Roofing Advertising: The Simple Guide To Roofing Ads [Google, Facebook And The Old-School Tactics That Still Work]
As the owner of a roofing business, you know how competitive the industry is. When you’re fighting for local customers, it’s better to have people come to you instead of you chasing them. And roofing advertising is how you bring in regular leads and new customers.
Whether it’s Google, Facebook, Instagram, or the old-school tactics that still work, we’ll show you how to run a roofing ad campaign that’s successful and profitable.
If there was a machine that could return $200 for every $100 you put in, would you use it?
If you said ‘yes’ then we’ve got great news – that machine already exists.
Whether you’re facing a growing number of competing roofers in your area, you’re a one-man-band trying to build your brand, or you’re looking to modernize your long-established roofing company, ads are a proven growth strategy.
But there’s a science to the art of roofing ads. From your advertising spend to what you’re allowed to sell, knowing how to run a successful ad campaign is key.
And we’re going to teach you exactly how to do it with proven roofing advertising ideas.
As a bonus, we’ll cover a few tried and tested old-school advertising methods that still work in 2021, so there’s no tech tidal wave about to swamp your business, but plenty of potential for you to harness the power of ads and make more money.
What is roofing advertising?
You offer a service. And your customers need that service.
Roofing advertising, or roofing ads, are how you connect their demand with your supply.
Go back 50 years and roofing advertising was in print – whether it was a magazine, newspaper, or billboard. But in 2021 the majority of roofing ads are run online because that’s where your customers spend their time.
The most common types of roofing ads are run in the form of:
In this guide, we’ll unpack each ad type for you, show you how to get the most out of them, and leave you with plenty of tips to run your own ad campaigns and get more roofing work.
But first, let’s answer a question we guarantee you’ve thought of at least once before…
“Do I need roofing ads if I already have work coming in?”
The roofing industry is worth an estimated $100 billion worldwide.
And of that giant pie, a recent survey showed 65% of roofers reported growth in sales and revenue.
Those figures are exciting…though they don’t tell the whole story.
With the industry booming, more and more roofing businesses are spotting the potential to make good money. And as competition increases, the ability to attract customers will make or break your business.
If you get word of mouth leads, that’s great. But without a pipeline of consistent leads, you don’t have a plan to fall back on if competing roofers start siphoning away your customers.
Roofing ads aren’t a last-gasp Hail Mary for roofers facing bankruptcy. They’re a growth strategy that successful roofing companies use to guarantee leads tomorrow, next month, and next year.
With roofing ads, you can safely estimate how much work you’ll be getting – and since you can track the spending of every single roofing ad type, you’ll know exactly how much revenue and profit are coming your way too.
Tradies: Don’t Invest a Dollar in Digital Marketing Until You Read This!
“What are my roofing advertising options?”
OK, let’s talk tactics.
As we mentioned, roofing advertising typically falls into four digital categories, which are:
It’s also possible to run old-school print ads and we’ll show you exactly how to use print advertising a little later on in the guide. But first, let’s unpack these common roofing ad options.
Let’s start with Google Ads for roofers
Google Ads are the most common type of ads that roofers use.
Under a pay-per-click (PPC) model, Google Ads allow you to show up at the top of the search engine results page – above the organic SEO listings.
For example, if someone searches for ‘storm damage roof repair Florida’ then the following results will display…
These roofing businesses occupy the top 3 spots on Google because they’re running Google Ads. So anyone in a hurry for a local roofer will see them first, creating priceless visibility and exposure that drives leads and new business.
In short, you can buy visits to your website with Google Ads and control how much traffic you get. And since you only pay per ad click, you can control how much you spend to bring people to your site.
With the right keywords you can bring in site visitors who need specific roofing help – and you’ll be the roofer to give it to them.
“What keywords can I target with my roofing Google Ads?”
You can target any keyword you want – but that doesn’t mean you SHOULD target any keyword you want.
Successful Google Ad campaigns are extremely measured and planned. In fact, just talking about ‘Google Ad keywords’ is too broad to really nail down the value on offer, so here are the various types of keywords your roofing ads can target on Google:
Broad Match Keywords
Broad Match Modifier Keywords
Broad Match keywords display for searches that are related to your keywords. So if your keyword relates to gutters your ads may also show when people search for downpipes.
