rest. There’s this little block of colour where all other ads are really just text. While this doesn’t mean that those companies aren’t using image extensions, it does mean that, for whatever reason, this search bar has the attention advantage.

For this reason, always use every ad extension that you’re eligible to use as it expands your adconcept;

  • Sitelink
  • Callout
  • Structured snippet
  • Image
  • Call
  • Lead form
  • Location
  • Affiliate
  • Price
  • App
  • Promotion

#7 Be strategic with conversion goals

Ideally, you’ve targeted the right people, stood out from the competition, and brought someone to an impressive landing page that loaded amazingly fast. But is your conversion action what the customer is ready to do? Have you thought through your conversion action thoroughly? Do you offer them any other option other than a final sale?

If the answer to any of those questions is no, you might want to think about adding a secondary, softer call to action on the landing page.

Are you asking someone to buy something? Maybe also offer free samples for your product so they can pick from your styles and colours options that best suit their space as demonstrated below:

Source: Screenshot of Snug 

Asking for someone’s information to put together a custom quote? Maybe also create an easy calculator to help them develop an estimate on their own.
As a business owner, you might be a little reluctant to give away free samples or demonstrations of your products and services. After all, there’s no guarantee that you’ll see a return on your investment. However, these types of brand awareness activities assist your business in capturing users' information who weren’t ready to convert on your key action at that moment.

The way Google Ads works gives advertisers with any budget the ability to yield a strong ROI. But you have to know how to use it to enjoy it. These seven strategies will help you to get the most out of your budget:

  1. Narrow down your location targeting
  2. Target high(er) intent keywords
  3. Use all of your Ad extensions
  4. Differentiate your messaging
  5. Use Google Ads to qualify users
  6. Understand user journey throughout your sales funnel
  7. Be strategic with conversion goals

Key takeaways

Many marketers are wary of Google Ads, either because they are concerned about the return on investment or they’re simply cautious about placing ads using an advertising platform that they don’t understand. However, Google Ads is the fastest and most reliable way to ensure your brand appears front and centre when home improvement buyers are in research mode.

If you want to generate leads through Google Ads, you should plan ahead from the start. Quick wins are not uncommon, but long-term optimisation can automate the process of generating high-quality leads. It is important to define your goals in advance and map them using conversion tracking. Make sure you have suitable ads and optimised landing pages that are specially tailored to your target group at an early stage.

If the cost-per-lead fluctuates sharply at the beginning, there is no need to panic. The ideal CPL can be determined and achieved with Smart Bidding. With the best data, Google Ads becomes a powerful lead machine.

If you’d like help getting started with Google Ads for home improvement then feel free to reach out to my team at Reflect Digital.

This blog was originally published via The Drum Network on Friday the 25th of March 2022.


Have a project you would like to discuss?