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How to Use SEO and Google Ads for Maximum Visibility

An Interview with Dexter Stevens

In this episode of Ecoffee with Experts, Matt Fraser interviewed Dexter Stevens, the Founder and Managing Director of Social Media Time. Matt and Dexter discussed several effective strategies for using SEO and Google Ads to increase the visibility of your website. Watch the episode now!

Make sure if you’re on this journey, you need to have goals and you need to be disciplined. Obviously, you’d face a lot of hurdles but if you stay focused you’ll make it.

Dexter Stevens
Founder and Managing Director of Social Media Time
Well, everyone, welcome to this episode of E Coffee with Experts. I'm your host, Matt Fraser. And on today's show, we're going to be talking about how to use SEO and Google ads for maximum visibility with Dexter Stevens. Dexter is the founder and managing director of Social Media Time, a full-service digital marketing and Web development agency headquartered in London, England. He has a bachelor's and master's in law degree from BPP University, located in London, England. He quickly discovered a love for marketing after helping his father with his plumbing and heating company, which inspired him to start his own digital marketing agency. When not wearing his marketing hat, Dexter enjoys traveling, watching football, personal development and hanging out with his friends and family. Dexter, thank you so much. Welcome to the show.

That’s very much for having me.

My pleasure. So, you've had an interesting journey so far. How would you describe the kind of person you were in high school?

In high school, I’d say I was a bit of a nuisance. Didn’t take school that seriously. I went to a private school. So, it’s quite lucky and fortunate to be able and it wasn’t till later in my academic year that I started to take it a bit more seriously. And yeah, I was again lucky enough to do my A-levels and then go on to university while I studied law. But I’d say in high school I was a bit of a jokie character. I was always looking at ways to sort of make money as well.

Oh yeah.

Yeah. Because even though obviously, from the background we come from, I was always having to go out to work to get my money for sure.

Oh, okay.

Always the little side hustles going on.

So, instead of getting an allowance like a lot of kids do, your dad made you learn to value dollars and go and find ways to make money. That's the best thing to do. Were you also always into an entrepreneurial spirit, sort of ingrained in you even in grade school?

Yeah, potentially. I think so, too. Yeah. As just mentioned, it was my father and my mum, so they wouldn’t just give me money to make me work for it. I think that was a sort of determination and it’s required to start my business because it was pretty risky the way I did start my business. It was just like quitting my job last minute and yeah, I think I have that mindset from what I developed at school.

Tell me about that. Like you have a degree in law and a master's degree. You're not the first lawyer, by the way. I think you're the third or fourth lawyer I've talked to. I've talked to an economist. I've talked to a political science major. I've talked to several lawyers. You're probably the fourth lawyer I've talked to who does not practice law but has a digital marketing agency. So, tell me about that, how did that process?

For sure. So yeah, again, going back to what I started to do, I was sort of pushed into doing a law degree because of my parents. They love the fact that one of their children at university got a law degree.

Yeah. Yeah.

So I sort of went with that. I didn’t really enjoy it. I don’t think it really set my personality. I just went with it, did it, and got the results. And then obviously after I got the results, the next stage would be to get a training contract, which I didn’t go ahead with. I then joined up with the talent agency. So, they basically look after those celebrities and stuff and then on the back in the background again, I didn’t really see myself being in that. So, I started to then help my father’s business generate more business online and then over the course, we sort of how to the course of now is pretty much going from one man band to five vans on the road. And then the strategies that we were using were SEO and Google ads to generate leads for him in his local area.

Oh, wow.

Then I thought, this is what I need to be doing. That’s when I decided to quit my job and start the agency.

Oh, wow. Did you take the huge leap of faith? Like no money in the bank, no support network or it was like, I got one client for my dad and I'm going to get more.

Yeah, they obviously had a little bit of a floater, but I had my father’s back. Then again, I got quite lucky of the background because well, I think one of my first clients that we signed was a retainer of £1,500 a month, which is for an SEO package. And I was like, wow, this is going to be easy. But then soon after that, it wasn’t as easy as I expected it to be because not everyone’s monthly, especially for a local service, but yeah. So, the client that we did sign wasn’t the usual client that would work with. It was more of a big client.

Across the UK.

Yeah. They had business in the US and also the UK.

Well, what was the way that you got them as a client? Just out of curiosity.

Just out of networking really. So, obviously, they were on a network and when I first started to reach out to people that you know, family, friends or anyone. Just reached out to them. They got me in there and I think they trusted the process because they knew me.

What are some of the other challenges you've had to overcome while running an agency?

