This is a belter! I am going to let you see the precise words I found on a taxi website recently when looking for a lift home, then explain the story behind it which has a very important marketing lesson within it.
I hope it will have two purposes:
- To make you chuckle; and
- To make you check you are not making this mistake in your business.
Here is the wording from the taxi website:
I am all over that.
When I read that out to our friends whose bbq we were attending, they were chuckling away. I hope you did the same.
However, the funnier part for me, and the lesson for you, was in the taxi ride back from our friends.
I asked the taxi driver in which country the website was developed for him. Clearly, the language used showed that it was not a native English speaker who crafted it for him. India, he confirmed.
He said when he set up on his own in the taxi business a few months ago he had no idea what to do with a website. He googled (funny that bearing in mind my article before this one) to find someone to build his website and found someone in India who charged him an upfront fee of a few hundred pounds and then £50 a month to keep it going.
However, on the taxi ride home he was proudly telling me that he was going to be getting rid of this website soon as he was now having his own one built and whenever he google it he kept finding his new website above this beautifully crafted website from India.
What he didn’t realise is that that was not what was happening for his potential customers like me.
Now whilst the words on the page make no or very little sense, they have got him to the top of Google. I didn’t even read them at first but simply called the number prominently displayed at the top of the page and conveniently hyperlinked for me so that I could click to call him from my phone. It was only later that I realised the words on the page made no sense.
When I explained to him that he only kept seeing his website at the top of Google (organically) because he kept clicking on it and ignoring the other website which was originally above it, to such an extent that Google was personalising his search experience to be better, his face dropped. My £20 fare, and countless others during the month, all come from his original website, or so he thinks, because he isn’t entirely sure, which is the second lesson.
“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half”.
You have to know which of your marketing methods are working and how well they are working. You can’t just assume which methods are working, you have to know so that you don’t shoot yourself in the foot and turn one or two of them off only to then discover they were producing most of your new client instructions!
This taxi driver was just about to shoot himself in the foot, which for a taxi driver probably is not a great idea. To say that he was surprised when I explained to him that Google was personalising his search results and putting his new website above his original one in the search results because he kept looking for it, he suddenly realised it might not be such a good idea to immediately get rid of the first website.
I told him he needs to work out which of his websites is producing the best instructions and only then consider closing one of them down.
The two main lessons from this story for you are:
- Understanding that Google will personalise your search results if you keep on doing the same search, ignoring all of your competition and only clicking on your website. The only way to really see where you are in the search results is to do a Google Incognito search. Even then it will vary based on your location.
- You must know which aspects of your marketing are working. Please don’t assume but really know what is working when it comes to generating new clients.
Understand this and you will have the “best thing that you can know and have on your own also” as the website copy above tells you 😉.