Separate names with a comma.
Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
Catch up on the conversation with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns in the Franchising forum plus sign up to receive a FREE eBook on how to grow your landscape business.
Discussion in 'Digital Marketing' started by 32vld, Dec 22, 2013.
I've noticed that I get way more calls from google themselves, then anyone else.
Google very rarely calls anyone. Many scammers call trying to give that impression. Ask them directly if they work for Google and they will usually say no.
Headz is dead on. To corroborate what he's saying, 99% of the time, it's not Google. They do their darnedest to imply they are. In fact, with as many sites as I manage, in the last two years, the only calls I've had from Google were to verify existence for Maps/Places/Local/Whatever or specifically related to existing Adwords accounts.
This isn't really advice that should be used as a blanket, one size fits all approach. For you, using a physical address for your business, it is probably a good fit, but for those using the hidden address, Service Area Business approach, radius might prove better.
And to anyone reading this thread.... Please read up at Mike Blumenthal's blog or Moz.com BEFORE you set up your Places or G+ page. It is critical to get it right if you want to have success. It can be a bit complicated...
Please correct me if I'm wrong
By entering only the zip codes where I want to service I am eliminating the areas where I do not want to service and/or eliminating areas that most likely aren't populated with my type of clientele. When I use Google Adwords I won't be advertising in areas I won't be servicing
I want to try to minimize the number of times my pay per click ad is clicked on by someone who lives in a neighborhood that most likely can't afford my service rates. I'm not interested in fielding a bunch of calls from people in low income neighborhoods looking to see who has the cheapest price for mowing their 2 foot high grass before they get a fine from the city
and I certainly don't want to pay for their clicks.
You probably know a whole lot more about this than I do Tony, so please feel free to correct me if what I said is not accurate.
I went with the radius.
(sorry for the delay, but it's not a quick answer unless i don't go with a real world example. it's more a "you'll know what's right when you see it" kind of thing.)
As you state it, you're definitely not wrong, Scott. I'm still on my first cup of coffee, so let's see if I can tackle this and have it make some semblance of sense. That's not always an easy thing when it comes to Google Places/Maps.
You're correct that Zips can be a great way to filter out areas you don't, or can't, service. You also look to have an address that is in the center of your zip service areas, so, simply by default, that's of huge help to AW Landscapers. But, what happens if your business address is a zip in on the Western border of your desired zip codes market? Or, if you're not actually in any of them to begin with? Understanding, and seeing, how Google calculates marker placement goes a long way. In the dashboard, just seeing where Google drops your marker is a good test to see if zip or radius is best for you.
If you go city and radius, your marker is dropped in the middle. If you go zip codes, you will likely see something altogether different (but your case is a bit different in that your physical business address is actually in the the center of the zip codes).
Now, does any of this matter with Places ranking? I think you'll be hard-pressed to see it, especially in a competitive market (read: you won't), such as yours (which is ridiculously competitive). Let's check the Places/Maps rankings:
"landscapers near Fort Worth, TX" #6 on page 7
Your designated zips:
"landscapers near 76135" #4 overall (this is your business' physical zip)
"landscapers near 75056" no result in the first 20 pages
If these results tell us anything, it's that, to rank for your service zips or cities, you really need to approach it from an organic search angle, and not rely on your Places Page. This is especially true, and really should be part of your core strategy, if you are in a competitive market, with your Places Page really only showing up for your physical address.
Now, what if you were actually based in Denton, but going for the same set of zip codes? Your marker would be well to the outside edge of your service area designation, out in Denton. Don't discount the idea a person in Granbury seeing this and simply not calling you because of the perception of where you actually are versus where they are. If you focus grouped this, by showing people two maps, one with you in the center of a service area and the other off to the edge, and ask them "Which service business would you likely call?", what would the answer be?
So, like I said, choosing Zips vs Radius is not a one size fits all thing. For you, given everything I've seen, you took the absolute best approach. If I were targeting your zips, but living in Denton, I would use Radius, if only for the marker's visual aesthetic. We've seen that it doesn't matter for rank, so I'll take a bullseye placement.
1. Play around in the Dashboard and see what Marker placement works best for your business' strategy.
2. Attack cities and zips via organic search. Basically, build your web site to capture that traffic. Don't rely on Maps or the 7 Pack of results to do it for you. If you rank for multiple city or zip keywords, those are usually just a bonus for those in less competitive markets.
Headz is someone who's on top of these things as well, is in a tough market, and uses the zip approach. He's different in that his physical address is outside of his zip codes. Headz, I assume you have weighed the options, and didn't casually make your choice. What guided you and what outcome, positive and negative, have you seen?
Another note... Headz and I have mentioned Mike Blumenthal often enough on here. His site covers these complicated topics quite well and I really can't recommend his blog posts enough.
Late addition, in bold, to provide clarity to the bit re: living on the edge, or outside of, your zip code target markets:
Thank you Tony.