I think it’s like what you see when you first start out. You’re doing everything I see you doing the fulfillment, you’re doing the sales and I think what I found with that is, each of those types of jobs is a job in itself. And so you start to, you know, be able to hire people and put people in those roles and build out processes. Then you need to overcome those hurdles. And obviously, when you first start out, everyone’s going to be a client and you do get a lot of rejection. The thing obviously as well as where people sort of quit and I think if you just keep going and going and believing in yourself and again, I think it all starts with a mindset. Mindset for me has been quite important in developing the agents and growing over the four years at what we haven’t.

What part is personal development as your bio mentioned, how important is personal development to you?

Yeah, very important. I was quite lucky from a young age. My mom’s very much on the mindset journey as well. So, I got to see people like Tony Robbins. From that I’ve sort of used personal development, reading books, and learning stuff on how to start your day. I think sleep is very important, how to optimize your sleep cycle and so I’m trying to then optimize my sleep, which obviously then optimizes your performance.

Absolutely

All that contributes to your overall well-being. How you want to be, not just the business goals but even as personal development goals and all those types of things that, that attribute to them. And I think if you optimize all those and you’re consistent and you’re disciplined in doing that, then you’re going to be able to get to where you’re going in your journey effectively.

Yeah. So, what is it? What are some of the tools and processes you use to create goals and achieve them?

There are a couple of people that I look up to as mentors. So obviously got Josh Nelson, who’s a massive agency owner, he is very detailed on goal setting. Brian Tracy.

Oh yeah. I listen to lots of his books. He's from where I'm from by the way and you know that he's from the city that I'm from. He was originally from here, went to the provincial university and Michael J. Fox is from here. And so, yeah, it's kind of neat. When I found out Brian was from here, I don't even know if he comes back here much, but he lives in the States and I’m pretty sure he's a U.S. citizen by now, but his materials are topnotch.

Brian Tracy is the person I look up to in terms of goal setting and writing out what your goals are, having an end goal as well. Like when you’re going to hear that call, putting yourself on a date.

On the deadline.

And then, of course, you need to identify how you are going to get to those goals. Like, you know, what you need to do on a daily basis for example, if you’re trying to grow your business, how often are you going to be doing prospecting? How do you need to hire, and who do you need to hire to do that? If we identify that in the journey, in some ways it gets easier but otherwise it’s going to be tough.

You mentioned building out positions, roles and hiring. How have you handled that part of growing your agency?

Yeah, fairly new to that at the moment. And we’ve got two hires here, in the UK at the moment. So, I read a book called Traction.

Right on. You're on the money, buddy. So, you know, you're on the right path.

Reading books like that, the process and finding areas where you can be replaced because effectively, I’m doing the moment that probably I shouldn’t be doing. As resources now probably are able to hire in these spaces and get me out where I can. What it was as the business owner, effectively.

As CEO and visionary. There's another book called The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber. If you want to check that one out, phenomenal book. I might repeat some of the same things Traction says, but it's a great book. It was written over 20 years ago, but he's updated it and revised the edition, and so on and so forth, and we just put that out there in case you're looking for other resources. So, you've been able to use Traction methodology and philosophy. It's the same philosophy, our actual entrepreneur operating system that our agency, our business subscribes do. I haven't read the book yet, but I understand the principles behind it and developing those, you know, developing the SOPs and the areas and the things there is a responsibility of that particular role is responsible for and then creating training materials in order to train people on that role. So, you're not consistently having to do it. But yeah, you can plug people into your business who are suited for that role and let them go with the guidance that you've prepared for them and sometimes you don't even need that guidance because they're already qualified to do the job anyway. But anyway, that's pretty cool. What kind of impact has that had on your agency then or is having?

Yeah, it’s having a massive impact. So, before I was pretty much doing the whole fulfillment, the whole SAAS process. But over this year we’ve managed to hire 20 people now. We did obviously work with subcontractors. But I think it’s important for an agency to have it all which is UK based. Have given people here the opportunity to work. Which is very important to help those who I guess were in my position, coming out of university, looking for jobs in the marketing world. You know, it’s not going to be going anywhere. It’s always going to be here, isn’t it? I think it’s a very good skill set to develop.

For sure, you know the demand for digital marketing is at an all-time high. It's so in demand that there is a labor shortage. Recently in North America, I am not sure about the UK but there's a labor shortage of qualified, skilled, qualified people to implement and execute digital marketing on all levels, whether it's Google ads or SEO. I sometimes get emails from people saying they're hiring. And as you know, I do a lot of these interviews on a monthly basis and that's number one thing I hear from the owners is finding talent. It's very hard right now. And how it's going to get solved, it's always various ways. So, what do you like about digital marketing the best? What attracted you to it? When you're helping your dad's plumbing business? Is it a track business, like plumbing and heating?

