In many ways, contractors have it harder than other types of businesses.
Unlike e-commerce brands and brick-and-mortar retailers, contractors don’t make their money from loyal repeat customers. Nor do they generate monthly recurring revenue like the best B2B SaaS brands.
Contractors also tend to deal in large, one-off renovations and construction projects with a long-evaluation process and a lot of cash on the line.
In this article, we’ll look at the top lead generation websites for contractors, followed by some practical strategies for bringing more qualified leads directly into the funnel.
- Why is lead generation important for contractors?
- 10 best lead generation websites for contractors
- Actionable lead generation strategies for contractors
- Contractor lead gen strategy #1. Optimize your Google My Business profile
- Contractor lead gen strategy #2. Convert visitors with live chat
- Contractor lead gen strategy #3. Supplement organic search with paid ads
- Contractor lead gen strategy #4. Run a referral program
- Contractor lead gen strategy #5: Create a review strategy
- Contractor lead gen strategy #6. Nurture leads with email marketing
Without a clearly defined lead generation strategy, contractors and construction companies aren’t able to identify their target audience and locate them online, and as a result, struggle to generate quality website traffic that can be converted into quote requests and sales appointments.
Emphasis needs to be placed on the word quality in the previous sentence. Too many marketing teams measure lead quantity when determining the success of a lead generation campaign. Sales teams and business owners, on the other hand, focus on lead quality.
i.e. people with intent to purchase your product or service, and the means to do so.
Despite its importance, quality lead generation remains the top marketing challenge for contractors and most other companies year-after-year:
Solving this challenge will mean the difference between a dry pipeline and predictable sales growth.
One of the best ways contractors can generate a steady stream of quality leads is by building an online footprint, one profile at a time. Then, once those listings are live and optimized, contractors can drive targeted traffic into those properties with local SEO, PPC, live chat, and other digital strategies.
Attracting new business does require putting in the upfront work–a lot of which involves setting up business profiles on various listing sites that are crawling with your ideal customers.
However, once you nail the initial setup, you’ll be in a good spot for attracting a passive stream of high-quality inbound leads using a multi-channel lead generation strategy.
Get listed on these sites to immediately start generating lead flow, whether you’re an established business or launching something brand new.
Google My Business (GMB) is a platform that allows local businesses to claim, customize, and control their listings on Google Maps and local search results. It’s one of the best tools for generating free leads and reaching users actively searching for local contractors.
In fact, up to 64% of consumers rely on Google My Business to find contact details for local businesses.
By signing up for an account users gain access to Google’s business tools like the Google Ad Network, Google Search Console, customer reviews, and platform analytics.
Houzz is the go-to lead gen platform for contractors that specialize in residential services.
Businesses can sign up for a free profile or upgrade to the paid plan, Houzz Pro+, which unlocks several features that can help you stand out.
Features include a premium profile that optimizes your page for visibility, targeted local advertising, and insights & analytics tools that can help you understand and improve your lead generation efforts.
3. Bing Places
Another great source for free contractor leads, Bing Places is Microsoft’s answer to GMB.
Business users sign up for a free profile, then follow a similar set of steps to get started. Again, users claim their business listing, add business details, upload images, optimize for target keywords, and input business category information.
Once this step is complete, contractors can start showing up for high intent search terms (quality leads). i.e. online searches from people looking for the exact services they provide.
Given Google’s massive, global popularity and total domination of online search, you’d be forgiven for overlooking Bing as a lead generation tool.
That said, Bing offers several unique benefits that can support any home services lead gen campaign. For one, the 2.3% of internet users that prefer Bing to Google represent a real sweet spot for any business targeting homeowners.
The platform caters to an older crowd: 70% of users are over 35 (33% are over 55), many of whom are high earners: 38% earn over $100,000 per year.
Additionally, you might get more bang for your buck in terms of ad spend due to low competition. Bing ads can be up to 70% lower than their Google Ads equivalent.
It’s also worth noting that you can import your GMB profile data into Bing Places, so there’s no excuse for leaving this one on the table.
