Advertising on the net

What experience have you had with advertising on the net?

When people do a search on google, will your ad come up?

Do you get business from that?

I have not tried it and am considering it.

Thanks Merv

Do you have a website?

Dwight Rowe
Jencor Services, LLC
Severn, MD

Are you talking about a website type ad or something like craigslist? I have an internet ad on yellowbook.com because of my Yellow Book ad but have never received any calls from it.

I got a little over $3,000 in work from google alone this month so far.

I if you have a website start working on getting it optimized, I haven’t had much time to do a lot of optimization, but I’ve gotten some great advice from Chris, and Starbtite, and now come up #3 or 4 for the term “north county window cleaning”

You can also use google adwords, (those are the ads that show up on the right side of the page on google when you run a search.

If you’re not advertising on the internet you are losing a lot of potential customers.

I do not have a website and I don’t know much about it.

I am just in the planning stages right now in regards to advertising on the net.

Thanks Merv

If you don’t have a web site, advertising on free classifieds sites are your main options.

Most people that surf the net for products or services want to eventually arrive at a site actually selling those things. Not just a directory site full of other company names and phone numbers.

Even a low budget site with good text and a couple of images can bring in a lot of work over the course of a year. It should only take a job or two at most to pay for it. Designing the site yourself is where you can really save some big bucks.

Hi Merv,

I think results vary depending where you live. Greater metropolitan areas will use the internet to find services more often then rural areas. People where I live are internet savy. Googling is everything here:D Getting good remarks on Angie’s List or Yelp work really well for me attracting new clients. Craigs list is huge here. I’ve done well with it as well for being a free place to advertise. The phone book is a thing of the past. But maybe not for you and others. I use google add words as well. When people google window cleaning seattle, I’m one of the ones at the top of the map list. I use Windows Live. I think you can still register for a year for free.

"optimization’'how does one do that or where does one learn? how to come up on the first page ? Don

I have a website that is optimized for the web and use Google Add Words in addition, and our business usually comes up on the first page of a search. It’s not that difficult to do. It’s the cheapest form of advertising that I do; that’s because I set the amount I want to spend monthly and “per click” on to your weblink. I’ve gotten around $6000 in business from it this year.

The webite is FREE through Microsoft Office Small Business: http://smallbusiness.officelive.com/?xid=5A1E9ADE-9786-4BC8-AD2C-AAF02397C310&WT.srch=1.

This is pretty much the best free web service out there. The site designer interface is super easy to use with no web experience. You can also choose your own domain name if its avaliable. You have to pay every year to renew it.

If you want your business to grow, in my opinion it won’t happen without a business website.

P.S. Nice work, All County Window Cleaning, for coming up on the first page for a Google search for just “window cleaning”.

I loved the 50 mininum for storefronts on your website. AWESOME

Theres a lot to it, run a search for website SEO, SEO= Search engine optimization.
You can either pay someone a few grand to optimized your site, so that you come up on page one for your keywords, or you can learn to do it yourself. It’s not easy to do and theres a lot to learn, but in opinion it is a valuable skill to have these days.

I ran that search term and didn’t see your site on the first 5 or so pages.

Are you talking about adwords? That’s not actually having your site optimized, you are paying for ad space (those ads that you see on the right hand side of the page of a google search) You pay per click.

Google Adwords is good though if your website is not optimized yet, as it allows you to show up on the first page for the keywords you choose. I have had a good return from adwords as well.

I have a Web site that some have called good, www.CleanAsCanBeServices.com. I have it listed with Google Ad Words, and it has brought in a very modest amount of busines. I have not done any optimization work. I believe that it could make a difference. Two weird things about Yellow Book listings and Web sites. I believe that they are the two forms of advertising that make you look legit, but might not bring as much direct return as the investment warrants. Put another way, they might help, but not having them will definitely hurt. They add a professional shine.

Another thought; due to the demographics of where I live a good deal of my current customers don’t use the computer the way most of us here are used to using it. Think rather elderly, who can’t do their own windows. They might not even have a computer. They find contractors throught the phone book and through word of mouth. Some of these people are very well connected locally. You find and earn the trust of the right ones and it will be like being #1 in any search engine results in regards to your most local business prospects.

Eric

That’s a very interesting perspective, Eric.

What have you done to make your marketing elderly-specific?

Sorry - ignore that…just think about it instead. I apologize for the near-hijack…

Plan high unless you have time. Things like this should not be taken lightly. Websites and SEO have become a major source of business income for any business. If you are running any type of business and you don’t have a website, your stupid. But that can be argued till the end of time. You can build one yourself or pay for it. If I were you I would ask some of the kids in the neighborhood if they wanted to make some money. They’ll have you up and running in a few days or know a kid who can get you there. As far as SEO goes, buy a program to do it cause you will pay through the nose for it to be done and the companies can’t say 100% that you will list. They will say they can get you to list for good keywords, but not the keywords you want. In some cases they can get you listed with the ones you want, but then they try an charge you more. Just do it yourself once you have a site up. Or if you have the bread, just pay for the entire service cause it’s a lot of work devoted time to do it correctly. I made a change to my page last month for gutter cleaning and now list in the top already. That does not happen if things are not set up correctly.

Sweet.

Merv, your certainty makes it sound like you know way more about this topic than me, so help me out here. Google Minocqua Window Cleaners. In the map listing you may get 10 results. Of those, me and maybe one other person has a Web site. Two things from this. Can I assume that I’m way down on the map listing because I haven’t SOEed? Second, a couple of the other businesses listed are true competitors. That is, they are out hussling business, have well established and very loyal, and respectable client bases. And they have no Web site. As one of their competitors, in my market, I feel would be the stupid one to place too much emphasis on the value of my Web site. It may be stupid to not have a site, and I suspect it is equally stupid to assume that a Web site brings equal results in all markets. There is no silver bullet to marketing. You gotta find what works for any particular target market and go after it. I think some people put a lot of time into Web sites because they can work. However, I also believe we naturally go to what we are comfortable with, and quietly working on a Web site in your office may be way more comfortable than rubbing elbows at business meetings, doing door to door work, direct phone solitcitation, etc. Where I’m at, northern WI, nothing has worked as well as door to door marketing and sales. And I’ve tried at least 10 different marketing methods. Suggesting others are stupid for running a business without a Web site may actually move them toward a method, Web site development, that will NOT provide the best ROI. Early ROI is critical to small business start ups unless well capitalized.

Eric

Eric, you make some excellent points. It’s always important not to put all of our marketing eggs in one basket. Hence the term marketing mix.

How do you opitimize your website? Mine doesn’t come up on Google as well as I wanted. Any advice with be great!
Thanks