PPC & Google Ads Guide for Roofers
In my experience, Google Ads (formerly Adwords) are a great way for roofers to obtain new leads and more jobs. It is more effective than buying leads yet much less effective than SEO once you have top rankings.
Because of this, ads and SEO can complement each other. At first, ads deliver instant results, while it takes 6 to 9 months for even the best roofing SEO process to earn a top spot in the Google search results (Google doesn’t allow it to move faster).
Once SEO bears fruit, the ads can be turned off. Your organic rankings essentially produce free exclusive roofing leads on its own.
If you don’t have experience with paid marketing campaigns, the result can be wasted funds. Ads for roofing are expensive and roughly $30 for every single click. So my main goal is not just to get clicks by writing good ads but to send them to a great, fast loading website that converts as many of those clicks into leads as possible.
The majority of roofers rely on ads and buying leads for business growth because only 1% of all roofers end up ranking organically on Google where they can get 10x the leads. If ranking at the top of Google is something you want to tackle, please contact me by using this form.
Despite the relatively easy execution of PPC ads, you need planning and preparation to achieve success. These steps are defined below.
Prior to launching any PPC campaign, you need to make certain your landing page (the page your visitors are sent to) is in line with your ad. This step is critical because once someone clicks on your ad, they need to feel they are in the right place or they are just going to leave.
If your ad directs potential customers to an unrelated or general page, the chances are good you will lose the ad cost right there. When someone clicks on a roofing ad, it is because they are intrigued by what it says.
For this reason, there needs to be a strong connection between your ad and the landing page. A good example is an ad offering homeowners a free roof inspection. To succeed, there must be details regarding the offer on my landing page.
What’s more, your page needs to be easy to use and load quickly or the result is the same: people abandon it immediately.
Google increases the price on your ads and shows it less often to people if it measures your site speed to be slow, or if your page is not in line with your ad. So not only is such an ad much less effective, it even costs more for every click.
Taking the time for improving conversions increases the chance the homeowner will follow through. Here are tips I have found useful for maximizing website conversions.
- The CTA must be clear and compelling
- Attention can be retained with strategic videos and images
- Headlines should be persuasive and grab attention
- Visuals, bullets, quotations, and simple information are effective
- A simple website design with plenty of white spaces is effective
- All copy should be clear and straightforward
- The page needs to load fast
- The page needs to be SEO optimized to be in line with the ad copy to decrease click price
Researching what people actually type into Google (keywords) is important for a successful PPC roofing campaign. This is the foundation of the entire process. Search engines require keywords to figure out when your ad should be displayed.
Choosing the correct keywords gets you the raffic you actually want, you get a better click-through rate (CTR) on your ad, which decreases your click prices. Below are tips to help you find the best possible keywords for your campaign.
- Look at your competitor’s keywords
- Refine your search by using keyword research tools
- Whenever possible, choose local keywords
- Think about the most likely searches for homeowners requiring roofing services
- Use specific keywords as opposed to anything vague or generic
Negative keywords, which are the phrases you don’t want your ad to appear for, are just as important! Commercial roofing services are a great example for this. If you only focus on residential roofing, you need to exclude “commercial” from your keywords or your ad ends up showing to the wrong prospects, wasting your ad budget.
Roofers have a good selection of bidding options, that is how you pay for ads. Choosing the right one is dependent on factors such as your objective, budget, and level of experience. You also need to decide between manual and automated bidding.
If you are new to PPC, I recommend manual bidding. This enables you to set a cap regarding how much you are willing to pay per click. The downside is you do not have the opportunity for optimizing bids.
If you are more experienced, automated bidding decreases the time required for managing your campaign despite the additional costs. Automated bidding offers different strategies to improve your campaign on Google Ads, including:
Cost Per Click
Every time your ad is clicked, you pay a fee to Google. For roofing, this is typically between $20 and $40 a click. For commercial roofing, it is usually higher than that. Yes, ads are costly. That’s why SEO is more effective in the long run!
Cost per Acquisition
Also referred to as CPA bidding, this is similar to the one above, except the amount of the cost for each click is dependent on the cost of acquiring a new roofing customer.
Cost per Thousand
Also referred to as vCPM billing, Google is paid every time 1,000 potential customers view your ad.
Cost Per View
Every time a video ad is engaged through YouTube, or viewed, Google receives a payment. This is typically a very low-cost type of running ads but also very ineffective.
I choose my strategy according to whether I want to increase conversions, visibility, or traffic. In most cases, I recommend the first option.
Determining a Budget
Setting the right budget is extremely important for a PPC campaign. One of the reasons I like PPC is that you can still be effective with a limited budget.
You have full control over how much you spend on your ad. If your marketing budget is low, you can begin a campaign with as little as $100.
I always look at the keywords my competitors are using prior to determining a budget. I then optimize my PPC campaign to ensure I am as effective as possible and get the most amount of targeted clicks for the least amount of money.
Creating Landing Pages
As discussed before, a good landing page is critical for a PPC campaign to be successful. Your landing page provides potential customers with solutions or answers to common questions. Do not give in to the temptation of making it easy for yourself by linking your ad to your homepage.
