Google Ads, How much is online marketing, Lead Generation, Lead Generation for Contractors, online marketing, online marketing costs, Pay Per Click Advertising, PPC, SEM, SEO, service contractor leads, Uncategorized

The Incredible Shrinking First Page of Google

Why is it So Hard to Rank Organically?

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?

Background

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.

Uncategorized

Customer Spotlight

Mobile Mechanical Repair of Tampa

One of the newest industries that we serve are mobile mechanics. There are over 45,000 mobile mechanic businesses in the United States and the numbers are quickly growing.. As our lives get busier and busier, finding convenient ways to take care of repairs and maintenance on our homes and vehicles is a real-time saver. 

Mobile mechanics, such as Mobile Mechanical Repair located in Tampa, FL provide a wide range of auto repair services and travel to people’s homes or places of business. Whether your need your battery replaced or have repairs on your car or truck, calling a mobile mechanic lets you go about your day without having to sit at an auto shop or be left without a car for days.

Meet Cole Denney, Master Mobile Mechanic

We interviewed Cole Denney, owner of Mobile Mechanical Repair to learn more about his business and his experience with 99 Calls. Cole has probably spent more time in his life under a hood than not. His father and 4 brothers are all mechanics. Cole likes to say that he was born and raised in a salvage yard. 

At the age of 18, he became a master technician. After 25 years of working for others, Cole decided that it was time to become his own boss. He established Mobile Mechanical Repair in 2017 and is enjoys providing mobile auto repair services throughout the Tampa Bay area. 

Cole was very quick to explain what sets him apart from other mechanics in Tampa. His passion for the challenge of fixing any car problem, no matter how long it takes really drives him. He’s always up for a good challenge and says that “can’t” isn’t in his vocabulary as he troubleshoots and solves problems. He doesn’t even have a favorite make or model to work on. He truly loves working on all types of cars and trucks, even small engines. He most enjoys getting auto repair jobs done right, making satisfied customers, and getting vehicles up and running.

Business Challenges and Goals

The most challenging aspect of owning his own business has been getting established and building a customer base. This is what prompted his relationship with 99 Calls. He contacted us for lead generation for his Tampa mobile mechanic business in July of 2022. His goal was to generate as many leads as possible. 

He started with an organic lead generation site to begin increasing his online presence and begin working toward a long-term strategy of generating low-priced leads. Knowing that organic/SEO lead generation takes time to build up, and having the goal of generating lots of leads more quickly, he also started a Google Ads PPC campaign using 99 Calls services. 

Lead Generation Results

In his first six months of lead generation service, Cole has received 22 organic leads and 346 leads from his Google Ads campaign. We asked Devon, his account manager how she feels about working on this mobile mechanic campaign. Devon reports that the team at 99 Calls has had lots of success with the mobile mechanic industry and with Cole especially. With a consistently high conversion rate of 39%, the return on investment is tremendous. Organic and Google Ads leads combined have averaged $10 a piece. 

PPC Leads Between July 10 2022 and January 31 2023

Continued Success

Cole has been pleased with the number of calls that he’s receiving from the lead generation system. He does have issues at times with people not calling him back or being inaccessible to his calls after an appointment is made. That is definitely one drawback to providing mobile mechanic services as opposed to a brick-and-mortar shop. But when asked about his business model, Cole is very pleased overall with traveling to see his customers. Our common goals are to continue to refine searches to capitalize on high-intention buyers who need a truck or car repaired in Tampa Bay. The team at 99 Calls will continue to strive to get him as many leads as possible at the lowest cost per lead. 

Appliance Repair Leads, Carpet Cleaning Leads, cleaning business leads, Contractor Leads for Winter, digital marketing, Google Ads, How much is online marketing, Lead Generation, Lead Generation for Contractors, Off season marketing, online marketing, online marketing costs, painting leads, Pay Per Click Advertising, PPC, Roofing Advertising, Roofing Leads, service contractor leads

Don’t Freeze Your Leads This Winter:

4 Marketing Tips To Implement this Winter

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.

2. Run some Google ads for winter/indoor services

3. Start running Local Service Ads (AKA Local Search Ads)

  • 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!

4. Run a reactivation campaign to convert old leads

  • 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: 

  1. 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. 

