Is your home services business struggling to see results? Have you ever wondered why you may not be seeing a return on investment (ROI) with your marketing efforts? 

We get it, you have a lot going on, and everyone is in a different boat.  You might feel like your business is running smoothly, or maybe you feel like you are downing.  Either way, it is essential to monitor the data that make up your business and tell the true story about the impact that your marketing efforts are having.  Your budget is limited, and you want to ensure you make every dollar count. Collecting valuable data plays a vital role in helping you determine what works and what doesn’t when it comes to your marketing efforts. Nothing is worse than spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on marketing campaigns and not seeing any results. 

Without reporting and tracking the right goals accurately on your campaigns and continually monitoring your efforts, there is no way to tell if you have achieved your ROI. You must understand what actions you want your users to take when they come to your website and be able to track those actions as “goals” that you want to measure your marketing efforts against.

There are many digital tools you can use to track your marketing campaigns. However, Google Tag Manager is an excellent choice because it integrates directly into programs such as Google Analytics to help you track the goals that matter.  The best’s FREE!  

This blog will go through everything you need to know about Google Tag Manager and how it can help your business. 

About Google Tag Manager 

Google Tag Manager is a free and often underrated marketing tool for any home services website owner. Google Tag Manager provides the ability to define and track actions or “events” on your website without having to change the code on your website. As a business owner, this benefits you because you can implement this event tracking without the help of a web developer. 

One feature that makes Google Tag Manager appealing to website owners is that you can easily manage your tags through one cohesive interface. Once you have created all of your tracking tags, the system will implement them into your website for you.  You can integrate and manage your data across multiple analytics platforms, such a Google Analytics. 

Tags, Triggers, and Variables

Wow, that sounds complicated, and to be honest, Google Tag Manager, while simple to use, the terminology can sound a bit complicated, but stick with us.  We promise it is worth it for you and your business.  

Before you can begin to utilize Google Tag Manager for your website, you will need to establish tags, triggers, and variables. So let’s pause there to explain what the heck tags, triggers, and variables are.

Tags measure traffic to your website and your visitors’ specific behaviour. These tags will help you identify the influence of your digital and social marketing campaigns, as well as offer a simple way to reach your target market, leverage remarketing, and experiment to ensure you see an ROI. These tags will help transmit data to marketing tools such as Google Analytics and AdWords. A few common examples of tags used in Google Tag Manager include:

  • Google Analytics Universal Tracking Code (Sends information to your Google Analytics) 
  • Adwords Remarketing Code
  • Adwords Conversion Tracking Code
  • Heatmaps Tracking Code
  • Google Pixels 

Triggers detect specific events on your website that cause the tag to fire. Essentially, the triggers on your website act as listeners waiting for events to occur. Here are a few examples of triggers: 

  • Page Views
  • Form Submissions
  • Link Clicks
  • Button Clicks

For example, if your trigger were form submissions, then the tag would fire and collect data whenever a site visitor fills out a specific form on your website. 

Variables allow us to tie tags and triggers together, providing direction. Variables are the types of actions you can track to create a trigger.  Google Tag Manager has default variables set up such as:

  • Page visit
  • Click
  • Form Submit
  • And many more.

For triggers, the variable will determine when the trigger should tell the related tag to fire. In the case of tags, variables will choose the precise data the tag needs to collect. 

A container can be used to describe a collection of tags, triggers, and variables. 

While Google Tag Manager is best known for tracking specific actions taken by users on your website, it can also replace the need to implement pixels and tracking codes for every platform you use. For example, you may have had a marketing person in the past ask you to install tracking codes on your website for things like Google Analytics, Google Ads, or other third-party platforms.  With Google Tag Manager, you will no longer have to change any code on your website.  You can instead add the tracking code directly on Google Tag Manager.  

Considerations Before Implementing Google Tag Manager

Before you think about utilizing Google Tag Manager for your home services business, it is crucial to create a strategy and determine who will be managing your account long-term. 

Create a strategy that will outline the management of the system, should one of your employees leave or switch roles. Ensure you understand how to eliminate their credentials while still allowing your business access to the Google Tag Manager account. Here are a couple of options you can use when creating Google Tag Manager accounts for your business: 

  • Create an administrator account with multiple separate users
  • Create one master account for everyone in your business to use

If you choose to work with a Marketing company, such as ADHOME Marketing, we can help you create the Google Tag Manager account and add your marketing company or us as a user. 

When setting up your Google Tag Manager, it is a best practice to have one account per website. In other words, if your home services business only has one website, which it probably does, then you will only want to create one account. This is because your Google Tag Manager account is not easily transferable between website domains. 