Yeah, plumbing and heating. So, the general plumbing and then you got heating as in the UK, it’s very cold. I think it’s just sort of a day for me to get out, get them results, see them happy.

Yeah.

You know, when you get any website that you are working on, on the first page you Google and it starts getting leads, it’s fulfilling for us. When you get customers leave reviews, I find it very satisfying because you’re pretty much changing their lives.

You are, no doubt about it.

I get pretty much because of that because obviously, you’re changing someone’s life for the good. Anyone, if you like testing stuff out from an SEO perspective and then as soon as it goes to the first page it’s like, wow. You take the client and then they’re like buzzing from that because I think the SEO wise there’s a lot of people that say they’re going to get great results, but then it just never happened.

No doubt about it. I know one company that got ripped off $100,000 with nothing. Hundred thousand dollars down the toilet because a snake oil salesperson sold them delegates and I just shook my head. So, there's no doubt about it. In our industry, it's unfortunate that someone could slap up a website and buy a logo from Graphic River and then start telling and start connecting with people and portraying themselves as something they're really not for the sake of money and then not get any results from business owners. You can’t do that now so many times, but it happens. So, how did you overcome that? Like, for instance, the value of case studies. How do you overcome those, maybe some of those objections that as a newer agency owner, people might say, well, what have you done? Besides working for your dad's company, did you work for lower, below-market costs in order to build a portfolio?

Yeah. When I started, I was sort of getting anything from a retainer point of view. But then I realized, I’m actually working quite long hours and I’m probably getting paid a pound an hour. That’s the reality of it. I was losing money. But I sought to get five on board and you getting that on the first page or you get an up section or when you’re doing the ads, you’re getting them good results. Then you’ve then got five case studies to show whoever you walk into. How I used to work is that obviously, I did well for my father’s business so I could just reach out to, you know, other plumbing in each and businesses in other cities where it’s not there’s no competition.

Yeah.

I think once you get I want to call and show them the results, it builds up the trust with the client. At an advantage, not because, you know, everyone’s used to zoom calls and everyone’s used to like on a call like this or sharing your screen.

The pandemic changed everything.

And I think where people go wrong, they’ll send a PDF document over with all these results on it.

Yeah, exactly.

So, what I do is I show the results like, this is the ads account, these are the conversions we’re getting, this is something that I’ve just put together.

This isn't photoshopped. So, if I see some guys who rent a Lamborghini for a day and say they're millionaires, they're marketing gurus, and they take their pictures and then return. So, I'm glad you're doing well. So, your dad's business plan was not to grow into a national UK company because otherwise, he would want it to take over the business in some of those other cities. So, it was still okay for you to be able to contact other plumbers and heating companies in various cities that were non-competing with him, is that correct?

Yeah, that’s correct.

Yeah.

And I think there’s a scope for him to franchise into those days. They’ve got a really good brand name and brand color.

That's so smart. I think agency owners should franchise as well. If I ever wanted to fire up an agency again, I would get mine going and then I would start to franchise. So, I'd develop all the things you're talking about, the SOP, roles, responsibilities, your agency operating manual and enfranchise the heck out of it. That's what I would do. But anyway, how did you overcome the challenge of people, so, you've got these people's work for less than market value? Did you let go of those clients or did you take on newer clients and charge them more money and then eventually let go of the less expensive clients? The fewer revenue-generating clients, I guess.

Yes, they said not really because obviously when we first started out with these clients, we would’ve been certified PPC or SEO. But I think once we start to generate leads for that, we then start to sort of make money back through offering them website design. So, we’ve started to buy more in general and do more marketing for them. So, I just do blogs on the site saying, they kept those clients who were with us for four years.

Interesting.

Got an ongoing basis as. What’s been fascinating is that out of the 40 clients that we have seen, 25 of them have been with us for over 2-3 years now.

Yeah.

We’ve obviously lost clients in the way it’s always going to happen. But yeah, a lot of them are still with us, when I first started the agency, they’re still with us. We’re still doing a lot with them, which is pretty inspiring.

That's awesome. Forty clients, that's nothing to turn your nose up at. Like, how did you handle the growth? Like, was it a slow and steady growth or are there times where you point out how because you also had ten clients who wanted fulfillment?

Yeah. So, was trying to manage that by taking on 4 to 5 clients a month. And so, it’s manageable. But I think like what we’re doing at the moment is we’re going to a niche. Social media time is going to be growth for trade. So that’s just going to be the home improvement sector. So, I think it’s easier to scale that way.

Sure absolutely.

Cutting out that research stage for that because obviously if you’re taking on generic clients you know, you’re always having to do that testing stages with the ads in it. So, what I’ve done to control that is only taking 4-5 clients pretty much a month. And then hire when I need to hire. I don’t get subcontractors into work when I don’t need it.

