Are You Ready When the Storm Comes?

Targeted Ad Campaigns for Water Damage Marketing

A majority of water damage companies tend to focus their lead-capturing strategies within their local markets. However, if there is one thing to understand and endorse completely, it is this – opportunities to capture quality leads can spring up suddenly and in unexpected places. The question is, are you ready?

Monetizing an Opportunity

As mentioned above, most businesses focus on their local markets. But what about a market that is 50 to 100 miles away? Given the cost factor, advertising that far from your regular area does not make sense. But what if the need for restoration services in those areas suddenly spiked because of a major storm? The storm might have missed your
city, but it hit areas accessible within a few hour’s drive. Considering that local companies in the affected areas will be overwhelmed with calls and overburdened, there is the potential for some big jobs (including commercial ones) where your business could help fill the gap in demand.

Organizing a crew and equipment to service that area can be done in no time, but the big question is, how can your prospective clients find you if you are not advertising in that area? Even if you could get your marketing agency to quickly put together an ad campaign for the target area, by the time the campaign is approved and live, the storm would already have passed and all the work would have been picked up by other companies – unless you have an effective and proven plan to fall back on for such situations.

One of our clients found themselves in a similar position. We worked together to prepare a highly optimized and successful ad campaign – one that they could run at the press of the button. We set up highly focused and optimized ad campaigns targeting cities that are too far away to run ads on a daily basis, but close enough to service in case there was a sudden demand.

Using the ads, our client could easily and quickly target select cities if and when they were hit by a major storm. The best part was that the process was simple: they would sign into their Google Ads account, turn on those targeted ad campaigns when needed, and turn them off when the jobs were done.

You cannot be everywhere, but you can definitely be where you are needed. Here are the basic steps that we took to set up the campaign:

• The client’s usual local campaign was used.
• A few basic changes were introduced that included location, a few localized keywords, and website information.
• The campaign was duplicated, uploaded, and then paused, ready when needed.

Although the overall steps are simple, there are a several important details to consider when setting up your own campaign.

Keywords

You do not need a lot of keywords. For example, you can use keywords such as “+emergency +water +damage,” “water damage restoration in [the city],” “local water damage restoration,” or “closest water damage company.” Of course, these are not the only keywords you would use, but you get the idea.

Negative Keywords

Don’t forget to add negative keywords such as “photo,” “pictures,” or the name of the storm itself so your ads do not show under search phrases like “water damage pictures,” “flood damage by Isaias,” etc. An up-to-date negative keywords list can save thousands of dollars by avoiding clicks on irrelevant search phrases.

Next are your ads – you might want to reconsider using traditional ads that talk about how long you have been
in business. Instead, focus on using words that convey urgency such as “emergency,“ “crews available now,” “24/7,” or “fast response,” or words that convey ease of payment for your services, such as “we work with all insurance companies,” “we bill insurance companies directly,” or “no out of pocket expenses.” These are phrases that people are most likely to use when searching for water damage services.

Ad Extensions

We also carried this over to the ad extensions, reiterating these terms in the callout extensions. Speaking of ad extensions, it is important to use up all the space Google gives you to advertise. Don’t worry, even if it sounds redundant: the more space you use, the more space it takes up on the screen, and this can effectively push up the position of your ad in search engine results pages (SERPs). When it comes to showing up on mobile, your goal is to be the only ad prospects see without scrolling.

Page Load Speed

Your website’s landing page must be tested and retested to make sure it loads extremely fast. This can be done by running a speed test and optimization scans. Google has a free speed site page that you can use to test load times. The page also offers suggestions on how to make your page load faster. Page loading is critical – you can do everything right when setting up your campaign, but if your page load speed is slow, it can all be in vain.

Optimize for Mobile

Mobile optimization is also critical because there is every chance that a potential customer will find you in a mobile search. Make sure they see your company name, what you do, and your phone number without having to scroll down. Businesses often make the mistake of populating their mobile pages with information on how wonderful the company is, when the real important piece of information – your phone number – is listed at the bottom of the page! Customers who are looking for water damage services are already in an emergency situation; they simply want to know how to reach you and how quickly you can get to them.

Don’t Drop Calls

Speaking of calls, you had better be able to pick them up. Owners of water damage companies often double as receptionists, and all calls are directed to their cell phone. There’s nothing wrong with this – provided you pick up. Again, this is one area where you can do everything right, only to lose your customer at the last minute. Keep in mind, customers calling are in dire need of help and are going to hang up if they get a voicemail. Someone whose house is water damaged is not going to leave a message! Make sure you answer, or if you are busy, have someone dedicated to answering the phone.

MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS

Website Verbiage

When it comes to your website, we strongly recommend using the name of the city in your ad. An example would be, “Water Damage Restoration In [Name of Target City].” This conveys that you are local and that you can be on site quickly. It might cost you more for these separate pages, but it will be well worth the expense.

Ideally, having to turn off the campaign because you are too busy with the new clients you attracted is what should happen.

Budget

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room – budget.

Ideally, having to turn off the campaign because you are too busy with the new clients you attracted is what should happen. The last thing you want is to have to turn it off because you used up all of your budget early on in the day. Remember that you are only going to run this campaign for a few days, so it is important that you have budgeted for your campaign to run all day, every day. You have to be all in.

This is no time to go in with a light budget. Costs-per-click (CPCs) are going to be high because everyone else is going to be bidding. Keep in mind that you are only running this campaign for a few days and not for the whole month. We suggest a minimum budget of $600 a day, but preferably $1,000. This is pay-per-click, so if you don’t get that many clicks, you will not spend that much. What’s important is that you will show up for the entire day.

Keywords for water restoration can be expensive, even during normal weather. The rates can spike even more sharply during a bad storm – and bidding can get competitive. For this reason, it is best to maintain a high daily budget. Set the maximum CPCs in the range of $90 to $125 a click, as most people will be conducting mobile searches and you can only beat competition if you show up in the number one position, each and every time.

Our Client’s Results

Our client had to turn off their campaigns because they could not handle the additional business – a problem any business would love to have!

• Number of campaigns running outside their regular area: 2
• Total spend: $4,750.00
• Total relevant leads: 62 – 65
• Total Jobs: 16-18 (They were able to cherry pick who they wanted to work with, based on size of the job and insurance company)
• Possible Revenue: $300,000+ (Includes pack-out and reconstruction)

The Takeaway

Setting up targeted ad campaigns for markets farther away can sound complicated and expensive. However, if you can get it right, then you can effectively capitalize on new contracts and jobs at the touch of a button, even in a highly competitive market space. People actively looking for your services will probably be desperate for your help, and you can be in a position to help them in their exact moment of need. Make sure you customize your ad text and landing page copy along similar lines.

Google Ads can be a complicated system and you may choose to seek out an experienced marketing firm, rather than handle it yourself. Either way, the key is to set up a highly customized and optimized ad campaign that can generate quality leads that will drive your business to succeed. RIA

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