PPC for Roofing Contractors: The Ultimate Strategy
Itching to learn the proper pay-per-click advertising blueprint to take your roofing company to the next level online?
We know the roofing industry. And we've been doing PPC for 10 years. It's a lethal combination.
This guide is everything you'll need to get more clicks and generate more leads from your PPC advertising campaigns.
Don't have time to read the whole guide? Watch our free PPC for Roofers webinar below!
If you want your business to survive well into the future, your roofing PPC strategy should be one of your top priorities. More potential customers than ever will head over to a well known search engine by the name of Google (ever heard of it?) and search for roofing companies in your area before they make the decision to pick up the phone and call for help.
That's why it's more important than ever that you are listed at the top of Google's search engine results when homeowners sit down at their computers to do their research on local roofing companies. This guide will cover everything we do when we lay out an entire SEO campaign for a roofing client.
A Quick Note for Readers
We literally wrote the book on Internet Marketing including a large section on how to do roofing pay-per-click advertising properly. We've broken down the ads process for roofing contractors in this article in a very detailed manner, but for more info grab a copy of our new book!
As always, if you need a roofing PPC services company to review your website and create a new blueprint to get your ad tactics on point, click here schedule a free strategy session today!
What is PPC?
SEO is more of a long term strategy and key to the long term viability of your business, but once you’ve got a handle on it, it’s going to be time to start looking at paid online marketing such as:
These advertising initiatives can produce quick, fast, and effective results if done right. They are a way to make your business appear right at top of search results and within the social media feeds of your target audience at the click of a button as well as build a long term faucet of leads that you can turn on and off at will.
Let’s dive into how they can work for you.
Successful Pay Per Click (PPC) Campaigns for Roofing Companies
We’ve talked with a lot of roofing contractors throughout the United States, a lot of them have a very negative perception of Google Ads, formerly known as Google AdWords and other PPC platforms.
There’s 1 of 2 scenarios.
Scenario 1 is that they’ve already spent thousands of dollars with Google Ads and got very little or no return on investment - essentially just throwing money down the drain.
Scenario 2 is that they see how much it costs per click for roofing advertising, sometimes between $25-50 per click, and can’t fathom spending that much for advertising.
I’m here to tell you that if you set up pay per click advertising campaigns the right way, they can be extremely profitable and yearn an incredible return on investment.
Most PPC Campaigns fail because business owners fail to understand how the AdWords platform actually works to convert visitors into leads.
We see so many roofing contractors that go into AdWords, pick a few keywords and stuff them all into one ad group, bid either too high or too low, and then send people directly to their homepage on their website for when people actually click.
This is the wrong way to do it in so many ways.
Google wants to make sure that even paid listings are relevant to the user that’s searching. So the quality of your ads and the page that people land on is all relevant to where you get placed in paid listings, along with the cost per click you’re willing to spend.
If a customer is searching for “emergency roof leak repair”, your ad isn’t going to work well if it:
The same goes with the page that your customers go to when clicking your ad. It needs to be relevant.
If this isn’t done correctly you’re back to scenario 1, you’re spending a lot of money paying more for ads than you need to pay and you’re likely getting fewer calls than you should be. If the ad and landing page content doesn’t answer the specific question or query they typed into Google’s search bar, then you better believe it’s unlikely they’ll be contacting you.
So what’s the right way to do this?
The best way to get the most out of your pay-per-click advertising budget is to first plan out all of the services you want to advertise for. You’ll then do some keyword research and group each set of service keywords together in their own specific ad group.
By doing this, your quality score that Google calculates ad rank will go up and you’ll get not only lower costs per click, but higher conversion rates and more leads!
The Real Benefit of Roofing Contractor Pay-Per-Click Advertising
So what’s the real benefit of Pay-Per-Click advertising like Google Ads and Bing Ads?
There are several huge benefits to using them:
- You can set up entire campaigns in a day, make them live, and be at the top of Page 1 on Google for search terms like “roofing contractor” or “roofing company (your city)” at the click of a button. This could take 6-12 months for SEO to accomplish this.
