HometownLocal Analytics

New HometownLocal Resource Center & Support Portal [VIDEO]

By | Local Search, Online Advertising, Online Marketing

HometownLocal was founded in 2008 with a vision of providing expert lead generation, effective local marketing, and exceptional personalized care to our home service contractor clients. As our product offerings and customer base grow, we want to continue to provide customized support and resources tailored to your specific needs. We invite you to check out our new Resource Center and Support Portal.

In the Resource Center, you’ll find:

  • answers to frequently asked questions about optimizing your HometownLocal account
  • articles and videos for helping you succeed and grow as a local service provider

The new Support Portal will let you access our Client Care Department instantly. You’ll be able:

  • update your account information
  • request changes to your HometownLocal services or service area
  • submit revisions to the content of your HometownLocal advertisements
  • ask questions about a charge or invoice

To learn more, check out the short video below:

DirectFeed – Your Business Needs This Service!

By | Local Search, Online Advertising, Online Marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Did you know over 40% of business listing information is incorrect across the internet.

This bad information is costing you customers and hurting your online marketing efforts. The simple way to start correcting this bad data is to use DirectFeed. DirectFeed is an enhanced owner-verified business listing service.

DirectFeed submits your accurate business listing to the four major data providers: Factual, Acxiom, Infogroup, and Neustar (Localeze). Together, these data providers are referenced by over 300 online listing directories.DirectFeed - Listing Distribution

Optimize your listings for four factors that impact local search rank:

  1. maximize the number of online citations (very important trust factor for search engines)
  2. ensure listings appear on public, trusted sources  (like Yelp, Google, YP, etc.)
  3. improved accuracy and consistency of business listing information
  4. increase direct website traffic from directories (i.e. get more new customers from online directories)

To see how DirectFeed works, check out this video.

Google My Business – Adding Your Business to Google [VIDEO]

By | Local Search, Online Advertising, Online Marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Uncategorized

It is very important to establish a listing on Google My Business. Google My Business is a platform that puts your business information on search, maps, and Google+. It creates a cohesive environment and it makes it easier to manage how your business appears across those three platforms.

Now if you’ve previously used Google Places for Business, your account has automatically been upgraded to Google My Business, but you’ll want to review the information as new options are available to you.

Let’s walk through how to set up your page on Google My Business.

 

Customers May Not Like Your Business – Online Reviews

By | Food for thought, Local Search, Online Advertising, Online Marketing, Online Reviews

How do potential customers view your business online?

As a business owner or manager, you should be able to answer this question quickly and confidently…and hopefully the answer is “very positively”.  You need to be completely sure of your answer.  If not, you may need more space for that “white elephant” in the room aka “online reviews”.

Today’s customers do not behave like they did just a few years ago, for you to be successful you need to understand behavioral changes. Questions to consider:online reviews elephant image

  • How are MY customer’s behaviors changing in today’s digitally powered world?
  • What effect does new media like reviews and social have on my business?
  • Where do my customers look for my business or service?
  • How much research goes into their decision to purchase?
  • When I search for my business online, what shows up?
  • What does my online review profile look like?

These types of questions have a direct effect on every business operating today, whether you are a roofer, a demolition contractor, or a home service provider.

Google (& others) recognized these shifting behaviors and decided to uncover how buying behaviors have changed over the last few years.  So Google being Google, decided on a large-scale study to find the answers.  The study, called “The Zero Moment of Truth Macro Study (ZMOT)” was in partnership with Shopper Sciences.  The methodology consisted of: Read More

Review Generation – Are Bad Reviews Hurting Your Business?

By | Local Search, Online Advertising, Online Marketing, Online Reviews, Reputation Management
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently” – Warren Buffet

This famous quote was delivered many years ago. Businesses that didn’t heed the warning probably aren’t around to do things differently. In today’s fast-paced, high technology world, businesses not embracing Mr. Buffet’s sage advice won’t need to wait 20 years to establish a sound reputation. Businesses today can develop a 5-star reputation in as little as a year AND lose a stellar reputation in much less time. In fact, Mr. Buffet’s advice of ruining a reputation in five minutes may actually be an eternity in today’s online world.

Why some businesses dislike reviews

The main driver for what the community thinks about a business is reviews. Reviews are great if a business rightly deserves positive reviews. In a market based economy, the market (customer) has the final vote on the success or failure of a business. Fair or not, this is reality, and business owners need to understand this quickly. Businesses that monitor and react to online reviews will be in a far better position to succeed in the future.

Business owners cite many reasons for disliking reviews, here’s a sample: review generation

  •           Inaccurate information
  •           Unfair, little recourse to rectify
  •           Not real, competitor driven
  •           Anonymous or unverified

Reviews are here to stay, therefore, it is incumbent upon business owners to understand their roles in protecting their online reputation. Business owners aren’t powerless (even though it may feel that way), many tools exist to help shape or re-shape an online review business profile.

What is Review Generation?

