Optimizing Your Marketing for Revenue Not Clicks with Kevin LeSage

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About this Episode




Gain critical insight into your marketing efforts by measuring the right variables. It’s not just about clicks and conversions!

Joining us on the podcast today is Kevin Lesage, the CEO of SearchLight.

SearchLight works with home service contractors to connect channel data, website data, conversion tool data, and CRM data together to offer a clear picture of revenue flow. Kevin and his team measure revenue from lead to CRM to help you understand what’s driving revenue, how you can improve operationally, and to hold their advertising vendors accountable for performance.

You need to understand where your money is going and what marketing tactics are driving results for your business. A comprehensive marketing strategy includes measuring key metrics like average cost per job, average ticket per job, and average book job cost. While having a reporting system and call tracking numbers is a good start, it’s important to capture revenue from non-phone channels like chat, online schedulers, and form submissions. But with so much happening on your website, it can be challenging to keep track of it all.

By capturing every event, you’ll gain valuable insights to help you make informed decisions about your marketing efforts.

In this podcast episode, you’ll learn…

0:20 Introducing Kevin Lesage

1:15 Kevin’s Origin Story and How He Founded Searchlight Digital

5:22 Understanding the Current Marketing Analytics Situation for Businesses Without Searchlight

7:14 Why Basic Call Tracking Isn’t Enough

10:58 Case Studies and Examples of How Accurate Data Can Benefit a Business

14:47 Understanding Match Rate: Why Leads Don’t Convert into Contacts and How to Boost it

24:11 Trends in Marketing Channels for Better Business Results

29:35 Is Bing’s Chat GPT Integration a Threat to Google’s Dominance?

33:05 Comparing SEO and Pay-Per-Click on Google: Which is Better?

38:18 Does Searchlight Digital Offer Email and Text Marketing Services?

39:34 Cracking the Code of Multi-Touch Marketing

44:37 Final Thoughts on Software and Roadmap

45:21 The Winning Mindsets of Top Contractors

52:54 Get Ahead in the Busy Season: Quick and Easy Business Tips You Need to Know

56:56 Final Words

Don’t let your website be a black hole. Get the data you need to grow your business. Listen now!

📢 Connect with us!

👉 Full episode can be found here: https://poliannaseo.net/optimizing-your-marketing-for-revenue-not-clicks-with-kevin-lesage/

👉 Join our FB Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/hvacfinancialfreedom/

📢 Connect with Kevin!

🌐 Learn more about how you can optimize your marketing for revenue. Visit their website at: https://www.searchlightdigital.io/

🌐 Check out Searchlight Digital FB account for other details: www.facebook.com/SearchLight.io

#businessowner #entrepreneurlife #home #homerepair #heatwaves #ac #homeservices #homeservicesbusiness #hvac #financialfreedom #hvacpodcast #marketingmetrics #marketingstrategy #measurement #webanalytics #conversiontracking #SearchLight #marketingROI #digitalmarketing

Sponsored by: Polianna.net

Audio Transcript

Welcome to the H VAC Financial Freedom podcast, a show to help you create more revenue, profit and freedom in your life. Now, your host, John Victoria. Hello and welcome to the H VAC Financial Freedom Podcast, a podcast dedicated to making sure you get more revenue, more profit and more freedom in your business. And I’m very excited because we have a special guest who will be, who has a unique and one of the most exciting Softwares that I’ve run into in the past six years working in the marketing industry, who is going to be able to show you how you can accomplish all three.

Um For me, I’m all about data, all about numbers in order to inform your strategy and everything that our guests will talk about today will help to drive more data driven decisions to help you grow your business. And so with that, I want to welcome Kevin Massage of searchlight, digital. Welcome, Kevin, thanks John, excited to be here. I love talking about revenue. Let’s talk about some money, right? Awesome. So I’d love to kick things off with origin stories and how you got to actually first maybe introduce a Searchlight.

And then also how did you get to founding Searchlight in the first place? Thanks. So, uh Searchlight is basically came to market to do one thing and that’s pretty better analytics to digital marketing measurement, right? I’ve got a long background in measuring S C O S C M traditional way. And then when I think about, you know, my family being in home services that my dad owns a plumbing business and my uncle owns an H back business. You know, there was always, there’s still always a challenge of being able to say I spent X I spent 10 grand.

But what did that actually bring me dollars wise? Right. I always joke and say you don’t find clicks impressions or conversions on a balance sheet, right? So searchlight really took, took that whole approach and saying if we’re going to come to market and home services to bring better analytics to contractors and make this conversation easy. I don’t want to be talking about leads. I don’t want to talk about clicks. I want to talk about estimates. I want to talk about the sold estimates. I don’t want to talk about the closed jobs and I want to be able to answer is this revenue coming from new or existing customers?

What business unit is it coming from? Where is geographically, is it coming from with zip code? Right? Uh You want to break down marketing to really understand what works and what doesn’t and that can be difficult with the traditional tools available in Google Analytics and other platforms, right? You’re trying to measure form submissions, you’re trying to measure calls. But what I like to say is leads are not created equal, right? If you listen to your paperclip calls or any of the calls coming in from your marketing efforts.

Very obvious. One call could be for me, I have no heat right now and I need a new new furnace. Another call can be, hey, your trucks driving too fast on the highway, right? One of those is going to bring you a real opportunity for your business. The other is a waste of a waste of time. But the reality is, is they’re still searching online for your company or for a key work. They’re coming to your website and they’re submitting a lead, right? I think as an industry, we gotta start looking at what happens after the lead, right?

It actually did the lead end up in my CRM. Did it lead to a real opportunity to make money and just separating those two things, conversions online and then what ends up in your crm tells, it tells a hell of a story. Mhm. I love that. And we say something similar as well. It’s like you can’t, you can’t take, you know, you can’t feed your family with rankings, you can’t feed your family with impressions or clicks, you know, it’s the end of the day. You only can feed with money.

