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Starting a local lead gen project

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Andy Black

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A new client signed up yesterday (meaning they paid the invoice yesterday).

They generate leads and sell them to local businesses.

They’ve used about 5 different Google Ads freelancers or agencies to date and can’t get profitable.

We're starting in one city and will scale nationally if it works, maybe internationally.


Steps taken last night:

1) Raised a task to get conversion tracking implemented properly.


2) Reviewed the live campaign
  • 154 search terms contained the city name.
  • 8 search terms contained "near me".
  • 76 search terms contained neither.
This was a good sign as search terms containing a location usually indicate the searcher's looking for a local service.


3) Got some ideas of main services from the client and did some keyword research
  • Entered those services plus "near me" into the Google Keyword Planner.
    (We can replace "near me" with the city name and they'll likely work.)
  • Downloaded the 2,000+ keyword suggestions and categorised them.
  • Identified the top "short-head" terms, and the top "long-tail" terms.

4) Paused the live campaign.
  • The client said it was only break-even that day.
  • It brought some visitors using search terms that weren't ideal.
  • Impression Share was limited by budget for the day (meaning we might be able to spend more on the ideal search terms).

5) Manually created a simple campaign targeting the whole country and bidding on the 4 main keywords plus city name.
  • One exact match keyword per ad group with the ad group named after the keyword.
    (This makes it easy to create relevant ads when we look at the ads and ad group names ... see screenshot below.)

Hope this helps!

I'll post more updates on this new project as we build campaigns out and start getting data.

Let me know if you have any questions.



Screenshot of the ads:

Cork%20ads6299cd9cf34aa_lg.png
 
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Andy Black

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Different styles of paid search campaigns for local lead gen

The client was curious about the different styles of paid search campaigns for local lead gen.

I sent them this:


Campaign Style 1 (start with this style):
  • Target people in the whole of the country.
  • Keywords are "<service> <city>" or [service city].
  • Searchers are more likely to convert since they're looking for someone in the city.

Campaign Style 2 (then load this style):
  • Target people in <city>.
  • Keywords are "<service> near me" or [service near me].
  • Searchers are also more likely to convert since they're looking for someone local.

Campaign Style 3 (ideally not needed):
  • Target people in <city>.
  • Keywords are "<service>" or [service].
  • Searchers are less likely to convert since they could just be researching what <service> entails.
 

Dustinaitis

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The client was curious about the different styles of paid search campaigns for local lead gen.

I sent them this:


Campaign Style 1 (start with this style):
  • Target people in the whole of the country.
  • Keywords are "<service> <city>" or [service city].
  • Searchers are more likely to convert since they're looking for someone in the city.

Campaign Style 2 (then load this style):
  • Target people in <city>.
  • Keywords are "<service> near me" or [service near me].
  • Searchers are also more likely to convert since they're looking for someone local.

Campaign Style 3 (ideally not needed):
  • Target people in <city>.
  • Keywords are "<service>" or [service].
  • Searchers are less likely to convert since they could just be researching what <service> entails.
I started with campaign style 2 and I'm targeting people in a particular city. Would you recommend to stop this campaign and try to start a new campaign with style 1 where you target the whole country? I'm curious.
 

Andy Black

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I started with campaign style 2 and I'm targeting people in a particular city. Would you recommend to stop this campaign and try to start a new campaign with style 1 where you target the whole country? I'm curious.
Don't stop 2.
Try 1 as well.
We often run both 1 and 2.
 
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TheKingOfMadrid

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Good luck with it Andy, a business I have seen do well in a similar space with the same model is belfix - anytime I look locally now they always manage to have an engineer or plumber in every corner of the milky-way it seems!
 

originalMJT

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I will be watching this thread for tips, I signed up to google adds few days ago. They gave me £400 free when i spend £400 so £800 spend in total. I'm going to run an adds campain for July & August.
 

Andy Black

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I will be watching this thread for tips, I signed up to google adds few days ago. They gave me £400 free when i spend £400 so £800 spend in total. I'm going to run an adds campain for July & August.
Good luck!

