In Part 4 of The Ultimate Guide to Building an SEO Agency, Joe walks us through the targeting process, sharing his best practices and thoughts on ideal niches for local SEO.
Spotting Issues Programatically
Testing Your Message
Creating a Dream 100 List
List Building Tools
Niches to Target for Local SEO
Joe Troyer 0:49
So next up, we talked about the foot in the door offers. Now let's talk about targeting. Okay, the big thing with targeting is that we want to try to programmatically if possible, find issues slash opportunities. And essentially, what I'm saying is whatever our foot in the door product is that solves an issue, we're going to try to be able to spot those programmatically. So if it's that the GMB listing isn't verified, if it's that they only have four photos instead of 10 photos, if it's that they're missing Google Analytics, or they're missing Google Tag Manager, or they don't have a Facebook pixel or Google Pixel, or they don't use their city name in their title tag, whatever it is that we came up with, for our foot in the door, in terms of targeting, we need to make sure that we can find those quick and easy. Okay. So that's the first thing in terms of targeting. Also, obviously, with targeting, we need to be able to find, preferably, I like to start testing my message with email. Okay, I think it's a lot easier to test a message with email than like, for example, cold calling prospects, brand new offer, you've never given it before. And you're just going to start cold calling and asking people if they want it. I don't think and guys, I'm not knocking cold calling, actually, I think that it can work and it can work gangbusters. But I think that you need a good message. Okay. And so I think the best way to start testing your message and get some scale out of it, is with cold email. Okay. LinkedIn could be another one BNI groups could be another one, right? Anywhere where you got an introduction, and somebody is asking you, what do you do is another great way to start testing your messaging, just not going in cold. In terms of targeting, I'm going to give you guys kind of another idea too. This is higher level. But at the end of the day, I think a lot of times we start to with our prospecting and our marketing, we start to think about people as numbers instead of people.
Joe Troyer 3:01
Right? That makes sense. So if I were you, I would create what people call a dream 100 list. So I would look at my ideal prospect list, I'd move it backwards, I go find a list broker and I would say I want a million plus three plus dentist five plus dentist to cruise like whatever criteria that you set up. And I would find, you know, over a million dollars over $3 million, or over 5 million or 2 million or whatever the criteria is right. And I would go find who are the top 100 People in the market that I want to do business with that are my ideal prospects. And then I would implement a very strategic stalking type of campaign. And I would treat that very different than just my run of the mill cold email campaign. Right? These are the people that just a couple of these deals could quite literally be life changing. And you can do things with this dream 100 list in terms of marketing and in terms of budget in terms of time investment that you would never want to do with the other 90% of the market. Right? You could send personalized one off emails, you could send gifts, you could send packages. I was reading a case study the other day that a guy quite literally set marketing manager of this company, an iPad, and he sent them an iPad just to get a meeting with him. Right because he was part of like his ideal prospect and his ideal prospect pool. And now he's got a pending contract in right now that they're negotiating for 15,000 bucks a month like it got his attention. He knows his numbers. He knows that if he talks with one in four of these guys that they're going to close. Okay, so I'm not saying blow money foolishly, right? But long term, you can afford to do things with these people that don't scale quite so well. And this gets fun and really thinking, thinking through this. So other things is when you're thinking about targeting. One other tip, one other technique that I can give you guys is when you're using like scrapers or any list building tools is that there's always going to be like the the bad, bad emails, or bad contact info slash wrong details and not short term, but long term, you should go back to this list, right? And then you should pay or I would highly suggest paying a VA to find an update this list. Okay, go find who is the marketing manager, or whoever the position is that you're trying to reach out to, and go update that list. Because if nobody has this data from a list that you bought guy or from a scraper that you scraped, right, the chances of you actually getting a hold of them are much higher, because they're not getting hit by every Tom, Dick and Harry in the marketplace as well. So we need to catch up on the SEO offer a little bit.
