Which section of a Google search results page is right for you right now?
Hello again. This is Michael Byrd with Home Services Digital.
In the last video we talked about the general pros and cons, the pluses and minuses of Google AdWords, Google Maps, and Google’s organic search. When somebody is looking for a plumber, looking for a heating and air contractor, looking for a roofer today, they are very likely to go to Google and do a search. And different people click on different sections. And you as the business owner want to go to your best option first, in my opinion.
So the question is which option is the best. And there’s not a pat answer to that. There are pros and cons to either one, but really it comes down to this video. Which one is right for you right now? So we’ll switch over the screen. I’m going to give you the things to think about, given your particular situation. OK, so here we go. Over here click, this. All right, here we go.
Where to go next depends on your starting point and the state of play
So I’m going to come back to this page here. This is, this is the actual search: Roofers Wilmington North Carolina. And we talked about how the top is the ads — those four right there: one, two, three, four, the ads. The section here is the maps, and down here we have the organic search. Now I’m just gonna do one thing on the maps since I’m here, so I’m not gonna jump around too much. You see these three right here, and this is where the overwhelming number of clicks happen. But you gotta click right here — More places — to do part of the assessment. We’re gonna come back to this, but just remember that we did this very simple little deal here. We click there, and the reason we click there is we want to see — oh I made a mistake, let’s go back — we want to see how many competitors you have now. Take my word for it, there are 20 on a page. And then you just come down here, and you just do the math. All right, so we know we have four full pages, times 20, and some more on this fifth page. You got 80 something, maybe 90 something. That’s really not too bad. That’s not a very, that’s not a hugely competitive marketplace. You could have 15-20 pages here.
All right, so we’ll come back to that. Let’s go to — and I’ll just touch on this these — are the three things we’re weighing here: Where to put time, effort, money. Mmm-hmm, all right.
Pros and cons: Let’s just start with Google Adwords. I’m going to get into our bigger view. Is AdWords for you? Is it the place where you should start? Well it is the place for you to start if you’re in a hurry. The surefire way to get your phone to ring within three days, maybe four days, is to open a Google AdWords account or hire a professional. That’s what I recommend. And create a good landing page! You have to have a good landing page, or you have to, we have to, look and make sure a page or the home page of your website is really gonna be good to convert somebody if you get him to click. OK, so you’re in a hurry. We need to get the phone to ring. We want the phone to ring now. You don’t have a good — let’s say you don’t have a good web site let’s say your website is old and you don’t, you don’t have, you know, have six weeks to wait for your website to be rebuilt. You can just do AdWords with a landing page, and a lot of times a landing page — a single page that puts forward the key points — is better anyway because the person that gets there, you don’t want them going all over the place. What you want them to do is make the phone call. So you give them a landing page. You tell them why you’re the best. Make it easy for them to send in a form. A lot of times people like to send a form and see if you’ll call them or make the phone call.
Pay to play with AdWords — if you’re ready
OK, let’s say you’re in a very competitive market. This might be your best shot. You might not have a shot in Maps. You might not have a shot in, you know, organic search. Or it’s going to take a long time and an unspecified amount of money, but you know what, you can determine what it’s gonna cost to get your phone to ring using Google Adwords and what you’re gonna spend week over week.
Let’s say you want to get business from other geographic areas, in outlying markets. Let’s say you’re in a metropolitan area that’s got 30, 40, 50 suburbs. And there really are places that have a couple dozen towns — 2, 3, 4 dozen towns — you can run campaigns specific to those towns. They work incredibly well.
If you don’t have good opportunities — the last point — if you don’t have good opportunities in Maps or Organic. Again if it’s very competitive, if your website situation, other things.
All right, so there’s a case to be made for AdWords being your first and maybe your only shot. Now, I still think that if you get in the business with AdWords you probably need to get your Maps page in order, and you should start working on your organic search because, that may take a while, but when it gets there you’ll see the advantages to that.
