Mobile Technology Is Changing Online Marketing for Roofing Companies

It seems like the Internet is changing every six months, doesn’t it? The moment you have a marketing strategy worked out, it is thrown into flux by another Google update or market trend.

Right now, that market trend is toward mobile technology. This shouldn’t come as a shock. In fact, I bet you’ve checked your phone since you started reading this article, and we’re only four sentences in!

Mobile technology has significantly changed the landscape of online marketing. More homeowners are using their mobile phones to search for roofing services than ever before. But between the rapid changes in homeowner behavior, the explosion of mobile devices and the intense local competition most roofing companies have, keeping up with the mobile world can seem daunting, if not impossible.

Fear not! We are going to tackle the five ways mobile technology is changing the residential roofing business, and discuss how each one is going to help you win more business from online homeowners.

1. MOBILE is no longer a millennial phenomenon. It was only a few years ago when we were shrugging off the mobile movement. Mobile obsession was primarily a thing for teens and twenty-somethings, right?

Not anymore. Since mobile devices have become more affordable and accessible, homeowners of all ages are turning to their phones when they have an urgent need, such as a repair or roofing emergency. In fact, that is the first device they turn to.

For homeowners over 50, mobile phones are the central device in their daily lives, and they are likely using them to make phone calls and submit web forms. And while home ownership among millennials is rising, a hefty number of leads tend to come from the 50-plus crowd. Adapting to mobile technology is going to help you drive leads across all demographics.

2. GOOGLE has welcomed mobile with open arms. Google tells us that more than half of the queries on their search engine now come from mobile, and it is only going to increase. As a result, they have revamped their pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to reflect the immediacy of mobile searches. Folks at the top, as they say, get the best fruit.

In PPC campaigns, roofing companies need to optimize for mobile. This requires more than checking the “Mobile” box in your ad campaign. You will want to use extensions that make it easier for homeowners to call from their mobile devices and determine how close you are to their location.

Simply stated: homeowners are making their roofing choices at the top of Google’s mobile search pages. To get to the top, you need to have mobile-optimized ads that appeal to mobile users. Being at the top of the page is one of those lead drivers that growing roofing companies cannot do without.

3. TAP-TO-CALL is exactly what homeowners are looking for. In the time-constrained world that we’re in, Google offers homeowners a number of specific roofing choices immediately. However, being at the top of the page means nothing if a person can’t get in touch with you.

Homeowners with roofing needs want to resolve the issue as soon as possible. That’s why it’s important to have a tap-to-call option on your website pages and ads. But, that is only half the battle.

In home improvement, excellent phone work is still necessary. There is nothing more frustrating to homeowners than going to a roofing contractor’s website, liking what they see, dialing the number … and then getting no answer. Or a long hold time. Or going straight to voicemail. Or not getting a prompt call back.

All of these non-responses drive the homeowner to do the same thing: call your competitor.

Mobile has made it easier than ever to go down a list, contacting company after company until they get a response. Roofing companies that want to grow and scale need to have tap-to-call options and strong phone practices to make the most of their mobile presence.

4. RESPONSIVE WEBSITES are more than the future—they’re the industry standard. Mobile is now a fact of life for roofing companies. And if your company’s website requires customers to zoom in on teeny tiny letters, they’re going to get frustrated and move on.

At the very least, every company needs to have a responsive website that accommodates all sizes and models of mobile phones. Responsive sites are Google-friendly and they display in ways that are easiest for homeowners to navigate and understand.

If you’re not sure if your website is responsive, try to access the URL on your mobile phone. Can you see the words at a glance? Do you have to slide around to find a phone number? If so, you probably need to upgrade to a responsive design.

Having a responsive website boosts your site’s usability, making it more likely that you’ll be there when a homeowner searches for roof replacement. Plus, customers in the 50-plus bracket will sincerely appreciate text that is easy to read.

5. MOBILE WEB FORMS are your key to connection, so get it right. Homeowners are embracing web forms in greater and greater numbers. And it’s easy to see why. With busy routines and packed schedules, many homeowners simply have limited time to solve their roofing issues. A web form shows the homeowner how responsive you are and how much you value their inquiry.

