i am bit skepitcal of these "searches" for local marketing

47 replies
OK look I have listed a few sites for "local town service" Yeah wow. Just go the right domain. low comp, hadly any backlinking....

so I listed them sold them. Got in touch a year later and asked if they got much business from it?

"one or two, not much, a couple, nothing really etc.."

Not one as ever said "yeah getting a few every month thanks... etc"

So i am starting to wonder if this service is really as good as many people try to sell it as?

It's great listing a site top of Google for local searches but at the end of the day it's about profit for the bizz owner....and i see many people renting these sites out for $200+ or ongoing SEO work (very little is needed) but if the biz isn't at least breaking even on it it's not going to work out. If you charge $200 per month and they get one lead a month from it at $100 profit..is that win/win? Or this all about making sure that one sale is worth at least $200+ to the biz? (ie target high profit businesses.?)

Now I see all kinds of claims about long tail local searches. no comp. etc...but come on. Do you really get leads for people searching terms like:

"local town my toilet only flushes half way then stops etc..."

I am open to suggestions but from what I have seen so far it's not really offering the business owner much of a win/win.
#bit #local #marketing #searches #skepitcal
  • Profile picture of the author jrobconsult
    Go to google and put in terms such as"pest control" and "plumbing repair". Are the results showing local sites? They do on my computer.
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  • Profile picture of the author F33NY
    You sold it to them, but didnt do on-going SEO? Maybe thats why?
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  • Profile picture of the author Tiduslite8
    A buddy of mine opened a taxi service in our area last year. At first he was hustling for business Train stations, bus stops, etc). He told me that he was getting about 10 calls a week. I talked him into hiring me for his Google places work and some minor SEO. He started to get 4-8 calls from new customers a day.

    Now? There are quite a few days where he's getting 60 - 100 calls per day....but can only convert 60% into paid fares because he doesn't have enough drivers.

    I am not doing work for him any longer, but occasionally he will give me a call to check where he is ranking. This happens when he has a slow day. It will usually turn out that he is ranking fine. The problem is that his REPEAT customers aren't calling him at the moment.

    In fact, after questioning him further, came to find out that he is STILL getting calls from new customers at the rate of 6+ per day. When comparing those numbers with the Places analytics, he has a conversion rate of 17%+.

    When those business owners received new customers, did they ask the simple question of "How did you find us today?" You can point out to those business owners that by asking that question, it will help them to have a better understanding of how they are reaching their customers. If the majority of customers find the business by the phone book, then maybe they might want to spend more money there. If it's through newspaper ads, then increase the newspaper ad budget.

    BUT...if it's from online searches, then maybe they should look into having you do some more work for them (KACHING).
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  • Profile picture of the author rodelu
    Originally Posted by sloanjim View Post

    OK look I have listed a few sites for "local town service" Yeah wow. Just go the right domain. low comp, hadly any backlinking....

    so I listed them sold them. Got in touch a year later and asked if they got much business from it?

    "one or two, not much, a couple, nothing really etc.."

    Not one as ever said "yeah getting a few every month thanks... etc"

    So i am starting to wonder if this service is really as good as many people try to sell it as?

    It's great listing a site top of Google for local searches but at the end of the day it's about profit for the bizz owner....and i see many people renting these sites out for $200+ or ongoing SEO work (very little is needed) but if the biz isn't at least breaking even on it it's not going to work out. If you charge $200 per month and they get one lead a month from it at $100 profit..is that win/win? Or this all about making sure that one sale is worth at least $200+ to the biz? (ie target high profit businesses.?)

    Now I see all kinds of claims about long tail local searches. no comp. etc...but come on. Do you really get leads for people searching terms like:

    "local town my toilet only flushes half way then stops etc..."

    I am open to suggestions but from what I have seen so far it's not really offering the business owner much of a win/win.
    I see your point, and like you said, we should look after what's best for both the biz owner and the consultant. So it would be very important a monthly follow up to see how the site is ranking, how the business is doing and if he's not receiving any calls, then maybe we are targeting the wrong keywords so we should change our approach. But it is imperative that the biz owner feels he's getting an excellent deal by doing business with us.

