Performance Spotlight–All Dry Services of Richmond
In order to reach potential customers, standing out from the competition is paramount in today’s competitive world for water damage restoration specialists. All Dry Services of Richmond, a reputable water damage restoration company in Virginia, understands the importance of investing in effective lead generation for a successful business. In May 2023, they turned to 99 Calls to boost their online presence and connect with more clients. In this blog, we’ll delve into 99 Calls’ successful lead generation efforts for All Dry Services of Richmond, highlighting their achievements across organic search, pay-per-click Google Ads, and Local Service Ads (LSA).
Organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the cornerstone of any successful online presence, and All Dry Services of Richmond recognized this. 99 Calls was able to generate 8 exclusive organic restoration leads in just 5 months. All Dry Services of Richmond aided in this process by sending content used to customize their site. This included a questionnaire about their business that was used to complete their “About Us” section, providing a customized logo for their website, and sending photos of their great work, showcasing their commitment to presenting a professional image online. They also boast an impressive 23 Google reviews with an average rating of 4.8 stars, a testament to their exceptional service quality.
Pay-Per-Click Google Ads
Pay-per-click, or PPC, advertising has been another proven avenue for lead generation for All Dry Services of Richmond. Over a period of 5 months, 99 Calls generated a remarkable 54 restoration leads through ads with a commendable $198 lead cost. The skillful Google Ads management team has been able to achieve a 19% conversion rate. This means that nearly one in every five clicks generated through paid advertising is converted into a lead.
Google Guaranteed or Local Service Ads (LSA)
Local Service Ads are a game-changer for service-based businesses, and All Dry Services of Richmond tapped into this potential with 99 Calls. Since August 23, 2023, they secured 12 leads through LSA. With a minimal $164 lead cost, this approach proves to be an effective and cost-efficient way of reaching local customers in need of water damage restoration services.
The collaboration between All Dry Services of Richmond and 99 Calls has proven to be a winning formula for successful lead generation. Whether through organic search, paid advertising, or Local Service Ads, All Dry Services of Richmond has reaped the rewards of the 99 Calls team’s expertise and dedication. With impressive conversion rates and low lead costs, this partnership showcases how businesses can thrive in the digital age by leveraging the power of utilizing the different avenues of online marketing.
Are you a business owner looking to solve your need for more (and more consistent) inbound leads? You’ve probably heard about different options, from Home Advisor/Angie’s to Google Ads to SEO. Which of these, is the best for your business? Do some deliver a better ROI than others?
The team at 99 Calls is often asked to help small businesses devise a strategy to deliver a lasting lead flow. Over the years, they have been trusted to create and run smart, digital marketing campaigns.
Which option or combination of approaches is right for you? Take this 5-10 minute quiz to find the right lead generation option for your business.
Pssstt…don’t forget to hit submit!
Depending on your business goals, one or a combination of the following options will be recommended to best generate leads for your business:
Google Ads PPC allows you to pay your way onto the first page of Google! PPC ads are our fastest but priciest lead generation option. We recommend this option for all customers who want fast, quality leads, and to those who wish to supplement their long-term SEO strategy.
Local Service Ads (Google Guaranteed) is a pay-per-lead advertising platform that connects local businesses with people who search on Google for the services they offer. These ads appear at the very top of relevant search results above other text ads and display a green check mark. We recommend these to businesses that have lots of great reviews on their Google Business Profile.
Organic SEO is the long-term and most cost-effective approach to lead generation. 99 Calls’ SEO services utilize a lead generation website. Included in the low monthly fee are assistance with online reputation management and an integrated dashboard with a mobile app.
Database Reactivation is best for contractors who provide routine service to their clients or contractors who have been in business for many years. If you have a list of old contacts or clients that could be happy customers again, this is your option!
Email Marketing and Lead Nurturing is an excellent strategy to deploy with your lead sources. Although this doesn’t create leads, it will help you convert the leads you receive and help you build valued relationships.
