I hate Pay Per Click (PPC). There, I said it.
I’ve launched 3 PPC campaigns over the last 2 years for my home organization business and IMHO – they’ve all sucked! The cost/lead and cost/conversion were too rich for my blood.
I wanted more leads now. I did get more clicks, but not at a price-point which made forking over mo’ money to Mr./Mrs. Google pay dividends for me.
Do you feel like you’re ‘addicted’ to your PPC campaigns? Are they eating up too big a percentage of your budget? Are your keywords bids going through the ‘top shelf’ (OK – that’s a bad closet pun!).
If you want to ‘blow up’ Mr./Mrs. Google (like me), I’m going to give you 5 ideas to do it and save money.
Idea #1 – Use your pretty pictures (smartly)
You do great work. However, it does you NO good if no one sees it. You’ve got to take pictures and ‘promote the daylights’ out of them. Here’s a few ways to do this:
- Ramp up your Houzz account – Houzz which has an upscale demo (which is perfect for a ‘wants-based’ product like custom closets, cool garages and entryways) is a perfect place to show your work. What I LOVE about Houzz is you can link images directly to your product pages and identify what town you did the work in.
- Pins are for more than fastening stuff! – If you’ve never experienced the ‘power of the pin’ (i.e. ‘pinning on Pinterest), I’ll tell you about it. Pinterest is the image-based ‘non-social, social network’ which is all about inspiration. Your pins can link back to your articles or web pages – bringing free traffic to you.
- Hashtag your images – I loved this idea. Jeanne Hessen of Closet Factory in Deerfield Beach Florida over-laid her own hashtag on images of closet and home office designs on LinkedIn. I thought, “How smart!” Create your own brand and promote on this popular business to business network your cool designs.
Idea #2 – As Supertramp (I’m showing my age here) would say, “Take the long way home.” Start blogging.
For those of you who know me, you know I’m a blogging maniac. I write on 3 blogs (one in home organization, one about remodeling, one which targets builders and remodelers with business and marketing advice).
Why do I ‘take the long way home’ and write and write and write for business results when I could get a ‘quick fix’ (clicks and maybe leads today) through PPC? It’s because blogging brings in more traffic and free (that’s the magic word) traffic. With your blogging efforts you’ll be educating to set up future leads and sales. This stuff really works. However, you have to be patient and disciplined to get results.
Idea #3 – Network while minimizing ‘rubber chicken dinners.’
I’m a strange dude (yes, some of you already know that). I don’t mind networking events. However, it’s hard to allocate time for them. While going to home builder, interior design and remodeling events is a good way to grow a cabinetry and home org business, I like to minimize them so I can stay married.
So, what can you and I do instead? I like the idea of digital networking. Start posting your blog posts and images (see Idea #1) on LinkedIn. Comment and share other people’s posts. When you see an interesting contact, find your common interest and see if they’re willing to meet.
Use digital networking to set up face to face networking.
Idea #4 – Up your SEO game. Get ‘professional’ help.
OK – I’m not suggesting you go into therapy (although high PPC bills can make us feel we need professional help!). What I am suggesting is to hire a professional to see if your site’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can be spruced up. Since Google ‘organic’ traffic (that’s the code for FREE) is driven by 200 factors (and 75% of the searches are on Google with 67% of the clicks through the first 5 results), showing up high for keywords is HUGE.
If you’re like me, you don’t have the time to figure out these 200 ‘magic’ factors Google uses. Therefore, it’s critical to get sound input to get your pages to show up ‘organically’ without PPC. If you’re unsure who(m) to hire, ask another cabinet or closet company in a non-competing market (who is at the top of Google) who they use. This service doesn’t need to be done by someone local.
Idea #5 – Stop focusing on traffic. Focus on conversions.
Most people focus on the wrong thing with their web site. They want traffic.
There is one HUGE problem with simply focusing on traffic. Here it is. 98% of the traffic is in ‘research,’ not buying mode. They come to your site. They check out a few things. They click out – possibly to never return. They were looking, kicking the ‘digital tire.’
You need to take these ‘lookers’ and convert them into your ‘learners’ (i.e. people who read and learn from your blog posts until they’re ready for a free consultation).
How do you do this? You add a ‘lead magnet.’ A lead magnet (if you’re unfamiliar) is something you give out for free in exchange for their email address. It can be an article like 5 Tips for a Cool Closet Even Your Picky Spouse Will Love or 7 Strategies to Organize Your Garage Before You Go Nuts” or an infographic or a video about design.
Your goal will be to convert ‘lookers’ into ‘learners.’ You’ll use your email list to (first) educate and (eventually) get an appointment to do a design. What’s cool is you can influence them with your insights for free…once they’ve given you permission with their email address.
I hope these 5 ideas show you it’s possible to wean off your addiction to PPC (and needing to outbid your competition). Unfortunately, it won’t be easy or quick. However, if you stay disciplined, you’ll get your cost/lead down and build your street-cred with your prospects in the process.
Help from me
I’m not a digital marketing consultant (and I don’t have time to play one on TV either), but as an entrepreneur and fellow home organization dude, I do help enjoy helping other entrepreneurs. If you have questions – I’d love to help. Visit our storage and closet organization blog – Professionally Organized – or call me (216-310-1074). I’d be glad to give you my 2 cents to get you rolling.
Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.