Simple Advertising You people are idiots.

30Mar/08Off

Evaluation- Computer Services

My work is about walking your customers through the communications in your advertising and converting them to clients. A lot of advertising doesn’t actually sell anything, but I like to keep that as a priority right from the start. Website work typically begins with some SEO tuning, and I work a very organic plan. Once the SEO is working: there are steps that shoppers follow, from initial discovery and interest to trust (and purchase). People need to see different things for each step, starting with punchy headlines and ending with comforting messages and an invitation for the client to speak. If people feel like you will listen to them, then they will talk to you.

Here are the basic evaluation questions:

1. Check basic keyword search effectiveness. Your keywords are going to work best when you target geography. I can tell you this about technology services on the web– it’s an extremely competitive keyword space. Bay Area is very broad, San Jose is more do-able. If you really think that SEO will get you results, you need to prepare for some work. In many cases the words on the pages are enough, but I know from previous clients that tech services aren’t that easy. To work safely, you’ll need to go and manually create at least dozens of relevant links
2. Evaluate Advertising Copy (the text on your pages). Much of the text is well written and I like the list of things that clients ‘GET’ on the home page. My feeling is that for many small businesses your text won’t translate into understanding however. Some statements like these might help: “All of your employees can be using exactly the same software– by lunchtime tomorrow.” -or- “By delivering current software to your computers over the internet, your business can stop buying new PCs and start working more effectively” -
3. Quick Summary of what’s right and what’s wrong with your design work. The design has very good appearance, the pages load quickly and the information matches up well with what I expect to find on each page. I don’t find any flaws so long as you have the capability of changing pages yourself. I did find a minor grammatical error in one of your titles: “the client” should be “the clients”
4. Are the materials on your website ready for use in other media? Yes, largely your copy with above changes should work as print advertising. As long as you have the logo in either a very high resolution or in a vector format. I particularly like the three columns on the home page as that translates nice into a tri-fold brochure.

There are some peculiarities about your line of work that have me thinking about a particular plan for you. I’ll follow up with a brief second email with those details.

30Mar/08Off

Proposal- Computer Services

Because of the competition in the internet space around what you do, I'm going to recommend that you NOT pursue SEO work at this time. Instead, I think you would see better results to take some of that money and simply buy Google results. Google lets you decide what your budget is for the month in advance and you get very good tracking about what is working and what is not.

The other recommend that I have for you is to put together some very targeted in-house mailings using a simple brochure and some clear follow up. The main concern that I have with Search Marketing your business is that your clients might not be smart enough to know what to call your product. They will understand it once you present it to them, but they might not go look for it. This is something that you say on your own solutions page.

Here's my basic proposal: I'll fix the writing on your site so that potential clients can more easily understand what you are selling. The writing will be good on page SEO work, but I'll be clear with you that it just won't get you traffic. What the writing will do is lead to a more direct request for contact and should help you pre-sell. Your pages need a much stronger closing statement asking for the business. I'll also help you through the Google process. We'll focus on getting you customers close to home. The writing work will include creating the brochure using Illustrator but you must supply graphics. Here is a link to an example: http://neighborwave.com/simple-advertising-print

Website (plus brochure) Copy Writing $400
Internet Account Management $100 (this is half price)
Brochure Layout No Charge
Total $500 (cheap!)

I think you have a great business idea and a local provider of services like you can do some great sales. It's exciting to see someone working to get out of the break-fix computer biz. The chief attribute of your business is that it is locally owned and controlled. Big businesses operate at a distance and aren't willing to be as responsible as you. Your prospects should hear that in your marketing materials and again in your sales work: "Local Operations Equals Accountability." I know it's counter intuitive, but yours is a product that is best sold person to person.

I've got some time Friday Morning.

30Mar/08Off

Results- Computer Services

The work that the client was requesting (SEO) was probably not going to help their business. Search Engine Optimization is the process of making sure that the search engines find your site first for particular words. NeighborWave staff are experts at SEO, but in this case we knew that it wouldn’t help the client.

The client in this case is a small computer services company. What the company sells is not just your basic PC repair and configuration work. They sell a product that lets a small business owner pay a few dollars each month for the computers that they need. The difficulty in this case is that their intended audience doesn’t understand their product. The entire market isn’t yet looking for what they sell, so SEO can’t really help them.

The client is now marketing directly in a very old fashioned way. They use printed advertising as mailers and follow up their mailings with telephone calls. They are also attending different networking events for small business. On the strength of their presentation in their sales brochures, they’ve been invited as speakers for two Chamber of Commerce meetings in two different cities. As the attendees from these meetings become clients, their word of mouth is going to be amazing.

As a secondary effort, we have also begun some low cost experimenting with using Google Adwords pay per click to generate leads. Eventually, the marketplace will understand their product. When the market is ready, their SEO is already in place.