Andrea Proctor from Spinifex Communications International explains how to make the transition from traditional print advertising to online advertising.
Life was simple before the internet right? You advertised in the Yellow Pages, maybe invested in getting your message out via a local radio station or sent a flyer around the neighbourhood, when you were in the local area treating for pests.
Then the internet came along, and with it Google, Bing and Yahoo, in time at all recycling was filled with a sea of yellow dust. For many that is a time long forgotten, for others a time they reminisce about. The stark reality is that if you haven’t embraced the world of the internet, sooner or later your business is likely to struggle.
For those who maybe a little slow to embrace websites and the internet, here’s some basic information to help you make that first step into the brave new world.
Recent statistics show that:
- 54% of all search engine users use at least one search engine at least once a day to find information online
- 67% of PC users use Google and 87% on mobile
- 80% of seniors use search engines (65+).
(Source: marketingprofs.com Who uses search? By Veronica Maria Jarski, SEO PowerSuite by Eric Siu and LBA (Lubbock Business Association, Yellow Page Advertising vs. Internet Advertising by Corey Barnett)
So what does this mean for you? How do you translate your pest services from paper to promoting online and what does that look like?
Well first you need a website. This is the hub of everything you will do on the internet. Just by having a website doesn’t mean customers will find it. Think of your website as your online shop – for people to visit, they need to know it exists.
In the online world, when customers use search engines there are two ways hey may find your website. Firstly, they may find you through organic searches. Alternatively they may click on a paid advert – Adwords, if they are searching on Google.
Organic search results are the ones you don’t pay for. The aim for any company is to be on the first page of organic search results for the keywords (or search terms) important to their business. The ultimate aim is to be in the top position on page one of the search results, as this gets all the clicks.
Unfortunately it is difficult to land this number one position – everybody wants it! Even to get on the first page of a search result can be a challenge. Positions in search results are earned over a period of time.
It requires time and effort to make sure your website is the best it can be – make sure you have local content, keep your content fresh, gain customer reviews and make sure your website provides information that your customers are looking for. Making sure your website performs well in search results is all part of search engine optimisation (SEO).
Marketing your business and your website will earn your homepage rankings and help you get closer to the top. It is worth it, as it’s estimated 70%-80% of customers ignore paid advertising and instead click on organic results.*
However, given that it can take time to move up the organic search results and of course we still want the phone to ring, it can be a good idea to do some paid advertising as well – Adwords.
A potential customer may type in ‘pest control western australia’ into Google and because they want a quick solution they may convert on the first result, which would be a paid advertisement. (Paid adverts typically hold the top three positions on a search results page).
Maybe you decided to pay for these Adwords because you have a promotion on at the moment, you are trying to raise the profile of your pest services in a local area or you need to make the phone ring.
However, paying for Google advertising does not influence a website’s ability to rank in non-paid results. This will still take time and you will need to work on your ‘SEO’.
Setting up a website and online advertising can be a bit scary. If you’ve yet to make the transition to the online world, it’s probably more than a bit scary. As such, it is a good idea to get a suitable website and online marketing company to help. It needn’t be too expensive but try and choose someone who is recommended to you, as there are a lot of very ordinary website companies willing to ‘help’ you out.
There are many differences between a website and the good ol’ yellow pages book, but the big one is information. The yellow pages book basically provides an ad encouraging customers to phone you to find out more information. In the brave new world all the information is already online, so when customers phone you they have already done their research and have all their information on hand.
With all this information online – not only your website but potentially reviews of your business and social media comment – customers have generally made a decision as to whether they are interested in your company before they phone. If they do phone, the chances are it’s a good potential customer and it’s time to close the sale.
So if you haven’t made the transition to the online world, now’s the time because the yellow pages book is dead. That said, there is now yellow pages online, but that’s another story.
Andrea Proctor, Spinifex Communications International