Being in the restoration business, you understand full well the need to be properly positioned in the marketplace. For decades this has meant having a listing or visible ad in the Yellow Pages.

That's no longer the case.

Being in the restoration business, you understand full well the need to be properly positioned in the marketplace. For decades this has meant having a listing or visible ad in the Yellow Pages. We know that people in need of restoration due to water damage, fire damage, or some other emergency are looking for immediate help.

In the past, the first place someone would look for that help would be the yellow pages. If you had your ad or listing placed properly, you could count on capturing a good share of the market. Well, times have changed.

Studies indicate that an ever growing number of people are finding solutions to their immediate needs online. One of the reasons behind this change is that fewer people use landline phones and thus fewer people keep those thick yellow page books in their house. Instead, when people have a problem and need a solution right away, the first place they look is online. So, if someone needs a restoration company to quickly clean up the damage from a flooded basement, the first thing they will do is go to Google and type in a search term like “water damage restoration.”

When a consumer is looking for a restoration company in their local area, they will also include their local city in the search. So, for example, if your business is in Orlando, Fla., your potential customer will enter a search term like “water damage restoration Orlando.” When the consumer enters this term, it will bring up the top 10 organic and paid results for this search phrase. If you’re not one of the top 10 search results (or even worse, you have no online marketing presence at all), you will not receive any of this valuable targeted traffic.

You Need a Website

There’s no two ways about it. If you want to be found where your potentials customers are looking, you’ve got to have a website. This may seem like a daunting task, but it’s really not that difficult. The key is to find a company that will create your site at a reasonable price andthat also understands the components needed for the site to rank well in the search engines. This is referred to as SEO (search engine optimization). For a well-optimized website with the basic 6-8 pages, you can expect to pay around $1,500 to $2,000 dollars. If a company charges much below this price, you need to question them extensively to make sure they understand SEO basics. If they don’t, there’s no reason to hire them.

Pay-Per-Click vs. Organic SEO

After your website is built, you need to decide how you want to be found by your potential customers. There are two ways to position your restoration company at the top of the search engines. If you want immediate results, then pay per click advertising is the best option. Long-term rankings can be achieved with organic search engine optimization.

Most companies will opt for a combination of the two. In other words, they will set up a paid marketing campaign to get a top position immediately while at the same time setting up an SEO campaign to rank the company website organically and keep it there for the long term.

A good SEO company can consult with you and come up with a tailored strategy to get your restoration company seeing positive results from your online marketing. The cost of setting up pay per click and SEO campaigns will vary based on several factors-like the size of your website, how many search phrases you want to target, market competition, and keyword traffic. In general, you will pay one time fees for setup, and monthly maintenance costs to maintain the campaigns. The one-time fees will generally start at $2,000 to $3,000, and the monthly maintenance will be several hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on the complexity of the campaign.

While this is certainly a sizable investment, consider that if you land just one or two customers from your online presence you will likely cover the one-time costs involved. Additionally, if you gain just one customer a month, you will probably more than cover the maintenance costs for the campaign. In most major metro areas (and even some smaller towns), several thousand consumers enter emergency searches for restoration companies each month. If you are positioned in the Top 10 in a major search engine like Google, it is very reasonable to expect several new customers a month, not to mention the referrals you’ll gain.

When all these factors are considered, it is clear that if your restoration company does not have an effective online marketing strategy, you are leaving a lot of money on the table. With many of your competitors already online, it is important to seriously consider getting your restoration company online and increasing your market share.