Author Archives: Plumbing Webmasters

SEO Mistakes for Plumbers to Avoid in 2019

Each year SEO evolves and those who follow suit reap the rewards. If you haven’t reviewed our SEO for Plumbers Guide for 2019, you should do so promptly, but if you’ve already read it, you might want to learn more about specific mistakes to avoid this coming year. To many of you, the mistakes to avoid this year will be mostly the same as the ones from last year. But for others who have not studied the digital marketing landscape in quite some time, the tips suggested through this podcast, video simulcast, and blog post will by eye opening. In fact, they may shake your perception of search optimization to its core. The good news is that changes can be implemented quickly once you identify the problems and their best corrections. Here are the top SEO mistakes plumbers should avoid in 2019

Template Websites

Sounds like a broken record? Well template websites are one of the most common SEO mistakes, and therefore their propensity for usage among plumbers must be mentioned every year. Even with the odds stacked against them from an SEO perspective, contractors continue to choose them over custom designs for one reason, and one reason alone; pricing. These template websites are cheaper and its because no professional design experience is required to make them. The downside of that is the back end coding which many don’t understand is a major influence on SEO. While template websites continue to look more and more visually appealing, their back end coding continues to leave too much to be desired. Problems with template web designs include:

  • Branding: Custom designs provide greater long term brandability
  • Coding: Since everything is front-end, the coding gets clunky and congested
  • Speed: Site speeds cannot be maximized with obtrusive plugins

Ignoring Organic Results

PPC is popular amongst plumbers because it’s the fastest and most surefire way to rank at the very top of Google. The prevailing wisdom for contractors is that everyone clicks on the ads. But ask yourself, do you click on the ads? Do I click on the ads? In both cases, the answer is no. So why is the assumption that everyone clicks on PPC results? At a recent SEO conference in Dallas, TX, it was stated that 76% of all clicks come from organic results. Keep in mind that Google Maps rankings are organic. That means when you say everyone clicks on the ads, you believe “everyone” to be 24% of searchers. There’s other studies that suggest the numbers favor PPC more heavily, but as a company that has done both services (Paid & Organic) for plumbers, we can attest to the reality that organic is most important. Here’s why:

  • Affordability: Establishing organic rankings is the cheapest way to enjoy online success
  • Clicks: Whether you believe the 76% number or not, people often click on organic results
  • Sustainability: Organic optimization stands the test of time and becomes a long-term asset

Nolen Quote About SEO Mistakes

Relying on an In House Marketer

While we’re proud of the marketing efforts would provide to plumbers, one thing we won’t do is proclaim to be smarter than Google’s employees or perhaps more importantly, their algorithm. Instead, we follow Google’s guidelines and abide by their standards. So why then do plumbers hire a single in-house marketer who claims to be smarter than people who have their own marketing company? Relying solely on an in house marketer is one the biggest SEO mistakes for 2019. At Plumbing Webmasters, we deal with this mistake from time to time. Prospective clients will have their in house expert call us instead of calling us themselves. The marketer tries to tell us what works for SEO and what doesn’t. So the question becomes, why are you calling to begin with? We respect the jobs of marketers, after all, we are them. But we have a team of uniquely skilled employees that can help you with every aspect of your campaign. Here’s why professional marketing team is better than a single, in-house marketer:

  • Content: A single employee with a marketing degree cannot produce the same quality or quantity of content as team
  • Design: a company has designers and marketers on staff collaborating, an in house expert is unlikely to understand both
  • Volume: In some respects, it’s a matter of man and woman power, the number on a team is greater than an individual

Being a One Trick Pony

There’s many components to SEO, but doing any one of them on their own, is not enough. What make SEO effective is collaboration and cohesion. The more signals you can send Google, the better chance you have to rank as a plumber in your local market. For instance, writing content only is not enough. Having a website only is not enough. Getting plumbing leads only is not enough. Here’s one; PPC only is not enough. Are you starting to get the idea? If you find that competitors outrank you for the keywords you covet, the most likely reason why is because they perform more SEO tasks than you do. It’s easy to get mislead by services who claim that a single concept will account for all of your traffic, or influence your ranking all by itself. But doing the proper research and preparation can help you avoid the pitfalls that come along with some of the lower-end marketing companies who are no stranger to manipulation. Examples of standalone services that should be avoided include:

  • Facebook Only: Social media cannot be your only source of traffic or lead generation, and while some in the marketing industry cite Facebook as something that can be a one-stop-shop for plumbers, they are mostly looking to profit for themselves with commissions
  • Leads Only: Some plumbers have a love-hate relationship with their leads sources, and others just have a hate relationship but lead generation is fine as long as it’s in addition to the more fundamental SEO principles
  • PPC Only: Much like lead buying, PPC advertising is a viable option for plumbers but should not come at the expense of other SEO marketing tasks that are more affordable, sustainable, and valuable
Posted: | Updated: Dec 13, 2018 | Categories: Podcast

What Does Quality Content for Plumbing SEO Look Like?