Broad Match Modifier keywords place a “+” symbol before your target keywords. If a search is made containing the target keyword after the plus sign, regardless of what comes before it, your ads may show.
Exact Match Keywords
Phrase Match Keywords
Your ads only show when someone searches for the exact keywords you’ve set. For example, if your keywords are ‘emergency roofing repair’ then your ads won’t appear from ‘emergency storm damage repair’.
Phrase Match keywords will trigger when people search using your keywords in the order you designate. So if your keywords are ‘roof repair’ you could appear for ‘cheap roof repair’ but not ‘cheap repair roof’.
“How much are roofing keywords for Google Ads going to cost me?”
Roofing ads are always measurable, which helps you track your marketing spend AND your ROI.
This is where many of the older print ad methods fall short. It’s easy to put an ad in the paper, but tough to know how many people came to your website or became customers because of that ad (unless you’re using modern tech and QR codes as we’ll cover shortly).
So when it comes to Google Ads you can track every cost to the cent, literally.
If you want to track the average CPC for individual roofing keywords, you can use Google Keyword Planner. (It’s free to use, though you’ll need a Google Ad account to access it. No need to add funds, just launch your account and start researching without spending a cent).
“I don’t want an average CPC, how can I calculate my own ideal CPC?”
Tracking your cost-per-click, or CPC, is crucial because it affects:
Whether your ad shows up on Google
Where your ad ranks on Google
How long your budget will last
You don’t get to decide the CPC for each keyword – that is dictated by the number of competing roofers who want their ads to appear, but you can calculate a CPC that will stop you from losing money, and bid on keywords that fall under that range.
Here’s how you do it…
How to calculate your ideal CPC (and never overspend again)
Step One: Determine your Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
Start by figuring out what an average customer is worth to you. This isn’t the amount of your roofing service, but the profit you have left after overheads are taken care of. So if your service costs $1,000 but it costs you $500 in labor and parts, then the final total is $500. And if your average customer uses your services three times, your CLV is $1,500 ($500 x 3).
Step Two: Determine your Conversion Rate
Your conversion rate is the percentage of people who visit your site that go on to become paying customers. It can change over time (and you should always be trying to improve it) but you’ll need to know the average. If you get 3 sales for every 100 leads, your conversion rate is 3%.
Step Three: Calculate your break-even CPC
With your CLV and your conversion rate, you can figure out your break-even CPC. This will be the figure you can’t exceed if you want to make a profit.
This formula is your CLV x Conversion Rate.
For example, if your CLV is $200 and your conversion rate is 3%, your formula would look like this – $200 x 0.03 = 6.
That means you can spend $6 per click to break even on your sales. If you start spending more per click, your sales won’t be enough to cover your ad spend. But bid on cheaper keywords and pay less per click, and you’ll be generating profit.
“So I can make sure I don’t lose money on my roofing ads?”
As long as your maximum CPC is less than the ideal CPC you just calculated (and the numbers you used in your formula are accurate) you’ll be generating positive ROI.
Here’s a couple of roofing Google Ad examples we love (and that you can steal)
The best feature of Google Ads is how visible they are. Not only can you put your services in front of thousands of potential customers, but you can see exactly what your competitors are doing to grow their business too.
What ad copy do their Google Ads use? What is their offer to entice a click? What problems are they looking to solve?
It’s possible to see what you’re up against by Googling your key services and your service area, then checking out the top three paid results – identifiable with small, black ‘Ad’ text beside their listings.
To save you a little time, here are two Google Ads for roofers that get it right. We’re not recommending you steal these word for word, but we’ll unpack why they’re so effective so you can apply these winning strategies for yourself.
Example #1 – Call Only
Your roofing ads don’t need to send people to a landing page or your website.
If a potential customer has an urgent problem, like storm damage or urgent repairs, they’ll want to speak to a local roofer for a fast quote and to arrange a service ASAP.
A call-only ad gets to the point and puts you or your sales team in direct contact with a qualified lead. Someone has jumped on Google with a specific problem, found your ad, and is calling you for help – that’s half the work done for you.
Clear Ad Copy
Roofing leads don’t have time to browse hundreds of different ads, they want to see if you can offer them help and services they’re looking for, so your ad copy should be clear and to the point.