    For me, I could not sell him/her a site or services if I don't feel 100% that they are getting a great deal. And thanks for starting this thread, I feel it's an important point we need to address.
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  • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
    Sounds to me that you didn't do research before. I don't deal with clients that have a small profit margin, only leads to big problems.

    You can charge whatever you want to charge, as long as you get results. One client isn't even in a big metro city, and he pays 800 a month, makes about 3,500 profit every month, just on my efforts. So, that is about, a little more than a 400% ROI.
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  • Profile picture of the author Hugh
    That is precisely why I don't use long term contracts. If at any
    time after 60 days the customer does not like the results, he
    is free to cancel the rental agreement. Period. Yes, I do ongoing
    SEO for all my rental websites.

    Hugh
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    • Profile picture of the author mrktxprt
      I completely agree with you Hugh. I've been in offline business for a long time and would never do contracts. Pay as you go
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  • Profile picture of the author sloanjim
    the site ranked top of google, for 3 years no work needed... What could I have done ongoing SEO? Why bother? No point in doing the work just to bill them when the site always ranked at 1...or is that not important?

    You sold it to them, but didnt do on-going SEO? Maybe thats why?
    My point is I see many people thinking top of Google = lots of free leads etc..but it's not that easy... Top of Google might mean next to nothing.
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  • Profile picture of the author sloanjim
    no that's great and exactly what I talking about. then it's an easy sell. But if you list some biz top of google but they aren't getting any leads/biz from it.....what's the point in it all?

    You can charge whatever you want to charge, as long as you get results. One client isn't even in a big metro city, and he pays 800 a month, makes about 3,500 profit every month, just on my efforts. So, that is about, a little more than a 400% ROI.
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  • Profile picture of the author sloanjim
    EG i listed a friends site top. His business is skip hiring. so I listed him top for City..skip hire and even county skip hire. Top....he said he got about 2 phone calls all year from it...so no matter how great the plan occasionally you have to look at the bottom line.

    I can boast and brag about obtaining top rankings...but guess what? It isn't worth it to him. Luckily he never paid a dime.

    Are that many people actually searching the search engines for local biz? I am beginning to question it. Obviously some bizz's are much better suited to this than others....
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  • Profile picture of the author F33NY
    Maybe no demand for the product. I didn't even know what skip hiring is and still don't? Maybe the competition is there for a reason on certain keywords, and it truly means that spot is worth something
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  • Profile picture of the author sloanjim
    well ok i also listed "big city dentist"..Apparently thousand sof searches every month....I get.1 or 2 leads month....its' not exactly thriving is it?
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    • Profile picture of the author rodelu
      Originally Posted by sloanjim View Post

      well ok i also listed "big city dentist"..Apparently thousand sof searches every month....I get.1 or 2 leads month....its' not exactly thriving is it?
      I'm not sure how good it would be to go after dentists... I look them up on my insurance list (not through Google), and I think most people would do the same. Dentists and doctors *may* be a different story
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    • Profile picture of the author jeffrey73
      Also keep in mind that when you are researching phrases like { big city } dentist, the results you get from Google are going to be skewed.

      Why? Because everybody these days is an online consultant, and everybody wants to pursue the dentist niche. But how many of those are actual people who want to find a dentist vs. marketers? Probably the majority are marketers.

      I know a lot of people who will go directly to YellowPages.com to find a business. Some people instantly go to Craigslist ( cheapos ), and so on. How about people browsing around Facebook all day long? ( There are TONS of these people ). Put a Fanpage up with a phone # and you might be surprised!

      Also, alot of people use Bing and Yahoo. And even.... FORUMS. Traffic needs to be diversified away from just focusing strictly on Google Page 1, and keywords need to be diversified from simply {city} + {keyword}

      Originally Posted by sloanjim View Post

      well ok i also listed "big city dentist"..Apparently thousand sof searches every month....I get.1 or 2 leads month....its' not exactly thriving is it?
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    • Profile picture of the author Dhira
      Originally Posted by sloanjim View Post

      the site ranked top of google, for 3 years no work needed... What could I have done ongoing SEO? Why bother? No point in doing the work just to bill them when the site always ranked at 1...or is that not important?



