What a bizarre start to the year it has been. Similar to many of you (our members), in terms of enquiries and business opportunities, January and February seems to have seen a pent up demand and a welcomed boost keeping many of us on our toes and actually struggling to keep up with demand!
From our view at the PCA, this demand has certainly been seen within the number of ‘local member searches’ taking place within the PCA website. Putting it simply…compared to the past, there seems no sign of it stopping. For example:
- Compared to Jan & Feb last year: increase 42%
- Compared to Jan & Feb 2 years ago: increase 72%
It’s not just local member searches
There has also been a large spike in ‘actions’ following these searches. What I mean by the word “actions” is activity such as ‘click to call’, ‘click to email’ or simply link clicks to your website(s). Again, for example:
- Compared to Jan & Feb last year: increase actions of 47%
- Compared to Jan & Feb 2 years ago: increase actions of 120%
Bearing in mind that there is a proportion of “actions” that we simply cannot record (i.e. someone picking up the telephone and dialling your telephone number rather than ‘clicking to call’), in general, the gradual development and changes towards the local member search I am pleased to say have been largely successful.
What exactly has happened and changed?
Now, I am not going to pretend and tell you that 100% of everything that has happened towards the success of the local member search is a result of all the activity that we have done here at the PCA. Of course it isn’t. Currently, there is undoubtedly uncontrollable external factors influencing demand
However, this rise in local member searches has been progressive over the last 24 months now and has been the result of numerous backend and frontend website changes taking place to help make the ‘local member search’ more prominent within the PCA website to thus help drive opportunities to you, our members. Its included:
- Stripping back the search tool to make it more simple (minimising the hoops homeowners have to jump through)
- Changing the language/text used within the member search to make it more understandable and clearer to homeowners
- Redesigning the search results page to make ‘call to actions’ against your member listings clearer
- To maximise opportunities on homeowner pages, the building of ‘mini member search widgets’
- The gradual increase of more ‘sign posts’ throughout the site pointing homeowners to the local member search
- The ongoing and gradual window dressing of homeowner page content to draw people to use the member search
- Incorporating Google based tools to improve the search
Now, the list above is only the changes that come to mind as I type out this blog. There have been many more over the last 2 years. It is however, very pleasing to see these changes being successful for our members. With the exciting prospect of a new website coming out this year, we look forward to even more continued success and growth via the local member search!
We know its not perfect!
First things first….I am not going to pretend and tell you that everything is perfect. However, I personally believe it is working better than anytime it has ever been and is now efficiently and effectively delivering a healthy amount of opportunities that you, our members, are hopefully getting the benefit of.
With us now at the start of a new and improved journey of the ‘local member search’ with the commissioning of a new PCA website, the 2.0 upgrade to the local member search will certainly be part of the new website mix that should hopefully lead to even more continued growth, success and opportunities for you, our members.
So…what is the point of me telling you all this?
Helping our membership connect with homeowners that need trusted, qualified, reliable assistance and help is at the core of what we do.
We are all too aware of the ‘white van man’ brigade pushing unqualified (and sometimes potentially dangerous) remedial works that take the opportunities away from you, our members, and sometimes put homeowners in difficult positions. We are always trying to do our utmost to better connect homeowners with you, our trusted membership.
That being said however, it does not mean that YOU cannot do something to help influence more coming from the PCA local member search itself.
Ask yourself a couple of questions…
Ask yourself this…when was the last time you checked out your local member listing? Have you updated it recently? Are you marketing yourself and making yourself stand out enough? If the answer is NO to these questions, then maybe now is the time to act!
After years of working in the marketing departments for several companies in the industry, I can categorically tell you one thing…you will not find a more relevant and cheaper form of advertising nor a better return for your promotional investment than your listing within the Association’s local member search!
The ‘usual’ end bit…
As always, the PCA team is here to support you.. 2020 was an incredibly challenging year for many of us. Here’s hoping 2021 will bring opportunities, stability and an upturn in our fortunes!
See you in the next blog…