By John Hargan, Velocity

For roofing contractors getting started with digital marketing – finding the right balance between PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can be as tricky as patching up a leaky roof during a rainstorm. 

But fear not, because in this guide, we’re going to unravel the mysteries of roofing PPC and SEO for you. We’ll break it down in simple terms, so you can make savvy decisions about where to invest your precious time and budget. Get ready to discover the perfect formula for sustained growth in the digital world.

Understanding PPC

Let’s kick things off by shining a spotlight on PPC and why it matters:

What is PPC, Anyway?

PPC is like paying a toll to get your website at the top of search engine results. You bid on keywords, and when someone clicks on your ad, you pay a fee. Simple, right?

Instant Results: Want to show up on the first page of Google tomorrow? PPC can make it happen.

Targeted Ads: You can reach specific customers based on keywords, location, and even the time of day.

Budget Control: You set the budget, so no surprises at the end of the month.

Can Be Costly: Those clicks can add up. High competition for keywords can drive up prices.

Temporary: Once you stop paying, your ad disappears. No long-term benefits here.

Ad Blindness: Some users ignore ads, favoring organic results.

The Power of SEO

Now, let’s talk about a well known tactic you’ve probably heard about – SEO:

SEO is like renovating your website to make it more appealing to search engines. You optimize it so that Google thinks you’re the bee’s knees and ranks you higher organically.

Long-Term Benefits: Invest in SEO, and you’ll enjoy a steady flow of traffic without having to pay for each click.

Credibility: Organic search results can be seen as more trustworthy by users.

Wide Reach: You can potentially rank for a wide range of keywords without the pay-per-click price tag.

Patience is a Virtue: SEO takes time to show results. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Ever-Changing Rules: Search engines frequently update their algorithms. Staying on top of these changes can be a challenge.

Initial Investment: You’ll need to invest significant time and money into optimizing your website and creating search engine-optimized content.

When to Prioritize PPC & When to Prioritize SEO

Now that we’ve laid out the pros and cons, let’s explore when each strategy should take the lead:

When You Need Quick Results: If you’re launching a new roofing service or need immediate leads, PPC delivers results fast.

Seasonal Promotions: Use PPC to promote seasonal deals, special offers or to generate leads after a weather event.

Competitive Markets: In highly roofing competitive markets, PPC can help you compete for top positions.

Long-Term Growth: If you’re planning for the future, invest in SEO for sustainable, long-term growth. But remember it takes time.

Establishing Authority: SEO helps you build trust and credibility in your field over time. Especially by creating useful content for homeowners.

Cost-Efficiency: As SEO matures, it can be more cost-effective than ongoing PPC campaigns. However the initial outlay to build your SEO foundation can be high.

Basic PPC & SEO Activities

Let’s break down some fundamental activities to succeed with both PPC and SEO:

Keyword Research: Identify relevant keywords for your roofing business.

Compelling Ad Copy: Craft attention-grabbing ad headlines and descriptions.

Landing Pages: Create dedicated, high-converting landing pages for your PPC ads.

Budget Management: Monitor your daily and monthly budget closely to best allocate spend.

A/B Testing: Experiment with different ad variations to see what works best.

Keyword Optimization: Use relevant keywords in your website content and blog posts.

Quality Content: Create informative, engaging, and original content on your website.

Mobile Optimization: Ensure your website is mobile-friendly for users on all devices.

Link Building: Build high-quality backlinks from reputable websites.

Local SEO: Optimize your website for local searches, including Google My Business.

Estimating PPC & SEO Costs

Budgeting can be the trickiest part of your digital marketing journey. Let’s demystify the process and provide you with budget simulations for both SEO and PPC:

PPC costs can vary widely based on factors like your service offering, location, and competition. To estimate your PPC budget, follow these steps:

Step 1: Keyword Research

Start by identifying the keywords relevant to your roofing business. Use tools like Google Keyword Planner to understand the average cost per click (CPC) for these keywords.

Step 2: Determine Your Monthly Clicks

Estimate the number of clicks you want to generate each month. Be realistic and consider your business goals. For example, if you’re targeting 100 clicks a month and the average CPC is $5, your monthly budget would be $500.

Step 3: Set Daily Budgets

To avoid overspending, divide your monthly budget by 30.4 (the average number of days in a month). This gives you a daily budget. In our example, it’s around $16.5 per day.

Step 4: Account for Campaign Management/Agency Costs

Remember to factor in costs for creating and managing ad campaigns. These can vary, and if you choose to work with a PPC agency, their fees typically range from $500 to $3,000 or more per month, depending on your monthly ad spend.

Step 5: Monitor and Adjust

Keep a close eye on your PPC campaigns. Adjust your budget based on the performance data you gather over time. Increase the budget for high-performing campaigns and decrease it for underperforming ones.

SEO costs can also vary widely, and it’s less straightforward to budget for than PPC. Here’s how you can estimate your SEO budget:

Step 1: Determine Your Goals

Consider your long-term SEO goals. Do you want to rank for specific keywords or improve your overall online brand presence?

Step 2: Evaluate Your Website

Start with an SEO audit to identify areas that need improvement. You might need to invest in website optimization, content creation, or technical fixes.

Step 3: Keyword Analysis

Identify target keywords and phrases. Tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs can help you estimate the difficulty and competitiveness of these keywords.

Step 4: Content Creation

Determine how much content you need to create and optimize. Include blog posts, landing pages, and updates to existing content.

Step 5: Backlink Strategy

Consider the cost of building high-quality backlinks, whether through outreach, partnerships, or guest posting. 

[Editor’s note: Contributing to content in this magazine is an effective way to earn high-quality backlinks. Contribution examples include Project of the Month, article involvement, and article submissions, which are all posted on our website and backlinked … and it’s free.] 

Step 6: Ongoing Maintenance

Remember that SEO is an ongoing process. You’ll need to allocate budget for regular updates, monitoring, and adjustments.

Typically, roofing contractors may allocate a budget of a few hundred to a couple of thousand dollars per month for PPC advertising. But this depends on how many jobs your team can handle, larger roofing businesses can spend upwards of $25k per month in larger metro areas. 

For SEO (Search Engine Optimization), budgeting varies based on the scope of work and goals. A monthly budget of around $1,000 to $2,000 is a common starting point for small to medium-sized roofing businesses. SEO agencies may charge monthly fees ranging from $250 to $5,000 or more, depending on the level of optimization required and the ongoing content creation and maintenance needed. Your budget should be sufficient to cover tasks such as content creation, on-page optimization, backlink building, and ongoing SEO maintenance.

Remember, these are general guidelines, and your actual budget should reflect your specific business objectives, competition level, and geographic location. It’s essential to assess the return on investment once leads start rolling in from your efforts, and regularly adjust your budget based on performance data and results.

Conclusion: Striking the Perfect Balance

In the world of roofing and digital marketing, balance is the key to success. PPC can give you that initial boost, while SEO keeps the engine running for the long haul. Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Your perfect mix of PPC and SEO will depend on your unique goals, audience, and budget.

So, go ahead, roofing contractors, and strike that perfect balance. Start small, test the waters, and adjust as you go. With the right mix of PPC and SEO, you’ll be well on your way to sustained growth and digital marketing success. l

John Hargan is the Founder of Velocity [], a digital marketing agency that specializes in helping roofing companies get high quality leads with PPC advertising.