iMarket Solutions Blog : Archive for the ‘SEM’ Category

What You Need to Know about Google Ads and COVID-19

Friday, March 27th, 2020

Summary of Google Changes

In an effort to curb the spread of misinformation, Google is suppressing ads across multiple platforms such as Google Ads and YouTube, that contain any term relating to COVID-19 or coronavirus, regardless of whether they are “approved” in the interface. This applies to keywords, ad copy, and creative. Further details can be found below. 

What Does This Mean? 

It means that even if you put keywords or ads targeted for the COVID-19 pandemic, you would see zero search volume on those pieces because Google is actively blocking them.

Why Is Google Doing This? 

Google is working to protect users from being capitalized on by companies trying to cash in on the virus, and to also ensure that information provided related to the virus is accurate and timely to help searchers in the best way possible. You can read more here about Google’s efforts to protect users.

Are We Using Those Terms in Our Ads? 

iMarket’s paid search team has reviewed all client ad copy to ensure there are no references to coronavirus or COVID-19 related keywords that would impact the visibility of your ads. 

We have been adding sitelink extensions to some ads that direct your customers to your blog post(s) regarding your business operations and safety precautions to help educate and reassure your customers during uncertain times. 

What Does This Mean for Other Digital Mediums?

Local Service Ads by Google 

The Local Service Ads by Google (LSAG) platform does not allow contractors to add language related to COVID-19. The biggest impact COVID-19 is having on LSAG is actual strategy adjustments where a contractor may change their business strategy, for example, to focus less on maintenance and instead focus primarily on replacement/installation. 

YouTube

Google is actively working on removing any content that spreads false information about COVID-19 or makes claims about preventing the virus instead of seeking medical treatment. If you are creating content about Indoor Air Quality, use caution about what you claim these solutions can actually do to mitigate the transmission of the virus. 

Facebook

Facebook has updated its advertising policy to protect users from individuals and companies trying to exploit the pandemic for financial gain. This means Facebook is prohibiting ads for products that refer to the coronavirus and COVID-19 in ways intended to create a panic or imply that their products guarantee a cure or prevent people from contracting it. For example, ads for face masks that imply they are the only ones still available, or claim that they are guaranteed to prevent the virus from spreading will not be allowed to run on Facebook, Instagram, or Facebook Display network.

Google Pledges Google Ads Credits

Google announced March 27 that they are pledging $340 million in Google Ads credits for small and medium-sized businesses in an effort to support businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Details have not yet been shared regarding how much a typical business will receive or how far the credits will stretch, but they will be notifying eligible advertisers about available credits in the coming months. You can read the full article here

We Will Keep You Informed

The team at iMarket is evaluating other platforms and digital marketing mediums, and will continue to provide updates and adapt strategies as other changes come to light. Please contact your Marketing Coordinator with any questions, or contact us at 800-727-3920 to learn how iMarket can support your business. 

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5 Google Updates That Will Impact Home Services SEO in 2020

Wednesday, March 25th, 2020

With 2020 in full swing, do you have all of the info you need to master Google’s search results? If your answer is no, our team is here to give you the details!

Google pushes updates out on a daily basis, so it would not be surprising if you’ve ever felt overwhelmed. The most frustrating part can be that most updates will have zero to little impact on your business, but you certainly don’t want to miss the ones that do.

Keeping home service businesses including HVAC, plumbing, electrical and solar in mind, we’ve collected the top 5 Google updates that will have an impact on your business moving into 2020. 

#1: Google Added Favicons to Organic Search Results

In late May of 2019, Google introduced favicons to mobile organic search results. At the time, it had been over a year since Google had made a major change to the design of search engine result pages. A favicon, which is a small visual that represents your brand, is now placed to the immediate left of a search result, next to the URL of the featured page. Starting in January 2020 Google began testing this treatment in desktop results as well.

Because a favicon is unique to your website, it’s a great way to draw attention to your result using colors and shapes that will draw the eye. Websites that do not define a favicon using Google’s guidelines will show a standardized, blue icon that looks like a folder. As a home service business, it’s important to use whatever tools are available to help your business stand out against the competition. We recommend using a favicon that contrasts against a white background. 

