Blog

Mailing Address Change

When SnapGrow first started (one year ago!), we worked out of my apartment. This was a good arrangement for our early days but it had one unanticipated downside. Because it was both where I worked and where I lived, I had to become something of a verbal contortionist when referring to my 1000 sq. ft. rectangle in Worcester, MA's beautiful Main South neighborhood. If I was asking someone to come over for work-related reasons, I'd refer to it as "the office." If I was suggesting they come over for social reasons, I'd call it "my apartment." Cuong (who most of our customers know from emails and calls relating to EssentialOptimization) just called it "the lair," but I couldn't bring myself to adopt that term. I figured that I was already on the brink of a coolness tipping point and claiming to have a lair might make me need to wear sweaters in 90 degree weather.

Last December, SnapGrow moved into a single room of what was to eventually become our finished office at 40 Jackson Street. It took some time for the property manager to complete renovations, but it turned out better than we anticipated (we wrote a bit about our office earlier).

Throughout the time that SnapGrow was based out of my apartment and until very recently, we were using an unoccupied building (2 Ionic Ave.) just a few blocks closer to downtown Worcester as our mailing address. The price was right (we didn't have to pay for use of the mailbox), but while this frugal setup was good for our early days, it created confusion for a few people visiting our office and sometimes we'd go a few days without checking the mail. To avoid confusion and simplify things, we're going to receive all mail at our current office address going forward. Our customers should expect an email and a post card reminder of this in the coming days (although most of you never send us mail anyway).

Our office address and our official mailing address is:


40 Jackson Street
Suite 1110
Worcester, MA 01608

Sign-Up: Workers' Compensation & Bankruptcy Law Firm - Cranston RI

Business Type: Workers' Compensation & Bankruptcy Law Firm
Business Location: Cranston, RI & Fall River, MA
Services Offered: Workers' Compensation, Work-Related Injury Cases, Personal Bankruptcy, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
Sign-Up Date: 05/09/2012
SnapGrow Services: LeadLoop, EssentialOptimization
Workers Comp

This well-established Cranston, Rhode Island law firm has many practice areas, but they've chosen to focus their LeadLoop campaign on generating phone call leads for Workers' Compensation and Bankruptcy cases. Specifically, their LeadLoop campaign will be comprised of hyper-focused ads that direct visitors to hyper-focused landing pages. Both the ads and the landing pages will precisely match the legal need included in the initial search term. Those familiar with SnapGrow will not find it surprising that, rather than a broad-based appeal, their LeadLoop campaign will specifically target a narrow subset of an already-narrowed subset of their potential clients.

They've also signed up for EssentialOptimization to increase their ranking on Google Places for two office locations. While EssentialOptimization does not and cannot offer the same precise level of trackability that LeadLoop does, they'll be able to see specifically where their law firm ranked per term at the start of each month and at the end of each month on Google Places, Bing Maps, and Yahoo! Local, along with a specific list of the work done in that period on their behalf. If they're not satisfied with the progress of their ranking in the local section of search engines, then they can stop at any point. Google Places optimization takes time, but EssentialOptimization typically shows meaningful progress in the first month, and it continues to improve each month going forward, so we expect they'll be relying on SnapGrow for their internet lead generation and Google Places optimization well into the future.

We've Been Busy

Unassembled SnapGrow Desk
Office desk with window
SnapGrow Desk

Time flies. While SnapGrow has been anything but dormant in just about every other respect, we have been completely silent on our blog, our Facebook page, etc. for a little while. One of the many things we've been busy with recently is getting up and running in our new office. Once we had the basics in place (chairs, whiteboard, redundant internet connections, and a fridge stocked with Diet Coke), it was time to build some working space.

After some spirited negotiating, we secured perpetual access (oddly, this transaction did not technically include ownership transfer) to a large table at a very reasonable price. The thing is solid and it can be “lit up” with power and data via outlets distributed every few feet throughout its entire length by connecting just one power cable and one ethernet cable at either end. Rumor has it that this unique piece of furniture was originally custom-built for a Canadian hedge fund. Regardless of its origin, it seems to meet our needs and match our space perfectly.

In addition to setting up this workstation and another desk, we spent some time on the weekends restoring the original brick walls. Taking on this project wasn't necessary, but it improved the look of the room, it increased the market value for future tenants (so the landlord was pleased), and the work itself (chipping, sanding, etc.) was therapeutic. Perhaps not surprisingly, cleaning up the brick dust was less inspiring.

