Call Tracking Metrics Numbers

Unless you’ve been ignoring my e-mails (you know who you are), you’ve almost certainly heard me talk about using how Call Tracking Metrics can influence the way you market your business – especially online.
Here’s the thing: Google likes uniformity. They’ll penalize your business and listings if you show different addresses, names, and phone numbers in different places. They don’t like it. And your business will suffer if you do it. But Call Tracking Metrics offers an alternative.

Dynamic Number Insertion

Put in very basic terms, Call Tracking Metrics uses a technology called “Dynamic Number Insertion” which takes the phone number that would normally appear on your website (your actual business number) and swap it with a tracking number that’s specific to how the customer got there.
That means when a customer gets to your website from a Google Search, instead of seeing this:
your customers will see this:
See the difference? Now when a customer calls the number I’ve circled, Call Tracking Metrics will note that you’ve gotten a phone call from your Google Organic search results.
This works for any online traffic source including Facebook, Yelp, Yahoo, Bing, AdWords, and ChemDry.com.

So How Much Does it Cost? 

Harris Research saw a lot of value in this service for our franchise owners, so we’ve made some special arrangements with Call Tracking Metrics.
With HRI’s deal, there’s no subscription fee (usually $19/mo), and you save $1 off every local phone number you use. PLUS, your per-minute rate is decreased by about 20%.

How Many Numbers Should I Get?

That’s really up to you. The idea is to be able to track just about any advertising you do – especially from tricky-to-track sources like Google. I’ve seen franchises use CTM for anything from SEO to ValPak and they love the information they get from the call logs and recordings.
I’m a very data-minded person, so I’d buy up a bunch of numbers to use as I like. I can use one for all my e-mail marketing, one for PPC, one for ChemDry.com (or multiple depending on how many listings you have), and one for Yelp.
Take a look at how many different marketing/lead sources you have listed in onTrack (or your other software), and figure out which ones are hardest for you to track. Consider acquiring one number for each of those sources.

Okay, Scott. How Do I Sign Up?

If that was enough to convince you to try Call Tracking Metrics, great. You can click here or on the icon to the right to set up an account through HRI’s Web Marketing Services website. Or you can click on the CTM logo at the top of the screen to get there too.
If you’re still not sure about it, click here to schedule a call with me so we can talk about what your franchise’s needs are. Let’s work on this together to help you spend your marketing money smarter.

Big Takeaway:

If you don’t know how much business you’re getting from your marketing sources, you don’t know how well it’s working. As a responsible business owner, you need to know that.
  1. Count how many marketing avenues you’re usings.
  2. Sign up for a Call Tracking Metrics account.
  3. Decide how many sources you want to track, and acquire numbers for each of them.
  4. Call Scott to get the numbers working for you.
Take control of your social media today and establish a better future for your business. Then register to receive updates about future webinars on digital marketing.

Using ChemDry.com for Pay-Per-Click

Earlier this year, I got quite a few questions from people when I shared a tip that you can use ChemDry.com as a destination for Pay-Per-Click ads to not only increase your ranking, but also save money on clicks.

It think it’s time to revisit that concept.

Why Do It?

Here’s the thing. HRI has put a lot of effort into making sure that ChemDry.com shows as one of the top 3 search results across the country for the most competitive and generic search terms like “carpet cleaning.” Those terms seem to be so elusive and hard for individual franchises to put the funds and means behind them that we are excited to be able to help in that regard.

With that end in mind, we’ve created a way for your business to leverage that exposure and support the brand through participation in the Local Search Directory program. This program gives you a few options for your business, the top tier or which is the “Premium” listing. That listing not only gives you a more prominent placement on the zip code search results page, but it also gives you a customizeable landing page that uses the ChemDry.com URL. Here’s why that matters.


How it Affects PPC

The way ad placements work within Google’s AdWords “marketplace” is such that your placement results are the product of an insanely complicated algorithm that changes daily and considers five primary variables (in no particular order): 1) your maximum bid, 2) the quality/relevance of your ad to the words in the search,  3) the page that your ad is being sent to, 4) time of day/week, and 5) popularity of the word(s) that were being searched.

You see, Google is in the business of getting people as much relevant information as they can – as quickly as they can. A way to combat the cost of Pay-Per-Click is to have a solid ad that: a) is relevant to the search, b) well written, c) use a very solid landing page (like ChemDry.com).

