iMarket Solutions Blog : Archive for the ‘PPC’ Category

Upgrade Your Marketing: Digital Marketing Tips for Contractors

Thursday, March 28th, 2019

You have many options when it comes to developing a marketing plan for your contracting business. Creating the right strategy is a vital part to helping your business thrive. This includes traditional marketing methods as well as newer, digital marketing strategies.

We mentioned this briefly in our last blog post about selling in the shoulder season, though it applies year round—forming a reputable digital footprint in today’s online and mobile environment is not optional. It’s key to helping you build your brand, attract leads, and build customer relationships.

If It’s Not Digital, Is It Even Marketing?

There is of course still value in traditional marketing practices, such as sending direct mail pieces that advertise your products and services, promoting your business and services from a booth at a home show, or even setting up charity events in your local area. But there is no denying that today’s consumers are increasingly mobile and web-based. Therefore, it’s essential to have a solid digital marketing plan in place.

What does this look like? Here are just a few digital marketing tips for you to keep in mind:

  1. Create a Well-Designed Website: It’s not enough to simply have a website up—it must be well designed. This means creating a site that is visually appealing, allows site visitors and customers to figure out what you’re about right away, is user-friendly (customers can find what they’re looking for instantly), and properly optimized. Don’t forget that it has to be fast and responsive—this means it works on any online and mobile device.  
  2. Optimize Your Web Pages and Blog: Weak keywords are the worst enemy to a well-designed website and blog. Choosing the right keywords to attract your target demographic requires a long-term strategy that includes understanding your competition and knowing exactly what web visitors are searching for. Trusting an experienced marketing company to create your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy will ensure that this is done correctly and that you avoid what’s known as “black hat” SEO practices—tactics that can get your website flagged by Google and other major search engines.
  3. Invest in Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Ads: Also called “paid advertising,” PPC ads are an essential component of any effective digital marketing plan, especially in highly-competitive markets. A PPC ad is what you see on the top and right sides of search engine results pages. They’re named as such because advertisers pay each time a web visitor conducting a search clicks on one of those ads.
  4. Have a Social Media and Email Marketing Plan in Place: There’s a lot still to be said for “word-of-mouth” advertising. Social media has taken this form of marketing and amplified it. Businesses can now easily reach customers where they’re at, not necessarily to make a sale, but to engage directly with potential consumers in order to build a relationship. Email marketing is another way to effectively get the word out about your business to leads and members of your community. From eNewsletters to promotional announcements, email allows you to get your business top of mind when the recipient needs a home services contractor down the road.

Not all products are right for each and every contractor. You’ll want to work closely with a qualified professional who specializes in marketing for contractors to help determine the right mix of products for your particular contracting business. When you work with our team, you don’t have to worry about your knowledge of the digital marketing space—that’s what we are here for!

iMarket Solutions is your resource for the leading digital solutions, and other great marketing tips. We would love the opportunity to assess your current digital campaign and see where your lead opportunities are. Contact us today!

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Are Automatic Location Extensions Hurting Your Paid Search Campaigns?

Friday, October 5th, 2018

Google is gearing up to automatically enable location extensions in Google Ads for all accounts. Starting at the end of October, owners of accounts will have to opt out if they don’t want this feature to start showing up in their existing pay per click advertising.

What is a location extension?  Why is Google automatically enabling them?

A location extension is a callout in a Google PPC ad that displays your company address and links directly to a map showing the location of a business.  

In Google’s own words…

Why are location extensions important for your business? Three quarters of people who search on their smartphone for something nearby visit a related business within a day. Using location extensions, consumers can find your business locations directly from your search ads and help you drive more store visits.

Why is iMarket Disabling Location Extensions for Our Clients?