Our principal focus, of course, has been on maintaining and growing our base of customers, improving our platform, and growing the company.

An increasing number of new customers have been referred by other businesses that already use SnapGrow. This is obviously a positive indicator for the company, but it is also personally rewarding each time we get referrals. In a sense, it validates the many long hours of hard work we've put into making SnapGrow the best internet marketing company.

The LeadLoop reporting interface has been completely overhauled. Sluggish load times are a thing of the past, and the updated, ajaxified user interface is easier to use and more attractive. We've by no means realized our ultimate vision for how SEM reporting should work, but we keep improving LeadLoop reporting, and it is already better than any other competing platforms we know of.

The SnapGrow team has reached an all-time high head count (still single digits, but not for long). Our thinking has evolved in terms of what type of people fit in at SnapGrow. The conclusions that we've drawn might make an interesting future blog post, but we'll say here that the aptitude to figure out the right thing to do and the confidence to just do it are at least as important as raw ability, intelligence, specific skills, etc. Fortunately, we've gotten better at identifying people who govern themselves this way, but nobody ever said that finding people who tenaciously think creatively on behalf of a larger mission would be easy.

In short, we've been busy. While being extremely busy is a side-effect of an expanding roster of customers, releasing new features on our platform, and a steadily growing business (all good things), at times we've crossed the line from being busy to being overwhelmed. Such is life in startup country. We will not be deterred.

Sign-Up: Collision Repair Center - Warwick, RI

Business Type: Collision Center, Auto Body Repair Shop
Business Location: Warwick, RI
Services Offered: Collision Repair, Auto Body Repair, Auto Painting, Car Accident Repair
Sign-Up Date: 12/16/2011
SnapGrow Services: LeadLoop, EssentialOptimization

This auto body repair/collision repair specialist is located in Warwick, RI. Like many homes and businesses in Warwick, Cranston and West Warwick, it was severely damaged by flooding in spring of 2010. After a period of business interruption, this body shop re-opened with a new and improved, state-of-the-art facility. After experiencing first-hand the consequences of natural disaster, this RI auto body repair shop now operates a clothing and food drive to give back to the community.

Auto Body Damage Inspection

This auto body shop has relied on print advertising in the past, but recently they've shifted their advertising focus toward the internet. In addition to their web site, they have an active Facebook and Twitter presence. They signed up for EssentialOptimization to enhance their presence in the local section of search results, with a specific eye toward optimizing their Google Places ranking. Beyond Google Places optimization, EssentialOptimization is a form of Bing Maps Optimization, Yahoo! Local optimization, and it ensures that a given business' listings are consistent throughout a vast portfolio of online directories.

Their investment in LeadLoop is going to be exclusively focused on generating leads for collision repair jobs. It will target car owners who are independently searching online for an auto body shop, as opposed to those who just rely on the collision center recommended by their insurance carrier. Since each collision repair job is so lucrative, their LeadLoop campaign doesn't have to generate a high number of repair jobs to be tremendously profitable. We're confident in our ability to produce results, and we're excited to bring this auto body shop on board as a SnapGrow customer.

Sign-Up: Criminal Defense Law Firm - Narragansett, RI

Business Type: Criminal Defense Law Firm
Business Location: Narragansett, RI
Services Offered: Criminal Defense, DUI Defense, Misdemeanor Defense
Sign-Up Date: 12/19/2011
SnapGrow Services: LeadLoop

Angry Judge With Gavel

Given our outstanding track record of generating leads for Bankruptcy Law Firms, Personal Injury Lawyers, and Social Security (SSI & SSDI) Attorneys, SnapGrow is excited to take on our first Criminal Defense Law Firm. LeadLoop has produced outstanding results in other legal practice areas and we're confident it will yield excellent results for this Rhode Island criminal defense attorney as well. The distinguishing aspects of LeadLoop which make us so confident are: 1) hyper-focused ads directly corresponding to specific search terms, 2) hyper-focused landing pages validating the idea that the specific legal needs of the searcher/prospective client can be addressed by this attorney/law firm, 3) prominent calls-to-action (CTAs) encouraging visitors to the landing page to call the law firm, and 4) tracking initial search term, ad click, phone call, and client status (hired, rejected, pending), and adjusting the campaign to accentuate those elements of the campaign which are producing new clients, and eliminating those elements of the campaign that don't produce phone calls or those that generate phone calls which don't lead to clients choosing the law firm we're promoting.

