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Is Your Website Ready For Local SEO In 2020? 2020 Local SEO Checkup For Your Service Business

As a local service provider (e.g., painter, plumber, landscaper, electrician, cleaner, etc.) you have probably noticed that more customers are finding your business via online searches.

With 97% of consumers learning more about a local company online than anywhere else and 46% of all Google searches seeking local information, optimizing your website for local SEO is key to generating more leads and growing your business.

However, Google changes the rules of the SEO game frequently by updating its algorithm. While this helps deliver relevant results to searchers, it has become more challenging for business owners to keep up with the latest SEO best practices so their websites can consistently show up at the top of relevant search engine result pages (SERPs).

When you lose your position on search results, the number of website visitors may go down and Google may interpret the signal as your site not being as helpful to users — creating a vicious cycle that would hurt your SEO.

Is your website SEO-ready for 2020 and beyond?

Now is the time to do a local SEO checkup for your website!

SEO Check-Up For Your Local Service Business Website

Here are the key areas to evaluate when optimizing your website for local SEO:

Do You Have Local Content and Location Information?

Publishing fresh, timely, and engaging content regularly helps you show up on Google’s radar. Meanwhile, including local search terms (e.g., town or city name, local events, or local landmarks) can increase your ranking on local search results. Mentioning local news and sharing educational content related to local conditions helps signal relevance to search engines while positioning you as a local expert to build trust.

Experiment with different content formats to increase engagement and dwell time, which is a significant ranking factor. For example, post infographics, how-to videos, or photos of your team participating in local events to make the content more interesting.

Also, include information about your location, such as address and phone number, on various pages and the website’s footer area. Add locally descriptive copy in the “About Us” page and add a Google Map to your “Contact Us” page. Make sure your contact information (e.g., name, address, phone number) is identical to that on your Google My Business listing and other online profiles.

Are You Leveraging the URL, Title Tags, Meta Descriptions, and Headers?

Each page on your website gives you an opportunity to rank for a geographic search phrase and get found by searchers in the area. Besides the content on each page, you should also optimize the URL, title tag, meta description, and header tags to include relevant search terms and keywords, such as the name of the cities or areas where your audience are located and the specific services that you provide.

Title tags and meta descriptions are displayed on search engine results so you should optimize them to drive high-quality traffic. Meanwhile, the header tags help organize your content to improve the website’s user experience while helping search engines understand your pages’ content, thereby increasing the likelihood that your site will show up on relevant search results.

Title tags and meta descriptions are displayed on search engine results so you should optimize them to drive high-quality traffic. Meanwhile, the header tags help organize your content to improve the website’s user experience while helping search engines understand your pages’ content, thereby increasing the likelihood that your site will show up on relevant search results.

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Also, research long-tail keywords and incorporate them in your title tags, meta descriptions, and header tags. These long search phrases are less competitive and more likely to drive traffic that is looking for your exact services and ready to hire you right away.

Is Your Website Mobile-Optimized?

Did you know that 89% of consumers search for local businesses on their smartphones every week and 58% do so daily?

With more people using mobile devices to conduct online activities, it’s important that your website is optimized for a fast and streamlined mobile experience to increase engagement and signal relevance to search engines.

Not to mention, Google’s algorithm prioritizes mobile-friendly websites so using a responsive template, reducing load speed, simplifying navigation, and leveraging mobile-optimized features such as tap-to-call and location services can help improve your search engine rankings.

Have You Created Individual Service Pages?

While it’s may seem easier to list all your offerings on a single “Services” page, doing so may hurt your SEO because it doesn’t allow you to rank for specific search terms used by prospects with high purchase intent.

Instead, create one page for each service so you can target the most relevant long-tail keywords. This will also improve the clarity of the site map so search engines can better index your site and rank your pages. Similarly, if you service multiple cities, you should create an individual landing page for each location to rank for local terms.

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Also, optimize your site with local business schema (also called structured data markup), which is a set of codes added to webpages to help search engines understand who you are, what you do, where you’re located, and how you may be relevant to searchers. This is the key to getting listed on the Local Pack at the top of Google search results.

Internal and External Linking Structure

Adding internal links from one webpage to another on your website helps support website navigation, improve website hierarchy, and build page authority. This will not only assist search engines index your site but also improve the user experience. Visitors will stick around longer and view more pages — signaling relevance to Google and boosting your search engine ranking.

Meanwhile, external links from high-authority third-party sites (e.g., Yelp, Google, Facebook) and local directories can improve your SEO. It’s important to make sure that the information on your profiles and listings (e.g., company name, phone number, address) are exactly the same as that on your website. You can do so by mirroring your Google My Business listing to maintain consistency.

Up Your SEO Game with an Optimized Website

Having an SEO-optimized website will not only help you improve SEO ranking and drive high-quality traffic but also engage your visitors to signal relevance to search engines — creating a virtuous cycle that will further boost your SEO.

Not to mention, a high-converting website is key to maximizing profits from your investment in SEO and online ads.

That’s why at 99 Calls, we don’t just run Google Ads for local service businesses . We make sure that they’re part of an effective lead generation strategy by setting up an SEO-optimized, high-converting website so you can attract high-quality leads and get the most of your marketing dollars.

Learn more about 99 Calls Lead Generation services or get in touch to see how we can help.

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Top Marketing Trends For Local Service Businesses in 2020

Consumer expectations are changing rapidly and marketing technologies are evolving at a fast pace to help businesses meet their customers’ needs and stay ahead of the competition.

It’s not always easy for local service businesses (e.g., painter, plumber, landscaper, house cleaning service) to keep up with all the new marketing trends. What should you focus on in 2020 to get the most from your marketing budget?

In this article, we’ll show you how to expand your reach, build relationships, generate more leads, and increase sales in 2020.

Top Marketing Trends For Local Service Businesses

For local businesses, search engine marketing (SEM) will become more important than ever. Meanwhile, consumers expect a highly relevant customer experience, regardless of how they interact with your business. Here are the key trends you can’t afford to ignore:

 1. Mobile Ads

88% of searchers that look up local businesses on a mobile device either call or visit the business within 24 hours. It’s therefore important that your website shows up on the first page of relevant search engine results.

Mobile PPC ads could be the key to driving significantly more traffic to your website in 2020. You should keep an eye on the new ad formats and features that Google rolls out regularly to help advertisers generate better results. For example, you can create text ads, image ads, and call-only ads to optimize your ROI.

In addition, use Google’s Smart Bidding feature to automate your bids. This machine learning technology leverages various data and signals to help you optimize conversion by adjusting every bid. You can also set up your bids to focus on searches from mobile devices so you can effectively target searchers that are most likely to convert.

2. Voice Search

More than 66 million Americans now own a smart speaker (e.g., Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant,) presenting more opportunities for voice search in the home. In fact, it’s predicted that by 2020, 30% of web browsing — including searches for local services — will become screenless. Not to mention, 75% of smart speaker owners search for local businesses on a weekly basis!

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 Since voice search only presents the top search results, it’s more important than ever to make sure that your website is search engine optimized so it can rank high in relevant searches.

You can increase the chances of getting found on voice searches by writing conversationally, creating content based on commonly asked questions, formatting articles to signal relevance to search engines (e.g., use header tags and bullet points,) using long-tail keywords to minimize competition, and including local keywords in your copy.