      My point is I see many people thinking top of Google = lots of free leads etc..but it's not that easy... Top of Google might mean next to nothing.
      Originally Posted by sloanjim View Post

      EG i listed a friends site top. His business is skip hiring. so I listed him top for City..skip hire and even county skip hire. Top....he said he got about 2 phone calls all year from it...so no matter how great the plan occasionally you have to look at the bottom line.

      I can boast and brag about obtaining top rankings...but guess what? It isn't worth it to him. Luckily he never paid a dime.

      Are that many people actually searching the search engines for local biz? I am beginning to question it. Obviously some bizz's are much better suited to this than others....
      SOunds to me like you're picking unpopular busninesses and not doing the right keyword research ...

      I also have absolutely no idea what "skip hire" is.
      Did you check to see if people are even searching for that term??

      Originally Posted by sloanjim View Post

      well ok i also listed "big city dentist"..Apparently thousand sof searches every month....I get. 1 or 2 leads month....its' not exactly thriving is it?
      If you're only getting 1 or 2 a month for that,... then that is a problem. does it show up for other similar searches? It should. SPrinkle some similar search terms in the title, keyword description and on the page.

      Also review the call to action. Is it prominent, is the site easy to navigate? Is the phone number clear?
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  • Profile picture of the author sloanjim
    so if a person want say "london accoutant" would that actually create enough biz to justify it....or not?

    Yeah i am beginning to think the same: I am sure some niches are way better than most...but to say top of google for all local biz is geat just isn't true.

    Exactly true. Believe it or not, people don't just use Google local SEO to find businesses. Most offline gurus will have you believe that, and it's just not true.
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  • Profile picture of the author redcell1
    I have yet to see anyone post any of these questions

    Getting them to your site is one step in the right direction.

    Another one is once they are at your site to call you.

    Have you done any conversion testing/optimization ?
    Did you look at the analytics to see what the bounce rate is and what keywords they are using ?
    What is your CTR on your google listing ?
    Do you have any recorded sessions of visitors who went to your page, did you see if they went back before/after 30 seconds ?
    Does your page take too long to load?
    Is there any contact information on the home page or does the person have to take more then 2-3 mins to find your number?
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    • Profile picture of the author rodelu
      Originally Posted by redcell1 View Post

      I have yet to see anyone post any of these questions

      Getting them to your site is one step in the right direction.

      Another one is once they are at your site to call you.

      Have you done any conversion testing/optimization ?
      Did you look at the analytics to see what the bounce rate is and what keywords they are using ?
      What is your CTR on your google listing ?
      Do you have any recorded sessions of visitors who went to your page, did you see if they went back before/after 30 seconds ?
      Does your page take too long to load?
      Is there any contact information on the home page or does the person have to take more then 2-3 mins to find your number?
      Thanks Redcell, these are really great points! you are really helping me see the whole picture....
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      • Profile picture of the author The Kid
        Right on redcell, I was thinking just that.

        Assuming there's sufficient traffic for your search term, and you're highly ranked, I'm inclined to believe the ball is being dropped on the conversion side of the equation... You might be getting people to your store (have lots of traffic coming to your site), but they're not buying what you're selling.

        1. Look into the points that redcell mentions.

        2. Find out if the leads that aren't ready for the service being offered right that moment are being nurtured. That way, when they are ready for the service, your client is on the top of their mind and he's the one they'll call.

        3. You may also want to check and see if your site isn't lacking any key components that a user of the service being offered would be checking for.

        Ex. You say one is a dentist in a big city. Being number one will help bring more potential patients to his site, but a lack of social proof (testimonials, before and after pictures, etc.) will hurt his conversation rate. Especially if the competition is stiff.

        Lastly, are you sure they're really even keeping track of what business they're getting from the website or just throwing out whatever figure they think sounds right? Worse yet, how do you know they aren't being a bit dishonest to ensure low rental fees?... Do you have a method in place to tally the leads you're generating for them?

        No matter what the case may be, trust and believe, there's A LOT more to it than simply being number one on the SERPs. The ball can be dropped in so many ways once people get to your site it's ridiculous.

        HTH, The Kid
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    • Profile picture of the author Tim Dini
      Originally Posted by redcell1 View Post

      ...Getting them to your site is one step in the right direction. Another one is once they are at your site to call you.
      I agree! You can lead a horse to water...

