Paid Search 911: Who Ya Gonna Call?

Paid Search 911: Who Ya Gonna Call?

Content Writer: Richard Oviatt Richard Oviatt Blog Contributor

Picture yourself in one of the following situations:

Scenario 1: You're on your way to work and your car starts making a terrible noise. You're forced to pull over on the side of the road. After numerous attempts, your car will not restart.

Scenario 2: You're enjoying some delicious popcorn one Saturday afternoon when you bite into a kernel, a pain shoots through your jaw and you realize you've broken your back left molar.

Scenario 3:  It's the day before Thanksgiving. As you're preparing your home for your in-law’s arrival, you hear a frightening rumbling from the basement. You investigate and realize your furnace just went out.

Regardless of which scenario you picked, you are now in a situation that needs to be solved immediately. Who are you going to call? Despite what you may have heard, the answer is not the Ghostbusters.

For most people, the answer is, “I don't know!” They have a problem they did not anticipate and are incapable of solving it themselves. They want to hire someone to fix their problem now. What’s the solution they're arriving at? Use the Internet to find a local business. A recent study from Kelsey and ConStat found 97% of consumers actually research local businesses online before giving them their business.

Whether they perform a search for, "Emergency Dentist," "Furnace Repair" or "Towing Company," they are looking for the first result that looks like a solution to their problem.

You have a panicked consumer, who wants to give someone their business as quickly as possible. They are also willing to pay just about anything to make their problem go away. Does this sound like someone you want to be in front of?

Click. Pay. Deliver.

So how do you get there? Organic results? Sure, but this model takes time. It won't do a whole lot to help you get in front of this person, this second.

Luckily, there’s a solution. Advertisements appear above the organic results on most searches and often take up a majority of the screen on a mobile search result. These are paid search ads, and you can get your business there as quickly as five minutes from now (if you know what you're doing, that is).

Mobile Emergency Service Ads

In case you’re not aware, paid ads are how Google makes about 98% of its money. Every single search results in a live auction. Not the kind with the fast-talking guy and the cool signs you hold up, but a virtual one. Businesses, like yours, can decide what search terms they want to appear for and what geographic areas they want to appear in.

But paid ads aren't just a way for Google to finance self-driving cars and fancy campuses. They're a way to instantly put your business in front of consumers. The only catch, you pay when someone clicks your ad. So, if you’re a business owner and you’re trying to decide what services to target, doesn't it make sense to pay for clicks that are the most likely to result in a conversion? That's where emergency services come in.

Hurry! This is an Emergency.

These aren't research-based clicks. No one is standing beside their broken car on the side of the road, smoke billowing out of the hood, clicking on six different sites and debating which one is for them. No one is holding an ice pack on their jaw, clicking on an ad and saying, "On second thought, I don't need to eat solid foods. I'll schedule an appointment next week." 

It’s also important to mention that these clicks are often from mobile devices. This means the paid ads take up an even larger percentage of the screen. If your advertisement is well designed (meaning it earns a high-quality score), you can get that top spot, which leads to a higher percentage of clicks, more calls and more business. You can even set an adjustment to pay more for mobile clicks vs. desktops. Soon, more people will be searching for local businesses on mobile devices than desktops, especially in emergency situations.

Don’t believe me? Let’s look at an emergency service example. We have a towing company that’s been with us since last December. During this time, it has spent approximately $3,000. This investment has yielded over 600 clicks, which seems fairly normal until you consider the over five percent click-through-rate that the campaign has. Typically, a one percent CTR is an indication of a strong campaign. Even more impressive is the campaign’s conversion rate. This towing company has received over 150 calls directly from paid ads. This is nearly a 25% conversion rate. We’ve been able to track about one call for every $19.00 spent. If you’ve ever had your car towed, you know that this is a great return on investment.

Towing Stats

Here at RevLocal, some of the most incredible paid search success stories come from clients who focus exclusively on emergency services. They experience not only incredible immediate ROI but great long-term benefits as well. After all, if you hired a contractor who expertly solved your furnace emergency, who would you be most likely to call for tune-ups and other work in the future?

Remember those hypothetical scenarios I asked you to imagine earlier? They're real. Every day thousands of people in their most stressful and desperate moments are shuffling through their pockets, pulling out their phone, and turning to the Internet for help. Help is only one click away, but is it going to be you?