3. Social Media Marketing

While social media marketing has been around for a while, user behaviors have changed significantly. Today, you need to create useful content and interact with your audience in a way that will drive engagement, traffic, and conversion.

Post informative and high-value content to build trust and credibility with your audience. Write your posts in conversational tones, focus on establishing a dialogue, and use the platforms to build relationships instead of drive sales.

Visual content, particularly videos, is most effective for engaging an audience. Many platforms now offer a new format — Stories — which allows you to share images or short videos and add hashtags or polls to increase interactivity while fostering relationships with your audience.

Did you know that 82% of consumers read online reviews on local businesses? In addition, among those who do, 97% also read the businesses’ responses to the reviews. The number of people who use reviews to aid their decision-making is only going to increase as more consumers turn to online searches to look for local service providers.

Having great online reviews on third-party sites (e.g., Yelp) is key to building instant credibility that’ll help you attract more leads. To leverage the power of online reviews, take control of your online reputation by:

  • Setting up and completing your online profiles on major review sites.
  • Responding to comments promptly, whether they’re positive or negative.
  • Asking happy clients to leave a review and make it easy for them to do so.
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  • Encouraging reviewers to use their real names and be descriptive in their comments.
  • Share positive reviews on your website and social media.

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5. Marketing Personalization

Consumers expect a customized experience when they interact with brands and service providers. For example, 80% of people are more likely to purchase a product or service from a brand that provides personalized experiences.

Thankfully, there are many marketing technologies that will allow you to implement a personalization strategy at scale so you can build relationships, drive conversions, and retain customers at a reasonable cost. For example, you can segment prospects and customers based on their locations or inquiries so you can send the most relevant content and offer via email or targeted ads.

In addition, a centralized customer database (e.g., a CRM system) can help make sure that all information is updated in real-time so you can deliver a cohesive and personalized experience through every channel (e.g., phone, live chat, email.)

6. Live Chat and Chatbots

Consumers want to get the information they need when they need it and many expect live chat as part of the user experience on a website. Live chat, combined with rule-based or AI-driven chatbot technologies, allows you to offer immediate assistance to customers who have simple questions or route the queries to the appropriate team member.

Using chatbots strategically will not only help you lower operating costs but also streamline the customer experience to increase conversion and improve customer satisfaction. To deliver the best experience, make sure you’re setting up the chatbots with your target audience in mind and consider the context of the interaction while keeping the tone on-brand and personal.

It’s also important to identify which processes should be automated and what queries should be directed to a human agent right away to minimize delays and frustrations that could impact the customer experience.

Final Thoughts: It’s All About the Customer Experience

The top marketing trends in 2020 will focus on delivering a seamless and cohesive experience during the entire customer journey — starting from search and social media content through customers’ interaction with your company through various channels.

Getting found by high-quality prospects via search and making sure they’re directed to a high-converting website that offers clear navigation, valuable content, and engaging experience is the key to generating more leads.

In addition, with an outstanding website experience that’s coherent with your PPC strategy, you can increases engagement, signal relevance to search engines, improve your SEO ranking, and drive more high-quality traffic — creating a virtuous cycle that will keep on giving!

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How To Grow Your Roofing Business Fast With Google Ads

Google Ads is one of the best ways to generate a lot of leads for your local roofing business quickly. In fact, 63.7% of local businesses say that paid search is either “very important” or “somewhat important” to their marketing.

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You may wonder, “How much does it cost to generate roofing leads with Google Ads? Is it worth the investment?”

Google Ads is priced like an auction. The going rate depends on your competition. In 2019, we generated roofing leads in volume via Google Ads at $40 to $120 per lead.

Although Google Ads can get competitive, don’t be intimidated by the cost!

When you drive your conversion rate higher and higher, the lead cost goes lower and lower. For example, you can maximize your ROI by using superior targeting, compelling ad copy, and highly relevant landing pages optimized for conversion.

In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of using Google Ads for roofing contractors and how to leverage the advertising platform to attract high-quality traffic that will turn into customers.

Why Use Google Ads To Promote Your Roofing Business

Over the years, Google has taken steps to maximize the performance of Google Ads, which can generate far more leads per day than organic search results (SEO). Combined with a high-converting website that turns visitors into customers, you can increase the ROI and make Google Ads quite affordable.

It’s also easy to get started with Google Ads since you can adjust the ad spend based on your budget. This allows you to adapt your bidding strategy to optimize the resources you have available.

In addition, the leads you get are exclusive – meaning that prospects will call you directly. Unlike a lead generation platform from which you’d purchase “shared leads” (e.g., HomeAdvisor, Thumbtack, CraftJack), the competition is lower and you’re more likely to win the business.

Without the middleman, you keep most of the profits. You can also track your close rate and the effectiveness of your advertising strategy much more easily and gather meaningful metrics to improve results.

The Bonus SEO Benefit Of Using Google Ads

Boosting your website’s SEO is the best long-term strategy for driving low-cost high-quality traffic to your site. However, it often takes 6-12 months to build up your domain’s “SEO juice” if you depend on organic search results alone.

Google Ads can help drive traffic to your website right away while indirectly increasingly your free organic leads. How?

Google’s database keeps track of hundreds of factors on billions of things, including your business. It knows how often people search for your business. It can even gauge how relevant and helpful your website is based on the way users interact with your content and how long they stay on your site.

Google’s algorithm “likes” businesses that people search for, links that they click on, and websites on which they spend time because these are all signals that indicate the relevance and usefulness of a site.

When you use Google Ads to propel your site to the top of search engine results pages (SERPs,) you’ll be attracting more attention. People will see your ad and Google your business directly.

When Google sees that your business is being actively search for, you get “bonus points” that will move your business higher in organic search results. In turn, you’ll get more clicks that signal relevance to Google, so your site will move even higher in rankings. The virtuous cycle continues, helping you dominate the first page of Google.

Showing up multiple times and consistently on search results can also help you build brand awareness. After consumers see your business name a few times, your brand becomes familiar. This helps you build trust and makes people more likely to click on your free organic links that may be lower on the page.

How To Use Google Ads Effectively To Grow Your Roofing Business

Google Ads can get competitive and the cost per lead can be expensive for roofing contractors. In order to maximize profits, you need to generate the highest-quality leads and maximize the conversion rate. Here’s how:

Expand Your Service Area

One reason why Google Ads can be so effective for local service businesses is that it gives you the ability to target a highly-specific local audience that uses high-intent search terms. As a result, you only pay for clicks from searchers located in your area and are most likely to engage the service of a roofing contractor right away.

To increase the number of qualified prospects, expand your service area to cover a larger geographic location. The bigger your market, the more people will see your ad and the more opportunities you can get.

Build a High-Converting Website

What searchers see after they click on your ad can determine if they’d further interact with your business, e.g., by requesting a quote. Your landing page(s) should be optimized so they’re coherent with the ad copy to deliver a consistent user experience that will build trust and increase engagement.

In addition, optimize your entire website for conversion. For example, by making it easy for visitors to get in touch or request a quote. This can help you maximize the ROI for every click and improve your profitability.

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There are many moving parts when it comes to building a high-converting website but the good news is that you don’t have to do it all on your own. Many reputable Google Ads services include a conversion-optimized website as part of their packages to help you get the most out of your ad dollars.

Optimize Your Site For Inbound Leads

Consumers don’t want to get calls from pushy salespeople. Instead, they prefer companies that are helpful, listen to their needs, and solve their problems. They also want to have control over how they interact with a business – some of them prefer to call while others want to fill out a web form or send an email.