Adopting digital marketing trends has become increasingly critical as consumers utilize the internet more and more. Digital marketing encompasses many different strategies for lead generation from SEO and PPC to content marketing and email marketing campaigns. Utilizing different aspects of digital marketing together allows you to connect and communicate with your potential clients throughout all stages of the sales funnel. In 2023, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Marketing (SMM), video content, lead nurturing, pay-per-click (PPC) and pay-per-lead (PPL) are all fundamental pieces of digital marketing.
SEO Is Still At the Core
The aspects of digital marketing intertwine and work with each other. Take SEO as an example. Gone are the days when you could create a website and listings with minimal content and start seeing results in a matter of weeks. Now, in order to see your website ranking organically, creating quality content is crucial.
Social Media Marketing Builds Brands
Social media marketing is often used to build brands and does generate leads for businesses with a strong visual aspect or a longer sales cycle. Over 80% of adults use social media in one capacity or another which makes social selling another excellent way to connect with prospective customers. Social media is prime real estate for building brand awareness. You can connect with more potential leads just by keeping your business’s social media updated.
If Pictures Say 1000 Words, Videos Speak Volumes!
One of the most effective and popular methods of digital marketing is videos. Why say everything you want to in text form when there are so many more effective options? Videos are an excellent way to connect with your potential customers and inform them about your business and the services you provide. Some of the most popular video types include explainer videos, video testimonials, and “behind-the-scenes” videos. Each of these videos has its way of engaging potential customers and showing off more of your company for a more personalized feel.
Start Nurturing From The Moment of Contact
Missed calls will hurt you. If you’re not answering your phone when it rings, your potential customers will move on to the next business on the page. With advances in digital marketing, you can engage those customers instantly. Some businesses are sending instant texts when they miss a call. Some send an audio message to their callers. From here, businesses can craft a nurturing campaign to keep potentials engaged and stay on their minds. You’ll want to be careful to find a “just right” frequency of contact. If you’re annoying, customers will opt out.
Nurturing Builds Relationships
Email nurturing is one of the biggest trends in marketing. Meeting potential customers where they are in the buying stage and keeping up with them along their journey is an economical and productive way to grow a business. You want to keep your business at the forefront of potential buyers’ minds. This is accomplished through short-term nurturing. The prospect may already know what they need or they may still be weighing their options. Either way, sending them informative, targeted emails will help guide them further in the process. Sometimes it takes longer than a few weeks for they’re ready to take action and commit which is why having a long-term nurture sequence is also essential. Long-term nurturing allows you to keep in contact with potential customers and to continue building relationships with them.
PPC/PPL Has Become Essential
With SEO competition higher than ever, securing a spot on the first page of search results is difficult for even the most experienced marketers. You know the saying “Don’t keep all of your eggs in one basket”? This applies to online marketing as well. SEO alone is no longer the most substantial option for generating a steady flow of leads each month. The organic real estate on the first page of Google has shrunk over the last several years making pay-per-click and/or pay-per-lead marketing a much-needed, additional method for lead generation.
How Will You Utilize Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing has become an essential part of any business’s marketing strategy in 2023. By utilizing SEO, SMM, video content, lead nurturing, PPC, and PPL, businesses can effectively reach their target audience and build relationships with potential customers. The future of digital marketing is bright and businesses should strive to stay ahead of the curve by utilizing the latest trends. Not sure where to begin? Call the lead gen pros at 99Calls!
We’re all looking for an advantage, a way to stand out, get noticed and get more leads. You may be surprised to know that the best practices for ranking on a desktop search are the very same that will get you ranked for voice search. This is the newest angle that telemarketers are using to convince businesses that if they don’t suddenly hire them to optimize their website for voice search, they will be left behind.
Here’s the thing. We have been writing about voice search since 2019 and the strategies have not changed, but have become more understood. What’s more, if you are using best practices for ranking a website on the first page of Google, you are already optimized for voice search. Why? Because typing a query on your phone, iPad or computer is almost the SAME THING as speaking your query to Alexa, Google, or Siri.
Example: You are having a dinner party this weekend and you just spilled red wine on your dining room carpet. What is your first action? Try to clean it up yourself. If that fails, you’ll go to your device and type or speak “Carpet cleaner near me” or “Carpet cleaning company in (your town)” or “spot removal contractor”. A well-positioned carpet cleaning company is going to come up in a search, regardless of whether you typed or spoke the keywords. And your query is the keywords.
