In theory, Adwords makes perfect sense for niches like roofing – there are hundreds of people searching for a contractor like you, in your city. Put your website where their look most often – in Google (using Google Adwords) – and start getting phone calls from roofing leads – seems very easy.
Some companies are extremely successful with Adwords and grew fast using this channel only. Other roofing business owners just wasted thousands of dollars: “Clicks cost too much”, “Adwords is not for us”, “We didn’t see a good return on investment from Google ads”.
What makes the difference?
In this article, I’ll describe a single biggest mistake local service businesses make that can make the difference between successful and unsuccessful campaigns.
1. Three ways to improve your lead generation process
First, let me lay out the whole process:
How Adwords work for local service businesses?
Let’s take a roofing company example:
How can you get more clients without increasing ad spend?
Well, obviously you can improve each step of the 3-step process from the illustration:
1) You can improve your Adwords campaigns
2) You can make your website convert more visitors into customers
3) You can improve your sales and close more leads
Which step to improve for biggest impact?
Improving #1 (Google Adwords campaigns) requires a deeper expertise, it’s complicated and required money for testing. To see significant improvement, Adwords campaigns need to be monitored regularly, ideally by a dedicated professional.
Improving #3 (close ratio) can be slow, needs training and probably won’t bring a dramatic increase.
Improving #2 (improving how website turns visitors into leads) is fairly simple, it’s a one-time investment and can bring you 50%-300% better results, overnight.
That’s why it’s definitely #2 – improving the website will bring the bang for your buck.
Why? Because most local service companies have this step wrong and make one crucial mistake that hinges their Adwords marketing.
If you’ll do it right, you can really get ahead of the competition and triple the number of phone calls your getting, without increasing your advertising budget.
2. The biggest mistake local service businesses do is using their homepage for Google Adwords
In my experience in online marketing for the local business industry, using company’s homepage for online ads (i.e. Google Adwords) is the biggest sin of small businesses with online advertising.
What successful companies do instead, is using a dedicated “landing page” website, not their homepage.
Homepages are not effective in turning visitors into customers because:
- are created to serve multiple purposes
- don’t clearly ask the visitor to call or fill out the form
- have a lot of distracting links and unnecessary information
- talk about the company, not about the prospect’s problem
- don’t present the information in the right order for the prospect to make a buying decision
3. Successful companies use a dedicated “landing page” for Adwords campaigns instead
If you pay money to get people to see your offer, I’m sure you’d agree that it’s crucial that this offer is as effective as possible.
This offer is a landing page (a special dedicated one-page website where visitors land when they click from Google) and it should be maximally effective with one thing: getting the visitors to contact your company.
A landing page is designed specifically for Adwords campaign and is not accessible from the homepage.
You know for sure that the only people who visit this landing page are visitors from Google who are interested in your range of services, so you can be more precise in your offer.
A landing page is effective because:
- it serves just one purpose: get the visitor to contact your company, every element on a landing page is supporting this goal
- visitors don’t get distracted with unnecessary information or links
- is very clear, easily readable
- is mobile-friendly, loads fasts (which also lowers Cost-per-Click in Adwords!)
- your offer is presented in the most understandable and effective way using best copywriting practices
4. Examples of an optimized landing page in local business niche
Let’s take a roofing example again – it’s a very effective landing page.
1. Visible, contrasting phone number
2. The headline states what the website is about. The background matches the service, too.
3. Phone number again!
4. The website gives the visitor to fill out the form instead.
5. An arrow is a little Conversion-Rate-Optimization trick to draw the visitors attention
6. Extra benefit (guarantee)
7. Description of the process
8. Names of types of roofs they make – it helps create relevance if the visitor sees a type of roof they need
9. Real customer reviews help build trust and credibility
10. Form and the number again
11. And the number, again!
Now, let’s take an example of underoptimized homepage (that is being used for Adwords too!)
I’m not saying it’s a bad website – there’s a lot of good elements there.
What I’m saying is this homepage is not optimal for Google Adwords campaigns! It’s a waste of advertising money since many visitors will click away without contacting the company.
Each visit costs money. It’s important to squeeze the most out of those visits!
- The most visible elements are not encouraging the visitor to contact the company
- No form
- Text that’s not easily readable
- Unnecessary graphics elements
- Too short
- Links that can drive the visitor away from the main goal – contacting the company
Imagine you’re visiting both those websites, which one is more compelling for you to contact them?
5. How much can you save by using a dedicated landing page instead of a homepage?
I’ll try to give some numbers here. Obviously, the exact numbers will depend on the city, level of competition and other factors, but this can give you a rough idea.
Here’s an example of typical scenarios we see in this industry.
- a potential client is searching for a roofing company in Google and they see 15-20 results on the first page
- they click to one of the websites, let’s assume a click costs $10 (can vary a lot)
- in Scenario #A the visitors land on a business homepage
- in Scenario #B the visitors land on a targeted “landing page” website that’s designed specifically for Adwords campaign
- The homepage, depending on its design, mobile-friendliness, the speed of loading, quality of copywriting converts anything from 0.5% to 10% of visitors to leads (from 5 to 100 of every 1000 visitors will contact the company – request a call or call them)
- A “landing page” website converts usually from 8% to even 25% depending on the quality of visitors and quality of the landing page.
In the example, we used a conservative 10% conversion rate for a landing page and 4% on the homepage.
We see 2.5x (250%) improvement by using the landing page, comparing to the homepage.
Considering the fact often a homepage is very underoptimized and the conversion rate on a good landing page is usually higher, the improvement is not uncommon to be 5x or higher!
How much can you save with a landing page?
In both cases, $1000 was spent on advertising. In the first scenario, the company got 4 leads, in the second one 10 leads.
If the company would get 25 leads / month from Google (which is a moderate number)- the landing page would save the company $45,000 a year
In those calculations, we are assuming that the lead cost would drop from $250 to $100.
6. Interested how much you could save with an optimized landing page?
I’m personally obsessed with marketing tactics that bring the most impact.
Using a landing page instead of a homepage for Google Adwords is probably the single most effective change local service business can do to get more clients from their online marketing.
If you’re interested to learn if a landing page would help you save money and get more prospects calling you, I’m happy to have a free 30-minute call with you.
You’ll get an audit of your website, discover which elements could be improved and get a proposal of a better version that will turn more visitors to leads