#2: Search Ads Are More Integrated within Search Results

Where favicons are displayed for organic search results, Google now displays a black “Ad” disclaimer next to PPC ads. Based on a user study which asked 428 users to identify ads over organic results, “users were unable to distinguish them between 77% and 83% of the time…”

Google’s new favicon result appears to show an improvement in user advert recognition, however, there is also a large increase in the percentage of users who think that natural search results are adverts.”

While Google is still testing this format on desktop, we may see a behavioral change in the way users interact with organic and paid listings. If your home service business is not capturing leads through different marketing mediums, you may miss out. 

#3: Google Has Recently Rolled out a Core Algorithm Update

Google continually tweaks its search results on a daily basis, but generally reserves major changes to its Core Algorithm for a few limited batches within a year. The Core Algorithm is essentially Google’s secret sauce, so when changes are made to this formula, it will have a major impact on search results globally.

Though Google has not released the nature of the most recent update in January 2020, one thing that contractors can count on is that if they have low-quality content, they may see a negative impact in their search rankings. On the flip side, contractors that have high-quality content may see a positive impact in the search rankings. Since fully rolling out, iMarket websites have seen a 3.83% increase in keyword visibility on the 1st page of search engine results.

#4: Search Crawlers Have a Better Understanding of Searchers’ Intent

In October of 2019, Google released BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers), an update that impacts around 10% of search queries. The purpose of this update is to better understand natural language and searchers’ intent. More specifically, it enables search robots to process words in relation to all other words in a sentence, rather than one-by-one in order.

This is especially relevant for home service topics that may produce unrelated results such as “garbage disposal,” which may be a garbage disposal system, but it could also be a garbage disposal facility. The role of BERT is to catch the meaning of search queries to produce more relevant results.

#5: Organic Click-Through-Rates Have Declined on Mobile

With content-rich Google attributes such as PPC ads, Google Local Service Ads, rich snippets and Google My Business owning the top half of search result pages, user behavior is leaning away from the traditional organic click that we have become accustomed to in the last two decades. The result of this is that over half of all searches result in a paid-click or no-click action according to leading search data vendor Sparktoro.

With this being the case, it’s more important than ever that home service companies use a varied marketing approach to ensure that they reach their audience. Companies that focus on their brand, building a presence through SEM, SEO, Google Local Service Ads, and reputation management, will have the upper hand in this “zero-click” environment.

Amp Up Your Home Services Marketing Goals for 2020

What are your goals for 2020? Knowing how these Google updates will impact the home services industry, are you thinking of adding SEM? Reach out to our team let us know what you’re ready to learn more about this year.

To learn about what we offer, contact iMarket Solutions today. We are dedicated to contractor success!

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6 Paid Search Trends You Should Know

Friday, December 20th, 2019

The world of digital marketing is growing and changing every day. This is due, in large part, to the changing ways that consumers hunt for information along with the rapid advance of technology. For the business owner, this evolution means that knowing a bit more about certain online search trends can help your digital marketing strategy—especially if you are using this information to stay ahead of the game.

We’ve selected six paid search trends that we think you should know about which could help to improve your ability to reach your potential customers.

There are certainly more than 6 trends to be aware of, but these are the trends that will help you the most when it comes to adapting your marketing strategy to ever-advancing technology.

1.      SERP Marketing

SERP refers to the Search Engine Results Page, where the user will see everything from Google Local Service ads, to Paid Search Ads, to organic search results, to Google Reviews and more. One of the goals of your marketing strategy should be to dominate page one of the SERP, because this will make you optimally visible to your ideal customer.

When you are looking for methods to do this, one thing to remember is that Google is now changing how it analyzes a search term. Now, instead of simply looking at the term typed into the search box, Google is looking at the context behind a search to analyze the user’s intent. This means it can now provide personalized results.

In translation: thinking like your customers, and thinking like Google, will help you make the most of the SERP page. And that is exactly what you want. The other trends we are discussing in this post all tie back to this.

2.      Digital Marketing Personalization

When we say that personalization is vital to your marketing strategy, we really mean it. Previously, search results and ads were sales-focused, essentially the online equivalent to an ad showing up in your mailbox whether you were interested in a product or not. In contrast, now content need to be personalized to the consumer to ensure it reaches the right person at the right time.

Why is this so important? Because 80% of people surveyed have said they are more likely to do business with a company that personalizes their experience based on that consumers’ wants and needs. It isn’t surprising that you are more likely to get business from someone who is on the hunt for HVAC or Plumbing services than you are from someone who isn’t and who simply came across your ad or organic SERP result by mistake. 