Companies try to make this concept sound complicated, but it really isn’t. I’ll do this experiment now, live and share my results:
First, I’ll engage Siri. Speaking, “Carpet cleaner near me”, prompts Siri to produce the following suggestions on Apple Maps:
I personally prefer to use Chrome, even on my mobile phone. When I open the Chrome browser on my iPhone speak, “Carpet cleaner near me”. Here are Siri’s suggestions:
From the suggestions offered on my iPhone above, I will click the top entry, “carpet cleaner near me”. Here is what comes up. I have placed the long thread side by side below:
With the long screenshot placed side by side, you can see the way the page rolls. Above the images, I was first shown images of carpet cleaning machines. But Google recognized my intent (finding a contractor to remove the wine stain from my carpet) and made suggestions.
Looking at the results, you will first notice the two Google Guaranteed paid search results. Also known as LSA (Local Search Ads), Google Guaranteed services are offered by 99 Calls and are probably the most cost-effective paid ads available, as long as a business can pass the rigorous verification process.
Next, you’ll see the maps section, including a sponsored map placement in the top spot. Next on the page are the organic results (this is the section that requires great SEO practices to be found). There are a couple of local carpet cleaning businesses found in this section as well as some directory entries like Angie’s and Yelp.
Now what if my search was done on my phone without asking Siri? What if I simply type the same keywords into my Chrome browser? Here are the results that come up:
Look familiar? It should! Yes, try this at home. You will find that voice search and typing your search into a browser will yield the same results. Paid ads will be found the same, whether the business is using Google Guaranteed or Google Ads.
Now I’ll conduct the same search on my desktop computer.
Of course, the larger desktop monitor provides greater depth because of the larger screen. Still, the same companies are coming up on the first page of the search.
Here’s the Question Businesses Should be Asking:
“So if the same practices for producing great SEO will yield results for voice search as they do with typing in questions and keywords, what are these practices and how can I rank my business when customers are searching for my services?”
The same advice that was given back in 2019 in this blog is still relevant today. I’ll add a couple more that are also important. Below are the best practices for getting found in any type of online search:
Format your content to be featured in snippets (use headers, lists, and short paragraphs)
Create content based on commonly asked questions in a conversational tone
Get more 5-star reviews! If you don’t have many dozens, make this your top priority
Make sure your site is designed for mobile-first indexing (they all should be by now)
Include relevant local information to show your viewers (and Google) that you’re local
Keep content simple and clean
Get built for speed. Landing pages should load within two seconds.
I’d like to add, “It’s that simple”, but the reality is, ranking in any form on searches is tough stuff. As you can see from the examples above, there are many more paid positions on the first page of search results. Google Guaranteed and Google Ads PPC are taking the most coveted positions. This is true no matter how you search. The truth is, trying SEO practices, even mastering them all, will not yield the same results (and by results, if you’re a contractor, I mean leads) as they did in recent years. In order to get found and get called with enough frequency to stay afloat, businesses need to utilize other strategies and a lot more of their marketing budget to paid ads. For more information on how the first page of Google has (evolved or devolved – you decide) over time, see this article, entitled The Incredible Shrinking First Page of Google.
For more information on SEO, ranking with keywords and voice searches, and pay-per-click or pay-per-lead marketing, call the experts at 99 Calls!
If you are a small business owner with an online presence for at least 5 years, you have seen the first page of Google searches change dramatically. The amount of space for SEO or organic search results is rapidly shrinking. What is causing this shift and how can small businesses generate leads on small budgets?
When we opened our doors in 2010, it seemed as though there was plenty of room for anyone who wanted to establish a presence online. 99 Calls began as a team of 4 professionals. We built websites for service area businesses, and within days, our clients would start to receive leads. We earned our first 50 customers by offering a free 30-day trial. Once contractors saw the number of leads they were receiving from their organic presence, most were more than happy to sign on for ongoing services.
