We assume you already have a web site up and running. We will just now look at how to let the world know about what you already have.
There are two things you can do. Firstly you can advertise, that costs money. Secondly you can publicise your web site, that mostly takes time. Today we’ll look at advertising. “Internet advertising 101” for interior designers!
In the UK, as things stand in October 2009, Google are the only advertising search engine to use that is worth your while using. Use Google AdWords. There are other interior design sites where you can advertise, we’ll look at those another time, we’ll just look at advertising through the google search engine this time.
If you type in Google “Interior Designer London” I’m sure you are familiar with the results. The bit on the right hand side is paid-for advertising. It’s simple to use and I think reasonably effective – just one tool in your marketing arsenal.
How do I get my company name on the advertising on the right hand side? I’m nervous and don’t want to spend too much money.
It’s not too difficult. Open a Google AdWords account. Write a mini advert that points to your site. Create an “online advertising campaign” in AdWords; IMPORTANTLY set a budget for the campaign, say £1 per day, then you will not expose yourself to costly mistakes.
Now here is the tricky bit. You have to ‘know’ what words your customers will type into the Google search engine when looking for an interior designer. Hmmm. If anyone KNOWS the answer to this of course they would be rich. You will get many companies calling you up claiming to know the answer – trust me NONE of them do. Use your common sense or even better ask a client or friends. What the potential client types in are called keywords or key-phrases; you pick individual words or phrases, probably the latter is best; such as “Interior Designer London”.
You can fine tune your campaign for days of the week, time of the day, location, etc. etc.. But do that when you are more familiar with what is going on.
Once you have created your ad campaign then the ad appears for FREE (good for your brand awareness even if there is no click!). You are only charged when someone clicks on your advert. The click takes them to your site (you told the ad how to do that when you created it in the campaign). That click might cost you 5p or it might cost you £5. So you now need to give some consideration to how much you want to bid for various keywords.
Let’s go back to the Google user who typed in “Interior Designer London”. Everyone else interested in that 3 word phrase, including you, will already have had to bid what they wanted to pay for a click after the ad has appeared. Generally, whoever bids the most comes up first in the list (Google will fine tune it so if people click you more often they will put you higher as they will get more total revenue ). Simple enough. It might cost you 50p per click for that phrase but if you want to be less specific and bid for “Interior Designer” it might cost you £3. So you have to be specific – would you really want someone contacting you from Aberdeen ie if they had types “Interior Designer Aberdeen”? And that is important. You have to be really specific and really target people who realistically will be your customer, you have to get in their minds and figure out how they will look for an interior designer to commission their next project with.
I gave you the example of being specific by the area where you operate. That will work in many cases but not always in larger towns or cities. In fact it probably won’t work too well in London. Why? Because there are a lot of interior designers in London, literally thousands, all trying to do exactly the same thing as you which means that to appear on the top of the list for “Interior Designer London” you might have to pay £1 per click. You will need to weigh up the many numbers of people who will type that who will never be a client against the profit from winning one such client. So try instead to choose keywords/phrases that match the kind of projects you do eg “traditional country homes interior designer” or “contemporary docklands interior designer” or “minimalist interior designer”. If you are in London then try, something like: “Interior Design Bayswater Traditional”, that would be specific enough. Then you need lots of other combinations too.
You will need to review what you do at least monthly. Remember also that even if by doing using AdWords you put yourself ahead of your competitors they WILL catch up sooner or later. You have to innovate and stay one step ahead.
That’s about it really. Give it a try, a couple of hours should be enough to get things running.
As a closing thought; think how much time and money it would have taken historically to produce an advert for your local glossy magazine or for a 1/8 page in the back of one of the national interior design magazines. With those you operated on ‘faith’, you would never really know if anyone even saw your ad. It would take days and the artwork would cost you AT LEAST hundreds of pounds. AdWords is different it IS fair and honest and open, you only pay for what your business needs ie you only pay for someone to look at your ultimate advert which is your web site.
Please ask questions through the comments section below, if you are one of our clients we will gladly discuss (in private if you wish) any details of promoting your interior design business on the web.
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