Professional Photography Sets Home Builders Apart Online

Professional Photography Sets Home Builders Apart Online

If you want your home building company to stand out online, professional photography is the first step. Your buyers are already online, and as they’re flipping through photos of houses on Zillow and Trulia, you want them to stop on your property. How do you impress them? With awesome, high-quality photos of your amazing work. If you’ve been considering professional photography for your home building company, but just aren’t sure it’s worth the investment, here’s what you need to know:

Why Should your Home Building Company Hire a Professional Photographer?

Professional photography is an absolute must when you’re building out a professional home builder website. Whether your website already exists and you’d like to update, or you’re thinking about getting a website for your company, one thing you definitely shouldn’t skimp on is photography. And really, it makes sense — most people buy a house because of the way it looks. Sure, most people want a home that’s structurally sound, but 9 times out of 10, the real deciding factor is what it looks like. Professional photographers are a must for any home builder looking to drive quality digital traffic, and here’s why:

Draw in More Qualified Buyers

The better your pictures look, the more quickly people will convert. If you’re putting your best foot forward online — on websites like Trulia and Zillow, as well as on your own website — it’s easier for potential buyers to picture what their own lives will look like in your houses, which makes it easier for them to pick up the phone and call.

Highly Shareable on Social Media

Another great benefit of high-quality home photos is they’re highly shareable on social media. People on almost every social media site — from Pinterest to Facebook — love a great photo of a breathtaking home. And if they really like your photo, then they’re likely to share it, which means your home makes it onto more people’s social media feeds. This expands your digital reach, and can help increase the number of qualified leads you have calling in, as it simultaneously expands how many followers you have on social media.

They’re More Attractive

The bottom line is that a high-quality photo is simply more visually attractive than a grainy photo someone took with their smartphone. Consumers love to look at really beautiful homes, and professional photography ensures your homes fit in that category. With professional photography, you ensure your business, and your brand, appear visually attractive and professional across all platforms. This is key for home builders, especially if you’re trying to break into a higher price point. Professional photography can convey the class and elegance you need to represent to attract buyers willing to make a larger investment.

So, it’s pretty clear why professional photography is so great — it positions your company as a professional, high-quality builder who can put out elegant homes — but how do you hire a professional photographer you can trust to convey that vision of elegance?

Hire an Architectural Photographer

First and foremost, it’s important to hire a photographer who has experience with architectural photography. There are tons of photographers out there who have experience doing work for realtors and housing developers, so be sure to choose someone who knows how to do the photography you need. Taking photos of houses is a little bit different than taking family portraits, and an architectural photographer will know just what to do to ensure your staged houses look like someone’s future home.

Investigate Lighting

Before you hire any architectural photographer, be sure to look at the portfolios of some of your top candidates, and pay special attention to the lighting in their sample photos. Does the lighting they’ve used make the homes look larger, or smaller? Does the light seem warm and inviting, or too dark on the edges, and overexposed in the center? Quality lighting is absolutely key in architectural photography. Many homes are much bigger than the lens can capture, so quality photographers know how to play with the light, and add in additional lighting in places with really high ceilings, so the home doesn’t look smaller than it actually is. Be sure to take a good look at your professional photographer’s portfolio before finally making a hiring decision.

Know Your Rights

The last thing to do before finally hiring your photographer is to know your rights. There are tons of different intellectual property and copyright licenses you can purchase from your photographer, but it’s good to know that most home builders usually don’t need exclusive rights. If you think about it, you’re probably only going to use the photos you have taken for a year or so, until you sell the house you’re advertising.

So, it doesn’t really make sense to purchase all the rights to every photo you have taken (it can also be very expensive). Talk to your photographer about purchasing the temporary rights to the photos he or she takes of your homes. That can be much cheaper, and then you won’t have to keep paying for those photos long after you have a use for them.

High-quality photography is one of the key ways home builders can set themselves apart online. The homes you build are your product, and they’re your best advertising resource as well. If you invest money in making your homes look good, you’ll be investing in your company’s professional image. Best of all, you can share those photos to get people excited about the work you’re doing, and grow your digital following at the same time!

Still not sure where go with your home building company’s digital marketing strategy? Evenbound can help! We often work with custom home builders and home developers to boost online traffic, and increase ROI. Check out the case study below to see how we helped push one senior care residence to the top of the market:

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How to Take Advantage of Your Google My Business Listing

How to Take Advantage of Your Google My Business Listing

The last time you wanted to know something, what did you do? There’s a pretty strong chance that you Googled it. That’s how we find out whether the actor in the show we’re watching was in that one movie and it’s how we find service providers when we need a new roof, the gutters cleaned, or an attorney. As a service provider, if you’re not taking advantage of your Google My Business Listing, you could be missing out on these opportunities.