It didn’t take much to get pages ranking back then. The main components were well-written content, stating the contractors’ service offerings and the areas served and building listings for online directories such as Google, Bing, Manta and Yelp. Almost all sites ranked highly within a month or two and often much more quickly.
The First Page Begins to Shrink
Although Google claims that they never accept payment from customers to rank well organically, they have shrunk the available playing field, especially for small businesses. The natural, or organic section became less achievable for owner-operated businesses as they made way for large national chains and huge marketing firms.
Beginning in 2013, we began to see major national businesses claiming the first positions on searches. Companies like Yelp, Yellowpages.com, Home Advisor and Service Pro mysteriously showed up at the top of local organic searches all over the country, knocking small owner-operated local businesses down on the list. This marked the beginning of a trend where smaller businesses were struggling to achieve prominent placement on Google search.
Google Ads – A Game Changer
Although Google introduced Adwords in October of 2000, there were very few early adopters. Adwords was their self-serve paid advertising platform, and their first solid step toward monetizing the first page of search. Between its inception and the end of 2012, the playing field on the first page of searche made a significant change.
The playing field was reduced by 30%. Instead of showcasing 10 companies in the organic section, the number shrunk to 7 to make room for 3 prominently placed paid Google Adwords results at the top of each page. An article from wordstream.com explains the changes seen during that time.
Free Organic Placement is Threatened Again by the Emergence of LSA
In 2015, Google introduced its newest venture; Google Guaranteed, also called Google Local Service Ads (LSAs). LSAs were first tested in small markets for a select group of industries. By the end of 2019, many cities across the United States had access to paid Google Guaranteed campaigns in industries such as carpet cleaning, house cleaning, and handyman services.
The image below shows that Google Guaranteed/LSA paid ads are shown at the very top of local searches:
Google’s verification process is more stringent for those who run LSA campaigns than for those running Google Ads. It requires providing documents such as drivers licenses, business licenses (where applicable) and proof of insurance insurance. Background checks are also often run on the company owners and their employees.
Those companies that are able to successfully complete the verification process often reap great rewards. LSA is a pay-per-lead service, as opposed to the pay-per-click platform of Ads. LSA has a bit of a ranking process that makes it more similar to organic than paid Ads as well.
Those companies that are well-established and have lots of 5-star reviews on their Google Business Profiles and/or their LSA Profiles benefit from being shown much more often than other companies. Although LSA has its benefits, it has also contributed to the shrinking space available for organic results.
The image below shows how one business trended downward in placement on the first page of a Google search through the years.
As The Giant Grows, What Happens to the Little Guys?
In 2020, more than 80% of Google’s worldwide revenue came from their Google Ads platform, and that number is still climbing, according to an article posted by CNBC.
The page layout is as follows. When you search for a service in your area, you’ll see three or more Google LSA advertisements, followed by three or more google Ads advertisements, followed by Google Maps with three entries (which they are also beginning to monetize), and finally, a small organic section with three or more results. This is followed by more paid ads.
Where there were 10 opportunities for a small business to be shown on the first page of a local search, there are now just three, and often the first one or two is a large national company.
Although there are usually only up to three organic results showing on the first page of a search, there are also three Google Maps listings, and for now, these are still free. In order to claim a prominent spot with Google Maps, your Google Business Profile must be complete, follow Google’s best practices and have lots of 5-star reviews.
That and a little luck might make your business visible here (outlined in red):
Google has made it all but impossible to be found without investing in one of its paid services. That said, small businesses will no longer be able to build a site or pay for SEO services and expect to receive a sustainable number of inbound leads. You’ve got to pay to play. That isn’t in question.
The key now is to find a way to play with ROI in mind. Online marketing, when done right, isn’t an expense. It’s an investment in your business. Every dollar you invest will ideally result in at least $5 in return. The good news is that there is plenty of return to be had when you use Google’s services. However, if you are unfamiliar with bidding strategies and optimizing campaigns, you’ll want to invest in a business that can deliver profitable results.
