I picked up the phone and answered “Hello, Phill here” and was met with some attractive sounding woman, named Margaret, pitching me leads.
Now, I didn’t want to be rude but come on, I get so many of these types of calls almost every day. I mean, how’s a guy supposed to get his work done? But Margaret was confident and actually sounded like she knew what she was talking about, and so I kept on with the conversation.
“SEO’s a smart decision,” she’d said.
“Yeah, but, results are slow,” I’d replied.
“Let me ask you this.”
“When is your slowest time of the year?”
Thinking I knew where she was going, I said, “Winter.”
“But who stays busy?”
“Aside from the power company?” (Sometimes I’m a bit snarky; it comes with the job.)
She rolled with it though and chuckled, “Yes, aside from the power company?”
“JE Walker and Sons.”
“Interesting. Now, you’re by your computer, so open up Chrome.”
“And open up a new incognito window.”
I didn’t know what the hell that was, so she showed me, and I typed in electrician near me, and who showed up first? It wasn’t me. I typed in several more searches, and whereas before, I thought my business was what was showing up. It wasn’t. Not by a long shot. In most instances, I wasn’t even on the first three pages.
When Margaret had been on the phone with me, I’d had no clue that Google would serve back websites that I’d already been clicking on or visiting, unless I’d done my searching in a private window.
“So, you tell me–if you’re someone needing an electrician,” Margaret said, “and you don’t know who to go with, how are you going to find an electrician?”
“Exactly, and if you want to know why JE Walker and Sons is always busy, look where they’re ranking.”
Now, right now, there are almost always jobs to be had. But, when I have to spend my time placing bids, instead of being invited to bid, or just called directly from the customer, I’m not making as much money for my business as I otherwise would be. Ideally, a constant stream of word-of-mouth referrals is basically what I want. And we’ve had times when we had those, but then, there’s also been other times when we didn’t, and the leads basically dried up.
Margaret and I kept our discussion up and eventually, I decided it was a smart decision to get some SEO done on my site with this business. Margaret walked me through the expected time frame, the expected results and so on, and I’ll tell you what the clincher was with her when she told me point blank, “Phill, we’re in June and it’s going to take you six months before we start seeing results. If you put this off, you’re going to go through another slow winter.”
That really hit home.
We did pretty well, but we’d never considered ourselves wealthy. There are a lot of good electricians out there, but dammit we’re good, and I’ll tell you what, sometimes it’s so damn frustrating when you’re good at something and then you don’t get any bites.
Margaret understood my frustration. We talked about PPC and other forms of advertising, but she pointed out that for our particular situation, getting found in the organic listings and in the maps was going to be way better than spending money on PPC.
“Most people just don’t click on it,” she said and even had the numbers to back it up. I was a bit surprised because it seems like that’s all you ever hear.
So, what’s happened since?
Results of Doing SEO on for My Business
To be fair, it took a while before we started seeing results, and even a bit longer than anticipated because it was the winter and while there are emergency outages and hookups we need to do, there just isn’t as much in the winter as in the warmer months. But, after the six-month mark, we started getting calls. After month seven, we were almost as busy as the summer. And by nine months, we were busier than we’ve ever been.
I couldn’t be happier.
Marketing Terms I wished I’d Paid Attention To
Every once in awhile, there’s a phrase that comes up and at first, you dismiss it as nonsense, but then, as you start to think about it, you start realizing that it actually does make sense.
Take the classic “if you think about it, SEO’s actually free.” Well, if I’m paying someone $1500/month, how the hell is that free? But after thinking about it for a while, I get their point. If I were to put in $1 into a vending machine and got $2 back, am I getting free money? Yes. And that’s kind of the idea here. I had to think about it a bit differently, and instead of seeing it as an expense, or a necessary evil, I realized that it’s a lot more like that second example of putting money into a machine and then getting twice as much money back. How often am I going to be putting money into that machine? As often as I can!
Now, to tie this back into my conversation and experience with Margaret, working with her and getting SEO done on my site has been like putting a buck in that machine and getting two bucks back. It was an investment, but it has paid off better than I could have imagined.
These days, you’re always getting slammed by phone calls marketing to you some sort ad campaign this or that. It’s so easy to just be mean to the person on the other end of the line. But sometimes, it pays to treat the other person like they know what they’re doing.