Posted by Rich Harshaw on December 1, 2017.
So yesterday, I came across an amusing video by Mike Rowe from television’s Dirty Jobs. Not only is it hilarious, but it’s enormously relevant for contractors looking to improve their marketing.
In the video, Rowe reads an email his friend received from his friend’s daughter, Charlotte, who is an 11-year-old Girl Scout. She was looking to sell a certain amount of Girl Scout cookies to take a trip.
Charlotte heard from her dad that his friend was “rich.” Within the hour, she emailed the rich friend a powerful and persuasive sales letter. (If you have a daughter who is a Girl Scout, you know they get cutthroat about meeting their sales quotas.)
Before you go any further in this email, watch the video below to hear Rowe read the sales letter (he starts reading it around the 40-second mark):
Watched it? Good.
Did you count the number of persuasion elements in the letter? There’s a whole bunch. And you can use them all in your own marketing.
Let’s break down Charlotte’s powerful sales letter…
- Credentials (“I’ve sold the most boxes in my troop.”)
- Speaking directly to the prospect’s needs (“I heard you were looking to donate cookies to our soldiers…”)
- Specifics (detailing the taste of each cookie)
- A call to action (“I do hope you’ll purchase a few boxes from my website; the link is below.”)
- An honest, respectful, no-pressure sales approach (being truthful about which cookies she doesn’t like and which ones the prospect may like)
What stands out most to me about Charlotte’s sales letter is that last bullet. An honest and low-key “pitch” can often be THE most effective way to close the sale.
After all, who LIKES the feeling of being pressured into something?
After Rowe read this letter to hundreds of thousands of people on the internet, Charlotte’s little landing page was flooded with cookie orders. She met her goal the same day the video went viral.
That brings me to my point.
When you’re talking to potential customers, are you honest with them? Or do you just tell them what they want to hear?
If it’s the latter, it’ll come back to bite you.
Sooner or later, you’ll get exposed. Those empty promises will lead to unsatisfied customers, bad word of mouth, negative online reviews… the whole nine yards.
But if you’re honest with folks, they’ll reward you. Not just with their money, but with referrals, positive feedback, and repeat business.
At MYM, we use the “Charlotte” approach to selling. We dish the straight facts to potential clients. No fluff. No nonsense.
If the prospect likes what they hear, then we proceed. If not, then we wish them well. Strong-arming prospects into partnerships just isn’t our style.
It’s why we offer invaluable complimentary services to prospects like our Lead Generation Audit.
We’ll unleash thousands of dollars worth of resources—at no charge to you—to determine the effectiveness of your website, SEO, PPC, and internet marketing as a whole. Then we’ll give you the 100% honest truth about where you’re falling short… and what needs to happen to fix the problem.
If you’re interested, get a FREE Lead Generation Audit.
P.S. MYM’s Lead Generation Audit uncovers problems that aren’t even a blip on most contractors’ radar. So if your sales are lagging or your growth has stalled—and you just can’t figure out why—take advantage of our audit. It could be the catalyst that propels your business to where you WANT it to be.
Posted by Rich Harshaw on November 6, 2017.
In terms of ranking well on search engines, sometimes less is more.
Google used to base a large part of their ranking signals on update frequency. But that’s not necessarily the case anymore.
Now more than ever, the Google Gods place more value on QUALITY of content over QUANTITY.
This means one stellar piece of content has more search engine “oomph” than, say, four or five average-quality blog posts.
Once you know the reasons, it’s easy to see why. People will stay on a page with awesome content longer. They’re also more likely to share that content.
These are two things Google holds dear when determining rankings. Google wants to give users THE most relevant and engaging content on the web. And average time on a page and “share-ability” are very good metrics for that.
To accommodate Google’s former thirst for frequency, we used to create 15 blog posts a month for our SEO clients. We’d post this content on their blogs two or three times per week.
The posts themselves were well-written, but not earth-shaking. And they weren’t meant to be. Like I said, we were going with what would make clients rank the highest. And that involved creating new blog fodder constantly.
Until very recently, this strategy worked. The posts would rank well, and everything was peachy-keen.
Over the past eight months or so, however, we noticed our onslaught of “pretty good” blog posts were not ranking as well as they once were. Not even close.
Google launched another algorithm update, as they’re so fond of doing. Emphasis on FREQUENCY went down; the importance of QUALITY went up.
Google now penalizes you for posting too many articles a month with too little content. For example, if you’re posting 20 articles a month—and they’re all 300 words or less, have obsessive amounts of keywords, and you’re not a news site—you’ll get dinged with a Spam/Keyword Stuffing penalty.
We’re always on our toes to keep up with Google’s constant algorithm changes. As soon as we saw what we WERE doing was no longer working, we immediately called an audible.
MYM COO Bryan Bauman and the entire SEO team got together to work on a new blog-content strategy for our upgraded SEO clients. We determined we needed to “beef up” the posts we were delivering to clients. This meant creating better, cornerstone content that is powerful, informative, interesting, sharable, and laced with all the SEO elements Google eats up.