And so um the mistake that, you know, a lot of companies make or maybe just the marketing industry is that there’s that lack of connection between the front end and then what’s happening on the back and in terms of the sales and there’s not that handshake that, that needs to occur. And so marketers optimized for what they know for, but then is that actually turning into what really needs to happen? It’s, it’s all vanity. So that’s why again, like I said earlier, this, this is the most exciting software that I run into that’s going to improve a business.

Um But I have a joke real quick, right? People that are like, hey, I need more visits, I need more clicks. It’s like, well, clicks are cheap from India, right? If that’s how we’re gonna measure success for five bucks, I can get a lot of clicks from India, but no one’s going to install a heating system, right? Um So it’s really important to just the way you approach, defining success Has come a long way since the birth of the Internet, right? I mean, I’ve been doing this for 253 years.

I’ve been talking about cost per click impressions and visits all the way back from day one for me. You know, you think about technology’s come a long way. I want analytics to be designed for home services to make it very easy for them to understand is this working? Is it not working? Where is my money being most effective? I love that. And maybe the one thing we talked about too is um what does it currently look like for someone who doesn’t have this? Right? Like what is, what does the situation look like?

What is their setup? Because maybe some of the people listening might resonate and be like, oh wait, that’s, that’s me. So like, what, what does that look like? I see it all the time where everyone like I throw 20 grand into marketing and it’s a black hole like phones ringing, right? Business is good. It’s been a great couple of years. Uh Marketing works. I’m like, well, what part, where, where are you putting your money? You know, is it, how is it allocated between Google being Facebook S C O local service ads, Google business profile, right?

Marketing is a very generic term. Um And what’s most important for me in every contract that we’re working with is what part of marketing is working? Are you getting the majority of your revenue from S C O? Then double down, spend more on sc Oh Right. Do more. If you’re getting a majority of your revenue from pay per click and you’ve got low impression share. It’s a very easy discussion here to say, well, I want to put more into X because I know X downstream is leading to new customers, right?

So marketing should not be thought of as this one bucket. Um, there’s multiple variables to a strong marketing strategy and it’s really important for contractors to be measuring each one of those variables, not just two clicks or conversions, but what jobs am I getting from it? What’s my average cost per job or my average, um, my average ticket per job? What’s my average book job? Like? What does it cost me to get a book job? What’s my average ticket? Right? All of these metrics that are way more important for them to understand what’s working, what’s not.

Um, and that’s where we see the biggest opportunity. And a lot of our clients have some big aha Molins right off the bat when they start looking at the data. Oh, yeah. And, um, and I, and it’s so first step is like, have reporting, I, I run two companies. They have zero, reporting, zero attribution. It’s like, hey, we threw money here. Okay. We got leads, whatever. I don’t know. And then the second step, which I think most, you know, companies do right now is having some call tracking number where you can attribute like, oh, it might have came from organic or might have come from ads or it came from this channel or came from a mailer.

Um, but then I think to what, from our previous conversation like that’s, that’s, that’s still like, it’s still not enough because there’s still things that are missing. Could you speak to like why just the call tracking system most people use is not enough. Yeah, I mean, the crazy thing is, uh, we see increasing revenue coming from non phone channels, month, over month and home services. Right. So contractors are getting more and more revenue for people using chat, people using online schedule, ear’s people submitting forums. Right? Not everyone wants to call a business.

We all, we all have busy, busy lives were doing other things and we’re looking for that frictionless experience, right? The easiest way to get what I need. Um So I think right off the bat, what I look for when we’re talking to customers is what, how are you measuring what’s happening online? Right? Website seems to be the black hole. Like you said, we can set up call tracking, every agency can set up call tracking. But what’s happening on the site and that’s where search like really um different in a lot of cases because we’ve invented a web event script that our clients put on a site and we’re not asking them to set up Google conversion goals and all of this custom work to make analytics platform work for them.

What that web event script does for us is it captures every single event. So if someone clicks and ad it comes to your site and email comes to your site, whatever the case is, we can see every page they’re viewing, we can see if they submit a form we can see if they’re chatting, we can see where the drop off is. We can see literally every event. And then the beauty is we can see like Google click I D s coming to the site Microsoft, click I D s Facebook, click I D s.

And now we can map that to the website experience. And then what searchlight does is we connect to CRM S to be able to map that to customer revenue. So without a doubt, I would recommend every contractor should be able to use Google Analytics is a free tool, right? Um You should have a baseline set up in there where you’re customizing it to at least manage your conversion goals, forms, phone calls, some of the basic stuff, right? That should always be like a baseline for contractors and if you’re not doing it yourself, hopefully agency can help you with that.

But Google analytics does not provide, you know, easily what’s happening after this after the lead. And that’s where Searchlight really comes in to tell you this traffic came from your advertising. X percent filled out a form X percent called your phone calls led to X amount of revenue from six book jobs and we can look at the customers, it really break down the phone calls, the forms, the chats and any online schedule, er, so that we have that full conversion journey map, right? There’s, there’s not a website conversion or a customer or I’m sorry, a conversation between with a customer and a business happening that we don’t have maps.

So that’s where we can confidently come back and say, hey, you’re spending X and marketing. But here’s how it’s converting you. Here’s how it’s turning into revenue. Wow. Yeah. A metaphor. I’m imagine right now it’s, it’s like having a treasure map, but you only have half of the map. All right. It’s like you got the marketing side of the map. But okay, how about the sales? We need, we need the full treasure map to figure out what we need to do and how to make decisions. And so with that, I’d love to hear some, you know, maybe case studies or experiences from some of the people you’ve worked with on how that data, it might have been surprising data like where you thought one thing, but it’s actually another.

Could you share some of the case studies of what getting your data right can do for a business? Yeah. So I think it’s great to start off with kind of like some benchmarks, right? And kind of set the stage for why this is so important because as agencies are trying to optimize to get more leads, right? Everyone wants more leads. But you know, John, if you had to guess what percentage of leads do you think turn in to book jobs on average across our portfolio? 25- 30? Yeah, it’s actually right around 23%.