As such, your website should provide visitors with multiple ways to interact with your business. For instance, by making it easy for visitors to find your contact information, fill out a web form to request a quote, or get in touch using the tap-to-call features on mobile devices.

Work With a PPC Agency

Working with a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) agency can help you get results fast because it has the expertise to quickly optimize your ad campaigns while helping you shorten the learning curve. Not to mention, Google updates its algorithm often and an agency has the resources to continuously adjust your campaigns to achieve the best results.

Look for a PPC agency that understands the roofing industry and has a track record working with roofing contractors. It should also be transparent about your ad spend and how the agency fee structure works – if an agency that doesn’t tell you what its “cut” is, you’d very likely be overpaying.

Achieve Fast Results With Google Ads

To quickly achieve substantial results with Google Ads, you should be ready to spend at least $1,000 every month. You can start lower, but the resulting lead flow will be slower and less consistent.

Also, you need to be willing and ready to maximize the channel by increasing your ad spend as the lead volume increases and the lead costs decrease.

How many new roofing leads do you want in a day? Whether your answer is one, two, five, ten, or twenty, the right Google Ads strategy can make it happen.

Do keep in mind that it may take a few months to gain traction, fine-tune your tactics, and hit your target level – but with a large enough target market, Google Ads can get you as many leads as you can handle and in a fairly short amount of time.

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Should I Manage Google Ads Myself Or Hire a PPC Agency?

With 86% of consumers using the internet to find a local business, there’s no question that you need to appear on relevant search engine results. It’s the key to getting your local service business found by more potential clients.

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To dominate the first page of Google search results, you need to implement a combination of SEO and PPC tactics so you can increase visibility and capture prospects’ attention.

If you’re like most local business owners, you have probably considered running Google Ads. However, what’s the best way to go about it?

Should you go the DIY route or hire a PPC agency?

This article will look at the pros and cons of each option, show you the tools for managing Google Ads yourself, discuss a few pointers for hiring a PPC agency, and share our unique, from-the-trenches perspective on how you should decide if the DIY route is right for you.

Should You Manage Google Ads Yourself?

Many local service professionals wear many hats but should you take on managing Google Ads yourself?

Pros of Managing Google Ads In-House

  • Without ad management overhead costs, you can dedicate 100% of your advertising budget to ads.
  • You have complete control over your campaigns, including copy, keywords, and bidding strategy.
  • You can learn about the platform as you run the campaigns and gain more insights into your audience.

Cons of Managing Google Ads In-House

  • Running Google Ads successfully takes a lot of time, diverting your attention from servicing your customers.
  • You or your team may get spread too thin, which can cause issues in other areas of the business.
  • There’s a steep learning curve so if you haven’t used Google Ads before, you’d likely be spending a good amount of your budget on trial-and-error.
  • Technical ability required for maximum results

Tools You Need To Manage Google Ads Yourself

Using the right tools can help you manage Google Ads cost-effectively and here are a few essentials:

  • Google Ads’ built-in “Ad Rotation” feature and “Responsive Ads” to help you understand what ad copy and combinations of ad copy components works and what doesn’t.
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  • A/B testing tools (e.g. Optimizely, Unbounce, etc.) to help you fine-tune landing pages and increase conversion.
  • Google Keyword Planner to help you identify the best keywords for your bidding strategy.
  • Competitive research tools (e.g., iSpionage) that allow you to “spy” on your competitors to see what keywords are working for them.
  • Google Analytics to help you track traffic and landing pages performance after searchers come to your website. You can use the information to improve conversion and increase ROI.


Should You Hire a PPC Agency?

Hiring an agency can relieve your workload but what are the downsides?

Pros of Hiring an Agency To Manage Google Ads

  • Google Ads is a complex platform that requires in-depth knowledge to achieve a good ROI. Hiring an agency gives you access to experts who are up-to-date with the latest algorithms and strategies.
  • You don’t have to spend hours managing your ads so you can focus on servicing your customers and generating revenue.
  • Agencies have access to a variety of tools for tracking the effectiveness of your ads and optimizing their ROI.
  • Many agencies get “agency perks,” such as early access to beta programs and faster support from Google, to help you get the most out of the platform.

Cons of Hiring an Agency To Manage Google Ads

  • The process may lack the transparency you desire to keep track of your marketing effort and understand what works for your market.
  • You may not have instant control of your ad campaigns.
  • You have to pay the agency’s fee on top of the costs of running the ads.

What To Look For When Hiring a PPC Agency

If you decide to work with an agency, here’s how to find one that’s right for your business:

  • Seek out an agency with experience working with local service professionals in your industry.
  • Ask about the KPIs they use for tracking the campaigns’ effectiveness. These metrics should focus on driving conversion and increasing profitability.
  • Get the “A-team” by asking about the specific experience of your account manager and interviewing those who will be managing your ads.
  • Inquire about the pricing structure to see if the cost makes sense for your budget and avoid unpleasant surprises.
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  • Do some research about the agency, look for third-party reviews from clients similar to you, and talk to a few clients to ensure its service is a good fit for your needs.


Are You Cut Out To Manage Your Own Google Ads Campaigns?

Even after weighing all the pros and cons, you may still be on the fence. Here’s our honest opinion after years in the trenches on whether you should go the DIY route:

Running successful Google Ads campaigns requires a balanced combination of knowledge, experience, effort, and marketing savvy.

You need to know what to do and how to do it. You need to invest the time, patience, and resources to implement the strategy while having the ability to create, analyze, and experiment so you can optimize results.

Also, managing Google Ads is an on-going effort. You need to be constantly monitoring and tweaking your campaigns to respond to market conditions. As such, you should only run Google Ads yourself if you truly enjoy the process and have what it takes to succeed: time, effort, money, creativity, and luck.

Time and Effort

It can easily take a year to get the hang of running Google Ads. Even though it’s easy to pass the Google Ads certification exam, studying for it doesn’t teach you the ins and outs of marketing effectively to your target audience.

For example, while it’s relatively easy to find out what keywords to target, you won’t know which negative keywords to include in your campaigns – so you don’t have to pay for clicks that don’t convert – until you have run the ads and analyzed the results from the campaigns.

The only way to learn what works and what doesn’t for your market is trial-and-error, which requires substantial investment in time and effort.

Money

Trial-and-error also means that you will make mistakes, which costs money. Every click that doesn’t yield new business is wasted ad spend and it takes time to dial in your strategy so you can get the most from your ad budget.

For example, to maximize your ROI, you need to figure out what keywords get you the highest quality leads and what keywords are attracting clicks that don’t turn into customers. This information often comes from analyzing your results over time before you can refine the campaigns with a list of effective negative keywords.

Creativity

For any ad campaigns to yield the best results, you need to write good copy that gets the right people to click the ad. But that’s just the beginning!

When prospects click on your ad, they go to your website. You’ll need a landing page with relevant copy and design optimized to drive conversion (e.g., filling out a form to request a quote or making a phone call). You also need a high-quality website that projects a professional image to foster trust and build credibility.

Getting all these set up requires experience and knowledge in web design and copywriting, not to mention the right mix of creativity to create an on-brand experience that’ll attract the right leads to your business.