What’s a Google My Business Listing?

When you search for something on Google and one of the top results is a business, the Google My Business Listing is what shows up on the right-hand side of the page with links for directions, website, etc. It usually contains photos of the business, the address, hours, phone number, and any reviews.

google-my-business-listing-evenbound

These listings are automatically created by Google based on activities like creating a website for your business, people checking in at your business, and information about your business on other sites. Because this information is being pulled from a variety of sources that may or may not be up-to-date or accurate—and because Google users can make changes to the listing without notifying you—the information there may be incorrect.

How can you take advantage of your listing?

The first step is to claim and verify your listing through Google. This allows you to have some control over the listing and ensure that the information on it is accurate. Go to https://www.google.com/business and complete the form there to claim and verify the listing.

Once you’ve done that, you can log in to Google My Business to manage the listing. There you can see if anyone has made updates to your listing and review those changes, giving you the chance to remove any info that is incorrect.

You can also add posts to your listing, which can serve as free advertisement. In the Google My Business dashboard, you can create these posts, which can include images, calls-to-action, and even links to your site. These posts are great for promoting sales, events, products, or good publicity that you’ve received.

A particularly useful feature for service-based businesses is the Booking button feature, which works with your integrated scheduling software to allow people to book appointments right from the listing. If you’ve ever booked a flight through Google, it works just like that. It’s super convenient, and it makes it so quick and easy for someone to become a customer.

Good reviews are also critical for service providers, and Google reviews are definitely influential to potential clients. You can ask satisfied clients to leave honest reviews for your business on Google, and if you’re managing your listing, you’ll be aware when false, malicious, or particularly negative reviews are made so that you can address them quickly.

Managing your business’s presence on Google is just one of the many ways you can use your online presence to reach new customers. If you’re interested in learning how digital marketing strategy can work for your service-based business, get in touch and let’s get started.

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Incorporating Client Success Stories into Your Law Firm’s Digital Content Strategy

Incorporating Client Success Stories into Your Law Firm’s Digital Content Strategy

No one wants to hire a lawyer who they think will lose their case, they want a lawyer who can win. How do you demonstrate your law firm’s commitment to getting results for your clients and your winning record? Client success stories. How do you incorporate those success stories into your digital strategy? Keep reading.

Why Client Success Stories?

Everyone loves a good success story. There are hundreds of books, movies, and TV shows dedicated to showing successful people and their rise to the top. And while your stats for the percentage of cases won and average settlement amounts are compelling and interesting to clients, they don’t match the power of a success story. Humans are wired to respond to narratives, and we want someone, a real person or character, who we can root for and identify with.

How Do You Use the Success Stories?

A great way to capitalize on a big success is to write about it on your blog. Of course, there are some concerns with writing about real clients and lawsuits when it comes to privacy and what you’re allowed to disclose. You’ll want to anonymize the name of your client; one strategy is to just refer to them as “the client,” another is to use their initials. You should also omit the names of other parties involved (doctors, insurance agents, etc. ) and just refer to the companies or the position the party holds.

When writing a client success story, remember that it is a story. As such, use narrative techniques like setting the scene. Don’t start with the lawsuit, start with the inciting incident; in a workers’ compensation case, for example, start with the injury. And even though you’re not revealing the client’s name, make them seem like a relatable person, tell us that times were already tough for J.B. because his wife had lost her job, or that he had four kids under five to provide for. Doing this will allow the reader to become invested in the story. Include lots of detail so that readers can understand the situation (especially important if they’re going through something similar) and then explain how your law firm got involved: how the client found you, what actions you took to help the client, and the ultimate result.

You’ll also want to take into account SEO best practices when writing success stories for your blog. Ensure that you’re using specific keywords that play into your website’s overall keyword strategy and apply to the specific case. These will help people in similar legal circumstances to find the story and your site, which may prompt them to give you a call to discuss their potential case.

Client success stories are one good method for reaching potential clients online. There are a lot of other ways that you can enhance your digital presence and attract potential clients to your site. Interested in learning how? It all starts with a conversation. Schedule a talk with our President, John Heritage to see how digital marketing can work for your firm.

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SEO for B2B Manufacturers: Why it Matters

SEO for B2B Manufacturers: Why it Matters

Manufacturing buyers are not going to the Yellow Pages to find suppliers anymore: they’re searching online. If you want those buyers to find your company, you’re going to have to show up in the search engine results, and to do that, your site needs to use SEO best practices.