There’s a well-known saying that “Cash is King.” In the world of plumbing SEO and internet marketing, content is king. There are certain commodities that are just part and parcel of a good web marketing strategy for plumbers, such as: an optimized website with strong domain, bolstered social media pages, proper and consistent location mapping, etc. But once those elements are in place, it’s the companies that go deeper (not wider) that really start to see their efforts pay off.

Quality content is what will set you apart from your competition, and what will make you more attractive to a savvy consumer — not because they are plumbing experts, but because your potential client is no longer enticed by marketing ploys of old. You can’t stuff a flier in the mail and expect that to stand out in the barrage of junk mail that we’re immune to at this point, nor can you stuff plumbing keywords on a webpage in hopes that you’ll suddenly show up on Page 1 of the search results for plumbers in your area. Google is explicit in their guidelines that internet marketing for plumbing should not be geared toward them; it should be geared toward reaching your potential customer. And isn’t that your goal too?

Users Vs Search Engines Graphic

Let’s explore what it means to provide an experience on your plumbing company website (and online presence as a whole) that is enticing to both your potential clients and to Google.

Plumbing Content That Adds Value to Your Industry

It may not be what you want to hear, but even home service professionals (like yourself) are finding it increasingly necessary to consider your reputation; or to put it in ad speak, your “brand.”
There are many ways that you can naturally establish your authority and encourage trust as a plumber, such as:

  • Investing in the local community
  • Making licensure or certification status prominent, as well as whether you’re bonded and/or insured
  • Obtaining great reviews (and lots of them!) from actual customers
  • Providing honest, quality service that speaks for itself
  • Running background checks on all staff and subcontractors

But a key aspect of making a quality web marketing strategy for your plumbing company is to make sure you’re adding value to your industry as a whole. In other words, don’t just show up on the internet to get; also make sure you are there to give.

Why does this matter? In most large markets, there are literally thousands of home service providers competing in the same space, vying for the same clients. You can’t wave a shiny object and expect the leads to flood in. You must also consider that today’s home and business owners are sophisticated when it comes to the providers they utilize, and they are looking for more than just the cheapest service. Authenticity matters. Reputation matters. It’s great news that they will pay more for the best service, but how are they to know who is the best?

When you have a coherent, deep web presence for plumbing, it appears that you’re more than just a “fix-it” guy. They’re hiring your whole brand. When you regularly contribute honest, meaningful content to your website, social media accounts, and even via email newsletter to existing clients or prospects, you won’t annoy; you’ll invite. If a plumbing problem arises, big or small, you’ll be top of mind and well established in their experience as a person they can trust to handle the whole job.

How to Establish Authority Via Plumber Content

Here are some simple ideas for starting to craft great content that adds value to your client base (both attained and potential), and pull from expertise that you already have.

Plumbing Content Quality Infographic

You don’t have to be a wordsmith or understand the full realm of blogging, for example, to do these well. You know the core of the message (i.e. plumbing topics), and that’s what people want when they set out to find you!

  1. 1. Crank out small lists of quick tips on social media channels
  2. 2. Send out a brief email newsletter to all leads and customers — Bonus if you include a special offer!
  3. 3. Post How-Tos/DIYs on YouTube to grab the attention of younger homeowners and decision-makers
  4. 4. Regularly publish 500-word blog posts on a relevant topic — Drives traffic to your website too, and Google loves the regular updates!
  5. 5. Make your mark on your industry by putting out a white paper on a hot topic related to plumbing based on your expertise

You don’t have to embrace all of these opportunities to bolster your reputation and add value to the plumbing world, but consider the resources available to you — both in terms of time and talent — and come up with a strategy to establish yourself online!

Quality Content for SEO is Not Shy on Word Count

Remember: The stated goal at the onset of this post was to create quality content for plumbing in the World Wide Web. Because the objective here is establish more depth than breadth (although, to be fair, you need to do both to really compete), this is not going to be an exercise in brevity.

This post you’re reading, for example? It’s not short. (But you know that already.)

While word count is a good indicator of depth, keep in mind that this isn’t an opportunity to harken to your high school days and pontificate with all the fluff words you can muster. This is about good, insightful, helpful information. Think about what you can say, as an expert plumber, that your ideal client would want to know. What have you discussed over and over again with business owners? What is a mistake that many homeowners make when it comes to plumbing? Any topic that could elicit more than five minutes of conversation is ripe for long-form content sharing!

500 Words Quote

It’s not uncommon for our clients to realize that they have far more good content in them than they expected. Sure, this is something you could farm out, but when the desire for authenticity is at a premium, this is a unique opportunity to keep this in-house and local. You will do this the best for your company, no question.

Branding Counts: Set Up Your Plumbing Business for Internet Marketing Success

I’m bringing up branding again. And it’s not without purpose.

Branding is huge, and brand strategy is a must for businesses…even small ones.