You've mentioned several times you use SEO and Google ads to help your clients, especially your father's plumbing business. Can you tell me about that? For instance, what kind of SEO, if you are allowed to or if you want to pick a more general generic business or case study or whatever the case you may be because I don't want you to expose your trade secrets of SEO, but just in general, how did you help him to increase his traffic using SEO?

Yeah, sure. So obviously, to any SEO company, it’s important to do keyword analysis. The keyword you are looking to run for and the websites are very important.

Oh yeah.

There’s no point in getting good SEO for a website, that’s not going to convert the traffic. So yeah, what we do now is we all only want clients where we’re taking full control of the website.

Okay.

We designed it for usability, and we make sure it’s going to provide the service, we’re adding all the customer reviews, and building trust for the website. If we think about SEO, we know people who land on that website. If they’ve come from Google, they don’t care how many times you’ve mentioned Plumbers London on that website.

No.

So. SEO is a formula, it’s about getting the travel to the site, and then I think the marketing behind the website is also very important because you really want to be converting that traffic into as many leads as possible for the client. That’s what we look to focus on and obviously, if you’re generating clients for the business, then they can stay with you and everyone for sure. And going back to the SEO side, I think I wouldn’t say SEO is dead, but I think you just having SEO alone now is probably not going to be enough. I think you need to be doing Google ads as well and having that on the search engine. Before people used to think the ads were quite spammy or, you know, don’t click on that and now that we’re 20 years into Google ads. People are more familiar with them, and they trust them. If you have got a listing in the ad section, and the map section and also, they all kind of rank from the first page, you’re going to get an abundance of leads. And sometimes we’re generating anywhere between, sometimes 40 to 100.

Every month?

Yeah. So, we have a company in London that generates anywhere between 60 to 100, and that’s just from organic.

Oh wow. I can only imagine how many more leads they will be getting if they're doing paid as well. Do you think that businesses should supplement and look for revenue opportunities because there is a thing of a lost opportunity by not doing Google ads here? If there are other people doing it, you're allowing them to possibly edge you out and get that lead rather than you getting it. Do you think businesses should supplement SEO and not just take a one-channel strategy to grow their business, but also as they're making more money, start to segment their marketing budget and expand it to include other channels such as Google ads?

Yeah, 100%. So, I think whether as a business, if you’re starting, maybe Google ads is a good starting point because you can get leads straight away, right?

Yeah, right.

And obviously, the SEO sometimes takes a little bit longer, too.

Yes.

So having said that, local businesses will find that, if you say, oh, we’re going to get your leads in six months, that’s probably a bit too long.

That's too long.

So if you can do the Ads, whether they’re getting a return on investment that generates revenue, and then you can start to invest it into SEO, if you’ve got both, then like I said, you’re going to get that digital dominance.

Golden ticket.

It’s a golden ticket, for sure.

Yeah. What about local service ads? Do they have Google local service ads in the UK?

Yes.

Okay.

It’s just another form of sort of exposure, having that.

A different way of a business owner paying you. Only paying for the lead.

It makes sense because it looks good on mobile. A lot of people use mobile devices. And I think obviously for that industry as well, you know, if you’re in the local business, then it makes sense to do the local service ads, right?

Yeah, absolutely.

You’re going to get leads from.

What part has local SEO played, like map ranking?

And yeah, not ranking. I think it’s probably one of the most important parts of the search, and it comes above the local search engine. Well, I think obviously the advantage if you’re collecting reviews, actually, in a click-through rate, it sounds appealing. to the audience like. Yeah. For example, if you typed in a keyword now and you looked at the map section, and there’s a company in that with over 100 reviews and the others have, you know, ten or nine reviews, you’re choosing that company with a hundred reviews. Again, that’s what we do with our clients. Like we educate them on that process, and We try to let them know or give them techniques or ways on how they can increase their reviews. Because the more reviews you get, the more likely you will get conversions on the site. And then we can put those conversions on the site itself because sometimes they’re not going to see my business. So, they’ll be on your website, which helps with the increase in them and get a return on their investment for sure.

What has been your strategy to help businesses with no reviews start to get them consistently?

So, I guess the initial stage is doing the family and friends technique, which is a quick gain. I think obviously like that, you know, when you’re going to customer’s houses, you know, having the QR codes on the business card, offering some form of incentives like a voucher or a Starbucks voucher. In other incentives like maybe a percentage of their next service with them. But I think it’s also important to have some because while in your emails, something on the website they can link to them as obviously if what you don’t want you don’t get so if you’re not asking customers for these they are not going to review. If you’ve satisfied them and done a really good job, why not ask for a review? And I think they would know, they would be more than happy if you’ve given great service. What the businesses can also do is they could give incentives to the engineers. So, if they do get reviews, they get rewarded. So then, yeah, they’re going to actually get you to know, they’re going to provide a better job for the business, and it’s a win-win situation for everyone.

