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Key(word)s for Success – Part 2

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Image Credit: theboredmarketer.com

In last week’s digital minute, we discussed how using different kinds of keywords can change your campaigns and your rankings. I explained how short-tail and long-tail keywords each have their roles to play.

This week, let’s talk about categories of keywords – informational, questioning, review, and lead keywords. Let’s talk about how they can advance or hinder your online marketing.

Informational Keywords

Informational keywords are just what they sound like – they’re looking for information. And not the “information about a product/service” kind of thing. It more “locations of Civil War battles”, “weather in ______”, or “population density of Berlin”.

Think of search terms you’d put into Google if you were doing a research paper, and that’s the kind of thing we’re talking about. Generally, these kinds inquiries are hard to monetize or make any money on because it’s kind of a far reach to get anyone interested in carpet cleaning when they’re researching “history of carpet”.

The way this may play into your campaigns is if Google determines by the searcher’s history (yes, they take that into consideration) that they’re actually looking for the best carpet cleaner in town because they’ve spent 45 minutes looking up the chemical makeup of bodily fluids – a bit of a stretch.

Questioning Keywords

Questioning keywords are generally things that, well, ask questions. You may think these aren’t that different from informational keywords, and you’d be right. These are the version 2.0 of what we just discussed.
Questioning keywords are going to be the “How do I…” kind of keywords. Some examples of good keywords for you would be “how to get wine out of carpet” or “how to clean dog urine from sofa”. Think about problems people have with cleaning their homes that they might try to resolve themselves. Here’s a good example.
You can do two things with these kinds of keywords – provide the answers on your website, or advertise toward them – or BOTH.
It’s a good idea to have some of these answers on a page of your website and not only use the keywords in the background, but answer them directly on the page. Or, even better, make a short YouTube video that shows the answer to the question.

Review Keywords

Review keywords are also very straightforward. People may type in “carpet cleaner reviews (city name)”. This keyword can perform well for you if you have good reviews.
In addition to great reviews, make sure that your review page has lots of these kinds of keywords programmed into it so you show up. Chances are, you’ll only really get noticed if someone searches for “chem-dry reviews” (or some variation on the spelling).
More likely than not, these keywords will bring up your Yelp, Facebook, or Google reviews pages.

Lead Keywords

Lead keywords are the best kinds, they’re also the most popular. The majority of marketers will spend the bulk of their time on these types of keywords, which are things like:
– carpet cleaners (city name)
– tile cleaning service
– chem-dry carpet cleaning in _______

Just like the image to the right, you want a breadth of keywords that will “widen the funnel” that leads can fall into. It takes some time to come up with a list, and you’re never really done. Use the “search terms report” I talked about last week for some good ideas.

Big Takeaway:

The principle here is to have a variety and blend of pertinent keywords that will help you be found. If I were to put numbers out there, I’d say a mixture of 70% lead, 15% review, 10% questioning, and 5% informational. But that’s just a blend.

Here’s what I would do:

  1. Ask your SEO vendor about these kinds of keywords. Ask for examples. Do some searches for yourself and give them some ideas that you found.
  2. Do the same thing with your PPC vendor. Ask for a report of what keywords have been performing the best.
  3. Call me with any questions you might have about the reports and let’s work on some keywords together.
Take control of your business’s online marketing today and establish a better future. Then register to receive updates about future webinars on digital marketing.
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Key(word)s for Success

keywords

Image Credit: theboredmarketer.com

It’s no secret that probably the hottest new customer acquisition tool right now is Pay-Per-Click advertising, particularly using Google’s AdWords platform. While I definitely recommend utilizing Yahoo! and Bing platforms as well, Google really is king.

But one question I often get from franchisees is “It’s so expensive, how do I make it profitable?” The biggest variable in the equation is the keywords or search terms you use. I’ll share with you a few key(words) for success.

Types of Keywords

Let’s break this down a couple ways. From a physical characteristic point of view, there are two types of keywords – short-tail and long-tail.

From a “category” point of view, there are four types – informational, questioning, review, and lead keywords. (More on those next week!)

