6. Google Analytics
If you’re investing time and energy into marketing, knowing what efforts are driving the best results is essential. We recommend that every painting business owner with a website install Google Analytics. Since Google Analytics only records data after it’s installed, it’s vital to implement this sooner than later.
If your plans include online advertising or digital marketing, this tool is worth your time investment today. Trust me; even if you don’t review this data yourself (I highly recommend learning the basics, though), you’ll be happy you have this data in the future.
7. Google Search Console
Think of Google Analytics as a measure of what happens on your website. Similarly, Google Search Console measures how your website is performing in search results.
How we use it:
This tool communicates the exact keywords your visitors use to find your website and will even notify you of issues that could negatively impact your Google ranking. We monitor this weekly to address issues and identify search trends. Suppose we notice we’re losing traction on a particular search term. In that case, we’ll invest more energy into link building and add more content to boost traffic for the term.
Like Google Analytics, even if you don’t plan on using it yourself, we still recommend claiming your domain since it only records future data.
8. Google Page Speed Insights
Did you know that website speed is a primary Google ranking factor? That’s right, the more time it takes for Google to index your website, the less likely they are to favor your site in search results. Google Page Speed Insights is a website scanner that will break down any onsite issues that could be impacting your page load speed.
Mobile Website Note:
This tool defaults to scanning your website as a mobile user since Google ranks your website by how it performs on mobile devices first.
9. Moz Local: Free Listing Score
Online directories are a great way to increase the visibility of your painting business. After all, the more places you can be found, the more likely you will be found. With a bit of effort, you can list your painting business on over 50 relevant online directories such as Yelp, Apple Maps, and the Yellow Pages. Moz Local Listing Score is a free tool that scans your website to identify unclaimed directories.
Also, since some directories provide do-follow backlinks, they can directly optimize your website for search engines!
Copywriting Writing Tools
How well your painting business ranks on Google is entirely dependent on the content on your website.
For instance, if you want to rank for “cabinet painting,” you need to have an entire page on your website dedicated to that service. Writing a blog is a great way to expand your digital reach and capture more website traffic, but it’s a lot of work.
So, where do you start? More importantly, how do you determine if anyone is even searching for your content to begin with?
You wouldn’t pay for a billboard on the side of a road that doesn’t have any traffic. Similarly, you want to verify the content you’re writing is something your audience is actually searching for. Fortunately, we have some tools to help with this.
10. Google Trends
Search volume measures how popular or many people search for a particular key term. Trends is a free tool that pulls this information directly from Google.
How we use it:
Before we write content, we always check search volume to justify the investment. We compare terms already producing traffic for our website against a term we would like to rank for. We know we have a winner if the search volume is equal to or greater than our control terms.
11. Answer The Public
“The Little Bighorn” is a proven marketing strategy we use to break into hard-to-reach markets.
How it works:
One-third of our blog posts are designed to answer a specific question. Why? Because people ask Google questions. Answer The Public is a powerful tool that identifies the popular questions searched for on Google. Answering topics that are easy to rank for provides a quick surge of traffic, increasing your website’s authority.
How we use it:
Let’s say we wanted to rank a painting business better in Google. We would start by building more traffic to the website. The best way to do this is by writing answers to low-competition questions since they’re easy to rank for in Google. We type “house painting” into Answer The Public, then measure the search volume on Google Trends to identify winning topics. In this case, we could write a blog post to answer “Can you paint your house while pregnant?” since it is a popular question with little competition.
12. Hemingway Editor
Let’s be honest; writing can be a drag. It’s time-consuming, and if you’re running a painting business, it’s probably the last thing on your mind. This is where Hemingway Editor comes in. The free online editor corrects spelling, grammar, and will even highlight content that is difficult to read.
Regardless of what you’re writing for, we recommend using Hemingway Editor to check your work. We even use it to check our emails! For best results, aim for a readability score of under 9.
Email Marketing Tools
Did you know that email marketing has the highest ROI of all digital marketing mediums?
With an average ROI of 42:1 (that’s 4200%) there is no reason your painting business shouldn’t be investing time into this marketing strategy.
There are several free email service providers (ESPs) on the market. Still, we prefer MailChimp for its user-friendly dashboard and feature-rich interface.
How we use it:
We create two mailing lists, one for past customers and one for prospects. Each month we send one email to each list. We incentivize past customers to refer new business. Then we send prospects limited promotions to convert them into paying customers.
You can quickly build a mailing list by capturing emails on your website or reaching out to industry partners, such as real estate agents, for contract referrals.
We typically capture a few painting jobs each month using this strategy on a high-quality mailing list consisting of at least 100 emails.
