If you’re a locksmith operating in the UK, one of the most important factors that affects your business operations is how many customers you serve and how they find you. Digital marketing is one of the most essential modern tools for expanding your business reach as a locksmith, especially if you are a sole trader and you operate a small, independent business and need to compete with bigger national franchises.
I’m a locksmith! Why do I need digital marketing?
One of the biggest problems that many locksmiths in the UK face is that they may not be doing as much business as they’d like to. You could be the best, most qualified and most experienced locksmith in your area, but if you aren’t putting any effort into marketing, it may be awfully hard for prospective customers to find you.
Digital marketing can help to solve this problem, as can many other more traditional forms of marketing that you may or may not be doing already. Painting or vinyl wrapping your work van, for example, has long been and will continue to be an excellent way for customers to find you, but the reach is only limited to where your vehicle is at any given time.
Therefore, digital marketing is a must for locksmiths as it is for many other small businesses in order to grow your digital presence and to generate leads from your target audience.
Audience targeting & segmentation for locksmiths
Speaking of target audience, who exactly are you marketing your services to as a locksmith? Realistically, the answer shouldn’t just be “everyone.” Instead, you should be researching a little on your target demographic, which can vary from business to business. Knowing your target audience can greatly help you narrow down your marketing efforts to genuine leads.
For a simple example, you likely aren’t targeting your locksmithing services to minors or tourists. You may instead be more successful by narrowing your target audience to homeowners, business owners, letting agencies, or to police or government authorities. For the first two, you may do most of your work on an ad hoc basis, whereas for the latter two, you may be more interested in securing an ongoing trade contract for continual work.
Once you’ve narrowed down your target audience, you can then segment your audience by various metrics to gain further insight into how to dedicate your marketing resources. For example, you may wish to do more marketing to prospective customers living in neighbourhoods with high rates of property crime as this may be an indication that homeowners are in need of increased property security.
On the other hand, this may be survivorship bias and you may instead find it beneficial to target low-crime neighbourhoods using the assumption that they are frequently requesting locksmithing services in order to keep their properties secure.
Digital marketing tips for locksmiths in the UK
Digital marketing is a broad marketing approach and a vast discipline with many specific strategies that can be implemented, we’ve shortened some of the most popular strategies specifically for locksmiths in the UK below:
Creating a website
One of the best long-term digital marketing tips is to create a website for your locksmithing business. A website is critically important for growing an online presence and for attracting leads, and it also gives your business a sense of reputability and trust (which are extremely important to garner as a locksmith).
How minimal or how comprehensive you want to make your business website is up to you. At the very least, a simple landing page showcasing your business logo, coverage area, trading hours, contact information and services are needed. Adding more web pages containing detailed services, testimonials, or other quality content can further add depth to your website.
In the past, building a website was either extremely time-consuming or very costly if outsourced to a web developer. The cost today for a high-quality website may still be high, but perhaps it’s justifiable. What may be preferable, however, is creating your own website using a free website builder. Many services exist online that enable you to quickly and easily create a beautiful albeit simple website without any technical knowledge required.
Whichever choice you decide to make for creating a website, consider having one no matter how simple and barebones it may be.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
A more advanced but nonetheless important strategy to at least know about as a locksmith is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). It’s one thing to have a website, but how well is it ranking on popular search engines?
If your business is showing up after the 10th page of Google Search results, for example, the likelihood of anyone clicking on your website through Google is very low. The vast majority of users only ever click on results on the first page, and the vast majority of them only ever click on the first few results at the top of the page.
SEO uses a wide variety of tactics which improve the likelihood of your website showing up higher in search engine results, and the complexity of SEO is way beyond the scope of this article. Moreover, SEO practises are often fairly vague as they rely on trying to understand closely-held secrets like the Google Search algorithm. In other words, it’s a shot in the dark at worst but can show consistent and promising results in the long term at best.
The variance is very high and the amount of time needed to master SEO are simply not worth it for a locksmith. If you choose to outsource this important digital marketing strategy to an SEO consulting firm, the cost may be too high for your needs.
A good middle ground is to abide by Google’s EEAT guidelines when creating content online and to use long-tail keywords, such as “dependable locksmith in Swindon” or “residential locksmiths in Manchester,” for example.
Another important tip for expanding your digital marketing efforts is to have select social media profiles created. This does not necessarily mean that you must have your business present on every single social media app, but you should at least be visible on a few relevant social media platforms.
Some popular social media platforms that may be relevant for locksmiths in the UK include Instagram and Facebook, both of which provide ample opportunities to list your business, include contact details, and more. Instagram in particular can be an excellent way to showcase your work and your vehicle, for example. Facebook is widely used and provides many methods of directly reaching out to customers and answering enquiries, for example.
You do not necessarily need to be very active on social media if you don’t enjoy using it, but an active social media presence can be highly effective at attracting leads and improving engagement, which in turn adds a sense of trust and reputability to your business.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising
For many business owners, including locksmiths, an effective way to guarantee that your business is seen online is through Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising. Google, for example, makes it relatively easy to create an advert for your business and to promote it at the top of the search results for a given keyword, e.g. “affordable locksmith in Colchester.”
