Plumbers need to lift their Adwords game

Published: Tue 27 Nov 2018 09:32 AM
Insight Online
27 November 2018
Rising costs and now GST means plumbers need to lift their Adwords game
The cost of marketing for plumbers is increasing – a monthly budget of $1,000 is considered the minimum to make Google Adwords viable – and on top of that Google has just announced that they will be collecting New Zealand GST on all AdWords spend from 1 November 2018.
CEO of Auckland digital marketing agency Insight Online, Kim Voon, says that where in the past it was enough to get by on a budget of $100 or $200 a month – back in the days of 10 and 20 cents a click – anything less than $1,000 these days is probably not going to offer a strong return on investment.
“With GST we’re talking about $1,150 a month if you want to see returns – If you’re a plumbing group with a number of staff, that’s not too much of a stretch. But the increasing number of people advertising on Adwords is escalating the online bidding process.
“To really be able to use data to improve your campaign, and get a return on investment, you need to buy a hundred or two hundred clicks a day – it varies widely day-to-day. The plumber’s space is super competitive.”
Voon says there are about 100,000 searches for plumber related keywords every month. For something like the ‘Plumber Auckland’ keyword, bid prices range from $4.60 to $8.70 per click. ‘Plumber North Shore’ costs $4.50 to $7.80, ‘Hamilton plumber’ can vary from $3.20 to $8.00. while ‘plumbing Pukekohe’ costs from about $2.80 to about $5.60 per click.
“The most common mistake – and it’s an expensive one – is the tendency by some plumbing firms to go as broad as possible. For example, using keywords like ‘customer service’ just won’t get the cut-through. ‘Plumber Auckland’ or ‘Plumber Wellington,’ and ‘Plumber Christchurch are too broad and too competitive.
“The fear is that if you’re not going broad, you’re missing out. Whereas in fact, you miss out when you go too broad with your keywords because your budgets will be stretched too thin. You need to be specific if you want cut-through. Everybody bids on keywords like ‘Plumber Auckland,” Voon says.
He offers the following three tips for plumbing businesses that use, or are contemplating, an Adwords campaign:
1. Cultivate a point of difference
A point of difference is very important. If, for example, you specialise in a particular type of ‘gas fitting’ or ‘drain unblocking’ – by sector perhaps – use it in your Adwords campaign.
2. Radius target local
Everybody wants to be Auckland, or Wellington or Christchurch wide for fear of missing out, but realistically it is impossible for a company to service an entire city. Your own neighbourhood would likely have more than enough business to keep you busy, so use local names in your keyword targeting.
“You can location target your ads to appear within say a ten-kilometre radius of your business. There’s probably a ton of business within your local area and Google will show them your ad first,” Voon says.
3. Pimp out your ‘Google My Business’ profile
Make sure your ‘Google My Business’ profile is smart, professional and supported with lots of reviews. Five stars convert a lot of business.
“If you’re going to be spending more money to generate leads for your plumbing business, don’t spray and pray – be strategic and considered in your approach; test and measure and apply what works.
“Having a sales page on your website, one that just ‘hard sells’ the merits and benefits of doing business with you, will also make a difference. Use a combination of text, imagery, testimonials and social proof to get cut through,” Voon says.
4. Consider ‘retargeting’ as an option
Voon said that to make the most of your Adword spend, adding 'retargeting' as option to your campaign will target advertising at people that have visited your website before.
"To make it work effectively, you'll need to consider two things. Firstly, do you get enough traffic to your website to generate a list to retarget? Second, what offer would you retarget them with, considering these people know your business? Retargeting works best when you're showing them something that makes sense after they've seen your website.
"Don't spam people with generic ads, that will just annoy them. Think about what people will need after they've visited your site. It's likely they might have an emergency or need some help so write your ad with that in mind," he said.
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