What to Look for In a Digital Marketing Company
Given that organic lead generation takes much, much longer to produce and delivers fewer results, and Facebook ADs are a good option for some businesses but not as effective for service contractors, the two best bets for lead generation are the paid lead platforms on search; Google Ads and Google LSA.
If the name of the game is getting found online and getting leads coming in at a cost that will generate revenue for your business, you’ll want to do your research.
Questions to ask potential lead companies so that you can do your due diligence include:
What are your monthly service fees?
Do you charge a monthly fee plus each Google Ads or LSA lead I receive or are they included?
If the company is charging a flat fee for leads plus a management fee, ask, “What is your markup?”.
What is your conversion rate for my service offerings/industry?
How many other companies do you work with like mine?
What kind of reporting do you provide so that I can measure my ROI?
Once you get your answers and compare them, a clear winner will hopefully emerge. Remember, sales reps get a commission when they sell you. If you feel you’ve made a good connection, that’s great, but the sales rep probably isn’t going to be the person who sets up your account or continues to support your business in the future. Try to stick to the facts.
For questions or more information on how to win with Google’s LSA or PPC campaigns, call 800-717-4669 or schedule a free consultation.
3 Mistakes Contractors Should Avoid as the Slower Season Begins
4 Strategies to Implement in 2023
As colder weather rolls in, many contractors begin to pull back on their marketing efforts, but the winter is a great time to do just the opposite! While the demand for many services slows down between November and February, there are still many benefits of holding your marketing efforts steady.
1. The winter months may not bring in the highest volume of leads each year, which will allow you more time to focus on other aspects of your business, including marketing.
The winter months are a great time to beef up your SEO!
Add fresh content to your website like photos, videos, and blog posts.
Confirm that all information on your website and online listings are up to date and make any necessary updates.
This will help your website rank higher when warmer weather comes back around, making it easier for potential customers to find you.
This is also a great time to figure out your game plan for your Google ads campaign for the upcoming year.
Think about what budget you would like to set, what services you want to target, and what areas you want to focus on marketing in.
Google Local Service Ads, or Google Guaranteed offers an additional avenue to show off your business on the first page of Google. LSA is a pay-per-lead program which offers the benefit of a lower lead cost than pay-per-click advertising. If you begin now, your campaign will be further optimized for your busier months!
If you have a database of “old” leads that you aren’t doing anything with, you’re missing out on potential revenue! Reactivation campaigns are a great, low-cost way to book more jobs at a fraction of the price of a new lead.
Get ahead of your competitors and utilize your winter months wisely by focusing on your marketing efforts while you have the time. Using multiple methods of lead generation may seem daunting. Luckily, companies like 99 Calls can help you manage your marketing efforts and get a return on your investment!
3 Marketing Mistakes to Avoid
Fall marks the beginning of the slower season for many contractors. The period between Mid November through the New Year yields far fewer consumers looking to remodel, move or expand. People are gearing up for the holidays and the new year ahead. Add to that the uncertainty that COVID has unleashed, and the supply chain issues that have slowed the market even further, and you may be looking at a lean winter.
There are several common mistakes that contractors make when tighter times approach. It may seem to make sense to cut back, lay off and lay low to avoid any unnecessary expenses, but savvy contractors utilize these quieter months to build. This keeps revenue channels open and puts businesses in a prime position to enjoy exponential growth when the hot season begins.
Top Three Slow-Season Mistakes:
Scale way back on marketing – It might seem prudent to cut your marketing budget as the season comes to a close. However, when the number of booked jobs on the schedule begins to decrease, this is an excellent time to review your marketing strategy and trim out the efforts that aren’t yielding results.
If you are losing money on print, it may be time to pause or halt that marketing.
If you are paying more for leads that you are making in jobs, it may be time to find a new lead company. There are lead generation businesses that only charge for their performance, meaning the leads they actually produce.
Google Ads may also be a viable short-term option for increasing lead volume into the winter. The team at 99 Calls is still seeing a 15 – 20% conversion rate on Google Ads campaigns. Google Ads marketing allows contractors to target specific services in selected areas so that you can get more done with a smaller budget.
There are plenty of opportunities there to gain some leads, win new jobs, and keep your team on the payroll.