When potential clients are searching through Facebook recommendations for plumbers from their Friends, or scanning Page 1 of the Google search results for best plumbing company in [your area], they’re quickly making decisions about who to pursue.

But that doesn’t mean that the next step is a phone call. For today’s consumers, the next step will likely be visiting a few plumber webpages or social media pages. And what are they looking for? A reason to call.

Sure, a running toilet or backed-up sink are good reasons to call. But when it comes to who they are going to call, this is where having a strong web presence and clear brand identity goes a long way.

A cool logo and cohesive color scheme are nice, and we can’t underestimate the importance of consistent NAP listings for local searches, but it’s not just about the visual and logistic components. What are you saying on social media? What values does your website reflect? Where are you demonstrating excellence in posted articles/blogs? All of that adds up to a brand.

And this is where content comes in. If you’ve taken the time to build up a nice social media following because you’re consistently offering valuable information (such as quick tips), and if your team has been regularly posting helpful blog posts about plumbing insights and great advice for home or business owners, you’re going to have a presence online that instills confidence that you are the company to call, no matter how simple or complex their issue.

Where to Start on Improving Content Quality for Your Plumbing Company

While I’ve shared several practical ideas for improving the depth of content that you are sharing with the world via your website, social media channels, newsletters, etc., where you decide to start is going to depend on several factors:

  • Who is going to help you with this (staff, Plumbing Webmasters, etc.)?
  • What resources do you have available in terms of time and tools?
  • Where are you most comfortable (low-hanging fruit) and where are you least confident (learning curve)?

The best advice that I can give is: Just start. Go with the quick wins, whether that’s earmarking a few hours a week to schedule some social media posts (you can use tools like Hootsuite to do this) with tips for seasonally relevant plumbing information, or writing out a list of topics to flesh out into blog posts for your website. Content depth requires subject matter expertise. What you may lack in writing ability (and you’re likely better than you think), you more than make up for with the valuable experience that resides in your head.

So share your gifts and relevant insight, and know that you’re cultivating an enjoyable and valuable experience for your existing and potential customers. And that is what will make you successful in today’s competitive market.

Digital Marketing Pricing Packages Exposed

Digital marketing prices can be ripe with propaganda. As a marketing agency that handles plumbers we’ve seen contractors get taken advantage of prior to joining our service plan. In fact, many come to us after being frustrated with their previous online marketing experience. In the majority of these cases, they were unhappy with the pricing model, and felt that it heavily favored the marketer over the client. We unfortunately cannot dispute the prevalence of these injustices within our industry. We see it all the time. Marketing agencies will manipulate their prospective clients with propaganda and end up costing them massive amounts of funds in the long term. Obviously, this can be disheartening for plumbing contractors.

In defense of the client who is taken advantage of, it’s okay to not know much about how these models operate. As a plumber or other small business owner, we as marketers cannot expect you to understand the nuance of every promotional technique. But this lack of understanding is unfortunately where much of the manipulation is rooted in. Because marketers know more about these specific techniques, they attempt to frame them in a manner that confuses the client. It’s nothing short of modern day snake oil salesmen. Arming yourself with accurate information like SEO for Plumbers in 2019 is the best way to avoid involvement with businesses like these. Here are some of the primary digital marketing pricing packages, exposed:

Black Box PPC

This pricing package involves immediate upfront payment from client to marketer. The marketing firm is then supposed to spend the money in any manner they see fit — most often on PPC advertising (Google Ads). But guess how much of the payment that many of these “experts” pocket? In many cases it’s 50%. That’s right, half of all Google Ads money goes directly in their pocket. So what’s the problem? That money is supposed to go towards Google Ads and therefore you should be billed by Google themselves, not by some self-proclaimed PPC expert sitting in another state or even in some cases, another country. Since the ads are supposed to be done through Google, it’s natural that reports should come from Google as well. But these marketers don’t send Google reports to their clients. They send their own reports so that they can mislead the client and exclude important information. In worst cases they use your company name as a paid keyword so that they can claim success for branded searches which would have almost certainly resulted in organic clicks, had the ads never been purchased.

  • Upfront Payment
  • Pocketed Percentages (50%)
  • Misallocated Resources

The Shell Trick

If the conversation with a marketing agency starts by them asking how much can you afford to spend, you know you’re dealing to the digital equivalent of a used car salesman. The question should not be how much you as the plumber can afford to spend, but rather, what the best deal is for you and your marketing endeavors moving forward. This opening question is frequently associated with a pricing concept known as the shell trick. They tell you that some of the money is going towards SEO, some towards PPC, some towards social media, and so on and so forth. The list of categories is usually very long so that it seems like your money is being spent on all these different techniques. When you look at it from a visual perspective it seems logical. It seems smart to invest resources in all these different areas. That’s why it’s a great marketing pitch. But what you should focus on is the bottom line price. Honest marketers will provide all-inclusive services for a fixed price, so that there’s no add-ons or extras, which should be pre-included in the package to begin with. The worst part of companies that utilize the shell trick is that most of the time, the majority of services they promote are usually left unattended to during your service tenure. They instead have slick salesmen send you reports that mislead you as a client.