Maybe not. If you’re gonna run AdWords you have to have somebody answering the phone, OK. You don’t want to be paying for these clicks and getting people to your landing page and not answer the phone, OK. You’re paying for that stuff. You’ve got to convert. You have to convert these leads. That’s what I said here, because you’re paying for them. If you don’t have a person who’s good on the phone, or you don’t have a script about what’s the next step — can I send a technician, can I make an appointment, whatever your sales process is. Marketing is the first step. Sales, the second step. You’ve got to close this stuff. You’ve got to convert them, and I think it’s better if you have a higher average ticket. Now, if you’re just starting out and you’re trying to be a low-cost, it’s harder that way. You need to an average ticket of $175-$200 so that if you only get one out of five conversions you can still make money doing this. You know, maybe even higher than $200 for ticket, average ticket. OK, that’s a principle of business, anyway. Don’t feel bad about it. You’re not trying to be the cheapest. You’re trying to be the best. You want to charge for what you’re worth.
Google Maps is cheap, so you might as well do it
All right, why would you do Maps first? Let’s go to the map section. What, for what reasons, what situations, might you try Google Maps first, before AdWords or search? If you just opened, or you just moved, you should take care of your Maps situation. You should take care of your Maps situation anyway, as we’re seeing the cons down here. Sometimes it’s not gonna really help you but, OK, Maps is cheap. Google doesn’t charge anything. Their software creates this stuff, but if you have to go and do something manually, if you have to pay somebody, you want to pay an expert that already knows how to do it, it’s not gonna cost you much money, and we typically almost never get into more than three hours’ work to do whatever needs to be done with Google Maps, mm-hmm.
In a smaller market, OK, you’re up against fewer competitors, and that’s that click that I did earlier, where you see how many people, how many competitors are in your geographic marketplace. It could be a quick win for you and your company. It’s something you should get right anyway. Your Maps page needs to be right. It’s not that expensive. Sometimes it’s not the first thing to do because it’s not gonna help you, but sooner or later somebody’s gonna end up at your Maps page. You wanna, you want to have the right phone number. You want to have the right information. I’ve seen many Maps pages that didn’t have completely the right business in there. We have a collision repair company that initially had auto parts in there as part of what they did. They don’t do auto parts. They do collision repair. If the competition is light and isn’t using reviews — see these dots, these stars over here that I spoke about earlier — this is a way you can jump ahead. The ones with the stars are gonna get the clicks and the phone calls. Now, in this case, everybody’s got them. They’re all hip to that.
All right, I mean, if you have a lot of competition, even being completely perfect, buttoned up in Maps might get you nothing or at least nothing that you’ll notice. you might get a stray phone call every once in a while. And here’s how to check. That’s the click I did earlier. I did it in the beginning instead of right here, in sequence.
Organic search results: good if you can get ’em
Now, organic search. Why might you want to do organic search? This is a little bit tricky, and the tricky part is with this first couple of bullets. Do you have an old website? We’ve seen people with old websites that do really well with organic search because they have age on the URL. OK, so if the website is old but it’s still not bad and you’re ranking, you could be getting, you could, you might have been enjoying good clicks from the internet for a long long time now. Here’s an even better scenario. Let’s say you built your website in 2000-2001. You were an early adopter. You had what was current for the day but wouldn’t be current today. And you’ve rebuilt the website — a new website, same URL, done correctly. You keep all of your search engine rankings. And let’s say you get into even a third generation. You need to have a modern website so people will think, once they get to you they will, they will think highly of your business. And the other thing you would want to do organic first if you’re ranking well already.
OK, if you’re on the first page for a couple of search terms and you’re on the second page for a number of search terms, it’s time to get those that are on the second page onto the first page, OK? So, you’re already doing well. You’ve got a good website. You’re ranking reasonably well — page 2, page 3, page 4 for some search terms men that you are in the prime position to move to the front. All right, so maybe not if you don’t have a website yet. That’s that’s a fair amount of time and expense to do it correctly, to get the website done. That just gets you to the starting line. That’s not actual search results. That’s just … now you have a website and let’s see when you start to appear. Months and months could go by. If you’re in a very competitive marketplace, organic search results could be very difficult to get and could end up being way more expensive than Google Adwords. A lot of people think organic search is free. It’s not free. It’s not free. It’s gonna take time or money or both, and if getting to Page 1 is gonna take a long time, I mean, you should still do it but you need to get the phone ringing first. You need to be making money. That’s kind of the point.
So those are the considerations for you and your situation. Your website: how old is it? How new is your company? What’s your geographic marketplace like? How much competition do you have?
And so that is our video for today. Once again, please remember to subscribe and tell a friend. Thank you. Michael Bird with Home Services Digital.