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Is SEO for contractors finally dead?

A few years ago, one of the most important things a contractor could do with their internet marketing was to get a coveted top spot in Google’s organic search results.

If you could land in one of those first three organic results for your keywords, you were golden. Prospects would visit your website by the bus full.

Those days are over. And they’re never coming back.

Why?

I’ll explain…

First, though, let’s define an important term: blue-link organic result.

You know what I’m talking about. This is the blue, hyperlinked text that is not a paid ad or in the Local 3-Pack.

Here’s an example:

 

Blue-link organic results used to rule the roost.

Today, they sometimes don’t appear until the middle of the results page. Especially for remodeling and home improvement keywords.

What changed?

First, Google started placing more emphasis on paid search results. Now if someone searches for a contractor, two to four paid ads (a.k.a. PPC ads) typically take the top spots.

Here’s an example when I typed “replacement windows Rochester NY”:

 

It’s easy to understand why Google did this. PPC is where they make the bulk of their money. So of course they’re going to give paid ads the top spots.

Until recently, blue-link organic results would show underneath PPC ads. But that’s changing, too.

Now, the Local 3-Pack typically shows up underneath the paid search results.

The Local 3-Pack appeared underneath the PPC ads for “replacement windows Rochester NY”:

Which businesses show up in the Local Pack is largely dependent on the location of the searcher. If three of your competitors are closer to a prospect than you, they will probably get the Local Pack slots when that prospect searches for a contractor. (I’ll tell you how to optimize your search marketing for Google’s Local Pack in a future email.)

Google puts the Local 3-Pack above the blue-link organic results because it provides more info about local companies right off the bat. Google wants to remain king of the search-engine hill. So making the top organic results more informative is a logical business move.

After the paid ads and Local 3-Pack finally come the organic blue-link organic results. In the “replacement windows Rochester NY” example, the blue-link organic results don’t start until more than halfway down the page!

 

To prove to you this particular keyword is no anomaly, here’s what happened when I searched “kitchen remodeler Royal Oak MI”:

 

To be clear: Not ALL search results are like this for remodeling keywords. Some may have four PPC ads. Some may not have a Local 3-Pack. But A LOT of them do.

Now think about this: With all those enticing paid ads and the spiffy Local 3-Pack, how many prospects are actually going to scroll all the way down to the blue-link organic results? Not many.

But that’s not the only bad news for blue-link organic results.

(Yes, there’s more.)

Below is a closer look at that first organic blue-link result for “kitchen remodeler Royal Oak MI.” What do you notice?

 

Yep… the first three results are taken by Angie’s List, Houzz, and HomeAdvisor. These 3rd-party companies typically hog the first two or three blue-link organic results for highly searched remodeling keywords. And there’s not much you can do to beat them. They are huge companies that specialize in matching homeowners to contractors. So of course Google is going to give them the red-carpet treatment.

So… is SEO dead for remodeling contractors? Do we stick a fork in it and call it done?

Not so fast.

While blue-link organic search results don’t have the prominence they used to, SEO is still extremely important for contractors.

Some keywords that prospects use to find you don’t have all the fancy-schmancy paid ads and Local Packs.

I’ll show you an example. Here is what pops up when I search “vinyl vs fiberglass windows Rochester NY”:

 

Boom.

  • No paid ads.
  • No Local 3-Pack.
  • No Angie’s List or HomeAdvisor.
  • And the first two results are for local window contractors.

Here’s another example. This time, I searched “vinyl windows price Twin Cities”:

Just one paid ad, while the rest are blue-link organic results directly from local contractors’ websites.

So… why don’t paid ads and the Local 3-Pack show up for THESE keywords?

You don’t see paid ads here because people searching these kinds of keywords probably aren’t looking to buy right now. They are still researching things like price and difference in materials. In other words, they are still actively in “investigation” mode.

As such, companies don’t bid on these keywords because they won’t yield as many leads. (People who click on PPC ads are typically looking to purchase ASAP).