      This isn't exclusive to offline businesses. Both offline and online sales require more than large traffic.

      Traffic is good, but better when it's from targeted and qualified potential buyers, and even then the potential sales need to be turned into actual sales.

      A page one presence "above the fold" is great, but only when it is converted into an action by the potential client is it worth any more than a commendable rank statistic.
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  • Profile picture of the author sloanjim
    yes they are 1 page tested (on other niches) lead gathering sites with phone numbers the number 1 thing you see...i am no newbie bye the way...i know how to set up lead capturing web sites...
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  • Profile picture of the author Transcripts
    My limited observations are that it works better for some businesses than others.

    If skip hire is like skip tracing, then your friend would need to do other promotions, such as contacting attorneys directly, giving seminars, and other methods of promotion, BUT the added bonus would be when people looked him up, after coming in contact with some form of his marketing, they'd see that he was sitting on page one, so he must really be credible, legit, whatever other adjective.

    Being at the top of Google by itself (no other marketing) won't help many businesses, but being there in conjunction with their other marketing efforts can't hurt.
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  • Profile picture of the author Eddie Spangler
    Another truth is that many biz owner have no freakin clue because they dont track, they say they do but its not consistent. Also it may be in their best interest to not give as much credit as due, because many fear " If I tell them how much this is working they want to charge me more."
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  • Profile picture of the author Doran Peck
    ....and this is why you make sure "Direct Mail" is part of your clients arsenal.

    You get a bigger paycheck from them because of the additional services you offer...and...your client is no longer limited to just the people who once in a while decide they need to go looking for them on Google...You've got them connecting regularly to every possible prospect within reach...branding their name, educating & positioning themselves as the authority, and putting a variety of offers in front of their prospects.

    Local marketing is one area where direct mail has a decisive advantage over Google. Sure, google is free but it only reaches a tiny fraction of potential clients.

    ...that still leaves everyone else....and if your client is the one in front of all those eyeballs, then your client is going to harvest up the majority of his buyer market much faster than all his competitors....especially if his competitors are waiting around for peolpe to find them on google, or in the YP or newspapers.

    When all is said and done...the cost of mailing will be a pittance compared to his newfound annual revenue.

    Radius mailings are a powerful tool too...mostly because postage is only 15 cents...this allows your client to reach three times the number of households/businesses for the cost of regular mail. Thats huge.

    So...think beyond just limiting yourself to offering "SEO" services....expand....solve more problems for your clients...get them depending on your for more.

    Command a bigger pay day.


    DP
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  • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
    In a city with a population of 20,000... one of my clients gets about 2 leads a month from the site and places listing. In a city with a population of 50,000... about 5 leads a month..

    Maybe people in denver don't care about their teeth? LOL
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  • Profile picture of the author Dr Dan
    I must get at least 10-20 people a week telling me that they read my thread on local searches (even more after my WSO went out) and they think that my strategy is wrong because it doesnt show search volume in the ALL MIGHTY GOOGLE ADWORD KEYWORD TOOL! I swear alot of the warriors are like little babies not wanting to give up the binky! lol...

    But seriously... Its called the "GOOGLE ADWORD KEYWORD TO0L" Not the local business Google Messiah free tool for you to rank your clients business for free and make money on it!

    I got at least 5 emails today and still have 3 in my PM's claiming the same thing! That if there are no searches then its not profitable!

    But its funny because while everyone that is on the Google Adword Tools teet, I am hearing those that use this local search strategy and they are getting massive google love in 24-48 hours! I had a few guys email and skype me saying "I just got 2-3 calls and the sites not even done! What do I do with them?" Now thats a quality problem to have.

    Stop debating on it and just do it! Or dont! But just stop debating on it. Thats called not taking action!

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  • Profile picture of the author sloanjim
    I am not saying that at all^^^

    What i am saying is I have lsited business for things like "city dentists" and got like one lead a month form it....Some nothing. I expected more. Was told more.

    Read what was said please.

    If the top listing are hardly getting any leads....i do not care about keywords numbers etc...the proof is in the pudding. I agree some niches are much better than others etc..but stop with the "lsit any biz top of Google and you get leads"

    If you are gonig to rent a site out for $200 per month it better be worth $200+ to the biz right?