Salespeople in car dealerships get it based on reviews. Sorry Google I know you don't like that, but you know because I work for the industry and I know it's going on, it's you got to do something to entice people, to give you reviewers, no doubt about it. Are there particular software or tools, or platforms you recommend?

In terms of getting. Reviews?

Yeah.

In terms of software with Google my business, I think people get kept off of it. You need a Gmail account, right? So yeah, but then there are others, especially in the home improvements, as you’ve got the Trustpilot, Yahoo.com, and even Facebook.

But I guess I was just wondering, for instance, sites like Podium. They allow business owners to more easily collect reviews. I'm not sure if you've gone down that route yet.

No, I’ve not.

No, that's cool. And the impact of reviews is huge and in regards to whether a customer chooses to do business with a service contractor is absolutely very important. So, what are your thoughts on link building and how have you seen link building change over the years? What are your thoughts on natural link building versus active link building? What I mean by that is, you know, some people believe in just getting natural links and to heck with doing link outreach, and there are other people who do active link building and guest posting and so on. In that regard, I just wonder what your thoughts are on that.

I guess how it comes down to how quickly you want results, obviously, due to link building, is going to take a little bit longer for you to get together is effectively going to be waiting for people to find you, your content and then you know, get links back. I think if you’ve got a good PR though in terms of how big your social media is, how big are your audiences on that? Then you could potentially get some good natural links back.

Indeed.

For example, if you’ve got a blogger, you can pump out a 1 million email list or followers. Then that link-building is going to work.

I was just saying. I mean, if I saw a plumber with a million followers, that would be amazing. And I'm not trying to throw you under the bus or anything. I'm just saying they maybe get close to a thousand likes or followers, which would be significant. What have you seen, in your experience, like the average engagement following and email lists for service contractors?

I’d say around the thousand.

Okay.

I mean, businesses in London may be exempt, but they’ve come to a step where we have not. Email, but he’s the guy who has been on TV. So, he’s got that exposure.

Yeah.

Well, if we focus on the local natural link building, it will take a little bit longer because of that. Who is going to be linking back to those local service businesses? Not just because it’s not stuff that people are searching for, but it’s not like searching for a blog to link up to some good content, and I think that’s not their job is. Their job is obviously to provide value, and it does help if you provide value with your blog content. But there’s only a certain amount of stuff that you could be doing people are going to be searching for. I think this is what was a trusted history recently where there are 124 million pages added on the indexed-on Google every 24 hours, and then 90% of those websites don’t even see traffic.

Yeah, it's crazy. So, what do you think for service-based businesses like the value of links is probably citations? They like getting on local directories and specific to build their authority.

Yeah, the local citations are a very good source. They get traffic from those people, they’re looking for those, and they get a lot of marketing agencies just looking for companies that can outreach to them. That’s, again how you know, Google my business rankings. If your name, number and phone number are consistent for other directories, then it’s getting good signals to Google. And I think what you could do and obviously what we do is that we all sort of interlink with all the sites we work with. So, say we’re working with a locksmith, and we’ve got a home security expert that we work with as well. We can share blog content then. I think that’s how it works.

Do you guest-post on each other's websites?

Yeah, that’s what we do. And often helps because it looks natural, and you’re probably not going to get penalized for any activity. It’s adding value to the marketplace.

Absolutely. What is one of the main trends you're observing in Google ads?

There are the local service-based ads and the dynamic ads, I think it’s all about testing. What I found is that, you know what would work for some companies won’t work for others and it’s all about testing and being able to identify what works and what doesn’t. I think you have more control over the search term match rather than the dynamic ads. As we’ve seen, some campaigns go well with those dynamic ads, and some ads not performing. From an art perspective, you just need to have a very good structure and make sure you optimize. The negative key was massive.

Massive must, aren't they? Negative keywords not having the right needed keywords can cost a lot of money and can make or break a campaign in a budget.

Yeah. Especially if this is a broad match at the start.

Yeah.

Once we set up a campaign, we’ll make sure there’s a list of negative keywords we initially set up. Again, because we work with local service-based businesses, I don’t like to bid for competitor’s keywords.

So, it's a waste of money, isn't it?

Yeah. How I get around it is that I use something like D7 lead finder, and I will put in plumbers, London. And then, with that, it brings up all the websites ranking for that keyword. Then I just go through and add all the branded keywords to the campaign. So, the campaign’s not going to come up for those because from a local level. If you’re looking for a plumber or a specific plumber, you’re not going to use a different plumber then because you’ve already found them for a reason.

