Lead Generation for Mobile Mechanic
digital marketing, Google Ads, Lead Generation, Lead Generation for Contractors, online marketing, Pay Per Click Advertising, PPC

Google Ads for a Mobile Mechanic: First Month Analysis of a PPC Campaign: A Case Study

By Jake Ramer and Diane Lovine

Background and Information Gathering

Diesel on Demand is an ASE-certified mobile mechanic business located in Nevada. Its owner, Corey, found 99 Calls through an online search of lead generation companies.  He offers niche services that required custom content writing and a creative approach to building a Google Ads campaign to generate highly targeted customers. 

Corey explained the heart of his business in this way, “We have experience working on commercial equipment of most models and engines. We offer on-site services at customers’ facilities. This saves time and is more cost-effective than having them drop off equipment and wait in line. We also offer preventative maintenance services for fleet vehicles, such as oil changes.” The ASE certification means he is fully equipped with tools and knowledge to work on a wide range and variety of vehicles. 

Corey’s goal of generating more business for recurring commercial fleet services was a fun challenge for the content writing team at 99 Calls as we originally thought his business was more similar to AAA or another roadside assistance program. We learned that the primary target market for Diesel on Demand was a bit more focused. Corey strives to earn the business of repeat customers for fleet services and serve as an “on-call” diesel engine expert for contracted fleet services. 

Research and Development of the Campaign

After careful research, our Google Ads team discovered that “fleet service” and “commercial vehicle mechanic” are low-search-volume terms. “Diesel mechanic” is a medium/high volume search term as it is a specialty trade and is fairly competitive. “Mobile mechanic” is a high-volume search term that may be used by people who don’t want to pay for a tow truck or by people in search of a unique experience with a roadside mechanic. 

Las Vegas is an ideal location as there are many major trucking companies and a robust market for large commercial vehicles needing fleet services. 

The Ads team chose the keywords most appropriate for the campaign and sent a request for our content team to write unique page sets around the chosen keywords. In this way, the pages written were expected to have high relevance because we wrote the content specifically with the target audience in mind.

Campaign Results

We built the campaign on June 24th of this year and initially also targeted the broader “mobile mechanic” keywords so that Corey could begin to receive calls very quickly. After just a few days, we turned off the keyword group because the calls were not helpful in terms of building the repeat recurring business that Corey was looking for. It is interesting to note that the CPC on “mobile mechanic” clicks was surprisingly low ($6.43 per click) for this small pool of data. 

Given the typical conversion rate of other 99 Calls Google Ads Campaigns, we would expect that the average cost per lead would be well under $30 for mobile mechanics. We’ll use this data to work with mobile mechanic businesses in the future as the ROI on these one-off personal vehicle mobile calls, would likely be favorable.

July Google Ads Performance

Ad Groups: Diesel Services & Commercial Fleet Services 

Budget: $500/Month

Conversion Rate: 24.62%

The total spend for the month was $440, which reflects the very niche market we targeted. The percentage of time that the ad was shown was actually quite high, indicating that we achieved maximum visibility within the market. Very few undesired clicks were recorded, which means that the goal of hitting the highly targeted audience was successful and resulted in generating the desired exclusive leads. 

The Ads team achieved 16 conversions at a conversion rate just under 25%, with an average cost per conversion (CPC) of $27.50. This number represents the CPC after removing the high volume of mobile mechanic conversions and the total price increased just $6.77.

Examples of July Conversions (Leads): 

  • Church Bus Broken
  • Billboard Truck Repair
  • Mercedes Sprinter Diesel Van Repair
  • Moving Box Trucks
  • Diesel Pickup (transport company)
  • Ram Truck Dealership (manager) 
  • Ford Diesel Pickup
  • International (semi) 
  • Food Truck Services

These are just the calls where we can make a clear analysis of the nature of the call. Our team records all calls for verification of the quality of the leads. However, when potential customers don’t leave a detailed message, we are unable to capture the nature of the lead. Corey’s relatively small initial budget yielded at least 16 qualified leads, averaging $27.50 each. Corey was quite pleased with the results from his first month of lead generation services and has made back his initial investment for setup and then some!

We will continue to follow Diesel on Demand (https://diesel-on-demand.com/) and report on Google Ads ROI as well as on the organic lead generation service that we are providing simultaneously. Spoiler alert: Month two lead volume is shaping up to be 50% higher than month one.

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Are You Just Spending, or Investing in Your Business?