Setup and Installation Process 

To begin using Google Tag Manager, you will need to create an account separate from an existing Google account you may have. Once you have completed the account, you can pick a name for your account (we recommend using your business name). 

When you create an account, Google Tag Manager will automatically create a new container; however, you will need to create a name. We recommend you use the name of your website as the container name. 

After working through the page and accepting Google’s terms of service, you will see the container of code that you will need to add to your website. There are two main parts of this container, with instructions on where to place this code.  Referencing the image below, you can see that with the first section of JavaScript code, you want to place this as high in the <head> section of your page as possible. Additionally, with the second section of code, you will want to place this right after each page’s opening <Body> tag. 

The HTML iframe content towards the bottom of the second section only needs to be used in certain events. More specifically, when those visiting your site have JavaScript disabled, this will ensure your tags still fire correctly. 

Once you have embedded this code into your website, you’re ready to go, and you can start collecting valuable data for your home services business! This sounds complicated, but if you have access to the code of your website, it can be a quick process.  You can also follow these steps for more installation information.

If you don’t have access to your website code, you can always send the code that Google Tag Manager gives you to your website manager, and they should have no problem installing it for you. 

Benefits of Using Google Tag Manager 

There are many benefits to using Google Tag Manager. Let’s take a look at some of them: 

  • Detailed control over specific tags and range of triggers 
  • Increases the speed of your website if used correctly
  • Easy to use interface, allowing all of your team members the ability to update and create new tags without complex code changes
  • Easy to control past versions of your website, so you’ll never lose data
  • Built-in tags to allow for integration with other analytics software such as Google Analytics 
  • Event tracking by targeting specific links or buttons on your website 

Learning how to use Google Tag Manager for your home services website can be a very involved process. You will always need to ensure your tags are up to date and add new tags continually. If you do not manage your Tag Manager properly, the code can lead to a slow website for your business and distort your analytics. Moreover, Google Tag Manager can be time-consuming to manage, and you need to ensure you utilize the platform correctly. Therefore, it may be beneficial to have a marketing company, such as ADHOME Marketing, set up and monitor your Google Tag Manager on your behalf to ensure you obtain the best results. 

Last Words

As a business owner, it’s crucial for you to be able to track data accurately and be able to understand trends and gain accurate insights. Data can help inform your decisions as well as marketing arrangements. Using Google Tag Manager makes it easy for you to manage your marketing data without extensive coding or website experience and manage all of your tags within one cohesive platform that updates your website automatically. 

While Google Tag Manager is extremely valuable for your business, it does take work and dedication,  as well as an understanding of the platform. If you’re looking for support using Google Tag Manager or need help with any other marketing, reach out to us. We’re happy to help. 

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click is a 196-page manifesto of digital marketing knowledge. It’s a resource full of practical advice and my own learnings. Through my career as a marketer and as the president of AdHome Marketing, I’ve come to deeply understand the marketing challenges many home care professionals face. 

In fact, one of the stories in the book is how we transformed a local furnace company through digital marketing and grew the business to $20 million in annual sales. I believe every business can benefit from digital marketing and I want to teach you how to do the same. 

Why I Wrote click

I know what you’re probably thinking; isn’t it a little ironic to write a paper book about digital marketing? Yes, it might be, but it was my goal to create a comprehensive digital marketing guide and I thought a book was the best way to do that. 

click Is not a marketing textbook and it’s not a topical compilation of marketing trends. It’s not full of compelling stats to try and sway you. Instead, it’s a toolkit that will help you truly understand how to use digital marketing to transform your business. The techniques in the book aren’t flashy and they’ll be just as effective 5 years from now as they are today. 

What click Can Do for You

click Is a toolkit that will help you navigate the digital marketing landscape and grow your business. Whether you’re a lawn care company that’s just starting out or an HVAC company that's been in business for decades, click can help you transform your business.

Turning through the pages of the book is like having a digital marketer right there beside you. It’s my goal to get readers to better understand digital marketing overall, including how to measure your success and how to make a unique marketing plan for your business. 

Once you’ve read click, you’ll have the skills to grow your business quickly, efficiently, and profitably. I help you skip the learning curve and wasted marketing dollars so you can go straight to an effective, well-planned marketing strategy. 

Who Can Benefit from click 

I didn’t write this book for the big businesses that have infinite marketing resources. I wrote this book for you, the small to medium-sized business and entrepreneur. I want to change your perception of marketing and how successful your business can be. Because once you start reaching the right customers, your business has the potential to grow to a degree you never thought was possible. 

I’ve been helping home care professionals for many years and it’s become my passion and my career’s work. I want to help you grow your business by taking control of your marketing. click will help you do exactly that by showing you how to reach homeowners more effectively. 

click is a resource that can benefit both marketers and non-marketers. It’s simple to understand while going into enough detail that people who already understanding marketing can benefit as well. For those who already work in marketing, this book will give you a better understanding of digital marketing. For those learning about marketing, it will set you on the right path.  