That is why more and more roofing businesses are turning to online appointment scheduling in their web forms. Letting the homeowner select an appointment time has a number of benefits. First, homeowners who can schedule their own appointments are far more likely to complete a web form. Second, it gives you a competitive advantage over other forms that do not offer scheduling. It’s simply more convenient and gives the homeowners a greater feeling of control.

Also, self-schedulers are much less likely to become no-shows. As we all know, no-shows are frustrating, costly and a big headache. Letting the homeowner commit to a time that works also shows that your easy to work with and responsive to their needs.

Lastly, web forms are a big hit with Millennials. The 35 and under crowd loves to schedule everything online— haircuts, spin classes, restaurant reservations, vacations, hotel stays. You name it, they are reserving it online. This, too, is becoming an ingrained behavior among the next generation of homeowners, so optimizing your web forms is going to become even more important in the years to come.

Dominate the Mobile Market

Many roofing companies are frustrated with the online world. Roofing is already a very local business, which makes it challenging to grow and expand. By embracing the mobile world, roofing companies can stand out and beat the competition. And for roofers looking for replacement leads, it’s 100 percent worth the time and expense to do it right.

While the mobile world is complex and somewhat confusing, so is the rest of running a business. And I’m guessing your company is already doing that well. If you embrace these mobile trends, you’ll learn how to master them and drive more leads–and more business–to your company.

Owens Corning Roofing and Asphalt Invites Contractors to Advisory Board

Owens Corning Roofing and Asphalt LLC has invited five contractors to join its Platinum Advisory Board. The honor is awarded to contractors who have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in all aspects of their business.

The newly announced Platinum Advisory Board members are Will Jones of Yellow Hammer Roofing (Athens, Ala.); Shannon Alberts of Security-Luebke Roofing Inc. (Kaukauna, Wis.); Jack Borba of Straight Line Construction (Shingle Springs, Calif.); Mark Franzoso of Franzoso Contracting Inc. (Corton on Hudson, N.Y.); and Clint Vaughn of Roofscapes Exteriors (Bixby, Okla). With the addition of these new members, the Board is comprised of 14 leading contractors from across the U.S.

The Owens Corning Platinum Advisory Board represents a group of contractors who share their market, product and technical expertise with the roofing manufacturer. Members bring a contractor’s perspective to studying and evaluating products and offering suggestions that support continuous improvement.

“We are excited to have these leaders’ voices and experience on our Advisory Board and we are honored they’ve committed to represent their fellow Owens Corning Platinum Contractors,” says Jason Lewinski, Owens Corning contractor network leader. “Every Platinum Advisory Board member has demonstrated market leadership and a commitment to achieving and sustaining high levels of customer loyalty and satisfaction. There is no substitute for the perspective and insights of our contractors.”

Behlen Building Systems Appoints VP of Business Development and International Marketing

Pat Kern is appointed as vice president of new business development and international marketing.

Pat Kern is appointed as vice president of new business development and international marketing.

Behlen Building Systems has appointed Pat Kern as vice president of new business development and international marketing. In this newly-established position, Kern will lead the commercial sales effort and project coordination for new building system projects in the eastern U.S. region and international sales opportunities.

“This appointment offers our design/build expertise to new customers in an expanded territory,” President and CEO Phil Raimondo says. “Pat brings decades of experience to the position both domestically and in international markets. He understands the entire building process from design, engineering, fabrication and erection. With Kern at the helm of our new market sales and marketing efforts, Behlen can meet the demand for metal building solutions.”

“I’m ready to hit the ground running leading both contractor/builder and international partner sales for Behlen’s eastern U.S. and world-wide international projects,” states Kern. “There is a commitment from the Behlen leadership to expand into new market segments and regions previously not serviced by the Behlen distribution channel. I am confident we can become a stronger player in the steel building systems industry.”

Prior to joining Behlen, Kern served as the VP and general manager at Steel Built Corp. and SBC Building Systems. Throughout the past three decades Kern held positions in virtually all areas of management and business development for metal building companies including SBC Building Systems, American Buildings, and Varco Pruden Buildings. Kern holds a BSIE from General Motors Institute and a MBA from Bowling Green State University.

