Combating the Ever-Rising Costs of Digital Marketing

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Everything is more expensive right now. Gas. Groceries. Supplies. Labor. And digital marketing is no exception. But why are digital marketing costs going up – and more importantly, what can you do to combat them?

PMP Industry Insiders Podcast recently tackled this issue head-on, as Coalmarch COO Frank Andolina joined regular hosts Dan Gordon and Donnie Shelton to share insights about “Combating the Ever-Rising Cost of Digital Marketing.” Here’s a quick look at what they talked about.

Google is focusing on location – and that’s tough for home services businesses

According to Andolina, there’s an “all-out assault on ROI” in digital marketing right now, due in no small part to changes made by Google. In recent years, Google has become increasingly focused on making location and proximity a major ranking factor for search results. In December of 2021, they made their biggest local search algorithm update in five years. This update shrinks the radius where businesses are visible in search results, “so where before you might have a 5, 10 or 15-mile radius around your business where you had good visibility, we’re seeing that it has shrunk to two miles in some cases.”

The result for service companies: lost leads, and the need to invest more in other marketing channels to replace them. It also forces service companies to consider opening multiple locations across their service area to improve visibility in local search. However, reviews continue to be a major ranking factor in local search, so it’s important to have and implement a review generation strategy for all your locations.

ROI on traditional PPC ads is going down – And CPL is going up

Changes to the way Google delivers search results have also taken away many controls that advertisers have historically used to optimize their PPC campaigns. They will trigger an “exact match” keyword for a search term that is similar, but not exact – think returning a pest control result for a search about bed bugs.

As a result, conversion rates have dropped because Google is more likely to serve an ad that isn’t relevant to the original query, and this has caused the average cost per lead to increase. To combat this, Andolina recommends keeping a close eye on your conversion rate and CPL, and maxing out your marketing budget for Google Local Services, which still maintains a 50% lower CPL than Google Ads.

Branding is more important than ever

With the digital landscape getting more complicated and competitive, having a strong, recognizable brand is more important than ever. That means investing in more traditional forms of advertising: direct mail, print advertising, even radio and TV if they make sense for you. When everyone’s website looks good, everyone provides the same service and everyone has plenty of great reviews online, your brand identity can be the thing that truly differentiates you and gets customers to pick up the phone or click that link.

Looking for a deeper dive and even more insights from the experts? Check out the episode for yourself here — and be sure to subscribe to the PMP Industry Insiders podcast so that you never miss an installment!