    Now, can you contribute anything to this post?
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    • Profile picture of the author Dr Dan
      Originally Posted by sloanjim View Post

      I am not saying that at all^^^

      What i am saying is I have lsited business for things like "city dentists" and got like one lead a month form it....Some nothing. I expected more. Was told more.

      Read what was said please.

      If the top listing are hardly getting any leads....i do not care about keywords numbers etc...the proof is in the pudding. I agree some niches are much better than others etc..but stop with the "lsit any biz top of Google and you get leads"

      If you are going to rent a site out for $200 per month it better be worth $200+ to the biz right?

      Now, can you contribute anything to this post?
      Not sure if you are referring to my post because im not quoted in it? But if it is.... I never even mentioned you lol...

      Im just saying that there has been alot of whining going on lately on how local searches that come out of the google suggestion bar or tools, that they dont show how many searches are being performed when using the Google adword tool.

      Like others have mentioned already. There are too many factors that play into your results.

      Does the site look like a crappy affiliate marketing site?
      Is there a strong or clear call to action?
      Does the business owner answer the phone?
      How do they answer the phone?
      What is the business?
      How many other search terms are you targeting and ranking for?
      The list can go on and on....

      If you want an answer or suggestions then please provide your site that you are talking about? That way we can give better insight and advice instead of just guessing.

      Now, can you contribute anything to this post?
      Probably nothing that hasnt already been said over and over again on the forum already.
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  • Profile picture of the author krzysiek
    While I can agree with thinking like you initially, I recently launched a (yes... a DENTIST) website that will be a lead gen site.

    Right now, it is ranking in a small TOWN (not some big city) and most keywords that I want it to rank for are either no where to be found, with maybe 2-3 keywords where it is sitting on 2nd or 3rd page.

    In the last 2 weeks, I have had 4-5 visitors from Google (I am tracking their keywords they are searching for and I can see IP etc) so I know these are legitimate hits. Imagine when I get it to page number 1, & hopefully the top 3 spots... then I am sure the numbers will be MUCH better. Much better... guatanteed.

    And no, "service + town" is not a good way of looking at it, I have recently discovered. "kids service town" "kids service town street" "kids service town specialist type" etc are all getting searches by me and I would have never really thought they would... but people dont type "dentist london" because they know they're going to get a **** ton of results, they narrow it down for themselves and that's where a lot of people are NOT looking! (ie - us marketers)
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  • Profile picture of the author jacquic
    It's a difficult one to answer without seeing the site. I had a look at a few skip hire sites in our town, and they aren't that good. Thinking as a customer, my inclination was to click on the one I knew about - somehow their names seems to be everywhere (not just online). None of them have a way to get people to interact - either by sign up, or just giving a mini quiz so they get taken to the page offering the best solution.

    If you're unsettled about this, ask the site owner what it was they actually want the website to do for them. If they want more visitors, then you can help them with the SEO you're doing and easily charge that amount.

    If they have a problem building a list, getting people to take action, or converting, then you may be able to help them - but make sure they know it's different to SEO.
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  • Profile picture of the author GeorgeO7
    A great ranking is only part of the equation.

    Are you meeting the visitor's needs? They are looking for information... What is in it for them?

    How is the call to action? Put it all together and you will have a winner!
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  • Profile picture of the author e30drifter
    keyword research is the key. So lot of homework goes into it. And every business is little different what they call profitable. For some clients 2 customers can enough, others can't turn profit with hundred people.
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  • Profile picture of the author krzysiek
    By the way guys, when I mentioned above that you need to think like the customer and try and put in the keywords that THEY are looking for.. well, I did not give credit where it was due... I bought Dan's WSO and it is quite good. Check it out
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    • Profile picture of the author jeffrey73
      Yes, Dr. Dan is quite a "unique" personality. He definitely throws some salt into the online/offline game.

      Originally Posted by krzysiek View Post

      By the way guys, when I mentioned above that you need to think like the customer and try and put in the keywords that THEY are looking for.. well, I did not give credit where it was due... I bought Dan's WSO and it is quite good. Check it out
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      • Profile picture of the author jeffrey73
        It sounds to me like you're not really having success with the "PAGE 1 GOOGLE" method, and growing tired of it.