So what with that? You flip that around, right? And that’s telling me that 77% of leads that are coming in are not turning into dollars. So this is why we need to start analyzing our leads and figuring out what turns into dollars, what doesn’t because we can be much more efficient with our spend, right? Um The campaigns that might get the clicks and conversions, your classic entity reporting are not the ones coming downstream and actually doing work with you. So right off the bat, when we bring anyone on to search, like we, we bring them onto our gas board, that measures one of the one of my favorite metrics that really highlights what we’re talking about is your CRM match rate, right?

You get all these leads every month, how many, what percent end up in your CRM? Because the first step to making a dollar is putting it in your CRM and getting a tech out to be the estimate, right? So if it doesn’t get in your crm, then it never turned into anything. And what we see is less than 40% of your leads are actually matching to the opportunity in your crm. So what the focus becomes is how do we optimize a strategy to revenue than to leave? They’re getting us estimates, not just leads as a whole, Right?

So um when we bring customers on sometimes the biggest Aha moments is things are great business is booming, but 10, less than 10% of their leads are turning into book jobs from their marketing spend, right? That’s not uncommon. Um It’s like, okay. Wow, now that we know we’re gonna start peeling back the layers and figuring out what sources are getting us revenue and what sources are just getting us those tire kickers or people that aren’t actually converting, right? Because you know, so to go open up the other story here is your urine in that agency, you understand, digital marketing.

If I wanted Google Analytics or a report to show that I got a lot of clicks and conversions. It was a strategy for that, right? That’s what you want. I know exactly how to do it. But if you want revenue, that’s a different strategy. I I would optimize differently, right? And I think that is kind of the aha moment for searchlight. Was that a very small percent of what’s coming in is turning into revenue? So how do we make it easy to understand what marketing sources work and what don’t?

No. Yeah, he froze there for a sec. No problem. I’m back. Uh sorry, you said only a percent of it turns into revenue. Oh yeah, yeah, I’m sorry, fight for us. But yeah, the long story short is that only a percent turns into revenue of your marketing spend, right? So it’s really important to figure out what investments are driving the dollars and what investments are just driving clicks and conversions that and maybe to dig into some of that. Um So you mentioned match rate. Why, why is it, why is it that leads are not turning into actual context in this year?

I’m like, what, why is it at 40% on average? Like what boosts it and why? Like what are people doing wrong? Yeah, two things. I mean, some is, again, leads are all defined equally right now, right? So sometimes someone searches your name or keyword they call in and it’s not a real opportunity. So the CSR isn’t gonna put that in the CRM. It doesn’t make sense, right? It’s an upset customer, the text late, whatever the case may be, that makes sense. The other case, which unfortunately happens all the time.

And geez, when we think back to Christmas in the east coast when temperatures plummeted, right? And, um, the calls came in, the forms came in. It was, I mean, I had never seen, if you look at search volume, it was like the biggest spike in search volume in the last two years. That doesn’t mean everyone was answering the calls. So it’s really frustrating for me is as an agency which you get on a call with the customer and you’re like, oh my God, we killed, it leads are high.

Everything’s great and they’re like businesses down for me. What are you talking about? And that’s that gap, right? Of what’s getting in the CRM and what’s not. Um, so it could be your advert advertising just naturally and there’s, you know, it’s hard to avoid those upset customers that are going to click an ad and call in. That’s just not a real sellable opportunity, but more importantly, making sure the CSRS are managing the call as well. Um, making sure if someone chats in that, someone quickly answers a chat.

I see it all the time. Right. Someone chats in, hey, I have a roofing league. I need to get someone to come look at this and an auto response comes out and says, thank you for chatting with us and then it never gets responded to right in any agency report. That’s a lead that they’re going to capture and they’re gonna say we did our job. But the reality is is there’s a, there’s a leak happening in the process and we’re not getting revenue downstream. So if we see low match rates to a CRM, we go to the conversion channels and we say what conversion source, phone form chat, etcetera is getting us the most matched leads, right?

If I see phone very low, I start listening to phone calls. I’ve seen it before where there’s a 103, 15 minute hold time, right? And people are hanging up or a phone system that says press want to do this to, to do that is just keeping you in the loop. So all of a sudden we identify a problem we fix it. Metro increases. I mean, even increases when you fix this stuff, right. It directly impacts business format tree is low. Who’s answering your forms sounds so basic, but I’ve heard everything from, we don’t know what happens when that contact form gets filled out.

Um The CSR the person we have managing our forms has been outset for a week. I mean, all of these different variables. That’s why I had to say it’s critical to measure what happens after the lead because you’re going to identify if your agency is sending you quality leads or if internally there’s an operational efficiency that we can improve and get things back on track. Mm So in a sense, this is this is like true business intelligence where um because you have the data, you can see like where, where truly is the bottleneck?

Is it? Um like I think the first thing you mentioned was this is a sellable opportunity, right? Marketing agencies will count every phone call as a lead, but maybe only 50% of them were actually sellable opportunities. And the number two, because you have the data tracking where there is that handshake between marketing and sales, you can now see per channel. Um where, where, where is the actual opportunities coming from? If there’s a specific channel that’s driving a lot, maybe double down or there’s, there’s one that’s really low.

What’s the problem here is that a staffing issue? Is it a response time issue. It’s whatever. But you would, you would have no idea unless you were tracking it. So most companies can’t do that because they just don’t have any tracking in place for it. Yeah. And one thing any contractor can do right now immediately is asked to listen to their phone, their paper click phone calls coming in from their agency. Right. That’s the first step to having your aha moment because you will, you will realize very quickly that one out of every, I mean, depending on the agency, the strategy, one of every 567, 10 calls is actually like, oh cool.

There’s some opportunity here, right? I mean, you got, you know, if you don’t have negative or negative keywords set up, you’ve got like competitors calling it, that’s never turning into stuff. There’s all these situations where people are calling in and you’re like, wait a minute, these might be leads. But to me, this isn’t a lead. I don’t, I can’t work. This isn’t gonna turn into money, right. So that’s just one thing you can do as a contractor is just starting there and then you’ll start to realize that leads aren’t created equal and we have to do a better job of measuring what leads turn into estimates.

