Marketing Avenues Unleashed

What marketing avenues are best for you?

There a several marketing channels available to get your business out in front of potential customers, but what are the best ones for your business? From Search Engine Optimization to the newly launched Google Guaranteed Ads (still not available in all areas), what marketing channels are best for your Local business?

Let’s start with saying that a genuine  focus should be to provide value to those you want to get  in front of. Understanding that will help with every marketing strategy you put into place. Some avenues take a lot longer to develop while others offer immediate satisfaction. We can say one thing….Even if your phone is ringing, make sure you understand your numbers to ensure that you will have a return on investment. What does it cost you to acquire a new client/customer from paid ads (CPA)? What is the lifetime value (LTV) of a customer? What are your margins? These are important numbers to know. So make sure you know what they are or hire someone that does.

Think Out of the Box:

We spoke with Rusty Parker, owner of Parker Garage Doors and More, a Phoenix based Garage Door Company. He has been working in the industry since 1988, and operating as Parker Garage Doors since 1998. He has experienced the ever changing marketing landscape. Gone are the days of only print, tv and radio. Parker Garage Doors has spent a lot of time and money to develop strategies to continue to grow their business. With the recent launch of Google Guaranteed Ads, they are also experiencing how it is effecting what they already in place.

Here are a few tips from Rusty:

  1. Do Things Others Are Not Willing to Do….and Regularly– Think videos of your work, pictures, lots of pictures, regular posting on Social Media, not once in awhile, but regularly. Educating people on things they might search in your industry. EX: what types of garage door do I choose to get the best bang for my buck? Walk then through what to look forward for their needs and budget. Things don’t have to perfect, but genuine and with a strategy in mind.
  2. Develop Multiple Strategies– Thinking there is only way to market leaves a lot of potential business for competitors to nab up. We’ve done Google and Bing ads for some time now. We also still have print ads going on in certain areas that are killing it. It comes down to knowing your market. The market that responds to print ads tend to be older clientele. However, just because that seems to work best doesn’t mean we still are stopping paid ads, or continuing to rank organically, we do it all to catch the market. Of course we keep an eye on our numbers to make sure it we are not at a loss, but we diversify what we do. Facebook is a big player now and we have embarked on Facebook Advertising as well.
  3. Do What You Need To– Ask yourself how much you want to grow your business and what a new customer is worth. If you want to grow, then do what you need to. That means that when Google Guaranteed Ads launch in your neck of the woods, apply for them and go. Some of our top competitors are part of Google Guaranteed, so we need to be also. We have also experienced a bit of loss with our Adwords (more expense) being that they no longer sit on top. Rather than hem and haw, we are in the process of getting what we need to to be part of the Google Guaranteed Ads. If your website is outdated and not converting, time for a re haul. We just had to do that and I didn’t think our website was too bad, but the conversions were poor and their were some issues with the user experience. I must say iI love our new website:).

All in all, what I have learned is you must adapt to what is going on. We live in a digital world and that has changed things in both good and bad ways. Find what you can do to positively impact your business, your customers and your revenue and do not get stuck on what used to work. Make sure that what you are doing makes sense financially, as that is what keeps a company in business!

Here is a video we had done to post on Youtube and our Website and Social Media Pages.

Google Guaranteed | What You Need to Know

Google Home Services – What You Need to Know

The digital space is an ever changing, and quickly changing landscape that is a must to stay on top of. Whether your an expert and handle the marketing for your own business, or you work an agency, maintaining an overall idea of what’s going on and what may impact your business is essential in today’s world.

Gone are the good ol’ days of print and word of mouth. Now everyone has access to the internet and their phone with resources readily available, like Google. Type in what you are looking for and you are provided with a list if information, whether that be Yelp reviews, directions to a business, or their website to peruse through.