Cut back on labor – Because there is a general shortage of qualified, motivated laborers in the workforce nationwide today, if you are lucky enough to have them on your team, now is not the time to furlough or lay them off.
Do what you can to keep those smaller jobs coming in, even if at lower profit margins to keep your valued workers gainfully employed.
We all prefer the big jobs and/or recurring business, but those smaller gigs often lead to larger, more valuable jobs in the future.
Not only are you contributing to your employees’ livelihood, but you are building trust and loyalty. See #1 above for ideas on getting those smaller, one-off jobs to keep your calendar full and your people working.
Take it easy and chill for the winter – It may be tempting to take a long winter nap, but here are a couple of things to do before you decide to take that much-needed vacation or rest after a busy summer.
Take a look at your SEO efforts. Are you promoting the services that you offer in the winter months now? It takes time for new content to get indexed and start ranking on Google. Now is the time to promote the services you want to offer in February and March.
Contact current customers and offer a discount when they book winter services.
Plan your 2022 budget. What are your goals for the new year in terms of growth, revenue, advertising?
Take time in the slower weeks ahead to review what’s working, what isn’t and see where you can trim the fat.
Once you’ve got these things in place, take a quick break – you’ll be recharged and ready to reap the rewards of your efforts!
If the thought of laser-focusing your marketing dollars and finding low-cost, high-value leads seems out of reach at the moment, consider trying the bundle program with 99 Calls. For a $349 price tag, you’ll get set up on SEO marketing which will grow over time, and a Google Ads campaign that can start working for you immediately.
Pros and Cons of Using Online Calendar Booking for Lead Generation Sites
by Diane Lovine
The team at 99 Calls has increasingly been asked about online calendar bookings for lead generation sites. Many service contractors are utilizing appointment scheduling software for their lead generation websites. Most often, small businesses report using appointment-setting features to allow customers to schedule free consultations.
The Cons of Adding Online Calendar Booking Features
Some home and business services contractors choose not to add this new technology to their sites. The main reasons cited are concerns that it will be too complicated to manage by their team and their customers. Often, this stems from the contractor not having technical experience or access to a web consultant or software developer. After all, a calendar for booking appointments on your website will need to sync with the calendar used by office staff so that you don’t end up overbooked. The best remedy is to purchase a calendar booking tool and have someone else manage it. Many lead generation companies now offer calendar booking as part of a service package.
Another concern expressed by contractors is that using an appointment setting feature to book an appointment for a quote is less personal than speaking directly with the customers. If you are a contractor who is available and prefers to answer the phone each time it rings, you may want to continue with the personal touch that you offer.
The Pros of Adding Online Calendar Booking Capabilities
Although there are a few valid concerns regarding adding this technology to websites, the pros overwhelmingly outweigh them. There are many reasons why giving customers the option to book a repeat service or an appointment for a quote makes sense.
The top reason for adding online appointment booking capability to lead sites is that it adds convenience both for contractors and their customers. Most service contractors run small businesses and the office staff is not always available to answer incoming calls. Contractors are working in the field and often can’t pause what they are doing to answer calls. The result is missed calls, which results in missed business opportunities and ultimately, lost revenue.
Another benefit of installing an appointment calendar is that it makes businesses more accessible to potential customers during off-hours. People are often searching for home services during evenings and weekends when service businesses are closed. Providing them with the ability to book an appointment for an in-home or even over-the-phone quote is simple for them and means their search for a contractor may end with you!
In order to keep up with today’s consumer demands, the question becomes “How” to add a calendar, rather than “Whether” to add one. Installing and maintaining online appointment scheduling programs can be expensive, so you’ll want to shop around. Some businesses report spending $199 per month on the service. With some research, you’ll be able to find a service that can work with your existing website and provide support at a fair price.
Due to high demand from our clients, 99 Calls now offers a calendar booking feature that can be customized and added to websites. The maintenance fee of the calendar feature is just $29 per month. Click here to learn more.
Have you had your clients tell you they left a review on your business’s Google Business Profile (GBP) but when you look it’s not showing up or publishing? Many business owners and GBP managers are asking this same question daily.