        Maybe you should pursue something "fresher" and less played-out like SMS Marketing?
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        • Profile picture of the author High Horsepower
          I'll put in my 2 cents. I own an offline businee and I've done offline marketing for clients since 2004. The niche/category definitely makes a difference. My own site is Rated #1 Organically (above Places results) and I have the "A" position in Google Places

          I average 300+ Views per month (Google Keyword tool claims thousands) My phone number is posted without "Clicking" on my URL. I do ask every customer how they found me and I track it.


          Here is what I've found. Most customers have found me in other ways not related to Google, period. I have ten different websites for my company, all are on page one for different cities. I get very few calls from Google. I do however get a ton of calls from being on certain directories that make me a lot of money. I am in a very popular category that is mentioned constantly, but let me tell you, be careful what you promise a potential offline client. Imagine this, you Promise a client #1 rankings in several large areas/cities and you get #1. Lifes great, right? Wrong, client still ain't getting any calls.


          I get almost 85% of my online business from Free online directories, yep. I'm talking tens of thousands per month. I work in several niches for offline clients and I can tell you, some are great, some suck. Screw these gurus, I became a guru after doing this for years. These gurus have never worked for real clients, it's all theory.
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          • Profile picture of the author jeffrey73
            Thank you for this extremely useful post. It goes to show there is life besides Google, which everyone fails to realize.

            Originally Posted by High Horsepower View Post

            I'll put in my 2 cents. I own an offline businee and I've done offline marketing for clients since 2004. The niche/category definitely makes a difference. My own site is Rated #1 Organically (above Places results) and I have the "A" position in Google Places

            I average 300+ Views per month (Google Keyword tool claims thousands) My phone number is posted without "Clicking" on my URL. I do ask every customer how they found me and I track it.


            Here is what I've found. Most customers have found me in other ways not related to Google, period. I have ten different websites for my company, all are on page one for different cities. I get very few calls from Google. I do however get a ton of calls from being on certain directories that make me a lot of money. I am in a very popular category that is mentioned constantly, but let me tell you, be careful what you promise a potential offline client. Imagine this, you Promise a client #1 rankings in several large areas/cities and you get #1. Lifes great, right? Wrong, client still ain't getting any calls.


            I get almost 85% of my online business from Free online directories, yep. I'm talking tens of thousands per month. I work in several niches for offline clients and I can tell you, some are great, some suck. Screw these gurus, I became a guru after doing this for years. These gurus have never worked for real clients, it's all theory.
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            • Profile picture of the author krzysiek
              Originally Posted by jeffrey73 View Post

              Thank you for this extremely useful post. It goes to show there is life besides Google, which everyone fails to realize.
              While that is true, I sincerely hope you're not going to discount Google simply because someone else is using a different method and it is working for them.

              Sure, there ARE other sources of traffic, free and paid that will work. But Google DOES work.

              Dr. Dan's WSO is all about it and finding good keywords to target. And if you do it the way he does, you WILL get traffic because you take up the first page (all of it) for some keywords.

              Further, Like I have said, I am not even ranking my website for the keywords I want and have had 4-5 visits in around 2 weeks time on a brand new domain/website.

              Once I get to the first page for all the keywords I Want, I expect no less than 30 hits per month AT LEAST. If you're telling me (this is aimed at no one specifically) that you cannot get a dentist to pay you for 30 leads per month, then something is going wrong - because in this niche/market, you don't need 'hundreds' of leads to make money, you need a few solid leads and that will get you your monthly revenue.

              Given that OP said the people who bought it from him only got a few, in a whole year, then I beg to say that there is more to it than we do not know. Either he was not getting the right terms, was not high enough in the results, sales copy did not convert, website was slow or did not look good, etc.

              Summary: Google will still get you traffic. If you think it won't, then why are people putting so much effort into optimising the Google Places ads, and why do I see a lot of reviews being left by real people (in certain niches more than others) about the service/product they received? Because people ARE using Google. They probably use Google to find the other directory that you are also listed in, so in the end: directly or indirectly, traffic is coming from Google in some form or another.

              PS: Sorry for quoting you, it was not actually really a response directly to you but moreso at everyone!
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              • Profile picture of the author jimn10
                A strategy that works for me is that I make sure that I have lots of content on every page because ranking for a single keyword phrase should not be the whole story.

