Digital Profits Podcast – Episode 10: E&V Masonry Live Audit
Are you a digital marketer who wants to boost your online presence? Do you want to make sure that you have the best possible plan to reach potential customers in your target cities and leverage local signals for SEO success? If so, then read on.
This blog post has all of the secrets and valuable insights that will take your digital presence to the next level. We’ll teach you how it’s done step by step! With the Profit Squad, there is nowhere else but up. So, start optimizing today!
Understand Your Audience & Their Needs: Know who you are trying to reach and what they are looking for
When it comes to communicating with your audience, understanding who they are is key. Whether you’re trying to promote a product or share information, it’s important to know what your audience is looking for and how to deliver it to them. Think about their age, location, interests, and other demographics that will help you tailor your message to them.
Remember that catering to your audience’s needs will make your message more effective and help you connect with them on a deeper level. So take the time to understand your audience and their needs – it’ll be worth it in the long run!
Research Your Target Cities: Leverage local signals to create a targeted SEO strategy
As you dive into your SEO strategy, it’s important to research your target cities thoroughly. You want to understand what makes each location unique and what local signals you can leverage to boost your rankings.
By getting to know the demographics, culture, and language of your target audience, you can create targeted and effective content that resonates with them. Plus, by incorporating location-specific keywords and other signals, you’ll increase your visibility to potential customers in those areas. So, take the time to dig in and get to know your target cities – your SEO efforts will thank you.
Optimize Your Website with Schema Markup: Increase visibility on search engines by using structured data
Hey there, fellow website owner! Did you know that you could increase your website’s visibility on search engines simply by using structured data? It’s called Schema Markup, and it’s a powerful tool that can optimize your website and make it stand out to both search engines and potential visitors.
By adding structured data to your website’s HTML, you can communicate clearly what your website is all about, the products or services you offer, and even your local business information. And when search engines like Google pick up on that information, they’re more likely to display your website in relevant search results, leading to increased visibility, traffic, and potential customers. So, why wait? Start using Schema Markup today to optimize your website and take it to the next level!
Take Advantage of Paid Advertising: Use Google AdWords or other advertising platforms to drive more traffic to your website
If you’re looking to boost your website traffic, it’s time to take advantage of paid advertising. Fortunately, there are plenty of options out there to help you do just that. Google AdWords is one of the most popular advertising platforms available, but it’s far from your only option. Platforms like Bing Ads and Facebook Ads can also be incredibly effective.
Paid advertising allows you to put your business in front of your target audience, increasing your exposure and driving more traffic to your site. Plus, it allows you to target specific demographics and interests, ensuring your advertising dollars are being spent where they’ll have the most impact. So, don’t miss out on this valuable marketing tool – start exploring your advertising options today.
Get the Most Out of Google MyBusiness: Create a business listing to increase online presence
Are you looking to expand your online presence and attract more potential customers? Look no further than Google MyBusiness! By creating a business listing on this platform, you can optimize your online visibility and increase your chances of ranking higher on Google search results. It’s the perfect way to showcase your business to the world.
With your listing, you can provide important business details such as contact information, business hours, and even photos of your products or services. By claiming your business on Google, you’re taking the first step towards maximizing your online presence. With the right strategy and approach, you can easily get the most out of Google MyBusiness and gain more visibility for your business.
Make Use of Social Media Platforms: Use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to engage your audience and build relationships
Are you using social media platforms to their fullest potential? Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are powerful tools for engaging with your audience and building strong relationships. Don’t forget that social media isn’t just about posting content. It’s about interacting with your followers, responding to their comments, and sharing your brand’s personality with them.
Use Facebook to start discussions and showcase your company culture. Twitter is perfect for sharing bite-sized updates and responding to customer inquiries. And Instagram offers a visual way to showcase your products and behind-the-scenes content. So don’t just post and forget – maximize your social media presence and connect with your audience in meaningful ways.
Establishing a successful online presence is fundamental to business success, and by following the tips outlined in this post, you will be well on your way to reaching new heights for your brand. In order to truly succeed with managing an online presence, treat it like any other aspect of business: dedication is key! Tune in to our latest episode on Optimizing Digital Presence with the Profit Squad to learn more about utilizing SEO and paid advertising tactics to target specific cities, plus leveraging local signals, to help increase visibility on search engines. Find out why implementing schema markup will give users a better experience while on your website and create opportunities for customers to engage. Discover why taking advantage of Google MyBusiness listings can lead to a substantial boost in organic traffic when you listen to the podcast.
INTRO: Welcome to the digital Profits podcast, where you’ll learn how to grow your business faster using paid traffic and SEO. Each episode will feature a breakdown of digital marketing trends and answers to your burning questions that will provide actionable takeaways to make your marketing better. So join us Ben Page, Ray Sawvel, and Blake John, as we guide you on your journey to higher profits. Remember to join the profit email@example.com and get ready to profit in 3, 2, 1.
Ray Sawvell: Hey, squad, we’re back in the studio today. We’ve got all three of us. Blake.
Blake John: Hey there, Ray.
Ben Page: What’s up?
Ray Sawvell: And Ben. And today we’re going to try something a little bit different as an experiment, which is we’re going to audit a real company, their marketing, right? So we’re going to look at SEO, we’re going to look at paid traffic and the website as well, give some thoughts on strategy and approach. And this company had reached out being interested in an audit and agreed to be featured on this episode. And so the company is Envasonry, they’re located in Massachusetts and their URL is Envisonry.com. We’ll do our best to sort of describe any visuals here, but we’ll post corresponding resources or walk through to the community or on our socials. So follow along there if you’re not already. So I think some of this we don’t have all the access. It usually varies, right? Ray and Blake, like, do you get access to analytics, to search console, to ad accounts, to whatever you need, even the website in some cases. So here we’re in a situation where we have, well, basically nothing, right? We’re kind of doing the URL, we have their URL. So we’re also going to, in this episode, sprinkle in some principles on auditing generally and like how we would approach it, how we do approach it, whether for just conversations we have with people we meet, or in kind of sales discussions with potential clients and so on and so forth. Been always happy to kind of take a look and provide guidance to folks that might be in need of that. So here to kind of kick things off, how about this? Let’s talk about how do you approach an audit. Super big picture. And then we’ll start getting into some of the specifics here with EMB. So Blake, you want to start it?
