Architects, Residential Contractors, Carpenters, Interior Designers, and Landscape Architects…basically any home service provider, might be asking themselves if it is “worth it” to list their business and advertise their services on Houzz. So we decided to put together this quick guide to understanding the benefits and the challenges to promoting your Professional Services Business on Houzz.
House is “a community of more than 40 million homeowners, home design enthusiasts, and home improvement professionals—across the country and around the world.” Users go to Houzz to get inspired, discover products and to find and collaborate with architects, designers, and contractors. According to Houzz, 74% of “Houzzers” plan to build, remodel or redecorate in the next two years.
Houzz is a visual medium, like Instagram. User engagement is driven by high-quality photographs provided by service providers. These photos are what show up in the feed for Houzz users, so engagement with your audience will mostly depend on the frequency, quality, and specificity of your profile portfolio. Before and after photos, blueprints, design ideas, color coordination, etc…these, more than where you show up on the list, will determine your success on Houzz. (Read: How To Make The Most Of Your Photos)
Claim Your Free Profile
Every service provider is entitled to a free profile on the Houzz platform. Your profile allows for Business Name, Telephone Number, Address, Website, Category, Contact Name, Brief Description, and Portfolio. A well thought out profile will “organically” show up in the feed of Houzz users and attract quality visitors without having to pay for advertising. The key is to use appropriate keywords and tags in your Brief Description and your Portfolio photos. With an optimized listing on Houzz, it is possible that your profile will also show up on Google when people search for those services in your area…this is in addition to your website. More Profile Hints:
- Fill out every field in your profile to the maximal allowable word count and photo count.
- Match your name, address, and phone number with your website information, exactly.
- Start asking current and past clients to review you on Houzz. Profiles with reviews generate more user engagement. (Read: Reputation Management)
Become a Power User— on ONE platform
Unless you are using your free profile to have a greater online presence for your business (general SEO), just stick to one platform. Attracting leads on any platform requires a commitment to regularly updating your profile and portfolio and interacting with users and other service professionals. Regular updates and communication take time and attention, so spreading that time (which you already have very little of) across Houzz, Home Advisor, and Angie’s List is probably a losing proposition.
Pros and Cons of Paying For Advertising: Pro+ Program
Most of the time, paying for promotion (via a Pro+ program) is not the best use of your marketing dollars— paying to have your company listing highlighted on a page or sprinkled throughout a feed can be very expensive, especially if you want to be highlighted across multiple regions. It’s important to understand what you are paying for as well…basically, you are paying to have users see or like your pictures or click on your profile. “Clicks” are not leads, so unless those that are clicking on your profile are reaching out to you directly, then you may be spending a lot of money for a virtual popularity contest. Generally speaking, Facebook and Instagram can be much less expensive alternatives for your online advertising dollar. They also allow you to target your audience much better, increasing the chances that potential clients in your area will be the audience seeing and clicking. If you have already signed on for the paid advertising service, here are some tips to get the most for your money:
- You must have a complete lead nurture funnel to chaperone your customer through the whole buying process…you can’t just send them to your website because you will lose clicks that you paid to get. Instead, have them click through to a landing page for one specific service you offer. On that landing page, be sure to have a lead capture form (a form where prospective clients exchange their contact info for valuable information). When prospective clients fill out the form, send them a series of emails or call them directly to continue the sales process.
- Be sure you can directly attribute those clicks to real business…if you can’t measure success, then don’t bother paying for the service. How will you know if you are generating a return on your investment.
- Be sure your sponsored photos are relevant and specific. They should not be about your business in general, but instead solving a particular homeowner issue or demonstrating a beautiful outcome.
- Be consistent- don’t spend for a month, then stop, then start up again four months or a year later. Like most marketing, consistent presence has a cumulative effect.
We always say, there are no good or bad marketing tactics, but there are good and bad ways to plan for and implement them. The same holds true for Houzz. If Houzz users in your area fit your ideal client profile, then be sure you are claiming your free profile and optimizing that baby. Even a little bit of effort and regular attention can be a big opportunity to make real connections and start generating quality leads for your business!
Photo Copyright: andreypopov / 123RF Stock Photo