  • Upcharges
  • Psychological Manipulation
  • Salesmanship

The 1 Trick Pony

This pricing package is almost the inverse of the shell trick, but the salesmanship exercised in promoting it is similar in tone. The “sale” of this concept is that 1 particular marketing technique is all you need as a plumbing company. It can be anything from reviews generation, maps optimization, citation management, etc. These services are usually offered in the range of $199 to $299 and those numbers can often be appealing to newer contractors working in smaller markets. They feel that they are saving money on marketing services by cutting out unnecessary services. That’s why it seems to contradict the shell trick, but the result ends up being the same. In a case like this, the problem is that 1 service will never be enough to compete against plumbers who are dominating Google rankings. In digital marketing, all concepts work together, which is why the 1 trick pony services are bad for business. What you really should target is a company that avoids both the 1 trick pony promotions as well as the shell trick and find someone that offers an all-inclusive pricing package at an affordable rate. The worst of companies in this lower-end price range will barely do any work at all. Even the 1 service they claim to offer is little more than a glorified hosting fee. You’re basically paying them to put your website up and report on its NAP citations. That’s it.

  • Non-Competitive Results
  • Glorified Hosting Fee
  • Limited to Zero Work Done

Emails & Telemarketers

One of the oldest tricks in the SEO pricing book is the mass email, mass telemarketing strategy that tells everyone with a website that their site is doomed for failure. Even us as a high quality digital marketing company with successful websites gets the same emails. Why? Because they are sent automatically. The grades and price proposals presented to the receiver are not accurate (at least in any cases we’ve seen). The same is true for telemarketers who will call you at random. They are fishing for clients, and got your company name and number from some list, whether it was online or through data mining of some sort. The problem is this; 9 out 10 times these companies are extremely low quality, and will end up creating negative ROI for your marketing campaign. You should avoid going with email or telemarketers at all costs because the results have little if any chance of being favorable when all is said and done. The best way to find SEO companies is by using the method homeowners use to find plumbers. That’s through organic search, Google maps listings, reviews, etc.

  • Email & Telemarketers Fish for Clients at Random
  • Reports or Warnings Provided are Often Inaccurate
  • Plumbers Should Find Marketing Services Through Google Search and Reviews

Quote from Nolen About Pricing

Podcast Transcript

Hey, there is Nolen Walker for Plumbing Webmasters. I’m going to enjoy this one. Online marketing prices exposed. Online marketing price is exposed. I get so sick of talking to people and hearing all this stuff … not talking to you guys, but hearing how you get screwed around over and over again. It’s one of the reasons we have a month to month pricing here. People get set up, they’re not tied in. We produce stuff.

So let’s talk about all the things that people do and they get they get so over sold on this stuff, and this is all real. There’s so much propaganda. It’s hard to tell who’s who and who’s a quality web company. So let’s dive right into this stuff because these are things i hear on a daily basis. Just saved somebody from this yesterday ….yesterday, came on board … and had what I call black box ppc billing. But what’s that Nolen? That’s when someone’s naive and they don’t know. And that’s ok, by the way, it is okay not to understand this stuff, but you sit here and you listen to videos like this and podcasts, and we explain it to you.

Okay, so black boxing the pay per click, is when you just hand them the money is when you just hand them the money and then they’re supposed to spend it. Now, i will tell you and i will not mention this company’s name. It’s a national company, name brand. We hired a guy to do some AdWords management for us and we got rid of him because he was just kind of and we got rid of him because he was just kind of not a nice guy. I’ll leave it at that, but what the company did was a black box everything. Guess how much of the paper click they took was they black boxed everything. Guess how much of the Pay Per Click they took?

People don’t ask. They go; Hey, i’ll spend three grand a month, i’ll spend five thousand a month, i’ll spend fifteen hundred. Whatever. It doesn’t matter. Whatever they can get you to do. Doesn’t have any rhyme or reasoning. Anything that gets you spend as much as possible They take fifty percent. Fifty percent of the money was spent on that. I will tell you that i believe that sometimes one hundred percent is done. I hear people going with the guys that do AdWords management. They’re like, oh, he lives in, you know, Thailand. He’s here or there. Yeah, I bet he does.

Your black box billing and he’s supposed to be getting leads or whatever he’s doing, all he’s doing is managing your AdWords. And I don’t have a problem with managing AdWords campaigns. But we’re transparent so we charge the fee to us and then your credit or debit card gets billed directly from Google. So is transparent. It’s not a black box scenario.

These people, from national companies to the kid living in Thailand doing your stuff, they’re sending their own third party reporting. There’s reporting from your Google account, but they don’t send that to you. They also do stuff like putting your company name for a Pay Per Click term and then claiming success over that for the amount of clicks you get or it drives the cost of the apparent click down. So it looks better to you. There’s a lot of stuff that goes on in the world of Adwords Management that’s bogus as all get out. You can have this done well, but you want to know where your money is being spent.

