Latest Posts

‘Google Analytics’ Without Keyword Analytics – What’s Up With That?

Written by Todd Bairstow on March 27th, 2014

Two weeks ago, I shared how Google is slowly removing essential keyword reporting data from your Google Analytics account. It’s a dramatic move that affects all small business that rely on Google Analytics to track the performance of their Web sites.

Why did Google do this? After so many years of providing this essential data to small business owners, why would Google decide to put it out of reach?  I’d like to offer three possibilities.

1)      Google is responding to privacy concerns and the NSA

(Key)Words Fail Me…and Google Too

Written by Todd Bairstow on March 12th, 2014

Google Analytics is taking away your keyword data.

There, I said it. Now take a moment to digest!

For years, I’ve been telling you to take advantage of a powerful tool that Google offers – Google Analytics.  Google Analytics has been an incredibly useful tool for home improvement companies trying to improve their rankings on Google’s search results pages.  Among its many features is its display of the keywords your Web site visitors searched on prior to landing at your Web site.

Well Wired – Selling to Wired Homeowners

Written by Todd Bairstow on March 4th, 2014

This week, we present our fifth (and final) homeowner buying persona, the Wired Homeowner. If you missed any of the personas I’ve already written about, you can read them here.

Of the five online buying personas, this is the smallest.  But it’s also the one that’s growing fastest. While more and more homeowners are simply going to the Internet, Wired Homeowners are heading instead right to their online social networks.  While there, they are asking for personal referrals from anyone in their online social circles.

The Price Monster – Selling Price-Obsessed Homeowners

Written by Todd Bairstow on February 25th, 2014

This week, we present our fourth homeowner buying persona, the Price Monster. If you missed any of the personas I’ve already written about, you can read them here.

All home improvement companies secretly loathe prospects who think price first. They’re difficult to set appointments with, difficult to sell and difficult to close. But with the economy what it is, Price Monsters are everywhere.

Your print and broadcast efforts may get Price Monsters interested what you offer.  However, you can bet that they’ll do everything they can to understand pricing and potential cost savings before they let you in their homes.

The Product Geek – Let Them Eat Data

Written by Todd Bairstow on February 18th, 2014

This week, we present our third homeowner buying persona, the Product Geek.  If you missed any of the personas I’ve already written about, you can read them here.

The blessing and the curse of the Internet is that it delivers more information to homeowners than they could ever possibly process.  These days, most homeowners can easily drown in the volumes of content homeowners can find on roofing, windows, siding, bath remodeling—you name it.

The Reputation Detective: The Web is Talking About You

Written by Todd Bairstow on February 11th, 2014

This week, we continue our dive into online homeowner buying personas.  We’ll put another group of online homeowners under the magnifying glass.

If you missed any of the personas I’ve already written about, you can read them here.

Like the Straight Arrows, these homeowners find you offline.  However, they have a very different behavior once they go online. Rather than responding to you immediately, the Reputation Detectives continue their process by investigating your online reputation. They go to Web sites like Yelp, Angie’s List and Google.  They are looking for reviews others have written about your company, and to understand what your customers think of you.

Profiting From Homeowners’ Online Buying Habits

Written by Todd Bairstow on February 3rd, 2014

Today’s homeowners are a finicky bunch when they sit down their computers.  How they find you is distinctly different from how they respond to print, broadcast and trade shows.  Ignore the differences at your peril.

If you’re like many home improvement owners and executives, you didn’t grow up with the Internet. Rather, you learned about online marketing only after you established yourself and your business.

Now you need to adapt to a completely new homeowner behavior.  Fact is that many homeowners get their first exposure to you through offline advertising (print, broadcast, tradeshows).  And THEN head online to learn more about you.

Google’s Most Recent Algorithm Change… Penguin 2.0!

Written by Todd Bairstow on May 22nd, 2013

The Penguin is coming. No, not Burgess Meredith or Danny Devito…or even the venerable Ted Knight. No, Penguin 2.0 is coming—a major algorithm update from Google that will shake up the organic search engine rankings…yet again.


By way of background, Penguin 1.0 was a now infamous algorithm change that Google made last year.  This change sank a number of major Web sites in the search engine rankings, many never to return.  Google’s intent was to punish Web sites that relied on questionable linking techniques to gain their organic rank.

Why Local Online Marketing Doesn’t Always Work

Written by Todd Bairstow on April 2nd, 2013

It’s not often that I see local online marketing written about in major media these days. It’s even rarer to see it covered from a “real world” perspective.

That’s why Payam Zamani’s recent article in Forbes, Why Companies Like Groupon, Yelp And ReachLocal Aren’t Dominating The Local Space (March 14, 2013) hit close to home.  Zamani is Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Inc., a marketplace for local online advertisers.

I have written in the past about the relative effectiveness of some local online channels, and the futility of many others.  Zamani’s takes the discussion a step further – proposing solutions to the very real marketing problems home improvement companies face online.

E-Mail Marketing: A Powerful Lead Gen Tool

Written by Todd Bairstow on September 17th, 2012

I’m often asked, “What’s the least-expensive source of leads?  Home shows? Canvassing?  My own Web site?”

Believe it or not, one of your least-expensive sources of leads actually costs you next to nothing.  Yes, nothing.  It’s your database of all of the homeowners you’ve talked to, some of whom became your customers, and many of which did not.

Reaching out to them to sell them something—or something more—is a gigantic opportunity that many home improvement companies fail to leverage.  And with e-mail marketing, it’s never been easy to stay in touch with these homeowners.

Every week, Todd Bairstow—our online expert—shares his wisdom on an aspect of Internet marketing for home improvement companies. You can read his thoughts here on his blog or you can subscribe, and we'll send you his latest posts each week.

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