Amazon Home Services

Some of you may be aware of a somewhat new program available through one of the world’s biggest online retailers – Amazon.com. The program is called Amazon Home Services, and it’s a GREAT way to Amazon-Home-Servicesfind new customers – especially in large markets (i.e. Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Washington D.C., etc.).

So how does it work?

When you apply to sell services on Amazon, they’ll determine if you’re an eligible service provider in your area (they are VERY concerned with only providing high-quality services). You have to have a good reputation (on Google, Yelp, YP.com, etc.) in order to be approved. ***Amazon Home Services

***When you apply, just remember that to register as a carpet cleaner, you’ll select “Home Services” where it says “Select Service Category.” Then the option on the right will open up to select “Carpet Cleaner.” ***

I know what you’re all thinking: “What’s in it for me?”

  1. There is no membership fee or recurring charge. You only pay a fee for the jobs you get.
  2. You get exposure from one of the most reputable names in online sales – Amazon.
  3. Amazon handles payment and helps you with scheduling.
  4. On average, 10% of Amazon customers leave seller reviews. It doesn’t take long to build up a reputation.

*** A Few Words of Caution***

Turns out it’s a pretty good gig – as long as you don’t undersell yourself. Amazon is formatted to automatically highlight the lowest-cost service provider, so it’s easy to get caught in a price war with the lowest bidder. DON’T feel like you have to be the lowest bid!

The average Amazon shopper is an interesting hybrid of price-conscious and feature savvy. They know that Amazon is a great place to get a good price on items that will enhance their lives. Most customers you’ll find will not only research the companies they may be inviting into their homes, but also what services they’re offering. That means that, because customers are willing to do more research, you don’t have to be the lowest bidder to win the job!

Here’s what I would do:

In your company listing, highlight the fact that you don’t just clean carpets.

  • You apply industry-leading protectant ON EVERY JOB to keep their carpets cleaner for longer (thus, a higher ticket value).
  • You specialize in pet and urine stain removal, upholstery, and rugs.
  • You clean and seal tile & grout.
  • In other words, you’re not just some run-of-the-mill mom & pop steam cleaner. You’re Chem-Dry! You do it all and you can do it better than the other guy any day of the year!

So, there’s a good chance your company summary will get read and reviewed (about 10% of Amazon customers leave seller reviews – you can probably plan on more if you just blow them away with your service). And, while you may not be able to link to your website in the summary, you can bet that you might get Googled! MAKE SURE you knock their socks off with your amazing service and care.

If you have any questions about Amazon Home Services, email or call me. I’d love to chat with you about this opportunity with HUGE potential.



What’s a Review Worth?

In my daily interactions with franchise owners, one of the most common questions I get is: “What can I personally do to improve my franchise’s SEO standings?”

Well, it’s pretty easy, actually. The answer is getting online reviews. Particularly Google reviews.

Think about the logic for a moment. What do you think most people type into Google search when they’re looking for a carpet cleaner in your area? Usually some variation of “carpet cleaning (insert city, state)”. So it makes logical sense that if your franchise is well-recognized in your area as a good carpet cleaner, you have a good chance of showing up in Google search just based on your reviews.

google maps reviews

Click on the picture above. You see the three listings at the top? Now, all of us know that the only reason they’re out-ranking the Chem-Dry listing is because they’ve got more reviews (they’re obviously not better). Google’s algorithm is designed such that it gives preference to listings that are deemed more “legitimate” because of the reviews.

Now, the great thing about Google reviews is that they play a much stronger role in your SEO rankings than other review sites (such as Yelp.com, YP.com, etc.). They’re also fairly accessible. For instance, can you imagine how many more people have a Google account as compared to a Yelp account? No contest.

I’m not saying that Yelp and YP.com aren’t good places to get reviews. They are, but they have limitations on “weight” when it comes to how much they influence your ranking in search results. Millions of consumers use sites like these to get “shop around” for service providers. Other sources may be Angie’s List, Customer Lobby, Thumbtack (though it’s a little different), Screaming Tree, and LOADS of others. It’s definitely useful to have listings with these websites and directories, but none of them have the clout that Google does for advancing your ranking.

So what do you need to do?

First, set up a Google business page.

Second, make sure that your website has a proper link to your Google business page. (It’s easy to do from your Gateway. Click on “Webmaster.” Go to “Custom Settings”, select the website you want to add to, scroll down and expand the “Social Media” section. In the field under “Google Plus Listing” paste in the URL for your page. Click “Submit” down at the bottom and the change will go into effect with the next update cycle – within 24 hours.)

Third, request reviews. You can do that in a couple ways.

  1. E-mail the customer (assuming you’ve collected their email address like you should) thanking them for the opportunity to come and clean their home. Include a link to your Google page and request they take a moment to leave a review.
  2. As you’re packing up after a job, have your customer access your Google page (either through your website, or by looking you up on Google), and have them leave you a review on their mobile device*.
  3. Use Review Tracker from onTrack (coming soon!).
  4. Get creative. However you can convince people to go to your Google page and get a review from them will improve your chances of showing up in the next search.

*The advantage to having them leave a review from a mobile device is that they’re likely already logged into their Google account. AND, since it’s on a mobile device, Google recognizes that as a review that’s more likely to be “real.” Plus, it triangulates their location so that when someone nearby looks up carpet cleaning, you’re more likely to show up.

When you get your company listed and good reviews coming in (because, let’s face it, you’re all going to get 5-star reviews, right?), you’ll soon find Chem-Dry DOMINATING your territory and leaving those “other guys” in the dust.



Call Tracking Metrics and AdWords Integration

A great new innovation and partnership has just been announced between Call Tracking Metrics and Google Adwords.

Here’s the skinny on the situation:

If you’ve purchased a tracking number with Call Tracking Metrics, you can now enter that tracking number into your Google AdWords call extensions and have the data from those ads transfer through to your CTM reporting. That means data from:

  • Keywords
  • Campaigns
  • Ad Groups

That puts all your call tracking information all in one place. Whether your new customer calls directly from the ad on AdWords, or actually clicks through to your website and calls you will be able to tell in your CTM reports.

Click here to find out how to connect your accounts: https://app.calltrackingmetrics.com/accounts/adwords_call_extension_settings

PPC Adwords Integration

Talk to your PPC vendor about making these changes TODAY!