Blake John: Yeah, I do. Yeah. So really, when I go into this process audit a website, I’m just honestly trying to gather as much data as I possibly can. So that’s a little challenging when you’re restricted on tools and getting Google Analytics and Google Search Console, those tools are super valuable, but there’s still a lot of things we can do on the SEO side, specifically through SEMrush and Screaming Frog are kind of the two third party tools that I use mostly during this process. But it’s ultimately getting as much data as possible and information to understand what are the highest priority opportunities where are there some gaps, some strengths, some weaknesses, and just kind of developing a little bit of a plan or a strategy to come with recommendations and ultimately improve organic presence.
Ray Sawvel: Yes. And Ray, how about for yourself?
Ben Page: Yeah, I mean, from a paid advertising standpoint, I think of three core buckets. I think of where is the biggest opportunity? So where’s like, the biggest impact I can make in the shortest period of time? If we have an ad account where’s money being wasted today and how can I either get rid of that waste or turn that around? And then three, are they doing the fundamentals right? Are they doing the basics that they should be doing within the account? Because if they’re not, that’s somewhere where we can prove value right away. Because when it comes to audits, from my standpoint, at least for Paid, I know it’s different for SEO, but its like, how can I prove that this investment in us is worthwhile in the shortest amount of time possible? That’s kind of the way I tend to think about things from like an opportunity standpoint.
Ray Sawvel: Yeah, that’s awesome. For me, in audits or discovery situations, I’m trying to assess the quality of their data, a lot of times determining, do they have a CRM, is it being used? Can they track all the way down the funnel? Trying to evaluate their business model, how they generate revenue, what an LTV might look like, just trying to get some of those economic and measurement items put together too, to sort of inform what then ends up being a deeper marketing audit. And then because when we go into planning after that, we need to evaluate channels, tactics and because we begin with the end in mind, that business case, that business outcome which usually manifests as the reason why a company might want an audit in the first place we want to be able to move the needle for that outcome. So just trying to focus all of this and then when I’m auditing SEO and Paid, same thing. It’s like you could spend like a near infinite amount of time auditing if you just randomly follow your intuition and find things that are broken or whatever. So I kind of try to create a structured principles based approach in both areas. And like you said, Ray, it’s like going into it with an 80 20 mindset. Like, where are the highest impact levers? Right out of the gate. Yeah, that’s super cool. So, I mean, where do we go from there? Do you want to get into some of these specific principles and areas for env? Guys, let’s do it. Kick it off. Who wants to start?
Ben Page: Yeah, I mean, I can kick us off right away. What I’m thinking about first when it comes to auditing a new business who maybe hasn’t been on paid advertising before. And in my research at looks like there may be an ad account out there in some capacity, but they may not be running ads. So for the purposes of this audit, let’s assume that this is a new to advertising business. They’ve never done it before. I tend to think about two or three things. I tend to think about who is their target audience? Where are they searching? So whether it’s like, are they on Social? Are they on Google? Are they on LinkedIn? LinkedIn and Social, but where are they? And then it’s just really going back to basic marketing principles, too. Like, what are we promoting? Was there an offer? This ties back to all those core principles. So I know that’s, like, a lot to unpack right there. But by answering those basic questions, if they’re new to advertising, it’s really how can we market their product or service from a paid advertising standpoint to the most targeted person that’s most likely to yield a conversion? So, like a phone call or a form fill. So, like, broad strokes. That’s how I tend to think about things like, how can I get my products or service in front of the right person to convert right away from, like, a broad standpoint?
Ray Sawvel: And for Env masonry, we’re looking at a company that they’re a contractor, so they do masonry. They specialize in outdoor masonry, landscaping, these really intricate luxury patio builds and stuff. Super cool. It’s beautifully done. It’s kind of visually stunning when you see it on the website as well. So, of course, we’re dealing with a lead generation business. We’re probably dealing with a high ticket company, maybe a low LTV a lot of project based work. Right. But higher ticket stuff, it looks like, based on their source code. Right. They’ve got HubSpot, so they have a CRM that puts them a little bit ahead of the pack, I’d say, in this category. It’s great they have that. We’d love to learn more about how is it configured? How is their sales hub, marketing hub? How’s their data? I’m assuming now maybe they don’t have a big enough list that we could activate it in advertising, right? Hard to say, but you might have.
Ben Page: To think about it just from more like, again, general marketing. Like, how do you nurture the list that you do have? So while 2100 us at the profits quad, we don’t focus primarily on email marketing, but for a business of this size, email marketing is probably a reliable channel that they can work on or a different partner can work with. So I think for a business like this, an email list is something to consider from a nurture perspective, potentially
Ray Sawvel: It’s interesting.
Ray Sawvel: And I think I didn’t say this in the intro, but also trying to classify this client or place them in a framework or defining what they are and how they operate, like, okay, it’s a B to C company. It’s a service based organization. It’s a contractor. It’s in this vertical. It’s in this geography. It’s of this size with these kind of tools, and then you can, at least for me, I think, of what other companies have I worked with, audited before, seen or could look at as a model for ideas for this one. But Blake initial thoughts on env Masonry.
