Stay The Course with Your Brand

Posted by | March 17, 2011 | Marketing Advice | 4 Comments

Once upon a time, contractors lived in an ideal world where doing quality work and treating people right were the only necessary marketing tools… but that fairytale is long past.  Santa Clause isn’t real, and contractors need to maintain a quality reputation, a visible brand, a continuous marketing campaign and spike their website text with just the right keywords to be found online.

In the past decade, startup companies have exploded onto the web-marketing scene, making millions of dollars in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) with little out-of-pocket expense.  Established contractors with excellent local reputations are losing sales to new competition with names like “San Diego Best Painter” or “Nashville Remodeling Company.”  Their websites are cluttered with spammy, awkward text such as, “We are the best Louisville Remodeling Contractor in the Louisville KY area!”  and “Have you ever called a Columbus MD area house painting contractor to have your Columbus MD house painted?”  These companies don’t work to develop a respectable brand or invest in longtime customers—they just want the phone to ring.

Despite the temporary success of these kinds of companies, it is important to resist the temptation to hop on this webwagon.  While poorly written copy with keyword-driven text is dominating the top web searches, customers can distinguish between a reputable contractor and a flashy marketer with no substance.  Avoid cheap SEO companies that will please the search engines but turn off your clients with watered-down, generic, cut-and-paste content.

Stay with Your Brand

Unfortunately, to get quality rankings on the search engines today, you do need keywords. If you are a painting contractor, you need the words “House Painting Company” and “Painting Contractor” to appear on your site, as well as the names of your target localities.  But don’t change your brand and name. If your company name is Franklin Brothers Remodeling, keep that name. Stay the course. Just make sure your online marketing is done well.

Hire a quality web designer, a good search engine company and a creative, professional writer. Get those keywords worked into your copy in a natural, human manner.  Don’t go cheap, friends. Companies call every day trying to sell you on the idea that your company can be #1 on Google, Yahoo, and Bling. Ignore these offers. Marketing 101: be consistent on and offline. Make sure your website and web marketing describe who you really are as a company. Homeowners and businesses are wising up to the fact that the contractors with funky little websites and trashy text are here today to sell you a job, but who knows where they will be when you have a problem or need more work.  Show them that you are committed to doing things right, and that you are in their community to stay.

Your Feedback

What ways are you branding online? What is working for you? Do you ask consumers what they thought about your website: what they liked, did not like? Are you finding them to be real picky when they research online? How have you maintained a consistent brand on and offline. Love to hear your thoughts on this topic.

About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.


  • Tristan says:

    Interesting stuff, David. How about this: What if a company had a “real” website (the quality kind that you mention) but also had some gateway sites that are set up specifically for SEO purposes that drive customers back to the main site? Is that lowering yourself to a level you don’t want to touch, or is that a smart online marketing strategy?

    Obviously the best way to do it would be to combine those keywords naturally into your site and content like you said, but I still think it’d be interesting to hear your take.

    Thanks for the great post!

  • David says:

    Tristan, I would agree with you. Having quality micro sites (gateway) are a good idea. I do that for clients now. I still try to keep the content well written and talk in a way a consumer reads, not search engines. The strategy works just fine. Most of the sites currently on page one of Google have no real consistent brand. I just think consumers will be educated soon enough and what is real and spammy. Google is also cracking down on low quality sites anyways, which is great.

    I appreciate you stopping by, Tristan. I respect your opinion and am always open to your advice.

  • Garry says:

    2015 Update: I think that Google frowns upon those thin “Gateway” sites these days. Google’s complex algorithm easily spots gateways sites and can possibly punish the main site, so be careful…. Don’t poke the “Bear.”

  • David Chism says:


    That is correct. In 2011, this was still a pretty well accepted practice. It still works even today for existing sites. Yet who knows when that will completely gone as well.

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