These might help (although the rabbit-hole is deeeep):
 
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Andy Black

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Day 1 so far (it's 3pm):
  • I switched to our new campaign just before midnight last night, so stats today are just for our campaign. Stats prior to that are for whatever campaigns the previous agencies/freelancers created.
  • The screenshot below is just showing stats on the Google Search Engine. I'm excluding Search Partners, the Google Display Network, YouTube, etc from the report. We like to just start with Google.
  • Obviously the goal is to get proper conversions (and to report them properly!!!). Our developer is working with their developer to fix conversion tracking. Maybe we just remove the conversions for now as it's a waste of time looking at them?
  • Impressions should end up lower than previous days due to the tightened keywords.
  • CTR is up as we've tightened keywords and created ads that should be more relevant (because we're one-keyword-per-adgroup with ads that match the keyword).
  • We're trying to get "Search Lost Impression Share due to Budget" down to 0% for the day (we won't get this stat till later today or tomorrow).

If you want to understand how to read the stats, and how to setup campaign columns, then check out the videos in this thread:


Screenshot of daily stats on Google Search:
Stats Today.png
 

Itizn

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What tool do you use to censor in youe screenshots?

Usually I just ms paint + cut or black square. But I prefer the censor.
 

Andy Black

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What tool do you use to censor in youe screenshots?

Usually I just ms paint + cut or black square. But I prefer the censor.
I use Snagit, and love that ripped paper look!

(I bought Snagit bundled with Camtasia.)
 
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WellWallet

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This is remarkably helpful! I'm just looking to boost up my own website and your action steps are very insightful. Thank you for posting!
 

Myster kouadj

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Day 1 so far (it's 3pm):
  • I switched to our new campaign just before midnight last night, so stats today are just for our campaign. Stats prior to that are for whatever campaigns the previous agencies/freelancers created.
  • The screenshot below is just showing stats on the Google Search Engine. I'm excluding Search Partners, the Google Display Network, YouTube, etc from the report. We like to just start with Google.
  • Obviously the goal is to get proper conversions (and to report them properly!!!). Our developer is working with their developer to fix conversion tracking. Maybe we just remove the conversions for now as it's a waste of time looking at them?
  • Impressions should end up lower than previous days due to the tightened keywords.
  • CTR is up as we've tightened keywords and created ads that should be more relevant (because we're one-keyword-per-adgroup with ads that match the keyword).
  • We're trying to get "Search Lost Impression Share due to Budget" down to 0% for the day (we won't get this stat till later today or tomorrow).

If you want to understand how to read the stats, and how to setup campaign columns, then check out the videos in this thread:


Screenshot of daily stats on Google Search:
View attachment 43787
Thanks you @Andy Black for this important work.
 

Andy Black

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End of Week 1 (our campaigns only started Friday night though)

1) Added historical data to the Weekly Trading sheet for this client:

weekly trading.png

2) Created a new Week Commencing (W/C) thread in Basecamp and moved outstanding tasks into it:

Basecamp project.png

3) Also added this screenshot and comments:

Second comment.png
 
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Andy Black

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Tue 07-Jun:
  • Split out Cork City from Cork.
  • Added some more Headline 1 permutations.
  • Created sitelinks, callouts, and structured snippets (there were no live ad extensions running prior).

Wed 08-Jun:
  • Checking ad extensions are all eligible. Spotted we lost Impression Share due to Budget yesterday for one of the campaigns when we only spent €10 out of the €40/day budget. Will keep an eye on it.
  • Conversion tracking is still being worked on.
2022-06-08_09-51-39.png
 

SSTrey

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I'm curious, how much lead gen can I do without entering the realm of paid ads (ie. Google ADS)
I've tried Google ADS before, the cost ramps up very fast, and I'm unsure how long I need to stay there until I start getting proper conversions.
 

Andy Black

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how much lead gen can I do without entering the realm of paid ads (ie. Google ADS)
There's lots of ways of generating leads. I don't run Google Ads to get Google Ads clients for instance.

For some businesses it doesn't work great. For others it's ideal.

I've tried Google ADS before, the cost ramps up very fast, and I'm unsure how long I need to stay there until I start getting proper conversions.

Keep costs low while you dial it in.

Be tight with your keywords and count impressions first. Technically, you only pay for clicks so can count impressions for free. (It doesn't work quite like that - if you don't have any clicks then Google's going to stop showing your ad. Your CPM is Google's RPM.)

This thread might help:
 
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Andy Black

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Thu 09-Jun:
  • Paused the Cork City campaign. The CTR is lower than the Cork campaign AND it's still bringing in "<service> cork" search terms when the keywords are exact match [<service> cork city].
  • Loaded a "Near Me" campaign for Cork.

Tip: Have sensible naming conventions...

2022-06-09_10-18-35.png
 

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