George Faerber, co-owner of Bee Window, in Indianapolis, began to "seriously" market on the Internet three years ago. Conducting seminars and speaking at dealer meetings about his experience resulted in so many inquiries and requests that Faerber decided to launch BringMeMyLeads, a consulting company serving home improvement contractors who want to expand their Internet marketing efforts.

Replacement Contractor: Why have you gotten so heavily involved in Internet marketing?

George Faerber: About three years ago I stepped back and looked at where the audience was. You always want to look for where the customer is, and you want to be where the customer wants to be. Today, because of Internet technology, the consumer knows that they can get in real time any information they want on any product or service that they're thinking about. They're using the Internet and they're using it earlier in the buying cycle. Years ago consumers had to have six, eight, or 10 people out to the house just to find out what's in the market. No more.

RC: Does a contractor need to be "tech savvy" to market on the Internet?

GF: It doesn't have to do with how much you know technically but rather what are the capabilities that [the Internet] affords you and what kind of dollars are you willing to commit to that marketing.

RC: What percentage of Bee Window leads come from the Internet?

GF: About 35% of our business is coming from the Internet.

RC: Is that from your own site or from Internet lead suppliers such as ServiceMagic and CalFinder?

GF: We use both of those, but that's a smaller portion of our overall Internet lead base. I'd say it may be 8% to 10% from "purchased leads." The majority comes from our site, and the various things we do to drive traffic there, like PPC [pay-per-click] campaigns. That said, I do think that one of the things with the Internet is that it's difficult to measure the percentage of your business that's actually coming from there.

RC: What's your sense of how well home improvement contractors have adapted to marketing on the Internet?

GF: It's a new medium for many. Say a contractor had his site redesign done a year ago. We'll say: What were your Google analytics prior to the design? And he might not know. Or he might say he's doing a PPC campaign, and I'll say: What is your cost per conversion? And he won't know.

People are making decisions based on creative rather than factual numbers. The measurement tools that exist will allow you to demand accountability from vendors supplying you services.