3.      Google Local Service Ads

The days of hunting through a Yellow Pages book or scanning the newspaper for service technicians are long gone. So are the days of doing a generic search on Google and hoping that you find a business somewhat nearby. Google Local Service Ads are geared to meet consumers where they are at. When you incorporate Google Local Service Ads into your marketing strategy, you are saving time and money. 

This is because you are paying per lead rather than per click, which ends up being much cheaper. Additionally, your business will be included in any voice search results done via a Google Assistant. Add to that the fact there are no keywords to manage, and Google Local Service Ads can end up being a huge boost to your marketing plan. Google Local Services Ads should never replace paid search ads, however they’re a powerful way to work with your already existing paid search methods. 

4.      Voice Search & Home Assistants

Now that we’ve mentioned voice search and home assistant, it’s important to understand that home assistants like Alexa, Google Home, Amazon Echo or voice search assistant on your phone are becoming more helpful and commonly used than ever. And we want you to remember them in your marketing strategy because your customers are using them to find you.

By 2020, at least 50% of all searches are expected to be done via voice search, whether through a home assistant or a smart phone. This, of course, will make an impact on the wording used for the search results. What you want to remember as voice searches become more the norm is that by using a more conversational tone on your site and gearing your content towards providing answers to questions you are more likely to be the one that comes up as a result to their search.

5.      Zero-Click Search Results

A zero-click search result refers to when an individual gets the information they want without ever needing to leave a search results page. Up to 61.8% of search results are now zero-click results and are largely common with mobile and voice search results. This is why we were talking about that search engine results page so much at the beginning; most of your customers will stop here!

So, if they don’t click through to anything, how do you reach out to a potential customer with this trend? The key here is to be that featured snippet or quick answer that is featured at the top of the page. Your content, whether via a blog or webpage, should be geared to answer the question that brings up this SERP. This makes you a resource and a name they know…and are more likely to click on after they get their answer.

6.      Search Marketing & Social Media

These two trends are a unique and important pair. Search marketing is marketing that is geared to answer the question your customer is asking in order to reach them. However, you earn their trust with your social media. A growing number of people are using social media to decide whether they want to work with a company. 

Being visible isn’t enough at this stage; your social media is vital to earning the trust of your customers so they feel comfortable with that first click. Combining these trends together helps you drive both leads and awareness at once.

Remember Your Content

When it comes to search engine marketing for contractors, making sure that you stay up-to-date on these trends will help you immensely in allowing your business to grow and thrive. Within these trends though, one major point to remember is this: your content plays a huge role in who will notice you and when. 

Content that is geared the right way (i.e. personalized, answering a question or providing important information) will help you reach the right people at the right time. When you start to meet your customers where they are you’ll see that difference.

Looking for help with your search engine marketing? That’s what we are here for. iMarket Solutions helps contractors thrive in their digital marketing. Discover how we can help boost your paid search results by contacting us today.

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How Can You Attract More Website Traffic?

Wednesday, November 20th, 2019

Your website is the core of a successful digital marketing strategy. After all, 95% of customers find businesses online through their websites. But having a website with an attractive design, eye-catching calls-to-action, and friendly navigation doesn’t mean prospects will actually see it. A website that potential customers can’t find may as well not exist at all. Driving traffic to a website is what makes a digital strategy work.

Finding methods to pull more traffic to a contractor website is a core part of how iMarket Solutions helps our customers succeed in a competitive marketplace. Just as a strong digital presence through a website is essential for digital marketing success, so is a well-considered strategy created to channel traffic to the site.

You have a great website—What marketing tools will drive more traffic toward it and toward your business?

Top Marketing Tools for Stampeding Customers to Your Website

There are an immense number of digital marketing tools available to send potential customers to your contractor website. Here are a few we consider essentials:

Search Engine Optimization: SEO is still the number one tool to make your website visible to search engines and people searching for your services. A website optimized to garner traffic needs relevant keywords and phrases that search engines can easily locate and interpret. The landscape of SEO continually shifts, so any strategy to attract customers to a website must evolve to stay current with the algorithms and guidelines of the major search engines.