If you don’t go the extra mile, the experience of your users will be poor in most cases. Build your landing pages using the same keywords and information that you chose to display in your ads.
When a potential customer clicks on your ad and finds a fitting page that is sleek and makes sense, they are more likely to feel they have come to the right company. This leads to more phone calls and more customers.
Writing Amazing Ads
After you have created a landing page, determine your budget and bidding strategy. One of the most important concepts is keeping my ad brief and to repeat the keywords that someone just searched for. So if someone searched for “Dallas Roofing”, make your ad says the same phrase in its title and body. This way, people notice the ad more often.
The opportunity to catch the attention of people is small, so any opportunity to make them feel you are what they are looking for is an opportunity you must take.
A good example of this is to run an ad for storm damage or hail damage repair right after such a weather event has taken place. To gain attention, the ad must be unique and creative. This will catch the attention, and hold the interest of the potential client.
A unique ad stands out from the competition. Only one sentence is necessary to describe the benefits of a product or service. The final touch is encouraging homeowners to take action with a CTA (call to action) at the end of the ad.
The Importance of a Call to Action
Once you catch the attention of the homeowner, the next step is motivation. A clear CTA encourages people to act now and increases your click-through rate. There are many clear, compelling CTAs such as “schedule a consultation today” or “call now”.
The CTA needs to tell the homeowner exactly what step to take to become a client. Using a CTA in an ad is not redundant but important for getting clicks and always needs to be done.
If you do not include a CTA, running an ad is going to be less effective and more expensive. The more often your ad gets clicked, the lower your prices go and the more Google tends to show your ad.
Tracking Ads to Enhance Performance
After setting up your campaign, your work for improving conversions is not over. You must measure performance, monitor ads, and make any changes required for better results.
If you don’t do SEO (you must if you want to bring your business to the next level), then PPC is critical for you as a constant source of new customers. But you need to optimize your ads.
One nice thing with PPC is that you can track your results more clearly. You always know the number of times your ad was seen, who clicked, and how many clicks you got. You can use this data to ensure you receive the best results from your campaign.
The most important roofing PPC metrics are the bounce rate, click-through rate, and impressions.
Impressions are how many times your ad has been shown in searches, whether or not someone actually looked at it or not. The click-through rate (CTR) is the percentage of people clicking on your ad once it has been seen. You want your CTR to be as high as possible so that Google reduces your click costs due to your high relevance.
Bounce Rate and Fast Websites
The bounce rate is how many people click on your ad but then leave your website without doing anything. If your bounce rate is 50% that’s quite normal even for a good site. If it is higher than that, you need to work on your ad copy and site – it may be that your site is slower than your thought it was.
One of my recent clients had her website on Squarespace, which is a slow platform and bad for SEO. When I moved them to a speed-optimized WordPress site, their bounce rate for all of their traffic went from 91% down to 43%. Essentially, six times as many people were actually using the site than before, so they got six times the value out of the same traffic.
Don’t use Wix, Squarespace, Godaddy Sitebuilder, or other such platforms. Your website should only ever be on WordPress due to its versatility and speed optimization possibilities.
The Bottom Line
I understand PPC can be confusing at first. This is because you need to conduct research, learn how the process works, and plan the best possible campaign. But it is ultimately not too difficult and there are little to no secrets.
SEO is a very different beast, so don’t confuse the two in terms of skill or learnability. Around 95% of SEO is secret, hidden knowledge, and I know that my processes can’t be replicated by others. So in principle, you can do Google Ads yourself, but don’t touch SEO or you can mess up your site and fall out of Google’s good graces.
For PPC, the most important stets are selecting your keywords, making certain your landing pages are optimized, and setting your bidding strategy. The next step is more research to ensure you track everything and improve your campaign.
When you run an effective PPC campaign, you will attract new customers and help your business grow. Once you understand the process, running a PPC campaign is not difficult.
Thousands of roofers all over the country rely on Google ads and other than the cost there is no reason not to take advantage of them. Like SEO, they are better than buying leads because you own these leads exclusively.
10% of people click on ads, the rest clicks on the organic search results and Google Maps. If it’s done by a master who actually gets you #1 rankings, SEO produces 10 times more customers than ads at a fraction of the cost. However, ads get you immediate results and you can include them in your marketing mix to get the maximum amount of customers.
If you only have the budget for one, choose SEO and be patient. It produces the most results and the lowest investment. When done perfectly, SEO takes 6 to 9 months to get you to the top in your area. Ads get you immediate results. If you have 2 budgets, you can do both and bridge the time that SEO takes with ads. Once the SEO kicks in, you should turn off the ads and grow your business to meet the demands of those results, then later turn on the ads again once you are ready to take on more customers.
Your landing pages need to be SEO optimized for the keywords you use in your ads. That is, you need SEO done by an expert no matter what if you want your ads to be the most effective. If your pages aren’t optimized, your ad quality score is going to be lower and you end up paying more then necessary for each click.