Effective Lead Generation is an Investment – Not an Expense

Are you treating lead generation costs or prices per lead as monthly expenses? If so, you haven’t found the right company to partner with!

Does thinking about setting a “marketing budget” make you cringe? Do you immediately imagine your bank account balance going down, down, down? If you see your lead generation budget as a regular monthly expense, you may be wasting a lot of money! Expenses are car payments, electric bills, and internet costs. Good lead generation is an investment. Something that GENERATES revenue for your business, not an expense.

Most lead generation companies charge a flat rate per month and don’t promise anything in return. Yes, that’s probably an expense. But there are a few pay-for-performance companies out there that can prove their value to you month after month. In addition, many companies no longer require contracts, so you are free to take your investment elsewhere if you aren’t seeing the returns you were lead to expect.

If you want my team to just take care of your online marketing click here for a consultation.

Most Lead Generation May Cost You

The budget you set aside each month for online marketing is probably being considered an expense if you are lumping it in with your other costs. When times are tight, you might think your marketing “costs” should be the first to go. Then you trim other costs to save money. If you could generate reliable leads each month that turn into profitable jobs, your lead generation budget would become a necessary investment (and a sound one, at that!) If you are constantly trying to keep your monthly costs low by cutting into your lead generation budget, you are missing out on the potential to turn your service business into a cash cow. When leads become expenses are when they don’t produce measurable results.

Example: Say you have allotted $500 each month for online marketing of your remodeling business. If you hire a lead generation company that charges a flat rate of $500 each month and tells you they will promote your business online, get you onto the first page of Google and get calls coming in, but then doesn’t produce, this would be an expense.

If you hire a different company and they tell you that you’ll only pay for qualified leads that come in and you get to determine what a qualified lead means to you, you won’t be paying an expense, you’ll be investing in those customers who call you for a quote. And the higher your close rate, the more money your business will make from that marketing investment!

Return on Investment is the way businesses measure the net increase or decrease that comes from investing money. Return on investment, or ROI is the amount of revenue you bring in, minus the amount of money you invest to make it. So if you invest $500 in lead generation, and that turns into 6 qualified leads, and you win 4 new jobs, and each job is worth $1000 in profits, Your return on investment is $4000 (profits) – $500 (investment), or $3500. Imagine if you could invest $500 every month and watch it turn into $3500. Now that’s a solid investment!

Online Marketing and Lead Generation as an Investment

Customers use online searches more than any other means to find service businesses they want to hire. If you’re not there, front and center, with a great reason for them to call you for the quote, you probably won’t get called.

Good marketing entices customers to call you for a quote, which results in jobs, which means revenue for your business. When online marketing in the form of lead generation works in this way, it is considered an investment in your business. Even when times are tight, you don’t want to stop investing in good marketing, because it’s probably your best chance to build your revenue stream back up. Instead, start slow and build as you land more jobs. And don’t spend your excess profits. Keep investing in your business and watch it grow.

How to Increase Your Lead Generation ROI

So how can you spend less money per contractor lead? What is the best way to lower online marketing costs? Get seen and called more often and win more sales from your monthly lead budget!

  1. Improve Your Visibility and Get More Calls

The more phone calls and emails you get from your monthly marketing budget, the higher the return on your marketing investment will be.

When you sign on for services for online marketing and lead generation, be sure to find a company with a complete package: Highly optimized lead generation sites that will rank well on Google, Bing, and other search engines and the ability to customize the lead generation site and listings with your unique branding.

As important as getting found is for getting calls, making your business attractive to potential customers is also critical. Entice your customers to pick up and call you by displaying high-quality photos of your work and pictures of yourself or your team on the home page. Offer a special promotion to motivate them to call you rather than your competitors.

For other tips on improving visibility and making waves with an online presence, see this article: https://blog.99calls.com/2021/03/16/maximize-digital-marketing-returns-on-a-small-budget/

  1. Improve Your Close Rate

The higher your close rate, the lower your costs per lead and the more leads you can get for the same monthly investment.

Here are the top 5 things you can do to increase your close rate, and thereby increase your returns:

Always Answer Your Phone: It seems so simple, but we see it all the time. Customers are impatient. They identify a need, search online and call the first contractor they see who looks legit. If that’s you and your phone rings, you are LOSING MONEY every time a call goes to voicemail.

Quick Quote: If you’re able to give a ballpark figure over the phone, go for it. Otherwise, schedule a visit within the next 48 hours to see the job and give a quote. Get in there before your competition.