Social Media: Mid-sized businesses require social media to send people to their sites. Social media may seem like an impossible maze to navigate, but all these platforms have the same basic use: to develop “word-of-mouth” campaigns with a wide range. Your customers are already “hanging out” on social media, where you can approach them with a casual pitch rather than an aggressive hard-sell. A strong social media presence not only increases website traffic, it achieves other goals like building trust with customers and increasing the chance of conversions.

Search Engine Marketing: Search Engine Marketing (SEM) means using pay-per-click ads on search engines to attract traffic to your site when customers are looking for relevant services. You pay a variable amount to the search engine based on how useful customers find the ads. The better your SEM strategy, the more traffic your site receives and the less you pay for the pay-per-click ads.

Responsive Website: When we call a website “responsive,” it means the site responds to a visitor’s screen size and orientation, then alters the layout for the best visitor experience. Your potential customers use a plethora of devices to access your website. From screens as large as smart TVs to smaller smartphone screens, a successful website must adapt to whatever device a visitor uses. Don’t let customers slip away because they can’t easily navigate your site on their device of choice.

Managing Tools Into an Effective Strategy

This isn’t a comprehensive list of methods to increase website traffic. No list can be comprehensive, because digital marketing technology sprints toward the future with the speed of a cheetah. You don’t have to worry about exhausting yourself chasing that cheetah—with iMarket Solutions, you have the perfect ally to keep pace with both current and future tools. We specialize in creating success for HVAC, plumbing, and electrical contractors, so we understand how to design a strategy to drive relevant traffic to your website. We use cutting-edge technology to see that your contractor website is not only visible to prospects, but engages them, creates trust, and drives them to contact you.

For the help you need to grow your business and website traffic with an exceptional digital marketing strategy, contact a member of our team. We have the experience, knowledge, and tools to make your contractor business a success by increasing website traffic. For more than a decade, our team has sailed atop the churning sea of digital marketing, making the sailing smooth for contractors like you.

iMarket Solutions is a leader in digital marketing solutions to help contractors thrive. Contact us today to assess how you can boost traffic to your website and boost conversions.  

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Why Should Contractors Utilize Digital Marketing?

Wednesday, September 25th, 2019

When it comes to getting your name out there and converting local homeowners into loyal customers, there are many marketing methods that can help you along. Creating the right overall marketing strategy is an essential part in helping your contracting business grow. These days, this means creating a solid digital marketing strategy.

Digital marketing is, in the simplest terms, the marketing of your products and services using digital technologies, both on the internet and other forms of digital media. In the last few decades, digital marketing has drastically changed the way brands and businesses utilize technology in their marketing efforts.

At iMarket Solutions, we are dedicated to contractor success. This means we believe in helping contractors form a reputable digital footprint in today’s online and mobile environment. This isn’t optional anymore—it’s what your contracting business needs to separate itself from your competitors. What exactly does this look like?

The Benefits of Digital Marketing for Contractors

Today’s consumers are increasingly becoming more mobile and web-based than ever before. Sure, marketing efforts such as advertising products and services through direct mail, or from a booth at a home or trade show is still valuable. But, to truly reach homeowners and even business owners where they’re at, you need to be visible online. There are a number of benefits to this, including:

Brand Development: A beautifully designed website, reputable social media presence, and solid online reviews are just a few of the ways you can garner attention for your contracting business. Building a brand from the ground up, or even entering a new vertical, can be overwhelming. But with the right support, you can quickly gain leads and conversions.

Lead Generation: If you want to enable your business to create enormous traffic and subsequent sales and conversion, the best way to do so is with digital marketing. Digital agencies can bring in leads through content marketing, email and social media marketing, optimized web forms, A/B testing, and more.

Low Cost, High ROI: Marketing and advertising your brand is one of the biggest financial burdens you’ll never need to take on. But marketing through digital platforms provides you with an affordable alternative to traditional marketing such as cold calling or advertising in magazines and direct mail. The best part is, digital marketing offers a substantial return on investment.

Reputation: The idea behind a careful digital marketing strategy is to gain the attention of potential customers and current customers long enough to build a credible reputation that keeps them coming back. Online reviews, social media presence, and how your company communicates using these digital mediums can help build and maintain a great company reputation in the communities you serve.

Our Comprehensive Products

Not all digital marketing products are right for each and every contractor. It’s important that you work with a qualified team with a specialty in marketing for contractors to determine the best strategy for your specific needs as a contracting business. Contact a member of our team today to learn more about any of the following services we provide!