3 Key Points from the Book

Hopefully I’ve made a compelling case for growing your business by now, but if not, here are 3 key points you’ll learn from the book:

  1. How to ask the right questions to your marketing team or agency
  2. How to build an effective marketing plan
  3. How to understand when to reinvest or walk away

When you’re done reading click, you’ll be able to make marketing decisions with confidence. And with that confidence comes the power to transform and grow your business. If that sounds like what you and your business needs, my bestselling book click is available on Amazon.

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For most HVAC businesses, shoulder season falls between the frigid weather of the winter and the smoking hot temperatures in the summer. Most people only think about their HVAC systems when the weather lives in the extremes. So businesses generally see a slow period in the spring from March-May and again in the fall from September-November. 

We often see clients who want to stop their advertising during slow periods altogether. But this isn’t the best approach, not by a long shot. 

We’re here to show you that marketing in the off-season can boost sales and profits for the next busy season. Plus, bring in some additional revenue in maintenance jobs. So, if that sounds good to you, keep reading. 

Why Market During Slow Season?

We get where you’re coming from. Why spend ad budget when your customers don’t have an immediate need for your services? But there are many reasons why running ads in the spring and fall will get you ahead.

Build Your Brand

Building your brand isn’t achieved overnight. Or in one season! You need to establish a name for yourself in the HVAC industry continually. And once you’ve established some brand recognition, it’s essential to maintain and grow your audience for future success. If you want continued success during your next peak season, implementing a shoulder season marketing strategy is key. 

Good marketing never sleeps.

Become Memorable

If someone’s furnace fails when it’s freezing cold or their air conditioner stops working when it is sweltering out, they don’t have time to compare quotes and price shop. They will contact someone they trust and someone they have heard of. Someone they remember. 

Creating that type of memorability requires consistency in your marketing efforts. Therefore, your brand can’t entirely fall off the map because it’s off-season. The work you put into your marketing in the spring and fall will build your brand so that when someone’s furnace fails in the dead of winter, your company’s name is top of mind.

Get Ahead of The Competition

By marketing in shoulder season, you give yourself enough time to engage with your future customers. You can educate people on what your HVAC company offers and why you’re better than your competition. 

Once peak season hits, you will have created a relationship with your potential customers. They will be familiar with the services you offer and have seen your brand. Your business will be strides ahead of the competition, which will be just waking up from slow-season hibernation.

What Should You Be Spending

We recommend staying consistent with your marketing spend across all seasons to get the best results. Yes, even during the off-season. 

As we mentioned earlier, shift away from lead generation campaigns and more towards creating brand awareness. Focusing on brand awareness will likely change the medium you are spending on (more on that later).  

Depending on whether you want to maintain or grow your business, a healthy marketing budget will vary between 5%-15% of your revenue.

Best Tactics for Shoulder Season

The major differentiating factor between on and off-season marketing will be the type of campaigns you will be running. As noted above, your slow season efforts should gear towards brand awareness. There are many ways to create customer recognition for your brand.

Get Social

Shoulder season is a great time to focus on growing your social media accounts. You can focus on creating engaging content and growing your following so that you will have a larger audience to speak to when peak season hits.

Run Brand Awareness Ads

You should still be running ads during shoulder season! These ads will shift to a branding campaign that will keep your company top of mind with your audience. See below for examples of a branding campaign.

Focus On Maintenance Campaigns

To create revenue during shoulder season, you can also run maintenance campaigns. Focus on the money consumers will save by tuning up their HVAC systems before they cause problems in the winter or summer.

Customer Reviews

Shoulder season is the perfect time to focus on your customer reviews. You likely received many during peak-season you haven’t had time to promote. We recommend blasting positive reviews EVERYWHERE! From your social media to your website, make sure you don’t waste the potential of a good review. 

Reviews build trust with your potential customers and provide social proof that your company does a good job. Take the time to highlight them whenever you can. Responding to reviews is also very important. Especially the negative ones. Learn how to best manage your reviews here. 

Tend To Your Backlog

The off-season is the perfect time to tackle things you’ve been putting off, including cleaning up your database, revamping your website, boosting your social media profiles, and creating promotional emails.  
We recommend spending the time to set yourself up for success during peak season.

To Sum It Up

Marketing your HVAC business is a year-round gig. You will see much better results by simply shifting your spending to branding campaigns rather than turning off your ads altogether. We recommend putting the same budget into both efforts for maximum growth. 

If you want to talk to an expert on leveraging your marketing during shoulder season, reach out to us. We’re always here to help, no matter what season

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