To achieve this, we had to do three things:
- Reduce the number of posts we provided from 15 to 4. Creating truly captivating content takes time; writing 15 A+ posts per month just isn’t possible.
- Bring aboard some more high-caliber content writers. We hired a new, highly experienced content writer a few months ago. (And we’re looking to add two more in 2018.)
- Set up one-on-one time with our content writers and upgraded SEO clients. We now have regular content-strategy calls with our upgraded SEO clients. We go over the clients’ goals for their blogs, see what products they want to push for that time frame, and how hard they want to hit particular keywords.
Here are a couple examples of the kind of meaty blog content we’re NOW producing:
- How To Manage An Unhappy Home Remodeling Client
- Does James Hardie Fiber Cement Cost More Than Vinyl Siding?
Read through these posts and think about what this type of content can do for your internet marketing.
It’s engaging. It’s shareable. It’s SEO-friendly. It ticks all the boxes for what a quality blog post is SUPPOSED to be.
Get more information about our SEO Services here. Then, get in touch with us if you want to take your blog—and search rankings—to new heights.
P.S. Don’t get me wrong… quantity IS still important for search rankings. Your website needs a steady stream of content to remain relevant in Google’s eyes. But that content must engage your audience. If it doesn’t, no one will read it… and your rankings will sink faster than a fishing boat made of Swiss cheese.
Posted by Rich Harshaw on November 2, 2017.
In April, I told you about a new website we launched for Zen Windows Des Moines.
They are a newer company that started toward the end of 2016. Prior to working with MYM, they had no website. Their online presence consisted of a single biography page on the Zen Windows corporate website.
Since we the site launched the site in April 2017, we’ve been busy adding upgrades to make it even better.
Here’s a look at some of the new features we’ve added:
1. A slick chat box prompt that instantly captures your eye and moves down the page as you scroll.
2. An awesome animated video near the middle of the page that encapsulates the client’s Identity.
3. A succinct Why Choose Zen Windows section that distills the company’s Identity into easy-to-digest bullets.
4. A free guide (one that actually delivers value) to capture lead information.
I’ll keep you updated on Zen Windows Des Moines’ progress in a future email. For now, visit the MYM website if you need help producing marketing that gets results: https://mymonline.com/
P.S. Take a look at your website address real quick. Does it start with “http” or “https”? If it’s “http,” your website is vulnerable to hackers. Here’s why you need to move your website from http to https NOW.
Posted by Rich Harshaw on June 6, 2017.
When it comes to ranking on Google, patience is an agonizing virtue.
Even when you do everything right with SEO, it can still take months just to START seeing a positive trend in your rankings.
But if you can endure the long and painful wait, you’ll be richly rewarded.
Case in point…
We recently saw some VERY strong upward ranking trends for our client Zen Windows Des Moines.
Zen Windows Des Moines opened in September 2016. Prior to working with MYM, they had no website. They had only a bio page on the main Zen Windows website and a Facebook account. We had to build their online presence from the ground up.
That makes the rankings I’m about to show you extra impressive.
Between April 24th and May 23rd (our SEO reporting period for the month), almost every one of their keywords improved in ranking. Some jumped as many as 80 to 99 spots!
The most dramatic improvement was for the keyword “casement window Des Moines.” Just a month ago, Zen Windows Des Moines was nowhere to be found on Google for this keyword. Now, they’re…
The 1st ad you see in PPC
#3 in the Google Local Pack (under the map)
#22 in the organic listings for their blog (yes, the blog!)
#20 in the organic listings for Super Pages (one of the business listings we manage for clients)
And like I said, it’s not just “casement windows Des Moines” that has improved. Keyword results are up across the board (keywords blurred for client privacy):
The rest of Zen Windows’ sweet rankings: page 1
The rest of Zen Windows’ sweet rankings: page 2
A few takeaways from these rankings if you’re a contractor:
- Your blog is really important for SEO.
- Your business listings are really important for SEO.
- Landing a spot on the Google Local Pack is HUGE for getting leads.
- PPC is a great for “skipping ahead of the line” and claiming real estate at the very top of page one.
- Once your SEO “gains traction” in Google’s rankings—and you remain steadfast in your commitment to the optimization process—you’ll start to experience more and more amazing results every month.
Remember: These rankings for Zen Windows Des Moines are after only three and a half months… and with zero prior SEO “foundation” to work from.
While results vary from client to client, this case study reveals how quickly our clients can gain SEO traction when they begin working with MYM.
I’ll keep you posted on Zen Windows Des Moines’ progress in future emails; there are sure to be bigger and better SEO results in the coming months.
In the meantime, head over to MYM’s SEO page for details about our SEO services and pricing. Also take advantage of our free Lead Generation Audit to see where your website is ranking on Google right now.
P.S. Did you know 92% of consumers read online reviews before contacting a contractor? Next post, I’ll reveal why it’s good business to respond to your online reviews—good AND bad. I’ll even provide the blueprint on EXACTLY what to say.