  • Website Design
  • Digital Brand Management with SEO
  • Review Generation & Management
  • Email Marketing
  • Social Media Management
  • Search Engine Marketing
  • Local Services by Google Support
  • Remarketing
  • Live Chat

“How Can I Get Started?”

Digital marketing can seem overwhelming to a contractor who’s never had a solid online presence. Fortunately, that’s what iMarket Solutions is here for. Getting started with digital marketing means first creating a well-designed website with great, unique content and a strong town-by-town strategy for your service areas—and ensuring that the whole site provides a positive user experience.

Or rather, it means contacting a digital agency with the purpose of delivering HVAC, plumbing, and electrical contracting businesses with the best solutions for their digital marketing strategy to design that website. And your company’s website is just the beginning!

iMarket Co-Owner and Co-Founder Gary Elekes has found that the contractors with the most successful digital strategies have followed this model for getting started in digital marketing:

  • Have your provider publish blog posts at least 1-2 times each month.
  • Encourage and drive customer reviews as much as you can to all review engines—not just Google.
  • Get busy with collecting emails, and launch a solid email campaign strategy that targets existing customers.
  • Tie in your social media accounts with a strategy for community and cause marketing, using Facebook ads, Facebook posts, Instagram posts, and Retargeting.
  • Check to see if Local Services by Google is available in your area, and if it is, don’t wait! Sign up, get vetted, and tie in your ads to your customer reviews.
  • Invest in a paid search model through Google paid ads.

Gary Elekes Co–Founded iMarket Solutions in 2010 with Andrew Allen. Gary is also the Founder and CEO of EPC Equity, a private equity group established to acquire, operate, and grow businesses in the home services trade. Additionally, Gary serves as President of EPC, Inc., EPC Training, Inc., two companies he has sold to EGIA and operates them for EGIA.  He still maintains and operates EPC Consulting independently, and has also been an active contractor since 2002, currently owning and operating HVAC and Plumbing companies in Arizona.

To learn more about how to get started, simply reach out to our team. We’ve been working with contractors for years, and we understand the unique needs you face when getting your name out and attracting leads.

iMarket Solutions is your resource for leading digital solutions. Please allow us to assess your current digital strategy and see where your lead opportunities are. Contact us today!

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The Top Myths about Paid Search (SEM): Part 2

Tuesday, May 28th, 2019

In our previous blog post, we outlined some of the biggest myths out there regarding paid search, also known as Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising or Search Engine Marketing (SEM). We want to continue that discussion here. Even though those myths are the biggest, they’re not the only misplaced beliefs out there. Keep reading for a few more arguments we’ve heard against paid search and see how marketing experts debunk them.

Myth #1: Paid Search Doesn’t Work

Paid search works, if you’ve structured your account the right way. Advertisers only get charged by Google if someone clicks on their ads, so if the ads don’t get clicked on, Google Ads wouldn’t be a viable revenue stream for Google, and they would not offer it as a product. Research has revealed that Google actually makes over $1 million revenue in a day from Google Ads alone!

Myth #2: Nobody Clicks on Paid Search Ads

Let’s put it this way—if you’re meeting what the searcher needs, they are going to click on your ad! Small business owners are often worried that customers don’t trust paid ads. But the truth is, customers click on whatever looks like it’s going to get them what they need.

Additionally, Google has changed their paid ads to look more and more organic, so even if that is a factor, customers might not even see a noticeable difference. But as it stands, according to research from Moz, people are clicking on paid search ads vs. organic search results more. In fact, sponsored search results account for 64.6% of clicks for high commercial intent keyword searches.

Myth #3: You Don’t “Need” Paid Search—You Rank for Organic

That’s great that you rank for organic! There are a number of benefits to SEO. SEO is, in a sense, the long-term “big brother” to PPC and SEM. You should be using both! PPC gets you traffic immediately, but SEO is building in the background and growing your exposure and ownership in the organic world at the same time.

SEO offers a great long-term ROI, fantastic exposure, branding, and awareness, and it is cost effective. PPC gives you the ability to only pay for results, target a highly specific segment, and provide time sensitive offers that are not always possible with SEO.

Myth #4: Paid Search Isn’t Worth It for Small Businesses

The question isn’t whether paid search is right for small businesses in general—the question is if paid search makes sense for your HVAC, plumbing, or electrical company.