Google is the power house of search engines, with over 75% of people searching it’s engine. You can say that it controls what goes on and what information is displayed. They offer paid ads through their search engine and search partners, so if your website or information is not being displayed, you can pay to make that happen. This can be great to catch the people that click the top listings when they are searching for something. Many local businesses utilize Google’s PPC  (pay per click) platform, even if they are ranking organically. That being said, that landscape is now evolving thanks to the launch of Google Home Service.

What is Google Home Service you ask?

Initially launched in 2015 as a pilot in San Francisco these home service ads offer more security to the potential customer. They offer service based companies an opportunity to get a Google guaranteed badge and sit pretty above all other paid ads, or you may say “receive premium promotion”. Businesses are pre-screened to ensure the highest quality of service for the consumer, or Google’s searchers. Each business is then guaranteed or backed by Google. This means that they are offering the consumer 100% guarantee when they choose a professional to work with, otherwise Google will step in and make it right.

Google Guaranteed

Changing the Way People Find Your Business

What does this mean for your business? Google Guaranteed ads are still not available to all service based businesses, nor or they available in all areas of the country. They have recently expanded their guaranteed ad product to include more cities and local service providers.

If you are running paid ads with Google, or you are organically ranking, where people are able to find you naturally, these specific ads may have a direct impact on the traffic that your business gets, as they appear at the top, above all else.

If you’ve noticed these ads in your local market, we highly recommend you checking into them. Who’s to say how they will perform,, but with the Home service market predicted to be at 435 billion dollars by 2021, these are ads to involve yourself with.

Each business that wants in on the impression share, will have to go through an application process, as well as a background check and approval process. If you are a freelancer and not insured or licensed, do not think for a minute about getting approved.

As more businesses enter the market, it is hard to know what company to really trust. Reviews are a big part of managing your online reputation, and now Google Guaranteed Home Services will be too. Really it is in effort to protect the consumer, although you can also see the dollar signs for Google.

What’s Next?

This is the talk and hype right now for a lot of service based businesses, aka plumbers, electricians, towing companies, garage door companies, etc. It will have some effect on your business, until the next digital marketing trend emerges. We say stay in the loop. Working with a reputable company or agency can provide you with immediate insights on the next big trend that will impact your business.

Check back in with us, our goal is to keep you in the loop!

 

 

 

What You Don’t Think About That is So Important for Your Home Improvement Business

Marketing and Return on Investment a.k.a ROI!
I am a licensed contractor, specializing in windows, doors, and glass, in the Dallas metroplex area (www.mydallaswindows.com). We’ve been in business for nearly two decades, so from experience I can say that I understand the ups and downs of business, from rewards to losses.
As a business, our goal is to provide the very best to each customers while selling the product and service we offer. It really is very simple, until you realize that there are several other businesses with the very same goal……and this is where marketing comes in.
Being that we have been in full operation for 20 years, we have seen the marketing landscape change incredibly. With the power of the internet and the ease of accessing information available 24/7, the typical yellow pages and print marketing do not hold the same value.
This took us a while to fully grasp.  We heard “you need a digital strategy”, “every business owner needs a website”, “what type of online marketing are you doing?”, and so on.
I write this post based on my experience and how to choose what is right for you based on ALL that there is out there, and there is a lot. I still get sales calls on a daily basis, offering me something I’ve never heard of, but that I need. I’ve been suckered in by some of the brilliant pitches thrown at me, and I’ve learned my lesson. So keep in mind that a digital strategy is needed, but do not get sold on everything.
Things to Consider Before You Opt For the best Digital Marketing Strategy For Your Business.
1. Know who your audience is. This is one of the biggest things that you should pay attention to. Getting in front of the wrong people, or people that do not have a need for what you offer will waste your money. This is crucial for the development of all other strategies.
2. There are several audience types. These potential customers will be at different points in the process of inquiring or purchasing. Some will be hot and ready to go, some will need more info, and some you will be planting the seed through education, meaning they are a cold audience. This is also really important to help you to decide what to do.
3. Define your goals. Know both your short term and long term goals. Some marketing efforts take place immediately, while some require time. The best overall strategy delivers what you need when you need it.
4. Know your numbers. How much are you will ing to spend to acquire a new customer. Of course we all want to spend the least amount possible (that’s where referrals come in from good work), but what is a customer worth to you? Would you pay $5000 to get a $10,000 job? You know your numbers best, but set a realistic goal to go by. This will help you track the marketing strategies you put in place.
5. Choose Your Strategy. I personally recommend working with someone you trust. They are hard to find, but they are out there. We work with a great company that is very transparent and listens to our needs.
Strategies We Implement
 