Quick Refresher: What’s SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization. SEO practices are things that best allow search engines to crawl and understand your site, making sure it shows up as a result in relevant searches. SEO strategy involves how you structure the pages on your website, the keywords you use, how often you add and update content, and how content is tagged, among other things.

Why is SEO So Important for B2Bs?

Like we said earlier, the people who are looking for your products and services are looking online. And, unlike B2C products, traditional advertising doesn’t do much for B2Bs. Have you ever seen ads for washing machine screws or rearview mirror assemblies? Neither have we. While a brand of soda might appeal to a lot of people and draw a lot of attention, your products or services are targeted toward specific applications in specific industries, and you need to target those potential customers with your digital marketing efforts.

SEO for B2B manufacturers is what will help people find you, and more specifically, people who want what you’re selling. That’s because SEO entails strategically using the same words your ideal customers are using when they search—keywords. When you use the right keywords, people who are looking for the services or products you offer, even searchers who have never heard of your company or don’t remember your company’s name, will find you.

SEO draws more people to your website, and that is the best way to get your site higher in search engine rankings and to convert interested site visitors to sales leads. The higher your site ranks in the search engine results, the more likely it is that potential customers will see your site and navigate to it. Plus, internet users are savvy, and they are more likely to click on a top organic search result than a paid search ad.

Additionally, the content you create when you implement SEO practices like blogging will help you establish authority in your industry and build trust and credibility with future customers. If buyers appreciate and trust the information you provide them, they’re more likely to purchase from you.

Think it’s about time to start implementing SEO practices on your site? Evenbound can help! We’ve worked with a number of B2B manufacturers, and have delivered serious results. Check out this case study to see how our inbound marketing strategy can help you get on page one:

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Website Strategies to Increase Calls & Conversions

Website Strategies to Increase Calls & Conversions

Whether you’re a B2B, a home services pro, or a housing developer, you need leads. For every business, leads, calls, conversions, and a potential client picking up the phone to say “I need your help” is the goal. If you’re working on your website and digital marketing strategy, you probably already understand the importance of those leads, but what might not be so clear is how to get them.

Building a website that drives leads, calls and conversions can take time, but it is doable. And once you get it working for you? Your entire sales team will have additional hours to work with existing clients, building your base of dedicated customers. On the whole, calls and conversions make your life easier, and generate more revenue for your company. But if you’re just starting out, you may not have figured out how to drive those conversions online yet. Here are a few website strategies you can employ to give your digital marketing strategy the best chance at boosting your leads:

Make it Easy

Before we talk about anything else, if you want to increase calls and conversions, your fundamental goal should be to make your clients’ web experience as easy as possible. The easier it is to navigate, find information, and call or reach out, the more likely you are to get those conversions. In every web improvement you make, you have to ask: does this make the viewer’s life easier? If the answer is yes, then make the change. If it’s not, there’s a potential that your conversion rate will drop. With the concept of making the buyer’s journey easier at the front of your mind, you’re sure to implement changes that will help boost calls and conversion.

Keep Design Simple

Consumers are creatures of habit. While they like something to look fresh and new, anything too wild is likely to put them off. Keep that in mind while building your website. You need something that looks upscale and professional, but you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Go for a style that’s very classic and clean, with high-resolution photos and an easy, clear navigation menu. This makes it apparent that your company is professional, but it also helps make the user experience simple and seamless, meaning it takes less time for them to figure out your website. The quicker they know where everything is, the quicker they’re going to call or message you with their question.

Logical Placement

Because consumers are (like we said earlier) creatures of habit, it’s a good idea to place things where they’ll expect them. You should always have a “contact us” button on the top right of your website, because that’s where most consumers will look for it, and it’s where they’re used to seeing them. Placing buttons and click-to-calls exactly where consumers expect them to be is a surefire way to help customers covert quickly.

Make it a Button

If you want people to get in touch, you need to make that very clear, front and center. The best way to do that is to make a button. Whether you were linking to a landing page, offering a free download, or requesting that people call you, the bolder it is, the more likely people are to see it, and follow through on that action. That’s why call-to-action buttons work. They’re bright, they’re bold, and again, the consumer is used to seeing them, so they have a good idea of what will happen when they click. Buttons offer the perfect way to call out those opportunities for leads to call and convert, making it easier still for people to contact you.

Testimonials

Why do people call you?

Typically it’s because they think you’re the best for the job. Whether you have the best prices or seem the most trustworthy, people will call or email you when they’re convinced that you are their best option. The absolute best way for you to make that clear is to feature testimonials and client reviews.