In order to determine whether paid search advertising (or any other marketing strategy) is worth it, you have to know your numbers. First and foremost, you should know how much you’re willing to pay for each lead you receive.

Google Ads enables clients to set a daily ad spend and a maximum bid value meaning all businesses will only spend what they can afford.

Myth #5: You Can’t or Shouldn’t Use Google Local Services, SEO, PPC and Reputation Management Together

We covered this in our previous blog post—this couldn’t be further from the truth. Any marketing methods you choose for your contracting business is going to depend on the specific needs of your business. Your needs may change over time, and you can adjust which products you invest in accordingly. But the ultimate goal is to use the right marketing products together in order to build authority and trust in your brand.

If you want to run a successful PPC campaign, you want the right people on your team, who know how to run your PPC account and integrate it with your other marketing products. That’s what you get with our team!

When you’re ready to discuss how PPC advertising for contractors can impact your brand, contact iMarket Solutions. Speak to a representative today about our full suite of contractor marketing services.

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The Top Myths about Paid Search (SEM): Part 1

Monday, May 13th, 2019

Running a contracting business without an online presence isn’t an option anymore. But what type of online marketing is right for your business? One method of marketing that’s gained popularity, but also skepticism, over the years is paid search. Also known as Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising and Search Engine Marketing (SEM), paid search is all about building strong accounts and analyzing the data to see how you can best optimize the data you find.

2018 Search Statistics

According to SE Leads, 43% of internet searches performed today use a local keyword and 86% of those searches convert to a phone call or visit to the physical location of the business. 61% of searchers consider local results to be more relevant than standard, organic search results, according to Resource.com.

Without knowing these statistics, however, or understanding why they are important, it’s easy to fall for one or more of the following misconceptions:

Myth #1: Paid Search Is Expensive

The thing many small business owners miss about paid search is that you pay for the clicks that your ad actually gets. So, if your ad campaigns are set up correctly, each click is going to ideally be from someone who is interested in your services.

Each of these clicks’ costs will vary depending on your keywords, keyword match type that you are bidding on, competitors bidding on that keyword, and the quality of your account. So, sure, you can spend a lot of money. But you don’t have to. You’ll want to work with a PPC expert to see how you can maximize the spend for the best ROI.

Myth #2: Clicks Don’t Convert

Have you set up tracking to actually learn whether or not your ads are converting? The fact of the matter is, about 97% of consumers go online to find local services. They’re looking for you, but it’s up to you to take steps to give them the information they need to make a decision.

With paid ad tracking, you have the ability to eliminate wasted spend on irrelevant keywords, provide a true cost-per-lead, retarget previously missed leads and sales, and improve your cost-per-click and ROI on your paid campaigns.

Myth #3: You Can’t Track the ROI of Paid Search

Yes, you can! Refer back to Myth #2, and know that with the right conversion tracking tools and KPI’s (key performance indicators) you can create highly effective strategies that convert into leads. Google Ads and paid search are not “set it and forget it” strategies, which we’ll get to in myth #4.

Myth #4: You Can “Set It & Forget It”

Paid search is effective, and it’s an excellent online marketing tool to utilize. But we never said it’s easy to implement! If you set up a Google Ads campaign without knowing how to find the right keywords, target audience, how to write good ad copy, or set up proper tracking, then it likely won’t work the way you want it to.

Beyond knowing how to run a successful paid search campaign, you also need to learn how to maintain the success of a campaign once it’s live. Once you have this down, paid search/PPC advertising can provide you with the same flexibility and opportunity for success on day 100 as it can on day 1, as long as you are consistently doing keyword research and updating your information as you track your business and conversions.

One of the perks of using this Google product is that Google tells you what people searched for that triggered your ads, and you can look at that report to make sure that those are the types of keywords you are bidding on. If your ads are showing up and you’re getting impressions (views) but not clicks, then your ads may be coming up for the right keywords but you may have to adjust the ad copy, as something is preventing viewers from going further. Then when they do click, you want to look at whether they’re converting once they get to the relevant landing page.

Myth #5: Position 1, Page 1, Is All That Matters

Page 1 is important, yes. But position is not as important. Allow us to elaborate—you want your ad copy to work on making people choose you over the other people in the 4 ad spots on the page.

If you get a top spot in the search result, it doesn’t guarantee that your ad will be clicked. It has as much chance of being clicked as the other 3 showing on the top of the page. There’s also a probability that you’ll have to pay too much for the clicks in position 1. In short, you don’t want to bid to position, you want to bid to profitability.