- You can target specific areas that you serve, demographics, income levels, and more. Google has data on everything, you can use this to your advantage to run ads to your target audience.
- You’re serving ads to people that are already looking for your services and are at the bottom of the sales funnel in the buying process. They’re looking to take action and get an estimate or have someone look at their roof. You’re ad will give you the chance to get that business.
The Different Pay Per Click Platforms
There are a lot of PPC platforms out there, however the two main ones are Google Ads (AdWords) and Bing Ads.
These are the two we focus on and use in every roofing contractor marketing campaign that we do.
With Google Ads, when you run campaigns your ads will be served on Google’s search network as well as some of their partners if you choose.
With Bing Ads, your ads will be served on the Bing search engine as well as Yahoo and several other partners.
Which Platform Should You Use?
So where should you invest your budget in pay per click advertising? Well, we recommend investing it in both Google and Bing’s platforms.
Google owns more than 80% of the search market share, but Bing is a hidden gem that not as many people advertise on and can serve very good results.
That said, our strategy is to invest 85-90% of our roofing client budgets for PPC in Google Ads and the other 10-15% into Bing Ads.
This gives us a good chance to see how each platform responds as well as brings different demographics to the table. The cost on Bing is going to be much less than Google as well.
How the Process Works
Let's talk about how the Google Ads auction process works. There’s a lot of incorrect and misunderstood information out there. A lot of people think that the AdWords auction process is solely based on the cost per click.
They’ll tell themselves, well if I just bid higher, I’ll be in the #1 spot and then I’ll get more clicks and leads.
However, we need to go back to Google and the fact that they want to serve relevant results to their users. Because of this, they can't just let the highest bidder get the top position. That’s why they use what they call the “quality score” to determine results of paid ads on their platform.
Google makes more revenue if their advertisers get clicks, and in order for that to be more effective, they need serve extremely relevant ads to their users.
So what is quality score and why does it matter? Quality Score is Google's rating of the quality and relevance of both your keywords and PPC ads. It is used to determine your cost per click (CPC) and multiplied by your maximum bid to determine your ad rank in the ad auction process. Your Quality Score depends on multiple factors, including:
No one outside of Google really knows how much each factor is weighted in their Quality Score algorithm, but it is widely known that click through rate is one of the most important parts of it. When people who see your ad click on it, this indicates to Google that your ad was relevant and super helpful to users, which is exactly what they want.
Google will typically reward you because of this with 1) a higher ad ranking and 2) lower overall costs per click. That’s why it’s so important that your ads are relevant and really draw the users attention!
How Roofers Can Get Fantastic ROI with PPC Advertising
How can you really get this right? How can you maximize the effectiveness of your pay-per-click marketing strategy?
The first thing I recommend is setting up ad groups based on specific services. I'm going to break those down for you as we go.
I want you to write a specific and compelling text ad that matches the keywords or those groups of keywords.
Then I want you to land the traffic that comes through pay-per- click for each ad group on a specific page of the website – not the home page, but a very specific page that matches what they typed in.
If you do this, you can have a better quality score, and you're going to be a lot more successful with your AdWords campaign.
Here’s how we setup and run PPC campaigns effectively:
Know Your Budget and Your Numbers
The first thing you need to decide before even starting the setup of your PPC campaigns is knowing what your monthly ad spend budget is going to be.
This is crucial to have a number up front because then you’ll know where your priorities should be in terms of keyword research.
For roofing contractors, even in smaller cities, we recommend having a MINIMUM ad spend budget of $1,000.00 per month.
Anything lower than that in the roofing industry will be very difficult to work with as well as just won’t be effective because your data will be limited.
In larger cities like Houston, Los Angeles, etc. $1000 won’t cut it though.
When cost per click can rise above $30-40 each for some keywords, $1,000 is not a lot and can disappear in less than 30-35 clicks.
It’s all about ROI in the end. If you spend $1,000 and get one roof replacement job out of it that nets you $4,000 in profit, was spending that $1,000 worth it? I’d say yes every time, you just quadrupled your investment.
Here’s some average figures to go on:
Know Your Sales Numbers
It is crucial to know your sales numbers for Google Ads to get an idea of what could work for you.
