One of the biggest challenges for local businesses is being found on the internet now. As the paper phonebook fades into obscurity and yellow pages become more and more worthless, the dominate king of the hill is Google. The amazing amount of money that people are paying to conquer the search engines listing game is becoming a massive profit for just one company. And the more the small local business try to rank and be found, the more outrageous the costs for all small businesses becomes.
Look at a small, local business like Katy Carpet Cleaners in Katy Texas. Nice people. Trying to make a decent living as small business owners. Now, Katy Texas is not a huge market place – but in their niche, carpet cleaning could cost them thousands of dollars per month in order to make it to the top of Google search. Mark Snow, the owner at KCC told me that the price per lead reaches more than his profit on a typical cleaning job sometimes. So a lead from Google Adwords can be a loss for him.
So, the best thing that Mark can do is get his website to rank organically in Google search. Then he can peal back the amount that he budgets for paid ads. Very tough to do.
But, apparently, the move to the #1 spot for a local business in their category is worth it. One analysis we finished last month was for a carpet cleaning company in a mid-size market. Through $450 in adwords, they closed 32 deals. Then, once they hit the #1 spot for 20+ keyword phrases related to carpet cleaning, they were able to close 44 deals. So, not only did they save $450 per month, but increased business by 37% .
So, what we draw from this is: Google Adwords is a band-aid to cover the real issue. The real solution is organic ranking.