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PaintingContractorToronto
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
What marketing efforts are bringing you the most business? Is it your website? (PPC? Or SEO?) Direct mail? Yellow Pages directories (online? book?), print advertising, or what?

I'm guessing/betting/gambling on putting more $$ and effort into SEO in 2011 to put our website in front of more potential customers than ever before. But I haven't outsourced my SEO before and it's rather expensive. I've been doing all of our SEO myself and have just enough knowledge about it to know that I need to hire professionals for this unless I want to make it my full time job instead of running my business.

I gave up on flyer distributions a few years ago as well as print advertising in local magazines and newspapers. The ROI just wasn't there. We still have an ad in the old Yellow Pages but this has only been renewed because it gives us another place on their website to be found. No one calls us from the YP book but we do get some calls from the YP site profile that came with the package. And now, YP wants us to pay them another $480/month to put our profile at the top of their directory. (That's one ad on one directory!) The claim is that unlike Google or any other major search engine I'm advertising on, Yellow Pages searches are done by people who are ready to BUY and are just looking for who to buy FROM. Searches on the major search engines on the other hand are mostly just "tire kickers" and so the majority of traffic to our website is wasted on people who are just beginning to find out if it's even feasible for them to hire professionals.

So I have to ask all you dedicated contractors out there who have good people they want to keep working like I do: where are you getting your biggest bang for the marketing dollar?

Your insights would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 

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2,456 Posts
Just site SEO and referrals here. You could try some PPC since, I assume, you already have the G analytics and webmaster tools. Just do a search to see which longtail keyword phrases, in relation to your site, are being searches by consumers and make sure you have them incorporated into your site.
 

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PaintingContractorToronto
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Just site SEO and referrals here. You could try some PPC since, I assume, you already have the G analytics and webmaster tools. Just do a search to see which longtail keyword phrases, in relation to your site, are being searches by consumers and make sure you have them incorporated into your site.
Good points, thanks! But in your case, where are you getting the best response? If it's through your website, where is the most qualified traffic coming from?
 

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No offense, but your web site looks like ass.... It's incredible that anybody would hire you based on the website.
If that's directed to me, thanks. About 40-45 of my clients are site designers from this area. All love the site and the fact that I'm a roofer instead of a site designer. :thumbup:
What sells people is the roof detail. None of my clients like the sites that show a generic looking house or property. My niche is well defined.

It sure keeps the phone ringing.
 

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Fence Experts
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120 Posts
Definitely a well optimized website is what works best for us. SEO is costly but most definately worth it. Dont waste your time on PPC (how many times have you clicked on the paid ads that are on the sidebar of Google?)

We also notice a nice amount of traffic coming from our 'yellowpages' online listing.
 

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414 Posts
You ever notice, when someone says, "No offense, but..." they always offend?

My website is very basic, too.

My target demographic is looking for a lawn guy, not a web designer.
 

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Banned
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588 Posts
No offense, but your web site looks like ass.... It's incredible that anybody would hire you based on the website.
His website may not be the the most visually appealing, but it sure outranks yours. A PR of 2 is pretty impressive for a DIY web builder. Although your site looks very nice, it has a PR of 0. :jester:
 

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PaintingContractorToronto
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
No offense, but your web site looks like ass.... It's incredible that anybody would hire you based on the website.
I'm sure you mean well in posting your opinion. And as the "host" of this topic, I have to assume you're referring to my website?
I realize I've got some loose ends to tie up and my SEO needs improvement. But "ASS" is a comment I've not heard about it yet. Most people who have been good enough to call us from the site have made a point of saying how much they liked it. But if you, or anyone else here has any constructive ideas on how we can make a stronger web presence, I'll be delighted to receive them here. It would be good to draw from the web experience of my fellow contractors than to listen to only the offerings of the "web experts" who make their money from us this way.
 

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It all starts with a plan
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24 Posts
Compared to my site it looks good. I don't really use my site to the fullest yet so I am not overly worried about it. We have found someone to rebuild our site and do the SEO for 750.00 and from what we can tell she is good. I have spent/wasted more than that on other things so it worth it to me to take a shot at it.

To answer the original question, most of our estimates and then work come from.....Angie's List....I know many of you don't like it and it is our goal to stop the advertising with them and spend that money in other ways. We are at the top of the list in several categories with over 70 current A reports. I can not recall any negative reports for anyone that has actually hired us. Truth is negative reports are actually good.

Most of our 10yr run has been supported by AL. We did not always advertise with them but have been for about 5 yrs now. Just like with all forms of marketing you have to find what works for you and gets you in front of your type of client.

I hope to try some of Googles stuff soon with the money I spend with AL but I am torn between renewing my AL contract or making a run without it. Seems to me most of our prospective clients from AL are getting 4 or more estimates which is crazy. Even if I switch to an unknown ad campaign I may have the same results, so do I stick with what works?

I think the best money spent right now was my truck wrap. Five years of use for 2k.....
 