HomeAdvisor is a specialized listing site designed to help local contractors reach new customers. The platform uses a combination of TV ads and digital marketing channels to reach homeowners actively searching for home improvement services and allows them to get in touch directly with a local provider.
The platform’s main advantage is it allows contractors to tap into its network of 30M+ users–making it an effective tool for newer businesses trying to build a client roster. That said, HomeAdvisor requires users to pay for an annual subscription, plus each lead generated through the service.
The average cost-per-lead varies based on region, service, and other data points, but typically range between $15 to $60 per lead.
While that may seem high compared to what an e-commerce company might pay, contractors’ high-ticket conversions allow them to recoup the costs of a successful campaign.
Still, it’s important to note that you can easily burn through your budget if you’re not careful. You’ll want to make sure you’re targeting the right audience and using the platform’s built-in bidding tools to maximize ROI.
Yelp is best known for its restaurant reviews, but it’s also a valuable tool for contractors and other local home services companies.
Today, 45% of consumers visit reviews on Yelp before making a purchase (compared to 64% on Google).
Users can set up an account and claim their business for free and access features like Yelp Connect–a tool for sharing updates about your business, Yelp Ads (paid), and the ability to add CTAs, business highlights, and a verified trade license to your profile.
Yelp listings tend to rank well on Google, too–presenting another opportunity for your business to rank on the front page of the SERPs and reach an even broader audience.
According to Yelp, the platform boasts over 90M monthly users–97% of whom make a purchase from a business they found on the local listing site within a week.
Bark matches customers with service providers of all shapes and sizes. We’re talking life coaches, dog walkers, magicians–as well as residential contractors. The platform matches professionals with project requests that match the details listed in their profiles and sends a list of potential leads to your inbox.
While it’s free to join as a Bark “Professional,” you’ll need to purchase credits to connect with leads.
Bark has 20M registered users, though, given the wide range of service categories, you might not generate a ton of traffic from this channel. Still, you only pay for the leads that you choose to contact–so there’s nothing to lose by setting up an account.
Construct Connect is a platform designed to help contractors and subcontractors simplify the bid management process, identify public & private bidding opportunities, and review project plans, specs, and requirements to ensure profitability before making a commitment.
ConstructConnect also makes personalized lead recommendations, which are matched and scored based on your preferences and offers a searchable database you can use for prospecting and outreach.
Porch is a lead generation platform designed specifically for contractors specializing in home services. Unlike other lead generation companies for contractors, Porch offers more control over the lead targeting process–allowing you to refine your strategy over time and avoid the process of manually weeding out irrelevant leads like on HomeAdvisor.Porch is a lead generation platform designed specifically for contractors specializing in home services. Unlike other lead generation companies for contractors, Porch offers more control over the lead targeting process–allowing you to refine your strategy over time and avoid the process of manually weeding out irrelevant leads like on HomeAdvisor.
BuildZoom is a contractor listing platform designed to connect homeowners with local contractors in their area who search the platform’s database using keywords and filters.
BuildZoom is one of the more “niche” websites on this list, which means that while fewer potential clients use the platform, those who do tend to be high-intent, highly-qualified leads.
Customers share project requirements/needs with the platform, then BuildZoom passes those project requests on to contractors that match project specifications.
Additionally, BuildZoom vets project requests before sending them your way and only charges a small referral fee when someone hires your company.
10. The Blue Book
The Blue Book is another database-style platform that allows contractors to join a network of vetted professionals, create a listing, and optimize their profile to get in front of the right buyers.
This platform charges business users a monthly subscription with plans ranging from $150-$800 and uses the “pricing tier” as a ranking factor in its internal search engine.
The Blue Book offers a suite of features aimed at helping construction firms connect with decision-makers, submit bids, and promote their company on relevant bidders’ lists.
Outside of submitting your business to industry websites, there are also specific tactics you can use to increase contractor lead volume. Below, we’ve listed six strategies that can help you expand your reach and start generating new business.
For contractors, GMB is the best place to start building a local SEO strategy (if you haven’t set up a profile yet, follow the steps listed here to get started) that attracts new leads.
Here are a few tips for setting up and optimizing your profile.
