We've spent some time recently discussing how home performance businesses should take advantage of Google's various channels -- Google+ Local and PPC advertising, in particular -- rather than simply relying on organic search results and traditional search engine optimization to get new business.
In conversation online and in the real world, however, we've come across a number of contractors who are skeptical about pay-per-click advertising because they think that nobody clicks on those ads.
Well, new evidence suggests otherwise.
A recent study from Wordstream found that, for search terms with "high commercial intent," sponsored results (ads) accounted for 64.6% of clicks. Organic results accounted for just 35.4% of clicks. Consequently, businesses that focus only on their organic rankings, and don't pay any attention to pay-per-click (PPC) advertising because "nobody clicks on ads" could be losing a serious amount of potential traffic.
One question this raises for home performance businesses: are the terms that people are using to find your business classified as having high commercial intent?
We think they could be.
If you have Google Analytics set up for your website, you can check out the keywords that people are using to get to your site. Likely, they'll include some variations of terms like "insulation," "energy audit," etc, along with some geographic modifiers, e.g. "energy audit sacramento." While someone searching for "energy audit" alone may be looking for educational info -- they may just be curious what an energy audit is, and your site may have good information explaining that -- a search for "insulation minneapolis" or any other term with a geographic modifier is likely to be a term with "high commercial intent."
But there's a larger point that this study brings up, which is that it isn't necessarily true that "people don't click on ads." People click on whatever is convenient for them, and whatever they think will take them to where they want to go. That could be on Google+ Local, it could be a PPC ad, it could be an organic result. The bottom line is that you'll have a better chance of getting a new customer over your competitors if your business shows up in each of these locations.
For more info about PPC advertising and how it can help home performance businesses like yours, check out PPC Basics for Home Performance Contractors.