Short-Tail vs. Long-Tail

Short-tail keywords are keywords that are generally 3 words or less. They are the more generic terms that make up quick searches that are more superficial. Examples would include “carpet cleaners”, “carpet cleaning”, “rug cleaning”, or “pizza”. (I must be hungry. Pizza is on my mind.)

Long-tail keywords are 4+ words in a chain. They make up a significant number of searches that are more specific and more likely to turn into a conversion. Examples would be “[your city] best carpet cleaners”, “getting dog smell out of carpet”, or “carpet cleaning pizza delivery service”.

Now, which type of keyword is more beneficial to your business? It may surprise you to learn that long-tail keywords are actually a more cost effective and efficient way to find good customers.

When a customer enters a long-tail keyword, it shows that they are looking for something more specific. Google recognizes this and takes that kind of inquiry more seriously. The long-tail keywords aren’t searched for nearly as often as their more generic short-tail siblings, but that’s to your advantage as well. A less common search term means it’s going to be cheaper to show up for it.

What Pays Off?  

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Image Credit: Aida Blakely

If I were to have you focus on one type of keyword over another, I would have you come up with as many long-tail keywords as you can for a campaign. This is a great practice for your vendor to utilize.

Here’s why:

A term like “carpet cleaners” (short-tail) could generate THOUSANDS of views/impressions in a month’s time. While that’s great, you may only get 5-10 clicks on it in that time, which comes to a very poor Click-Through Rate. Further, every click on that popular term could cost you upwards of $15-20. That gets VERY expensive quickly.

A term like “green certified carpet cleaning near Logan” (long-tail) may only generate less than a dozen views/impressions in a month. BUT, the length of a keyword and the click-through rate of a keyword have a strongly correlated relationship. As the terms get longer, your success rate goes up. The COST, however, is inversely related to the length. The longer the term, the lower the cost.

So, while taking a lot more effort to come up with a list of them, having a breadth of long-tail keywords helps to drive down cost and increase conversion (BOTH of which are great things).

Pro Tip:

If you’re running your AdWords campaign yourself, or if you have a vendor that you communicate with regularly, there’s a super useful part of the platform that shows you what searches (that aren’t in your collection of keywords) that initiated an ad. It’s called the “search terms” report.

It’s a GREAT place for you to find new, generally long-tail, keywords to add to your campaign. You can find it under the “Keywords” tab and click on “Search Terms”.

It will show you how many times the keyword has been searched AND how much it’s been clicked on, so you can see how good the word is.

Make sure you check this report regularly for new ideas!

Big Takeaway:
Keywords are the “key” (Hahaha. Get it?) to a successful AdWords campaign. They’re one of the biggest differences between an expensive campaign and an effective campaign.
  1. If you aren’t doing PPC yet, you need to START NOW.
  2. Learn how to Understand PPC Metrics.
  3. Start writing down new long-tail keywords you think would work.
Take control of your marketing today and establish a better future for your business. Then register to receive updates about future webinars on digital marketing.
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Being “Findable” – on Facebook

If you feel like I spend all these blog posts yammering about how much you should be doing with social media, prepare for another one. I’ll keep it short this time, I promise.

Your Business Facebook Page 

A while back, I did a webinar about setting up a Facebook page for your business. It’s an essential part of your online business. Facebook is a fantastic place to inexpensively build customer relationships and nurture a following. You should post regularly, and invite customers to review your business.

Another thing you should absolutely do is make sure you have a custom Facebook URL. So, instead of having a randomly assigned one, which will look something like “www.facebook.com/123456789123456”, you should have an address that looks like “www.facebook.com/ScottsChem-Dry”.

Why? 

Now, you may be sitting there scratching your head wondering why it makes a difference. I’ll tell you.

When it comes to search dominance and SEO, having an actual name or search term in a web address (URL) adds a TON of strength. Ideally, your Facebook page should immediately show up as a top result if and when anyone types the name of your business into Google.

It also makes it much easier to find you when you leave a card behind at a customer’s house and ask them to give you a review.

How? 