This is really good stuff. So if you think you know some of this stuff, stick around, i’ll explain it all to you, So we don’t do any of this stuff by the way. The Shell Trick, this is one of the most common ones done. This is done by hard sale, big tactic, companies, some of the most aggressive boutique private equity companies do exactly what I call the shell trick.

They’ll take your money and they’ll say Nolen … and it’s kind of like going on a car lot and saying, how much can you afford on your payments? Sir, if you spit out a number than their profit just went through the roof, right? Not how much I can afford. It’s the best deal, right? And so same thing on the shell trick. So they go. Oh, let’s get five thousand from you. Let’s get three thousand from you. Whatever it is. Let’s get two thousand from you. I call it the shell trick because they’re like, oh, we’re going to put a little money here on the SEO, we’re gonna put a little money here on the mapping, we’re gonna put a little on the management, the PPC, the hosting, the reviews, and it looks like all this good stuff.

All that stuff is normal crud we do anyway. Citations and design, blogging and content, regular work and postings, and domain authority. And all this stuff gets done anyway, it’s part of it. The mapping, of course, is part of it. Integrated reviews… But when they start splitting it up, it looks logical to you. Like what? I need a minute. Okay, they’re doing three hundred dollars on mapping. They’re going to do SEO for a thousand dollars. And then the management figure, there’s a management fee for four hundred, there’s some hosting and some reviews, and then what’s left for PPC guys and i’ll tell you something. Do you know what they do? I call it glorified hosting.

A couple of things, they typically don’t touch the stuff that’s supposed to be done. So let’s say So let’s say that you decided to spend with this company. I’ve got one specifically in my head, but i’m not gonna sit here and talk about it. But there’s many that do this. Some of them do it really hard core, and then you scream, reeling, from the bloodbath that you’ve had financially after you’ve done it for a little while, but oops, you’re stuck in an agreement. They talked to you in twelve months or six months or whatever. So when you get out, you run kicking and screaming.

Very little of that goes to the Pay Per Click that you had. You might end up spending three grand and had a thousand dollars go to that, unbeknownst to you, and then the phone doesn’t ring enough. The rate of return is bad. And then the stuff that they’re supposed to do on map and SEO and reviews and management… they did almost nothing except put up reports for you and have slick people talk to you on the phone to keep you on the hook. That is a very common thing and I called it the shell trick.

The one trick pony. One thing is going to save you. We’re going to do mapping or we’re gonna do, oh gosh, reviews, mapping, citations. These are things that are common… people buy into them. It’s really the $299 scam. $199 to $299… and I really just made up a name, frankly, for right now, but I know that people love paying $299 per month. We don’t do $299 because we can’t afford to have quality services for $299. But for whatever reason, everybody out there loves paying these low amounts. It’s illogical. You can’t do hardly any work for $299. You certainly can’t get a group of web people have you dominant in a primary market for this amount of money.

I call it a glorified hosting fee and i have called it that for years. You’re paying $199, $299, you are paying a glorified hosting fee. Because why? They don’t do any work at all. So this is some sort of automated thing. They’ve got you hooked up to some citation service with a little report that kicks out to you and they do the big goose egg. That’s how much work they do. And then you get no organic optimization. You get nothing out of that deal.

So if you bite on to $299’s over and over and over again, five hundred bucks and below, you’re going to get glorified hosting fees, and it doesn’t work because they didn’t have enough resources to do anything. But everybody seems like paying that price range. So be careful on that. One trick pony fits in that.

One thing doesn’t make marketing work online. Google checks all sorts of things. There’s all sorts of triggers and clues and grades and points that you get from lots of things being done all around the web. Design and content coding and graves and points that you get it from lots of things being done all around the web. Design and content and coding, citations and linking, domain authority, blogging and regular account changes, content additions, content changes, Google Maps postings, videos, and all this stuff is done, and it can work really well and it sounds like more than it is.It’s hard to do for a company, but it’s what we do for a living.

So emails, telemarketing kits and hacks on Facebook. The emails that come in, guys, they’re all bad. No, your website isn’t necessarily broken. I get them, everybody gets them. We get him and our websites or fantastic and kick butt but we get the same videos that everybody else does. So the more popular you get online, the more emails you get out of foreign countries and everywhere else.

They’re just fishing…, fishing for you to buy and you get on, and then you’re off to some horrible company. Please avoid those places. The telemarketers are the same. The only thing in common with the telemarketing companies and emails is that they’re good at market outreach to get you.

But you should find your web company through organic optimization, probably right? Methods people would find you on. Reviews, organic optimization, social media, the same best return places you want to get found. Buyer beware if you fall for the emails and telemarketers, the kids and the hacks on Facebook. They’re sitting at home, they’re sitting at home listening to programs on how to do stuff. No resources and very little skill sets and running stuff like Pay Per Click, but making it sound like it’s a lead generation system that they’ve created, that some fancy funnel click words like funnels, landing pages, industry jargon meant to kind of propaganda and overwhelm, and make someone feel like they’re missing out on something.