Blake John: Yeah, so initially, when I jumped into it, one of the first things I’ll do is run a brief technical audit just to kind of get an idea of the underpinnings of the website. And is it technically sound and truthfully? This site is actually very technically sound. It’s very lightweight. It’s quick, it’s kind of streamlined. But then what? That kind of led me to the next part of my process and identifying some keyword opportunities and just gaps. Overall, part of it is it’s very thin. The site overall is very thin. And I was thinking the targeting is not very strong from a keyword perspective. It’s very broad. And then they get kind of getting tactical here a little bit. They have a lot of location pages, but they’re all very similar. And there’s no real differentiation, aside from literally, like the city, which isn’t a very strong marketing stance to take. You want to really try to add unique value on every single page that you have.
Ben Page: So there’s, like, duplicate content issues, potentially.
Blake John: Yeah. Potentially.
Ray Sawvel: Not impactful content.
Blake John: Not impactful.
Ray Sawvel: Right.
Blake John: Exactly. Got it. It’s definitely duplicate, for sure. But it’s also technically, maybe not, because they are targeting, like, different cities. So it’s just a lot of overlap.
Ben Page: Repetitive.
Blake John: Repetitive. Yeah, repetitive. And I think there are, truthfully, a lot of opportunities, and I’ll just throw out one right at the top is on the homepage. They’re targeting, like, Massachusetts masonry. I don’t remember what it is exactly, but it’s like masonry in Massachusetts, which, if you think about just how big the state of Massachusetts is, it’s very wide. If you think about it from geographic, what region are you really targeting when you’re targeting the state of Massachusetts? Really nowhere. So I think there’s an opportunity to drill down to figure out what is the closest city near where Env Masonry really is, and hopefully it’s within, like, 15 to 20 minutes. And targeting that city specifically on the homepage, drilling down and providing unique content around that city, maybe some specific products that have been completed there, and building it out from there and taking that same approach, because that current homepage approach, I don’t think it’s going to serve them very well.
Ray Sawvel: It’s too broad to be effective because you’re lost in a sea of competition, and it might not be effective from the sense of if you’re not willing to travel six and a half hours for a job, there’s no point.
Ben Page: Yeah. And it’s not as actionable, as opposed to because on the paid side, I saw the same thing. If you go to Essex County or Middlesex County, from a county standpoint, that’s what my targeting would probably look like if I’m like, I’m not going to target the whole state of Massachusetts. Because if we were working with this business, we’d want to understand what is your service area, who is your target client, and that service area would really help inform do we want to target? Again, this is me painting with broad strokes, but with me looking at it. I’d want to hit Essex and Middlesex County because that’s where a majority of their cities fall within. But then from an SEO optimization standpoint, it sounds like you’re suggesting focusing on a city from an optimization standpoint. So I think that’s where that all has to work together and fall in line.
Blake John: Yeah, absolutely. And just think about it from your own perspective as a user. So we all live in Wisconsin, and if we needed masonry services or landscaping services or roofing services or plumbing right. You’re not going to type in Google Wisconsin, wisconsin roofing because well, you know how big Wisconsin is. And honestly, I don’t know how in comparison how big Massachusetts is to Wisconsin, but I think it’s pretty large.
Ben Page: And isn’t Wisconsin, like, as big as your hand? That’s like a thing, right? Like if you put gloves, something like that.
Blake John: Anyways, in terms of square miles, I.
Ben Page: Don’t know, like your thumb maybe from.
Blake John: Massachusetts, maybe sure, I see what you’re saying. But yeah, it doesn’t work like that. You as a user are thinking about things maybe at a county level, but usually at a city level. For us, it’s probably Milwaukee because that’s the nearest city. There’s other nearby suburbs and locations and whatnot. So it’s really like, okay, figuring out that and then identifying where are we geographically closest to, because in this sort of business, too, and this should be mentioned, proximity is king, and your literal physical location to the searcher is going to have a huge impact on where you can rank organically. Now there are some more strings to pull on the paid side because you just have more levers to pull overall. But on the organic side, we don’t. And your proximity to the user and where the search is actually happening is just like the king in local search. So it’s really important to take that into consideration and really target probably, like I said, 1520, maybe 30 minutes from your address.
Ray Sawvel: Right.
Ben Page: Lake John, like million dollar question. What address or what’s not address? What city are we targeting based on your research? Like, what city would you recommend? Like, we target based on the research.
Blake John: That you yeah, so there’s two that I would probably and this is for Env we’re talking about. Like, what city would I recommend that Env? In my research, I found Hudson. I don’t know where that is, but Hudson, Massachusetts.
Ben Page: Massachusetts somewhere.
Blake John: It was approximately 15 minutes away from Env and their address, which, truthfully, I don’t know where any of these things are. I just know where Massachusetts kind of on the map. And then the other one that I would recommend targeting, and they actually do not have a location page for this one. And it was one of the higher volume locations. It’s spelled Warchester, but I actually believe it’s pronounced Worcester, right? Which is really OD worcester. So Hudson and Wooster, I think, are the biggest opportunities for env masonry, just based on two things, search volume and proximity. And all the other locations that they’re targeting either are too far away, in my opinion, or there’s just really low volume, and it’s almost not even worth it because there’s no search volume happening with that geographical city modifier in the user search.
Ray Sawvel: Yeah, I was going to ask that. So thank you for couching that.
Ray Sawvel: And I think here, like you mentioned, right, a disproportionate amount of search organic, maybe paid, right. It’s going to have a near me in it, too. So even beyond that whole city parameter in the query right.
Blake John: Which is so hard for an SEO to really quantify because you can look at it on a local level. The only way you can really do it is through Google Keyword Planner, actually. You can break it down by city, county, DMA, or state. No other tool that I’m aware of allows you to do that, actually. So if you break it down, let’s just say I would take Massachusetts just as an example. You could do masonry near me, which would probably nationwide might have like 10,000 searches or something a month. I don’t really know.
Ray Sawvel: You don’t know the distribution geographically.