Luck

When you’re getting started with Google Ads, it can be expensive (i.e. high cost per lead). Trying to figure out what works can feel like rolling the dice and the cost of bad clicks can add up fast.

If you’re lucky, you may hit the right target audience and keywords on your first try… clicks convert into business. Otherwise, you may not see much other than a click charge.

You have to be ready to roll with the punches. You also need to be patient because success is measured over a month or more so you can collect enough data to fine-tune your tactics.

Getting Started With Running Your Own Google Ads

If you have what it takes to run your own campaigns but you’re just getting started, you may not have a conversion-optimized website ready. However, don’t wait! The sooner you start running campaigns, the sooner you can learn about the platform and your market.

You can use Google’s Call-Only ads. They only work on smartphones but clickers usually become callers. This often results in a high conversion rate, which is key to maximizing your ROI.

While the amount of traffic produced by Call-Only ads is small, it’s one of the best ways to get started with Google Ads. It keeps your burn rate low and ROI high.

Once you are successful with Call-Only ads and want to generate more business, you’ll need to create a website. Start with a single page that’s highly relevant to and consistent with your ad content, to which you can send the ad traffic.

When you start collecting data, you can make improvements based on the analytics. Keep in mind that optimizing your landing page will take some time and effort so don’t give up too soon. A/B testing is the best way to find out what really works for your business – some tweaks you think would work may not while others may surprise you!


And the Verdict is…

There are pros and cons associated with running your own Google Ads vs. hiring a PPC agency. You should evaluate your budget and requirements to find a solution that works best for your local service business.

While going the DIY route may be tempting thanks to the initial savings, you should only do so if you have a creative and marketing knack. Otherwise, you could be spending a lot of time and money on trial-and-error and still find yourself at the bottom of the learning curve!

For many business owners, working with a PPC agency can often lead to higher ROI over time since you can yield better results at a lower cost. Not to mention, it can free up your time so you can focus on delivering outstanding service to all the clients you have generated with your ads!

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How To Use Google Ads For Your Local Service Business

Did you know that 46% of all Google searches are on local information while 88% of people who search for local businesses on a mobile device either call or visit the business within 24 hours?

As a local service business (e.g., painter, plumber, electrician, house cleaning service, landscaper, etc) you can’t afford to ignore the power of local SEO.

While using high-quality content to boost your SEO is the most cost-effective way to improve search engine ranking and drive website traffic in the long-term, it takes time for any content marketing strategy to yield results.

What can you do if you want traffic (and clients!) right now?

Thankfully, you don’t have to look further than Google Ads.

It essentially allows you to cut the line and jump to the top positions on Google search results quickly if you do it right.

Ready to use Google Ads to attract more leads to your local service business? Here’s what you need to know.

Why Use Google Ads For Your Local Service Business

First thing first… why Google Ads? Here are the benefits of using Google Ads to promote your local service business:

Most people search for a local business when the need arises – that means they’re ready to hire a service provider immediately. Google Ads allows you to get found by these prospects at the right time by targeting keywords with high purchase intent.

The last thing you want is to pay for traffic from people who don’t live in your service area! Google Ads allow you to set a target audience based on location so you only pay for clicks from searchers that are living in your area.

In addition, you can leverage ad extensions to show searchers more information about your business (e.g., address, phone number, ratings) while increasing the “real estate” your ads take up at no extra cost to capture the attention of more prospects.

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Google Ads also allows you to retarget visitors and drive them back to your website if they didn’t convert on their first visits. Besides boosting conversion, this can help you increase brand awareness and stay top of mind.

As a local service provider, the next step for prospects to engage with your business is likely to give you a call and make an appointment. With Google Ads, you can target searchers using mobile devices – making it that much more convenient for prospects to take action so you can increase conversion rates.

Devices view in Google Ads web interface

Furthermore, Google Ads gives you different ways to control your ad budget and how it’s being spent so you can continuously test and refine your tactics without unpleasant surprises.

You can use detailed analytics from Google Ads to measure results and make adjustments. For example, you can track metrics such as traffic to your website, conversion rate, revenue, etc. to make sure that you’re yielding the desired ROI.

Also, Google Ads allow you to import data to see how leads generated online convert offline (e.g., after a phone call) so you can better integrate your digital and brick-and-mortar channels.

Last but not least, paid ads level the playing field by allowing you to become more competitive, especially if you’re relatively new to business and there are more established companies in the area providing similar services.

How Google Ads Works

Google Ads works by “auctioning” keywords – the more demand for a keyword, the higher it costs. When you create an ad, you set a budget and a bid, which indicates how much you’re willing to pay for each click. The higher your bid is, the more likely your ad will get shown to searchers.

Don’t worry, Google won’t run away with your money! If other advertisers are bidding less for the same keywords, Google won’t spend your maximum bid. The algorithm optimizes impressions and bids so you’d likely pay less than the maximum amount, generally only 1¢ more than the next highest bidder, and only when your ad is clicked.

However, it’s not all about the bid. Google also takes the user experience into account and is willing to show ads that are more relevant and of higher quality even if the bid may be lower.

Your bid and whether your ad gets shown is also affected by your account’s quality score, which is a metric that combines several factors to determine how well your offer matches a particular search. Google uses relevancy, click-through-rate, and account history to determine the quality score of your campaigns.

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Besides the budget, you can define a conversion event (e.g., signing up to your email list, requesting a quote) to accurately track your results, adjust the targeting, and fine-tune your bid so you can optimize the ROI.

How To Set Up an Effective Google Ads Campaign

There are many moving parts you need to consider when setting up a Google Ads campaign. Here are some key steps and how you can improve the effectiveness of your ads:

  • Set your goal: tailor your ad based on the results you want to achieve. You should first identify an objective for your campaign, such as getting more calls or taking action on your website (e.g., signing up for your mailing list or filling out a form to request a quote.)
  • Define your audience: for local service businesses, it’s important to target searchers located in your service area (e.g., within a certain radius of your business address). Using location targeting will ensure that your ads are shown to the right people.
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  • Choose an ad format: ad extensions allow you to include additional information in your ads. You can use Google’s automated formatting systems to display information from your website or other relevant third-party content alongside the ads based on your objectives.
  • Select your keywords: to target searchers that are most likely to convert, bid for keywords that are specific to your services and include local terms. Research your competitors and use Google’s Keyword Planner to find the best keywords that balance cost with search volume and competitiveness.
  • Craft compelling copy: create relevant copy that aligns with the keywords you’re bidding for to deliver a cohesive user experience that’ll increase click-through-rate. Make references to local places or events if appropriate to increase relevancy.
  • Set a budget cap: this allows you to maintain control of your ad spend. Google Ads will recommend a budget based on businesses similar to yours and provide estimated results to help you make an informed decision.
  • Create an effective landing page: the quality and relevance of the landing page (i.e., the page to which your ad is linked to) not only affect the quality score but also help deliver a cohesive user experience that will improve conversion. If you’re running multiple ads, you may want to set up a dedicated landing page for each so the content matches the ad copy. Follow these landing page conversion optimization best practices to turn more clicks into customers.
  • Set up conversion tracking: “what gets measured gets done” so make sure you’re tracking the appropriate conversion action based on the objective for each campaign (e.g., website actions, phone calls, offline conversion, local actions.)