That’s, that’s the first handshake, right? And that’s that match rate. We look for an estimate in the CRM with a dollar sign with the revenue amount associated to it. And now, I can start saying, hey, that Facebook campaign that you ran last week actually has three open estimates for a total of 80 $80,000 right? Or whatever the case is in a little hit. I’ll tell you from Facebook customers. Anyone listening. Facebook customers don’t like to call in. It’s funny we see our Facebook leads. They’re using tools like schedule engine online, schedulers, chats, whatever the case may be because they’re looking for that efficient frictionless experience.

So it’s really interesting to see like based on ad channel, what conversion source on your website are they most likely to convert through? Because then you can optimize your landing page is a little better to write. You can, you know these things. Um So yeah, the business intelligence point you said earlier, John is spot on our conversations with clients. Very rarely are talking about impressions cost per clicks, things like that. You know, we’re bringing up examples of a $15,000 missed opportunity that we can, we can, we can fix that week and make sure moving forward, we’re gonna capitalize on this all of that.

And if, if anyone’s listening and they’re like, man, I’m, I’m messing up because I’m not doing a lot of this. I’ll just share like I spoke with a uh an S E O manager for a very large franchise the other day and even him, he was saying like traffic and this and that and this and in my head, I’m like thinking it’s, it’s more about revenue. And so even if I’m talking, this is a company with the, with the b like billions of dollars, there’s like how many companies they own.

And so, um, don’t feel bad. This is something that, again, this is something that’s very innovative and something I really haven’t seen before. Um, and whether you’re, you know, a small shop under a million or whether you’re a multi billion dollar enterprise, this is a problem that’s facing the industry and um I wouldn’t feel bad about it. Just be glad, you know, glad that you’re like aware that there’s a problem that’s happening with things. Yeah, thanks for saying that too, man, because we have, you know, small accounts, right?

Some that have, don’t even have a CRM or CRM built, you know, years ago. Uh we still, we can still help them obviously that handshakes harder and we, and we, you know, it’s easier with software, but my point is, is like even if you’re spending a couple grand online and you don’t know what you’re getting from marketing, this is still 233% applicable, right? And what I, what I see is those guys that are just getting into spending and digital marketing and trying to navigate this world really need tools like this.

So we have everyone from the 22 trucks to the large private equity consolidators that we’re working with, right? Um But yeah, I mean, our goal is searchlight is to not make this an expense, big data scientist type discussion. We have a very, I would say easy entry like price point for the market and it solves a very extensive problem that um otherwise, you know, as engineers, as resources all this time to try to get it right and you might get it wrong and waste all the money. Um So yeah, it’s, it’s important even for the small guys to just make sure that they’re getting the return.

I don’t want them to feel left out in this conversation because those, that’s really where we started. Like, you know, my dad’s got two trucks and it’s just him and my brother and he always said, you know, I’m not going to spend it dying with you. I don’t care how good you are until you can tell me what I get in return. I don’t care. Right. Um So when I got his approval and he saw the software and he’s like, well, you can actually show me what, what I get.

Now, that’s when I knew we were onto something just looking for 40 years. So he doesn’t understand the internet, but he understands money. Right. Yeah, that’s huge when dad’s approval like that’s, that’s, that’s huge. I grew up cleaning copper fittings on the weekends with my dad and I just have a lot of respect for this industry. Um and people behind it and I don’t want to see them get ripped off by any agencies. And I’m not even pointing fingers at agencies because we’re all using the tools that we have.

Um But I want to bring accountability to that conversation and transparency. Um And it’s, it’s great to see, you know, the attraction that the software has been getting lately, really shining light on the importance of this conversation like that. Um And maybe 11 place we could take this conversation is because you have business intelligence across different markets and different regions. Um For different marketing channels, are there trends that you notice with different marketing channels? Like is there like one that’s like, hey, this is really good and like, oh this is not that great.

Um Like is there any general trends that you see um that could help with people who are like looking to do marketing or looking to reallocate they’re spent? Yeah, a couple that come to mind immediately write something we see right off the bat is Facebook. Everyone has their doubts with Facebook. But when you can measure it to revenue, it’s easy to prove if it works or not, right? But if you think about our industry, it’s a needs based industry. I have a leak. I have no heat.

I have to fix this problem. Can you fix the park or do I have to get a whole new system with Facebook? We’re not capitalizing on demand, we’re creating it, right? I don’t go to Facebook to search for, uh, and that contractor, I go to scroll mindlessly and hope to find a good video. Right. But My house might be 200 years old, my roof might be 280 years old. And if a roof for nearby has a really well targeted ad. Right. It’s targeting homeowners with houses that are built before XYZ and they can customize that audience all of a sudden that, that ad catches my attention and I’m like, you know what I’ve been thinking about putting that metal roof on, let me see what these guys are doing.

Oh, it’s off season. They’re offering a special right now. You know what, let me reach out and see what they would charge. That’s creating demand where people are proactively trying to think about a problem before it becomes a problem. Right? When we see Facebook customers turn into revenue, it’s a much higher average ticket. Then your your demand capture like paperclip because if you think about it, they don’t have that, that he’s working right now. But I know there’s a new system out that’s more efficient. I might be able to save some money, there’s some rebates, let me let me touch base and see what I can get through X Y Z whatever company, right?

Um So immediately higher average tickets we see all the time through Facebook channels. And the other thing too that stands out is um a lot of times higher average tickets to chat, chats as well. Um, you know, it’s interesting to see because it’s all variable based on market, but in some markets, some conversion channels just dominate versus the rest. Um, and I think it’s important to call out now too as, like we all know, I mean, I live in northern Vermont and it’s like 2000 degrees out everything’s melting or it’s been a weird winter.

We all know. But if you, if there’s not a lot of demand, people calling in with problems, stuff like that, we gotta go create it. Right? And how do you create demand? Well, I think a lot of creative ways you can do that through channels like Facebook and other ad channels where you got to capture that right person at the right time. That doesn’t have a need. But now you can flip them and get them to convert a new business with you. Wow. I love that. And it’s um Inferno was familiar, like someone who’s problem aware versus someone who doesn’t really have a problem.