Let your previous work speak for you! If you did a really great job on a house, or you know a client that loved working with you, have them write a short sentence or two, and put it on your website. Nothing builds consumer confidence more than seeing that other consumers—just like them—had a great experience with you. The more comfortable new site visitors feel with your company and your level of service, the more likely they are to call you. So, put those testimonials on your website. And if there’s a clean, logical way to place them next to a call-to-action, do that too. That way, as soon as they read all of those great things other people have said about your company, they can pick up the phone and give you a call.

Add a Chat Tool

Today’s consumer wants instant answers. They appreciate a company that can solve their problem, right now. One easy way to implement that idea for your own business is to add a chat tool. A small icon on the bottom of your consumer’s screen, it just lets them know if they need help right now, there’s someone there for them. It’s a great way to get simple questions answered, and to start building a solid relationship, so when that client makes the final decision to buy — you’re the one they turn to. A chat feature is easily added to your website, you just need to make sure someone is monitoring it during the day, and you turn it off when no one is in the office.

Consider Adding a Headshot

Though this may seem small, adding a headshot can actually do a lot to help boost calls and conversions. In today’s virtual world, many consumers feel a disconnect when they’re browsing the web. It’s easy to forget that there are real people behind the companies you’re looking at, and the services you’re looking for. A small headshot next to your call-to-action button or on your chat tool will remind potential clients that they have the opportunity to talk to a real person who can answer their questions. In today’s virtual world, person-to-person communication is a big deal. A small headshot is a quick, easy addition that can make a major difference because people are able to see exactly who they’ll be working with and talking to—a personal experience they might not get anywhere else.

In the end, the best way to boost calls and conversions is to make sure that you’ve made your website user experience as easy as possible. If potential clients can find the information they’re looking for quickly and efficiently, they’re more likely to convert. Your website design should work in tandem with quality content that answers questions and solves problems. While that content will pull them deeper into your site, convincing them further that you’re the right company for the job, when they’re ready to make a decision, your calls-to-action and content offers will be there to help them convert easily.

If you still have questions about boosting website calls and conversions, we’re here to help! Inbound marketing is kind of our thing, so we’ve got plenty to say about calls-to-action and getting you the digital leads you’ve been looking for. Give us a call to schedule a one-on-one consultation with our president, John, or check out the case study below to see more ways we can make your website work for you:

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How are Clients Discovering your Law Firm?

How are Clients Discovering your Law Firm?

Do you know how clients are discovering your law firm? It used to be paper advertisement and literal word of mouth, but with the explosion of the internet and the digital space, all that is changing. It’s no longer bench ads and billboards that are bringing in new clients, it’s digital marketing.

Internet Search

Online searches are one of the top ways that people are finding service providers in every industry, and the legal field is no exception. As of 2017, 55 percent of people used online searching to find service providers. Think about the last time you needed something you didn’t have a regular service provider lined up for, like a car repair or landscaping. Chances are, you went straight to Google and searched for “Landscaping companies near me” or “Car repair in X city.”

When those outside of the legal profession need an attorney, they’re doing the same thing. Having a strong digital presence that makes use of SEO (search engine optimization), keywords that your potential clients are using as search terms, and paid search ads, which put your listing at the very top of the search results page, will get your firm found.

Website

Once potential clients search for your services online, they’re going to check out your website. In fact, 58 percent of people mention websites as a factor in their process for finding a service provider such as a law firm. Having a website that looks like it was made at the dawn of the internet is going to make you look bad, as is one that is difficult to navigate, incomprehensible or hard to read and understand, or lacks the information they need about your services and how to get in touch.

Online Industry Articles

Fifty-three percent of people say that they’ve found service providers through online articles. That’s a huge segment of the population. If you’re already getting good industry press, that’s great, if that content is online, even better. Want it to reach future clients? You need to promote it on your website and on social media, otherwise, they might never see it.

Another way to take advantage of this trend is to create your own articles: write a blog. If you’re writing about the things your clients care about and the questions they have, such as “Do I need a lawyer for a DUI case,” “How do I file a workers’ comp claim,” or “How do I prove medical malpractice,” they are more likely to find you and to trust your advice enough to give you a call.

Online Reviews

What people are saying about you matters, and your online reviews, whether on Google, Yelp, or anywhere else are factoring into potential future clients’ decisions about you. The online review is the new word of mouth, so ensuring that you provide excellent service to all clients and potential clients is essential to getting a good rating and preserving your online reputation. Satisfied clients will provide good testimonials, not only to the people they know, but to others online.

If you want new clients, you’ve got to reach them where they’re looking: online. That means having a robust digital presence and using digital marketing strategies. As professionals, you know a lot about your legal specializations, and you know the value of expertise. Let Evenbound put our expertise in digital marketing and web design to work for you. Contact us online or give us a call to get started.

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