  1. 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.
  1. 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. 
  • Take some of your summer profits and invest them in some solid targeted online marketing. Remember, smart online marketing is an investment, not an expense!
  • 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. 

Get Started Here

Uncategorized

New Video Verification Process for Google Business Profiles

How to Verify your Google Business Profile

By Dipa Gandhi

Since the beginning of this year, Google Business Profile (GBP), formerly known as Google My Business (GMB), has undergone several changes. A new video verification process was tested earlier this year to verify Google Business Profiles, specifically for service area businesses to avoid spam listings. Just last month, it appears Google officially rolled out this video verification method. This is now the more prevalent method of verification. We’ve outlined the steps to help businesses complete the video verification process.

The New Video Verification Process

When a new Google Business Profile is created, follow the standard steps, for a new client’s business. Once the final step in creating the profile is complete, you will likely be prompted to enter a business address. Rather than being given the option to send the postcard, a video verification option is prompted, which looked like this:

When you’re prompted to complete a video call, you are asked to capture all of the following in one video recording: 

Once you have prepared and gathered the required supporting items or documents and you are at your business location, you will be prompted to complete the video verification from your mobile device. 

Steps to complete GBP video verification

  1. On your mobile device, make sure you are signed in to your Google account at business.google.com. Note: You might need to have Google Chrome installed and sign in from there in order for this to work.

2. Once you select your business, you will see this screen:

3. Click on “Verify Now”

Then this screen:

4. Here you want to enter your verifiable business address, then click “Next”.

The next screen is:

5. Click “Start”

Then the next screen is:

6. Click “Start Recording” here. Then you will see this screen:

7. Here go ahead and click “Next”, then follow the remaining steps as instructed.

If you would prefer to watch a step-by-step video on what the video verification process looks like on your mobile device click here: https://youtu.be/bYTuTTZpBX0.

Though this process of getting your Google Business Profile seems a bit more cumbersome than the simple PIN code verification, it may actually have greater benefits. It may prevent more spammy Google Business Profiles in the search results and on maps, and you don’t have to wait 2-3 weeks to get your postcard and then complete the verification. 

For assistance in setting up or managing a Google Business Profile or with supercharging your lead generation efforts, call the lead generation and SEO specialists at 99Calls.com at 800-717-4669.

Contractor Leads for Winter, Google Ads, Lead Generation, Uncategorized

How to Utilize Google Ads for Seasonal Marketing

Don’t Let Your Business Go Into Hibernation This Winter

by Devon Osborne

As the weather changes from season to season, everyone’s needs shift with them. If you’re in the dead of winter in New England, you’re likely not looking to paint the outside of your home or have it pressure washed. As fall approaches, contractors typically see their calendars less scheduled out. You may be wondering, “How can I keep my calendar booked with jobs during the winter months to keep my business afloat?”

SEO is not always enough to keep businesses busy in the colder months. Ranking organically takes time and effort and pre-planning. To be successful during “off” times, you need to be thinking about what services you want to push months in advance if you want to be seen on the first page of Google.  

If you have not modified your organic service offerings yet, all is not lost. Changing your service offerings with the seasons is a great way to keep a steady stream of revenue coming in for your business no matter what time of year. It takes just a little planning and strategy.

How Google Ads Can Help

Instead of letting your business hibernate this winter, try running a streamlined Google Ads campaign for your most profitable winter services. Doing so will help get your business to the first page much quicker. Pay Per Click Google Ads are a great tool for boosting your lead volume. By running an ads campaign, you will have the ability to promote your services more aggressively and keep your revenue stream flowing. You can choose exactly what services you’d like to allocate your budget to in order to be seen more often by potential customers and get more calls for quotes.

Some of the most popular services that our Google Ads specialists target for contractors in the winter months include:

  • Snow Plowing
  • Snow Shoveling
  • Roof Shoveling
  • Ice Dam Removal
  • Interior Painting
  • Irrigation Closures
  • Pool Closures
  • Insulation Installation
  • Heating System Checks
  • And More!

If you optimize your Google Ads campaign and are competitive with your budget and bids, you will likely start to see those calls start coming through within a few weeks. There are many components to running a successful PPC campaign. If you’re not confident that you have the proper knowledge to run a profitable ads campaign on your own, consider hiring a PPC agency instead. Utilizing a company with a proven track record of getting leads using this method can save you time and money in the long run and allow you to focus on service delivery.