Read More

Demolition & Roofing Contractor Phone Tips – Make A Great First Impression!

By | Food for thought, Home Services Tips

How you create business relationships with potential clients is the #1 key to a successful bid.  Learning the skills required to make that first point of contact – the initial phone call – is something that can improve your overall achievement to winning the job. A phone call may seem like a no-brainer, however many contractors are turned down, simply because they missed the mark on that initial phone call.

Contractor Phone Tips:

Answering the Phone – The Right First Impression…Roofing & Demolition Contractor Tips

Before you even pick up the phone be sure that you are in a place you can speak. Answering the phone at the grocery store with the kids, in Home Depot aisle 7 or at a loud job site does not make a great first impression. Be sure that you can hear and be heard, as well as be available to write down any information you may gather from the potential client.

It may seem obvious, but in the midst of other things going on, you may grab the phone and scarf out a quick, “Hey.” What that says to a potential client is that you do not take your business seriously, or perhaps they even dialed the wrong number. They will probably move on to the next name on the list. Read More

How Much Does Dumpster Rental Advertising Cost?

By | Dumpster Rental Advertising, Dumpster Rental Marketing, Local Search, Mobile Responsive, Online Advertising, Online Marketing, Online Reviews
As the waste management industry continues to consolidate across the country, smaller dumpster rental companies experience difficulty competing against the “waste management Goliaths” of the industry. These Goliath companies hire SEO experts, they spend enormous sums on paid search, and due to their sheer size, their operating costs tend to be lower (they own the landfills).

Six Building Blocks to Online Marketing SuccessHow does a local dumpster rental company compete? The simple answer, quite well actually! The search engines really don’t care if you are a big company or a mom and pop. This isn’t to say that competing is easy, it never is. You must still do the dumpster advertising basics well.

The following steps  identify the “basics” for dumpster rental advertising:

Mobile-friendly website – no way around this step. The search engines give priority to websites that are mobile-friendly versus non-mobile-friendly websites. Why do they do this? Searchers now more than ever use mobile devices to conduct searches. Search engines want to deliver a great experience, so they push up mobile-friendly websites in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page). Plus, you want to convey a professional look and feel to any potential customer. Read More

Hometown Internet Marketing Becomes HometownLocal, Delivering Local Search Marketing Solutions to Home Service Companies

By | Local Search, News, Online Advertising, Online Marketing

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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Hometown Internet Marketing Becomes HometownLocal, Delivering Local Search Marketing Solutions to Home Service Companies

HometownLocal online marketingJuly 30 – Grand Rapids, MI – Hometown Internet Marketing LLC has become HometownLocal, to better align with today’s changing needs for local digital marketing solutions. Local search is the fastest growing segment of online marketing and HometownLocal continues to develop innovative solutions to meet these needs.

HometownLocal has established itself as the gold standard in lead generation for select home service categories since 2008. Over the past year, HometownLocal has expanded from its lead generation roots to a full suite of online marketing services including website design, reputation management, social media, business listing service, paid search, and lead generation.

The home service categories that HometownLocal specializes in are waste & recycling, home exteriors, demolition, and excavating. A focused approach on specific home services has led to superior marketing results for HometownLocal clients that far exceed what non-specialist, local marketing companies can deliver.

Successful strategy for local search marketing requires a comprehensive approach summed up in HometownLocal’s “Six Building Blocks to Online Marketing Success™”. Read More

Top 5 Advertising Tips – Roofing Business

By | Google AdWords, Local Search, Roofing Advertising, Roofing Marketing

The hard part is over; you took the risk to start your own roofing business, now what? You need customers. Without a massive marketing budget, where should you begin? The top 5 advertising tips – roofing business is a good starting point. This is also a good list for a seasoned roofing business that might be looking for additional ideas.

For price comparisons, refer to the dollar signs after each tip, one $ = lower cost.advertising tips - roofing business

  1. Directory Listings (Free – $) – these are online directories like Yellowbook, SuperPages, com and Hometown Roofing, plus many others. You can “claim your free listing” or create a new one. Claiming or creating these listings can take hours and/or days, depending on the amount of time you are willing to invest. Search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing routinely display these listings, so they are important. Complete as many of these listings as possible. Tip – you can hire a business listing service to populate these listings at a reasonable cost and they maintain the listing. Read More

Phone Tips For Roofing & Demolition Contractors – Don’t Be a Turtle

By | Demolition Advertising, Demolition Marketing, Food for thought, Home Services Tips, Roofing Advertising, Roofing Marketing

Do you have a professional voice mail message for your roofing or demolition contractor business? If not, you may be losing a great chance to make a great first impression. roofing & demolition contractors - phone tips

Just like your phone answering techniques you’ll want to create a friendly, yet confident voicemail message. Here is a sample voice mail you can tailor to your business:

“Hello. Thank you for calling ABC Roofing. We are sorry that we are unable to answer your call at this moment, as we are helping another customer. Please leave your name, telephone number and a brief description and we will call you right back. Thank you and have a great day.” Read More