If you’ve created a Facebook Page, you should be able to change the URL for it pretty easily. Here’s how:

1) If you’re logged in and looking at your Facebook Page, click on the  “About” section on the left-hand side of the page.

 

 

2) You’re now looking at the “Page Info” section. Where you see “Username”, hover
your mouse over the “Edit” icon, which will bring up a prompt screen to let you change the username for your business (which changes the URL).

 

 

 

3) Type in the username you want. You can only use letters, numbers, and/or periods.

 

 

 

What Should I Change it To?

I recommend making your username/URL something that’s easy to type in, and as simple to remember as possible. So, like I showed above, if the name of my business were “Scott’s Chem-Dry”, I would make it something like “ScottsChemDry” (notice the lack of a “-” because I can’t use one) or “ScottsCD”.

You may also consider doing something that has more to do with the area you service. For instance, you could make your username “ChicagoCarpetCleaning” if it’s available. While there’s a benefit to having a name like that, you have to remember that you can only choose your username/URL once. After you’ve assigned it, Facebook won’t let you change it without starting up an entirely new page.

In the long run, I’d recommend simply making it your business name, but it’s your business.

Big Takeaway:

Giving your Facebook page a custom URL doesn’t sound like it would do that much, but it can significantly affect the way people find you. And it’s so quick it just makes sense to change it. Do it TODAY!

Also, don’t forget to register to receive updates about future webinars on digital marketing.
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Are You PPC-ing Enough?

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Over the past few months, I’ve had several conversations with franchise owners who have expressed some frustration with the performance of their Pay-Per-Click ads. Their primary concern is that they don’t seem to be getting enough business from them. Well, there’s usually only one or two things that cause that, and I’d wager that 9 times out of 10, it’s the first one:

The Ad Budget.

You Have to PAY to PLAY Money Roll

Google is very good at what they do – and they know it. Just like you are the premium carpet cleaning service, Google AdWords is the premium pay-per-click advertising platform. It’s popular because it’s effective, and I don’t see that changing any time soon.

There is, however one things you should always remember about advertising there – it costs money. Sometimes it costs lots of money, but if you’re doing it right, it will bring in the returns you’re looking for.

Am I Paying Enough?

Even if you were able to somehow hire a team of specialists within the walls of Google, people that know EVERYTHING there is to know about the algorithms and such, all the optimization of keywords and ads in the world wouldn’t get you anywhere without the budget to pay for it. Simply put, if you’re not willing to put up the money for it on a daily basis, you’re just not going to show up and get the exposure you want.
I’ve talked to people who are only putting up $100-200 per month on their campaigns and they tell me they’re not getting anything from it. Well, that’s like only allowing yourself to eat a cup of lettuce in the morning and then complaining that you’re still hungry. You have to give your campaigns enough fuel to get through the day and attract the traffic you’re looking for.

If you’ re not sure if you’re paying enough for ads, talk to me or your vendor to get some insight. Are you running out of fuel too quickly? It’s quite possible.

What I Would Do what-should-i-do-1988

Take a look at your budget for Pay-Per-Click. What kind of return are you getting for it? Do you even know? If not, start using tools like Call Tracking Metrics to attribute revenue to your ads.

If you are bringing in at least a 3:1 return (3x more revenue from your jobs than your total ad spend – including vendor fees), I’d try increasing your budget. See if you can get more out of it. If that return ratio goes down? Well, congratulations! You know your campaign is optimized! But, chances are, that’s probably not going to happen. With only a few exceptions, I know most Chem-Dry owners aren’t paying enough for their PPC campaigns to be optimized.

 

Big Takeaway:

Unless your schedule is completely full of past customers, you need to be doing PPC. You can’t afford NOT to be doing it.
  1. Contact your PPC vendor (or me if you don’t have one) and get your monthly reports for the last 3 months.
  2. Count up total revenue from PPC for the last 3 months.
  3. Call me and tell me what kind of return you’re getting. We’ll talk about strategy and where to go from here.
Take control of your digital marketing and establish a better future for your business. Then register to receive updates about future webinars on digital marketing.