Funnels is a fancy way of saying proper marketing. Look it up. Look at a picture of it on Google. It’s getting people to find you and then give them some information and then work them with the emails and stuff and talk to them and they become a lead, it’s a funnel, but it sounds like something fancy that you’re missing. It’s not. It’s just proper marking.

So these are all the different things that go on the industry’s when we get someone in here that we work with, we’re very straightforward, transparent, all this shell trick stuff that people try to throw into one mega package and then suck off tons of money on it, we’re way way less expensive. And it’s just part of the whole thing that we do, because if you don’t do all this stuff, it doesn’t work.

The one trick pony doesn’t work. The shell trick stuff. I call it that because they try to divide it all up to make it look like they’re doing more and you end up spending more money and paying for fancy stuff. You know? Account representatives, keep you in line. We have account reps too, but it’s not done from a sales jargon, BS, sort of way.

We’re very respectful to clients and the efforts, the resources are put in to get the client return. So kind of, yeah, this is what I run into on a regular basis. If you’ve heard any of this before or any of it sounds familiar. It’s rampant in this industry for some reason. We’re a great company to work with. We’d love to hear from you someday. We’d love to be your web company. So got any questions, call us and we’ll give you a free site evaluation concerning these questions and tell you how much we charge. We would love to hear from you. Thank you.

Plumber City Pages: Do They Help or Hurt Your SEO?

Most local service companies, including plumbers, utilize city pages as part of their local SEO strategy. In the past year, Google has made it much more difficult to properly optimize these pages. Traditionally, city pages were essentially duplicates of one another. If you were a plumber in Dallas, you would list location pages for hundreds (or even thousands) of other cities, counties, and towns in or around the DFW area. Sometimes a few words would be changed here and there, but overall they were carbon copies of one another. Google finally said enough is enough, and altered their algorithm to prioritize location pages that are unique and customized. The consequence of this shift was significant for most plumbing websites. Pages that once ranked very high in certain locations, dropped down the rankings rabbit hole. Worse yet, entire sites suffered, including the homepage, because the site was now deemed by Google to be promoting duplicate and spammy content (and let’s be honest, that’s exactly what city pages have been). So city pages in their traditional format, are now bad for SEO. Plumbers must adjust.

So you still must optimize for more than your main city, right? It depends. If you are located in a major city, it might be enough to go for that location alone, because the population is large enough to get the customers and overall traffic numbers you need to sustain your lead generation. But most plumbers still want even more business, in which case you should still produce city pages, but far fewer of them, and ensure they are both custom and unique. Make sure the content references things like city landmarks and addresses the reader as someone presumed to be from that town. And no we don’t mean nonsensical gibberish that is intended to stuff verbatim city names in the content. We mean logical and informative writing that a real resident from that city would feel connected to in some way. For plumbers whose main city is a small town, you will have no choice but to produce additional city pages. Again, make sure they are both custom and unique. While you might do more cities than someone in a major metropolitan area, you still don’t want too many.

Duplicate Content Problems

City pages in their earliest iterations were a picture of SEO manipulation. While they weren’t always considered black-hat, the intentions of those who produced them were certainly manipulative. That’s not to denigrate plumbers who are trying to get their business seen in as many locations as possible, but more so the SEO’s that encouraged this type of strategy. But hey, it worked, and because it worked, there was no logical reason not to partake in it. But times have now changed. Google has gotten smarter, and has demanded better content for their users. Duplicate content is trash and creates a porous user experience. The user knows when they are reading it that it was poorly written, and likely mass produced. The question is, do they care? The answer, as Google sees it, is evidently; yes. So why do users hate duplicate content?

  • Readability: Very discouraging to read, off-putting even
  • Spam: Duplicate content, in most cases, is spam-like and trash
  • Uselessness: Provides zero value to the user, other than contact information

The concept of dupe content being bad for SEO is not new. The difference is that it used to be thought of in a different context. People thought that when a page from one website matched that of a page from an entirely separate website, a manual penalty loomed. The reality is that most duplicate content does not cause a manual penalty. Additionally, the type of duplicate content that relates to city pages is not coming from external domains. It is duplicate content on the same site. The impact from Google on this kind of content is algorithmic, and not manual. What that means is that the algorithm knocks down traditional city pages through a programmed mathematical equation. It is not some web guy at Google going through your pages and penalizing them. The moral of the story is this; duplicate content is trash, and city pages using them should be avoided.

