I’m in the business of getting new business for my clients. There is no way around this: Either you can or you can’t generate new water damage business.

When things are that cut and dry, you get pretty good at figuring out every little thing that gets phone calls or drives them off to your competitor’s websites. You would be shocked at the little things I’ve found that will literally drive away the calls from your website.

This is a tough business and only the persistent make any money doing it, but when they do, it is significant. Ask anyone who is doing it well.  Internet marketing and websites are still relatively new marketing methods and everyone has an opinion about it. But, as with anything else, the only opinion that matters is the one that gets the results.

So, the first thing you really need to know and understand in order to not turn away phone calls with your website is this: Your internet marketing must be viewed as a multi-legged relay race. If it isn’t you’ll give up and leave a lot of income on the table for someone else to come and grab. Every step of the way has to be run successfully, and then the next step must be run successfully, and then if you run all of the legs successfully, the phone call comes in.

It looks like this:

Water Damage Emergency ==> Goes to Google ==> Sees result they like/agrees with ==> Clicks on website in Google’s natural listing==> If they like what they see, they ==> Call you 

Unless every single one of those legs works, you won’t get phone calls.

So now that you know that, here are things to know that can kill your phone call volume and drive them to your competitor’s websites and tips on what to do/not to do:

  • If your website can’t be read and understood in three to five seconds, they will not call, and they will leave your website. No joke. People online are “browsers” — not readers. Especially in an emergency.
  • If your SEO is excellent, but your website is bad for phone calls, it is not your SEO but rather your website design turning away customers. Do not turn off your SEO. By the time you find out what was turning away customers on your website, your rankings in Google will have dropped, and you will have another problem to solve (still no phone calls).
  • Do not change your website when you get bored of it or let a new marketing person you hire change it because they think it is a good idea. Only change it if it is not driving phone calls. If it is working, leave the design alone.
  • Look like your customer. Don’t design a $15,000 website showing mansions and looking like you cost a fortune when you are located in the middle-class, blue-collar suburbs. They won’t call you.
  • Do not put a giant image or image slider (multiple images) at the top of your web pages. We call those images and image sliders “phone call killers.”
  • Your website needs to be designed for mobile browsing as well. Probably 40 percent of all of your internet traffic these days is on a mobile device. Always look at your site on an iPhone, iPad, etc. Is it understood here in three to five seconds? Do not let a web designer design a “mobile site” in addition to a regular website. This essentially means you have two websites, and it literally kills your rankings in Google. You want what they call a “mobile friendly” website.
  • Your SEO may be good, but your website may be stopping the people calling in. Do not stop doing SEO (or PPC for that matter); start scrutinizing the website points that are killing your phone calls if your rankings in Google are good.
  • Do not change a bunch of things on your website at once. Change one thing at a time. Then you’ll know what was killing your phone calls. Otherwise you won’t know and may accidentally change to something else that kills your phone calls, and essentially you’ll never figure it out.
  • Do not let internet marketing generalists work on your water damage site. This is a very specialized market, and it is fickle. You’ll waste at least six months of your time and money on someone who doesn’t know what they are doing or who is “educating themselves” on your dime.  Either run your guy tight, or use someone who knows the industry.
  • Do not “do what everyone else is doing out there.”  I’ve worked with hundreds of water damage companies in North America and other countries abroad. The more real and individual you look on your website, the better it will do.

Remember the internet audience is fast, impatient and changeable, especially in the water damage side of things.

Persist through the cycle I showed you in this article. I know how much money my clients make on successful internet marketing. The ones that do not persist through that cycle always say the same things, “internet marketing doesn’t work” or “SEO didn’t work,” which to me is tantamount to someone saying “all days are gloomy.” Of course some days are, but it obviously shows this person has seen a string of bad weather and given up on sunny skies. Don’t be “that person.”


Dan York is the founder and CEO of Stellar-eMarketing and a seasoned entrepreneur, administrative and marketing consultant, and Internet marketing expert, as well as a veteran public speaker. More information is found on York’s website: www.Stellar-eMarketing.com.