Google Ads can be the magic bullet that can instantly start making your phone ring off the hook with new roofing jobs. It can also be a gigantic money pit of wasted money and opportunities if you let it get away from you. Finally it can do just ok, turning in a modest profit, but never quite living up to the full potential it can have on your business.
Over the past few years I have conducted audits of hundreds of Google Ads accounts and it did not take long for me to notice a distinct pattern of lost opportunities.
For this example, you may want to compare Google Ads to a dating app. If both parties swipe right, then the App gives you the chance to see a brief bio and there is an opportunity to communicate with each other.
Google Ads is like that, in the ad copy is ever so brief, and so it needs to immediately get the consumer’s attention.
Most Google Ads advertisers just copy what everyone else is doing, and as I mentioned above, most advertisers are not very good.
To make your ad copy sizzle, you must immediately grab attention, ask a question that makes your audience stop in your tracks, have a strong call to action, and state why you are different.
If you can pull off this critical first step, you have more potential clients swiping right and heading to your website to learn more.
I am sure your website is lovely, but here’s the thing. If you just spent $50 for a roofing click do you want them to navigate away from your home page to say your Instagram feed, or to read about the company fun run last weekend on your blog?
No, you want to minimize those lost opportunities and give the visitor one and only one choice—call you and book and appointment.
The conversion statistics are staggering so please take note—on average the typical website will turn only 4% of visitors into a lead. We typically see 20-25% conversion rates when that traffic is sent to specifically create landing page with a strong call to action. Heck, I even have one campaign that converts at over 50%.
This leads us to the third mistake most roofing companies make with their Google Ads campaign. They set it up and never check on it. Every bleeping aspect of that campaign has to be watched like a two-year old at the playground. Keywords may work one month and stop converting the next. You should always split test ad copy and landing pages.
The higher the Click Thru Rate (CTR) and Conversion Rate (CnvR) the more love Google is going to give your campaign. That love will result in you paying less for your clicks and you will then get even more bang for your buck.
Now to the measuring part and this is something more advertisers never ever look at. Google Ads allows you to set up and customize your reports so you can measure every aspect of your campaign. You can also set up conversions to measure and track ever click, call, and web form submit. Connect everything with your Google Analytics account to fully see how the campaign is running.
Use a call tracking number so you can easily listen to and monitor the calls that come in via your Google Ads campaigns.
Bottom line, know your numbers! Know the ROI of your marketing. What gets measured, gets better!
Google Ads gives you enormous control over your campaign, how it operates, who sees your ads and when.
Make sure you only run campaigns when someone is in the office to answer the phone. Sure you’ll miss a few clicks, but do you want to send a customer to voice mail at 3 AM on a Saturday night? Maybe they’ll leave a message, but why risk it!
Make sure you only deliver your ads to people that live in your target area. This is a big one and one lots of roofers mess up. I did a random test one Sunday afternoon to see how many roofing company ads showed up around the country. I looked in about 200 cities and while I live in North Carolina I saw ads in about every one of those cities.
Now I didn’t click on those ads, but by showing the ad to someone that was not likely to click hurts your CTR and does eventually cost you money by lowering your Quality and AdRank Scores.
Keyword match types, and just a big ole face palm on the number of keywords included in a campaign. Sure you may have a bunch of keywords in your campaign when it starts, but over time you need to kill off those loser keywords that are not converting.
Only include keywords that have high buyer intent, describe what you do, and who you are. Please for the love of all things good, don’t target your competitors. If someone clicks on your ad and wants to talk to your competitor most likely they already have a relationship with them. That click just cost you $40.
Perhaps the most important part of a successful campaign is your negative keyword list. Screen out all DYI, how to, education, videos, competitors, and anything else that is not a good lead. The Red Roof Inn should be in everyone’s negative keyword list.
There are four ways you can format your keywords in your campaign. Two are great, and one is sort of ok, and one should never ever be used and that is the one everyone uses.
Broad Match keywords are the just the phrase with no brackets or symbols. Using Broad Match keywords in your Google Ads campaign is like playing Russian roulette with 5 bullets. You may get lucky, but the dog-gone game is going to kill you.
This is can be a bit confusing but it works like this:
Broad Match = Roofing Contractor
Broad Match Modified = +Roofing +Contractor
Phrase Match = “Roofing Contractor”
Exact Match = [Roofing Contractor]
For Broad Match your ad will show up for people searching for a roofing contractor, but it will show up for sexy roofing contractor pictures or even similar phrases like roofing boots.
Broad Match Modified is a bit better, it tells Google to show the ad if BOTH words are anywhere in the search query. These include best boots for roofing contractors.
Phrase Match give one a lot more control. This lets Google know to only show your ad to people who used your exact keyword (or close variations of it) somewhere in their query. If your phrase match keyword is “roofing contractor” then your ad will show to people that search for a “roofing contractors in Boston”. You can potentially get some wild variations in here too, but an extensive negative list will keep some of the riff raff out of your campaign,
Exact match When you use an exact match keyword, your ad will show up for people who type in that exact keyword (or close variations of it) and nothing else. This match type will limit your impressions the most, so use it with caution. The impressions you do get, however, will be highly targeted, so they’ll be more valuable than the impressions you’d get from a broad match keyword.
When you starting a campaign and worried about your budget, use just phrase and exact match types.
Ok, I totally realize this last one seems counter-intuitive but hear me out. In roofing campaigns, and in any high dollar niche this is perhaps one of the biggest mistakes people make. Google Ads is a pay to play marketplace. It is an Auction so the more you bid you increase the opportunities of your ads to show.
Now certainly there are some quality issues that when patched up can help you decrease ad spend but the bottom line you can spend some cash.
To illustrate my point think of a high roller in Las Vegas and how they the casino treats them differently from the little old lady from Peoria playing nickel slots. The high roller gets a better room (often for free), drinks, meals, tickets to a show, and our friend from Peoria gets well—nothing (well I hope she’ll take home a few stories to tell her car pool friends).
Not spending enough is one of the most common mistakes I see in Roofing campaigns and that critical mistake is actually costing your more money.
When conducting an audit I will often hear, but dude I only can afford to spend $50 a day. Remember you are rewarded by how well your campaigns perform so if you exhaust your budget by 10:00 every day Google is going to treat you like the lady from Peoria because that $50 a day won’t even buy you a single conversion. If your account doesn’t produce results you going to pay even more for your clicks and driving your lead generation machine even deeper into the ditch.
Now think about this, remember I said most companies run their ads every day. $50 a day times 30 in a month is $1500 a month, which is actually more than enough money to get plenty of Google love.
Cut your ads back to M-F and just show the ads during business hours. This would give you an advertising schedule of 22 days a month. That gets your daily budget up to $68 a day. That’s enough to get a conversion every day. Google is going to START to show you some love.
Oh but wait, I have another juicy expert tip so hold the phone right there….
Remember I said you need to test the crap out of everything. Part of that testing may be to see which days or hold on which time blocks convert the best.
What if you tested the crap out of your schedule and found that you produced the most conversions on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday morning. Cut your ad schedule back to just the best converting days. So now you have ads running on basically 11 days a month and your budget is now $136 a day. Your account will not be limited by budget, because you set the schedule, you will get numerous conversions each day the ad runs, and well basically Google is going to love you!
While most companies struggle to make Google Ads work, but most roofing businesses can succeed by fixing a few common mistakes. Whether it’s setting up a great tracking program, eliminating useless keywords, creating a holistic landing page strategy or simply giving the account the attention it deserves, these problems can be overcome with a little extra effort.
If you want to learn more about how we can….. jump on my schedule and I will walk you through all the your campaign.
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