Lead Management, Nurturing, Uncategorized

How to Capitalize on Email Leads

Tips and Tricks for Closing More Email Leads

By Devon Osborne

Email leads are just as valuable as phone leads. In today’s day and age, technology is king. More and more people are turning to the internet to get things done, including fielding quotes from contractors.

Time is of the essence with email leads. It is important to keep a close eye on your inbox so that you can respond to those email leads as soon as possible. One of the biggest complaints we see about email leads is that by the time contractors get back to a prospect, they have already chosen another company. Studies show that 75% of prospective leads will do business with the first company that contacts them back! If you’re not keeping up with your email leads, you are missing out on a large chunk of potential customers.


If you are a one-man show, you likely don’t have the time to sit and watch your inbox throughout the whole day. 55% of companies take at least five days to respond to sales inquiries. However, responding to an email within 5 minutes increases a contractor’s chance of closing the sale by 400%! We have identified a few action items that you can put in place to try and capture these leads as quickly as possible!

Almost everyone carries a smartphone these days. If you have your email on your phone, you can set up notifications to alert you each time you receive a new inquiry. If you always keep up with your text messages, another option is to have email leads forwarded via text. Setting this up is a fairly simple process, you just need to know your mobile phone number and provider.

If you’re getting overwhelmed and feel like you’re already wearing too many hats at your company, there is no shame in hiring some additional help. Having a designated person to handle incoming calls and emails can increase your response time and your bottom line more than you may realize. 


The journey doesn’t end after the first interaction. In addition to being one of the first companies to respond, you’ll also want to touch back in with them regularly. The sales cycle for many industries is not instantaneous. Staying at the top of the mind for your potential customers can help you close even more jobs. Not only is there the possibility of closing new leads that didn’t convert the first time, but you may also re-convert returning customers. Lead nurturing allows you to build trust with your potential clients over time and be at the top of their minds when they are ready to buy.

We understand that the majority of business owners don’t have the time to personally send emails to each and every previous inquiry they’ve received. Instead, wouldn’t it be nice if there were some kind of technology in place to do it for you so you can focus on other aspects of your business? Lucky for you, there is! 

99 Calls is now offering lead nurturing and lead reactivation services. These services allow you to effortlessly and automatically check in with your contacts on a regular basis. Once we gather a bit of information from you, our team will come up with a strategy for your database reactivation.

Google Ads, online marketing, Pay Per Click Advertising, PPC

11 Ways to Optimize Your Google Ads Campaign

by Diane Lovine

If you are like other small service businesses that depend on inbound leads, you likely have some experience with Google Ads, whether from your own efforts or working with a marketing company. Many business owners report having negative experiences with running Google Ads on their own. Other experiences have been downright traumatizing. The most common issue was low return on investment. Contractors overwhelmingly complained that they spend a lot of money on Ads but did not gain many new customers.

The DIY Ads Campaign

If you are not running a Google Ads campaign yourself, chances are you are buying leads from a third party. And chances are they are running an Ads campaign to generate those leads, and then selling them to to you at a huge margin. Buying leads this way can be very expensive for a small business. But so can the DIY Ads campaign if you aren’t optimizing your ads.

Running a PPC campaign on your own can be overly expensive as well. Although Google goes to great lengths to convince people that running ads is simple and lucrative, that is not always the case. Running Ads is not for the novice or the risk-averse. Online marketing is a career path that requires incredible amounts of knowledge and ongoing learning to stay abreast of the ever-changing advertising climate. That said, it is possible to learn the skills to manage your own Google PPC campaign.

There are several things that the average business owner can do if they are determined to run an online PPC campaign for their business.

Here are 11 proven points to review when working on your Google Ads campaign

1. Determine your goals. Some businesses use Google Ads to increase customer awareness of their product. Some are working to build a contact list. If you are a small service-oriented business, you probably have a very specific goal: Get the greatest number of leads possible at the lowest cost per lead. Once you have set your goal, you’ll have a better chance of achieving it because you can focus on the efforts that will get you there and ignore the noise. If you are a service business, you probably will not be investing in display ads, as search Ads produce more consumers who are ready to buy now. You’ll have to determine for yourself the definition of a lead, but the team at 99 Calls defines it as a consumer who contacts you for a quote for a service you provide in an area you service.