ChemDry.com uses content that Google sees as highly relevant, which adds a few brownie points into your “account” for when you place your bid for an ad. Instead of sending an ad to “yourchemdry.com”, Google recognizes sending an ad to ChemDry.com/yourchemdry.ut as a more relevant choice. And you had to do next to ZERO work on the page.

Most franchises that adopt this practice for the highly competitive search terms like “carpet cleaning”, “carpet cleaners”, “upholstery cleaning”, and “tile cleaning” are seeing significant decreases in their cost per click (some as much as 40%) as well as an increase in their click-through-rate (up to 100% in some cases). That means more exposure for less money than it would have cost.

A Few Words of Caution

I give you these tips to help you leverage the SEO value of ChemDry.com, but I do so with a few caveats.

  1. MAKE SURE your ChemDry.com URL is correct when you start sending ads there. The best way to do so is to go to the zip code search, click on your listing, and copy the address for your landing page. If you don’t get it right, the clicker will go to the zip code search by default and you’ll run the risk of paying for a click that may not go to you.
  2. Create ads specifically for ChemDry.com. If I were running the ads myself, I would keep the CD.com ads separate from the ads for my own website. That will make sure I can measure the efficacy of the ad campaigns separately.
  3. Only use your ChemDry.com landing page for the high volume search terms. Things like “carpet cleaning”, “carpet cleaners” and the others I listed above are best used for these ads. For more localized ads, you’re better off using your own website that has been optimized for your location.

Big Takeaway:

Local Search listings on ChemDry.com can increase your business, especially combined with national advertising efforts. Franchises that have Premium listings are reporting an average of 14 calls per month sourced to their listing.
  1. Get a Premium Listing on ChemDry.com by signing up through the Gateway.
  2. Share your local listing address and this e-mail with your PPC vendor.
  3. For added track-ability, consider adding a Call Tracking Metrics number to your Local Search page.
Take control of your online business today and establish a better future for your franchise. Then register to receive updates about future webinars on digital marketing.

Targeting PPC Customers


Whenever you’re able to drill down on your marketing, you make it more effective. Why pay for impressions on potential customers that aren’t going to convert?
I’ve recently been doing some analysis of Pay-Per-Click audiences. Let’s talk about what I’ve found that may help to make your campaigns more effective.
I’ve separated my message below into two sections:
  1. What YOU need to know as the business owner.
  2. What your VENDOR needs to know (or what you should send to them).

What YOU Should Know:

Our “Target Audience”

We know that, generally speaking, our target customers are:
  • Female
  • Between ages 35-60
  • Have kids/pets
  • Own a home
  • Care about health
  • Above average income ($60K+)
But are you able to connect with them? Are they the ONLY customers we should care about? Are we missing some?
My study confirmed that our most “fertile ground” for new customers certainly seems to fit this demographic, but there were some interesting things that changed once I added in other variables like the device they used and what they clicked on. Here’s a quick summary of my findings and stand-out statistics:

What I Found for Devices

I apologize. This may get a little technical, but in case you’re interested in the data, here it is.

If not, you can just skip to my thoughts on what the data means.

Highest Click Through Rate Female Over 64 2.24%
Lowest Cost per Click Female 18-24 $5.99
Lowest Cost per Conversion Unknown 35-44 $26.12
Highest Conversion Rate Unknown 35-44 30%
Mobile Devices
Highest Click Through Rate Female Over 64 2.41%
Lowest Cost per Click Female 18-24 $6.35
Lowest Cost per Conversion Unknown 35-44 $24.65
Highest Conversion Rate Female Unknown 14.4%
Highest Click Through Rate Unknown 25-34 2.23%
Lowest Cost per Click Female Unknown $4.51
Lowest Cost per Conversion Male 35-44 $38.88
Highest Conversion Rate Male 35-44 18.75%

What I Got From All That:

I picked out a few different things:
  1. The lowest overall cost per click shows for females between ages 18 and 24. This may be for two reasons: 
    1. They may not be regarded by Google as your key customer, so they’re more willing to give a price break.
    2. That demographic only had a moderate click-through-rate, which tells us that they’re not as serious about their searches. They’re probably not as likely to convert – in fact, none of the clicks in that category converted. 
    3. I wouldn’t focus on that demographic, in fact, I may exclude them altogether. 
  2. The highest click-through-rate for mobile devices was from females over 64.
    1. That means people we may not typically think are using mobile devices, actually are. And they’re more able to take quick action using mobile devices.
    2. I would probably increase my bid for those folks and try to convert them.
  3. The best conversions on desktop computers came from males between 35 and 44. I could be wrong, but I think it’s because:
    1. They’ve been asked to handle finding a carpet cleaner for the family. They then do some research on their computers at work and end up converting into a customer.
    2. I would be likely, then, to increase my bids to men on desktops because of the high conversion rate.