Let’s say for every 10 leads you get, you close 3 of them as jobs on average. A 30% closing percentage.
Let’s say you have a $2,000.00 monthly ad budget. Your average cost per click is $20.
$2,000 / $20 = 100 clicks
So you’ll get 100 clicks for your $2,000 budget.
Then calculate the conversion to lead percentage, which for us is usually around 10%.
.10 * 100 = 10 leads.
So on average, you’ll get 10 quality leads for $2,000, about $200/lead.
Now say your close percentage is 30%. So you close 3 of those 10 leads into roofing jobs.
Let’s say on average you make $3,000 profit per job. $3,000 x 3 = $9,000.
Congratulations, you just spent $2,000 to earn $9,000. Thats a great return on investment.
Now these numbers are probably very conservative, at least from our perspective. But you can see how much opportunity there is, especially if you know your numbers ahead of time.
How to Set Up the Perfect Roofer AdWords Campaign
Want to dominate Google Ads (AdWords)? Here's the necessary steps you need to follow to setup a campaign that will generate non-stop leads:
Now it’s time to figure out the keywords that you want to bid on. There’s a number of tools you can use to find keywords:
Or you can head over to our roofing keywords page we created for you.
It’s important to know the services that you want to bid on for advertising and group them accordingly with similar keywords.
So let’s say we want to bid on general roofing keywords in your city, metal roofing, and roof replacement keywords.
I’ve already found a number of keywords that would work grouped together:
- 1General Roofing Keywords + City: roofing (city), roofing contractor (city), roofing companies (city), roofers (city), roofing services (city)
- 2Metal Roofing Keywords: Metal roofers, metal roofing contractors, metal roofing companies, metal roofing services, metal roofing
- 3Roof Replacement Keywords: Roof replacement, roof replacement contractors, roof replacement service, roof replacement estimate
These are just examples, but you can see how each is grouped with similar terms. These eventually will form your ad groups.
So right now, take out a piece of paper or open a spreadsheet and start doing research based upon what you want to be found for and group each set of keywords separately.
As much research as you do for what you want in your ads, you also need to do research for the keywords you don’t want your ads showing for.
This is one of the #1 reasons why businesses blow through their ad budgets so quickly. You need to put negative keywords in your ad campaigns.
This tells Google that your ad should not show if it contains one of the words you mention.
For roofers, there are HUNDREDS of keywords you don’t want ads to show for.
You don’t want your ads showing for any of these related terms because it will cost you money and you won’t get leads.
There’s a lot of people looking for roofing work as well as having lots of your competitors with the word “roofing” in their names.
Make sure you make an extensive list to place in the negative keywords list in your ads campaigns.
Roofing Ad Groups & Bidding
For roofing, what ad groups should you set up? You can go a lot deeper on this than you can imagine, but for the sake of this example, I’m going to make it simple.
General roofing services: So they typed in "roofer" or "roofing" "roofing company," "roofing contractor" etc.
All of that can be grouped into a general roofing services ad group Then there's roofing terms with Geo-modifiers. These ad groups would be very city or state dependent. They would be similar to general roofing but have a city appended to the end of the keywords.
It’s important to keep these separate from just general terms.
Then there’s emergency roofing terms. Somebody is in a much different mental state when they have water pouring through their roof and need help right away. They can be typing, "emergency roof repair," "emergency roofing," "24 hour emergency roofing services," or "after hours roofer".
These are just some examples of ad groups and how you can put keywords together, but the key to remember is:
Keep Similar Service Keywords together in the Same Ad Group
Types of Keywords to Put into Ad Groups:
In Google Ads, there are several variations of keywords you can use in the ad group:
- 1Broad Match
- 2Broad Match Modifier
- 3Phrase Match
- 4Exact Match
It’s important to realize the difference.
We almost never use Broad match keywords because there are too many issues and variables with broad match that can cost you money quickly.
We typically stick to broad match modifier, phrase match, and exact match.
So for example in our ad group for “roofing contractor chicago” terms, here’s what each of those would look like:
Broad Match Modifier: +roofing +contractor +chicago
Broad match modifier says that those keywords with a plus sign in front of them could show an ad for any search term as long as those are in the search keyword. They can contain close variants of a word, but not synonyms, and be in any order.
