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Three Major Google AdWords Changes Painting Businesses Need To Make In 2017

Posted By AltaVista Strategic Partners, Wednesday, January 11, 2017
For many seasonal painters, January represents a slow time of the year resulting in lowering or cutting off advertising on Google AdWords. This is also a great time to make account updates in preparation for the coming busy season in early spring. Before cranking your Google AdWords budget into high gear, here are three major changes that will save you money and drive more leads this spring:
Converting Entirely To Expanded Text Ads:
This one is huge for painters. Expanded text ads allow for more information in ads and are proven to increase click through rates and decrease average cost per click. Translation, they save your painting business money while increasing the number of leads. More importantly, Google will disable the ability to edit or create new standard text ads effective January 31, 2017. If you have not already converted your Google Ads to expanded text ads, now is the time.
Broader Mobile Bid Adjustments:
It is now possible to bid up to 300% more for clicks on mobile devices than desktop devices. Do not let the number scare you – think $10 increasing to $30. Pairing this with Google’s call only ads is a great way to drive phone leads for painting services. If your painting business is using Google AdWords, it is important that your bids are adjusted by device to accommodate Google’s mobile first perspective.
Local Search Ads on Google Maps:
With Google’s adoption of a mobile first perspective and the value it is placing on local results, this new ad offering is a great opportunity for painting contractors. Running local ads requires multiple adjustments in your Google AdWords account and syncing it with Google My Business account. It can be a challenging process, but the reward is worth it because local search ads are a great way to drive leads. Here is an example of a local search ad: 


What are the next steps?

For painters who manage their Google AdWords in-house, reworking the expanded text ads is crucially important. Your account performance is likely suffering if your ads are not taking advantage of the additional real estate made available by this update. For painters using an outside agency, they should have already made these adjustments to your account. If they have not addressed these topics, now is an important time to contact them and find out what their plans are for 2017.

If your painting business needs help with its Google AdWords campaign, the team at AltaVista Strategic Partners is available to answer any questions and offer an initial consultation at no charge. To schedule a consultation, please call Aaron Hockel at 443-960-4004 or email him at


Tags:  Alta Vista  Google AdWords  Hockel 

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Should my painting business be marketing on SnapChat?

Posted By AltaVista Strategic Partners, Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The title of this blog is a common question being asked by painting contractors around the country. In order to answer this big question, we are going to have to answer 3 more basic questions about SnapChat.

1.       What is SnapChat?

SnapChat is a mobile messaging app that allows users to take pictures or videos called ‘snaps’. Users can then apply a wide range of animations, text, filters, and special effects to a snap.

Snaps can then be sent directly to other users on your friends list who can only open them once before they disappear. Users can also post snaps to their ‘story’ where their followers can watch it for the next 24 hours before it disappears.

2.       Who is using SnapChat?

SnapChat has been the fastest social media site of the past 12 months and it boasts over 150 million daily active users. 7 out of 10 users are between the ages of 18 and 34 and SnapChat claims they reach 41% of this key demographic in the United States on a daily basis.

SnapChat has become an extremely popular channel for celebrities, athletes, brands, and news outlets to connect with their fans.

3.       How do companies advertise on SnapChat?

Advertisers can leverage SnapChat to market brands, products, and events in two unique ways. First, they can create custom filters that users can put on their own SnapChats. Second, they can create 10 second videos that play in between SnapChats as small commercials.

For example, wanting to let everyone experience the feeling of winning a Super Bowl, Gatorade launched a unique custom filter for the big game. Users could take their own picture and then put an animation of a bucket being dumped over their head on top of it. See Gatorade’s advertising idea, along with others, here.

So, should my painting business be marketing on SnapChat?

In the short term, Alta Vista is advising our clients in the painting industry not to invest time or financial resources into SnapChat.  Our position is based on three major factors:

1.       It is unclear how a painting contractor can best leverage the platform to drive leads

2.       The typical buyer of painting services is outside SnapChat’s core demographic

3.       No data exists to prove advertising with SnapChat works for painting contractors

What about posting business stories on SnapChat to engage my followers/community/customers?

SnapChat is just like other forms of social media. Your content—in this case ‘stories’ or ‘snaps’—will only reach other users who choose to follow you. The question for us becomes, how do you get customers and prospects to follow you on SnapChat? Why would someone want to follow a local painting contractor?

These are two questions we struggle with answering when evaluating SnapChat as a marketing tool. Until they are answered, we would not advise investing significant time posting on SnapChat for your painting business.

What should my painting business do?

Marketing on any social media platform has a learning curve. Our advice is to keep a close eye on SnapChat and see how it evolves over time. Let others figure it out and prove the model before investing large marketing resources into SnapChat.


This article was contributed by Aaron Hockel, Vice President of Digital Marketing at AltaVista Strategic Partners, a PDCA Associate and marketing firm that specializes in building and executing marketing plans for commercial and residential contractors. Aaron can be reached by email at, by phone at 443-960-4004, or you can follow him on twitter @aaronhockel.

Tags:  Alta Vista  snapchat 

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Google Update Presents Opportunity For Painters To Boost Organic Web Traffic

Posted By AltaVista Strategic Partners, Monday, June 13, 2016
Updated: Monday, June 6, 2016

Earlier this year Google updated the layout of its desktop search results page to match the layout of its mobile search results page. This update eliminated the right rail ads and positioned the Google Maps results in between the paid ads and the organic results.

Here is what the new desktop layout looks like above the fold:


This change indicates that Google is adopting a mobile first perspective and placing increased emphasis on local search results. Searchers are calling for more local results when looking for businesses and services. Google is answering that call.

Unlike the normal search results there are no ads in the Google Maps results and only local businesses can make it into the listings. This is a tremendous opportunity for free exposure on the first page of Google above the organic results. A spot in the Google Maps results will increase your web traffic and boost the number of phone calls your business receives. 

How can I get my painting business in the Google Maps results?

There is no proven formula to guarantee a spot in the Google Maps results. Similar to organic SEO, there are best practices, and they start with Google. Here are three steps you can take to improve your chances of showing up in the Google Maps results. The best part? They are all free:

Step One: Make sure your business is registered with Google through Google My Business. This ensures that Google has all of your business’s most important information including name, address, phone, hours, and category.

Step Two: Optimize your Google My Business profile by filling it out with complete information. Write a keyword oriented introduction about your business and post photos of your projects. Continue to refresh your pictures on a monthly basis.

Step Three: Focus on adding Google Reviews to your business profile. Consistently adding reviews about your painting business is a positive signal to Google and will increase your chances of appearing in the Google Maps results. Aim to add one or two reviews each month and be sure to follow up on negative reviews with an appropriate comment.

The recent update to Google’s desktop search results page demonstrates a clear emphasis on a mobile first perspective and has greatly increased the value of ranking in the Google Maps results. Painting contractors can take advantage of this change by focusing on ranking in the Google Maps results which will lead to increased brand exposure and web traffic.

This article was contributed by Aaron Hockel, Vice President of Digital Marketing at AltaVista Strategic Partners, a PDCA Associate and marketing firm that specializes in building and executing marketing plans for commercial and residential contractors. Aaron can be reached by email at, by phone at 443-960-4004, or you can follow him on twitter @aaronhockel.



Tags:  Aaron Hockel  Alta Vista  Google AdWords  Google Update 

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