Search engines, they already know they have a problem there. Like I my things broken, I’m going to search engine, Facebook. Like I said, I’m scrolling, I’m watching cat videos and, but like to your point, it’s like, instead of like waiting for the golden ticket to be handed to you, why don’t you write your own ticket for life? Right? There’s these people, there’s a bigger audience than what might be searching on a search engine. But, you know, if, if you can target it the right way, you can create that demand to your point.

And that’s, that’s, that’s fascinating that it’s a higher ticket as well. So that’s, I think it makes sense. Right. Um If you’re proactively trying to solve the problem before it becomes one, you’re probably more active, you know, spend a little bit more money. And I bet you people that are willing to proactively solve, you know, buy new boiler systems have some savings and things like that to write. And I’ll throw out there to the audience that Facebook in and on, in and of its own targeting is very difficult.

Um, Facebook has privacy rules and laws they’re abiding by and, you know, it’s hard to even target or that you can’t target homeowners, for example, in the native audience on Facebook. So it’s really important. I think we’re gonna start seeing a lot more engagement in the industry around creating custom audiences than what that means Is being able to target people on Facebook that meet key criteria, right? So an example might be homes were built before 2300. So we know that the systems are pretty old. You might want to see a certain amount of equity in the home owner.

So we know there’s some money there, right? Maybe they make X amount per year, maybe we even know what type of heating systems in the basement. And that is just a simple way, John to be like more efficient with what we’re doing because if I own an h back business, I have like five colleges nearby. Right? Um I don’t want to be targeting kids in their dorm scrolling Facebook for heating system. Right. So um the channels are great to generate demand, but we just got to make sure the strategy behind it is one built for efficiency and then that it’s being measured correctly and then we can clearly define if it was a strong R O I or not, right?

We’ll know pretty quickly. Hmm I love that. Um another thing that, that’s come up in conversations recently, you know, with, with being they’ve integrated Microsoft, they’re integrating chat gpt into their search engine. And I’ve had several conversations already, like some people like worried, Hey, you know, maybe Google is gonna lose its, its control over 225% of the search market. Um And I know Jonathan is on your team, he actually recently came out with an article I’m talking about being and in that. So I was wondering, could speak to, you know, Google versus being any insights that you could share.

That would be noteworthy. One thing everyone should recognize listening is being is overlooked. I could just say it right now. And it’s funny when I see agencies that don’t use being at all with their customers. And you know, it’s just for, if you think if you think about it. Right. Um, if I buy a micro Microsoft computer, it might come preloaded, will come preloaded with them as a search engine. Right. And I know my grandmother, my mother back at home isn’t gonna know how to change the search engine. Right.

God bless them, but they’re not gonna do it. They’re just gonna use what’s available and they’re gonna search and that’s usually the older demographic who owns homes right now, right, older demographics. So what we see from being is maybe not the volume of traffic and revenue and conversions we see from Google, but a stronger, stronger pound for pound, you know, I mean, you’re getting high quality cu versions through that channel. Um and it’s just something that might come at a lower cost per acquisition to write. If less people are doing it, it’s gonna be less expensive, but it’s not uncommon for us to see some of our biggest jobs booked coming from big, I’ll share with you to John.

A little interesting thing is uh you know, being does things work, you know, being has like they’re working on their version of like an L S A. So, you know, we’re close with Bang, I, I respect what they’re doing and I know they’re making a big push to compete to try to steal just a small margin of that search volunteer search. Um you know, data that, that share their. So uh yeah, I think being is going to continue to grow. Chat GPT obviously took a lot of, uh, you know, a lot of marketing.

They got a lot of attention. Um, so I think it’s a little push here. You’re going to see more from them and I think every contractor, if you’re working with an agency should ask to ask to do it because you’re only paying if they click anyway, if you’re measuring the click and the conversion and all of that. Um We usually see a very strong return. Mm I love that and, and one that I’ll just add um just from the S C O organic ranking side is I always compare their, their similarities between Google and being.

Um but I, I give the metaphor of it’s like it’s like dating preferences, right? Most people have generally similar dating preferences but some people wait things more like, oh, I like someone who’s athletic or someone who’s nurturing or someone who’s this and that. Similarly with Google and being they, it’s generally this but there’s some small nuances. So you’ll have to reach out to your company to talk about what Google versus beings dating preferences are. Yeah, I mean, the reality is some people are still going to be and searching for a contractor, you know, a track contractor near me and yeah, if it’s a low cost to be there, why would you not want to be there?

Right. Yes. Um And other things too. Could we Um Do you have any data on comparing S C O versus paper? Click on, let’s say just Google since there’s more data there. Uh Yeah, I mean, we could go down that for, you know, you know, a rabbit hole of the conversation. Um right off the bat, you should be able to measure the two separately, right? Sometimes I see where um why I pay X amount for my S C O N S E M with the same agency and I’m getting it.

I’m getting one report where it’s not really highlighting the differences right through the reality. I mean, even having done advertising for, for years now, I started with S C O. I mean, my, my first job out of college was launching S C O. Um If I were to start an H back business today, I would look at a strong seo strategy day one, right? And I say that because it’s a, it’s an organic channel. You don’t pay per click, you earn it over time, you build that authority, right?

It’s not immediate. So to be clear to your question here, John, you’re gonna get a stronger return from S C O than you are any, you know, pay per click if you’re doing sc Oh Right. Right. Um You should, it’s people searching your name, right? If you’ve got a strong brand, if you’ve been around for a while, you’re S C O should be killing it. If you’re brand new, that might not be the case and you might have to look to spend elsewhere to kind of make up for it.

But, um, when we see revenue from S C O companies that are doing it, well, it’s not uncommon to see, uh, you know, 210% return. Right. I mean, if you think about how much are you spending on S C O and then if you look at the revenue downstream from every click coming in, you could be talking about hundreds of millions of dollars coming in from sc oh, and what are you spending on it? Right. 103 210 grand, maybe something like that, that the return can be enormous. Um So yeah, I highly recommend people take S C O seriously.