This new SnapGrow customer, a criminal defense lawyer in Narragansett, RI, plans to initially configure their LeadLoop campaign to target prospective clients in need of representation for misdemeanors, DUIs, and motor vehicle related charges throughout South County Rhode Island, and much of the rest of the state. Recent changes to Rhode Island DUI law and to enforcement practices magnify the difference in DUI case outcomes between those that are handled by an attorney who is experienced in handling Rhode Island DUI cases and those that are handled by an otherwise competent attorney who does not have current, relevant Rhode Island DUI case experience.

LeadLoop makes the process of targeting highly-specific sub-types of prospective clients a snap (pardon the pun, but we DO know how to make effective lawyer landing pages better than anybody). Further, since the effectiveness of the campaign will be 100% measurable, and since LeadLoop is a month-to-month service, SnapGrow will need to produce high quality leads that convert into clients if we expect to keep this law firm on board. We're looking forward to adding another practice area to our portfolio of successful internet marketing campaigns for lawyers.

Sign-Up: Italian Restaurant - Providence, RI

Business Type: Italian Restaurant & Banquet Hall
Business Location: Providence, RI
Services Offered: Italian Fine Dining, Full Bar, Wine, Banquets
Sign-Up Date: 11/17/2011
SnapGrow Services: EssentialOptimization

Serving Italian Food in Rhode Island is tough, especially in Providence. Anyone hungry for the cuisine of Italy has a plethora of choices, especially with Federal Hill so close by. So, it is was with this high level of competition in mind that this new Italian Restaurant in Downtown Providence, RI signed up for SnapGrow's EssentialOptimization.

Italian Chef

The main goal of EssentiaOptimization is to rank higher in a larger geographic area for more search terms in Google Places and the local section of other search engines (along with local directories). Google (and the other search engines) attempt to assess each business's popularity by tallying & ranking third party references to that business. These third party references are called "citations." Generating citations is the most important aspect of Google Places optimization, and it holds similar weight with regard to ranking on Bing Maps and Yahoo! Local. EssentialOptimization is largely comprised of systematically generating citations: A) matching the citations of local competitors, B) matching the citations of non-local market leaders, and C) monitoring results and making adjustments based on data.

This new Italian restaurant prides itself on being fresh and local. Every bite of food from start to finish is made fresh using local ingredients. The chief even jokes that he will go out on the boats in Point Judith where he can to help catch your dinner. With their strong commitment to using fresh, local ingredients, it stands to reason that they should pay close attention to their local search presence, too!

Sign-Up: Italian Restaurant & Lounge - Cranston, RI

Business Type: Italian Restaurant & Lounge
Business Location: Cranston, RI
Services Offered: Italian Pub Fare, American Food, Pizza, Burgers, Live Entertainment
Sign-Up Date: 11/22/2011
SnapGrow Services: EssentialOptimization

This new Italian restaurant and lounge is located in Cranston, RI. It features Italian Pub Fare, and has live entertainment several nights a week. Located centrally between Warwick, RI and Providence, RI, both of which feature many Italian restaurants. With so many Italian dining options in the area, it will be a challenge to stand out from their competitors.

Pizza

They are in the process of selecting vendors for a web site, and they signed up for EssentialOptimization to establish their presence in the local section of search engines before their site is completed. People looking to find a place to eat often search on their mobile phones. The local section of search results is more prominently displayed in this medium than on desktops and laptops. While a lot of web sites load fairly well on iPhones and high-end Android phones, smartphone users often still prefer to simply find the location and possibly the phone number without loading a web site. Optimizing Google Places, Bing Maps, Yahoo! Local, and other directories can substantially increase the likelihood of mobile searchers finding a given restaurant. Siri and other voice activated local search tools also rely on this form of non-web site local info to provide results. EssentialOptimization is a form of Siri optimization, and with steady growth of the iPhone platform, restaurants should pay close attention to Siri's impact on the way iPhone users search.

The owner is recognizable to many people from his musical and television appearances in the fairly recent past. With his celebrity status, his Google Places Optimization campaign from SnapGrow, and other carefully managed advertising, this Rhode Island Italian Restaurant can be well-positioned to stand out from its competitors.