We all know the importance of getting people to write and post great quality, positive reviews on your business’s GBP. You should continually encourage your happy customers to review your business. It’s understandably frustrating when you’ve provided an excellent service and a happy customer tells you they gave you a positive review, but it doesn’t show.
This blog will help explain why Google decides to publish some reviews and not others. For a refresher on the importance of Google reviews, refer to Part 1 of Google reviews blog series, https://blog.99calls.com/2022/04/01/importance-of-reviews-on-google-profile/). Here is a quick recap: Reviews on your GBP not only make your business stand out more, but also helps your GBP rank higher, add to a positive consumer experience, gain trust, and increase conversions. So when you have clients tell you they’re leaving or trying to leave a review for your business but it’s not showing up, it can be very concerning, and trust me, the SEO team at 99 Calls has also experienced this, so we can relate to your situation.
Google has strict algorithms in place to vet all the reviews. The purpose of this is to show search users true and factual reviews and block fake reviews. Unfortunately, sometimes good, legitimate reviews can accidentally get weeded out with the bad ones.
Some common reasons your clients’ reviews may not be showing up are:
Your business offers Wi-Fi that customers connect to and you’ve logged into your Google My Business account from this Wi-Fi.
The review contains a URL or phone number that is considered to be a form of solicitation or advertising.
The review contains a word Google doesn’t like, such as profanity, racial terms, hateful content, or offensive content.
You hired an SEO company to post reviews for you.
You have an onsite review station (iPad, computer etc.) at your location.
The user who left the review is located nowhere near you or has never physically visited your location.
Offering a reward or discount to a customer for leaving a positive review.
The next time your clients ask you why their reviews aren’t showing up even though they’re leaving them, check with them to make sure none of the above requirements are being violated. It is possible they are not following Google’s review policies.
A Study of Conversion Rates for 20 Service Industries
by Diane Lovine
As a Google Premier Partner that specializes in generating local leads for contractors nationwide, we’ve been keenly observing the changes that have been taking place with PPC marketing. We have monitored changes in the effectiveness of running Google Ads Campaigns to generate leads. Over the past couple of years, we have seen unprecedented fluctuations in levels of success. Some businesses are reporting banner years and others have shuttered for good.
Pricing Increases Have Sidelined Some Businesses
Several factors have contributed to recent pricing surges for PPC advertising on Google. Increased online competition and inflation are the two main culprits.
Over the past two years, the market has become flooded with contractors willing and needing to get themselves found on the first page of Google. The importance of being seen is critical. The result of this influx of new businesses paying for Ads is steeper competition than ever, which is driving prices up. Many contractors are feeling the effects of the increased cost of doing business using Google Ads. Newer businesses that are not yet established find it even more daunting to get the cost-effective leads necessary to acquire their first customers.
Industry-specific data collected during the first five months of 2022 corroborate these findings and will be presented below.
Measuring Conversion Rate Results
Why do we use conversion rates as a measure of success with Google Ads? Pricing per lead for a given industry varies greatly by region, level of competition, consumer demand, and many other factors.
Knowing what a contractor pays per lead only gives a small piece of the picture. In order to understand if a lead was a good value, you’d also need to know how much he or she paid for that lead. To get that number, you’d need to know the number of clicks that occurred and out of those clicks, the number of phone calls or forms filled out. That’s the conversion rate. Read more on why conversion rate matters.
To sum it up, the two main reasons for knowing your conversion rate matter are that you need this information in order to understand your return on marketing investment. You also need to know the conversion rate that your marketing company is delivering and compare that to others to make sure you’re getting the most out of your Ads management budget. Not all online marketing companies are the same, and the ones that can deliver the highest conversion rates for your campaigns are getting you the best value (high lead volume for low prices).
Google Ads PPC Conversion Rate Analysis
The Team at 99 Calls collected and analyzed data from 20 of its top-performing industries on the Google Ads PPC program. Over 125,000 clicks and 28,000 leads were analyzed by industry.