So if someone typed in “I need a chicago roofing contractor” the broad match modifier would show the ad, because the words are all included.
Phrase Match: “roofing contractor chicago”
Phrase match uses the exact phrase we outline but can include words before or after in the search query. However, everything must be in the same order.
Example: best roofing contractor chicago IL -- the phrase match keyword would show in our ad group because it contains “roofing contractor chicago”
Exact Match: [roofing contractor chicago]
Exact match means exactly that - it will only show for that exact term that you wrote, or very close variations of it, e.g. roofing contractors chicago
Our strategy is to put each of these variations of a search phrase in each ad group, exact match should have higher bids that broad match. This allows us to cover each and every keyword related to those terms.
Example of what an ad group with phrase and exact match looks like:
Initial setup of a PPC campaign is crucial. When you create a new campaign in Google Ads, there will be a series of steps to begin.
- Campaign Goal: Select New Campaign, it will ask for a goal for your campaign. We will want to select “Leads” as the goal.
- Campaign Type: Next we’ll be looking at selecting a campaign type. We always recommend start off with a “Search” campaign. These are the standard ads that will appear in Google’s main search results. There are a number of other options which we do use for our clients in more advanced stages, but if you want results fast, search is the way to go.
- Title Your Campaign: if this campaign is about Roofing, we suggest calling it that. We usually run separate campaigns for different service types altogether, but if it’s related to roofing in general, we will have 1 campaign titled roofing.
- Networks: In the networks section, there’s a few options. We always want to run our first campaign on the “Search Network”. There is a check box that gets automatically selected to “Include Google search partners”. We recommend unchecking this box as we’ve discovered that the search network just isn’t as effective at conversions. Same goes with unchecking the “Include Google Display Network”.
- Locations: This is an important one. If you have a designated service area, whether it be a radius from a city, certain cities, zip codes, counties, this is where you put that information. Be as specific as possible. If you want to exclude certain cities, make sure you do this.
NOTE: Under location options, Google automatically selects the option that says Target People in, or who show interest in, your target locations.
We do not recommend doing this even though they put (recommended) next to it. This means people in Colorado who search for roofing in chicago will be able to see your ads. In our experience, there are few people that are out of state that are actually going to be valid leads.
You should select “People in your targeted locations”
- Budget: For your budget, it’s going to ask you how much you want to spend each day. You’ll want to take your monthly ad budget and divide it by 30 since that is the average days per month. Put that number in here.
- Bidding: For bidding, this is up to you. We always select manual bidding so we have full control over the campaign and can make choices based on the information we’re given. However, if you want things to be more automated, you can select maximize conversions or target ROA. These are the main campaign settings you should be concerned about out of the gate.
Setting Up Your Ads
Setting up your ads is simple enough, but there’s a few key things to remember here:
- 1We want our ads to be extremely relevant to the ad group
- 2We want our ads to catch the audience's attention and make them WANT to click
Example of a powerful Ad:
Headline 1: Include your main keyword you’re targeting
Roofing Contractor Chicago
Headline 2: Include Trust Components, Benefits, or Numbers to encourage clicks
A+ BBB Accredited Company
Display Path: Use your Main Keyword again
Description 1: Reiterate benefits of your service and include call to action
40 Years Experience. 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed. Get a Free Estimate!
We recommend setting up two ads per ad group and switching out little things in the headlines, this way you can test to see which one performs better over time and eventually use the better performing ones.
Adding lots of relevant ad extensions to your ad groups and campaigns is what can make or break a campaign. These will help your quality score because they will encourage click through rate. There’s a few different types of ad extensions we recommend using.
Location Extensions: This is the #1 extension we use to really crush ads for our clients. Basically, you’re hooking your Google My Business page up to your ads account. This allows you to show your location information on your ads, but more than anything, allows you to have an ad in the 3 Pack of Organic Maps that sits above the #1 ranked maps business.
This slot will show your review stars and barely looks like an ad, so it’s an easy win win to earn people’s trust, get tons of calls, and get a great ROI.