Yeah.

It’s just going to be a waste of cost. So, what we try to do is avoid as much waste of cost as possible, which starts from the negative keyword list for sure.

Are there any tools you use for Google ads for managing, or just do it all manually?

Using AdEspresso

Oh yeah.

Which is okay. It’s good for optimizing. Done through analytics.

I found Aptoide to be good. Some people may look down on me for that, but I found it to be a great tool to help manage ads, especially at scale when I was doing it at the time. See, I just don't hang out there, in case. I know there's AdEspresso, so as well. But other such tools, I can't remember the name. There's one main one off the top of my head that I'm not even thinking about, but it'll come to me eventually. But yeah, I know it's important. As you were saying, Google negative keywords and manage the campaign properly. No software out there will allow you to Autopilot the whole thing. You have to know what you're doing. Adding negative keywords is so critical. You know, having the right keywords. What other things would you say for a campaign set up like, you know, making sure your keyword groupings?

Yeah, the structure, the keywords at groups.

Groups are so important.

That I think quality scores are very important. Again, you know there is click-through rate and ad relevance, and again, you have to see if you’ve got hold of the website, and you’ve to be able to make the relevant changes to improve the quality scores. Then again, it puts you at an advantage. Before, when we used to work, I’d say, when we would work with a client, we’re doing their ads, we don’t hold the domain or the websites. So, it’s like quickly to start changing stuff. But then we see the website guy, which would then build into the client. This is like we don’t want to pay that.

Ridiculous. Gosh, what a headache. So, you saw that by saying to clients that you won't work with them unless you can control them or unless you have access to everything. What makes up a great ad, then? What do you think are the components of a good ad?

So obviously, the ad copy is very important

Is its specific offers like are you offering coupons or what's the part of the ad that you know, for instance, what is Perry Marshal in his book, the definitive guide to Google Ads or whatever you want to call it, he's on his 68th edition now. And I'm just joking. In the fourth edition. But, you know, he talks about the most important part of Google that has nothing to do with Google ads. And it's their unique selling proposition and the word free, and marketing is still one of the most powerful words to this day, whether it's a free inspection, a free estimate, a free quote, a free trial, free anything, you know. So, that's what I guess I'm trying to get at. Mentioning all this to be more specific with my question in regards to asking about the ad and the copy in the ad. If you're using the attention, interest, desire, action formula or the problem-solving agitate or problem-agitate solutions formula. In regards to writing the ads that you're seeing, get results. If you can tell us about that, I mean I don't want you to reveal your trade secrets but maybe in general terms.

Yeah, the offer is very broad. But I think we found that it comes with compliances, especially with the free quote aspect, especially the way naming contracts is because what people are then busy is that they’re going to come to your house and do it for free. But, if you’ve got like, you know, breakdown, you’re not going to go to diagnose it for free because you’re not going to get a free quote. But then people think that they’re going to be given three. So obviously, there are, but then you get complications with variety and apply that.

so, stay away from ads like that.

Yeah. So, it’s not a free quote because it is for boiler installation where you can go out, and you can have tools on the landing page that facilitate the free quote. So, they type in some questions and then it spits out an estimation of that.

So yeah, it's a rough estimate.

Yeah, obviously the problem aspect of the copies, people are looking for a solution if you identify that problem on the ad copy and then click through on it. So yeah, there’s all those aspects that we looked into that for sure. But again, it’s all about going back to test different types of copies.

Yeah.

Because obviously, you know, if something’s working really well.

Okay, I'm going to ask you a couple of questions. What is a minimum ad budget you found in order to be successful with local service companies?

I’d say starting, probably about £500.

Okay.

This is off the back of that. You’re probably going to get anywhere to 150 clicks on it potentially, which is quite good and especially if you’re just bidding for the phrase match keywords or the intent is that. If you’ve got a very good landing page, you can sometimes get 20 to 25 leads from that potentially.

I guess with that amount of money, it'd be hard to like, for instance, you know, if someone's running a budget of $80,000 a month, it's easier to segment ten grand of that for split testing purposes alone and leaving the other campaigns as they are. But do you find there's a certain amount of budget that is allotted for testing because testing costs money.

Yeah. So obviously, again, it goes down to who you sort of work with. If they’ve got a bigger budget, then there are opportunities to do more testing.

Obviously.

You know, someone who’s just starting out maybe two buttons on the road rather than five, then they can focus their budget more, on generating as much business as they can, whereas if you’ll work and also it depends on what types of services you have. It’s like, having obviously a higher cost per click and then how would we treat an ad campaign? We don’t have an idea of how much ad budget they have. Then we do keyword research to sort of identify what sort of budget they need for the cost-per-click aspect of that, it’s just all estimated. Then we run with that and if we’ve got a budget we can test and we will test it, but if we haven’t got a budget we are going to test, and we’ll make sure that we get a client or an investment return on the investment plans. Then we sort of have more room to play with going forward.

