One of my small business clients – Ottawa Foot Balance – provides walk in service for orthotics ( duh . So it is a very local service dependant upon two critical factors
- Exposure to a broad clientele
- Health insurance eligibility
Obviously the second point is not something that can be controlled on a website as everyone’s health insurance coverage will be different. So the most important factor to improving the number of clients is exposure through various marketing channels.
Word of mouth is one – actually that is how I found out about this business as i needed orthotics. The other is on line. I built a simple but easily maintained website for OFB which helped but it was just the first step in the process. Business was still not improving as a result of the website so the next step was to start advertising.
This business is highly competitive and getting top Google listings is difficult so we decided to go with the Google adwords approach. Not having used this before, it was certainly a challenge to get it right. I must say though the Google folks were very helpful and I was able to fine tune my keywords.
We have had this up and running for several months now and we are getting 4 to 6 clickthroughs per day. So far only one or two have converted as we are careful to ask where the customer heard about Ottawa Foot Balance. We have also restricted the expenditures to $3.00 per day in order to control our expenditures and run about $60 per month.
what is also interesting is that Randy has been besieged by SEO marketers promising the world but with very little substance in being able to deliver the clients we need. The sales pitch is always something like “we will imporve your Google ranking to the top 3″ – but with Google adwords we are already on the top of the search page for our key words so it is very difficult to improve on that.
Another pitch is that ” we will improve your site visits by 200 – 300 visits”, needless to say that sounds great but will these visits be by local potential customers and how can we measure the actual conversion rate.
That being said I have decided to try a local marketing service by 1and1 which is my service provider and I have had excellent service through them. The reason I decided to try this service is that the business owner wants to increase his business and for the initial expense is willing to try this service out.
I was not able to get a really good answer to my question of how will I know that this really works but since I like tracking the website statistics ( Google Analytics) and we will record the number of calls and where the customers heard about the business to gauge the effectiveness of this service.
I will be following up on my encounters with SEO.