Professionalism Pays: No, you don’t need to show up in your Sunday best, and actually, arriving in some work clothes lets potential customers know you’re a busy person who other customers already trust. Just change into a clean shirt to change and be prepared with pen and paper to take notes. Listen to what they are asking you to do, and repeat it back so they know you heard it right.

Offer Options: When you offer 2 or even three options for getting the work done, you’ll asking your potential customer not to choose between you and someone else, but between two or three price points from YOU. Offer a budget option, which less expensive materials and less expensive detail, and then one with the best quality. This also lets them know you are versatile and can work with different budgets.

Follow Up: Don’t drop an estimate and run. People appreciate a friendly reminder that you are available to schedule their job. Maybe even give them a discount if they can fill an opening you have in a given month. Persistence pays!

For more information on improving return on investment, learn why combining SEO with pay per click gives contractors the best bang for their buck: https://blog.99calls.com/2020/07/20/benefits-of-combining-seo-lead-generation-with-ppc-advertising/

Summary

If you’re ready to really start growing your service business, start viewing your marketing budget as a smart investment, rather than a monthly expense, then find a quality lead generation team to make your monthly lead generation investment work for you. For more information on getting the most from your online marketing investment, give the team at 99Calls.com a call at 800-717-4669.

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Survival of the Fittest: A Case for Multiple Websites and Multiple SEO Companies

If you ask most website companies or SEO consultants, they’d tell you not to have two websites for the same business.

They’d tell you that having multiple websites would hurt your SEO, get you penalized by Google, and increase the resources needed to maintain your online presence.

These reasons would make sense in the ideal world in which your website is doing what it’s supposed to do – driving traffic and generating leads.

However, if you have an underperforming website, you may need to reconsider whether having a single website is going to benefit your business the most.

 

Google Doesn’t Care If You Have Multiple Websites

What Google doesn’t like is websites that are slow, have useless content, are not user-friendly, have poor navigation, use unencrypted HTTP connections, or provide poor mobile user experience.

Google doesn’t care how many sites your business has. All it does is crawl the websites, decide what’s most relevant for users based on a variety of factors, and rank those that are most useful highest in the search results.

If you have one website but it’s not optimized for a great user experience or delivering the content that’s helpful to your ideal customers, it won’t rank high in search results.

How can you know for sure what kind of website structure, content strategy, and SEO tactics are going to work best for your business and target market?

Here’s one way to find out…

 

Multiple Websites

If you have been using a vendor for over 10 months to help you with lead generation, SEO, and other online marketing tactics yet your website isn’t ranking well, attracting organic traffic from Google and Bing, or generating enough leads, then you should consider creating a second website.

Here’s why:

While a 10-month period is often long enough to test out an online marketing strategy, some tactics may take longer to generate results.

By creating a second website, you can let the strategy for the first website run its course while bringing in a second agency or consultant – essentially a competitor of your current SEO vendor – to test a different approach.

You should even be transparent about this and let the two SEO providers duke it out. Sure, you’d probably be spending more during the next 6 – 12 months to determine which vendor is more effective – but in the long run, there’ll be one sure winner…

… YOU!

The competition keeps the vendors honest and gets them to do their best to generate results for your business.

You see, many SEO vendors talk a good game and tell you they’re doing all the fancy stuff for your site. However, results talk louder than words. If their tactics aren’t placing you on the first page of Google, then they’re wasting your time and money.

Having a second website and letting your SEO marketers know that you’re putting their strategies to the test helps make sure they are doing everything they can to keep your business by producing maximum results for your business.

Yes, the SEO companies may complain. They’ll likely try to dissuade you from having two websites. There will be finger-pointing.

But here’s the thing – you don’t need to keep both sites once you have identified the winning formula that works for your business and target market.

Ignore the “cons” your vendors may be telling you for the next 6 – 12 months. If they’re complaining endlessly, then they simply aren’t confident about their ability to deliver outstanding results.

Losers complain while winners see opportunities, offer practical advice, and take action. Your goal isn’t to babysit marketers who whine but to identify the winner that will make your website profitable.

Let the results speak for themselves.

It may seem cruel but you’re in business to make a profit. You’re not here to get your SEO vendors to like you. If you stay with underperforming marketers, your competitors will squash you like a bug and laugh all the way to the bank.

You own your business and you call the shots. Set up the competition, find the best players, and let the champion take the spoil.

Make sure you track all the results, learn from both approaches so you can create a website that optimizes your ROI.

Ultimately, you’ll be the winner.