2. Build a solid Ad. Make sure you highlight what makes you stand out from your competition. Use compelling verbs that showcase the benefits of calling you. Google recommends creating 3-5 ads. Over time they will show the one or two most often that resonate best with your target audience. Be sure to follow Google’s policies in order for your ad to get shown. 

3. Research what search keywords to use. Although it may seem like a great idea to add as many keywords as possible to bring in as much traffic as possible, that is not the case. Instead, it is better to add in high-quality, relevant keywords. Remember that this is a case of quality over quantity. Pay attention to your quality score, as the higher your quality score, the lower your cost per lead will be. The goal of each keyword is to bring in clicks from people who intend to buy services you provide. Bad keywords bring in bad searches and lead to money spent without a return on investment. 

4. Determine your target pricing. Learn how much leads are going for in your area for your service. If you are a roofer in Miami, do the legwork to determine how much roof repair and roof replacement leads typically cost on Google searches. Knowing what a lead should cost will help you determine your budget.

5. Set a monthly and daily budget you can live with, but remember, you’ve got to invest money to make money. Setting your budget too low is likely to end in a loss because your ad will not be shown frequently enough to generate the lead volume you’re after. Setting a daily budget too high will burn through your monthly budget very quickly. A high budget and keywords that are too broad will result in lots of impressions and clicks, but few legitimate leads. You also should know your close rate before getting started so you can determine your actual cost to acquire a new job. For example, if you know that the going rate in your area is $50 per lead and you close one in every three leads, you will spend $150 on average to acquire each new customer. So if you want to obtain 10 new jobs this month, your budget should be $1500. You’d expect to get 30 inbound leads and close 10 jobs.

6. Remove negative keywords. You will learn a great deal by reviewing what users searched for to come to your ads. It will help you to identify keywords that are generating clicks those that don’t show intent to buy your service. You’ll want to continually review your keywords and add those “bad clicks” to your negative keyword list. In addition, decide whether you should remove your competitors’ names as negative keywords. Some contractors choose to allow, or even promote the names of competing businesses as keywords. There is some logic to this. Some business names are so universal that they are used as household names. For example, people say they are going to buy a Coke, meaning they are going to buy a soft drink. Serve Pro is a name commonly used in the restoration industry. When someone has experienced a water damage emergency, they may search “Serve Pro” because they know they need a restoration professional. They may be just as happy speaking with Joe’s Restoration Service, but that name probably doesn’t immediately come to mind. So, should you use a competitor name as a keyword? If you or your answering service have solid sales abilities and are able to turn that call into an appointment, then it makes sense to include those keywords. If this isn’t the case and you are uncomfortable receiving calls potentially intended for a competitor, then enter all competitor names as negative keywords. You’ll want to do a search of all of the competitors in your area that people may search for. As an example, the team at 99 Calls includes at least 100 names in a negative keyword list after doing research in each locale.

7. Keep it relevant. Your ad must match the page where searchers land. If you are advertising your HVAC service and are talking about AC repairs in your ad, be careful not to send users to a heating page or a general home page. If you have a landing page about AC repair services, you are presenting a highly relevant Ad and your chances of it being shown more frequently will improve.

8. Provide an easy experience for your consumers. If someone is searching for a roof repair, send them to a roof repair page. It should be visually appealing. The consumer should instantly recognize that they found the information they were looking for. They should feel confident in your abilities. They should also have easy access to you, either by a simple form or highly visible phone number to call. If you are able to further entice them with a promotion or special price, you’ll likely experience a higher conversion rate (the percentage of people who contact you after landing on your page).

9. Give them a reason to call you. Once a consumer clicks your ad and ends up on your landing page, it should be easy for them to call you with a simple and accessible phone number or form. What’s more, you’ll want to give them a reason to call. If you have images of your great work on the page, you’ll give them confidence that you can handle their job as well. You might also add one or two excellent testimonials that people have written about your service. 

10. ANSWER the call! We are always amazed at the number of contractors who go through the time and expense of setting or paying to have a Google Ads campaign set up, only to not be available to answer when leads call! If you don’t answer the phone, or at least call the customer back very quickly, your efforts are for nothing. You’ve already paid Google for that click, and the potential customer is already calling the next contractor in their search. If you are not regularly able to answer your calls, having a receptionist is worth the investment. Another excellent solution is to employ a lead company to provide a system of 2-way texting, auto-responses and nurturing so that your potential customers are acknowledged instantly when you aren’t available.

