At Service Direct, we have found that the old real estate mantra "Location! Location! Location!" is especially true in the world of home services. Time and again, we have found that search marketing success hinges upon tailoring and optimizing our ad campaigns that target service-seekers in the spaces where they are most likely to reach out to our clients. Though search engine marketing has been around for less than twenty years, it has fundamentally changed the marketing landscape due to the sheer multitude of avenues for customization, data collection, and optimization available. By utilizing precise ad targeting and refining our approach to reflect client and audience feedback, we have been able to increasingly generate quality leads.
Early on in our relationship, our clients draw a map of their desired service area that covers the full range of areas they would like to receive leads from. Once we have that information, we take note of every city, zip code, and neighborhood within that area and develop keyword and ad schemes geared to show to people in each location unit (or "subgeo").
In many cases, we follow Google's recommended targeting method, which makes our ads available to folks who are inside or interested in our clients' service area. This method typically maximizes ad exposure to potential customers because it can connect our clients with service-seekers who are away from their home service area when they are at work for the day. For example, if we are targeting people "in or interested in" Brooklyn, people who look for home services while at work in Manhattan will be able to see Brooklyn targeted ads provided that their search history reflects an interest in the area.
As we get more data about the clicks our clients' ads are receiving, we refine our targeting to make our campaigns more efficient and prevent undesirable phone calls. In some cases, shared place names can confuse the search engines, leading searches related to one place to be interpreted as queries for services in another (Springfield MA vs Springfield IL, Las Vegas NV & Las Vegas NM, Hollywood CA and Hollywood FL). These confusions can be corrected with geographic exclusions. For example, if an ad campaign targeting Portland, Oregon is getting unwanted calls from people in Portland ME, TX, IN, TN, MI or CT, we can exclude these locations to prevent bad ad views, clicks, and calls.
In some cases, our clients receive calls from people outside of their service area; an Anaheim plumbing campaign, for example, could get calls from Idaho if a plumbing service-seeker in Idaho has spent a lot of time searching for hotels and restaurants near Disneyland in Anaheim. If we find that our clients are receiving too many calls originating outside of their desired service area, we might lock down the targeting so that only people within the targeted area can see the ads. When we make these decisions, we consider the trade-offs between slightly limiting the full audience of potential service-seekers and preventing a stampede of bad traffic.
Finally, as our ad campaigns mature, we get more data about how our ads are ranking in various sub-locations within an ad campaign's service area. When we combine this information with client feedback and information based on successful leads, we can create bid adjustments to direct more traffic to areas where the best leads are coming from. In the long run, these modifications can enhance lead volume and quality.
Though there are many different metrics for measuring successful lead generation, our success ultimately depends upon our clients' satisfaction with lead quality and volume. For this reason, all of our refinements to location targeting are rooted in client experience and feedback, beginning with the initial process of carving out the service area and communication in the ensuing months of campaign refinement.
Service Direct has been perfecting location targeting for eleven years. The data we’ve gathered for past and current clients allows us to create successful, targeted campaigns from the get-go and fulfill our mission to connect our service partners with quality local customers.