- Claim or create a new GMB listing. To start, check if your business is already listed on Google My Business. You can check this by entering your business name, address or phone number.
If you have an existing listing, be sure to claim the business. You can do this by clicking on the “Own this business?” link:
If you have multiple GMB listings, pick the one with the most reviews. Once this is completed, either merge or delete the duplicate listings.
If there is no listing, you’ll need to add your physical address and contact information, and then start the verification process via phone or mail. * Select the right category. Within your GMB profile, you can add up to 10 categories. These tell Google what type of business you are, and the types of services it provides.
The primary category is the most important as Google weights this differently than the Secondary categories. The key is to be as specific as possible. Eg: residential roof installer vs construction company. * Define your service area. Include the physical location where clients can come and visit in your GMB listing.
While you do need a physical location to verify your business, you can hide that location and instead list the areas that your business serves. * List services. Contractors can list all the services provided under each category:
* Target the right keywords. You’ll want to make sure that you fill out your entire GMB profile, adding your target keywords to the description and title so active searchers can find you. * Upload images that appeal to your ideal customers. Customers searching for a contractor that can build them a new deck or remodel their outdated kitchen are going to want to see some work before they make any moves.
Pro tip: geo-tag those images with your business location. * Add messaging and request and a quote.
According to a survey, 46% of consumers prefer to schedule appointments with a contractor via email, online platform, or mobile app.
Google enables contractors to add a Request a Quote or Message Button to their GMB profile.
If you download the Google Business App (available on iOS and Android) on your phone, you’ll get real time notifications when a lead leaves a message, at which time you can respond directly from the app. * Actively respond to and manage your reviews. Start collecting reviews from happy customers.
Always respond to online reviews–whether it’s just to say “thanks” for a positive review or apologize for a less-than-perfect experience.
Read and respond to business reviews from the “Reviews” tab found in the top navigation bar–and make it a habit. This small gesture goes a long way in helping you build relationships with past clients and proving you’re a trustworthy, responsive provider to potential leads.
Once you start driving traffic to your website, you’ll need a way to engage visitors that compels them to take the desired action.
For contractors, that typically means convincing visitors to click a button connected to a lead capture form–think “book a consultation” or “request a quote.” Then from there, the contractor can follow up with next steps later.
Unfortunately, this approach can slow down the buying process and cause leads to look elsewhere for a more responsive competitor.
Live chat software has emerged as a solution to this issue, allowing contractors to offer personalized 24/7 support that can help improve conversion rates, and reduce the sales cycle.
53% of customers prefer live chat to phone calls and 41% expect websites to include live chat as a communication option. What’s more, simply adding live chat functionality to your site can boost your conversion rate by up to 12%.
Image: JivoChat widget.
As a lead gen tool, live chat offers more flexibility than the traditional landing page. Unlike using fixed forms to capture leads, live chat allows you to collect additional insights about your visitor and guide them toward the actions or resources that get them to the next stage in the sales funnel.
You might also ask users a series of qualification questions that can automatically vet new leads on the spot so you don’t waste time following up on leads that aren’t ready to convert.
Live chat can also be used to answer questions about the services you provide, pricing, and anything else someone might ask before hiring a contractor during that initial visit.
If you miss a live chat opportunity, you should also provide visitors with a personalized callback option.
If you’re using Jivochat, you can provide visitors with an ETA for a callback:
Or, have them choose a time that works best for them:
You can also connect JivoChat to other platforms such as facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Apple Business Chat, and route all the conversations into a single dashboard where your team members can respond in a timely manner.
Even if you’ve optimized your Google My Business page, website, and registered with the lead generation sites mentioned earlier, it’ll still take time before you start ranking in the search engines and driving qualified organic traffic.
In the meantime, consider using paid ads to quickly increase your online visibility for valuable service-based terms.
Pay-per-click, or PPC, ads are one of the most effective ways to drive contractor leads to your website by “skipping to the front of the line,” with paid ads appearing above the organic Maps results.
Over time, combining paid and organic search can help you take up a larger share of the SERPs.
Below, Greenworks Construction is using ads to buy visibility at the top of page one and the local map pack:
This type of exposure would drive a lot of quality leads (i.e. people searching for the exact services they provide) each month.