Sign-Up: Real Estate Firm in Narragansett, RI

Business Type: Realtor, Real Estate Firm
Business Location: Narragansett, RI
Services Offered: Homes For Sale, Condos For Sale, Homes For Rent, Summer Rentals, Student Rentals, Commercial Property, Undeveloped Lots, etc.
Sign-Up Date: 10/24/2011
SnapGrow Services: EssentialOptimization

Located in Narragansett, RI this real estate firm represents buyers and sellers throughout South County and beyond, including the entire state of Rhode Island and parts of southern Massachusetts. One of southern Rhode Island's leading real estate offices, their realtors and agents list a wide variety of properties, including homes & condos for sale and rent, commercial real estate, and developable lots zoned for both residential and commercial purposes. Summer rentals and student rentals are a specialty of theirs, especially in and around the South County Rhode Island towns of Charlestown, Narragansett, North Kingstown, and South Kingstown.

Realtor Outside Home For Sale

Google Places optimization for realtors and real estate offices is principally performed in order to show up more prominently for more search terms in a larger geographic area, but it also ensures that the prospective clients who encounter your listing are met with the best possible messaging. This local real estate office is a franchise location of a large international real estate company, and before SnapGrow's EssentialOptimization campaign got started, the web site link on their Google Places profile was to the main corporate site. This sort of minor change can mean a world of difference when it comes to converting someone searching for what you offer into a client.

Their EssentialOptimization campaign will push accurate and consistent information, links, and media (pictures, video, etc.) to Google Places, Bing Maps, Yahoo! Local, and a vast list of online local directories. This will improve their rank, reach, and messaging, and the entire process and the results will be clearly documented. Realtors are great customers for SnapGrow because they are used to the model of delivering results in order to acquire and retain clients, and our no-contract approach holds us to the same standard.

Sign-Up: Florist & Gift Shop - Warwick, RI

Business Type: Florist & Gift Shop
Business Location: Warwick, RI
Services Offered: Flowers, Floral Arrangements, Balloons, Gift Baskets, & more.
Sign-Up Date: 10/17/2011
SnapGrow Services: EssentialOptimization
Florist

This new florist and gift shop opened after the owner's son's life was tragically cut short. The owner hopes to help people give gifts and flowers designed to make life's special moments more memorable and enjoyable. They offer a wide variety of floral arrangements, gift baskets, food baskets, etc. Whether you're looking to express sympathy or congratulations, or simply to mark a holiday or rite of passage, chances are good that this little Warwick, RI florist & gift shop has something that'll do the trick.

Like most new companies, they do not have a large ad budget. Many of their orders are generated via floral referral services (such as Teleflora and FTD).

They can serve most of Rhode Island, but their target market is comprised of Warwick, West Warwick, Cranston, Johnston, Providence, and East Greenwich. Google Places Optimization can be tremendously effective for florists and gift shops. Their EssentialOptimization campaign will tackle Google Places nicely, along with Bing Maps, Yahoo! Local, and a vast list of additional online directories. They're looking forward to launching a RepBooster campaign once they've built up a larger loyal base of customers. We're excited to add this Rhode Island florist to the growing roster of SnapGrow clients.

Sign-Up: Restaurant & Pub - North Smithfield, RI

Business Type: Restaurant & Pub
Business Location: North Smithfield, RI
Services Offered: American Cuisine, Buffalo Wings, Burgers, Pizza, Beer, Full Bar, Sports Bar, Function Room/Function Hall, Catering, & more.
Sign-Up Date: 10/14/2011
SnapGrow Services: EssentialOptimization, RepBooster

This restaurant, owned and operated by a husband and wife, is something of an institution in North Smithfield, RI. A recent renovation of the facility included the creation of a function room. With the function room came the start of their catering service, which includes the option of hiring a full wait staff with the private function room. During the same renovation, they also constructed something of a "restaurant within a restaurant" which specializes in pizza.

Pub

This restaurant and pub is one of the most popular in North Smithfield because of its welcoming atmosphere, friendly service, and reasonably priced and tasty menu. They've never invested much in advertising. Like many quintessential hometown restaurants, this place is mobbed every year on the night before Thanksgiving by year-round locals and North Smithfield natives returning home for the holiday weekend. They have a beach volleyball court and throughout the summer months, the court hosts league play.

This Rhode Island restaurant didn't join the growing list of MA & RI restaurants using SnapGrow for internet marketing "just because everyone else is doing it." So, why did they choose SnapGrow?

  1. To increase their prominence in the local section of Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). SnapGrow's track record of Google Places Optimization for restaurants in RI & MA is outstanding and verifiable.
  2. To increase the number of loyal customers who love the restaurant and vocalize their positive opinion of the restaurant, online.

We're confident their EssentialOptimization campaign and their RepBooster campaign will be effective, but as always, if for some reason they aren't totally satisfied with the results that SnapGrow generates, they can discontinue these campaigns without a hassle.