Facebook Marketing- Facebook Marketing allows for more immediate results. Although there is some testing and stuff to do, once you’ve figured out the formula, you get new clients pretty quickly.
Home Advisor- Although we do not get exclusive leads and our response time matters, people use Home Advisor and we want to be there. Currently we are still seeing an ROI, even if it is a bit less than other strategies, it is still a return. I’d rather listed on the sites that people are searching, even if it means slightly cutting into my profit.
Reputation Management- Reviews matter. Revies give a social signal to the search engines. Basically if your custoters like you enough to review you, the search engines will like you more too. Keep in mind that reviews seem easy to get, but they are a lot harder then you would think. Your customers will promise reviews and never deliver. They get busy just like we do and need constant reminders.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)– You don’t realize its power until you experience it. That is what my seo company told me, and that is the truth. If you own your website and paid to have it, why not make it possible for people to naturally find. That is what SEO is, and it works. It doesn’t just happen overnight. It took our site about 3 1/2 months to start to see the increase in website traffic and phone calls, The lead quality is great and if a potential customter finds us, it is because they are looking for what we offer. What this means??? It means a warm lead!
PPC (occasionally)- Google Ads appear before the other organic listings. Some people avoid ads, and some people go straight to them.  The overall quality is of who calls us is not as great as our organic leads, but these ads will show up immediately and bring you quick leads, this is of course if you have you ads set up right.  We used this strategy while are website rankings where improving and during our busy season. It allows us to occupy multiple spots on page one.
I am not an expert, but I have learned a lot in the years I have been in business. Hopefully this helps! To our customers, we do a lot to help you find us:)

Hire A Contractor With Good Reviews

When it comes time to hire a contractor many people are looking for a contractor with the best reviews. Good reviews are great indication that the company provides a good service and has a lot of experience. People spend a considerable amount of money on a contractor and what to know that they are not leaving their property to a rookie. Additionally they want to ensure a potential contractor does not have a bad reputation or track record which can be discovered through various review sites.

Whether you like it or not reviews are here to stay.

Review sites offer a huge utility to consumers, and are increasingly growing in popularity. Additionally search engines like google are catching onto this and factoring the quality of your reviews into where your website is placed in the SERPs (search engine result pages). Not all review sites are created equal so if you are going to work towards acquiring reviews from previous clients then it is recommended to focus on Google and facebook primarily being that they get the most exposure, and are factored int your search engine performance the most. Home advisor, yelp and BBB are great too, but often try to sell you on paid accounts that you don’t need, and or strictly limit their free accounts.

Being that Google is one of the most visited platofrms for people searching for contractors it is highly recommended to optimize your website, to generate exposure in its search engine, and also aquire reviews to help with the former, and also give people more of reason to click on your business listing over others.

How to get more reviews.

Unfortunately most happy customers don’t take the initiative to review you. Often times you have to remind previous customers multiple times before they take action and actually review your business. The best way to do so is to upload a csv file of into an auto responder and send out a sequence of emails that reminds them to review you. Like we mentioned, most customers don’t review you after the first reminder. It’s recommended that you set up multiple emails (3-5) that go out every couple days after you service them. Once implemented, this will increase your reviews by 10x most times.

Obviously this makes it hard for new contractors, but everyone has to start somewhere. For new contractors you can bid low on projects in order to build your portfolio and reviews. Make sure that you are diligent after every job to follow up with your customer asking them to review you. Since most contractors do not focus enough attention on this you will quickly acquire more reviews than contractors that have been in business for decades, and appear to potential customers online as the superior and more experienced contractor because you have spent time acquiring positive reviews from  previous customers.

