Security installers, resellers and integrators are fantastic at helping their clients find ways to properly secure their properties. What they may not be so fantastic at is generating sufficient leads for new business, but they are not alone. Leads are the lifeblood for any business: Without them, sales either stall or fall.
Here are five simple steps every security provider can take to make sure their lead pipeline is always full.
1. Keep Your Google+ Local and Apple Maps Listing Current
Without a doubt, the single most important listing that needs to be both accurate and informative is your business listing with Google+ Local and Apple Maps. Google+ Local merged what used to be “Google Places” with its social media network Google Plus (+). When prospects search for either a business name or a category on Google or Google Maps, the Google+ Local listings show up front and center. This holds true for searchers using a desktop PC or a mobile device. Considering Google’s Android operating system is the market share leader for smartphones, your Google+ Local listing must be in tip-top shape.
Review the basic information including the physical address, phone number, Website URL and hours of operation. If you find a discrepancy, you can either report it as a third party source or make changes directly if you’ve “claimed” the listing as your business. It is highly recommended that you claim the listing as yours so you can also add pictures, videos and amend the description. Claiming can be done either by phone or a postcard mailing with a PIN.
Make sure to include keywords in your description that your prospects are searching for, such as “security installation,” “security cameras” or “video surveillance.” If a prospect searches “video surveillance plus a zip code” or “video surveillance plus your city name” your listing has a greater chance of coming up higher in the search than your local competitors.
Recently Apple announced replacing Google Maps on their new iOS with Apple Maps. Although Apple has a smaller overall market share, their iPhone is the single most popular smartphone device. Thus, just as with Google+ Local, make sure everything is in order and fully optimized.
2. Focus on Google AdWords
Google AdWords is a form of advertising called “Pay Per Click (PPC),” meaning you only pay a certain amount every time someone clicks on your ad. AdWords ads show up on the top and right hand side of search results of Google, as well as other third party websites. Since AdWords holds the largest market share, focus on this for now. In the future if your budget and time permits, try testing with Microsoft’s Bing search engine.
Keyword research is critically important to PPC. Use Google’s free Keyword Tool to do research on keywords. If you are on a tight budget, you’ll want to start off by avoiding the most expensive/competitive words and focus on more specific words with less traffic but cost less. Here’s how you do that:
Sign Up for an account at http://adwords.google.com.
Create a campaign, then an adgroup. Campaigns are the highest level under which adgroups and ads reside. Set your daily budget as well as geographic requirements. Google allows you to target by states, cities or even zip codes.
Write your advertisement. Because space is extremely tight, don’t waste words. A general rule of thumb is to have the benefits on the first line and features or price on the second. Start with only two or three ads per adgroup. Every so often go in and pause the underperforming ads while keeping the better one. Write a new ad to try and beat the remaining ad. This is known as “split testing” or “A/B testing.”
Determine and track conversions. A “conversion” is basically a desired action you want a visitor to take such as filling out a contact form.
Activate and monitor. Turn on your campaign and adgroups. Start monitoring performance, especially more frequently in the beginning. Go into the keyword tab and check out your average position that your ad is showing up.
3. Consider Facebook advertisements
Similar to Google AdWords, Facebook ads are also PPC. The difference is that the ads only appear within Facebook and can be targeted by many different ways including geography and interest. Research shows that Facebook ads are quite effective for local businesses, perfect for many security companies.
The main driver of clicks for Facebook ads, unlike Google AdWords, is the thumbnail-sized image accompanying each ad. Test several with the same headline and text but with different images to see which one has the highest Click Through Rate (CTR). As with AdWords, you can set a daily budget to make sure that once you hit that limit, you aren’t paying more and your ads stop for the day.
4. Review all the sites
Any business is likely familiar with the reach and influence of review sites such as Yelp. While they provide a crucial service by helping prospects figure out which business to approach, they can also hurt you when a bad experience leads to a negative review online.
Ask your recent customers to post their positive experiences on Google, Yelp and other review sites.
5. Piggyback off lead referrals from industry partners
One great way to generate new leads is by partnering with companies that sell complementary products or services. Some may have formal lead referral programs in place. It is a win-win situation; companies are happy to refer or accept new leads, and customers are happy to get a service provider that is trusted.
At Gadspot, for example, we have a formal lead referral program for all registered resellers. Anyone seeking a security installer, reseller or integrator in their local area can be forwarded to one of our qualified resellers.
By implementing these five simple tactics, you can easily increase the number of leads your security business receives.
Judy Chen is president at Gadspot, a security products provider based in City of Industry, Calif.