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Old 01-24-2014, 03:12 PM
 
Location: MD's Eastern Shore
2,253 posts, read 2,734,913 times
Reputation: 3941

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I want to try more this year to get my service business advertised but have a budget because last year was not very good for assorted reasons.

I understand that I need to advertise and get my name out there and have always believed that the more successful businesses have a known name which is constantly front and center.

So, that brings me to this question. For the lower priced advertising both google and facebook will be about the same price if I understand right. Google has a pay per click and facebook will promote it for "likes". Which do you think is better?

First thought for me would be google as, I assume, it would put my business in the sponsored link category. Would that help my page rating as well for google search? But wouldn't it be more national where I would be paying for people to click on it in California or Florida when my business is in Maryland?

Which brings me to facebook where I could request them promoting to a more local area only (like the surrounding states where the boat owners live who keep them docked in my area) as well as to facebook pages of boating business's, private fishing yachts, and boat owners. It looks like I could make those the only pages my business would be promoted on, eliminating wasted advertising.

Am I missing something or not understanding something fully in the way of web advertising? This is something I want to get out by Feb 1st when I hope this super cold weather is gone and people start thinking about their boats again.

Though, I kind of hope this cold sticks around through March so it puts everybody behind schedule on their boat projects so they have to hire someone so they can get done in time.
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Old 01-24-2014, 05:03 PM
 
Location: Tyler, TX
15,194 posts, read 17,710,336 times
Reputation: 7981
Quote:
Originally Posted by marlinfshr View Post
First thought for me would be google as, I assume, it would put my business in the sponsored link category. Would that help my page rating as well for google search?
Your organic search results won't be affected by your sponsored links, and the position of your sponsored link will depend on what you're paying per click for that search term.

Quote:
Originally Posted by marlinfshr View Post
But wouldn't it be more national where I would be paying for people to click on it in California or Florida when my business is in Maryland?
We have customers (and potential customers) all over the country, so I've never looked into whether or not you can narrow down your ads to a specific geographic region, but I would think it would be a fairly common request, so they might have that feature. Have you looked at their help pages or contacted them about it?

Can't comment on facebook ads, as our business is b2b, and our potential customer pool generally isn't the most tech savvy crowd (truckers).
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:10 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
28,475 posts, read 50,762,099 times
Reputation: 28789
The best promotion is having plenty of good keywords on your website, and then getting it promoted by some of the more popular sites. For example, advertising on forums for boat enthusiasts. We are a big boating area here, and when people need something they search the internet for it along with the city to find local sources. Google adwords may help but you want to be found in Bing and other searches too and that means a big internet presence. Having the bots find you on very busy sites makes a big difference.
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Old 01-25-2014, 12:40 AM
 
Location: Currently living in Reddit
5,655 posts, read 5,473,321 times
Reputation: 7260
You could spend a ton of time and energy trying to figure this out on your own and still get poor results.

I used to understand it because I was in it early on, had a small biz for seven years, run off a blog for my site, did my own SEO copywriting, had a big following on Twitter, all resulting in a consistent "above the fold" top five listing on Google for my key search strings.

Then it got complicated, lol.

I'd call in an agency, someone like 180Fusion that's national but will work with smaller businesses. They have a good rep in the industry (I have nothing to do with them nor do I know anyone there). I'm only recommending a national firm because when I've been to local chamber of commerce meetings here and listen to some of the "SEO experts" who run small consulting businesses, turns out I still know more than most of them, so be careful if you're hiring someone local.
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Old 01-25-2014, 10:01 AM
 
Location: All Over
3,971 posts, read 4,212,167 times
Reputation: 2999
Quote:
Originally Posted by marlinfshr View Post
I want to try more this year to get my service business advertised but have a budget because last year was not very good for assorted reasons.

I understand that I need to advertise and get my name out there and have always believed that the more successful businesses have a known name which is constantly front and center.

So, that brings me to this question. For the lower priced advertising both google and facebook will be about the same price if I understand right. Google has a pay per click and facebook will promote it for "likes". Which do you think is better?

First thought for me would be google as, I assume, it would put my business in the sponsored link category. Would that help my page rating as well for google search? But wouldn't it be more national where I would be paying for people to click on it in California or Florida when my business is in Maryland?

Which brings me to facebook where I could request them promoting to a more local area only (like the surrounding states where the boat owners live who keep them docked in my area) as well as to facebook pages of boating business's, private fishing yachts, and boat owners. It looks like I could make those the only pages my business would be promoted on, eliminating wasted advertising.

