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Welcome to Part 2 of my three part blog series on how to market your home service business online. In Part 1, I wrote about the importance of selecting a good Web marketing partner and gave you my team’s very best advice for how to evaluate your current or future online marketing company (or in-house employee).
Now that you have an idea of what to look for in your online marketing partner, the next step to marketing your home service business on the Web involves setting appropriate expectations and goals for your campaign.
Setting Goals for Your Online Marketing Campaign
“Um, duh, I want to get more traffic, leads, and sales from the Web,” you’re probably thinking as you smugly stroke your mustache (This is how I imagine most of my clients—as having really epic mustaches. In fact, if you have one, make sure to ask us about our mustache discount.).
You’re going to need to get more granular than that, my facial-haired friend. That would be like me telling my boyfriend (who is imaginary) that I want to go to the beach and then getting mad when he takes me to New Jersey. Don’t get mad—New Jersey is nice, but it’s not the Dominican Republic.
So sure, I know you want to get more traffic, leads, and sales from the Web, but it’s more helpful to know, say, that you want to go from $1M in revenue to $2M in a year. Your goals need to be tangible, specific, and measurable—this is where working with a data-driven online marketing partner will come in handy!
How to Set Your Online Marketing Goal
The first step in setting your online marketing goal is to think about how you want to grow your business followed by how quickly you want to grow it. We can then create an actionable plan for reaching that goal. This plan will vary depending not only on your goal, but also on your market, industry, and where you’re starting from (this is why we do an SEO audit for every client we work with).
So how exactly do we align our work with your goals? Once we’ve established your baseline data—including your site’s current non-branded organic traffic figure, visit-to-lead conversion rate, and lead-to-sale conversion rate—we work backwards from your revenue goal to determine the following:
- How many more sales do you need to reach your revenue goal?
- How many more leads do you need to get that many sales?
- How much more website traffic do you need to get that many leads?
Once we’ve determined how much additional traffic you need to reach your goal, we can create a much more accurate online marketing strategy to get you to your goal in your desired time period.
How NOT to Set Your Online Marketing Goal
Have you noticed I haven’t mentioned a damn thing about rankings? There’s a reason why having a revenue-focused goal is preferable. Organic rankings are important, but there are several problems with relying on organic ranking to determine your online marketing success.
First, personalized search means just because you rank first on your computer doesn’t mean you rank first when someone else performs the same search. Next, just because you rank first for a certain keyword doesn’t mean that will drive qualified visitors and leads to your site. Finally, even if your rankings do drive qualified visitors to your website, what do those visitors do once they get there? If your SEO company has done a poor job of optimizing your content and basic site layout for conversions, your rankings aren’t doing you much good, are they?
In addition, we advise against setting overly aggressive goals. With online marketing, you have to spend money to make money. It’s unrealistic to expect to quadruple in revenue if you only spend $1,000 a month on SEO!
Finally, it’s worth mentioning again that when it comes to organic search, you should focus on long term results. If you’re interested in short term results, you can try pay per click (PPC). Investing in both PPC and SEO is a great way to maximize your online real estate and results from your search engine marketing.
When it comes to Google organic (non-paid) search, you can’t expect immediate results. Companies that manipulate the search engines to get fast rankings eventually get caught—leaving you worse off than where you started.
Don’t expect to drop $1,500 today and get a $30,000 ROI next month. Realistically, you can start to expect results from SEO in six months to a year depending on your starting point.
We’re Almost There!
When it comes to working with an online marketing company, think of your home service business as a football team. You are the owner of the team, but your online marketing company is the coach. As long as you are clear about communicating your goal (and that goal is reasonable), you should be able to trust your coach to execute the plays.
Stay tuned for Part 3 of this blog series where I will discuss what an authoritative online presence looks like and why it matters. Or, if you’re ready for a new online marketing coach, give us a call. You can check out some of our wins here.
About The Author: Blue Corona is a data-driven online marketing company with offices in Gaithersburg, MD and Charlotte, N.C.
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