Frequently Asked Questions

 

Partnering with Projects Plus

Our founder began as a full-time freelancer in 1994 and launched Projects Plus LLC in 1995. We have always operated as professional advisors, working very closely with our clients one-on-one, as specialists in various areas of local business marketing. To learn more, visit our About Us page.

Our ideal clients can be described as follows:

  • Our clients want to partner with us and participate in their marketing. If you are looking for hands-off marketing on auto-pilot, you may be better served by a company who provides a structured ‘package’ of services that require minimal effort on your part.
  • Our clients want to learn enough from us to manage certain DIY marketing – such as going after online customer reviews, taking and organizing project photos, and putting a referral program in place. We are unable to do these things for you, but we will provide guidance, and they are extremely beneficial in lead generation to boost our efforts on your behalf.
  • Our clients strive to understand the basics of what and why we do things so we can have productive conversation around setting priorities and good decision-making to continue forward momentum.
  • Our clients embrace the value of local online marketing, having a solid organic web presence, and are eager to invest in the long-term visibility and credibility of their business on the internet.
  • Our clients are interested in building a trusted, lasting professional relationship with us as an extension of their team.
  • Our clients respond to our requests in a timely fashion and consider good communication important for success.

We understand that your profession may not be marketing. We respect that you are very busy operating your business. But your collaboration with us a few hours per month will produce more leads and give you a far better return on your marketing investment.

Sound like a good fit? Schedule a no-obligation phone consultation and let’s talk about growing your business.

We require that you sign a Service Agreement that includes items such as the work to be done, confidentiality, authorization for us to represent your business, billing, etc. There is no contracted time commitment – our services are month-to-month. However, we ask for 30-day notice as a courtesy should you decide to discontinue your services. Likewise, we will provide you with 30-day notice in the event we feel you’d do better with another marketing company.

Please understand that our primary mission is to help, make a difference, and enjoy mutual success with our clients. We have no interest in having clients solely for financial gain. Therefore, on rare occasion, we have given clients a 30-day notice and offered guidance in helping them find a new marketing services provider.

Reasons for this may include: a) A client is consistently slow to respond in providing the information or materials we request in order to effectively provide our services, b) A client is not or cannot invest enough of their marketing budget in order for us to provide timely or effective results or c) A client is better served with services or strategies that we are unable to provide.

In other words, if we can’t give you an excellent return on your investment for our services – for any reason – we will discuss our concerns with you and recommend other options.

Generally, you should allocate up to 3 hours per month working with us. The first 3 to 6 months may require a bit more of your time. Your involvement could include gathering information, finding or troubleshooting account logins, organizing project photos, assisting with local listing verification, and proofing new or edited content.

You may be providing feedback about your industry, competition, ideal customers, local service areas, features and benefits offered to your customers, and more. We also prefer to schedule a 30 to 60-minute marketing review phone call every 4 to 6 weeks to discuss progress, get additional information, share opportunities, restructure priorities, etc.

Absolutely! Consider Projects Plus an extension of your team. We’ll even provide essential training and guidance to one of your staff as needed. There are a variety of valuable marketing tasks that we cannot do for you, or that are better done yourselves. In addition, the more participation we have from you and your team, the better and faster your results. Check out this post on marketing tasks for your administrative assistant for ideas on what you can accomplish in-house.

Within 3 months you should start seeing improved online visibility, search engine positioning, increased visits to your website, referrals from other sites, and more internet-related leads. From there, you’ll enjoy slow but steady and sustainable growth every month. It isn’t quick – but it’s worth the wait.

SEO is like home ownership. You build a stable, secure house (your online business presence). You continue to invest in it, maintain and enhance it. The value of your equity continuously grows as you fine-tune its performance. Your home on the internet is a long-term, cost-effective investment with lasting reward.

On the other hand, paid advertising, paid search (PPC), and paid lead generators such as Home Advisor provide an immediate increase in lead flow. These types of marketing tactics are an important piece in your overall marketing mix.

But they stop performing when you stop paying for them and there’s not much to take with you when you leave. Paid advertising is, therefore, like renting. Over time, you’ll pay less ‘rent’ and enjoy the benefits of your investment in SEO at minimal expense.

 

It depends on your definition of ‘working’. Our main goal is to increase your organic leads by guiding more prospective customers to your website. To achieve this, we work on positioning your website and other listings or profiles of your business on the first page of Google and Bing search results for more and more search words and phrases in your local market. We also put your business in more and more places online that prospective customers might be looking – beyond search results. All the while, we’re busy building your business credibility and authority in order to convert more visitors into scheduled estimates.

 

You’ll receive a monthly spreadsheet of your local business listings. It includes your logins and passwords, the public link to your listing, the status of the listing, and the date we last worked with each listing. It’s clear to see our activity for the month such as duplicates we’ve removed, troubleshooting and other problem-solving in progress or completed, listings that are now active, brand new listings we’ve added, and directories we plan to add your business to in the near future.

We also monitor your keyword rankings monthly. You’ll see what search words and phrases you rank for and in what positions, which have improved or are new, which have dropped, and what we’re currently working on. Your rankings show short-term and long-term progress in content development and giving your website exposure.

You’ll have access to Google Analytics, which is a treasure trove of information that Google records about activity surrounding your website. For example, we can review it together to learn how much traffic visited your site for a specific time period and where it came from. We use this data to strategize and plan our priorities and action steps to continuously improve your results.

Projects Plus does not provide a login to a dashboard of any sort where portions of your reporting may be held. Everything we do is done manually, by one of the marketing pros on our team, to include reviewing status, progress, planning and outcomes with you personally.

 

 

Google Business Listing (Maps)

We will aggressively analyze, troubleshoot and take action consistently to improve your rankings in Google Maps. We’re very good at it and have a track record of success. However, there are over 200 SEO ranking criteria, the activities of your competitors, reviews, your physical location, and many other factors involved. It can be a time-consuming process, from a few weeks to several months, to see progress, depending on your unique situation. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee rankings – no marketing company can. Google controls their search engine results, does not accept payment for rankings, and will not guarantee rankings either. For more details, visit https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35291?hl=en

 

These are the three main factors Google bases your local ranking on:

  • Relevance – How well your listing matches what someone is searching for as compared to all other related listings.
  • Distance – How far your listing’s physical location is from the city entered by the person searching as compared to all other local listings. If a searcher does not specify a city, Google determines their approximate location.
  • Prominence – How well-known your business is online as compared to other related local businesses. Factors in prominence include customer reviews, the quality and quantity of other local listings and citations, as well as the content and SEO quality of your website.

It is very difficult to rank your Google business listing beyond the city you are located in unless there is little to no competition in that neighboring city. But every situation is unique. We can dig into this during your phone consultation.

 

Google does not solicit businesses for their free products such as your Google business listing. You will only hear from them if you have initiated communication, and even then, customer service is frequently slow. If you’ve received phone calls or emails that sound like Google, or imply a direct relationship with Google, they are misleading, false advertising and any concerns they are causing you are generally not true. Request removal from their call list and report emails as spam. You can also contact the FTC to file a complaint about deceptive or unfair business practices. Visit https://www.ftc.gov/ or call 1-877-FTC-HELP.