The advantages to PPC advertising are that they guarantee your business will be seen, so long as the campaign is funded and running, as well as reasonably good click-through rates (CTRs) if your advert is relevant.
The downsides, however, are important to note as well. PPC advertising is a good short-term strategy for boosting your visibility online, but they do nothing to assist your business with growing organic traffic online in the long term. For long-term lead generation, you are better off investing time and resources into creating a website, SEO, and being active on social media.
Moreover, PPC advertising can be extremely expensive, depending on the competitiveness and cost for your desired keyword. Make the keyword too vague or too long and you may end up paying less for each click, but you risk getting too few clicks to make it worth it. Make the keyword too short (and therefore much more competitive) and you could be paying a small fortune for every click.
Email marketing campaigns
To many younger lads and lasses, email may seem like an old-fashioned way of communication and perhaps an antiquated medium for advertising. The truth of the matter is that email marketing is actually one of the most consistent and effective ways of marketing your business.
Email marketing requires you to build an email list, which of course can be made much more effective through a website or social media profile. Once people have clicked to consent to receive emails from you, you can then create marketing campaigns to reach out to them with quality content and offers. Note that your email campaigns must be GDPR-compliant and you should never engage in purposely sending spam emails that offer little to no value to the recipients.
Rated Locksmiths network
All of the above strategies can be excellent for building your online presence, but they all require a commitment of time and money — sometimes a substantial amount of one or both. Although it is recommended that locksmiths in the UK take advantage of some or all of these strategies, they may not be enough to truly reach out to prospective customers in need of a good and reliable locksmith.
Rated Locksmiths is an excellent platform whereby locksmiths can join and gain a greater online presence and generate more quality leads. Our team leverages digital marketing strategies such as SEO and PPC advertising to improve search engine ranking, increase incoming traffic from paid adverts and from organic traffic, and to boost the visibility of our member partners.
From the perspective of the customer, Rated Locksmiths is a simple and straightforward way to find locksmiths in the UK that have been vetted and approved for quality. We endeavour to make the process as easy as possible for customers in the UK to visit our website and to search for locksmiths that cover their postcode area.
When used in conjunction with your own marketing efforts, such as having a website and engaging with customers on social media, being a member of the Rated Locksmiths network will amplify your online visibility and drive in more leads. One worry you may have, however, is how much it will cost per lead. Rated Locksmiths does not charge per lead; our flat fee of £40 monthly enables us to continue building our platform and to pay for our own marketing campaigns whilst you receive more leads for more locksmithing jobs from customers near you.
Manage your reputation carefully
As a locksmith operating in the UK, improving your digital marketing efforts through the above approaches can help you get noticed, but there is still more work to be done to help your business succeed and thrive amongst the competition.
It is fairly well-known that locksmithing is unregulated in the UK and many rogue traders operate as locksmiths, scamming customers out of their hard-earned money. This unfortunately damages the reputation of locksmithing as a whole, and customers rightfully are becoming more cautious about who they call when they’re locked out of their homes or businesses.
The bad news is that many of these scammers also engage in digital marketing techniques, so simply being visible may not be good enough these days. For genuine, hardworking independent locksmiths, it is essential to build, maintain, and manage the reputation of your business carefully.
Reputation management is an ongoing effort, and it requires many soft skills and social skills. For starters, you should be able to reliably respond to enquiries by telephone, email, or on social media. For example, if it takes you a day to respond to a phone call, how can you be expected to respond to a property lockout in an emergency (if you advertise emergency lockout assistance)?
If your business is receiving positive feedback, a simple “thank you” to your valued customers should be easy enough to give. Responding to negative comments or complaints, however, requires a lot more diplomacy and these comments are arguably far more critical to address properly. When a complaint can be professionally addressed and/or rectified for the customer, you could be greatly improving your disposition and reputation amongst customers, especially if these complaints are publicly viewable on social media.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
There are many other approaches to digital marketing that may or may not be ideal for a locksmith in the UK than those mentioned above, and it’s generally good advice to diversify where you allocate your resources. Naturally, you may find that you’re generating more leads from one or a few sources than others, at which point you can direct more of your attention to those that you think will perform better.
If most of your customers find you through a Facebook profile, for example, you may decide to allocate more of your time and energy to responding to comments, posting photos of completed jobs or advertising your services.
In this regard, joining the Rated Locksmiths network as a member locksmith is a simple strategy that requires a minimal dedication of your precious time and resources. We do all of the digital marketing for your business so that you can spend more of that precious time meeting with new customers and doing what you do best as a locksmith.
Become a Rated Locksmiths member
Interested in becoming a member of the Rated Locksmiths platform? Get in touch with us! After successfully undergoing a vetting and approval process, you’ll be listed on our network along with your own custom locksmith profile.