More threads by UniqueTradesMarketer

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I'm a marketing specialist for a Southern California plumbing company. Despite my best efforts to optimize our account—with over 2,400 reviews, generating over 35 reviews a month, a 4.9-star rating, over 90% responsiveness, a tested optimal weekly budget set to maximize leads—our average daily total impressions are down roughly 60% compared to last year (Example: May 2023 30k impr to May 2024 10k impr). Absolute top impression rate increased by 7% after we focused on reviews in January. Our absolute top impressions dropped by over 13% in April, though we're earning the same amount of reviews, and we've made no other change. We often rank below competitors with a worse total rating, and less reviews.

Can the search volume for plumbing services really have dropped that much, or might we be missing something affecting our impressions? Has anyone else experienced this?

PPC costs in our area skyrocketed by nearly 80% in August last year, making it too expensive for the company (I started my role in September). We've relied heavily on LSA for a while, but are feeling the impact. Any insights or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 
We could all be missing something that is affecting our LSA impressions, for sure, but it's pretty difficult to figure out when we're operating in the dark. The volatility is crazy, the spam is criminal, and it's kind of a struggle to glean anything actionable when the data is hidden.

It sounds like you're checking every box - do you answer the phone, mark leads as booked, archive, add call notes, dispute a boatload, report spam, change hours, locations, bidding, and budget, incrementally, often, or never? It seems like a crap shoot at times.</rant>

I've totally experienced this, and feel your frustration. I've also experienced it turning around with little to no educated data-driven decision to change anything. The plan I go with in these situations is to unrelentingly stick to the best practices while constantly verifying and tracking real-world business goals with the client. Are they answering the phone differently? Are there seasonal changes at play? Is there a billing issue? Is it a Google bug? ...etc.

It's definitely more competitive, and cost increases seem pretty consistent across the board. Hopefully someone less cynical will chime in with more valuable insights.

I'd still do PPC too. #damngoogle
 
It sounds like you're checking every box - do you answer the phone, mark leads as booked, archive, add call notes, dispute a boatload, report spam, change hours, locations, bidding, and budget, incrementally, often, or never? It seems like a crap shoot at times.</rant>

We've also experienced a quite dramatic drop-off in ad impressions over the last couple of months, but almost not changes to the ad. I have a couple of questions:

  • We've been marking leads as booked, but not in a timely manner. Is this an issue?
  • Do you believe that adding call notes affects an ad's ranking? We're definitely not doing this.
  • Right now we're using the default "Maxmize Leads" for bidding, do you recommend changing this up?
 
We could all be missing something that is affecting our LSA impressions, for sure, but it's pretty difficult to figure out when we're operating in the dark. The volatility is crazy, the spam is criminal, and it's kind of a struggle to glean anything actionable when the data is hidden.

It sounds like you're checking every box - do you answer the phone, mark leads as booked, archive, add call notes, dispute a boatload, report spam, change hours, locations, bidding, and budget, incrementally, often, or never? It seems like a crap shoot at times.</rant>

I've totally experienced this, and feel your frustration. I've also experienced it turning around with little to no educated data-driven decision to change anything. The plan I go with in these situations is to unrelentingly stick to the best practices while constantly verifying and tracking real-world business goals with the client. Are they answering the phone differently? Are there seasonal changes at play? Is there a billing issue? Is it a Google bug? ...etc.

It's definitely more competitive, and cost increases seem pretty consistent across the board. Hopefully someone less cynical will chime in with more valuable insights.

I'd still do PPC too. #damngoogle

Appreciate the input! It's reassuring to hear we're checking the right boxes. We've tested the effects of disputes, budget changes, and locations and set the account to what worked best, but it may be time to test again. As for managing leads within the platform, we're on the same boat. What worked before isn't working now. We'll continue to follow LSA best practices but it may be time to reconsider PPC, like you mentioned. #damngoogle

Thanks again!
 
We've also experienced a quite dramatic drop-off in ad impressions over the last couple of months, but almost not changes to the ad. I have a couple of questions:

  • We've been marking leads as booked, but not in a timely manner. Is this an issue?
  • Do you believe that adding call notes affects an ad's ranking? We're definitely not doing this.
  • Right now we're using the default "Maxmize Leads" for bidding, do you recommend changing this up?

  • I don't know - and I don't think there is an official answer. I don't know, but I don't think it would be an issue as it relates to responsiveness.
  • I do not believe that call notes affects ad ranking, but again, I do not know.
  • Normally no, but *it depends on industry, competition, B/E point...etc.- I've done both, intuitively and counterintuitively, and have not made any sense of it. Yet.
 

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