Barn Doors – The Interior Design Craze!

custom-barn-doors-phoenix-arizona

 

 

 

 

Chique, Shabby, Rustic & Customizable have Interior sliding barn doors the popular way to add functionality and style to a home.

Barn Doors can be an absolutely amazing feature to add to any room.  Not only are these pocket doors space savers, as the doors do not swing outward, but rather slide to open and close, they are also aesthetically pleasing and can architectural flair to a room.

The styles and finishes of wood, glass, metal and hardware are endless, making finding the perfect fit available for any style.

Functionally a sliding barn door can separate any two rooms, bedroom and bathroom, kitchen and living areas, or even just close of your laundry space.

One of the design elements we love when choosing to improve your living space with a barn door is the exposed hardware. The hardware that is used to mount the door and create the slide is part of the overall design and style. Once you begin with your base, the actual door, the hardware accents the actual base that you’ve chosen. Now although we love the exposed look, you may opt for to go the concealed hardware route, which means the hardware is just that, concealed.

There are many places that carry Barn Doors and you can easily choose a style of your liking. If you want to get more specific we recommend customizing the design and style you would like.

That means you can even go metal! Yes the industrial barn door look is the upcoming look of these once rustic wooden doors.

Whether you seek rustic and traditional or modern and contemporary, all options are available to you. Barn Doors can used for interior or exterior spaces. So get creative! Combe the looks of metal and wood to create a unique look.

Here are some door ideas we love.

 

Don’t Do It Yourself: Home Improvement Projects Best Left to the Pros

With so much information online and from other resources, we’ve developed the art of attempting everything by ourselves. It has become a norm, and we never see anything wrong about it. While there’s nothing wrong with doing some of your home projects yourself, there are some tasks that homeowners shouldn’t do themselves.

Whether you admit to this fact of think it’s not true; there are tasks that are too technical and unsafe to be handled by yourself. You shouldn’t even imagine or think about doing them. Home improvement projects that would have increased your home’s value and save money can end up being a disaster or even costing more if not done correctly. Here are home improvement projects that should be left to licensed professionals.

Electrical Jobs

If you’re undertaking a DIY project that might require working with electrical circuits, find a licensed electrician to get it done right. You don’t want to end up making faulty connections that will damage your home. Electrical work, if not handled by someone who understands the risks and has the right safety tools, can result in electrical shocks, fried appliances, and electrical fires. Even if it’s a small electrical installation task, look for professional help. This will ensure your safety while eliminating the risk of damage.

Plumbing Projects

Many homeowners only think of hiring a plumbing professional when dealing with larger home improvement projects such as installing water heaters and sewage tanks. Well, this is still fine. However, even when you have a smaller plumbing project, consider working with a professional. Water damage is one of the problems faced in many homes across the country. You decide to install that piping or toilet not knowing that you left some area that ends up flooding your home. Plumbing tasks have a myriad of risks and should be handled by professionals. Your efforts should stop at the usual blocked drains or clogged toilets.

Roofing

Some homeowners still believe they can repair or replace damaged roofing materials by themselves. No matter your roofing materials, always hire a professional roofer to help fix any problems with your roof. As a matter of fact, it only takes one move in the wrong direction to fall off the roof. You should probably do some research on the number of homeowners who have since fallen off their roofs when attempting to fix it. Are you ready to spend more money on medical bills as a result of negligence? Think about it. Don’t risk personal injury.

Those who don’t fall off their roofs still don’t do quality work. You’re not a roofing expert which means there’s a higher chance of making mistakes. A poorly executed roofing repair or replacement will cost you more in the long run. Save money and avoid personal injury by hiring a professional roofer.

Structural Changes

Any home improvement project that requires structural changes should be left for the right professionals. You risk personal injury and damage to your property. Furthermore, most of such projects require necessary permits which mean you need to work with a professional to avoid hefty fines. Get it right always by hiring the right professional.