Splitting a Company in Two dedicated to each Targeted Audience



Kathy
Looking for feedback from pros.
Business owner, Tom, comes to me after working with a Yelp Premier Partner. I'll call him "Yelper." Tom has had a combination HVAC/remodeling business for 10 years. Yelper told him he'd be better off splitting the company in two so that he can have two websites and two Yelp pages completely dedicated to each target audience. Tom goes along with it and pays for two brand new websites. Yelper sets up a Yelp AND a Google ad campaign for each of the, what's now, two businesses. Since he changed urls and has 2 new website on 2 new urls (you heard me right. what the heck?), there is no Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to speak of yet.
Tom came to me because he's getting no leads on a very substantial ad budget and 2 beautiful new websites. (Web designers take note. Pretty is as pretty does.)
Since he is bleeding money, not making money, at this point, it's not too late to go back, so my question for you is about him splitting his business in two.
There are issues with that. He'll have to maintain two websites, two Yelp and Google pages, and do citation building for two different sites. But because the target audience is very different for each one, having two separate everything can be beneficial.
I do not believe splitting the business in two has anything to do with having no leads. I think it has everything to do with the Yelper not really understanding branding in all its forms, and not having a handle at all on conversion optimization, though there is evidence that he is not completely ignorant either. To the average eye, it may look like he did a great job. The two new websites are BEAUTIFUL, but pretty is as pretty does and right now they are doing nothing for him.
But that has nothing to do with my question.
I think Yelper really wanted to split them so that he can split the ad campaigns and manage them individually. Let's say most of ad budget is going towards poor "fix my window" leads instead of "replace my heater" leads. Combined, there is no way to weight one side over the other in Yelp.
What would you recommend to a client with two very different business models and audiences? After 10 years of building his brand, would you suggest he suddenly split them in two? Will the trouble and expense be worth it? Or do we keep them together?
Your thoughts are much appreciated.
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Nate
Yelper feels like the guy at the Blackjack table who splits 20, turning a winning hand into two potentially losing hands.
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Mike Friedman 🎩
True story. I was sitting at a blackjack table once in Detroit, MI. Another player was dealt two 10s. He asked the dealer if he should split them. Without missing a beat, the dealer said, "If you had a 20-inch dick, would you cut it half?"
Many drinks were spit across the table.
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Nate » Mike Friedman
Haha yep that's about it.


Brian
Either model can work (either the split or non-split model).
The issue is Yelp running the show on the websites and Google Ads campaigns.
They are ineffective at both of those and a waste of money.
They don't don't know how to optimize web properties and they love to set up and charge for as many things as they can. In this case, it sounds like they have done that times 2.
Can't really provide guidance though about which way to proceed but do have questions.
1) How is he ranking for his important keywords?
2) Which provides him greater revenue (or revenue potential)? HVAC or remodeling?
3) Does he currently have GMBs for both? That is where most of the leads will come from anyway if optimized correctly.

Kathy ✍️ » Brian
Yes they are running the whole show and clearly very ineffective!
His ranking is bad. Two new urls. It will take time. No redirect on the old. Google My Business (GMB) for the original is in position 15 with the original business name. Zilch for remodeling.


Jordan
I prob would have split them too. Remodeling is very different than HVAC. I tried working with a pest control who also did roofing and we ended up splitting the brands. If he's US based I would recommend focusing on GMB and Local Service Ads for HVAC. And for the remodeling I would focus on FB, Google Ads and GMB. And get rid of Yelp all together

Schieler Mew 👑🎩 » Jordan
Kathy
+1 right here. We have Carpet Cleaners who want to come up for Air Duct Cleaning, and HVAC companies wanting to also be Plumbers.
Guess what you can't do in the USA with a GMB…Double rank it for services this far apart from one another.
Requires a new website, and new GMB to align it with.
Agree, I would of split them too and named them:
Acme HVAC
Acme Remodeling
Different addresses, different numbers, different websites (keeping the original), different Ad accounts under an MCC and different Google LSA
Get to optimizing and win both categories.


Mike Friedman 🎩
Splitting isn't necessarily a bad thing, however, they should have kept the original domain for one of the sites and not split off onto two brand new ones. I'm going to guess nothing was put in place as far as redirects either.
Yelp's advertising platform is absolute dogshit. It would be easy to blow through a big budget with nothing to show for it. You have zero control over keywords or negative keywords.
I ran ads once. I paid $173.50 for 2 clicks. One person was looking for a printer to print some flyers. The other was looking for laptop repair. I'm an SEO.
Like Jordan said above, they would be much better off using Google Ads with Google My Business (GMB).

Kathy ✍️ » Mike Friedman
Yelp is great for the right industry, typically those with short sales cycle-heater repair for example-when searchers don't leave Yelp. My painter client is killing it in Yelp and will not let me set up AdWords for her because she doesn't want to lose what she has.
I have home remodeling clients that do better with Google AdWords with GMBs the real winners there. After I optimized their accounts, we turned off Yelp. We get MUCH BETTER leads in Google.
If you're a Yelp pro partner, you have some control over keywords. Yelp gives you a list of keywords. You can throw away the ones you don't want. I became a pro partner so I could do that for my clients that came to me with Yelp ads. For a hardscaping client, the negative keywords gave him a winning campaign. He calls it incredible. But it's not as good as Search Engine Optimization (SEO). I track it all with What Converts so we know.
No redirect.

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