Blake John: Right. But then you can kind of get a little closer and be like, okay, Massachusetts accounts for 400 of those searches every month, and then you drill down even further. Go, okay, well, this 15 minutes radius is probably like 15 to 20 or something, and then you’re just kind of struggling like, that’s good, I guess. And ultimately, you can’t really optimize for near me from an organic perspective. Again, it’s like proximity and just having a strong website with good content. That’s really as far as you can go for. But again, those are hard to quantify on the SEO site, but they’re extremely important because so many searches happen with that near me modifier.
Ray Sawvel: Right. And I think to me and to connect the dots, that’s the importance organically of having a well optimized location pages, GMB, et cetera, is that you can help Google understand that you are near them by having strong visibility and association with that with Wooster and the other one that you mentioned. Right. By doing that. And then if someone’s in that area and they happen to do the near me search, you have a stronger, higher probability of showing up for that in that SERP, basically in that search engine results page to define terms.
Blake John: Yes, absolutely. And that’s why it’s just like good content, good, helpful, user driven content, sending strong location signals, and it’s kind of super simple, but people overcomplicate it. But that is the recipe for ranking for those types of terms, for sure.
Ben Page: And one more thing to unpack just a little bit further, Blake, of what you mentioned for Google Keyword Planner. So what I went ahead and did just to give some really high level data, is I threw in some search terms into Keyword Planner, which is a tool that estimates search volume based on the terms that you give it. And I looked nationwide. But then I also double clicked on Essex and Middlesex County. I didn’t do the two that you mentioned, but I searched for three high intent keywords that I found, like masonry contractor had 390 monthly searches in Essex and Middlesex versus the thousands that it had nationwide. So that kind of goes back to your point, like using Google Keyword Planner to determine how much search volumes in your area. Same thing with contractor retaining wall, masonry stone. These are search terms that we’d likely would want to bid on and maybe potentially optimize for on the SEO side that have high intent and relatively low volume searches. But those are the search terms that we want to go after because those are the high commercial intent keywords where our customers are likely going to be.
Ray Sawvel: Did you guys happen to see what CMS they’re on?
Blake John: I believe it’s Word Press. Yeah, I think I’m pretty sure it was Word Press.
Ray Sawvel: And then, Blake, on the location pages you mentioned, how is the internal linking strategy? I mean, are they calling back to the projects that are in that location? On Truthfully?
Blake John: I’d have to pull it up and take a look. Yeah, take a look.
Ray Sawvel: And then Ray and I will banter a little bit about keyword targeting because I’ve got some thoughts. Right. All right, so here right, we’ve got a situation. We don’t have an account. Normally we have an account. We kind of look at what keywords are they targeting, what are the queries. We’ll do long term analyses, we’ll do Ngrams, whatever. And then we’ll sort of say, like, do they have appropriate coverage, too? Are they hitting all the keywords that could lead, that are high intent, that could lead to qualified contact us, phone calls, quote requests, whatever? But here we don’t. So we’re trying to create a whole keyword targeting plan and then, like you said, throw it in a planner and vet it and build a model and say, is this going to work? Whatever. So just thinking through what are other categories of keywords that would be worth targeting here, unless Blake, do you have an answer on the internal links?
Blake John: Yeah, so we’re kind of flipping back and forth, but the conversation you’re about to have is really important because there’s some really good ideas there. So the location pages, though, they do link back to the projects, just generally, like the projects page. But I think what you’re getting at here and there’s a really strong opportunity to send stronger location signals by filtering it and kind of organizing those projects based on the literal location that you’re targeting on that page and saying, hey, if it’s Worcester, these are the projects we have done in Worcester. And then you’re again sending strong location signals. You’re kind of positioning yourself as like a local guide or local expert and you know the area, you’re in the area, you’ve worked in the area, and right now it’s not really happening. And there’s definitely a huge opportunity to do that.
Ray Sawvel: Right. Just imagine how money that would be. It’s like the project gallery, and then it’s like the filtered search and, oh, there’s two in Worcester. One, it’s the mid-century bungalow inhabited by retired couple, beautiful brick home seeking blah, blah. What did we do? Oh, we did a cool patio feature with a fireplace built in and here’s what it did for them. And cool. And then CTAs or whatever. And then like another one, and, oh, it’s like a two story colonial and retaining wall proxy looking for this and right. It’s like you’re adding signals and then, I don’t know, you could probably enrich that page even further and then internal linking between these different kinds of pages with location signals. And suddenly it’s getting really compelling, I think from an SEO perspective and just from a user perspective too, you’re like, oh, cool, you did my neighbors. That’s great.
Blake John: I was literally just going to say that in addition to the targeting and the location signals that you can send with that, there’s so much value in that type of content from a user experience perspective and potentially a CRO perspective, because you could be like, oh, I drove past that. I know that from somewhere. That could literally happen because a lot of these cities are really small. And that’s kind of what Google wants to replicate in search is like what you see in the real world is what you would kind of get in your search results. Yeah, exactly. And so if you’re kind of it’s eat, it goes back to eat. Expertise, authority, trustworthiness. And then the new one is experience. It’s experience. And you’re displaying that you have experience in a literal geographical region, which is so important in local search.
Ben Page: Yeah, which these guys, I think they mentioned, we have 23 years of experience on their site. So you can tell that these guys, they know what they’re doing. They are experts in the space, but they have to showcase that. It sounds like they have to showcase that more on their site. And there’s opportunity from that standpoint, right.
Ray Sawvel: And two other additional opportunities related to this discussion, like one, schema markup on the project’s pages, like on these highlights, doing that. And then two, I just thought of this, like getting reviews, if you can, where there are mentions of like, hey, we’re in Wooster, and we had them work on X project, and we loved it. And then you could embed those reviews on that project page. Oh, we’re just going deeper. And then you get that context in your GMB. Oh, man. Now, multiple results in the SERP for that location based search. It’s starting to work.