Unlike blog or article writing, roofing ads should use very short sentences, even as little as one to two words is fine in a Google Ad. Your roofing Google Ad only allows 90 characters per line, and you only have two lines to work with – so get to the point quickly.
The example below shows how much you can say in such little space. A potential customer will see this roofing business offers a rapid response, provides free quotes, specialize in leaking roofs, AND have a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. All in 180 total characters.
Alright, let’s move onto Facebook Ads for roofers
Facebook also offers paid ads for roofers. They work using the same PPC model as Google Ads- meaning you only pay for each click, but there’s a HUGE difference between the two.
The difference is the stage of the buyer’s journey that every roofing customer goes through.
Here’s what we mean. Every customer has to go through the same journey before they hire a roofer. This journey is broken into stages, including:
No one wakes up and thinks “I’ll hire a roofer” on a whim. They need to be made aware of a problem, consider the available options to solve it, and decide on a roofer to hire.
Here’s how that might look for one of your customers:
Awareness: There’s water in my living room because I have a hole in my roof following a recent storm
Consideration: I’m browsing Google looking for roofers who are affordable and offer storm damage repair
Decision: I’ve decided to hire this roofer because they offer quotes in under an hour and can come to my house today
“OK, what does the buyer’s journey have to do with roofing Facebook Ads?”
Google Ads are used to target potential customers in the ‘Decision’ stage of their journey. These people know they have a problem and are using specific keywords to describe it.
Facebook Ads are used to target potential customers in the ‘Awareness’ stage of their journey. They’re not looking to hire a roofer because they might not even know they have a problem.
Example #1 – Storm Damage
For example, because you know you’re targeting the ‘Awareness’ stage on Facebook, your ads might offer a Free Guide on Storm Damage Prevention. This free guide is appealing to someone who lives in an area with constant storms, and once they download your guide and check it out they learn that the age of their roof puts it in serious danger of damage.
They didn’t know they had a problem – but your ad helped them figure it out.
Example #2 – Metal Roof vs Shingles
Let’s look at another example. Because you know you’re targeting the ‘Awareness’ stage on Facebook, your ads could cover the topic of ‘Metal Roofs vs Shingles’. For anyone weighing up the decision themselves, you’ll be providing helpful info and showing them which option suits them best.
You’ll have made them aware of their problem (that their budget isn’t suited to metal roofing and their need to find an affordable local roofer), which helps move them to the next stage of their buyer’s journey.
The goal of Facebook roofing ads is to move people through their journey, not to land a direct sale from each ad you post.
This is where many roofers get frustrated and cancel their Facebook Ad campaigns – even when they’re driving traffic to their website! Because they don’t see sales, they consider the FB ads to have failed.
In reality, Facebook Ads aren’t typically designed to land sales. They’re designed to move people closer to sale, and if you’ve created awesome and relevant ads, that sale is more likely to be with you.
“What format do roofing Facebook Ads come in?”
Your Facebook Ads can be published in a range of formats, with the most common formats including:
Banner Ads: The rectangle ads you see popping up in your news feed
Carousel Ads: Featuring up to 10 images and ideal for showing off workmanship
Lead Ads: These include a ‘sign up’ form in return for a free guide or resource
Video Ads: These ads also appear in the news feed but offer eye-catching videos
“How do I make awesome and relevant roofing Facebook Ads?”
There’s no secret recipe to deliver successful Facebook Ads for your roofing business, but there are plenty of best practices that can help your ads stand out.
The most obvious is to focus on your visuals.
While Google Ads rely on text, you have the ability to add graphics, photos, and videos to help your ad jump off your audience’s news feed. And with plenty of competing posts, pictures of people’s new babies, and competing roofing ads, you need your ad visuals to ‘WOW’ people.
If you’re looking to write awesome FB ads that bring you clicks, here are a few of our favorite tips for you to try out:
✔ Use Facebook targeting then write specific copy
Facebook offers an extremely accurate targeting system. If you want to show your ads to female homeowners who have recently gotten married and live in a certain postcode, you can! And once you’ve targeted your ad, make sure your copy speaks to that type of person only. Your website needs to speak to every possible roofing customer, but your Facebook Ads should be written to speak specifically to the type of person you’ve targeted.