Final Thoughts – Maximize Your Results Without the Stress

Google Ads can be intimidating for many small business owners but don’t fret! Here’s how to keep everything in perspective while handling all the moving parts:

  • Start small and set a fixed budget. Test the water and find out what works for you. Even a monthly budget as little as $250 or $500 is sufficient to get the ball rolling. Once you discover what’s effective for your market, you can increase the budget and optimize your results.
  • Keep it simple and don’t overcomplicate things. Google Ads’ interface is complex – it’s easy to go down the rabbit hole and get lost in tinkering with the different features. Instead, start with the basics – for a local service business, that means including local keywords, using ad extensions, setting up location targeting, and creating an effective landing page.
  • Be patient! While Google Ads can be highly cost-effective, it’s not a magic bullet. The majority of advertisers lose money on Google Ads just because they quit too soon. Give your campaigns at least a month to gain traction and yield results. Then review your metrics to optimize the ROI.

Some trial-and-error is par for the course but if you want to shorten the learning curve and get quick results, work with experts who have a track record of running PPC ads for local service businesses and understand the unique requirements. This will allow you to make the most of your ad budget while freeing up your time to do what you do best – servicing your clients and generating more revenue!

Of course, 99 Calls provides expert Google Ads service for local service businesses. Having worked with thousands of service businesses we know the keywords that work and those that don’t. We also provide high converting landing pages (our pages convert at an extremely high 20%-40% depending on the industry…meaning maximum bang for your buck) at no extra charge.

When you are ready to really grow your local service business, consider Google Ads and 99 Calls for high volume lead generation.

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Boost Local SEO With Content Marketing

For most local service businesses (e.g., painters, plumbers, electricians, cleaners, etc.), getting found by high-quality prospects is the key to generating more leads and making more sales cost-effectively.

If you have been tracking your traffic sources or asking your customers how they found you, you’d probably notice that many leads came from online searches.

As such, dialing in your local SEO strategy is instrumental to getting found by more potential customers and generating more business:

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One of the most effective ways of leveraging the power of local SEO is content marketing, which allows you to get found on local searches by prospects that are looking for the exact services you’re offering in your local area – in the right place and at the right time.

Here’s how to boost your local SEO with content marketing:

Optimize For Local Keywords

Start by researching relevant local keywords for which to optimize all of your online content, such as website copy, blog post, online profiles, etc.

You can use a variety of keyword research tools, such as Google Keyword Planner, to identify search terms that are relevant to your business and have high search volume in your target location(s).

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Also, look for locally-relevant phrases, events, news, or trending topics that are most likely used by your prospects in their searches. This will signal to Google that your website is relevant to users in your area and improve your SEO ranking.

Create Relevant and Helpful Content

High-quality content that’s useful to your target audience helps drive traffic and generate engagement, which can improve your SEO ranking. You should also publish fresh content regularly because it signals to search engines that your site is current and relevance.

Having to generate new content week after week may seem intimidating at first. However, if you keep your eyes peeled, there are great topic ideas everywhere you look:

  • Trending or seasonal topics in your area that are related to your services.
  • Your business’s participation in local events and activities.
  • Commonly asked questions about your area of expertise, appropriated into content pieces.
  • Write-up of customer case studies and interviews.
  • Topics that are tangentially related to your business but frequently searched for by your ideal customers.

Structure Your Content For On-Site SEO

Great content won’t achieve the intended results if people aren’t reading it or search engines can’t index it. Here’s how to structure your content for both visitors and search engines:

  • Make sure your website is mobile-friendly as more consumers are searching for local businesses on their smartphones and tablets.
  • Incorporate local phrases and locations in your content to signal relevance to both readers and search engines.
  • Format your content pieces so they’re easy to read on all devices. Also, ensure that all images and layouts are displayed correctly.
  • Use schema markup, which is a global standard vocabulary used by search engines to understand website content.

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Implement a Local Link Building Strategy

Publishing a variety of content and sharing it on high-authority websites can build backlinks that will boost your SEO. This will also help you drive more traffic and gain exposure to new audiences. Here are a few ways to build backlinks:

  • Implement a guest posting strategy to generate backlinks from local websites with audiences that overlap with your ideal customers.
  • Identify local businesses that share your target market but aren’t direct competitors. You can guest post on each other’s site and/or cross-promote your content.
  • Claim online local listings, such as Yelp and Google My Business, which allows you to post your links, share updates, boost your credibility, and reach more people.
  • Participate in local online communities, such as Nextdoor, to share relevant content when appropriate.

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Promote Your Content

The most successful content marketers spend 20% of their time producing content and 80% of their time promoting it. Having a content promotion strategy is the key driving traffic and boosting your website’s SEO. Here’s how to effectively distribute your content to a local audience:

  • Share links to your content on your social media updates and use it as a starting point to engage your followers in a conversation.
  • Add social sharing buttons on your website and ask your readers to share the content with their friends and neighbors.
  • Join local groups on social media (e.g., Facebook and LinkedIn) and share links to useful content on your website when appropriate.
  • Seek out media opportunities on local news outlets. For example, by getting featured on local papers’ resident or business spotlights and include a link back to a relevant piece of content on your website.

Final Thoughts

Content marketing is one of the top strategies for improving your search engine ranking so more high-quality prospects can discover your business.

However, it’s not enough just to write something and hit publish. Since 95% of consumers only look at the first page of search results, it’s important that you also invest in the effort to optimize and promote your content so it gets a high ranking.

Although driving traffic is a key benefit of content marketing, don’t overlook the many other benefits of this strategy. A well-crafted piece of content can help you build trust and cultivate relationships with your audience while positioning your business as a relevant and helpful resource so you can stay top-of-mind.

In fact, the best content marketers focus on using content to drive engagement. When search engines see that your visitors are spending time on your website and returning for more information, your SEO ranking will improve automatically.

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How To Optimize Conversion For Your Local Service Business’s Landing Page

Are you investing in SEO and PPC ads to promote your local service business and drive traffic to your website? Are website visitors contacting you for a quote or engaging your services?

To make the most of your marketing dollars, you need to turn as many visitors into leads or customers by optimizing the webpage on which they land when they click through your online ads.

Otherwise, you’d be paying for the clicks with little to show for. Here’s where conversion rate optimization (CRO) can help you get the biggest bang for your bucks:

What’s Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)?

CRO are tactics that encourage website visitors to take an action (e.g., request a quote, sign up for your email list) by designing and modifying certain elements of a webpage. Often, the goal is to turn visitors into leads or customers before they leave the website.

While CRO can be applied to every page on your website, dialing in the landing pages you use for PPC ads has the highest impact in converting online traffic into prospects and customers.

CRO helps you make the most of your existing website traffic sources so you can turn more visitors into customers without increasing your marketing budget.

How To Optimize Conversion On Your Landing Pages

By definition, landing pages are designed to elicit a specific action from visitors. They’re set up to minimize distraction by removing the standard navigation, simplifying footer information, and removing all hyperlinks except the call-to-action (CTA.)

Creating dedicated landing pages that match the messaging and offers on your PPC ads can help maximize results. Optimizing the conversion rate on these landing pages allows you to get the most out of your online ads.

Here’s how to make a landing page work harder for your local service business:

Hone In the Copy and Messaging

Most local business websites are rather generic – they have the essential information and are optimized for relevant keywords but fall short when it comes to making visitors feel that the content is speaking to their needs.

