Using your on-line advertising dollars wisely

Home Inspector with Bay Area Home Inspection, LLC WI 739-106

I haven't written a technical post for some time, so here it goes. There are myriads of ways to do SEO...or Search Engine Optimization. Many can be done at no cost, but others require strategic use of ones advertising dollars to gain the most exposure possible.

The tip for today has to do with one such company...Magic It is an online yellow page directory. I have my websites in many such directories. Most, including Magic Yellow, will allow you to place a small courtesy advertisement for free. Be aware, however, that if you chose to upgrade to a paid advertisement, a couple things will happen. First, they will reward your loyalty by annually raising your rates about 40%. Second, should you decide not to continue with the paid ad, they will ban you from being able to place a free one...the same one offered free to everyone else.

It is always important to track where your direct links are coming from, and allocate advertising dollars accordingly. The world of on-line SEO is too dynamic to think of such things as long-term relationships with advertisers. Loyalty is not rewarded and dust quickly gathers on websites that are not managed proactively.

For example, I used one advertiser for 2 years. The click throughs were somewhat impressive the first 6 months, but then declined steadily for the next 18 months. I finally let them go after discussing my concerns and getting a rather lame answer. They wanted me to continue with them and wait to see if they could improve the direct hits. I told them they already had shown me their track record and I could not afford to pay for them to perhaps begin to do what they should have been doing all along.

I would not recommend Magic Yellow to anyone seeking paid advertisements!




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Vickie Nagy
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate - Palm Springs, CA
Vickie Jean the Palm Springs Condo Queen

Sad to say, this appears to be sound advice. I'm surprised that paying customers can never return to a free, albeit limited exposure.

Jun 24, 2010 03:32 AM #1
Team Honeycutt
Allen Tate - Concord, NC

Thanks for the info.  I would imagine with that track record they won't stand the test of time.

Jun 24, 2010 03:41 AM #2
Tish Lloyd
BlueCoast Realty Corporation - Wilmington, NC
Broker - Wilmington NC and Surrounding Beaches

I really appreciate this information. I am diligently working (or I should say my assistant is dilengtly working!) at increasing my online exposure and this is the kind of information that can help me to avoid some of the missteps.

Jun 24, 2010 03:56 AM #3
Al Raymondi
Ocean View Realty Group in Ormond By The Sea Florida - Ormond Beach, FL
Ormond By The Sea Florida - Home and Condo Sales

Thanks for the heads up Walt.  With so many choices available we can save lots of time by avoiding those that are not effective.

Jun 24, 2010 04:23 AM #4
Walt Fish
Bay Area Home Inspection, LLC - Marquette, MI
Upper Michigan's Most Experienced Home Inspector

Thanks everyone,

I have been streamlining my advertising for the past 2 years now. In truth, I spend a bit more time on the marketing end, but I stay within my budget and am still a presence which can't be ignored.


Jun 24, 2010 02:33 PM #5
Akil Walker
Bennett Realty Solutions - Bowie, MD



thanks for the information. Free always sounds good to me! :0

Jun 24, 2010 03:06 PM #6
Mark Gridley
eXp Realty, Reinventing the National Real Estate Office! - Fountain Hills, AZ
TecKnow Real Estate Agent, Fountain Hills, AZ

Website, Facebook, YouTube, and ActiveRain are my big 4. I throw in a little twitter and Four Square. ReMax branding helps too. I went to NMU btw. How's the market doing in the UP?

Jun 27, 2010 06:01 AM #7
Walt Fish
Bay Area Home Inspection, LLC - Marquette, MI
Upper Michigan's Most Experienced Home Inspector

Thanks Akil and Mark,

Overhead (particularly advertsising) can be a burden for any Realtor or Home Inspector. I like Mark's Ideas as they can be effective and the only cost is time...which if managed properly, we all have.

BTW Mark, stuff is selling in the U.P.. The market does not fluxuate as much as in some other areas, but new construction took a big hit. 

I also see buyers demanding the hoes they buy be in good repair or consessions make for the repairs.

Jun 28, 2010 03:15 AM #8
Yvette Chisholm
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Rockville, MD
Associate Broker - Rockville, MD 301-758-9500

These people like to take our money and not produce results.  It is very hard for people who offer value to believe that there are people out there who want to do nothing and still take our money.  Thanks for the reminder...and  have a great day Walt!

Aug 02, 2010 01:18 AM #9
Walt Fish
Bay Area Home Inspection, LLC - Marquette, MI
Upper Michigan's Most Experienced Home Inspector

Yes Yvette,

They know that once an account is set up (it takes work and time on both ends), the advertiser is likely to renew at least a couple results are not their first priority. You hit it on the head...getting your money is the main priority.

Aug 03, 2010 07:44 AM #10
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Walt Fish

Upper Michigan's Most Experienced Home Inspector
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