✔ Use a range of Facebook Ads
Your Facebook Ads can be used to generate leads by giving away free guides and resources in exchange for people’s emails. Or you can run a ‘Free Roof Health Check’ offer that redirects people to a page on your website. With so many options, don’t limit yourself to just one type of ad. Experiment with lead ads, try running banner ads, see if carousel ads work for you. Using a range of ads means a). testing out each ad type Facebook offers and b). trying different combinations of images and text. The more you experiment, the sooner you’ll find a winning approach.
✔ Match your ad copy with your images
If your ad is for hail damage protection, make sure your picture of a powerful storm or smashed roof is connected with your copy – which speaks about the risks of storm damage, and the benefits of roof maintenance. When your copy and images work together, your roofing Facebook Ads will be more successful.
✔ Limit your CTA to one
Remember, Facebook users are at the ‘Awareness’ stage of their journey. Overloading them with info and options can scare them away. Each ad should direct people to do ONE thing. Whether it’s to click and claim a free roof audit or click to download a guide, make sure there’s only one option for people to choose from.
✔ Keep your language simple and direct
People are on Facebook to relax, pass the time, and maybe check out their old high school friends to see what they’ve been up to. They don’t want ads that smack of jargon or buzzwords. Keep your copy simple, focused on the benefits you offer to your customers, and written like you were chatting with a friend over the back fence. Simple language trumps an obvious ad loaded with roofing jargon every time.
Don’t forget about Instagram Ads for roofers
Think Instagram is only for influencers? Think again.
Instagram has 1 billion active monthly users, and plenty of those users are in the market for roof repairs, replacements, service, and maintenance.
It’s not possible to just post on your official roofing IG account, because your reach will be limited to the number of followers you have. But you can run paid Instagram ads for your roofing business and with an estimated 90% of IG users following at least one business account, there’s plenty of great reasons to run ads on Instagram.
Similar to Google and Facebook, Instagram ads allow you to target a specific audience based on pre-set filters. This makes sure your ads are only seen by the people most likely to use your services.
“What are Instagram Ads?”
Instagram Ads are posts or stories that you’ve paid to appear in people’s newsfeeds.
These posts look exactly like the type of organic post everyone makes on IG, but they’re identifiable thanks to a small ‘sponsored’ text.
IG ads are able to drive brand awareness, traffic, lead generation, and conversions and can be created in a range of formats, including:
Though each ad type offers its own format, they all rely on visuals and images – in line with Instagram’s overall business model – to drive results.
As Facebook owns Instagram, you can (and have to) use your Facebook Ads Manager to create and run your Instagram roofing ads.
“What can Instagram Ads do to help my roofing business?”
Google Ads get all the attention when the conversation turns to advertising, but Instagram Ads offer 11 ways to grow your roofing business.
We’ve mapped out these outcomes, which Instagram includes under the categories of ‘Awareness’, ‘Consideration’, and ‘Conversion.
Brand Awareness: Helps increase awareness of your business or products among users who haven’t heard of you yet.
Traffic: For clicks to your website, to your app, or to any other URL you choose.
Conversions: Drive sales and sign-up conversions on your website or app.
Reach: Shows your ad to as many people as possible in your target audience.
App Installs: Get users to download your app when they see the ad.
Catalog Sales: Promote sales of products from your online store catalog.
Engagement: Aims to increase the number of comments, likes, shares, event responses, and offer claims you receive.
Store Traffic: Direct users to your brick-and-mortar location.
Video Views: Share your video with those most likely to watch it.
Lead Generation: Gather lead data from users who click on the ad.
Messages: Get users to send a message to your brand account.
“How much do Instagram ads cost?”
It’s tough to measure the cost of each ad, as the keywords you target and level of competition you face will influence the CPC, but studies of over $100 million in Instagram ad spending has shown an average cost of $0.70 to $0.80 per click.
That doesn’t mean you’ll be paying those amounts for clicks, but it’s useful to see the ballpark figures to help you start coming up with a budget that works for you.
Your actual CPC will be influenced by:
Your ad placement
Your ad format
A more effective approach is to figure out what you’re willing to pay and work backwards using the CPC Formula we shared earlier in the guide.