Mr. Kern is a former member of the Board of Directors for the Metal Building Manufacturers Association (MBMA) and is active in multiple local/regional business associations in western PA and eastern Ohio where the Behlen eastern region and international sales office will be initially located.

TAMKO Enhances Roofing Marketing Material

It’s a new year and at TAMKO Building Products Inc. it’s a new image for its roofing products. The company has enhanced all of its roofing marketing material. The refreshed pieces include new product photos, samples and revised product literature, portions of which will be available on the company’s newly designed web site, www.TAMKO.com, set to go live in the first quarter of 2017.

The new marketing material provides a fresh perspective, representing TAMKO’s ongoing commitment to continuous improvement. TAMKO’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Stephen McNally, says, “The new material presents attention to the styles and variety of available color options for TAMKO’s roofing products with an appeal to the consumer side of the industry.”
            
TAMKO’s marketing materials feature lifestyle photography to highlight the interaction and benefits that owners may experience with TAMKO roofing products. Additionally, they provide TAMKO’s sales team with material for engaging with customers.
 
“These improved selling tools are assets that reveal the beauty of our roofing products with the extra benefit of adding to the support of our sales efforts,” says McNally.

MRA Adds Two New Manufacturer Members

The Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA) has announced the addition of two new manufacturer members to the organization.  CertainTeed joins the MRA to promote a line of architectural metal roofing products.  Also joining the MRA is DECRA, an innovator and leader in the stone coated metal roofing market.

After more than 18 years of growth, the MRA has proven success as a market-building organization. With an initial investment of $24 million in marketing programs, the MRA has tripled the roofing market share, from three percent in 1998 to 11 percent today.

“CertainTeed recognizes the importance of partnering with industry associations that support its membership in the promotion of their products and services,” says Dale Walton, product manager for CertainTeed Roofing.  “For this reason we are pleased to join the Metal Roofing Alliance, and we look forward to participating with the MRA to further strengthen our presence and position in the metal roofing sector.”

The MRA was formed to educate both homeowners and roofing contractors on the many benefits of metal roofing.  For the past 18 years, the MRA has been able to more than triple metal roofing’s market share by offering investment grade product that provides decades of protection for homes

“In 2017, DECRA will celebrate its 60th anniversary and as the original stone coated metal roof tile manufacturer, it is critical that we have a voice in the industry. We are happy to be re-joining the MRA and look forward to assisting the market and industry in the years ahead,” states Bobby Bloom, president, DECRA Americas.

 “The addition of CertainTeed and DECRA is an important development for the MRA, as it adds two manufacturers of building and roofing materials to our organization,” states Bill Hippard, executive director of the Metal Roofing Alliance.  “Our goal is to reach 20 percent market share by 2020 and manufacturers such as CertainTeed and DECRA are going to help us reach that milestone.  All segments of the metal roofing supply chain can benefit from additional growth, from raw materials suppliers and coil coaters to manufacturers and contractors.”

As new manufacturer members, CertainTeed and DECRA will participate in the MRA’s national consumer and contractor education campaigns. In addition, CertainTeed and DECRA’s metal roofing contractors are now able to join the MRA and begin benefitting from the leads generated by the alliance’s national consumer marketing campaign.

ATAS International Inc. Program Expands Knowledge of Manufacturing, Career Opportunities

In celebration of Manufacturing Day 2016, ATAS International Inc. opened their doors on to area students to expand their knowledge of manufacturing.  Schools that were represented are Lehigh Career and Technical Institute, Schnecksville; Sacred Heart School, Allentown; Parkland School District, Allentown; and Career Institute of Technology, Easton.
 
This program was designed to expand knowledge of manufacturing and improve public perception of today’s manufacturing career opportunities.  Students were able to tour the ATAS facility to experience first-hand the processes in which metal components for the building envelope are manufactured.  They also viewed a panel discussion consisting of several ATAS employees, who spoke about their positions in departments that include production, marketing, sales, technical services and human resources. Students learned that every person within a manufacturing company must work together to produce a product and provide service to their customers.
 
