You know the routine. Work out more. Eat less cookies (yeah right).
What about online habits that are hurting you?
Here are 5 habits I see home inspectors doing that aren’t helping their marketing efforts.
Auto-Posting on Social Media
Hopefully the goal of social media is branding, increasing brand awareness, and connecting with other humans you wouldn’t have otherwise connected with.
The key to successful engagement on social media is speaking like you would to someone if you were face-to-face.
Ask yourself. When you get an automated message on the phone, in the mail, or in your inbox, what do you do? Ignore it right?
Is an automated message that is clearly trying to get you to use Crowdfire really helpful to you? It’s clear these are rotating automated tweets that required no research or effort. Not to mention these are automated me, me, me type of posts, which no one likes.
When you’re the one posting, put a few seconds into typing a real message or thought. Or share something of value. This is the best kind of branding you can do because people start to associate you with little nuggets of humor, information or motivation.
Quick tip: Adding even a few words of context when sharing a link is shown to help engagement. Don’t just drop a link. It makes people skeptical and can come off as lazy.
*Caveat – If your goal is simply to get more (oftentimes fake accounts) followers, likes or +1’s, then robo-post away!
Keyword Stuffing/Footer Abuse
Google has publicly said that links in footers/sitewide are not given much weight.
They also clearly state in their guidelines about the dangers of keyword stuffing and blocks of text.
*I’m not kidding you, I Google’d “home inspector”, went to page 10 and this was the first link I clicked on. Can’t make this stuff up.
Easy question. Are these links for humans or bots?
What makes this difficult is that this is still working for many businesses and companies.
I checked this home inspectors rankings in obscure towns that he links to in his footer. He’s ranking well.
If it’s working, why wouldn’t I do this?
My worry is that this will one day catch up to him. And the weeks, months, or years of increased traffic might not be worth the pain of losing it all in 1 day due to a manual penalty. (I’ve seen these happen and it’s swift and ugly) Not to mention, more and more users will just find this spammy and unattractive.
At Spectora we recommend implementing a toned-down, more useful version of this.
Yes, create helpful city-specific landing pages with unique content.
Yes, link to them from your footer and other places on your site.
Yes, use variations of natural language anchor text.
But no, do not abuse a good thing. If Google track record shows us anything it’s that they take abused practices and crack down on them algorithmically or manually. And you don’t want to be the example.
Letting Happy Customers Not Share How Happy They Are
Google and Yelp reviews are a major local SEO ranking factor.
So make it easy to respectfully ask for a positive review after you’ve blown someone away with your excellent service? The smart, time-saving approach is to customize an auto-generated email with some sincerity.
Auto-populated emails are ok if they have some personalized information in them, plus some sincerity. This way you get the best of both worlds – You save time, and you’re being genuine.
People really don’t mind taking the time to leave a review if you’ve served them well.
Some will ignore it because more people tend to leave feedback when they’re disgruntled.
But some will respond and help if you’re consistent in asking.
Those couple 5-star reviews will make a difference in winning more clicks and inspections in local search results.
Not Taking Your NAP
Google gives local search results (like searches for [your city] home inspector) based on relevance and trust that you’ll find what you need.
They have a vested interest in showing a home buyer search results of home inspectors that are near them and highly rated.
How do you make sure Google knows your service area? By telling them your Name, Address and Phone Number over and over so they have confidence in listing you!
The best ways to do this are through your header/footer and citations on third-party directories.
Evaluating Unnecessary PPC/Third-Party Leads Spending
How closely are you tracking your ROI (Return on Investment) when it comes to pay-per-click campaigns and third-party lead generation sites?
If you’ve wasted money in the past, what was your research process like before starting? How long did you run the campaign?
Paid search is tricky because it takes some diligent upfront research and the right settings to make sure you’re not wasting money on keywords that don’t convert to inspections.
The types of keywords selected, and more importantly the match types used, are the number 1 and 2 source I see of wasted ad spend.
Unless you are getting a steady stream of business from it, just pause it for now.
Your best bet is to work on the organic side of marketing first, as that will give you consistent and lasting results when done right.
Paid search ads can be good for brand new guys with little visibility (and some money to spend) or very experienced guys wanting to really grow the business with a budget to refine campaigns.
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