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A case study about Marketing

Today we’re going to talk about a recent experience I had with the owner of a home service company.

I recently needed some work done on my house and spoke with a few contractors about it, got some quotes, and offered to trade some consulting or marketing services as a trade to them.

One company owner told me, “We don’t need any marketing.” I laughed and didn’t hire them for other reasons, but then I decided to use his company as a case study for this podcast episode.

Because there are lots of business owners, say they don’t need any marketing.

So I thought this might serve as a good lesson for those who might feel the same as this guy did.

I did a mini audit on his website and online business presence to show you just how wrong this guy was.

To be clear, I’m not knocking the business here, and this particular company has been in business for a couple of decades, so they’re doing something right.

But he had an available schedule to fit my job in pretty quickly, so he’s not so overwhelmed with business that he couldn’t get me in for a couple of months, which was the case with some other contractors I called for this same job.

Here are the results of my quick, mini audit on the online presence of this company that’s been in business for over 20 years:

In Google Maps, they under 20 google reviews with an average rating under 4 stars.

Their Google Maps / Google My Business listing is incomplete – there’s no business description, no team photos, no posts being made, and they’re not using the products or services sections to showcase what they offer.

Now over to their website…

It does look good.

It is mobile-friendly.

But it was really slow to load, so I tested it on Google’s Page Speed insights tool and it got an 18 out of 100 on mobile.

It failed the First Contentful Paint (FCP) test, which took 3.3 seconds and failed the Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) test with a score of .37.

Then I ran a speed test on GT Metrix, which only scans for desktop loading speeds, and I did it twice because it can vary sometimes. Both scores came back with a grade of E, with A being best and E being the worst.

It gave an LCP score time of 4.2 seconds to load and a CLS of 77.

Those are very poor scores and will fail Google’s new Core Web Vitals algorithm updates.

Now on to the website itself….

It has very poor calls to action on the home page, only a “learn more” button which takes you to another page with lots of info and no calls to action until a “contact us” text link on the very bottom of the page, which takes you to their contact us page, which had click to call phone numbers and a contact form.

No Calls To Action (CTA) above the fold on any other pages. 

No contact forms on service pages, 

No click-to-call phones on any other web pages.

No blog, which means no content marketing.

No customer reviews page.

No first-party reviews are written directly on the website, which means they can’t get those review stars you sometimes see next to websites in search results.

They’re using a trust pilot for reviews, which is like a mini-Yelp were the reviews on Trustpilot’s website, and you can embed a slider of some of them on your site. 

These reviews are not on Google, where 90+ percent of all of their prospects search.

They’ve only seen if people go to Trustpilot’s website.

Marketing

Next, I ran them through ahrefs software to look at organic rankings and traffic. They don’t rank in the top 40 for the top dozen or so most important search terms for their business that have the highest traffic and best search intent.

Each of those search terms gets over 4,000 monthly searches for buyer-ready keywords, but they’re a ghost in position 40 or worse for each of them.

ahrefs also showed that their organic traffic hadn’t increased much in over 5 years.

Next, I ran their website through Screaming Frog and saw that they’re missing meta descriptions on 57 of their 83 web pages, have no headings on key service pages, and are missing Alt text on 156 images which are 47% of their images which can expose them to potential legal troubles for being non-compliant with ADA.

There’s no schema markup on their website – which explains who your business is, what it does, and what each web page is about to Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Yandex search engines and makes your site eligible for rich results better rankings as a result.

I ran them through Google’s Rich Results testing tool. They’re not eligible for rich results – which should have local business or organization with contact info, address, hours, biz description, area served, the products and services you offer, FAQs, the relationships between your business, website, and social channels, and so much more.

I could go on and on, but you get the idea and these are just the results of a quick mini-audit. Imagine what we would find with our regular deep dive audit and analysis.

So here’s a business owner who said he doesn’t need marketing and his online presence is in very poor shape.

He’s got poor reviews where it matters and good reviews were it doesn’t.

His site hasn’t received any significant traffic gains in years and is missing out on over 60,000-month searches for his type of products and services.

His site will never rank for these searches in shape it’s currently in.

So it says that this guy doesn’t understand what marketing is and why every business needs to be marketing all the time.

Is he keeping his business a secret and doesn’t want to tell anyone about it?

Why the hell would you go into business if you were not trying to attract customers to it?

Hubspot defines marketing as, 

“Marketing refers to any actions a company takes to attract an audience to the company’s product or services through high-quality messaging. Marketing aims to deliver standalone value for prospects and consumers through content, with the long-term goal of demonstrating product value, strengthening brand loyalty, and ultimately increasing sales.”

The American Marketing Association defines marketing as,

“Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”

I’ll add that marketing is about providing helpful information to your ideal prospects about the products and services you offer that solve their problems or desires.

In the new digital world, that also includes making your website and its content friendly to search engines to rank well for the important search topics to your prospects and your business.

It also includes managing your reputation so that prospects can see you’re a trustworthy company to do business with.

So please, never say, “We don’t need marketing.” Because if you do, what you’re saying is that you don’t understand the basics of running a business, and no one wants to put their trust in a company that’s bad at business.

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Founder & CEO of Battle Plan Marketing, LLC. We customize marketing strategies and solutions for home service companies. Mark has over 30 years experience in sales and marketing, 20 years as a business owner or partner, and over a decade in digital marketing and website design. We offer analysis, strategy, project implementation and management, and marketing coaching. Mark is also host of the new Battle Plan Marketing® Podcast.
Mark Ambrose
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