Myth #6: You Must Own Single Word Keywords

The majority of searches now are long tail keywords with at least 4 words and full questions. This is becoming even more common with voice search from things like Alexa and Google Home. For instance, a consumer may say, “Hey Google, find me an air conditioner repair in Dallas” which would stick you in their results if you used that long tail keyword.

The types of keywords you choose depend on what works best for your advertising campaign and budget. That’s why you have to look at what you have available for budget to spend and bid on the keywords that are going to bring in the most leads with the budget you have. Shorter keywords can be good for mining for how people are searching. But if you want to bring in leads, you typically want to have long tail keywords.

Bonus Myths!

There are two more myths we want to talk about. The first one is that many business owners believe that competitors can click on ads and drive up costs. They can. But, Google has an extremely sophisticated click fraud program in place that detects and filters out invalid clicks in real time so that businesses only pay for authentic traffic.

The second myth is that you shouldn’t use Google Local Services, SEO, PPC, and Reputation Management together, which is far from the truth! While it will depend on the specific needs of your business, using these together will help you build trust as an authority.

“What If I’ve Tried PPC Advertising and It Didn’t Work for Me?”

To put it simply, and to reiterate the points made above, the key to successful PPC advertising is proper account setup and ongoing management of your PPC advertising. It must be updated on an ongoing basis, and you need to have the right people who know how to run your PPC account.

Looking for some expert help with your PPC for contractors? Look no further than iMarket Solutions. Contact us today and learn about our full suite of contractor marketing services.

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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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Local Services Ads by Google – Have You Signed Up?

Friday, November 17th, 2017

It’s no secret that “change” is the only thing that ever stays the same when it goes to Google’s search results, and for home service contractors, the rate of that change has accelerated in 2017. We’re not just talking about the usual organic ranking algorithm updates, changes to the map pack, and general layout changes – we’re talking about a brand new advertising platform with prominent ad positions at the top of search results.

Local Services ads by Google

Have you seen anything like this at the top of search results recently? If not, you likely will soon, as Google announced just last month that these ads are coming to 30 major metro areas in the United States by the end of 2017 – up from a total of just 17 previously, many of which were just added in recent months.

Google Advertising for Local Home Service Businesses

If you’re a home service contractor, you’re probably (and should be) wondering:

“What is it? Where is it? And how do I participate?”.

Let’s tackle these questions one at a time:

What is it?

This new advertising platform is known as Local Services by Google, and unlike traditional paid search advertising (i.e. Google AdWords), with Local Services ads you only pay per lead, rather than per click. Do we have your attention yet? That’s right, Google is now allowing plumbers, HVAC technicians and electricians in a growing number of cities to advertise their businesses above all other search results. For maximum visibility and lead generation, all home service contractors should be be taking advantage of this product and incorporating it into a comprehensive digital marketing strategy. You still need SEO, PPC, social media, email marketing and all of the rest, but make no mistake – this is the next big thing, and those that ignore it do so at their own peril.

Where is it?

Google actually began testing Local Service ads in 2015, known then as Google Home Services, in a few select cities in California and with a limited number of industries. While testing over the last 2 years, participation in the program was limited to those who Google had contacted directly, but over the last several months Google began to open the program up to those who wanted to opt-in and in a growing number of cities. The current list of cities where Local Services ads are available is as follows:

Arizona: Phoenix

California: Los Angeles, Riverside, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose

Florida: Miami

Georgia: Atlanta

Illinois: Chicago

Massachusetts: Boston

Michigan: Detroit

New York: New York

Pennsylvania: Philadelphia

Texas: Dallas

Washington: Seattle

Washington, D.C.

And Google as adding more cities all of the time, including at least 13 more by the end of the year, as was mentioned above.

How do I participate?

Great question! If iMarket Solutions is already your partner in lead generation, reach out to your Marketing Coordinator today to get started. But even if you don’t currently manage your digital marketing, we’d love for you to call us using the phone number above or online today! If Local Services by Google is in your city, we’ll take the hassle out of the sign up process and get you all set up and trained on how to take advantage of this new, must-have advertising product from Google.

iMarket Solutions provides digital marketing services for home improvement contractors, including website design and development, SEO, SEM, Social Media, Reputation Management, Email Marketing and Live Chat services.

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