Manufacturing Day is an annual national event executed at the local level supported by thousands of manufacturers as they host students, teachers, parents, job seekers and other local community members at open houses, plant tours and presentations designed to showcase modern manufacturing technology and careers.  Studies show that almost 80 percent of Americans believe manufacturing is important to our economic prosperity, standard of living, and national security.  Yet only 30 percent of those surveyed would encourage their children to go into manufacturing careers.  This is a trend that must be reversed and which Manufacturing Day seeks to address by giving people an opportunity to discover what modern manufacturing environments are really like.
 
“There is a demand for skilled professionals in the manufacturing sector who can design, program and operate technology”, says Jim Bus, executive vice president of ATAS International.  “The average age of a manufacturing employee is 56, and between now and 2020 there will be a shortage of skilled workers who will need to be replaced.”
 
Manufacturing Day is co-produced by the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association International (FMA), the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the Manufacturing Institute (MI), and the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP).  Partners include Edge Factor and the Science Channel and guest producer, Industrial Strength Marketing.

Nothing Boosts Lead Generation Like a Strong SEO Plan and Solid Rankings

What better way to attract potential customers for your roofing business than to rank at the top of Google, Bing and Yahoo for your products and services! Ranking organically in “search” is the ultimate form of inbound lead generation.

However, common laments heard in business circles are that SEO, or search engine optimization, is dead, it no longer works or it just costs too much to get results. All three statements couldn’t be further from the truth. Business people know that paid ads are a quick way to show up at the top of the search engine results pages, which are commonly called SERPs. But research shows that most savvy searchers bypass these paid ads at the top and opt to click on the first few organic results.

Many so-called SEO experts have given up on the tried-and-true SEO tactics in favor of other avenues, like social media, to direct relevant traffic. Although social media has its place in an online marketing strategy, nothing truly helps boost lead generation like a strong SEO plan and solid rankings. Every business needs to take advantage of the potential results SEO may achieve by doing what it takes to compete and start collecting that low-hanging fruit of new customers on the web.

Unfortunately, hundreds of thousands of websites are created every single year, making it more difficult to rank well—in the top 10 spots on page one of a SERP. Getting those coveted, top spots on search engines for related searches may seem inaccessible, but there are some SEO strategies that can help.

Because the original algorithms to rank websites on SERPs was easily manipulated, constant changes were made to increase the complexity of the algorithms and weed out SPAM websites that deliver little to no value to users. The constant evolution of these algorithms has made it a real necessity for every business to have a serious, ongoing SEO strategy. As business owners, we all know that worthy achievements rarely come without deliberate and concerted efforts. The good news is there are some basic on-page SEO tactics that can deliver real results in today’s competitive internet landscape.

Focus Keywords

The foundation of ranking well with a website should center around a list of words or phrases that are targeted. These keywords should be relevant to the business, brand or service. It helps to have a specific keyword or phrase in mind for each and every web page that is created. For instance, a roofing company may have a separate page for “roof repairs”, “new roof” and “replacement roof”. By focusing the keywords in each page around each specific topic, the chances of ranking for searches that include those words increases.

Be sure to include information about your service area, naming the towns in which you work. The keywords or phrases that are targeted will ultimately determine the focus of the content, meta tags and the entire architecture of a website. Start with the keywords you hope to rank for and build content around them.

Instead of trying to rank for generic terms, like “roofer” or “roofing”, which have lots of competition, try ranking for long-tail keyword phrases, like “new roof in Stockbridge Massachusetts” or “roofing repair contractor near Chicago” for more achievable results. Long-tail keyword phrases should be highly valued because they give businesses a better chance at reaching customers that are close to the point-of-purchase. Being more specific with keyword phrases will yield less competition and higher results for the pages. Remember, potential customers who use these more specific terms in their search are more likely to convert into paying customers.

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OMG Roofing Products Promotes Two Executives to Manage Sales and Marketing

Kingbill Zhao, Asia market manager, is based in China and will support the greater Asian market.