And then with advertising, you know, some of the average is, you know, we see um depending on campaigns and market, I mean, it’s anywhere from four X six X 277 X. I’ve seen 2100 X returns on pay per click before, right? For people that are doing it for a while at compounds over time. But yeah, I mean, the returns are there. Uh What I mean by X is you spend $1 you earn $30 right? For the for every dollar you spend 30. Um And when we look at revenue, actually, really key thing, we do a search like to look at revenue isn’t just closed revenue and this is where advertisers love, love us.

Because as an advertiser, marketer, our drops to get you the tech in the door, that’s your job. Any marketer out there. It’s like we got you in the door, you gave an estimate. The estimate was for 15 grand, but they didn’t accept that, right. You are booked out too far priced, too high, whatever the case may be. And they said no. Now as an advertiser, you want to still be able to prove that you got on that opportunity, but things fell through, right. It didn’t close to revenue, but you got that real estimate.

So we measured potential revenue. So potential revenue adds up all of your open estimates. You’re sold estimates that might be scheduled to be completed in the future next week or something like that. And then all of your clothes. So I can say, hey John, you know, for your S C O last month, their potential revenue was X where you’re closed revenue was why? Oh wow. Right. And then the first place to start and where do you know? Well, let’s go look at our open estimates. What do we have?

That was we already got in the door, what are we doing to get them in? And I hate when I hear, oh I e mailed him two weeks ago. I haven’t heard back. You know, I’m like, oh my God. Right. Because that’s the funny thing from marketing to revenue. Now, it’s like you’ve got your marketing team really like motivated to bring it home to bring in the dollars, not just the click or the conversion. Mm. That’s when the business partnership takes a whole different, you know, hold a whole different turn because you really start working on.

Exactly that I love that. Yeah, that one of my favorite, uh folks that I like listening to Charlie Munger, he always talks about properly aligning incentives. Charlie Munger billionaire um uh Berkshire Hathaway, and you just gotta be, be wary of the incentives. And so if you’re a marketing company of your internal marketing companies is incentivized because your, that’s the KPI that you’re tracking, which is clicks, calls conversions and by not looking at the revenue, then their goal will be that because that’s the goal you gave them, but it’s different if it’s revenue potential.

Now it’s like, let’s think about the entire process. What do people see? What does the following look like? And now it’s a completely different strategy. Yeah, it’s funny to see my, my, my team will be reaching out and being like, what happened to that big deal you had with that church or whatever the church or what happened at that huge deal. And we’re like, we’re, we want, we feel like we’re part of the team. You know what I mean? That’s where, that’s where the difference is when you’re not talking about click through rates, right?

That’s, it’s a, it’s a different level of conversation. I love that. Um And I guess the only other channel that’s top of mind that I’d be interested in. Do you guys do anything around like email marketing or text marketing in terms of the tracking or is it mainly like paid ads as well as organic? Well, it’s anything coming from online, right? Um So like as if a referral channel comes from yelp or anywhere online hits your website, we can see what happens from there. Everything that happens downstream, right?

Um If you’re doing an email blast, it’s called a U T M tag. I’m sure you know John, but for contractors out there, it’s just a little tag we put in the U R L. So it’s not Kevin’s H VAC, it’s Kevin’s H dash U T M campaign equals X and then when that click, you send out the campaign, email, your customers click the ad for the link, I’m sorry, in the email, they go to your website. Now we see that U T M and we can map everything from there.

So the vision and where we are at, searchlight is being able to map your digital investments to revenue, right? If it’s an email blast, if it’s your S C O spend your advertising spend, um as long as the referrals coming to your website, uh that’s where we really take over and, and try to measure holistically every conversion to revenue. Hmm. And then um as a step from that, uh it’s what I’m noticing is that, you know, marketing is, is multi touch. You know, we had, we had a guest on season one and we were talking about truck wraps and how it can be tough to really define like, hey, did this actually generate this or that?

And then we were talking like it’s, it’s omnipresence. It’s like you got the truck wrap, you got the S CEO and then you got the ads and then maybe you see a radio ad or hear it, sorry, I should say and how, how does, how do we solve for this? Because there’s just so many different channels and like then S C O guy will say, oh, it came from S C O and the people were like, oh no, that was us. And so how do we, how do we consider this multi touch marketing world?

And for a contractor is trying to identify like, hey, what is it or is it a combination? I don’t know. Yeah, I mean, you could, you could go down, I mean, attribution and multi touch, attribution is a huge conversation, right? Um And I think you can, everyone has their own opinions and you can wait things differently, right? Uh The CSR might say, hey, how did you hear about us? And they’re gonna say I saw your truck, I see this all the time. They say that but when I go look at the data, they search for heating company near me. Right.

And then all of a sudden you start realizing that you nailed it, John, it is all about a balanced approach to marketing. There is no silver, like there’s no one thing that you do that’s just gonna make it all work. Right. When people spend more on TV and radio we see their branded searches increase and we see more S C O volume coming through and more revenue from SC. Oh. right. It’s really important measuring sc. Oh, is that, is that S C O revenue coming from a branded keyword?

So did they search Kevin’s heating and cooling or did they start cheating and cooling or heating company near me? Right. Defining, that makes a huge difference. Um, so for us it’s about breaking, being able to break it all out and see what happens downstream. That’s awesome. Wow. It’s, it’s true. It’s, it’s, it’s complex. Right? It’s not this simple thing. And I do think that it’s amazing that it sounds like you can track like an individual person. And then there’s like this record of all the places that they might have, you know, interacted with your brand online and email and things like that versus just like, just lead from this channel. Yeah.

And the funny thing too is we’ve, you know, we’ve been building this plane as we’ve been going with searchlight with customer feedback and stuff. But a lot of times they’ll sit here, you know, I’ll play by the customer and they’ll be like, well, this is great. The data looks awesome, but prove it right. And what we would do is pull up a C S V with like, I mean, if it was a long term client, millions of road, I mean, it’s intense. The C S V that drives the dashboard right.