And last but not least, YouTube Ads for roofers
YouTube ads for roofers are a lesser-known and less used form of advertising, but with the average view costing an average of $0.06 per click, you can reach a massive audience without spending big.
YouTube has more than 2 BILLION monthly users, so it’s possible to explore your visibility with roofing YouTube ads.
Since Google has owned YouTube since 2006, you can run YouTube ads through your Google Ads account, helping streamline the entire process if you’re doing it yourself.
There are three types of roofing ads you can run on YouTube, these include TrueView, Pre-Roll, and Bumper.
Standard video ad type
You only pay when your ad is clicked on or watched for a minimum of 30 seconds
Ads can show up on the YouTube homepage or as related videos
Ads can auto-play before someone watches a video
Non-skippable ads that auto-play before, during, or after a user watches a video
Shortest type of YouTube ad
Ads play for a maximum of 6 seconds and cannot be skipped by a user
You can set your own targeting to make sure your roofing YouTube Ads show to a specific audience – for example, broken down by age, location, gender, or interests.
Most roofers turn to Google Ads and Facebook Ads before diving into YouTube, and that’s something we recommend also. It’s better to nail your ad strategies on a select few platforms than spread yourself thin and start wasting money because you’ve overstretched.
But it’s useful to know you can tap into the audience of people looking for roofing videos on YouTube if you want a more advanced roofing ad option.
“Is print advertising for a roofing business dead?”
Not at all.
Digital advertising is more cost-effective than print advertising, but money isn’t everything.
Anyone can publish a blog or create a Facebook Ad, but there’s still prestige and professionalism that comes with physical, hand-held advertising material. This includes:
As a roofer, you can still use these print materials to build your exposure in a local area, offer time-sensitive promotions, and keep your business top of people’s minds.
These physical materials also hold an advantage over digital ads in that they can stay in people’s homes for months or years while social media ads get pushed down a scrolling news feed and Google Ads get bumped from the page when you stop running an ad campaign.
Does that mean you should go out and splash $4,000 on the nearest billboard? Not necessarily. Instead, use print advertising to work with your digital presence. For example:
Hand out flyers to your neighboring suburbs with a promotion on roofing services. Customers can claim this discount rate by heading to your website to enter the code printed on the flyer.
Give out branded fridge magnets to customers in a select area. This keeps your name and phone number in the most used room of a potential customer’s house.
Include QR codes on your direct mail that people can scan to receive discounts and promotions. This will help drive traffic to your website or landing page which has further SEO benefits (Google loves websites that get traffic).
Here are the 3 factors that affect the cost of all roofing ad campaigns
Advertising Run Time
What are your advertising goals?
Do you want more traffic to your site? More sign-ups to your roofing newsletter? More quote requests?
Certain goals may require a higher spend to compete with other roofers.
What is your advertising budget?
You’re in control of your monthly and daily spend, so you’ll never be stung with unexpected fees.
But your total ad budget will need to be big enough to help meet your goals.
How long are you planning to run your ad campaigns?
Ad campaigns are pay-per-click, so you’ll only be charged when your ads get a click.
But the longer your ads run, the higher your advertising spend.
Which of these roofing advertising ideas are you going to try first?
Roofing advertising in 2021 has evolved well beyond a sticker on the side of a van or dropping a few leaflets in your neighbor’s letterboxes.
Digital advertising is the most effective way to reach potential customers because that’s where your customers spend all their time. Studies have reported that users spend 53 minutes a day on Instagram, 38 minutes a day on Facebook, and 97% of people learn more about a business online than anywhere else.
In short, if you’re not advertising online you’re invisible.
Thankfully, you don’t need to throw cash at every roofing ad strategy in the book. With the right targeting and by using our formula to calculate your ideal cost-per-click (scroll back up if you missed it!!!) you can create a consistent supply of leads for your commercial or residential roofing business – at a price that works for you, and helps you generate a positive ROI.
Finally, time is money.
If you feel like launching and managing your own roofing ad campaigns will end up losing you money because you don’t have time to keep track of every detail, consider hiring a marketing agency to manage the process for you.
Looking for help running a profitable roofing ad campaign? We’ve generated over $200 million in leads for trade businesses and roofers.