Joe Troyer 6:09
So based upon the criteria that we set based upon the foot and the doors that we set based upon the targeting, let's let's think this through a little bit, give me a niche that meets all of that criteria for our local SEO agency. Plumbing. Yeah, definitely. Plumbing could be one, my friend, Josh Nelson, plumbing and HVAC SEO. Like they don't just do SEO, kind of all encompassing digital marketing. But they have a very, very successful agency, primarily dealing in H HVAC and plumbing. So that's definitely been proven. A lot of damage has great big value, water damage per customer water damage, as well, from what I've seen, I sold all heck of a lot of water damage agencies, or a heck of a lot of water damage deals into a lot of those customers or prospects. And from my findings, they're very, very adamant to do more marketing, because it is rain. It's either like, what's the analogy man that I'm trying to say blonde moment here, forgive me. It's either dry, or it's like monsoon, either they have no business or they have too much business. And there's like this Evan flow that happens in that industry. And every single time they go through like a dry spell, and they don't have all these water jobs, they have to lay off all their contractors, and all their contractors then have no money, right. And so all they don't have, you know, they're not able to feed their family that Maddie will do the things and the business owners are put in really bad situations because of it, right? Like they feel that. And so from what I've seen, nobody wants to have to keep going through that. So I've seen that water damage companies are very, very, very open to marketing conversations. As long as you can talk the talk and walk the walk and show them that you got some marketing chops. Alright, so gotta be blunt and got to be real with you guys. As always, somebody says, electrician, I would run from electricians. I don't think it's a b2c really type of offer. It's a b2b type of offer, the electricians are getting their jobs from, from from builders. Right. And from referrals and subcontractors like the in some contracting, that's how they get most of their business, not business to consumer. And if you look at an electricians job, right that they do get from consumers, instead of businesses, the job value from consumers, I assume the average ticket is in the shitter. Right? It's like come fix my broken fan. Oh, hang this light. This one outlet doesn't work. And so um, I do not claim to be an expert in electrical, but just my own initial gut feeling. And I've talked with a couple people about this. I had an electrical contracting company come to me and they're like, Joe, we've looked you up, we've done your research, we want you to do our marketing, and I flat out had this exact same conversation with them. I'm like, no. So just my point of view on on electrical. In order to get good search volume and be able to prove my worth. We need to be going truly be to see chiropractors, dentists, roofers, cosmetic surgeons are all opportunities, I would just make sure that you pass them through your ideal client lists, then as well do they meet the criteria that you have set forward? I'm personally I probably wouldn't work with dentist and I probably wouldn't work with cosmetic surgeons just not people that I would want to be surrounded with on a daily basis. I'd rather be surrounded by a roofer probably or a chiropractor. Just my personal like gut pushback. And that doesn't mean it's right or wrong. It's just I know myself. And again, guys, I want you to think about what's going to make you Do you guys happen? Not just dollars and cents, what's going to keep you happy long term, so that you can build a real business and a sustainable business? A home security I would run from as well. Also pest control I would run from and the reason why is that the average customer value is really low. And the only way that they make any money is if a customer stays on board for a really long time. So justifying your return on investment on leads that you send, it's gonna be hard. At least it would be hard for me. So maybe you guys know something that I don't but I would stay away from those. Let's see any others? Mold Removal? Yeah. Foundation Repair. Yeah, that'd be definitely big ticket. local restaurants personally.
Joe Troyer 10:48
During like college, I was like a prep cook or a line cook in restaurants, I don't know, I would run the other way from restaurants personally, their margins are obviously super tiny. I haven't had great experience just personally in restaurants, charging bigger retainers, I sold some lower ticket recurring stuff to restaurants and niches that I would consider similar and they've done okay, um, auto body repairs. So that's an interesting one to bring up. A point of consideration when you're doing your niche research, is how much of the niche is influenced by like search versus outside factors. So auto body repair is, I believe, a vertical that is very influenced by insurance. Right? So you get in a car wreck? Like, do you talk to your insurance company, a lot of times they're negotiating or telling you where to go in terms of where to get your car fixed. Okay, not all the time, but it's definitely influenced by insurance. And you can say the same thing about water damage or mold. But most people these days aren't using insurance to find somebody to do mold, like they used to in the in the past. And they used to use public adjusters a lot. And they just call their insurance companies and say, I have a mold or I have a brown spot. But now they know that they need to either use a public adjuster, or they need to call somebody directly like they'll go to Google for it. How much of that comes from insurance and referrals versus people searching in Google and I could be wrong. Fencing I like pole barn builders. I like my only concern with pole barn builders is like, is there a lot of volume like am I going to be able to get them quantity? Definitely the average customer values is up. I would make sure definitely that because there's not going to be a lot of volume that they have a proven system to take cold traffic right again, inserting them into revenue. landscapers could work but again, I would be looking for bigger ticket type of landscapers not like I'll mow your lawn every week just I think that's gonna be a hard one to pencil out and show the return.