Google My Business Problems

Another problem with many old-school location pages is that they are not properly linked to Google My Business, or in some cases, are linked to Google My Business pages with virtual offices. Google recently devalued listings that come from virtual offices. They would rather match their users with real businesses in real locations. After all, who should be more trusted, a plumber with a legitimate office space in Dallas, TX or a plumber out of Waco, TX who lists a janitor’s closet from his mother in law’s health club as his Dallas location? Best practice is to promote your real business location on your website and link it to your verified Google My Business listing, and vice versa. If you have multiple legitimate locations, you’ll want to link each GMB profile (you’ll need one for each location) to its corresponding location page. Take a look:

Plumbing Webmasters Google My Business

The button that says website; highlighted in red above, should link to the corresponding location page. So if you have a listing in Houston, but are from Dallas, your Houston location should link to your Houston city page? Of course the page will have to exhibit all the qualities discussed in this blog post for it to really take affect. That means writing a thorough and custom page about the specific city, along with supporting pages to go with it. Most importantly, the address listed on your Google Maps profile should be identical to the one listed on the footer of your location page. You can even take it one step further and embed the Google Maps data onto the location page itself. This way, Google crawls your webpage and knows exactly which Google My Business profile it is associated with.

One Page Problems

Aside from the whole duplicate content issue, another major red flag for city pages are that they are what are known in the SEO industry as; one pagers. Let’s say one of your secondary locations has a legitimate office space and a Google My Business profile. If there’s only one page of your website devoted to that city, it isn’t enough. You should have supporting pages like you would on a typical plumbing website. Whether that’s sump pump repair, slab leak repair, or anything else, it should be a supporting page for each location. Keep in mind however that this can’t utilize duplicate content. Most plumbers and their SEO companies don’t want to take the time to write all these unique pages for each city. The consequences are these:

  • Low Rankings: It will be difficult to rank on either Maps or organic with just a single page
  • Low Relevance: One page about the location won’t make you an authority in Google’s eyes
  • Unbranded: A single page doesn’t let itself to brand integration, since it’s scarcely referenced

We learned in 2018 that Google prefers content that shows itself to be an authority on subject matters. Using this same frame of thought, a plumber can’t be a Houston authority, when only mentioning Houston on a single page of their site. The same is true for smaller cities like Graham and Rockwall. For Google to deem a plumbing company to be an authority in a certain city, not only do they have to see more than one page of content that specifically relates to it, but they have to see the aforementioned Google My Business connection and legitimate and verified business address. These things in concert, will help prove authority for your company.

URL Structure Solutions

As a plumber, you may not be able to afford an additional business location, but you still want to show up in more locations. The best advice we can give you today is to create subfolders for each city. This is the same method you should use if you do have legitimate offices throughout the state or region. The difference in cases like these is their will be no corresponding Google My Business address that links to and from the page. You should only attempt this strategy for cities that you can drive to within an hour’s time from your main office. Each subfolder will serve as a mini-website of sorts, and have 10-15 supporting pages to accompany it. Let’s say you’re going for Corpus Christi. You will have a unique location page, and than pages for Sump Pump Repair in Corpus Christi, Slab Leak Repair in Corpus Christi, etc. They must all be unique.

  • Home Page – www.myplumbingcompany.com/
  • Sub Page – www.myplumbingcompany.com/slab-leak-repair
  • City Page 1 – www.myplumbingcompany.com/corpus-christi
  • Sub City Page 1 – www.myplumbingcompany.com/corpus-christi/slab-leak-repair

This is where the process becomes extremely tedious. Not only do you have to write multiple slab leak repair pages but they mustn’t be similar. You have to write the Corpus Christi slab leak repair page from the perspective of someone who resides in that area. That means no scraped content and gibberish. It means referencing local landmarks and make the reader feel connected to the page they are consuming. It’s the only possible way to dominate for city pages in 2019. If something changes again, more adjustments will be made. That’s the reality of SEO.
For help with content writing, local SEO, plumbing leads, and other digital marketing services for plumbers, give us a call today at (877) 388-9884.

SERP Features for Plumbers

What is a SERP?

A SERP is an acronym that stands for Search Engine Results Page. It is the page a user sees after entering a search query into Google.

For the sake of demonstration, let’s perform a search for plumbing company in washington dc

Plumbing Company Washington DC SERP

You can break a SERP down into 4 primary sections.

  • Google Guaranteed
  • Google Ads (AdWords)
  • Google Maps
  • Organic Results

There are also additional sections that appear on SERPs depending on the query. Some are:

Knowledge Graph

Knowledge Graph Plumbing Webmasters

Featured Snippet

Plumbing Webmasters Featured Snippet

Understanding SERP Features

Google Guaranteed

Google Guaranteed is really just a modern extension of Google Ads, and you can learn more about how it works from Google.

