Posted by Rich Harshaw on November 30, 2016.
Believe it or not, when it comes to PPC for Remodelers (or any business, really)…
…Bidding on a competitor’s name for your PPC campaign is not only kosher, but it’s also highly effective.
That’s what one of our clients recently discovered.
Here’s the story…
This client was dead set against anything and everything PPC.
His opinion was that it cost too much, it didn’t work, organic leads were better, and all the typical stuff the chorus of PPC skeptics repeat over and over.
One day, the client calls our Digital Services Director and says his competitor is getting way more leads than he is. He wanted to know why this was, and what MYM could do about it.
One quick Google search of our client’s company name is all it took to discover the problem…
His competitor was doing PPC… and bidding on our client’s name!
When we told our client the news, smoke poured out of his ears.
He wanted to know how the heck a competitor using his company’s name against him was fair practice.
After we explained it’s 100% white hat to bid on competitors’ names—and that it’s actually common—his blood pressure came back down to ordinary human levels. That’s when he realized he had to give PPC a shot.
Here’s what happened…
We launched the client’s PPC campaign on August 9th, 2016 with a monthly spend of around $3,000.
Our first step was to stop our client from hemorrhaging internet leads to his competitor.
We bid on our client’s name in an attempt to strong-arm his competitor’s PPC ads out of our client’s staked internet turf.
And it worked.
Shortly after we launched the client’s PPC campaign, his competitor’s PPC ads disappeared when you searched our client’s name. Our client’s PPC ads took their place.
Moral of the story: While it might seem like a waste of money to bid on your own name, it’s sometimes necessary to keep YOUR leads in YOUR wheelhouse. (Plus, it’s usually cheap.)
But using PPC to “play defense” against our client’s competitor was only a small part of the plan.
After we vanquished our client’s PPC opponent, the next step was to unleash an all-out PPC onslaught to get leads… lots and lots of leads.
Mission: Stunningly Successful.
Within 60 days of launching the client’s PPC campaign, we’ve delivered him 42 juicy leads for a dirt-cheap cost of $161.13 per lead.
Here’s a look:
And guess what?
As of today, the client’s cost per lead continues to trend down, while the number of leads pouring in goes up.
Yeah… it’s safe to say this client has changed his tune about PPC.
Here’s the takeaway…
You may be a PPC “Doubting Thomas.” But I guarantee you are nowhere near as cynical as this client was before we converted him into a “True Believer” in the power of PPC for Remodelers.
Honestly, the same is true for ALL remodelers. Exterior Remodelers, Painting Contractors, Siding Installation Companies, Window Replacement Companies, Interior Remodelers, …. I could go on and on.
For us to achieve this level of PPC success for you, though, you have to listen to exactly what we say.
- When we crunch the numbers for your PPC budget and tell you how much to spend, that’s how much you should spend.
- When we tell you that you’re missing too many calls during business hours, you better have someone manning your phones to take those hot-and-ready-to-go PPC leads that call you.
- When we review your missed opportunities with you (we record your phone calls and online chats, so you can see and fix your issues), take our advice for improvement.
Follow those simple instructions, and I guarantee—yes, GUARANTEE—MYM PPC will make you money.
It has for every single one of our PPC clients who play by the MYM rulebook.
Here’s a more complete picture on how our PPC delivers droves of cash-in-hand leads to your doorstep.
P.S. Here is a webinar I held in which I destroy everything you THINK you know about PPC, and why you’re getting screwed if you aren’t doing it the right way. She’s a long one, clocking in at 1 hour and 17 minutes. So if you only have a precious few minutes to spare, watch from 8:07 to 16:00 for a quick breakdown of why PPC is essential, and the three biggest reasons most contractors screw it up.
Posted by Rich Harshaw on November 29, 2016.
I’m a big fan of the billboard.
Because with a little research and a good, creative message, billboards can work stunningly well for medium – to large-sized remodeling companies.
But you have to do them right; otherwise, their big old wastes of space in the sky.
Here are the nine secrets of billboard-advertising domination:
1. Use billboards to supplement other advertising
Use billboards as part of a larger marketing campaign—they are most effective when they extend your brand’s reach. Radio and billboard go especially well together, since both are experienced (primarily) while driving.
