"I need more leads!"
Here’s a quick exercise in how we assess a business that needs help with their Google Ranking and conversions (aka leads, calls, customer inquiries).
He’s a honest, hard working man that runs a tree-specific landscaping business.
He has already tested the powers of digital marketing in generating leads for his business. His website is up and running and his online presence is getting some traction, but feels that his competitors (who are doing the same digital things as him) are getting more calls.
“I get my 20~40 calls a month, but the other guys…they are getting like 80! I want 80 per month! Can you check to see where I can improve?”
Ready? Let’s do this!
The first thing we need to do is clear up any misconceptions of what his current digital support is telling him.
“They have me on the first page of Google”
Yes, when we search “Mario’s Tree Services Louisville” we find you at the top of page one. This is very good!
But let’s realize that very few people are going to type into Google, “Mario’s Tree Services”, when they don’t know who Mario is.
Let’s consider what your number one customer would be typing into google search:
“dead tree removal Louisville”
“landscaping services Louisville”
“tree services Louisville”
[ TIP: To give me a little clarity into why people in Louisville would want tree removal services, I Googled “major weather news Louisville Kentucky”. Now I understand! 😮]
Now, let’s try search with what would give you the most results (which would be searching what is in your domain name “www.treeserviceslouisville.com“
I turn on my VPN and situate myself as close to where Mario is located, open up a cookie and cache-cleared browser, and type into Google “tree services Louisville KY”.
I find that the website is actually located on page 3, just below 4 other competitors. Not very good. But we can definitely work on this.
Let’s jump into the website and see what we find!
After viewing the website, here is a list of considerations in order of their importance.
1 . The website is not mobile friendly.
2 . The front page is difficult to read and digest.
Put yourself in the shoes of your potential customer. He or she has the “problems A, B, and C, and wants to find a match ASAP”. They have a lot of websites to go through, so you (the website) literately have 30s to answer their A, B, and C, while at the same time leaving a great first-impression. If their experience in reading your website is not great, then this has to be fixed. Try navigating your website on some else’s mobile phone, to even realize that what you’ve been experiencing all this time, is not what other people experience.
You have a lot of great information, reviews, and photos to share, but doing it all at once is overwhelming to the reader. Consider the “fold” of your website. It’s the imaginary line that runs across the very bottom of someone’s first screen on your website. Everything above this line is your potential customer’s first impression of what you have to offer.
Do you look like a business that has clear and precise communication?
Do you look like a service that has a knack for symmetry and design?
Do you look make claims, before, answer questions?
This space that is above the fold is important. Don’t waste your space with redundant information (ie, repeated phone numbers).
At the top of the website, I’m looking for Mario, but it says to call Steve. People want to connect with people, even if it’s ordering a service like landscaping, and the business is named after a person (in this case Mario), then there’s an automatic assumption that Mario’s the guy who’s going to solve my problems. If at at the very first entry into the website, I’m asked to call Steve. There will be a subconscious ‘red flag’ in the viewers mind.
We get past the fold and we get to answering a few questions a potential customer might have. This is great, but we need the proof that your business can answer these problems. I would recommend linking these item to blog articles on your website. Each blog article can explain in detail, your process for this potential customer problem. For example: “There are stumps all throughout my yard...it's SO ugly.”
Potential Blog Title: “Why you need to remove dead stumps from your Louisville yards”
Potential Blog Content: This blog would explain key reasons why it’s important to remove dead stumps, and why Mario’s removal is a better option that most other companies in the Louisville area. It could also have photos of the team on the job. This connects the expert advice, with actual people in the photos.
By the third screen down (About 3-4 scrolls or swipes down) we are blasted with 3 huge attention grabbing titles:
Don't Just Watch Your Yard Fall Apart!
Mismanaged Trees Can Look Ugly And Can Be Dangerous
We Can Take Care Of Your Trees For You!
At this point, consider what key information you presented above the fold. This is now distracted from with these fear-focused large titles. Imagine meeting someone for the first time, and in the first minute of meeting them, you give them something to be afraid about.
The rest of the front page has great info (photos, benefits, testimonials) but ideally, these should be kept on other pages of your website. You are driving all website traffic to one front page of your website. This causes you to need to information dump on the front page.
If you have different types of customers (someone wants stump removal, another wants trimming, another wants overall landscaping), then drive that traffic to other pages of your website. These could be blog articles particular to what they are searching for on Google. This could be useful How-To pages that explain the process.
the phrase “tree removal” occurs 6 times on your front page (this is OK)
the phrase “tree services” occurs 4 times on your front page (needs to be better)
“Louisville” appears 16 times on your front page. This is getting close to what is considered “Keyword dumping”, and Google does not like it.
At the bottom of the website there is a message from “Steve, the owner”, but I still don’t know who Steve is or what he looks like. A face to a name is the most important aspect of securing a business relationship. Avoid “Stranger Danger”!
Rethink your customer’s first impression when landing above the fold of your website. Answer their questions and build trust, and don’t bombarded them with information. Remember, if your first impression has a positive impact, then they will (on their own willpower), visit your other pages to learn more about your services and read your testimonials.
Make sure your website is of value. If your website feels like an annoying billboard that screams “call/buy now”, Google notices people bouncing from your website, and penalize your SEO. Turn your website into an information source of how and why people need tree care: that way it starts to rank for everything tree care related, and eventually onto page one for “Tree Services Louisville KY”.
PRO TIP: If you love what you do, it’s much easier to run a business and build and online brand for that business. A master of his or her craft, should be able to share that knowledge with others, and in doing so, show their potential customer who they really are.