After careful consideration, iMarket has decided to proactively disable this feature across all of our accounts.  While location extensions may help certain business types, we actually consider them harmful to contractors running paid search ads for multiple reasons:

  • If a user clicks on a the link in a location extension they are immediately taken to a Google map showing the location of your business.  This feature assumes that a customer will want to visit your business. While this might be a great idea for a business like a store or restaurant, for most contractors the exact location of your business is not relevant to a customer looking for your services.  In fact, you may not wish to discourage people from using your business based on location if they are within your dispatch area.
  • Since the link in the location extension is part of your ad, you’ll be charged if a user clicks on it. This will ultimately hurt your overall pay per click performance – it deducts from your budgeted ad funds on low quality clicks.  To be successful with paid search, it’s really better to chase demand from people who have a strong interest in evaluating your company.

In our experience, we’ve rarely seen contractors convert customers using a location extension so we’ve decided to disable them. Please contact your online marketing coordinator for additional questions or further clarification.

iMarket Solutions provides digital marketing solutions for home services contractors, including Website Design and Development, SEO, SEM, Social Media, Reputation Management, Email Marketing and Live Chat services. Contact us today!

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New Google AdWords Ad Format Brings Lead Generating Click-Through Rates for Home Services

Friday, October 7th, 2016

Big news this summer in the pay-per-click advertising world – In July, Google announced the launch of a new ad format: Expanded Text Ads (ETAs). As the name implies, these new ads significantly increased the available characters in search ads, allowing advertisers to include clearer and broader messaging. They also restructured how headlines and descriptions worked. Below is what you need to know and what we here at iMarket have been doing to adapt to the change for our clients.

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Amazon Pay Per Click Ad Gone Wrong: 4 Year Old Boys for Sale (Free Shipping!)

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

As one of our employees was shopping online for Christmas presents, he ran across this pay per click ad from Amazon: a sale on four year old boys (Free 2-day shipping w/ Amazon Prime)!

Amazon Pay Per Click Ad: 4 Year Old Boy for Sale

Since he wasn’t interested in buying a child, this ad came as quite a surprise. But with free shipping…

Seriously though, how can this happen? Amazon must spend millions on its pay per click campaign, and you would think that their budget would be devoted to products they actually sell. This ad highlights why pay per click isn’t as easy as you’d think, and that careful management is needed to not only convert clicks into sales, but also prevent embarrassing ads like this one from appearing.

As a quick refresher, pay per click (PPC) ads are the results you get from a search in Google that are surrounded by a light yellow box above and/or to the right-hand side of organic search results. This is a very successful marketing tool for many companies because you only pay if a searcher actually clicks on the ad (hence the name). Advertisers essentially write an ad, include a link to their website and then bid on keywords they think prospective customers will search.

However, there is a lot more to it than that. You can tailor your ads to appear only to users in specific regions or at a specific time of day. For instance, a Florida plumber who works 8am to 8pm would not want to have his PPC ad appear at midnight to a searcher in Texas. If someone in Texas clicked on that ad, it would obviously not result in a call and that plumber will quickly waste his PPC budget. There is also dynamic keyword insertion (which is probably related to what is causing Amazon’s problem above), in which you are able to replace certain words in your ad to match the search used to trigger it. While this can tailor your ads to a searcher for a higher click through rate, it has to be carefully managed so you don’t, like Amazon, wind up advertising something that makes no sense.

This is only scraping the top of some of the elements of PPC management. There are things like quality scores, which affect where you ad is shown, and negative keyword lists to prevent your ad from displaying when people search for certain phrases. A good PPC manager will take all of these into account and be able to increase your conversion rate from PPC ads and lower your cost per click. Your PPC campaign also needs to be examined on a regular basis to ensure that the clicks you are getting are turning into sales and leads. Certain keywords work better for certain businesses and regions, and careful attention is needed to create ads that will get you as many customers as possible.

Since even retail giants like Amazon can make mistakes, it’s clear that PPC is not something you want to turn over to the amateurs. iMarket not only offers professional PPC management, but with our call tracking service, we are able to determine what PPC ads are leading to sales. We have the tools to make your campaign worth every penny you spend on it. And to ease your mind, Amazon is not selling 4 year old boys. When you click on the ad, it takes you to their Toys & Games page, filtered by items for “4 year old boys”.

Amazon PPC Result

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