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Courting Your Customers – Part I

If you’ve been following my blog for the last little while, you’ve probably noticed that I’m on a bit of a reviews kick. That’s because it’s something that’s so easy to do that can have a HUGE impact on your business.
I’d like to take a different spin on it today, though. Let’s look at it from your customer’s point of view.

The No-Longer Blind Date

Remember the last blind date you went on? I do. It was… awkward. Largely because, no matter how much the people who set me up told me about my date, I still had no idea what I was getting myself into. The people who set me up are only going to say good things about my date because they want me to have a good time and make a connection. If only there were a way to find out more about my date… Oh, wait! There’s this new thing called the Internet!
That’s right. Thanks to the magic of Facebook, Google, and the like, we can hunt down just about anyone and find out more about their personality – especially the weird stuff.
So, when a potential customer gets a recommendation from a friend to call your business, you have the opportunity to have many of your past customers vouch for you. They talk about their experiences with you and set up expectations. And if you’re working on your social media presence, you can talk about things you’re going to do for your customers.

Building a Reputation

The best and easiest way for you to build a reputation online is through reviews – especially Google reviews if you can get them. But here’s the trick – you can’t expect customers to be so elated that they just can’t wait to look you up and write a glowing review. You have to ASK them.
I wrote a while back about how to create a link to send via text message for customers to leave a review. It’s not complicated and it pays off. The key is to catch your customers in the apex of their emotional satisfaction – as soon as they see how good everything looks/smells. That’s when you say, “Mrs. Jones, I’m so glad you liked what we did today. Would it be alright if I send you a text message with a link to leave us some feedback online? Would you prefer Google, Facebook, or Yelp?”
Darryl and Teresa Adcock of Northern Utah Chem-Dry started doing this in February of this year and, as of today, have TRIPLED their Google reviews. It works! Now whenever a customer is thinking of calling them, they know they can call with confidence.

Coming Next Week

We’ll continue this topic next week with what you could/should be putting out into the world on Social Media and other places online that will help to enhance the impression you have on potential customers.

Big Takeaway:

Customers hate gambling with their business. If you can do things to make them feel more confident in calling you, you’ll gain more market share and lifetime customers.
  1. Be aware of what people are saying about you.
  2. Make sure you have Google, Facebook, and Yelp listings for your business to collect reviews.
  3. Create links that can be sent via text message to take customers directly to leave a review.
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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.
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“Ch-ch-CHANGES!!”

If you’ve done a Google search in the past few weeks, you may have noticed something different – the search results page has changed! All of a sudden, the ads that used to appear on the side bar have disappeared, and there are more ads at the top. You might be asking yourself, “What gives?!”
Well, here’s the gist of it.sidebar-elimination-example.sm_
Google has decided that it would like to increase the value of its prime real estate at the top of the results page by doing away with the sidebar ads and moving the “organic” (unpaid) results down the page. This is especially the case for what Google terms “commercial queries”, or searches that they feel indicate someone is ready to make a purchase of some sort.
So what does that mean for you as a Chem-Dry franchise owner looking to advertise on Google?
Let’s see.
Pay-Per-Click Ads
I’d be lying if I said this won’t have any impact on your PPC campaigns, because it certainly will. This move on Google’s part is going to mean they can charge top dollar for those precious 4 spots at the top of the page. But you don’t necessarily need to worry.
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.
So, yes. You’re going to have to be willing to spend more money on PPC ads. But that’s only one variable. There are more important things to Google.
You see, they’re 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 prime advertising real estate 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).
Over the past couple months, I’ve helped multiple franchise owners maximize their PPC ads by utilizing a premium listing and landing page on ChemDry.com, and aiming for the #2-3 spots in the ad rankings. By doing so, they’ve experienced up to a 40-50% decrease in their cost per click on carpet cleaning campaigns.
Why Use Premium Landing Pages?
When determining how much your ad bids are worth to them, Google considers the quality and relevance of the “landing page” where you’re directing advertisement traffic. ChemDry.com is now consistently ranked in the top 5 nationally for words like “carpet cleaning”, “rug cleaning”, “tile cleaning” and others. Because Google recognizes ChemDry.com as such a good source for information about these topics (at least, better than “ScottsChemDry.com”), they are willing to give you a break on the cost. When they see a relevant website as the landing page for an ad, they realize that that website is probably more likely to get clicks and will make them money.
A Premium Local Search Directory page give you a personal branch off of ChemDry.com and lets you leverage its search engine dominance. So you benefit from all the work that HRI has been putting into getting ranked.
What Now?
So, what do you need to do to take advantage of such a breakthrough?
  1. Get a Local Search Premium subscription. Call Web Marketing Services for more information.
  2. Talk to your PPC vendor about using it.
  3. Practice writing PPC ads. Focus on the right words, rather than the right deals.
If you ever have any questions about how your ads are performing, reach out to me and we’ll talk about them – whether you’re using a vendor or doing it yourself.
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Thumbtack – The NEW Way to Grow Your Business Online

thumbtack

Company Logo

Some of you may have heard about a new service called “Thumbtack.” It’s a new way to market your business online. Here’s how it works:

When a customer is searching online for a service of some sort (like carpet/tile/upholstery cleaning, you know – all the stuff you specialize in), they go to www.thumbtack.com, enter their location and the service they’re looking for (i.e. cleaning 3 rooms and a sofa). You then receive a message informing you of the opportunity. If you’d like to do the job, and if you act quickly, you can bid on the job and send them a message bragging about how you’re the best darned carpet cleaners in the area. You specialize in exactly what they’re looking for. You’ll clean, sanitize, and protect their carpets. You’ll get that embarrassing stain out of the sofa. You’ll be bosom buddies, and take long walks down the beach together… Wait that’s a different website…

Anyway, sound interesting? Here’s their video giving you the rundown of their service:

There is a small fee every time you bid on a job, but the best way to do it is to purchase bid packages (essentially buying the ability to bid multiple times). It comes down to less than $2 per lead!

Dozens of franchise owners have had GREAT success growing their customer base and avoiding the bait-and-switch tactics of things like Groupon. This way, customers know exactly what they’re getting, what the price is going to be, and you get the chance to set their expectations so you can blow them away.

Sound good? I think so!

Check out Thumbtack and start growing your franchise today! If you have any questions about how to get started, comment below, email, or call me.

  • Scott