You’ll have to sync your Google My Business page with your ads account when you set it up.
Call Extension: Another big one we like to use. Setting up call extensions allows a phone number to show beneath your ads up top as well as allows you to show a tracking number in your Map Pack ad. THis is crucial to understand how your ads are converting.
Callout Extensions: Callout extensions allow you to again show the benefits of your business - they’re short sentences that highlight advantages. We use calls outs like “Best Industry Warrant”, “Family Owned & Operated”, 0% Financing, etc. to catch people's attention and resonate with them.
Sitelink Extensions: The last extension we commonly use are sitelink extensions. These take up the most real estate in ads and can cause your ad to appear much larger than your competitors which is a significant advantage.
Your sitelinks should link to other pages on your website that are related to what they’re looking for. Often we’ll create separate landing pages for the different types of roofing as well as a reviews and about us page just for Google ads so people can click there if they’d like to.
Conversions & Call Tracking
Setting up conversions for your ad campaigns is as important as building the ads yourself. If you don’t set these up properly, then there’s no way to ever know which keywords are working and which aren’t. It negates the whole purpose of marketing in the first place.
There are 3 types of conversions we setup:
- 1Contact Form Submissions (place conversion code on thank you page after people submit)
- 2Calls from Landing Page (People click on ad and then call the number on your landing page. You can use with Google’s call tracking numbers or set them up yourself)
- 3Ad Extension Calls (These are for the phone number that appears in your ads if people call directly rather than clicking on your ad to go to your landing page)
If you’re not tracking all 3 of these, you need to set this up right now!
You should be creating separate pages on your site for each ad group to arrive at.
You should have a Roofing in (Your City) page, Roof Repair, Roof Replacement, Metal Roofing, Asphalt Roofing, etc.
Ideally landing pages should have the following properties:
Remember, you’re ads can have a great click through rate and work well, but if your landing page sucks and isn’t relevant to what that user was looking for, you’re going to pay a lot of money for ads and get no results!
Once everything is setup, it’s time to let the ads go to work. But that doesn’t mean you just let them run and don’t ever make changes. The first few months in particular, you need to be in your ads account and looking at the data, seeing which ad groups and keywords are converting and which aren’t.
See which ads are working and which aren’t. It is a nonstop cycle of tweaking until you can get our conversion cost as low as possible. From there you can scale upwards.
Once you’re able to scale, you can keep putting another $1 in the Ads machine, and spit out $5 on the backend.
That’s the power of Pay Per Click advertising.
We have clients that spend upwards of $20,000.00 on ads monthly and others who spend only $1,000.00 per month. Guess who’s making a better return?
You guessed it. The $20,000 contractor.
You can start small, but always learn that to scale in ads you have to spend money to make money!
We’ve covered your SEO for roofers, website optimization, PPC, and Retargeting. These are the 4 pillars of our standard roofing marketing system because they target people that are ready to buy right now. They are homeowners or business owners that need help with their roof as soon as possible.
However, there’s a whole other segment of leads that aren’t quite as far down the sales funnel. These are people that maybe fit your target market, but aren’t quite ready to get their roof replaced yet, or haven’t really thought about it….yet.
This is where Facebook & Instagram ads come in. We'll go into this further in our Facebook Advertising for Roofers guide.
PPC for Roofers: ARE YOU USING PAID ONLINE ADVERTISING TO YOUR ADVANTAGE?
Having a roofing PPC campaign done the right way can increase traffic and fuel growth of your roofing business, all from the internet! It can help make sure your brand is front and center in your local area and give off the trust that you need to encourage customers to contact you. Better rankings = more traffic = more customers for you.
A strategic PPC campaign takes time and patience to get perfectly right, but the end result is always worth it. Roofer Marketers not only has has expert PPC Managers working on your campaigns, but we know the roofing industry inside and out. Wouldn't you want someone that knows how your competitors work to handle your search engine optimization needs?
Contact us today to get a Free Audit and Strategy Session. We'll provide you a blueprint of how we can use our system to make you the #1 roofing business in your local area and steal a majority of the leads from your competitors.