One of the most surprising things I’ve learned over the years generating thousands of pay per call prospect leads from this form is how many of you don’t even have a website.
Take a look at the image below showing a tiny segment of our prospect database, which is very consistent with our entire list. As you can see from the website column, at least half of you don’t have a site!
Maybe those of you who left the website field blank are embarrassed by your site? Or maybe you don’t even remember the website address/URL since it’s never done anything for you? Or maybe all you’ve ever done is rely on word of mouth and referrals to sustain your business?
Unfortunately, far too many local business owners completely underestimate the power a website has to transform their business and life. They think a site is just a credibility piece, or a representation of their business online, and nothing more.
The reality is that a business website should be your #1 business building tool that produces lots of high quality, pre-qualified, inbound customer calls every day.
As we approach 2020, at least 15 years into the online/digital marketing age, if you don’t have a business website, you’re not only behind the eight ball—you’re not even in the pool hall!
If you need a business website, or help turning your site into a lead generation machine, schedule an appointment with us today.
The Most Underestimated Business Asset
A few stats:
- Over 95% of smartphone users perform local searches on their devices according to recent statistics
- According to SearchEngineWatch over 70% of people call a local company straight from their mobile devices
- ‘Near me’ searches have grown 34 times since 2011, and as you would expect, 80% of these are on mobile
Ignoring the need for a high quality “self hosted” website is business suicide today. “Self hosted” means, your site is hosted on your own hosting account with a solid web hosting company. Our favorite category of hosting is Virtual Private Server (VPS) accounts. However, if your site is new and without much traffic yet, then a shared hosting account from a company like Bluehost will be just fine (unless your site is so bloated it loads in over 3 – 4 seconds, in which case you will need a faster hosting account). Then as traffic increases, you can upgrade to a VPS account.
The other option, which we advise against, is renting a website from a company that advertises heavily on TV, such as, Squarespace, Weebly, Wix, etc. They are called website builders. To learn more about the many drawbacks (dealbreakers) of these website builders for business use, see this article.
I definitely agree with the author’s opinion. But the most significant drawback in my opinion, which the article above leaves out, is that you cannot transfer these website builder sites to your own hosting account, allowing you to actually own the site. The website builder owns the site—you’re just renting it.
Our favorite website platform or content management system (CMS), is WordPress. An estimated 30% of all websites are using WordPress today, and for good reason. Almost everything is completely customizable, including the design, content, functionality, and more.
And most importantly, WordPress allows you to fully control your meta tags (on site SEO), with a very easy to use content editor.
The Three Ways to Generate Leads Online
There are generally three methods to produce leads online as a local business. Each have advantages and disadvantages.
- Creating listings in local directory sites, such as, Yelp, Yellowpages, AngiesList, Manta, and hundreds more.
- Buying leads from lead providers. Purchased leads vary widely in quality and conversion rate, mostly resulting from how they are produced (as we’ve detailed here).
- Establishing your own branded online marketing assets and systems to generate leads internally (usually by hiring a marketing specialist).
You should take advantage of all three, eventually.
But building out your own branded marketing systems (option 3 in the list above) should always be done BEFORE buying leads… starting with a business website.
Here are the main reasons why:
- With your own branded online marketing in place, you aren’t dependent on and beholden to your lead providers
- Branded marketing pre-qualifies and pre-sells prospects better than generic marketing that lead providers use, so your closing ratio is higher
- Your overall advertising expense will be reduced by at least 50% or more
- Ultimately, your business will enjoy more control, sustainability and scaleability
There are many other subtle reasons, but these above are the main ones.
Why You Should Hire A Lead Generation Pro
Marketing is like learning a foreign language to most small business owners, especially those in home services or construction. In our experience, home service business owners are woefully ill-equipped to do their own branded marketing.
That’s the bad news.
The good news is that you shouldn’t be doing it yourself anyway, just like many other activities within your business. You should spend your time doing the things you do best. It’s all about making the best use of your time.
Your branded/internal marketing and lead generation should be delegated to a skilled marketing expert. Afterall, lead generation is the #1 requirement to move your business forward, faster. In fact, the actual service you provide isn’t even your real business. Your real business is marketing your business!
If you need a business website, or help turning your site into a lead generation machine, schedule an appointment with us.