I ask you two questions, number one, what are some of the aspects of a good landing page for PPC?

With a search and on PPC, you need to make your landing pages relevant to the keywords you’re trying to bid for. And also having all the right calls to action in the right place. The copies are also very important to say. Going back to what solutions you provide to the problem. Case studies or real reviews from real people, video reviews, that sort of thing. Call to action, page speed’s all that’s attributes it, making sure it’s as easy as possible for the user to contact you. Obviously, if you’re optimizing your website from your phone, make sure that your call to action is to the phone and have the opportunity to do whatsapp. Also having the chat on the websites sort of increased converged chat.

Right on, Chat bots or whatever.

And I think looking at the millennials now, they don’t really want to speak to people.

They don't, it’s like I don't want to speak to anyone, I'm not even a millennial. So, that being said, do you segment the PPC landing page from an SEO? Like do you use different pages for different channels? So, for instance, when you're doing that Google Ads campaign, do you have a separate landing page for that Google ads campaign, for that keyword on top of our pages optimized for search results?

Yeah, potentially, even if we would create a specific landing page for the campaign or if the website support, because effectively the way we would create a website anyways that is it’s supported for PPC and SEO.

Yeah. That's what I want to ask you. Well, believe it or not, not everybody does that just so you know, some people drive traffic to SEO, and some people drive traffic to a page that's optimized for SEO to rank rather than having a dedicated landing page for SEO. And some people would even go so far. I mean, I'm not sure if you do this or not, but I was doing it. I segmented my views and Google Analytics so that I had a target market view. I had a test viewer, but I had a view just for Google ads. And that view is connected to the Google Ads account, just so I could create goals specific for the campaign to be able to optimize for that particular channel of what I was doing. But I also know that not everybody does that, as I went on and I just learned these things from taking courses and reading books. So yeah, it's a smart thing to do to segment your landing pages from your SEO pages so that you can really play along with and do split testing. Because if you've got a page where organic traffic is coming to you, how are you going to segment that traffic when you're running PPC to that page and be able to understand what the hell is going on if you're doing event tracking and split testing? It's incredibly confusing in my estimation. So, what about split testing? Like, for instance, you're split-testing ads and you're not lining up the keywords and proper things. But then, you know, we're using Google Optimize for split testing on landing pages or something else.

Yeah. So obviously we use stuff like Duda, for the landing page. Have you heard of Duda before?

I don't think I have. I mean, there are so many things happening all the time. How do you spell it?

DUDA

Okay.

Maybe it’s not the way I pronounce it.

No, you pronounce it right.

This Duda is really good for website building.

Oh, yeah.

Pretty much build landing pages from that. And of course, it’s easy to just do a quick split test. You can change around by the copy.

Yeah. Are you using it for the entire website or just for the landing pages?

So we do both.

Okay. All right. So many people use WordPress, but, you know, there are other platforms coming out that people are pulling their hair out with because of WordPress such as Duda and there's another one somebody mentioned the other day but yeah, you know, there are solutions like in the market that are providing a need for people who are frustrated with WordPress and the complexities in it offers a lot of freedom to do things. But in that freedom, you get to know what you're doing and have things properly set up and that costs money. Whereas with some of these platforms, they can lower the cost of those things by having done for you solutions already made or whatever, all in one solution and so on and so forth. So, DUDA, That's awesome. And what do you like about it? What's the best thing you like about it?

I just think it’s very easy to use. Yeah, obviously it’s got that template that we can use as well. It’s got the dynamic feature so you can pretty much go in and type in order in a spreadsheet, a separate Excel sheet and go in the title tags and create all these location pages that we like to do for the SEO.

Oh yeah.

Yeah. And then it’s all done. It saves us a lot of time and I think that makes our services a little bit more affordable.

Cool.

Again, this puts us at an advantage.

Yeah, for sure.

I mean obviously, as we’re looking to scale, we can get people trained on Duda, whereas WordPress needs to be trained on the element.

People use it as an elementary deb for building a bakery, and I could go on and on. I know all that because I've used WordPress for 17 years, so yeah, I've seen it all. Yeah, that's awesome. In regards to that, got some pretty cool tours built in. You know, too many people give up on AdWords or Google ads campaigns, as they call it now, when they don't see results in the first few weeks. What's your opinion on how long it should take for a campaign to start giving a positive ROI?

And I mean, yeah, I guess it depends on what budget you pay.

Yeah.

It depends on what’s your markup on your products. All that’s factored into it. But generally, if you can get an ad to the top of the page for good landing pages and you can start to generate business within a few hours.