Blake John: Yeah, absolutely. And I will mention too, just briefly, schema as a whole is an opportunity for this website because there’s none there’s no schema at all. And at the very highest, I guess maybe lowest level, it’s just local business schema on the homepage. Like, just get local business schema on the homepage. Because one thing I also noticed is they don’t rank for their brand name.
Ray Sawvel: Right.
Blake John: And I think, honestly, really quick way you could try to improve that is schema, because you literally say, this is my name. Google. This is it my name. Yeah. Please Google.
Ben Page: And with brand, what I noticed, it looked like there were competitors biding on brand terms right now, and I wasn’t able to get any of their ads firing. And again, I was trying to mock up my location being somewhere in Essex or Middlesex County. But from a brand coverage standpoint, sounds like schema’s a big opportunity. But also, it appears like their competitors or other local service businesses are bidding on their ads on their brand in some standpoint, which is when I see that as like a PPC, I’m like, no, we got to get that back. So that’s like, another issue.
Ray Sawvel: Did you guys find another Env masonry out there in the not them. Right?
Ben Page: Tell us about a Blake?
Blake John: So, this is Env Masonry, but there’s actually EV masonry out there. I think the other one was in New York, so it was also in the northeast part of the United States. And, yeah, I thought that was interesting, but I think they were actually ranking when I Goggled Env masonry, I think that’s how I found not only is it kind of a competitor, the other like the doppelganger the dark side, right?
Ray Sawvel: Oh, man. That’s crazy. Right? So, yeah, some low hanging fruit there. Well, and just for non-brand search, Blake, how are they doing?
Blake John: Not great. I mean, there’s a ton of opportunity, and we’ve talked about it. I think a big reason they’re not doing great for non-branded search is because the content is just so thin, and they’re not sending very strong location signals. And the location pages that the location signals that they do have are just so weak, and it’s almost so broad. They’re talking so many cities within Massachusetts that they’re not, like, drilling down and saying, this is where we are the expert. And they’re kind of diluting it almost. And getting geographically, the net is too big.
Ben Page: Is it fair to say go deep in one? Like you said, pick two or three cities to go deep in that are close to you and build content around that.
Blake John: It really depends on your region and where the search volume is. But if it’s outside a 30 to 35 minutes’ drive and it’ll also depend on the competition, like, if there are a lot of competitors within the region, you got to get tighter.
Ray Sawvel: Hyper local competition increases.
Blake John: Exactly. And if there’s not too much competition, you can probably widen the net because got it. But for them, I think they need to really focus in and get to that 20 minutes radius.
Ray Sawvel: And then what I saw from SEMrush, from a non brand organic keyword perspective was pretty much the only one was, I think, fireplace accent wall. This could lead us back to that other thread of conversation about keyword targeting, obviously paid and organic implications. So we talked about the obvious ones, right, Ray? Like masonry contractors, like, okay, yeah, you should win that. And your brand, you should do that, too. But then we get into I guess what I normally do is think about the kinds of keywords at a meta level, and I sort of try to create a matrix from which I generate all of the keywords that I want to research. Right. So the fireplace accent wall at a meta level is an example of a product search. Right. So you could think of other kinds of products. I’m using that broadly. Right. But fireplace accent wall, it could be.
Ben Page: Like retaining stone wall.
Ray Sawvel: There’s backyard patio. Backyard stone patio. Just multiply all the combinations of what all those things could be.
Ben Page: Right.
Ray Sawvel: Should do that. What other categories, though?
Ben Page: Yeah, I mean, the way I would think about it, from like, a paid standpoint, and this might get a little redundant, but it’s just ensuring that you have coverage for the basics that we talked about before. So, like, masonry contractor, like Duh masonry, like company, you know what I mean? Like breaking out all the different segmentations of permutations of these words, but then thinking back to all the different types of projects that they do. So having coverage for if somebody’s looking for coverage of a again, I keep going back to retaining wall, and I know they do more than just retaining walls, but I need a retaining wall, building out different permutations of that as well. So, like retaining wall coverage in city name, and then you can build out all the near me variants, all the city variants, the county variants. So it’s really just having coverage for all of these different pieces that they do. And if you’re not sure where to start now, it can get a little risky. You can do things like dynamic search ads, or you can get a little bit broader with your keyword coverage. But typically, if you’re new to digital advertising, you ought to be laser focused to start so you can find exactly what’s not.
Ray Sawvel: I guess I’ve never explicitly said this before, but I guess based on the industry, I think I have some mental playbooks or frameworks for. This. It’s like, yeah, here. Right? It’s like products and then business type and brand and stuff. But what about for contractors? A common one would be like repairs versus new work.
Ben Page: Exactly.
Ray Sawvel: I think roofers, like tin roof repair or like leaky roof repair versus new construction roofing or whatever. Replacement roof replacement. Right. Like new roofing, all that thing. Or in that case, people might search for the type of material, like the brand of the material, like hardy siding or like material type, like plank, blah, blah, blah. Or here maybe that’s true in masonry. I don’t even know, like cinder block versus patio or brick boom or stamped concrete boom. That might be a whole new so material. We’ve got product, we got brand, and we’ve got Service Company. Yeah. Or maybe like location. Maybe there’s because maybe we’re not even thinking of everything. I saw they had a chimney job, so maybe there’s like, chimneys and then there’s like, backyard masonry and then there’s like front stoop and then there’s like stone arches and then there’s a million. Right? So I don’t know, maybe there are other categories. But even doing this alone and multiplying it, we’re going to have like hundreds of potential keywords that we then vet for. Do they have volume? What’s the competition? Can they win this? Whatever.
