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Every month there are hundreds to thousands of people in practically every city searching Google for someone to do their home renovations.  The easiest and fastest way to capitalize on this traffic is to run a Google Ads (formerly AdWords) campaign. You can have 5 and 6 figure leads coming in tomorrow if your Google Ads campaign is set up properly.

Stick with me and I’ll prove to you that Google Ads can work incredibly well for renovation contractors by sharing a case study which includes screenshots of actual leads.  I’ll also share several common mistakes that lead to a campaign’s failure so you can hopefully avoid those mistakes and find success with your next campaign.

Does Google Ads Work for Renovation Contractors?

I’m sure that many of you reading this article have some reservations.  Maybe you’ve run a campaign in the past that didn’t generate qualified leads (or any leads at all) and it just wasn’t profitable.  Maybe you’ve heard from other contractors or business owners that Google Ads doesn’t work. Let’s put those doubts to rest by first looking at some real results we’ve been able to achieve at Stratosphere Digital for a renovation contractor this past month.

Here are two screenshots of the latest leads that came in for this campaign:

These are fairly big renovation projects.  The first lead even shared that they have a 6 figure budget!  As of March of 2019, the current cost per renovation estimate lead for this client is $51.40 and there’s still room to optimize this cost down.

It’s funny though…  I’ve shared a similar cost per lead with several renovation contractors and have had two polar opposite reactions.  The first reaction is they laugh and say they’d never pay that much for a lead and the second reaction is they get very excited because they see a huge opportunity.  Let’s run some numbers to see if this cost per lead is laughable or not.

We’ll assume a terrible closing rate of 1 out of 20 leads.  20 leads at $51.40 per lead will cost $1,028. At an average of about $100,000 per renovation project that would be close to a 100x return on ad spend.  Paying $1,028 for a $100,000 to $200,000+ renovation project sounds pretty darned good and should leave plenty of room for profit.

The numbers are pretty clear and it’s not difficult to see the path that each type of contractor is on.  

The renovation contractors that laugh at $51.40 per lead will no doubt be caught in the endless cycle of feast and famine and won’t have enough leads coming in to be able to choose the types of projects they’d like to work on.  Even if they manage to stay booked with referrals, their growth will be capped and when the next recession hits, they’ll have no way of paying for new clients and will be the first to go broke.

On the other hand, the contractors who see an opportunity will have a lead generation machine that can reliably and systematically fill their pipeline with new work  They’ll be able to grow their contracting business and eventually build a business that doesn’t require them ever working in it (only on it). These contractors will survive any recession and come out on top.

Why Your Google Ads Campaign Didn’t Work

I’ve proven that Google Ads can work incredibly well for renovation contractors but maybe you’ve tried Google Ads before and your campaigns were a disaster.  Let’s look at why your campaign may have failed so you can hopefully find success in your future campaigns.

Google makes it really easy to set up a Google Ads campaign and to spend money, however, they don’t make it easy to set up and manage a campaign that’s actually profitable.

An unoptimized campaign for a renovation contractor with bad ad copy, poor keyword selection, no negative keywords, the wrong bidding strategy, no mobile bid adjustments, no ad scheduling, and no landing page could easily see lead costs that are 10 times higher.  Yes, 10 times!

Here are some things I typically see in a poorly setup and managed Google Ads campaign that will lead to the campaign’s failure.

  • No conversion tracking (call and email tracking)
  • No dedicated landing page for each ad group
  • A poor landing page experience
  • A landing page that isn’t mobile-friendly or optimized for mobile conversions
  • Poor ad copy with low click-through rates
  • No ad scheduling (you want ads only showing when people are likely to convert)
  • No bid adjustments for devices that are driving conversions
  • Closely related keywords aren’t in separate ad groups
  • Poor choice of keywords
  • Use of broad match keywords
  • No negative keywords
  • Wrong bidding strategies
  • No split testing to find winning ads or landing pages
  • Optimizing for impressions or clicks and not for conversions
  • No ad extensions
  • Not bidding enough so that your ads are in high enough positions
  • No remarketing

Chances are, you’re guilty of more than a few of these if you ran an unsuccessful campaign or had someone run an unsuccessful campaign for you.  That’s OK though!  Almost everyone makes these mistakes and you’re well on your way to finding a solution. Simply avoiding these mistakes will set you far above your competition and will get you well on your way to running a solid Google Ads campaign.

I’ll Just do SEO.  It’s Free!

You might be asking yourself why you should pay for clicks when SEO is free.  That’s a fair question and one I get asked a lot.

First, it’s only free if you value your time at $0 and are willing to invest hundreds, if not thousands of hours learning, writing content, building backlinks, building microsites, etc.  If you hire a good SEO company (provided you can find one), the cost will be pretty significant (if results matter) and there will be no guarantees.

Something you have to understand is that even in a small city, you’re competing with hundreds of other contractors who all want their website showing in the top 10 results for keywords like “contractor {your city}.”  It’s a very competitive game with only a handful of winners and even if you do manage to rank your website, Google can change their algorithm at any time and bump you from page one into obscurity.

Finally, ranking for competitive keywords can take months to years (provided you’re able to even rank at all).

Sure, SEO can work, but it’s similar to referrals in that it’s not a reliable or a sustainable way to grow a business.

Want to Learn More about Done-for-You Lead Generation?

There’s a lot to know when it comes to generating new business at a profit with Google Ads and that’s why I’d like to invite you to schedule a free call to learn more about how we can help you generate new leads and sales with a Google Ads campaign.  Click here to schedule a call and we’ll call at the time you’ve booked.  This is a free 10 to 15 minute, no-obligation chat to see if there might be a good fit between our services and your business.  If there is potentially a good fit, we’ll schedule a second, more in-depth call.  If there isn’t a good fit, we’ll still end the call friends.


There are people searching for renovations every single day in your city.  If you’re able to dial in a Google Ads campaign with the right keywords, ads, and landing pages, leads will never be a problem and you’ll have a lead generation system that will allow you to get choosier with your leads, grow your business and free up your time.