How to lower your cost of advertising on Google Search: Advice for contractors

google search Sep 13, 2020

I speak to many contractors and everyone seems to be complaining about the same thing: Our advertising costs are going up , but the quality of our results are not improving.

It seems that we need to keep spending more and more on ads just to achieve the same results. I understand as I have also encountered these difficulties with Google Search Ads.

If you want to lower your cost of advertising, you need to understand how ad costs are determined. The main factor is this thing called the quality score. I won’t go into much detail here, but there are excellent resources online like this one here that explains how quality score is determined.

I have come up with a few tips for my fellow contractors that should a) help you lower your advertising spend, which b) will lead to an improved quality score, thus c) bringing down your cost per click

1) Don’t always bid to get the No1 spot in search results. Some contractors are always seeking to outbid their competitors so that they...

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How to stop pursuing bad leads in your business

Uncategorized Sep 07, 2020

Do you know what is one of the most frustrating aspects of running a contracting business?

Its dealing with bad leads. The amount of time and energy wasted daily by contractors worldwide pursuing poor quality leads is staggering. And what do I mean by a bad lead?

I mean that lead that does not have a fighting chance of ever becoming a customer. The most common example is people who do not have the money (or who do not think its worth the money) to hire your services.

Another common case of a bad lead are the people who call assuming that you offer different type of services than the ones you actually offer.

I once had a customer who called me because he claimed to be interested in my industrial flooring services. When I showed up, he explained  that he didn't need any flooring but just to fill up a few holes ! I had to politely inform him that I do not provide such services, although I was boiling inside thinking that I had waste some precious hours of my life. 


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Hiring an Ad Agency for your Internet Advertising

I get it. Us contractors are busy people. We get up early at the crack of dawn and are usually on a project site long before most people are even awake. We are putting out fires left and right while most people are still sipping their morning coffee. You need to deal with customer complaints, chasing late payments, and wondering why the supplies are not being delivered on time.

The last thing on your mind is I wonder how those Facebook Ads are doing this week? Why not just hire an ad agency, pay them a monthly retainer and let them run them? Makes sense doesn’t it?

Well no actually. For starters marketing your business and getting new customers is one of the most important aspects of running your company. If you stop getting customers and landing new projects you eventually run out of work. No work leads to no cash. And without cash you soon struggle to cover expenses at the end of each month. You shouldn’t be trying to delegate your way out of such an important task.


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Google Search or Facebook Ads?

A few months ago I ran a survey asking my subscribers what types of internet advertising they prefer for promoting their business. This group of subscribers are primarily contractors or small businesses offering services in the construction sector.

Unsurprisingly most respondents told me that they were using either Google Search or Facebook Ads. In fact, I have been getting many questions on which one of the two mediums I believe is better.

Really the question you should be asking is not which is better, but which is more suitable for your business!

Let me clarify:

Imagine the person who wants to buy your services. Try to imagine her life. Lets assume that she is thinking about getting her house painted.

If she looks at the wall every day and can’t stand to see the cracked paint, she will very likely go online and do a google search for “paint contractors etc”. She is planning to get the house painted in the upcoming weeks.

But imagine her now in a different state...

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Should we be taking on Low Budget Customers?

Uncategorized Jun 29, 2020

I think that all contractors are familiar with this story. A prospective customer is interested in working with us. But he emphasizes from the outset that he does not have a large budget – or he is looking for something low cost as he has already gone over budget in his project.

And we contractors are nice people, and we empathize with him, we like him so we try to come up with a low budget solution.

In the process we sell our selves short. Because even though we know that that project should be priced at $6000 we come up with a solution to do it for $4000 instead. We believe that we are doing the customer a favour and helping him out. So we squeeze ourselves, we keep our costs low and we deliver the project at the agreed amount. However what ends up happening is this $4000 job is not to the customers expectation.

Now the customer has all the power. He complains about your work, completely oblivious to the fact that you went under budget just to help him out. He realises that...

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5 Reasons Contractors go out of Business

Having spent over 15 years in the construction industry, I have seen many contractors come and go over the years. Some appeared out of nowhere to grow some impressive businesses. Others again made an impressive splash and then literally disappeared overnight leaving very few traces
I have been trying to distil the key reasons why contractors go out of business. These are the key reasons that I have identified

1) They don’t know their numbers
Contractors may be very good at their craft and putting together complex projects but they severely lack good book-keeping skills. They forget to track ever single expense to understand if they actually made a profit on their project. Even worse many contractors forget to calculate overheads when pricing projects.
If you want to build any sort of serious contracting business you will have significant overheads. Whether this is the administrative staff required to operate the business and man the phones, or the upkeep of your...

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The Overcontrolling and Micro-managing customer

I have been meaning to write this article for a long time. Every contractor will in his lifetime experience that customer that seems to be micro managing the whole project. The over controlling customer who seems to be obsessed with every little detail. Every time he sees you, he calls you over to point out some random detail to distract you from your work... If you are not available he will find someone else on your team to harass.

The Micro managing customer is not always visible from the start. When you first meet him he tends to be very polite and friendly. He wants to build up good rapport with you so that you take him on as client. When he first starts requesting little things from you shrug it off as just something that's important fo your customer.

But slowly this customer chips away at you, one chisel at a time. He calls you all the time with no respect for weekends or late hours. He will of course, always apologize for calling you and interrupting your day (sometimes he...

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About Me

Uncategorized Feb 11, 2020

My name is Akis Apostolopoulos. I have been involved in the construction industry over 15 years. I own a coatings manufacturing company in Athens, Greece. In 2015 I started a second online business, training applicators all over the world in the use of epoxy floor coatings.

Through my work, every day I come into contact with many contractors throughout the world. Over the years I am seeing the same pattern repeating itself. Too many contractors are living feast to famine and always seem to be dependent on their next job to survive. Contractors go broke and close up shop, because they went without business for just a few weeks.

When I speak to contractors and ask them how they get new customers, I realise that most are not equipped with the skills to develop a proper arketing strategy. Throwing money at advertising and hoping that it works is common in our industry. Furthermore, many construction professionals entrust their hard earned money to fancy “digital marketing...

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