Meet Them Where They’re At

When one of our sons was in high school, he took a lot of college advanced placement classes. But he also took some easy and surprising elective courses. For example, he signed up for a cooking class even though he told us he hated cooking.

I remember asking him, “Why did you taking a cooking class?”

He smiled and replied, “That’s where the girls are.”

A few weeks later, I came home to find our son and a female classmate laughing while baking a cake in our kitchen. He said they were doing their homework.

It’s funny how a testosterone-driven teenage boy inherently knew something that many business people forget. If you want to attract new customers (or girls, in his case), you should always try to meet them where they are at.

In his case, that meant taking a cooking class because he expected that there would be more girls than boys in that class.

In our case, as business people, it means intentionally selecting marketing channels where you know you have a good chance of connecting with your target audience.

For example, I send my email newsletter every Sunday at 7 am. That’s because I know that Sunday is often when funeral home owners clean out their email boxes and start planning for the coming week.

In my last three newsletters, I’ve offered to conduct a complimentary Local SEO Audit for funeral home owners. It’s an evaluation of how you rank and what (if anything) can improve your results.

We’ve run quite a few audits and had some great conversations with owners and managers from all over the country. In most cases, we could point out specific issues that needed to be addressed to improve their rankings.

But in a few cases, our analysis led us to a conclusion that surprised the funeral home owner. That conclusion… don’t spend your money on SEO.

Sometimes, even though you have an SEO problem, it might not make sense to try to fix it. 

It’s not that the problem can’t be fixed. It’s that there is another way to reach your audience on Google. It’s called “Google Ads” (formerly Adwords).

With Google Ads, you pay Google to display your message alongside the search results. It’s not cheap, but it is very effective.

An SEO project can take months or longer to show results. But a Google Ads project can be launched in just a few days, and you can start connecting with your target audience immediately.

SEO as a general-purpose marketing tool, and Google Ads as a special-purpose marketing tool designed to solve specific problems. Here are a few scenarios where Google Ads might be a better investment than SEO. 

You want to test different marketing messages.

Marketing is inherently a testing process. You create something, test it with your market, and evaluate the results. Testing with SEO can take months but testing with Google Ads can be done in days or weeks. So if you want to test different messages to see what your market likes, Google Ads is a great way to run your tests.

You want to target a specific geographic market.

With SEO, you’re casting a wide net and trusting Google to get you into the correct search results. With Google Ads, you can put your ads in front of a specific audience. Do you want to market to a particular zip code or section of your city? Google Ads is the way to go.

You want to target specific search phrases.

With SEO, almost everyone targets “funeral homes <city name>” and “cremation services <city name>” because that is where most of the traffic will come from. But what if you wanted to target something like the name of your competitor? Google Ads will let you do that! 

Imagine if every time someone searched for your competitor, they saw an ad from you. That’s possible with Google Ads.

One of the primary goals of any marketing campaign is to get your message in front of your target audience. SEO is one way to accomplish that, and Google Ads is another. But they are both tools that have different uses.

Remember, it’s always easiest to meet your audience where there are at. Then connect with your audience, build a relationship, and serve the family when they experience a loss.

Until next time,


PS: If you would like to discuss Google Ads, feel free to reach out to me. It’s a powerful tool but you have to know how to wield it or you can waste a lot of money.


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