As for why there is no Local 3-Pack for these search terms, it’s simple: Since these keywords are more “researched-oriented,” there really is not a way for Google create a local pack for them.

What is the takeaway here? It all boils down to the proper combination or PPC and SEO.

Use PPC to scoop up the hot-’n’-ready buyers. Use SEO and “educational” keywords to catch prospects who are further behind in the buying process. This way, you’re capturing leads from every end of the buying spectrum.

Win-win.

If you want to snag as many leads as are available in your area RIGHT NOW, get yourself set up with MYM No-Risk PPC. You can add $1.5 to $3 million in sales in 12 months… with no money up front and ZERO risk.

We can also improve your SEO. Click here for more info about our comprehensive Search Engine Optimization package.

-Rich

 

 

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Use this calculator to see how much you can make with No-Risk PPC

After a previous not-so-tiny post comparing No-Risk PPC Leads to Angie’s List leads, I’ll keep things short and sweet.

On the lower third of the No-Risk PPC page is a Sales Calculator.

Image: No-Risk PPC Calculator.png

You input the number of monthly leads you want, your average project sale, and your close rate percentage.

As you enter your numbers, the calculator automatically computes your estimated monthly and yearly sales totals with No-Risk PPC.

Here’s an example (I made up the numbers):

  • Number of monthly leads you want: 75
  • Your average project sale: $12,000
  • Your close-rate percentage: 30%
  • Estimated sales per month with No-Risk PPC: $270,000 
  • Estimated sales per year with No-Risk PPC: $3.24MM

Try the calculator yourself to see how much you could earn.

It’s a little over halfway down the page.

-Rich

Look for a later post where I’ll reveal the blind spots in your business that infuriate your customers… and you don’t even know you’re doing them!

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I Insist You Read Every Single Word Of This Immediately

Read these two phrases:

  1. We Do The Job Right The First Time.
  2. We Always Insist That Every Job Be Done Exactly Right The First Time… Zero Exceptions.

The first phrase conveys a nice idea in a straightforward manner. Unfortunately, it’s also bland, uninspired, and expected. No one reading it would give it a second glance.

The second phrase is different.

It’s got “oomph.” Power. Panache. It’s bold and borderline brash. You picture a person saying this to be someone who follows through on their promises—period.

It’s also unexpected. It makes the reader do a double take and think, “Did I read what I just think I read?”

This is why the second phrase will win tons of customers, while the first will have to beg for scraps.

Why am I telling you this?

A huge part of marketing for remodelers is GETTING PEOPLE TO BELIEVE WHAT YOU SAY.

And to do that, you must convey what you’re saying with power, passion, and precision.

To help you, I’ll share two categories of power words with you: Absolutes and Commandos. These words will power-up your copy like Super Mario after snacking on a mushroom.

Let’s start with absolutes. Absolutes strengthen your writing by making claims in—yep—absolute terms instead of vague terms.

Here are some examples:

  • All: All work is done by master-craftsman level carpenters. All employees must attend mandatory training for 3 hours a week. All windows are installed by W2 employees, not contract labor.
  • Always: We always finish the job when we say we will. We always leave our work space cleaner than we found it. We always do what we say we will do.
  • Every: Every detail is carefully monitored to ensure quality. Every single job is assigned priority status within our system. Every imaginable precaution is taken to assure quality.
  • Never: We never apply any sales pressure. We never shortcut quality. We never quote one price then charge another.
  • Only: We only use the highest quality materials. We only allow W2 employees to set foot in your home. We only specialize in high-end artistic kitchens and bathrooms.

Commandos are similar to Absolutes, and you can usually use the two in tandem. Commandos suggest rigid inflexibility—an unyielding nature that makes readers believe you truly mean what you say.