11. Know when to hire an expert. Across the board, the average conversion rate for Google search campaigns is 3.17%. This includes everything from the sole proprietor carpet cleaning business owner to the top lead generation firm in the country. However, top-performing online marketing pros can garner 10, 15, or even 20% + conversion rates for service contractors. If you’ve given a DIY campaign an honest try but can’t seem to bring in the return on your investment that you hoped for, calling a reputable lead generation company can help. Check online reviews, ask your colleagues, and be sure to hire a firm you trust can deliver. 

Lead Generation, Lead Generation for Contractors, online marketing, SEM, SEO, service contractor leads

The Importance of Content for Lead Generation

by Devon Osborne

Updating your website and listings regularly with unique content plays a large role when it comes to lead generation. With online competition growing more year after year, businesses need to find more ways to set themselves apart and outrank the others. 

How Does Adding Content Actually Help?

Having an attractive website is only a small step when it comes to SEO lead generation. Google’s goal is to provide users with the most relevant and valuable search results. Therefore, it is recommended that content should be informative, valuable, credible, high-quality, and engaging. More information on the types of content Google values can be found here. Consistently creating relevant content is an incredibly important piece of the puzzle if you want to easily be found by prospective customers. 91% of people will not search past the first page of results. Therefore it is of utmost importance that your website is ranking highly on that first page.

Google rewards businesses that are regularly updating their website and listings with fresh content with higher rankings. When you add new content, Google will crawl your website, giving you the opportunity to increase your rankings each time you update it with quality, relevant content. This is not to say that you should go and make unnecessary, irrelevant changes or updates to your site, that is not what search engines are looking for. Adding relevant content also allows you to add more search keywords which is another great way to improve your rankings.

Search engines are not the only ones that want to see fresh content on your website, consumers do as well. Stock photos alone may look nice on your site, but before choosing someone to do the job, your customers want to know what kind of work you do. Content is a great way to show off your expertise and feature the awesome work that you do. When customers see this, it will help you stand out from your competition.

Examples of Good Content

When it comes to creating relevant content for your website, you may not know where to begin. We have identified a few simple ideas to help you out! 

  1. Photos of your work: Help showcase the great work you do with before/after photos. 
  2. Customer testimonial videos: Show potential customers why they should call you.
  3. Running a promotion: Who doesn’t love a deal? 
  4. Adding an “about us” section to your website: This is a great way to share your story and gain trust with prospective customers.
Business Website, digital marketing, Lead Generation, Lead Generation for Contractors, online marketing, SEM, SEO, service contractor leads, Uncategorized

Multiple Business Websites: Harmful or Beneficial?

by Diane Lovine and Danielle Giarrusso

What is the impact of having more than one website?

Does it increase your visibility online? Does it confuse your customers?

There is conflicting information about whether using a multiple domain strategy (having two or more websites) will hurt or help a business. Often, the information is based on assumptions about the content and setup of the sites. Here are the facts:

Some lead generation companies say that a second site is a bad idea. Here are some of the arguments that have been made against having multiple websites:

1.   “Having multiple websites produces duplicate content (a big no-no for Google rankings).”

Having two sites with very similar content (or the same content) is definitely harmful. You will almost surely suffer losses in your rankings for both sites.

However, if you have a lead generation site with entirely different content than your branded site, pages from each site have the potential to rank highly, which improves your odds for a more expansive online presence.

2.   “Promoting multiple websites will confuse your customers.”

When people search for the services you provide on Google, they don’t know about you. A lead generation site is built to rank highly and present you as an option to them. Most branded sites don’t rank as highly as lead generation sites but are useful to your customers who are looking YOU up online.

Once you get that lead (probably through your lead site) and establish contact with the customer, you’ll hand out your business card which will take them to your direct phone number and branded site moving forward.

3.  “Using multiple websites will divide your results, weakening your rankings.”

It is true that having one authoritative presence online is ideal. But if your one presence is minuscule, it pays to make a bigger splash. The 99 Calls team builds sites that rank for a variety of keywords in multiple locations, almost always outranking a business’ primary website. The expectation is that your lead site will rank higher over time, and your original site will stay the same.

