Written by Chris Lambrinides
CHAPTER 10 - PAID TRAFFIC
Paid Traffic Intro
Once your website is set up and optimized for conversions, consider using paid traffic. Optimization must come first, though. If it isn’t set up right, tested, and tweaked, you are going to lose a lot of money. There is nothing worse than sending paid traffic toward a crappy, ineffective website. It’s a total waste of time. Once your website is closing deals and getting you leads, consider spending some money.
PPC = Pay Per Click
Google pioneered this technology and made it available to the masses. Over the years, it has proved to be a cost-effective way to gain website visitors. It allows you to test on a small scale the different campaigns and offers.
The neat thing about PPC is you can set your budget and run small campaigns. This allows you to test an idea and refine it for a small amount of money. If it proves successful, you can crank it up and increase traffic with a greater spend. The two main players in the game are Google and Facebook. The concept is the same, but they work in different ways.
With Google, you show ads to prospective customers according to search terms they enter. With Facebook, you show ads according to location, demographics, and interests. And, of course, with both of them, there is the retargeting that we talked about before. These PPC ads get run and managed through the same retargeting platform interface.
First, let’s talk about “the fold.” See my image here? Note the red line at the bottom. That’s called the fold. It’s what a web visitor sees in just one section of their computer screen without scrolling down.
What do you notice? Today in 2016, it’s impossible to show up above the fold in any Google search result without paying. Everything you see above the fold is a paid ad. That’s crazy when you think about it, but it is what it is. If you want to show up at the top, you’re going to have to pay. Here is where you can get started if you’re interested. google.com/ads
Above the fold is all ads. Now, let’s take a look below the fold on a search for “Window Cleaning.” There are more things for your potential customer to weed through.
Of course, the ads continue down the right side. Underneath the main ads, you have your Google My Business listing. Remember when I was telling you how important it is to get one of those? Google will show those before it gets anywhere near the organic listings. Once you get through the ads and the local listings, you have your organic results.
I’m happy to see my sites are still on top of the local listings.
That should give you a good overview of what Google PPC ads are and why they are important. It’s a snap to get set up; you can be up and running in about thirty minutes.
Your toughest decision is going to be what type of words and key phrases to bid on. The whole key to success is not getting your ad in front of the most people; rather, it’s getting it in front of the right people.
The cool thing about this method is that the traffic is actually from people with a real interest in your service. The downside is that those people who have no knowledge of you or your company are also likely to be price shopping. They just know they want clean windows at the best price.
Facebook has taken the PPC game to a whole new level. Every- one is on it all the time. Look around when you see someone’s face buried in their phone. They are on Facebook, I guarantee it. I read a study that said people on average check in fourteen times a day. They spend thirty minutes a day on average looking at Facebook on their phone. That’s shocking from a societal perspective. I’m not a fan of Facebook, and I try to limit my time on it to one or two daily check-ins for business purposes. My opinion aside, this is great news for marketers.
Here are the two main ad locations you will see. There are others, but I have had the best luck with these.
When we were talking about Google PPC, it was about what a prospective customer is searching for. With Facebook, it’s more than a search. Yep, you can manage that pixel tracking we talked about earlier through here. But you can also do a lot more.
For example, I could show an ad right now to this person:
Female, married, thirty-two years old, speaks French, likes to go on cruises.
That’s pretty niche when you think about it. You couldn’t get more specific if you tried. That’s how powerful it is. You could also set it up to show ads only to people who have liked your business page.
You can experiment with this and show targeted ads to prospective customers for just $5 a day. You can and should start that small.
If you use PPC, it is best to send people to a targeted landing page on your website as opposed to the main page.
This is just another thing you can do to personalize the experience and that will cause all your marketing efforts to have a greater impact.
You may wish to look at some pay-for lead sites. Here is how they work:
You register an account and agree to pay X for a window cleaning lead. They then advertise and optimize their websites for all sorts of home services.
If it’s a service that this company performed at a home, they will optimize for it and collect leads. They will then sell these leads to you and your competitors. When a lead comes in, they distribute it to you and any of your other competitors who opt in. At this point, they will charge your credit card on file for the agreed-upon lead price.
Use caution with these. Experiment with one or two of them, and gauge the quality of leads you receive. Remember, you are paying for leads whether you land the job or not.
I have used ServiceMagic (now HomeAdvisor) with decent results. We had both good and bad years with them. We found the key to success in using their service was to respond to the customer as fast as possible. When one of these leads came in, we dropped everything and reached out to them. You figure the leads are going to go to you and your competitors at the same time, so whoever gets to them first, wins.
Warning: This method attracts the price shoppers. Although we used ServiceMagic for a few years with success, we ended up dropping them because the quality of leads worsened with every passing year. It got to the point where blatantly fake ones were coming across. ServiceMagic made it tough to reverse the charge of a bad lead. After the time invested in chasing down a refund for a fake lead outweighed the good leads, we were out!
Here are a few examples of these types of sites:
■ HomeAdvisor—formerly ServiceMagic
The reports and reviews on these sites are mixed. Do a search for their name on windowcleaningresource.com. You will see that the reviews run fifty–fifty. Some people are having great luck with them, whereas other people report an unsatisfactory experience. It could come down to your area. At the least, they are worth investigating and doing your own research and experimentation.