17 Jun 2016

Search Marketing on A Budget For Small Service Business

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Three months ago, I started having a conversation about search marketing with a company that services our sprinklers. His name is Robert. Robert said that he set up a website but hadn’t touched it in years and isn’t getting any website traffic or leads. I decided to take a look and see what his situation was. He had a one page website hosted with GoDaddy using GoDaddy’s WebsiteBuilder. Robert asked me what I would charge him to get him found online and that was a little hard for me to answer since this was out of our normal vertical market. Our primary vertical market is dental marketing and this market requires a substantial amount of time. We have created numerous websites using WordPress but Robert’s site was created using GoDaddy’s tools.

The Cost For Search Marketing Services

We decided on a three month deal at less than half of what I charge my dental clients. This isn’t because he was getting anything cheaper. It was based on how much time I could work on his project for the month and what his budget was. We had never worked on a WebsiteBuilder website before so there was a small learning curve. Nothing horrible.

First Things First: Re-Vamping A Website

We always try to give a website the benefit of a doubt when taking on a new client. We evaluate the website to see if it is worth keeping or replacing. Most of the time, just by looking at it, you can make that decision but sometimes adding an image slider and moving things around a bit, you can blow some life back into the website. In general, there is a much bigger impact with the client when we replace the website and sometimes it is more work to try to make an old website look up to date. Many times it depends on the search marketing budget as to what can be done.

Website Images: Beware of Copyright Infringement

Sprinkler Valve ReplacementWe decided to pick a new website template. I went through GoDaddy’s website templates and found one that seemed to match the industry he was in. I deleted most of the images he had on his website because he couldn’t remember where he obtained the images. As a general rule, If I take on a new client and inherit a website, I delete all the images unless the client knows where they came from. It is not worth it to risk image copyright infringement. So many people grab images from Google and add them to their website. This is a big no no.  I asked Robert if he had any pictures of the work he had done on his previous jobs. Big 0 there. Luckily, Robert had some jobs coming up. He was able to get pictures of broken sprinkler heads where the water was shooting up in the air. He has some good pictures of broken sprinkler pipes, old sprinkler timers, drip systems and more. It took a few weeks to get all the photos but we were able to get them on the appropriate pages. I really don’t like stock images so this was a big plus for us to own our own photos. I was happy as well because some clients just drag their feet getting content to us. Robert was sending email after email of images. We made sure we used alt tags on our images so they could be described properly.

Website Page Content: When is Enough Content Enough

Our next task was to start writing content. Most of the time, my clients run from this task so I have content writers on standby. Robert was eager to write some of his own content so I worked with him to flush out ideas about what he could write about. The topic wasn’t the hard part because we had decided what services he wanted to focus on. The hardest part is that if you aren’t a professional writer and you are a guy, the content becomes a bit too black and white. “We came to the job. Found a broken pipe and fixed it” When Robert told me this, I had to help him expand on that situation. “What was the story about who called you and where were you and what kind of a yard was it. Was it a tree root or did somebody break the pipe?” So we were able to get a reasonable amount of words on a page while trying to tell a story. When we needed more content, I had Robert write about some experiences on the job but put in his own words. This helped out. “More content, more content and more content” This is what I kept telling him.

When Will My Website Show Up in Google?

I wasn’t too concerned about Robert’s Google ranking because his industry isn’t all that competitive and most of the websites I had seen from his competitors had very thin on content. It only took two weeks before we started to see signs of progress in Yahoo and Bing search engines. Somewhere around the third week, some Google rankings started coming in for a few of our pages. We are on month two of our three month agreement and his ranking chart is filling up nicely with all three search engines. Robert has received a few calls and one of them was a sizable deal in a gated community and he signed a three month maintenance contract with his client.

Search Engine Ranking Report Showing Increased Rankings

 What Do I Do Next To Increase My Online Presence?

I started having a conversation with Robert to figure out what we want do do next. Maybe a Blog, write more content, add more topics to his menu, maybe work on backlinks. We decided due to his budget that he should learn how to make informational videos. Since YouTube is owned by Google, we figured that Google would be happy with us if we started coming up with some fresh video content. I sent Robert home to do some research on how to do some editing on his IPAD and to work on some scripts for his videos. Next week, we will shoot a couple of videos and embed them on his website. There is always something to do with online marketing and there really isn’t an end in sight. Just have to keep adding more and more good content and be the guru of your industry.




About the Author

Data Complete Inc.
6520 Platt Ave Suite 398
West Hills, CA 91307-3218
Telephone: 818-570-9538 | Fax: 866-269-4154

Data Complete Inc. evaluates your website for potential technical and visual issues.
We fix these issues then apply SEO principles. You will receive a report card after
the initial analysis which details the most pressing issues.