Here’s how to fine-tune your landing pages’ copy and messaging to increase conversion:

  • Ensure that the messaging matches the copy on your ad. For example, if you’re promoting “20% off” in the ad, include the discount in the landing page copy.
  • Mention specific information that’s relevant to the local market or conditions to highlight the relevance of your services.
  • Write a distinctive title that’ll capture the attention of your visitors. Again, include local references if appropriate.
  • Tell the visitors why they should respond to your CTA by highlighting the benefits of doing so.
  • Be succinct – focus on the pain points and desired outcomes of the audience segment you’re targeting on your ads.
  • Incorporate local and long-tail keywords in your copy to signal relevance to both search engines and the visitors.

Direct Attention To the CTA

The purpose of a landing page is to get as many visitors to take the desired action as possible and you can do so by directing attention to the CTA on the page.

Here’s how to make your CTA more appealing to visitors and entice them to respond:

Arrange the landing page’s content to follow the F- or Z-pattern, which is how most people’s eyes travel when reading a webpage. This will guide the readers from the title through the copy and to the CTA.

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  • Use a heat map application to track how visitors interact with your landing page and place your CTA where their eyes naturally go.
  • Use visual elements and images to direct visitors’ gaze to the CTA (e.g., a model looking at the direction of the CTA, a graphic that points toward the CTA.)
  • Use CTA copy that’s relevant to the landing page message and make it action-oriented. For example, if your landing page is aimed at getting visitors to sign up for a video series on DYI house-painting, your CTA text could say, “Learn How To Paint Like a Pro Now.”
  • Experiment with the size and color of the CTA button, which can have a significant impact on the conversion rate.
    • Place the CTA close to the top of the page to minimize scrolling. If you have a long landing page, put another CTA at the bottom so visitors don’t have to scroll back up.

    Optimize For Mobile Experience

    Did you know that 78% of mobile searches for local business information result in a purchase? In fact, mobile-friendliness is now the top priority for local businesses to convert online traffic into leads.

    Here’s how to optimize your landing page for mobile users:

    • Improve page load speed – a 1-second improvement can lead to a 27% increase in conversions! You can do so by using a mobile-first template, optimizing images, and making sure that the code is clean.
    • Include your phone number at the top of the page and add a tap-to-call feature to make it easy for prospects to get in touch.
    • Leverage geo-fencing technology to deliver the most appropriate content and auto-fill function to streamline form submission.
    • Ensure that the page is displayed properly on all browsers and devices. The fonts should be legible and the key information should be shown at the top of the page.
    • Reduce complexity in your CTA to make it easy to take action on the small screen. For example, request only the information you need immediately (e.g., an email address to download a lead magnet) – you can ask for more information later.
    • Remove intrusive pop-ups and interstitials that will not only cause visitors to leave the site but also impact your SEO ranking.

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Consider the Entire Customer Lifecycle

Your landing page is just one component in the buyer’s journey. You also need to consider what happens after visitors have taken the action on your landing page so they’d turn into customers:

  • Set up a lead nurturing email sequence if you use the landing page to capture visitors’ email addresses.
  • Contact prospects immediately if the CTA is to request a quote.
  • Use a tracking phone number for each campaign to deliver a consistent experience (e.g., offering the same promotional package) when visitors call your business.
  • Set up retargeting ads that match the messaging on the landing page to drive visitors that haven’t converted back to your website.

Get the Most Out of Your Online Marketing Budget

Conversion rate optimization strategies can help you increase ROI by making the most of your current market and existing traffic sources.

After you have implemented these CRO tactics for your landing pages, conduct A/B testing to find out what works and what doesn’t for your specific audience so you can fine-tune the copy, page design, and CTA.

Don’t forget to dial in other components of your online marketing strategy – from PPC ads and social media to online review and monthly analytics – so they work together synergistically to optimize results and maximize your marketing ROI.

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Get More Leads at Less Cost – Target Cost-Per-Acquisition Smart Bidding

If you have been driving traffic with PPC ads for your local service business – great job!

But…

Do you know how much you’re spending on acquiring each lead?

After all, if you’re spending more on acquiring leads than the profit you generate from those leads – you’re losing money!

Thankfully, Google can help you control how much you spend on lead acquisition using machine learning technology to make sure that your PPC ad campaigns are profitable.

This smart bidding strategy is based on the concept of cost-per-acquisition (CPA) and we’ll show you how local service businesses can best leverage this feature.

 

What’s Cost per Acquisition (CPA)?

As a marketing concept that calculates the cost of acquiring new customers, CPA helps you determine if your PPC ads are attracting and retaining customers profitably so you can maintain a healthy ROI.

For many small businesses without sales people and the associated overhead, CPA is proportional to lead cost. Lead cost is the amount one pays for leads. If you win 1 in 3 leads, your close rate is 33%, and without sales overhead, your CPA would be 3 times your lead cost.

For instance, if you are a painting company and your average lead cost is $40, and you close 1 in 4 leads, then your CPA is 4 x $40 or $160. Each job you win costs you an average of $160.

How To Determine Your CPA?

Start with your average transaction value, which is the gross revenue you generate from each sale. Subtract the cost of delivering the service and fixed costs involved in running your business (excluding ad spending) from the gross revenue to get the gross profit before advertising.

Next, determine how much net profit you want to make from each transaction. Subtract this number from the gross profit and you’ll get the maximum CPA you should target for acquiring a new customer.

Keep in mind that some factors may affect this final target cost per acquisition (TCPA). For example:

  • If you have a high customer retention rate and high customer lifetime value, you may be able to afford a higher TCPA for the initial transaction so you can stay competitive and get the right customers in the door.

  • Your TCPA can vary based on the service area or type of service. Also, some customer segments may convert more easily so the cost associated with selling to the different prospects may vary.

Applying TCPA To Your PPC Ads

Thanks to Google Ad’s Target CPA bidding feature, you can easily set TCPA for your PPC ad campaigns. Here’s what you need to know:

What’s Target Cost Per Acquisition Bidding?

Formerly called Conversion Optimizer, this is a smart bidding strategy within the Google Ad platform that optimizes bids so you can get as many conversions for the TCPA you set for your campaigns.

You can determine the conversion event (e.g., a click, a request for a quote, a purchase) and set the TCPA as a standard strategy for a single campaign or a portfolio strategy for multiple campaigns.

Google’s machine learning technology uses historical data from past campaigns and combines it with contextual signals present at the auction time (e.g., the user’s location, type of device, remarketing list, time of the day, etc.) to determine the optimal cost-per-click (CPC) bid based on your TCPA.

Setting TCPA In Google Ads

If you have historical conversion data from past campaigns (at least 15 conversions in the past 30 days,) Google Ads will make a recommendation on TCPA, which is calculated based on the actual CPA performance during the previous few weeks.

Here are some bid settings you’ll encounter as you’re setting up your campaign:

  • Bid limits: for most advertisers, Google doesn’t recommend setting a bid limit because it can restrict the platform’s automatic optimization of your bid. It could prevent Google Ads from adjusting your bid for each auction to the amount that best meets your TCPA. However, if you have a limited ad budget, you can set maximum and minimum bid limits to avoid overspending. This feature is only available for portfolio level use.

  • Device bid adjustment: you can prioritize conversion by setting adjustments for desktop, tablet, and mobile devices. For example, if you want to prioritize spending on mobile searches, you can set a bid adjustment to +30% — in this case, if your TCPA for the campaign is $10, it’ll be raised to $13 on mobile devices.