Chem-Dry Owner’s Big Takeaway:

You should take a look into the audience performance of you AdWords campaigns. If you don’t know them, here’s what you should do:
  1. Ask your vendor to do a demographic analysis and send you a report.
  2. Ask them which gender and age group tends to perform the best.
  3. Give them some ideas of ads and offers you’d like to create for those groups.
Take control of your online marketing and get ready for a GREAT year for your business. Then register to receive updates about future webinars on digital marketing. If you’d like to schedule some time to meet with me and discuss ideas, click here to reserve a meeting time.

What Your VENDOR Needs to Know:

How to Adjust Your Targeting

Within each ad campaign (remember an AdWords account is broken down by Campaign>Ad Group>Ads), you have the ability to adjust the audience settings. Here’s how:
1) Click on the campaign you’d like to adjust in the left-side column.
2) Click on the “Audiences” tab along the top of the main screen.
3) Once that page loads, click on the red “+ Targeting” button.
4) Choose the Ad Group you’d like to adjust from the drop down list where it shows “Select an ad group to get started.”
5) Click on the drop-down list “Add targeting” and choose “Demographics”.
6) Narrow down your list by un-checking the demographics you don’t want to target. Meaning, you’ll be targeting everything that IS checked.
7) Click “Close” at the bottom of the list. Then click the blue “Save” button near the bottom of the page.
You’re done!

What Would Scott Do?

While this is what we’d probably refer to as a more “advanced” tactic in AdWords, it’s something worth taking a look at. If you’re not running a campaign yourself, you should check in with your vendor and ask what they’re doing for demographic targeting.
If it were me running a campaign for my business, I would take ad groups within my campaigns that are aimed at specific locations and demographics for different services. I would create ads within those demographic groups that speak to those targeted customers on an emotional level.
For instance, if you want to target females between 35-55, you could write an ad that talks about kids or pets making a mess, or cleaning for the health of your family.

Vendor’s Big Takeaway:

Take a look into the audience performance of your client’s AdWords campaigns. Be ready to:
  1. Talk to them about the performance metrics from each group and any surprises you may have found.
  2. Ask which group your client thinks would be best to focus on.
  3. Ask for some ideas for ads and offers that can target those groups.
If you’d like to get some input on your client’s business and performance, click here to schedule a call with me to discuss what can be done to better serve them.

3 Steps to Getting GREAT Google Reviews

I wrote this summer about getting more Google reviews. It doesn’t have to be complicated, in fact it can be incredibly simple. No matter what anyone tells you, “Google” is the final word in valuable reviews. Period. The end.
Google reviews play heavily into your placement in local listings (like the infamous “3 pack”) on Google search results. They’re the single best way to increase your influence in a market.
The challenge comes, though, in getting them. Customers have to have a Google account in order to leave a review there. BUT Google accounts are becoming more and more common nowadays, so the window is opening.
Here are 3 simple steps to getting Google Reviews that will help your business.

Step 1: Get Your Link

After you have a Google My Business listing, all you need to do to get your link for customers to leave reviews is this:
  1. Go to Google.com yourself and type in your company name.
  2. Click the “Write a Review” button on your business listing.
  3. When the review box comes up, highlight the URL in the address bar.
  4. Press “Ctrl+C” to copy it.
After you’ve done this, I’d advise pasting it into a word document or an e-mail to yourself so you can save it and keep for later.

Step 2: Write An E-mail

Now, before you start sweating thinking this will need a lot of work, DON’T. The review request e-mail you send, can be super short. Like, less than 10 words. I’d also recommend copying this into a word document (possibly the same one you used for the review URL above), so you can copy and paste it into individual e-mails.
Shelly Browne from All-Star Chem-Dry in Kennesaw, GA has had great success by using this tactic in a follow-up e-mail that’s closer to a simple “Thank You” note. This is literally all it is:
[Customer’s First Name],
Thanks for letting us serve you! Please give us a review! (Underlined portion is programmed with the review link.)
Shelly Browne
All-Star Chem-Dry
[Phone Number]
[Street address]
[City, State, Zip]
That’s it!
Short. Simple. To the point. In the past year, she’s added nearly 40 Google reviews only by e-mailing customers after they’ve had their carpet cleaned.