Ben Page: And ultimately, in my experience, businesses like these that tend to be like a smaller operation for the most part, it’s a family owned business. It ultimately comes back to what’s the goal? Because I would imagine if we spoke directly to these guys, they might mention, I need this type of job, or I have opening for XYZ. And as marketers, we can say there’s opportunity for boom, boom, boom. But if they can only fulfill and let’s say, hey, we’re not taking on service right now, we’re only doing new projects, well, that changes how we’re going to go out and market for that as well. So it’s really clearly understanding what is the key objective and then how do we best help support that?
Blake John: That’s a really good point. I had a roofing client several years ago, and there was like, gutter repair was a keyword, and they were like, no, we don’t really want to do that because it’s like a low profit margin. It takes a lot of work and it’s not worth our time. And so we’re like, okay, and we never made mention of it on the website.
Ray Sawvel: Right.
Blake John: Because they don’t really want to do that work. They’ll do like, a gutter replacement because there’s higher profit margin. It’s more worth their time. And I’m so I’m sure there are certain services for env that they would say, yeah, we want to prioritize that and deprioritize this. And then you can take that into account in your bidding and your marketing and your strategy and be like, okay, well, we just won’t even target this. We only have so much budget. We will just prioritize what’s highest impact for the business.
Ray Sawvel: Yeah, love that. Wow. Anything else? Like Blake on the targeting side for SEO? And take that loosely.
Blake John: Yeah. One thing that I think would be interesting, and I think this would be a good test on Paid, because from an SEO perspective, I think it would be harder to really break in. But is targeting things like landscaping and hardscapes and some variations along that, or just like and Ben, you mentioned this before. We cut on the air like backyard remodels. And I don’t know what the search again, I don’t know what the search volume is, but they’re not really framing their content in that sort of way at all. And I’m wondering if there’s demand out there for that. People might not know that masonry is really what they’re looking for. They’re just like, I need help on my backyard. And so finding it’s, basically, that just connecting the user, their frustration to your site based on the middleman is the search and just figuring out how you can be there for them and connect those dots.
Ray Sawvel: In other use cases, I’ve heard that called confusion search. Maybe it’s not exactly the same thing, because it might be like, in ecom, it’d be like searching for different products that maybe have the same functionality or something like that, or even brand names that sound similar but different spelling or whatever. But here it’s the idea. Confusion search idea is like right. It’s like, all I know is, like, I just want to make my backyard look better. And I had this idea of a cool fire pit.
Ben Page: Who do I call for that?
Ray Sawvel: Right. There’s probably a whole swath of people that are like, I don’t know, like backyard landscaping or like you said, right. And right. You’d have to do some research and look at the SERPs and look at how users are describing it. And I would do some social listening, like going on Facebook. You’re like, meta properties, whatever, right. How are people describing these projects? Or in GMB, what language are they using and whatever. But even if we zoom out, it’s kind of related to targeting rates at a higher level. What channels would you choose for this kind of business that is a contractor, and it’s like, okay, local search ads, paid search. Right. Google ads. Microsoft ads. But next door could be interesting. Facebook could be interesting. Well, for sure, right. And then obviously, Blake like SEO, right?
Blake John: Yeah.
Ray Sawvel: For sure.
Ben Page: I think it kind of goes back to one of the first points, is, like, how can I make the biggest impact right away? So typically, again, this is based on my experience, but it’s like, you want to dominate people who are searching for the most bottom funnel keyword possible. So it’s like, again, I’m going to go back to this retaining wall example, but let’s say they specialize in retaining walls. There’s a lot of search volume in retaining walls and someone saying, new installation of retaining wall projects, blah, blah, blah, ensuring that we have coverage for the most bottom funnel of the keywords that say slam dunk for Env and making sure we have coverage there. We have a great ad, and then it’s going to the great landing page, and it’s optimized for conversion rate. And how do we have that search to landing page to ad, you know what I mean? How do we have that entire process streamlined so it can convert as frictionless? Exactly.
Ray Sawvel: And there’s social proof along the way and authority and all those signals of influence. I know where I was going, too, with that last point. It was a matter of strategy, like using confusion search as a matter of strategy. Now imagine we’re on to citation building, and we’re building profiles on Angie’s list on whatever, local directories, whatever. Right. So you’re on there, or it’s now Angie. Right? All right, sorry, we can’t keep up. All right, Angie. Right. Or next door. So, like, imagine your Env masonry, and you’re like, all right. What if in their situation, in their local area, the masonry category on Angie is stacked, it’s super competitive. You’re never breaking through. It’s just a sad day. Right. But if you go into landscapers and double click on Hardscapers, or if that’s a thing and it’s like empty, and you’re just like, oh, it’s blue ocean, I’m going to be that. That’s what I am. I’m not env masonry. I’m going to list myself in that category because then it might be a smaller pond. It’s like big fish in a small pond versus invisible in the ocean kind of thing.
Blake John: Yeah, I think it’s definitely something worth exploring. And when you’re setting up those directories and actually I’ll just kind of double click on that point right now. They’re not on any directories that I could really find. I’ll also mention, too, I almost find this hard to believe, but I didn’t find their Google Business profile. I got to believe it’s out there.
Ben Page: That’s like a slam dunk. Like, if you guys are listening right now, junior, if you’re listening, go do your GMB today.
Ray Sawvel: GMB? What does that even stand for?
Ben Page: Google my business.
Blake John: But it’s no longer Google my business.
Ray Sawvel: It’s Google Business Profile, which.
Ben Page: Sounds very worse.
Ray Sawvel: Pounds.
Blake John: Yeah, I don’t know. Google is always switching up on us. But that is for local SEO.
Ray Sawvel: Truly.
Blake John: Maybe we should have led with that. Actually, that is the single most important thing, even almost more important than even having a website.
Ray Sawvel: Seriously. Because you can win so hard.