  • Pay for conversions: use this setting if you want to pay for conversions, instead of clicks, in your Target CPA bidding. You’ll only pay when visitors convert on your website or app.

Your TCPA can influence the number of conversions you get from the campaigns. For example, if you set the number too low, you could be shown on fewer search result pages and miss out on clicks that could lead to conversion.

To gauge whether your TCPA is performing optimally, you can review a campaign’s performance using the Target CPA Simulator, which shows you how an ad could have performed if the TCPA was set differently.

A Few Things To Know When Using TCPA Bidding

Since Google Ads determines your TCPA based on historical data, make sure that your conversion tracking is set up correctly. Otherwise, the data won’t be accurate and this will likely affect your TCPA bidding.

In addition, you should have accumulated a good number of conversions (e.g., 30 to 50) for Google to accurately estimate your TCPA.

If you’re just getting started, set realistic initial goals so you don’t limit the auctions you can enter. For example, if your average CPA is $50 in the past few months, setting your TCPA at $25 is likely to be too low and prevents you from taking full advantage of the smart bidding feature.

Also, note that you’ll probably go through a learning phase during the first two to four weeks. Setting a slightly higher TCPA can give you some room to find your footing and then you can bring it back down to your goal TCPA.

Using TCPA Bidding For Your Local Service Business

There are some nuances when it comes to using TCPA bidding for your local service business.

Let’s say a carpet cleaner wants to advertise for his various offerings, such as carpet cleaning, rug cleaning, and upholstery cleaning, which may have different margins and cost associated with delivering the service. Also, certain towns may be more profitable, due to factors such as a shorter travel distance or larger average job size.

As such, the carpet cleaner may be willing to pay $35 for carpet cleaning leads but only $25 for upholstery cleaning. Meanwhile, he may be able to afford a higher CPA for town A than town B.

In this case, the carpet cleaner can set TCPA for carpet cleaning leads at $40 for town A and $30 for town B so he can stay competitive in each location without spending unnecessary ad dollars.

The Biggest TCPA Challenge For Local Service Business

As we discussed earlier, Google needs the right conversion data to recommend optimal TCPA.

This is technically more challenging for local service businesses thanks to the often-complicated buyer’s journey. For example, most prospects would click on a PPC ad, visit the website, and then call to make an appointment.

As such, more clicks than Google recorded have likely turned into leads. If you don’t provide that conversion information to Google, the recommended TCPA can’t be optimized properly.

99 Calls has devised a specific solution to help contractors accurately track conversion (i.e., clicks turning into leads) and supply the data to Google Ads.

Our system is set up to track each click and call, match them up, and then mark clicks that have turned into qualified leads on Google as a conversion. This allows Google to learn how to get more clicks that are most likely to turn into leads.

In addition, 99 Calls can run Google Ads campaigns to target a specific lead price, a specific ROAS (return on ad spend,) or simply get as many leads as possible for a given budget – depending on your business objectives.

See how we can help you optimize your PPC campaigns here.

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Key PPC Metrics for Local Service Businesses

As more local service businesses (e.g., painters, plumbers, electricians, landscapers, cleaning services, etc.) are using PPC ads to get in front of prospects and drive traffic to their websites, it’s not enough just to run a few online ads and hope for the best.

As the saying goes, “What gets measured gets done.” If you want your PPC ads to yield the results you want, you need to measure their performance so you can adjust your strategies and fine-tune the results.

However, for many local service providers, plowing through a PPC ad campaign report is no walk in the park.

Which metrics actually matter? What should you focus on to move the needle?

Measuring the wrong metrics is at best a waste of time and at worst, it could derail you to spend your time and resources on improving numbers that won’t translate into profits for your business.

In this article, we’ll explore the PPC metrics you should focus on and what they mean for your online marketing. You’ll also learn the one simple metric that shows whether your ad campaigns are profitable and what you can do to make them work harder for you.

PPC Metrics That Matter For Your Local Service Business

Here are some key PPC metrics and what they can tell you about your PPC campaigns:

  • Impressions: it refers to the number of times an ad has been displayed on search results pages and it’s an indication of visual awareness. Getting prospects to see your ads on relevant search result pages is the first step to raising brand awareness and getting clicks.
  • Click-Through Rate (CTR): calculated by dividing the number of times an ad was clicked with impressions, CTR is a good indicator of the ad copy’s effectiveness. A low CTR means searchers are seeing your ads but aren’t compelled to click through – which could indicate a message mismatch between the keywords or audience you’re targeting and the ad copy.
  • Cost Per Click (CPC): the total cost of all clicks divided by the number of clicks and is an essential metric for evaluating the ROI of the campaign.
  • Conversion rate: it measures the completion of an action by a searcher after clicking your ad, such as completing a form to get a quote, calling a tracking number, or scheduling an appointment. If you have a high CTR but low conversion rate, you should make sure the messages on your ad and the landing page are consistent and the landing page is optimized for conversion.
  • Cost Per Conversion: also called cost per acquisition (CPA), it shows you the aggregate cost to acquire one paying customer. A low CPA is a good indication that your ads are yielding high ROIs while a high CPA means your PPC strategy probably has room for improvement, e.g., by lowering the bids, using more specific keywords, and improving the ad copy.

The Most Important PPC Metric You Should Know

While the various metrics discussed above can help you gauge the effectiveness of your ad campaigns and fine-tune the different components, they don’t directly answer the most important question – is the PPC ad campaign profitable?

After all, if a campaign is driving traffic or even generating sales but the revenue isn’t covering the cost of the ads – you’re losing money!

If you only track one number, make it the ROAS (return on ad spend) of the PPC ads because it tells you whether your campaigns are generating profits.

How To Calculate ROAS

To calculate ROAS, simply divide sales by ad spend: ROAS = Sales / Ad Spend

For example, if you spend $20 on an ad and generate $100 in sales, the ROAS is 5.

ROAS shows you the amount you spend on a PPC campaign in relation to the sales resulted from the ads. Simply put, if you aren’t making enough profit, you should tweak your tactics or stop running the ads.

How To Determine Minimum ROAS

To find out if an ad campaign is profitable, you need to determine the break-even point, which is represented by the minimum ROAS.

You’ll just need a few numbers to figure out the break-even ROAS:

  • The revenue generated by the ads.
  • The cost of the services sold by the ads.
  • Other fees involved in the sales (e.g., transaction fee.)
  • Profit per sale.

Then you can calculate the minimum ROAS for the PPC campaign. For example:

If the revenue is $100, the cost of delivering the service is $50, and the fees are $5, then the profit will be $45 (Revenue – the cost of goods – other fees.)

If your ad spend is lower than $45, the campaign is making money; if it’s $45, you’ll break even; if it’s higher than $45, you’re losing money for every service package sold.

In this case, the minimum ROAS is ($100/$45) = 2.2.

Keep in mind that ROAS doesn’t cover other costs that you may incur in running the campaigns, such as hiring a copywriter or a graphic designer, which you’ll need to take into account when evaluating the ROI of the ad campaigns.

As such, your target ROAS should be higher than the minimum ROAS in order to generate a profit.

How To Track Your ROAS

ROAS is campaign-specific and can be set up to evaluate the effectiveness of an individual campaign, ad group, or keyword.

To correctly attribute each sale to a traffic source/ad campaign and calculate the ROAS, you need to set up conversion tracking.