For a couple of hours.

Realistically, sometimes you can set up an ad in 3 hours, and you’re at the top of Google depending on the industries and how you’ve set up, I think. And again, that goes back to if you’re working with the same industries and you use focus, you can identify what works and what doesn’t. Sort of use similar copy or similar ads in different areas for different businesses and have pretty much the same landing page. But just changing the brand name because if it’s going to work for that then it’s pretty much going to work for it.

What are your thoughts on using artificial intelligence content creation tools to generate ads for Google?

Jasper

Yeah, there's Jasper, there's a copy. AI. I could go down the list. There are tons of them.

There’s a new Google algorithm update. That’s going to be.

Yeah, well, it's called the human update, I guess. I can't remember what it's exactly called. I mean, I know that's for SEO, but do you think it's going to affect Google ads? Are you using AI tools to generate ad copywriting or manually?

No. not for Ads copy. I do that manually. If you can’t write 30- 90 words for a headline then you’re pretty lazy here.

Yeah. I know some agencies that use it to scale. I can't remember what the update is, I guess it's called a Helpful content update.

But no one knows what’s going to happen. All of those just big blogs are just going to vanish themselves. So, I think what people do, they all they’re using Jasper, and they’re using Surfer SEO. The 100 out of 100 scores. The content for it doesn’t even make sense.

But. And then they're probably on there. It's interesting. That's for sure, to see what's going to happen in that regard. How do you protect your clients against click fraud?

I just think, I mean, the businesses we’re working with, I don’t find a lot of it happening. Probably not going to be a lot of click frauds going on. I think if you’re working with the larger company, I mean as…

Yeah, when you start playing with a large budget, you know you want to protect those clicks and click fraud definitely does happen. I think when I was working at the dealership and you know, staff of AD employees, we're all googling the name of the dealership and clicking on the damn ad. I literally trained not to do that and then I had to go and block out people's IP addresses from being able to see the ads point me off because they're affecting my performance.

You just exclude where their office is.

So yeah, I haven't been actively doing this from 2022 to 2019, so I haven't even touched a Google ad since then. Yeah, because when the pandemic happened, I went back to the sales floor and hadn't been doing any active marketing, but I don't even know if that feature was available then or if it was then an egg on my face. But I was also doing that because I wanted to exclude the traffic in Google Analytics from the website visits so I could have more accurate data. I mean, that's a lot of employees clicking on the website every day, especially when you're selling cars and they're looking at the website all the time. I get through my time on site, metrics off and my number of visitors off and sessions off and everything. So, I was like, Heck with that. Everybody's IP address is going in here. So anyway, are there any special tips you want to give our audience that they could use and gain and gain benefit from? And I know you're in the UK, but I'm not sure if you've heard of the Plead the Fifth here in the US. You know what I was talking about. But you can exclude yourself from answering the question if you want to.

From an agency level or personal level?

Anything, or maybe there's a question that I should have asked you that I didn't ask that you would want our audience to know.

I think. Yeah. I mean, the only tip I can give is to make sure that if you’re on this journey, then you need to make your goals, you need to stay disciplined and stay focused, I think the number of hurdles we’re faced with. I mean, you only have to look at the news, and there’s just stuff going on and if you can sort of come away from that and just focus on yourself. Then you’re going to be able to get to where you want to go. I think it starts with a mindset, even if you used to go to the gym because you get out there for your mind. There are so many times when your subconscious mind is telling you, you don’t want to begin, and it’s the same when you do business. How you’d work on your body from a gym perspective, you need to work on your mind, and if you have achieved it, will you be able to do whatever you want to do in life.

Absolutely. I'm not sure if you've heard of him or not, but he's this guy who is the father of Internet marketing. His name's Mark Joiner, and he has three courses in which he talks about how you need to take care of your energy before taking care of your money problems. So, you need to focus on yourself in regard to your energy and his platform Symbology, where he takes you through and teaches. He has courses on there and it's the simple science of getting what you want. Symbology. And he wrote a book about it. It's a phenomenal book, The Irresistible Offer. But it's in line with what you're talking about. That's why I'm mentioning it because it triggered my memory of that. And exactly, it's like you just said something. Mark Joiner would say so. Anyway, thank you so much for being on the show. It's been a pleasure having you here. If our audience and listeners want to get in touch with you, how can they do so?

So you can find me on LinkedIn. You can send me an email, dexter@socialmediatime.uk

Okay.

And yeah, feel free to message me or contact me on LinkedIn. Would love to connect with you.

Right on. Thank you so much for being here. It's been an absolute pleasure.

No, thank you very much. It’s been very enjoyable. Thanks very much for having me.

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