Am I missing something or not understanding something fully in the way of web advertising? This is something I want to get out by Feb 1st when I hope this super cold weather is gone and people start thinking about their boats again.

Though, I kind of hope this cold sticks around through March so it puts everybody behind schedule on their boat projects so they have to hire someone so they can get done in time.
Facebook advertising for most things isn't affective and though I don't know much about your busienss I doubt a service industry would be effective on facebook. A liquor brand, a bar, anything young and hip I could see potentially being successful via facebook advertising but not a service business. I've never really heard much great said about facebook advertising and heard many complain it's not targeted.

Also, facebook is something you can promote yourself for free. You can also buy likes to your business page for very cheap. I know many people will say whats the point of buying fake likes but politicians do it, obama does it, musicians do it, everyone does it. People are more likely to like a page which 5,000 people hav already like than one which 5 people have liked.

For google your talking about google adwords. You can target your efforts to only certain areas so your not paying for people in virginia clickinng your ads when your located in california. think about it, almost everyone uses the internet these days to find a plumber, powerwasher, etc basically service industries so google adwords i think is especially relevant for your industry. id also advertise on craigslist and other free classifieds sites.

that said for service businesses word of mouth is probably going to be the best thing for you so when you do land jobs do good work and tell people your a small business you work mainly on word of mouth and most people if you do right by them are happy to prmote you.

id also suggest starting a blog where you give free tips and advice and show yourself as an expert. link it to your website and it will help your seo efforts as well as show people you know what your talking about.

if you share what your service is we can probably offer you more advice. im not an expert but i do have my own business i use a lot of these techniques with and also do some freelancing managing some friends and colleages ppc advertising for them.
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Old 01-25-2014, 11:18 AM
 
Location: MD's Eastern Shore
2,253 posts, read 2,734,913 times
Reputation: 3941
Thanks for these reply's. Last year I was just starting and then had a medical issue so I couldn't work but this year I would like to make a push but have limited funds and am trying to see what the best way to spend them is.

It is a boat detailing/maintenance company that I am trying to get going. I am a licensed captain who has crewed on sportfishing boats for years and in that line of work you have to travel, esp if living here in MD. My travelling days are now done, with the exception of perhaps a couple month's in FL to escape the cold. My big plan was to ease into it last year while still working on the seasonal charter boat job I had and give myself 5 years to get this detailing business going and reevaluate then, at 50, but because of last years issues I had to quit that boat. So now, I want to get this business going as it seems this will be my only source of income sooner rather then later, as planned. Last year I was a 45 year old with a great reputation in the local fishing/boating community with a great job, this year I'm a 46 year old who has now had previous medical issues which may cause someone who hasn't used me before to hesitate on hiring me as crew so I need to put everything in making this "spin off" work..

Word of mouth is big in this business but it's hard to get the word out that your changing. As an example, people know me as basically a mate and if they bring a boat down will hire someone else to wash or wax it and not even consider using me because they don't know that I have started that kind of business. On my personal facebook page I always see assorted boat owners and local boat names under "people you may know" and as other friends "likes" and on friends lists.

Private boats will be my target as charter boats have crews of course, but it seems there is a facebook page for every private boat even though it's not a business. I would like to reach them and get them to at least look at my web page or if they know of me as a mate, learn that I have a legitimate cleaning/maintenance business. Owners who keep their boat here could live here locally or they could be elsewhere in MD or DE, VA or PA but anywhere else if they have the boat here for the season it will have a crew or they are just passing through.

I have started advertising in the local fishing paper which most read here. I also advertised a low price weekly boat wash as well as a good percentage off wax and bottom paint services to try to get interest. I used craigslist last year and got a couple calls but I haven't advertised there since November as my E-mail was constantly loaded with spam. And since I wasn't getting many calls I was wondering if people would look at my company negatively by advertising on craigslist. Though, if someone knew I was on it they would obviously be looking on it themselves. Perhaps I should reconsider because I really need to get the smaller trailerable boat owners too know about me as well.

Perhaps my best option in regards to my original question is to spend the time on facebook looking for anyone that has anything to do with boats to see my company's page and pay for the google pay per click service for February and March to get going. Perhaps that would give me an idea of whether it is worth it to continue as I would think those are the 2 month's when everybody starts scheduling boat work for when the weather breaks.

Any other ideas?
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