Kingbill Zhao, Asia market manager, is based in China and will support the greater Asian market.

With the goal of accelerating growth in international markets, OMG Roofing Products creates market manager positions for both Asia and Europe. Two executives receive promotions into these roles. Kingbill Zhao, Asia market manager, is based in China and will support the greater Asian market. Lennard Spirig, Europe market manager, is based in Switzerland servicing the European market. Both are responsible for all OMG sales and marketing activities in their regions including developing products and services tailored to local market needs.

Kingbill Zhao joined OMG in 2009 as a roofing specialist and was promoted to China sales manager in 2011, where he was responsible for launching the OMG Roofing Products line in China. Since then, Kingbill has built a sales and customer service organization in China to support the company’s rapidly growing business. Prior to joining OMG, Kingbill was the international department manager for the China Waterproofing Association (CWA) where he worked with other international counterparts like National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), Germany Roofing Contractors Association (GRCA) to market China Roofing & Waterproofing Show internationally. In addition he organized Chinese company visits in US and Europe, and worked with organizations like FM Global and FLL to introduce approvals and standards to China.

Lennard Spirig, Europe market manager, is based in Switzerland servicing the European market.

Lennard Spirig, Europe market manager, is based in Switzerland servicing the European market.

“Lennard Spirig joined OMG in 2014 as Europe product marketing manager, responsible for marketing OMG products throughout Europe. Since then, Lennard has been a resource for helping to expand OMG’s footprint in Europe by assisting system manufacturer partners and by developing distribution in various European countries. Prior to joining OMG Roofing Products, Lennard spent 10 years as product manager for mechanical attachment with SFS Intec. Earlier he had been an international key account manager based in Mexico.

“OMG’s products are designed to enhance rooftop productivity and improve roof system performance,” said Web Shaffer, vice president of marketing. “Lennard and Kingbill will be focused on developing value-added products and services that meet local market needs in order to accelerate our growth in Europe and Asia respectively. I look forward to continuing to work with these two outstanding individuals.”

Headquartered in Agawam, Massachusetts, U.S.A., OMG Roofing Products is a supplier of commercial roofing products including specialty fasteners, insulation adhesives, roof drains, pipe supports, emergency repair tape as well as productivity tools such as the RhinoBond induction welding system. The company’s focus is delivering products and services that improve contractor productivity and enhance roof system performance.

Catalog’s Products Protect Asphalt Roofs against Water Infiltration

Union Corrugating’s “Drip Edge and Flashing Catalog” is a comprehensive look at the products the company offers to protect asphalt roofs against water infiltration.

Union Corrugating’s “Drip Edge and Flashing Catalog” is a comprehensive look at the products the company offers to protect asphalt roofs against water infiltration.

Union Corrugating’s “Drip Edge and Flashing Catalog” is a comprehensive look at the products the company offers to protect asphalt roofs against water infiltration. Union Corrugating’s large selection of drip edges, roll flashing, step flashing and other components are available in various colors and materials, including aluminum, steel, vinyl, copper and lead. The catalog provides information about sizes, colors and more. Ask a Union Corrugating sales representative for a copy of the catalog or download it from the company’s website under the Literature section.

NRCA Roofing Contractor Members Receive Free Consulting Services

The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) announces it is now providing consulting services at no charge to its roofing contractor members.

NRCA’s Consulting Services is a benefit of membership that enables contractors to get tips and advice on current business issues, discuss business strategies or issues with consultants in the following areas.

•Legal— Roofing contractor members can obtain information about general legal issues encountered in daily business.

•Marketing— Assistance with current marketing plans is provided, as well as strategies for increasing homeowner and business owner sales and profitability.

•Information Technology— IT strategies for improving and streamlining operations for maximum business performance.

•Human Resources— Solutions to human resources related issues including federal or state employment law, employee relations and human resource management.

•Enterprise Risk Management— Advice about health, safety, insurance, legislative and regulatory issues, or learn more about loss control and regulatory compliance responsibilities.

•Technical— Solutions to technical questions including proper installation, maintenance or repair of various roof systems, or advice on a specific project.