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Is online advertising too expensive for removal companies?

Feb 17, 2017
Damien Seaman, Brand Manager, looks at the cost of online advertising compared with using a lead generation service.

We all know that many customers these days expect to compare and buy everything on the web – from car insurance to utilities to … well, removal services. More than 70% of UK Internet users go online to compare prices, according to recent research. And around half of all online purchases are done on the phone. Even when a customer calls a mover directly, the odds are that they’ve found the number on Google, and probably using their smartphone. Google dominates the online search market, with just under 87% market share in the UK. It’s pretty much a monopoly. That means if a business doesn’t show up on Google search, it might as well not exist.

Of course, movers can optimise their websites, publish blog posts and try to get links so they naturally appear at the top of organic search results. But to do this successfully takes months. Months to get right. Months to get links. Months to rank highly. And months for all this effort to convert into more website visitors. And that’s if a company gets it right!

So let’s look at a much faster way of ranking high on Google: paid advertising, otherwise known as Pay Per Click (PPC), or Google Adwords. For those who don’t know, this is when you set up a short advert to show up when people search for specific ‘keywords’. Every time someone clicks on the ad, you pay.

Some removal companies do this very well, and some larger firms probably have a dedicated agency doing it for them. But still, many in the removals industry don’t realise how much Google advertising costs. For example, how much does it cost to bid for the keyword ‘removal companies’?

Roughly £9.80. That’s how much you pay each time someone clicks on an advert containing that keyword. Google ads using the phrase ‘house removals’ will cost you £6.96 per click. The phrase ‘moving house’ will set you back £5.93.

On average, out of every 100 people who click on one of your Google ads, five will contact you. So, let’s take the middle example above – ‘house removals’. To generate five leads you need to pay for 100 clicks, or £696.

And, in most cases, you’ll still want to survey the property to win the business. Feedback from our removal company partners is that they can typically convert between 50%-80% of the people they survey. Taking that into account, if you survey all five PPC leads you’ve got a good chance of winning three of them. That’s now £696 for three jobs. In other words, you’ve spent £232 per paying job.

Contrast this with the cost of using a good lead generation site. Obviously the price you pay for a lead varies according to where you are in the country and which lead providers you’re working with. But let’s assume each lead costs you £5.95. Now for 100 leads you’re paying £595. Now let’s assume that you can contact 25% of those. I’m basing this on the fact that we have lots of companies tell us they’re converting that many leads to paying jobs. Now you’re paying £595 for 25 leads. If you survey and convert three out of every five leads, you’re now paying £595 for 15 jobs. That’s £39.67 per paying job.

If managed the right way, lead generation is a cheaper way to win jobs than doing your own online advertising on Google. As these figures have shown, it can be a lot cheaper.

Damien Seaman

Damien Seaman is Brand Manager for Buzzmove. He has years of experience working on successful marketing campaigns for a wide range of businesses in publishing, insurance, technology and financial services. He also regularly coaches technology start-up companies on how to make their marketing more profitable.

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