Ray Sawvel: GMB plus like a Facebook page, and then you set your URL and GMB to your Facebook page. Oh, yeah. You can just dominate with that.
Blake John: You genuinely could. Now, I’d recommend you do have a website, and maybe it is out there and I just couldn’t find it, which.
Ray Sawvel: Is another issue in its own.
Blake John: But to be honest me as like the SEO guy. If I couldn’t find it, no one’s finding it. You know what I mean?
Ray Sawvel: Right.
Blake John: So there’s an opportunity there. Either create it or optimize it because I couldn’t find it. So no one’s probably finding it.
Ray Sawvel: Right.
Ben Page: Blanket find it, we’re in trouble.
Blake John: Well seriously. Because I know how search commands and off search operators are called, all the cheat codes. Yeah. I know kind of how to look for it even if it’s sort of invisible. So yeah, that’s a huge opportunity. But just getting on those directories is huge for local businesses. And right now they’re not on many of them. Starting with Yelp, starting with Angie. I always forget all the other ones, but there’s like 1010 or twelve that you should just yeah, that you should just really make sure you have a presence on. Because not only are potential clients going to find you there, but it helps improve your authority overall. Because there’s sort of a baseline that all these contractors have. And if you are missing that baseline compared to all of your competitors, you’re at a serious disadvantage. It’s not going to put you ahead of anybody, but it kind of at least puts you foundationally at a good starting place with all of your competitors.
Ray Sawvel: Yeah. What about lead generator sites?
Blake John: Explain.
Ben Page: I’m not sure I know what you’re talking about.
Ray Sawvel: Well, I’m talking about, like, env masonry. You should take action on these within 30 days of hearing this episode. Otherwise what’s to stop someone like us from going out and registering worcestermasons.com and then creating our own directory of hyper local optimized?
Ben Page: Are you making a threat bet search?
Blake John: No, I’m not.
Ray Sawvel: I’m just saying so many times I’ve seen these contractors in different markets and someone’s come in on search and totally angled the market and they’re dominating paid and organic because they understand these principles. Right. And then they’re just like generating all the leads. And then someone like Env Masonry has to just pay them the ransom that they’re commanding for all the qualified leads in their area.
Ben Page: It could happen potentially like somebody else out already.
Ray Sawvel: But we don’t know. Maybe it is a thing out there in their market. And I guess my question is, is it worth it if you are in that situation where if the search engine result page is stacked with a lead generator, do you have to play ball? Because I’ve heard many operator like roofing co like GMs and stuff like yep, it’s our number one lead source. We’re paying exorbitant amount. We hate it. How do we get off of it? It’s like how do we get off the sauce? I don’t know.
Blake John When you said it, it’s not what you thought of. Yeah, I was thinking like a lander, like a PVC lander for some reason when you said it. But that’s a real thing and they’re definitely out there. I don’t know if I didn’t see them in this space in particular.
Ben Page: I didn’t either when I was looking.
Blake John: But it’s definitely a real thing. And I’ve almost wondered, what if you did it and you were the I’ve always wondered if the actual company did it.
Ray Sawvel: I’ve seen that.
Blake John: Have you just made yourself a second website? I’ve always wondered as sort of like a theory or an idea if you were like, oh, we’re doing really well. What if we just had another listing on Google?
Ray Sawvel: Yeah, I’ve seen people do that in tours and activities and make millions from the second lead generator site.
Blake John: It almost is like a whole nother the key, though, is you have to run it truly as a separate business, and then it could work. If you’ve done it once, you can probably do it again, especially if your region isn’t densely competitive.
Ray Sawvel: Right. Love it. Yeah.
Blake John: I mean, that’s how you take over the world. You have two of every business.
Ray Sawvel: Well, maybe. And then also as a matter of strategy for Env Masonry, and we talked about the confusion search. So what if they go into that category of, like, yeah, we’re backyard helpers, but then they’re competing as landscapers that kind of do both that they do, like, the landscaping and planting and all that stuff, but they also do, like, brick work and whatever. It’s like, maybe you have to partner up with a landscaper that only does the planting, and then someone comes to your site, and you would have lost that business. But now you can offer a complimentary service, and it’s packaged and it’s easy or whatever. That’s, like, another cool strategy thing. But all right, what about creative? We’re getting a little long in the tooth here, but what about creative and content? Like, Blake, you talked a little bit about content, but what else?
Blake John: Yeah, I mean, I’ll just say right now, I can tell when I’m on it that content wasn’t a priority when this site was built. Right. Like, it was kind of, let’s get the basics and publish this site. Yeah. And I think the structure is sound like which is good, but I think overall, Env just needs to spend more time developing unique content for key pages and really kind of get into the nitty gritty. It kind of is, like, counterintuitive to what you might think, but just from the sake of ranking, you just need to be a little verbose and talk about what you do, maybe go a little at length, and you can kind of be strategic about it. You don’t want to go too crazy. But that’s just missing right now. They just need more information about their services and what they do, and specifically more unique information because there’s plenty of content, but a lot of it there’s a lot of overlap right now.
Ray Sawvel: That’s what I was curious about is, like, specifically. Right? So maybe you’re talking about things like how you do what you do, the timelines the common questions that your customers give when they’re installing their patio fire pit thing or whatever, the certain kinds of materials that you use, what kind of qualifies this? Are those good examples of content you’d recommend, or are there any other things that come to mind?
Blake John: No. Yeah, exactly. And this is the hard part for business owners like this, they don’t even think about that stuff as potentially being important because it’s like they’re so close to it.
Blake John: It’s their day to day, and they just kind of overlook it. But to Google and to potentially users as well, it’s like that information is so important. And to just kind of, again, solidifying yourself as the expert in what you do in the location that you do it. So don’t take those things for granted because they really can be a difference maker, and it’s worth spending the time to craft unique, quality content about those things.