Step 3: Send!

Take 10 minutes at the end of every day and send the e-mail you wrote to every customer you serviced that day. That few minutes every day can help you to climb your local rankings and ensure your customers are satisfied.
If it was the difference between booking them again 9 months down the road and having to find a new customer, would you do it? Of course!

Level 2 Tips:


If you’re so inclined and feel comfortable doing it, you may want to add some other review site options into the e-mail. For instance, consider using your company Facebook page.
After Google, I’d rank Facebook as the #2 place to get reviews. Why? Because EVERYBODY and their dog has a Facebook account, and it’s incredibly easy to leave a review there. Facebook is also making big strides into online commerce, so their algorithms will soon be optimized to show more prevalent than many other online venues.
Filter Your E-Mails

Instead of e-mailing everyone in your database at the end of the day, you may consider sending Google review requests only to customers who use a “@gmail.com” domain name. That way, you know they have a Google account and should be able to leave a review quickly.

Big Takeaway:

You have customers who are ready and waiting to give you a Google review. You just need to ask them!
  1. Get Your link.
  2. Write your e-mail.
  3. Send it.
It’s that easy. Take control of your business’ reputation today and establish a better future for your business. Then register to receive updates about future webinars on digital marketing.

Make ‘Em Laugh!


One of my favorite sequences in all of cinema is Donald O’Connor’s “Make ‘Em Laugh” in Singin’ in the Rain. I’ve watched that movie dozens of times and it still gets me.
The last time I watched it with my family, it got me thinking… How does humor play into conversion for Pay-Per-Click? Quite well, in fact, and I started coming up with some ideas of how to pull it off.


When I was searching for some examples of successful ads that used humor, I came across a few that really made me laugh. The first came from the tech world.
In this case, last year when the iPhone 6s was released, Samsung got really clever to play off the similarities between the model names of their phones.
Smart move. Truly clever.
Another was Snickers candy bar’s
clever campaign to turn commonly misspelled searches to sell candy bars. They used words like “buisness”, “gool”, “wether”, and “definately” to tell people they needed a Snickers. (Look at the picture)
They then created a custom URL and mini website “yourenotyouwhenyourehungry.com”. Right now, that website just reroutes to Mars.com. But at the time, it would show them a funny video that would make them want a Snickers.

The Challenge

I’ve mentioned before about how costs for PPC are calculated, and how to combat that. One of the key drivers for cost associated with PPC is relevance. What I mean by that, is that when someone searches for “Chem-Dry” you automatically get preference from Google because you actually are a Chem-Dry.
The difficult thing about this tactic, then is being relevant while still being funny. As soon as you start being irrelevant, you run the risk of driving up cost. So here’s my solution.

Try This

As a way to round out your PPC campaigns, try targeting keywords like “Stanley Steemer” and “Zero Rez” with ads that on one hand poke fun at the search, but on the other hand educate why they should try Chem-Dry instead.
For instance, if someone typed in “Stanley Steemer”, I could respond like this.
Or, if they were originally looking for “Zero Rez”, this ad may do the trick.
You see what I did there? It’s possible to leverage a search someone may have done for a competitor and turn it into an opportunity to steal a customer away.
If you don’t want to try and target competitor’s keywords, try using your own, but using alternate text. Like this

A Few Words of Caution:

Remember when you’re making PPC ads that you can’t target other franchises’ ads, you have to be careful about what you promise (i.e. can’t say “better than ____”, etc.).
Also, when you create an ad targeting our competitor’s keywords, DON’T mention them by name. That only reinforces their choice to use the competitor.

Big Takeaway:

Sometimes one of the best tools in our marketing arsenal is humor. You can be professional while still showing some personality.
  1. Look for opportunities to have fun with your potential customers. See what your competitors are doing, and think of ways to beat them.
  2. Work with your PPC vendor to develop some ad copy that resonates with personality.
  3. Watch how the ad performs. You may be surprised how effective it can be.
Make PPC fun today and establish a better future for your business. Then register to receive updates about future webinars on digital marketing.