It makes sense in a downturn economy to use marketing and advertising resources that are free or low-cost. Many contractors I work with are using door hangers, fliers and free online sites like craigslist.org to market their businesses.
Many contractors have become reliant on Google for free traffic by using the Google Local Business Center, now known as Google Places. Many of you have become very skilled and develop a solid Web strategy to bring your companies to the front page of Google.
But what happens when Google drops you like a hot rivet?
I’m going to use Google as my primary example since they get the bulk of the searches a monthly basis, somewhere in the neighborhood of 90 billion. About a month ago Google changed the way they preview maps in their search results and now accept advertising on that platform as well.
Just a few weeks ago Google introduced their “Instant” search results which has had a major impact on many contractors who use of maps and places for 1st page placement on the search engine.
But what if your site was ranking well organically for your primary keywords and all of a sudden you drop down to page 300? What would you do? There is no one to call at Google to ask what happened. In a word, your business would be screwed, and the landscape is littered with the shells of former high-flying companies that relied too heavily on the Internet and even worse, on Google, as their only source of new business.
My point is, if you don’t have any type of strategic marketing plan for your contracting business to bring in new clients or customers that includes other platforms besides the web, then how are you going to survive if Google slaps your site around and drops you in the rankings? You better have an answer because your business life depends on it.