Ray Sawvel: Yeah. That’s why I love the idea of Niching down hard, both in terms of audience geography and the product side, what you offer. Like, we’re the number one masonry company for this kind of audience that wants this kind of result. Boo. Then you can dominate that category. And on the paid side, Ray, let’s cast aside local service ads. I’ll talk about paid social. I’ve got a few ideas on that. But, like, paid search, where does your mind go? What do the ads need to say to win that click?
Ben Page: I mean, Blake kind of hit on a lot of it, but it’s really looking at what are your main USPS? So what are your main unique selling points on their site? They mentioned accreditation. They’ve been around for 23 years. They’re experts in the area. It’s really focusing in on that. I don’t really see this being a big promo space where it’s like, hey, buy this, and you get this type of thing. So it’s like, really ensuring that it’s like the search term to ad copy connection that I was mentioning earlier. And you kind of hit on this too, Ben, where maybe it’s like maybe they’re only accredited to do I’m going to make this up like limestone XYZ or something, or like brick only XYZ. So inserting expertise into your ad copy in this field is very important. Also in my experience in this space is what does warranty look like? Is the labor is there warranty on that? Including that type of messaging in your ad copy to make sure that the most important information is put in front of a user right away?
Ray Sawvel: And what you’re identifying is most important. It’s like you’re leaning on these signals of authority and reliability. Right. A guarantee. Hey, we guarantee all of our work. We’re insured. We’ve installed 10,000 of these kinds of retaining walls. For me, I’m thinking of more aesthetic appeals, maybe like, laid by Artisan Brick workers or something. Or only the finest local quarry stone is utilized in our projects or create a stunning feature that your neighbors will look at with awe or something or like some of those types of appeals. What I thought of for paid social.
Sorry, I was going to say really quickly just to add on to this point, because I think everything that you guys are saying, these are all ads that you could test and figure out which works the best. I’ll add one more and it’s just like trust. So they’ve been in business for 23 years. You could say trusted by Worcester residents for 23 years. And it’s like, oh, these guys are they’re doing my neighbor’s backyard. They’re trusted, you know what I mean? Building that trust. And that’s another thing they could probably do on the site a little bit better is social proof and reviews and whatnot. But displaying authority and trust is just huge in these kinds of spaces.
Ben Page: And so that implied assumption that your brain goes to, it’s like, well, they can’t be in business for 23 years if they’re doing things wrong, right? You know what I mean? So it’s like that assumption that you’re going to when you apply that in.
Ray Sawvel: The ad copy yeah, it’s like, and what do I expect to see in search ads for this SERP? It’s like everyone’s going to say like, masonry contractor, get a free quote, get whatever the if you’re not doing that’s table stakes.
Ben Page: Like that’s what you’re doing.
Ray Sawvel: its like, how do we elevate it and make it compelling? Where someone’s like, oh, this feels human. This is great. They’ve got a story to tell. This is fun. Cool. Have reasons to believe we’ve done this a bunch. We don’t mess up. We guarantee the things. It’s unique. You can do that. The uniqueness. This is not for everyone. It’s only for bungalow owners who want an outrageous thing, a stone arch or whatever, right?
Ben Page: You can get Dwayne the Rock Johnson in your ad copy to talk about laying all the masonry.
Ray Sawvel: You got that from chat GPT.
Ben Page: I mean, I’m not going to say I didn’t, but oh, man.
Ray Sawvel: All right, it paid social. Here’s my idea. I mean, obviously, like doing things like embedding testimonial language using testimonial emoji’s 4.9 click now trusted by booster residents for 23 years doing all that stuff. But then I’m almost thinking like literally for env masonry, its like go to your projects page. I would just scrape how they have little card based format of these projects where there’s like a headline, there’s like an image of that project completed. And I don’t know if there’s like text and click through button or whatever, but I’m just picturing it like picture that in your Facebook feed and it’s like a beautiful picture of a completed brick outdoor fireplace or something. Yeah, even a before and after having that, then injecting the social proof and then get your free consultation or whatever that offer is. Presumably it’s something like that. You’re going to call. They’re going to send someone out, talk about your project. They’re going to come back, they’re going to give you a quote.
Ben Page: The rock will be there.
Blake John: The Rock will be there shaking disclaimer. He might not be there.
Ray Sawvel: He might. I don’t know. But yeah. Any other thoughts on creative ray?
Ben Page: Just to restate? Like, testimonial in the space, too, is like, really big. I mean, you’re the one who’s writing the ads, or somebody is, but it’s coming from, like, a third party. It’s coming from somebody who received your services. That’s really big in this space. Just saying we were pleased with XYZ or coming it from different perspectives is really big.
Blake John: Yeah.
Ray Sawvel: Well, guys, this was really fun. I think we should wrap up now, given that we’re almost 50 minutes in and certainly went longer than I thought. And hopefully this listeners gave value to you guys. You could see how we approach audits like these. If you’re a masonry company and this sounded cool to you, contact US 2001 Hundreddigital.com.
Ben Page: We do audits for all types of businesses if you need an audit. So reach out if you need an audit.
Blake John: That’s right.
Ray Sawvel: Only, I mean, based on if we get good feedback on this format, if this was helpful for everyone listening, we’ll certainly do more of these into the future. So reach out if you’re interested in getting an audit and we can select among interested parties and feature you on an upcoming episode.
Ben Page: Yeah, and thank you, Junior, for submitting this as well. On our side for me and V. Yeah.
Ray Sawvel: Hope it helped. And until next time, squad, thanks for listening. Thank you so much for listening.Outro: Your support means the world to us and allows us to help more people and grow the community. Please take a minute right now to subscribe and share this. Wherever you listen to podcasts and sign up for the Profit Squad@joinprofitsquad.com, this will get you insider access, additional tools and swipe files, and help you elevate your marketing game to the next level.