                If you provide lots of valuable content you will find yourself ranking for all sorts of search terms that you would have never dreamed of. I am talking about 750+ words of valuable focused content.

                Along with that you should be checking your web logs on a weekly basis. You will find new phrases that you may be ranking for but not necessarily at the top of page 1. With a little effort you can get those search terms ranking higher, adding additional sources of leads.

                If you want to be paid $200 per month for a local lead site then you need to put in the work that it takes to build a website that is worth $200 a month.

                I like service type businesses. For many of them one extra customer will more than pay for an entire year's billing at $200 per month.

                Think renovation, sun-rooms, auctioneers, heating, air conditioning, plumbing, basement waterproofing...

                If you just look around the list is endless. I have not had much luck with doctors, dentists or lawyers.

                Once you find a service area that works for you, then stay with it and target different local markets. You already know which search terms work and you have the website and content which can be tweaked for the new local area so you can be up and running fast.

                I agree that the Offline WSOs are full of people selling information on Offline Marketing who have never provided offline consulting to even a single customer. I am not talking about your Dr. Dan but you know what I am talking about.
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                • Profile picture of the author Riz
                  This model definately works but their are many factors to consider:

                  1) Industry targetted
                  2) Keywords you are ranking for
                  3) Website conversion rates

                  Number 3 is where many businesses will fail. If you are only providing rankings for your clients then the conversions are left up to the client.

                  Also, from the businesses you mentioned in your first post how did the buisnesses track their website visitors/conversions, walk in customers, telephone calls etc? Did they know where they came from? How did they find the business?

                  Without the full picture and only concentrating on rankings aone it becomes impossible to check if the high ranking are working for the business or not. Many times there are factors other than ranking that needs tweaking.

                  One of my clients is a nationwide baby scanning clinic. Their business has doubled since i started working with them and got them high rankings for their cities and keywords. The search volumes are not huge but almost every call to the business now comes via online searches.

                  This model will work better in some industries than others but the factors mentioned above will be applicable to all.

                  Riz
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  • Profile picture of the author krzysiek
    I think it is just an issue of (and I don't mean this in a bad way at all because I can also be guilty of it at times) giving up too early. I think that maybe he targetted the wrong keywords, or perhaps the pages dropped off of the first page, etc.

    I think there is a lot to consider in his case, and I am sure he could make it work. I had my own doubts, but given that I am getting traffic from being on page 2-3 for a few crappy keywords... I know that once I hit first page I am going to be getting traffic no matter what anyone says.

    At that point, I will just have to worry about my sales copy on the 1-page site (as Dan recommends) to ensure I am converting those visitors somehow!
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  • Profile picture of the author Lorraine2
    This has been a really brilliant post. Like SloanJim I have been sceptical about local searches as when I do keyword research fora range of niches using the local modifier there has been little or no searches for it. i have bought many products and they all speak enthusiastically about how many searches there are for local businesses. The posts on this thread have filled in the gaps that have been in those products great though they were. I live in the UK like SloanJim I think and we are much smaller than the US and I wonder if that what the difference is, as most ofthe products I have bought have been US specific and may not relate to the UK market place.

    i have been lacking in confidence to approach offline clients because of the things discussed in this thread. I dont want to take anyone's money without providing value, and as I did not how to resolve the problems discussed in this thread, my approach to offline businesses has been quite timid. However the help given by everyone who has posted has been extremely helpful and I will use to tweak my strategy. I hope the thread continues at least for a little while.

    By the way a skip is a very large metal container that is usually used by people who are either clearing out rubbish from their home, usually when doing major refurbishment. It has to be carried on a separate vehicle as it is huge and hoisted using chains.
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  • Profile picture of the author Hugh
    Had one guy who said he was not getting any calls. So I called him.
    First call - no answer, rang 15 times. Second call - wife answered,
    kid screaming in background, left a throw-away (CallFire) number &
    name. Never called me.

    When I finally did get him, told him he did not need my service.

    Hugh
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    "Never make someone a priority in your life who makes you an option in theirs." Anon.
    "Some see private enterprise as a predatory target to be shot, others as a cow to be milked, but few are those who see it as a sturdy horse pulling the wagon." -- Winston Churchill

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