Other instances when a second site is warranted include having multiple small offices within a state or region and having multiple products or services that aren’t quite related. In these cases, having a targeted site for each circumstance makes sense.

A second (and third or more) site would be beneficial when targeting various geographic locations if you have a physical address for each location. If this is the case, having a “microsite” for each satellite office is beneficial. Google loves to show businesses that are extremely local to the searcher.

A second site is also beneficial if you promote multiple unrelated services. For example, if you are a licensed remodeling contractor and you sell real estate on the side, it makes sense to separate those services into two sites so that you can better target each service.

4.   “Promoting 2 sites for the same business will cause you to compete against yourself.”

If you have the same headings or are promoting the same keywords in the same location on two different sites, you are probably competing with yourself.

Would you rather compete against yourself or your competitors? Adding a lead site gives you the potential to dominate the first page of Google, knocking a competitor back to page 2!

5.   “Having two websites will get you in trouble with Google.”

Not quite. Multiple listings in the same town for the same business is definitely problematic though! 

If you build listings, especially a Google Business Profile that use the same address or phone number for the same business, you are putting your online presence in jeopardy. You can only have one Google Business Profile in a given geographic location.

The bottom line:

If your primary website is not generating enough leads, hiring a reputable lead generation company that uses a second site for leads can be a smart strategy for growth.

A multiple domain marketing strategy is more expensive, but if the ROI is high, you are maximizing your marketing budget and your potential to optimize your lead volume! You may own a larger slice of the first-page real estate on Google and enjoy more inbound leads as a result.

99 Calls has been selected as a Google Partner and utilizes a unique SEO strategy to get businesses highly ranked in their local areas for the services they offer.

digital marketing, Lead Generation, Uncategorized

Women-Owned Businesses Spotlight

Debbie Robinson – JP Services

In honor of women in history month, this week we turn the spotlight on one of our partners located in New Hampshire. Debbie Robinson, of Debbie the JP, has worked full-time for over 28 years administering mental health services in many settings including inpatient psychiatry, corrections and transitional housing. She runs her own business on the side providing wedding officiating, document signing and notary services, which is what brought her to 99 Calls for lead generation.

Debbie’s part-time business of providing document signing and wedding officiating services has been a fun and challenging source of additional income that has funded travel and hobbies. This is Debbie’s first experience with running a business and working for herself and she enjoys having the ability to manage her own schedule and the direction of her work.

When asked how she got into this line of business, she noted that she has worked for years assisting people as they struggle through the most devastating moments in their lives. Conducting wedding ceremonies allows her to take part in couples’ best moments, which creates a much-needed balance. The idea of becoming a wedding officiant took off when a co-worker asked if she knew a Justice of the Peace; her son was getting married and they wanted a simple, intimate ceremony. It got Debbie thinking that this would be a perfect side business to start.

She has since conducted weddings of all types and has signed documents throughout New Hampshire as a mobile notary. She is proud of helping people during the COVID pandemic when in-person services were shut down. She met many people in parking lots armed with her JP stamp to sign titles, wills, loans and other important documents. Debbie has always been driven to help people during times of need.

We asked Debbie what challenges she encountered when starting her business. She said that becoming certified was not too challenging, and she enlisted the help of an accountant to navigate the taxes. The biggest concern initially was that she wasn’t sure how people who were searching for these services would find her. Those concerns were allayed when she forged a relationship with a wedding facility, Alpine Grove, in southern New Hampshire. The owners included her postcards in their prospective client packets, which really helped to launch her business. 

A few years later, she relocated to the Lakes Region of NH and needed to establish her business from the ground up again. This time, she utilized the services of 99 Calls for lead generation. “I get more calls than I can handle from the lead generation site to support my part-time business and I turn quite a few jobs down. I’m notified when a call comes in, which allows me to quickly put on my business voice and get work scheduling a document signing or a wedding.”

What is Debbie’s advice for a young woman who is considering getting started as a Justice of the Peace? Debbie reports that although the field tends to be female-dominated, there isn’t a clear advantage to being a female. It’s an excellent part-time or potentially a full-time business that offers flexibility and the opportunity to assist people to solve problems with getting documents signed and provide a much-needed service to the community. She says that officiating weddings is an especially rewarding experience. If you are looking for a part-time side business that is rewarding and allows you the flexibility to set your own schedule, becoming a JP may be the perfect match for you too!