Examples:

  • Demand: You should demand that any remodeler provide you with at least 1,000 references. We demand perfection from our installers. We demand all salespeople take ten hours of sensitivity training prior to letting them service customers.
  • Eliminate: We eliminate every hint of stress from the remodeling process. We eliminate the uncomfortable sales pressure applied by most companies. We eliminate the three-week waiting process and install your windows the very next day.
  • Expect: You can expect our salesperson to be in and out and gone in less than an hour. You can expect the final price to match the quote to the penny. We expect our installers to arrive on time, to have a clean and friendly appearance, and to do the job right.
  • Insist: We insist that all workers arrive on time, wearing clean uniforms. We insist on gutting the window and installing new ones from scratch. We insist subcontractors sign our “worker code of ethics” agreement prior to starting with us.
  • Refuse: We refuse to install inferior products—even if our customers request them. We refuse to expose our clients to high-pressure salesmen. We refuse to accept payment until you say you’re 100% satisfied with the job.

Once you get a feel for these two sets of words, you can start to combine them to really crank up the power:

  • always insist
  • absolutely refuse
  • never require
  •  always eliminate

And so on.

To learn more about how powerful and passionate language will propel a plethora of customers into your arms, visit MYM’s Identity webpage.

Thanks!

-Rich

P.S. Lyndon B. Johnson once said, “What convinces is conviction. Believe in the argument you’re advancing. If you don’t, you’re as good as dead.” As a former president, LBJ was probably pretty good at the whole conviction thing, wouldn’t you say?

In fact, LBJ’s Wikipedia entry states, “As a leader in the Senate, Johnson became known for his domineering personality and the ‘Johnson treatment,’ his aggressive coercion of powerful politicians to advance legislation.” He didn’t mess around!

 

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The 3 Simple Conditions For Becoming A No-Risk PPC Client

In past emails, you have noticed I’ve mentioned conditions for being eligible for No-Risk PPC.

To recap, the conditions for being a No-Risk PPC client are as follows…

  1. You can handle at least 30 leads per month.
  2. You’re good about answering your phone.
  3. You pay for the leads promptly.

Reasonable requirements, right?

Still, I do get questions about these conditions. So I’ll answer the most common ones right now…

“Why Is There A 30-Lead Monthly Minimum?”

If a company can handle at least 30 PPC leads per month without breaking a sweat, it tells us that company is firmly established and has the ability to grow. These are the kinds of companies we love to partner with.

What’s great about No-Risk PPC is that it can finance the growth of your company.

For example…

Let’s say you can handle 30 leads per month right now, and not a single lead more.

The business you accumulate through No-Risk PPC will allow you to grow into a higher lead count at a natural pace. You’ll consistently be able to devote more resources to handling more jobs with the extra money you’re bringing in.

In no time, your 30-leads-a-month capacity will become 40. Then 50. Then 75. Then 100. And so on.

“Why Do I Need To Answer My Phone?”

One: MYM generates the leads and bills you for said leads after we deliver them to you. In other words, we’re footing the money up front. And we’re not going to put in all the work and spend our own cash only for a client to not answer their phone.

Two: Unanswered phone calls increase your cost per lead (CPL). PPC leads are looking to buy right now. If you miss their call, or don’t call them back within five minutes, they’ll move on to the next guy. Since we cover the difference if the CPL is more than $200, missed calls take money out of our pocket.

“What Do You Mean By ‘Prompt Payment’?”

We send you an invoice every two weeks for the leads you acquired. For example: An invoice you received on 1/11/18 will be for leads you accumulated between 12/25/17 and 1/9/18.

The amount is billed to you five days later. This gives you time to review the invoice and dispute any leads. If the dispute has merit, we inform our accounting department, which adjusts the billing accordingly.

We require prompt payment because we pay for your leads up front. Essentially, this is a professional version of “The Honor System.” We do the legwork and spend the money to get you the leads; we trust you to pay us for our work and the money we spent in a reasonable time frame.

Want To Know more? Let’s Talk…

If you have any more questions, email noriskppc@mymonline.com or fill out the contact form on the No-Risk PPC page. We’d be happy to talk to you.

Thanks!

-Rich

P.S. When you reach out to us about No-Risk PPC, we can also discuss your situation, lead goals, and what the program can do for your company. We’ll perform the necessary research and provide details on the average number of leads you can expect, and for the estimated cost per lead.

 

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