Most users will prefer to click to call from their mobile devices, and click through to the website on a desktop device, at which you could use live chat to provide a highly personalized experience, qualify leads, and close new deals faster.
When referred by a friend, people are 4x more likely to make a purchase.
Referrals allow you to “multiply” your customers by making a great impression.
In an industry with few opportunities to generate recurring revenue, referrals are the key to sustainable growth.
But how do you actually generate referrals? Well, there are a few ways you might go about it. One approach is simply asking clients for referrals on the job.
Questions like “do you have any upcoming projects we can work on?” or “do you know anyone looking for X service?” can potentially land you more work. Or, you might wait until the project is complete and follow up via email.
Another idea is networking with contractors/companies that provide complimentary services who can send clients your way.
Regardless of how you approach your referral strategy, it’s important that you consistently deliver results that deserve a referral.
Like referrals, online reviews and testimonials are a lead gen powerhouse, allowing you to leverage praise from happy customers to lock down new deals.
90% of consumers say their purchasing decisions are influenced by reviews.
Reviews are essential for building trust and credibility with buyers in any industry, but they’re especially important for contractors who are dealing in big-ticket services involving significant alterations to the buyer’s property.
It only makes sense that customers are going to seek some assurance from past clients before moving forward.
Unfortunately, few customers–even happy ones–are proactive about posting reviews. The ones who do share unprompted were either blown away by the experience or it was a complete disaster and they’re seeking to have their experience validated.
What you want is to get the “average” satisfied customer to leave feedback. In many cases, these customers are happy to leave a positive review, they just need to be asked.
As such, you’ll need to come up with a follow-up strategy for capturing feedback.
A few things you might try:
- Establish business listings on several review sites such as Google and Yelp.
- Email customers shortly after completing a project (when you’re still fresh in their minds) and ask them for a review–provide links to a few different sites (think Google, Yelp, Houzz) so that reviewers can share feedback on their preferred channel.
- Ask for reviews on alternative channels like SMS, Messenger, or WhatsApp to boost response rates
- Survey recent customers and ask those with the highest rating to leave a review.
Finally, it’s worth noting that automating follow-up sequences can help you avoid any missed opportunities to capture positive feedback.
Note: you can also feature positive reviews on your website, and even social media ads.
Whether it’s residential or commercial, committing to a contractor is a big decision that doesn’t typically happen during the first visit.
While email marketing might seem a little old fashioned, it’s still an effective way to generate leads. The main benefit here is email allows you to nurture leads that have already expressed interest in your company by opting into updates.
Incentivize visitors with valuable information. Capture incoming leads by creating a useful resource in exchange for visitor contact information.
Resources might include best practices, case studies, homeowner’s guides, etc. But the rule of thumb is, content should align with your target audience and offer something that users can’t easily find by performing a quick Google search.
Here’s an example from the Porch website:
Drive traffic to lead capture forms. You might also promote gated resources through paid social channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. to increase email opt-ins.
Build trust and follow up with automated emails. Create automated email sequences that cater to different customer segments–that might include specific personas, referring channel, engagement history, etc. Establish a regular cadence and make sure that each email offers something valuable and drives the reader to a relevant call-to-action.
How do I generate free contractor leads?
You can generate free contractor leads by listing your business on local directories, promoting your site on social media channels, optimizing for local search, and developing a review generation strategy.
Can I buy contractor leads?
You can buy contractor leads from marketing firms, lead-brokers, or through channels like HomeAdvisor. While purchasing leads can be an effective strategy for reaching new customers, you’ll want to avoid relying on third-party lead gen platforms to support the entire strategy.
Instead, focus on diversifying your lead generation effort with organic SEO, a formalized referral program, PPC ads, reputation management, and more.
How much do contractor leads cost?
Contractor leads typically range from about $10 to $150+, though pricing varies by type of service, location, lead quality, and whether you’re paying for shared (bidding against other providers) or exclusive leads (direct call or message).
Some platforms charge based on factors like project size, number of available pros, and type of request, while others take a percentage of the sale as a referral fee.