Then we realized I will build a customer list. So if I show you that you have a closed revenue of $100,000 the next street over says $773,000 came from these 10 book jobs. And here’s the customer’s name, here’s the job they did and here’s the closed revenue and it’s all broken out, right? So the key thing is really being able to drill down. So, you know, our customers will say, Okay, you know what percent of this revenue came from new or existing customers. We have logic that we we created on our own that says the lead event happened at this time, right, John, you submit a lead today at 3:00.

Did you exist in that crm? Before that? If you did, it’s an existing customer, it’s pretty simple, right? You’re already there. If not, it’s a new customer. So we see, you know, we see this opportunity to just simplify and be able to drill down and drill down and be able to say, okay, I got $80,000 from new customer revenue from my Facebook ads last month, right? And the match rate of my Facebook ads were x, the average ticket I got from Facebook was why, um, my cost for book job, average cost per book job.

That’s, that’s what you really want to focus on. Right. Not cost for lead. So when you see that, Okay, my average cost for a book job was $300, but my average ticket was four or five grand. I’ll do that all day. Right. Wow. So it just breaks it down really easily to understand, man. I don’t know. Every time I talked about, I just get more and more excited. I hope everyone is listening. Like you’re just like holy sh holy sh you can do that. I don’t know. I just, I just, I’m so excited about this and I think like if you’re listening to this, like everyone should have this.

Um There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be tracking this closely your data. That’s what’s going to grow your business because I mean, what’s the opposite? Like it’s not having this data just guessing, just throwing money into a black hole. Like, I mean, the opposite is just, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s sad like it’s, you don’t know, it’s like you want to be, you want to be a wise steward of your capital, right? You know, customers have trusted you, the people in your business have trusted you, you want to wisely invest that um and everything so, so excited.

Um So before we move on. Um, is there anything else you want to talk about the software or roadmap or other things before we talk about some mindset stuff? Yeah, I mean, I can go. Yeah, just, just know that we are just getting started with the new features we’re working on a search light, right? Um, so, you know, our vision overall is to just bring this, this deeper level of analytics to the industry. You know, we work directly with contractors or agencies or tech platforms, things like that.

So, um, it’s really about stealing this software uh to the red audience and we’re not, you know, it’s not something we’re holding internally. We want to get it out there and we want other people to use it. No, and I’m one of your biggest advocates. I love it. So excited, excited for your success, excited for your growth. Um And with that, um, let’s switch over some mindset stuff because you really have a, you have a look into businesses that most others won’t. And also you come from a background where your family um their contractors as well.

And so one of the things I love asking guests is, you know, what are, what are some of the mindset? What are some of the mindsets that successful contractors have? Like there’s, there’s these contractors that go from like nothing and exploding 25, 10 million. I spoke to like four or five of them over the past two weeks and I’m like, there’s something they’re doing that’s different than most people where, you know, they’re stuck at the, under a million for. So why is that? Like, what’s, what’s going on? Like part of its technical but like, could you maybe speak to like, what you’ve noticed or, or seen in Japanese?

Yeah. And you know, shout out to uh you know, my uncle Ken who married into the family because he’s just got he believed passion, right? Um And I think if I can boil it down to two things, it’s balancing passion with focus. And you know, I’m the same way. I like to think of myself as forward thinker, visionary um very passionate about what I do, but sometimes keeping that focus, right is hard, especially when you own a contracting business, that’s what you’re best at. And then someone has that new shiny object, you go to the conference and then new things out, right?

And it’s always something better um stick to your plan and have a focus with that passion and a process. And those are the companies that we see are doing extremely well, right? Um And they continue to do really well with that focus, focusing on their customer experience, focusing on their employees. Um You know, I think about even myself with, with searchlight, right? There’s a million things we can go do. I have, you know, clients asking us to do things, friends asking us to do things. But the best thing for us is to focus on our core values, which is really serving contractors, right?

And trying to simplify the story. So even when I think about myself, for our, our clients, 23 years from now, we’re gonna be celebrating the success because of the focus, right? It’s not always the passion, right? Every a lot of people are passionate, um you know, they got a lot of ideas but to put ideas into motion, invest behind that optimized to that, you know, all of the, all of the work that goes on behind the scenes. That’s the stuff, right? Um It doesn’t come easily. Mm Focus and Yeah.

Shiny Object Syndrome. Definitely. I mean, I, I think a lot of people who are listening in there, they’re part of all of the different, you know, Facebook groups and go to all the masterminds and there’s, there’s always a new one popping up every single day and staying focused. It’s, it’s, it’s hard, right? You know, I think, I think our brains are attracted to novelty. Um Is there, are there things that you tell yourself for examples? You remind yourself like to stay focused because it’s, it’s right. It’s, it’s a, it’s a marathon, right?

You can’t just sprint it out and get to get to the business goal. It’s, it’s like this, this long thing you got to go through. So are there any reminders that you, that you give yourself? Yeah, I mean, for me, when it comes to focus, it’s one thing and its customers like, expect exceeding customer expectations. Um You know, when I think about building a business and what we’re doing a search light, we’re not focused right now on the little things were not all we care about is reinvesting in the business and delivering value our clients, right.

If we keep that focused, I know we’re gonna be good because, you know, in years past, I have had a long strong background in sales, right? And I thought we could come into h back and this is going to be easy. You know, I’ll call these guys and they’re gonna sign up. No. Right. It doesn’t work, it doesn’t work that way. Searchlight got to where we are like listening to our, our customers or partners and delivering, answering the questions that they’ve always struggled to answer. Right? Um, not nickel and diming as we go, we care about our customer experience more than anything.

Just like every contractor should write, slipping those little who set boots over your shoes when you show up at the door, that leaves an impression. Um, you know, I had this awesome talk today with, with this, with this guy about what our contractors doing for customer experience in the home. I think over the next couple of years, the winners are gonna be the ones that own, that experience that go above and beyond. They explain what they’re doing, they clean up after themselves, right. Uh Even with my own home projects, when the guys clean up and care about their work, it leaves an impression, right.

I’m calling them back. Um So, yeah, I just think you really, anyone right now should really be focusing on the customer experience and how you can optimize that. Yes. And, and there’s a, there’s a book, if anyone wants to check it out, it’s called levels of service or levels of customer service. And um, there’s different levels, I’m gonna go through all of them, but there is like, really bad at the bottom and there’s like expected. And there’s like, wow, like, wow, like what is, what is this?

