Friday, December 31, 2010

Trial and error of ads

Running your own company seems to be a lot of trail and error. Especially when you refuse to take outside help so you can keep all the money in your own pocket.

Advertising is a big thing in the locksmith business and its something Mo didnt know anything about. I put our number in all the major phone books and phone book type websites and Mo opened an adwords account with Google. We dont get a lot of calls from phone bookish places, maybe one call a month where they say they found us in the Yellow Pages or
Google is where everyone comes from. Building the perfect Google ad that wont make us bankrupt from advertising has been a struggle though.

At first Google built our ads for free. They set our budget and per click spending so we were in 2nd place in the ads when people searched certain key words. At first we got a lot of calls.

Mos and his father decided #2 wasnt good enough and changed the spending and what the ads actually said. They went from getting 10 calls a day to 2 calls a day and spending WAY more than they were making.
Basically they only thought they knew what they were doing a screwed everything up. I know its mean of me to sound so judgy but I told them to leave it alone the whole time and Im still pissy that they didnt listen to me but continued to ask me "Why arent we getting calls anymore?" and didnt like my answer of "Because you fucked up a working system."

For about a month they shut down the ads and decided to work off word of mouth and build back their lost money by subcontracting before trying again.
I helped Mo find a book on building effective Google ads (because google only helps you for free once for a month so we blew that) and he slowly started building effective ad campaigns on his own. He started with smaller areas to see the outcome and has slowly built up to larger areas. His efforts are showing a lot of positive results. Im very proud of him.

So far today we have received 4 calls and its only 11am. I think we are all going to be very busy today and tonight with New Years Eve.

There is still some tweeking that needs to be done. Sometimes we get calls from a Spring Lake CA because there is also a Spring Lake MN. Our negative keywords just need adjusting to knock out those mistakes. Ive read over that part and will probably walk Mo through it because the double meanings are making him cross-eyed. If we could have found a book in Hebrew the learning process would have gone a lot faster.

On a side note, for some reason we get a call once a week from someone trying to get into a coin operated laundry machine. I really need to start writing down the number because Im pretty sure its the same person who calls. First they didnt like the price we would charge to get into it, then they made an appointment and canceled it, and today they called asking if we could just make a new key (no). If I was a nice person I would suggest they call the manufacturer... but something tells me this washing machine might have been acquired by means where people dont usually worry about keys. We are all a bit curious.

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