The key here is to educate people about your company and identity (brand promise) in other media so they already know who you are, what you stand for, and why you’re a good choice to buy from. Then the billboard does its job by triggering that pre-existing information in their brain.
2. Location, location, location
Usually, your best bet for a billboard is a “right-hand reader,” which is a billboard on the right side of the road (and therefore closest to the cars passing it). “Cross readers”—billboards on the left side of the road—are often harder to see.
That said, I’ve seen plenty of right-hand readers placed right after a bridge or another spot that allow for only a split-second view.
The key is to make sure you see where the board is located before you invest in it.
3. Avoid roads with a lot of billboards
The more billboards on any particular road, the harder it is for yours to stand out. Nab yourself a prime billboard location in which yours is the only one clearly visible from a 100-yard range.
4. Brand consistency
If you have multiple billboards, make sure they have a consistent look, tone, color, and feel among them, as well as the rest of your marketing materials. Remember, one of the primary goals of the billboard is to trigger someone to remember what they already know about your company. Having consistency in your billboards will enhance this effect.
5. Simplicity is your friend
One of the most egregious mistakes I see with billboards is too many words, and/or text that’s too small. Billboards should generally be limited to three to seven main words (i.e., not including phone numbers, web addresses, etc.) so that people can read it at 60 MPH and absorb the message. Don’t assume people will pass the billboard several times a week and have a chance to “read the rest of the sign.”
Ensure the billboard contains enough color contrast so the words “pop.” Also make sure the font is clean, clear, and simple… and do NOT put words on top of images.
6. Get clever, get noticed
Like any other advertising, getting noticed is half the battle. And since there is so little space on a billboard, I’m a proponent of getting clever with the image and message. Don’t do anything obnoxious, but feel free to flex your creative muscle.
Here are a few ideas I came up with for a home services company:
- Ph.D. in PDQ (fast service)
- Greased Lightning (fast service)
- Orange Ya Gonna Call Us? (picture of their signature orange trucks)
- Faster Than A Speeding…. (picture of signature orange truck)
7. Memorable phone and email
Anytime you utilize a non-print advertising method, you need to make sure you’ve got a good, memorable phone number and web address. You can research good phone numbers at TollFreeNumbers.com. I highly recommend going toll-free due to the large number of area codes in most areas.
Don’t worry, for most parts of the country (small towns excepted), people won’t be scared off by 800 numbers. Also, make sure your web address is easy to remember!
8. Let your billboards percolate
Like other types of branding, billboards become more effective the longer they run. Don’t run billboards for a few months and quit—you’re just wasting your money.
Instead, find good locations, put up a good message, and let your billboards build powerful brand recognition for your company over the years. Change up the message every four to six months (negotiate this into your contract) to keep your billboard advertising fresh.
9. The moving billboard
If you have trucks, wrap them in your branding and—voilà!—get instant mobile billboards. The few thousand dollars it takes to wrap your plain work vehicles will pay off many times over in sales.
If you need help creating an effective billboard campaign message, MYM can help. Shoot us an email or pick up the phone and call us at (682) 514-9199. We’d love to help.
P.S. Next blog post I’ll reveal a PPC tactic that works amazingly well that practically no one uses. Why? Because they think it’s unethical! I’ll not only tell you why this PPC tactic is 100% ethical, but also how to use it as a weapon against your competitors.
Posted by Rich Harshaw on November 28, 2016.
If you build it, they will come.
That’s the memorable line from the classic movie Field of Dreams.
If you never got around to seeing it, here’s the three-sentence summary:
A man named Ray hears a voice tell him, “If you build it, they will come.”
Ray builds a baseball field instead of planting corn on his farm.
Everything turns out magical.
The movie has good messages… but “if you build it, they will come” is terrible business advice. Building something guarantees exactly NOTHING.
The only way prospects come to a website is the effective use of PPC and SEO.
Do you know a business owner who thinks that building a website is enough and that traffic will just magically appear?
Help them (and yourself, too).
Refer them to MYM.