14. Omnisend: Subject Line Tester
Email subject lines are the first thing you see before opening an email. It can make or break your email marketing efforts. This is why we always test our subject lines using Omnisend’s free Subject Line Tester tool.
How we use it:
We aim for a score of 90% or above, focusing on scannability, wording, and subject length.
We find value in validating the websites and content we produce. Just because we *think* something will convert doesn’t mean it will.
15. Hotjar: Website Monitoring
Wouldn’t it be cool to record your customers interacting with your website? Introducing Hotjar, the free website recording tool. Install a simple line of code on your website to start recording your visitors.
How we use it:
We review website recordings and heatmaps once a month, looking for actionable trends. For example, let’s say you have a prominently featured contact form, but you’re not receiving any leads. Reviewing how your customers interact with that page can provide insights into issues you may have never even considered.
16. Google Optimize
Technical warning: This is one of our favorite onsite optimization tools, but it does require some technical knowledge to set up and manage.
Have you ever changed your website but were unsure if that change had a positive or negative impact on your bottom line?
Wonder no more. Google Optimize connects to your website, allowing you to test landing pages, headings, button colors, and more.
How we use it:
Anytime we run a Google Ads campaign, we always pair it with a test. Why? Because something that converts well for one painting business may not convert for all painting businesses. As a result, we test everything “above the fold” (content you can see without scrolling down the page) to make sure we’re delivering the best possible results.
Lead Generation Tools
Cold outreach in the professional painting industry can be tricky. For residential painters, we recommend networking with industry partners such as landlords and real estate agents. Since we have more demographic information to work with, commercial painting contractors have more flexibility in this space.
17. Hunter.io: Email Extractor
We use this tool for quickly locating email addresses on a website. We use this to build a cold mailing list or identify the contact information of a business we are targeting.
How we use it:
We use Hunter.io for quickly locating email addresses on a website. This can be used to build a cold mailing list or identify the contact information of a business you are targeting.
18. Zero Bounce: Email Verification
Did you know sending to an email address that’s outdated or no longer in service can send your other emails to spam? Reducing bounce rate is critical when engaging in cold email outreach.
How we use it:
Before we start sending to a new email address, we always verify that it’s valid and can receive emails. This process only takes a second and can save you from ending up on an email blacklist.
Whether you’re creating a flyer or adding images to your website, using stock images is a great way to add a professional touch to your marketing material.
19. Pixabay: Stock Images
We searched the internet for the best free stock image resources. We landed on Pixabay for their wide variety of stock images specifically for the professional painting industry.
20. Canva: Design Templates
Create signs, mailers, and other professional marketing material using thousands of free pre-designed templates. No additional tools or design experience is required to start using Canva.
Business Management Tools
After you load up your calendar with new painting jobs, you need somewhere to manage it all. These free business management tools work great for painting contractors of all sizes.
21. Trello: Project Management
Trello has been around for some time. With Atlassian’s acquisition, you can rest assured that it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. We love Trello for its whiteboard-like interface and its massive library of free power-ups and third-party integrations.
22. HubSpot: CRM
HubSpot offers a wide variety of free marketing tools, including a free CRM. Out of all the customer relationship management systems we tested, this was our favorite for its wide range of features and ease of use.
23. Zoho Invoice
Customer invoicing doesn’t need to be complicated. Zoho Invoice is straightforward to set up. It’s also 100% free and integrates with Stripe and PayPal to make accepting payments as easy as triggering an invoice from their mobile app.
24. Joist: Invoice + CRM
Interested in a free tool that combines both Zoho Invoice and a few HubSpot CRM features into one interface? Look no further than Joist. Designed specifically for contractors, it has the features you need to run your painting business without the fluff that comes with many other platforms.
25. Zoom: Video Estimates
Since the dawn of COVID, we have all been well-acquainted with our favorite video chat service, Zoom. Your customers have most likely used it, making it an easy tool to leverage for your painting business.
How our clients use it:
Many of our clients offer virtual estimates over a free Zoom call. This cuts back on travel time and can lead to quick wins for acquiring new business since you can provide quotes while on another job site.
BONUS: Arrivala Review Handout Generator
If you’re unaware of how critical online reviews are for your painting business, I would encourage you to read our article dedicated to the topic.
Arrivala is a service we have recommended as a paid review acquisition resource in the past. They also offer a free tool that generates a document you can print or email to your customers.
This document takes the burden off your customer, providing them with detailed step-by-step instructions for leaving you a review.
What are we missing?
Are we missing tools that you feel would be a good fit for our list? Send us an email at [email protected].