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Roofing Contractor
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260 Posts
I would like to say.... That advertising in the YP online directory for $480...IS DEFIANTLY NOT WORTH IT!. Yp is currently getting rubbed out of their book market by the Internet, but since they found that they could charge people absurd amounts of money for print advertising they are trying to transfer their strategy to the online world. Why on earth would you pay $500 a month to be placed on a page in a online directory beside all you competitors.

They are just trying to dis-credit the competition when they say people just use search to tire kick. I just google the company and asses the website ....and go from there. I search for local business's online all the time, On friday I needed to rent a limo, found the company through google, had a decent website, called and booked. I don't think I have ever used Yp's online directory. I still use the print version though.Who here uses YP's online directory over googling?

Last summer they tried to sell me a expensive online package, and thier sales tactics were good with almost perfect objection and high pressure to sign up, but I wasn't interested. I could spend 500 bucks a month a lot of ways, and thats wasn't going to be it.
 

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It all starts with a plan
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jason-f

did you ask YP about the pay per call with YP? I have not done it yet but they have come up with a new thing where you get the big fancy ad in the book with a number that runs through their system. you only pay for the calls that go through that number.
 

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Banned
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To answer the original question, most of our estimates and then work come from.....Angie's List....I know many of you don't like it and it is our goal to stop the advertising with them and spend that money in other ways. We are at the top of the list in several categories with over 70 current A reports. I can not recall any negative reports for anyone that has actually hired us. Truth is negative reports are actually good.

Most of our 10yr run has been supported by AL. We did not always advertise with them but have been for about 5 yrs now. Just like with all forms of marketing you have to find what works for you and gets you in front of your type of client.

I hope to try some of Googles stuff soon with the money I spend with AL but I am torn between renewing my AL contract or making a run without it. Seems to me most of our prospective clients from AL are getting 4 or more estimates which is crazy. Even if I switch to an unknown ad campaign I may have the same results, so do I stick with what works?

I think the best money spent right now was my truck wrap. Five years of use for 2k.....
What's with the all or none mentality? You said it yourself -
Just like with all forms of marketing you have to find what works for you and gets you in front of your type of client.
Why wouldn't you keep doing what you're doing with AL and now to your marketing with something else? Why would you switch from them? Just add another marketing avenue and increase your business.

I would watch out anyways, you don't want to have a business running off of one source of marketing. What happens if tomorrow AL decides to do something you can't deal with and you suddenly lose their leads? You should diversify, you never want one source of leads dominating your business, guys who were all referral based are working at Walmart now, keep that in mind.
 

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It all starts with a plan
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I agree that we have to have multiple sources of lead generation. That's why I want to redirect the money from AL.

Its not that I have an all or nothing mentality. There are many things that are behind my thought process. Part of that is that with AL its contract based. I can do other things that are not contract based with AL but there is no consistency. I get your point, but for me its not all or nothing.

Why not do both? Money....I spend around 500 (not huge I know) a month with AL for one category. Yet I get calls from about 4 to 7 other categories that I don't advertise in because I am at the top of the list in those . My thoughts are I will continue to take in calls from them, I will get my BBB calls and then with the new source I would hope to reach those not using AL or BBB.

We are also working to increase our referrals too. One issue with AL is a lot of people refer their friends and family to AL not me. We are working on a campaign to help stop that. Before you ask, these are people that give us A ratings they just don't seem to get referrals. We have clearly dropped the ball in this area.
 

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The Finisher
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1,396 Posts
Mike is right! Start with hiring someone to design a new website that is properly optimized, and you will see great results.
 

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Banned
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I agree that we have to have multiple sources of lead generation. That's why I want to redirect the money from AL.

Its not that I have an all or nothing mentality. There are many things that are behind my thought process. Part of that is that with AL its contract based. I can do other things that are not contract based with AL but there is no consistency. I get your point, but for me its not all or nothing.

Why not do both? Money....I spend around 500 (not huge I know) a month with AL for one category. Yet I get calls from about 4 to 7 other categories that I don't advertise in because I am at the top of the list in those . My thoughts are I will continue to take in calls from them, I will get my BBB calls and then with the new source I would hope to reach those not using AL or BBB.

We are also working to increase our referrals too. One issue with AL is a lot of people refer their friends and family to AL not me. We are working on a campaign to help stop that. Before you ask, these are people that give us A ratings they just don't seem to get referrals. We have clearly dropped the ball in this area.
I'm sorry, I can't make any sense of what you are saying. You're either confused at how this works or you're leaving out something.Marketing decisions are made with one tool - a calculator and calculating your ROI of your marketing. If your ROI isn't right then you drop them, AL is either returning on your marketing expense or it isn't. On the one hand it sounds like you are saying that spending $500 a month with AL isn't paying off, but on the other you're acting like it is.If it is you keep doing it, simple as that. When you spend for example another $500 a month somewhere else, doubling your advertising budget, you get a return on that $500 a month that increases your sales and profits and pays for the expense.It sounds like you'd benefit from delving deeper into job costing and lead tracking and like I said, a calculator tells you what to do or not.
 

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Between mailings, SEO, rankings, Angies list advertising and BBB advertising, I would say SEO is the best but I see results for all of them.
 
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