And then if they sign-up with MYM, as a thank I will give you 3 months of our SEO Premium Service FREE.
That’s a $3,750 value.
You can email me and type “I have a referral for you. Please give me a call” and give us the best number to reach you.
A member of my team will call and I promise this will take a minuscule amount of your time… especially when you consider the value of the free SEO Premium service.
Posted by Rich Harshaw on November 22, 2016.
How do you measure a website’s success?
Traffic? Search engine rankings? Compliments from friends and family on how great it looks?
Wrong. Wrong. And really wrong.
The one true measure of a website’s success is QUALITY LEADS.
Period. End of story. Finito.
It’s like the one time a remodeler I call “Randy” called me sounding down in the dumps.
Here was the basic conversation:
Randy: My new website is first on Google and my traffic is higher than ever.
Me: So why are you calling me?
Randy: My old website never came up in search results, but it pulled in 5 to 10 leads a month. My new website is getting practically ZERO.
Me (looking at his website): That’s not surprising. How much did you spend on this new site?
Randy: $17,000 for the site and one year of SEO services.
Me: Can you get your money back?
Randy: (silence; possibly tears)
Here’s the deal…
SEO, PPC, and all of that other stuff are required to survive and thrive in the Wild West that is the World Wide Web.
But those things just bring the horses to water. It’s your website’s job to make ’em drink (i.e., get them to contact you).
Unfortunately, 99% of internet marketing companies focus solely on slick design and SEO. They don’t actually do what’s needed to make their clients’ websites CONVERT.
Here are some of the more common blunders I see when it comes to the average contractor’s website…
Blunder: Prioritizing Google Over People
Sure, optimizing your website for search engines is crucial. Necessary, in fact.
But most internet marketing companies concentrate on creating content that is so SEO friendly that they forget living, breathing human beings are the ones actually reading it.
So when a prospect reads the keyword-stuffed word salad on your website, they can’t click away fast enough.
For example, here was the main headline of Randy’s new website: “Home Windows Installed By Experts In Needham, Cape Cod, Newtonville, Cambridge, Plymouth, and Throughout South Shore, North Shore, and Eastern Massachusetts.”
Randy, if you’re reading this, this photo sums up my reaction to your headline:
Sorry, my friend.
Seriously, though, would you ever say the claptrap in the headline to a prospect in person? They’d think you’re an idiot and run as far away from you as possible.
It’s the same when the prospect sees it on your website. They read this garbage and instantly click away to find a contractor whose website CAN answer the question, “Why should I pick THIS company instead of all the others?”
And when that prospect finds someone answers the question, guess who they’re gonna call?
Hint: NOT the guy who says, “Home Windows Installed By Experts In Needham, Cape Cod, Newtonville, Cambridge, Plymouth, and Throughout South Shore, North Shore, and Eastern Massachusetts.”
Blunder: The Bait And Pounce
Stuffing your website with buttons, forms, and offers (“Get A Price,” “Visit Our Showroom,” “View Our Special Offers,” etc.) is what I call the “bait and pounce.” You give the prospect something to fill out, and then you pounce and sell.
Randy’s website had six—SIX!—of these bait-and-pouncers on his homepage. No wonder his shiny new website wasn’t generating leads.
Trust me: The bait and pounce is not a good way to sell in 2016.
I mean, let’s be honest… why would Joe Blow give you his precious contact info before he knows who you are, how you can help him, and what he can expect?
But if your website takes the time to explain who you are, why you’re better, and how you can help (in powerful, persuasive language), you build trust. Mr. Joseph Steven Blow will then naturally come to his own conclusion that he should call you.
And, yes, having a “Get A Quote” form on your site is okay. Just make sure it’s not the MAIN/ONLY thing prospects see when they first click on your website.
Website traffic, search engine rankings, PPC impressions… all of those things are important to your website.
But if you truly want to measure your site’s success?
Look at how many high-quality leads it’s generating.
Because leading a horse to water is pointless if you can’t make him drink.
P.S. Tomorrow I’ll spill the nine secrets to effective billboard advertising. You might already know a couple, but I guarantee a few surprises… especially number 5. Stay tuned.