This is where things get more complex for service-based businesses because unlike eCommerce websites, the conversion event may not be an immediate online transaction. Also, both online and offline interactions are often involved before a sale is made.

However, with the right tools and some thoughtful planning, you can set up conversion tracking on your website to collect accurate data:

First, you need to have a lead-generation website with Google Analytics installed. Then, set up goals on Google Analytics to track conversion events, such as form submissions, phone clicks, or email clicks.

From there, you can associate the conversion event with the specific PPC ad that brought the visitor to your website and track the prospect’s subsequent interactions with your business using a CRM system.

Due to the less linear customer journey, it’s more challenging to map a prospect’s interactions with your business from an online channel to an actual sale – especially for local service businesses that also use other offline marketing tactics, such as word-of-mouth, print ads, or billboards.

For instance, a PPC ad may generate brand awareness but a prospect may finally call using a tracking number on a print ad. Or he may be seeing your company vehicles around enough to build trust before he searches online and clicks on your ad.

To understand how these online and offline tactics work together, you can ask your customers how they learn about your business and what prompted them to get in touch so you can fine-tune your ads to match the customer journey.

How To Improve ROAS For Your Local Service PPC Campaigns

One of the best ways to improve the effectiveness of your PPC campaigns is to focus on maximizing their ROAS.

Remember ROAS = Sales / Ad Spend? In order to increase ROAS, you need to increase sales and/or lower ad spend. Here’s how:

Increase Sales and Revenue

Generate more sales by driving high-quality traffic that’s most likely to convert by doing the following:

  • Improve ad copy to attract high-quality prospects that are ready to engage your services. For example, mention a special offer, include social proof, highlight unique selling points, and add a compelling call-to-action.
  • Match ad content to the target audience segment and make sure the messaging on the landing page is consistent with the ad copy.
  • Review your search query reports to identify “cost-effective keywords” so you can allocate more budget to those that generate the most conversions.
  • Include keywords that indicate high purchase intent, e.g., business name, specific service category, or brand names of products you use.
  • Target local keywords, such as the specific areas you service or local conditions.
  • Improve your website’s mobile experience as more consumers are using mobile devices for local searches. In fact, 61% of mobile searchers are more likely to contact a local business with a mobile-friendly site.

Reduce Ad Spend

Here’s how to allocate your ad budget strategically to lower ad spend:

  • Review your search term report to identify keywords that are getting clicks but don’t result in a conversion event. Add these terms to the campaign’s list of negative keywords so they won’t trigger the ads.
  • Improve your Google Ads quality score, which often translates into lower ad cost, by making sure the ad copy and landing pages are relevant to the keywords you’re targeting.
  • Optimize your bidding strategy, e.g., only show the ads when your target audience is most likely to be searching for your specific services. Experiment with Google’s Smart Bidding feature, which automatically adjusts the bids based on various auction-time signals such as device, location, time of day, remarketing list, and operating system.

Final Thoughts

PPC advertising is a great way to get in front of more prospects and you can augment its effectiveness by using marketing strategies that foster trust and credibility with the community, e.g., by building a strong and recognizable brand and proactively managing your online reputation.

Meanwhile, the various PPC metrics associate each ad with the revenue it generates to offer key insights that will help you understand the effectiveness of your online ads.

By closely monitoring your PPC campaigns and leveraging the right analytics, you can gain insights into the effectiveness of your online marketing strategy and make accurate data-driven decisions to improve your ROI.

Lastly PPC advertising can be a highly productive and cost-effective way to generate leads for local service businesses. However successful PPC ad campaigns require time, effort, and hard-earned expertise. As a local service business leader, you can choose to roll-up your sleeves and dive into the details of PPC. Or, another option, outsource PPC advertising to a local lead generation expert such as 99 Calls.

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Top 3 Online Logo Makers For Local Service Businesses

In a previous article, we talked about why you need a well-designed logo for your local service business (e.g., painter, electrician, landscaping, house cleaning) and how to effectively apply it to your marketing materials to enhance your local presence and make your brand instantly recognizable.

If you’re ready to take a stab in creating a logo for your business, there are many online tools you can use to generate a logo that you can apply to all customer touch points.

Here are 3 popular online logo makers and how they stack up against each other:

VistaPrint Logo Maker

  • Choose from a list of designs and explore different icons, colors, and layouts to narrow down your options.
  • Personalize the template with your business information and customize the design to meet your needs.
  • Use the logo on any VistaPrint products at no additional cost or download the files for $20.
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LogoMix

  • Enter logo text, such as your business name.
  • Choose up to 3 logo styles (e.g., badge, text, icon, or initial,) up to 3 fonts, and up to 3 logo layouts.
  • Select a template and edit the design by entering your business information, choosing the font, and adjusting color options.
  • Save and download your files.

BrandCrowd

  • Enter your business name and the application will generate a series of logo ideas. Or you can choose from designs based on industries or keywords.
  • Select a template and customize the design by changing the colors or fonts. You can also add a tagline.
  • Download your logo file.

Logo Makers Comparison

When selecting an online logo making tool, you should consider the ease of use, template variety, customization options, file format variety, cost, and future application:

Ease of Use

All three logo makers offer a simple step-by-step process that involves not much more than choosing a template, colors, and fonts.

In addition, VistaPrint allows you to filter logo ideas by style and BrandCrowd offers the option to choose from a list of industries or filter by keywords.

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Design Options

Get started on VistaPrint or BrandCrowd by choosing from a wide range of design templates as a starting point from which you can customize the text, colors, and fonts.

LogoMix offers fewer layout options and you can begin the process by choosing a style, color, and font.

Customization Options

All three logo makers offer templates you can use as starting points to customize your design with their editing tools.

Brandcrowd offers the most user-friendly editor with many options to adjust text, fonts, layout, background, icon, and shapes.

Output Variety and Cost

You need the ability to download the final design files in a variety of formats and resolution so you can apply the design to different marketing materials (e.g., website, print, etc.)

You can apply the logo you have created with VistaPrint’s logo maker onto its own products at no additional cost or you can download the files, including color and black-and-white versions, icon-only versions, landscape and portrait layouts, and high-quality PDF and JPEG for $20 each.

BrandCrowd is free to use and you can purchase your logo in a standard package ($45) that includes high-resolution PNG and JPG files (for web), vector SVG, EPS and PDF files (for print), files with transparent background, and multiple logo variations.

For $39.95, you can download high-quality source files you can use for documents, business cards, and websites from LogoMix. The logos are available in multiple sizes, black & white, and transparent formats.

Future Usage

VistaPrint and LogoMix allow you to apply the logo you have created using their logo makers to business cards, brochures, shirts, stationery, website, promotional products, labels, stickers, etc. directly on their website so you don’t have to spend the time to download and upload the assets.

Keep in mind that printing can be tricky because the colors you see on the screen may not be the same as it comes out on paper, especially if you use different vendors. Having the same service to design and print your logo can minimize unpleasant surprises, saving you time and money.

If you plan to use different vendors, check that the file formats provided by the logo maker are accepted so you don’t get locked into a single provider.

Final Thoughts

The various online logo makers offer easy and affordable options for creating a visual identity that can help you build brand awareness in your community and attract more customers.

Your logo, when applied to various customer touch points such as website, social media, third-party review sites, and offline promotional materials – can help you deliver a consistent customer experience that’ll help you augment your local presence and build trust.