And it sounds like what you’re saying is like, let’s not just settle for whatever one expects. But what if we went above and beyond where people can become raving fans? And that’s like, you know, whether, you know, whether it’s searchlight or whether it’s your own home service company. How can you create that? Wow, experience. You said two cents, you know, little things you put over your shoes so small, but you know, this game of businesses one in small inches, like one percenters. So that’s, that’s amazing. I, I love it.

I love it just going really for customer satisfaction. Simple things to guys, throw some dog treats in the truck, right when you show up and the dog comes to greet you at the door and you and the dog a treat and the homeowner sees that right? Like everyone just kind of depresses a little bit. This is not rocket science stuff. Um And I just think, you know, data improves it. All right, the data we have obviously revenue is great, but like understanding your customers, I don’t even want to get into it.

We could talk about around first party data sitting in CRM across this country, right? And with all of this and all of the opportunity um but it all comes down to understanding your customer exceeding those expectations, selling those maintenance plans and getting a lifetime customer, right? Um when you do that right, it’s not uncommon to see a business groom to be 10 million, three years in the business, right? And BB hit these rigs that people think are unachievable when you get into it, they just care about their customers, they’re doing the little things, right?

And that’s what I think it all comes down to, right? He really be brilliant at the basic stuff. Um I hate to say it and all my my experience on like doing digital marketing, there’s never been that secret sauce. Yeah. You know, I wish there was that one thing you buy and it just turns on and works no effort, right? Uh The nirvana. But no, it takes up prayer between both parties to really get a strong strategy up. Yeah, that’s it. Brilliant cycles the brilliance of the basics and it’s all about sweating, the small stuff, it does add up, it does.

And with that, um So last thing, so if someone is listening and you want them to take like what’s like one thing they should be taking away from this um from this podcast and implementing immediately into their business. Like, what, what would you advise that one thing would be, of course, probably get, get into searchlight. I think that’s, that’s a given everybody. But any other strategies that anyone could think of that, that you think would be really helpful, especially as we’re about to move into the busy season for a lot of companies. Yeah.

The one thing I said earlier that you can do right off the bat is listen to your phone calls, right? If you’re paid marketing, phone calls and that will kind of tell you what’s the whole foundation of search like that. This all isn’t created equal. Um You should have a baseline measurement system setup, right? Google Analytics is free throw the tag on your website starting there. Um If you have no measurement right now, you’re running full speed through a room with the lights turned off, right? Like it just does not work eventually you’re gonna hit a wall.

Um Yes, searchlight is here to help, you know, small large companies, but uh it doesn’t have to be searchlight either, right? Like yeah to revenue to get all the cool stuff we were talking about, I don’t see a scale solution out there for that right now, but it doesn’t have to be that for everyone. Um I want to see the average contractor know exactly what the return is from each marketing source. So look at your bill at the end of the month. Who are you paying? You’ve got an S C O vendor, you’ve gotta pay the ad vendor.

You’ve got a website vendor might be doing Facebook, all these different channels. Look at the return you’re getting from each of those channels. And if it is very surface level and it’s not, you know, they’re not getting inequality conversations at all, there’s opportunity there, right? But overall we just gotta start measuring, you know, it starts with measuring, I would never pay for a product that can’t measure. That’s because you optimize based on what you measure And agencies out there today, measure costs that they measure clicks impressions and leads.

So when you log into Facebook business manager, it’s like, what do you want to optimize the impression clicks leads? Right. Well, searchlight, it’s in our data, it’s more about revenue and we know to the earlier conversation, 77% on average of leads coming in are turning into dollars. So why are we optimizing to leeds? Crazy to me. Wow. So if we can optimize the dollars all of a sudden, we’re doing much more with less, we’re creating an efficient strategy and we can hold any vendor accountable email vendor, right?

Anyone who’s, who’s spending on your behalf. It’s really about that true partnership and getting down to the dollars and working together to achieve those goals. There’s no, and if the company is doing a great job, there should be no fear around. I’m getting this tract like this. I I think this is a transparency is gonna, that’s what’s, that’s what’s going to grow your business. If someone wants to hide in the dark, then that is already a red flag. Um 100% and listen data. This is my story. Data is not designed to always be unicorns and rainbows, right?

Like data is designed to tell you when you fall off track or something could be improved. And if you don’t know the data is not there, then you just keep off track. So we’re working with a lot of agencies at this point, right? Because there I love it. They’re like we want this transparent. So we want our clients to have this. This makes sense for us. We’ve been looking for this. Those are the agencies that we love talking to. Um You’re right though, John, there’s others that are like, I don’t want, you know, we don’t want our, we want our customers seeing this and it’s like, well, that’s a red flag.

Yeah, super red flag. And if we were to sum it up, I’d say uh data driven decisions optimized for revenue. I’d say that I think that as close as I can get a short sentence, but it’s beautiful. Um We want that business intelligence, we want to grow, we want that transparency. And so with that, um I think we can close up, we’re almost going up to the hour any last and final words you wanna say before we close out with everybody. No, just best of luck to everyone out there right now.

You know the contract, I know it’s been a weird winner. Um Just means more importantly, we gotta measure what’s working and what’s not right. Um When you can do that, you’ll find an efficient strategy that works for your business. So I appreciate everyone’s time. Thanks a lot, John for bringing me on. Thanks Kevin and thank you for tuning in. Appreciate for the time and um yeah, really excited. Please go and check out search light. It’s again, like I said many times like I just, I’m so excited.

Um Please check it out, grow your business is transparency is a top priority. And um yeah, looking forward to seeing everyone make more revenue, more profits and have more freedom in your life. Take care everyone and we will see you on the next episode. Take care. Thank you for joining us for the H VAC Financial Freedom Podcast. Follow us on Stream yard Apple podcast, Spotify, Amazon Music and check out our main website www dot H vac financial freedom dot com to find out how you can also achieve financial freedom.

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