Professions With the Worst (Lowest) Conversion Rates with PPC
The good news is that even the industries that use 99 Calls for Ads management that got the lowest conversion rates (HVAC and Restoration) were still seeing conversion rates of 10% and 12% respectively. Cost per lead came in at and below industry averages ($182 and $280 respectively). For the water damage restoration industry, contractors often pay $250 to $500 per exclusive damage lead. It is our experience that HVAC, Water Damage Restoration, General Contractor, and Commercial Cleaning industries see the most formidable competition online, and consequently demonstrate lower conversion rates than other industries.
How Did this Compare With Average Conversion Rates for Ads?
The team found it inspiring that those industries that garnered the lowest conversion rates on our program are still racking in leads at price per lead lower than the industry averages and with conversion rates much higher than industry averages. According to an article by popupsmart.com, the national average conversion rate for all PPC campaigns is just 2.35%. Just looking at Google’s Search network and not Display Ads, which tend to have much lower conversion rates, the average conversion rate increases to 4.4% according to Wordstream and Unbounce.
These companies recommend aiming for 10% or higher to get a “good” conversion rate. So if the “worst” results are converting above the average, which are the best converting industries on Google Ads?
Which Industries Get the Best Conversion Rates Using Google Ads?
The 99 Calls team collected click and conversion rate data for its 20 top industries managed using Google Ads campaigns. The chart below shows data for each of the 20 industries.
Leading the pack with conversion rates were Appliance Repair (31%), Moving Services (31%), Carpet Cleaning (27%), and Pressure Washing (27%). Conversion rates this high bring in solid ROI for businesses because higher conversion rates translate into lower costs per lead. The respective price per lead received from each of the four top performers above were $18, $40, $34, and $34 per lead.
Are Google Ads a Good Investment?
Although the competition on Google to be shown at the top of searches has increased dramatically over the past 18 months which has driven up the price per click, we have found that the advertising service contractor business on Google Ads is still an excellent value.
Of course, results vary widely among online marketing companies. Some charge high monthly fees and some cut into your budget by taking money off the top to cover their services. Some charge a flat monthly service fee, often a percentage of the budget. For example, 99 Calls provides Google Ads management services for $150 or 15% of the total monthly budget. Be sure to shop around and find the best value for your business. If a company can’t tell you their average conversion rates or give clear expectations, keep looking!
DBA stands for “Doing Business As”. It is not the same thing as an LLC or a Corporation. In fact, it’s not a business entity at all. Rather, a DBA is a label. It’s a filing with your state to get permission to operate under a different name than your own. DBAs do not provide any extra liability protection for your business. Sole proprietors and corporations often file a DBA as a means to get permission to operate under a specific name. If you own a sole proprietorship and plan to claim your Google business listing or run a Google Ads campaign, yes, you’ll want to file. The good news is that it’s quick and inexpensive.
Limitations of DBAs
Filing a DBA will not protect you or your family from liability. A DBA is also not a business entity; you would need to file as a corporation or a partnership with your secretary of state (which is a good idea but not covered in this post). Last, filing a DBA will not block someone else from using the same business name. In order to keep your business name to yourself, you’d need to file a trademark or register your sole proprietorship as a corporation or partnership.
Why Register a DBA?
So it’s not a separate business and doesn’t offer protection. Why should I file a DBA? There are several benefits to spending a few minutes and a few bucks to file your DBA with your state. Because we are in the lead generation business and work to optimize GBPs (Google Business Profiles) regularly, the team at 99 Calls will tell you that’s the biggest reason to register. Google’s requirements to verify a business profile have become much more stringent. They want proof that you are who you say you are, and showing your registered DBA is one of the documents that will meet their requirements. Keep in mind that the address that you use to register your DBA must be the same one you use on your Google Business Profile. Other benefits to filing a DBA include the ability to operate your business under a different name. DBAs give you an affordable way to increase your flexibility. For example, if you started your business under a different name, but you decided you don’t like it or it no longer fits your branding or you want to run a different service under a different name, filing a DBA is the means to get permission from your state to operate under a different name. Most states charge around $50 to file. You will need to maintain your DBA registration if you plan to continue using the name on legal documents and bank accounts.