PPC Ads (Google Ads / AdWords)

The next visible SERP feature on a typical results page is PPC ads. Not every query will produce PPC ads on the SERP. For example, low volume keywords may not show PPC ads because there’s not enough interest in the term, and therefore Google would be wasting money by advertising for that query. For mid to high volume search terms however, PPC ads will appear prominently, above both Maps results and traditional organic results. Securing your spot on the PPC section of a SERP requires an advertising investment. Google shows ads based on:

  • Ad Extensions
  • Max CPC Bid
  • Quality Score
  • Relevance

Google Maps

Maps listings appear beneath Google Ads but above traditional organic results. Like with PPC ads, they don’t show up for every single query. More obscure keywords will produce neither PPC ads nor Maps listings, meaning they show organic results exclusively. But most local plumbing terms do produce Google Maps listings, and it is critical to appear on what is known as the Local 3 Pack. This 3 Pack is featured on the SERP itself, and is one of the primary sources of search traffic for local plumbing companies and the most effective way to dominate your local plumbing market. Because the 3 Pack is aptly limited to 3 results, being #4 or #5 just isn’t good enough, as you will never show up directly on the SERP via Maps. Here’s how you optimize for Maps listings:

  • Address Verification: Verify your business address, usually via postcard from Google
  • Google My Business: Claim & optimize GMB profile
  • Review Generation: Acquire customer reviews on Google
  • Website Integration: Create uniform consistency between website NAP info and GMB NAP info

Organic Results

Traditional organic results are the 1-10 listings most closely associated with Google as a search engine. They are not paid for, and can only be earned through search engine optimization which coincides directly with providing the ideal user experience based on a specific search query. There’s so many factors that go onto Google’s final determination of a website’s organic ranking. Because of literally hundreds of factors, none of which are released by Google themselves, marketers are left to their own devices to come up with best practice strategies. Here’s what Plumbing Webmasters knows about how to rank as high as possible on organic:

  • Keyword Research: Studying and identifying the best target keywords for optimal rankings
  • On Page SEO: Placing the proper keywords in meta, title, and header tags, along with text content
  • Off Site SEO: Building inbound links, signals, and citations from reputable 3rd party sources, including social media
  • Technical SEO: Integrating schema.org microdata markup which encourages Google to properly parcel your data, and appropriately rank it on SERPs

Knowledge Graph

Google’s knowledge graph or knowledge panel is most common on branded search queries. In other words, if a user has a pre-existing awareness of your company, either through word-of-mouth, a business card, a print ad, or some other outlet, a search of your exact name should yield a different kind of SERP than would be presented from a more general query. Branded searches typically show knowledge panels, which are sections of your Google My Business profile on the right hand side of the SERP. Make sure your GMB profile is:

  • Active: Utilizes Google posts regularly to keep content circulating
  • Branded: Displays your official company logo, and preferably high quality images of your office, truck, and staff
  • Consistent: Has the correct company name and category to ensure an appearance on the SERP
  • Updated: Has accurate and consistent information, from hours of operation, to phone numbers

Featured Snippets

Another SERP feature to be aware of is the featured snippet. These blocks of texts are answers to question based queries that generally start with qualifiers like who, what, where, when, & how. Not every website is ideal for featured snippets, but they do produce another opportunity to become visible on SERPs. For example, writing a blog post that uses the header, how to choose the right plumbing company, is a way to target a potential featured snippet. You’ll then want to answer your posed question in the subsequent text, which will hopefully earn the snippet. Here’s what you’ll want to focus on:

  • Headers: Ask the question in the H1 or H2
  • Paragraph Text: Answer the question in the subsequent paragraph text
  • Quality: Give an accurate and robust answer, and surround it with an informative blog post

I Need Help With SERP Features for Plumbers

Do you find the SERP features discussed in this blog to be foreign to you as a plumbing contractor? If so, there’s no shame in investing in a digital marketing firm to handle them on your behalf. Plumbing Webmasters handles each of these SERP features with precision, putting clients in the most ideal position to generate traffic from different sources throughout a results page. As a company that specializes in plumbing marketing, we have unique insights unrivaled by general marketers, who have a wider range of clients.

It’s important to stress that optimal SERP features are the result of a full-spectrum digital marketing effort. It’s not enough to just create a website, or just write blog posts, or for that matter, just pay for ad space. The reality is that everything with Google is judged on a macro level. This means the more avenues you invest in digital real estate on, the more likely Google is to reward you in different sections. At Plumbing Webmasters, we help contractors and companies become brands in the eyes of Google, and generate leads as a consequence.

Posted: | Updated: Nov 21, 2018 | Categories: Podcast, SEO

How To Rank Higher on Google for Plumbers

Every plumber would like to rank higher on Google. This is true for organic search results, paid advertisements, and Google Maps results. The companies that dominate these 3 spaces earn the most traffic towards their website and generate the most exclusive plumbing leads. It’s really that simple.

What’s not as simple, is the process of becoming dominant in any of the aforementioned spaces. Let’s do a search of plumbing repair dallas and see what the results show us.

Plumbing Repair Dallas SERP

As you can see, Google Guaranteed results are at the very top, followed by the PPC ads and then the Maps listings. Below you will see what the page looks like further down, with organic.

Plumbing Repair Dallas Organic

Organic results are further down than both PPC ads and Maps listings, but don’t underestimate their value. Users still trust organic search results more than a paid advertisement. So while the goal should be to dominate all 3 areas on a Google SERP, organic is perhaps the most important.

Dominate PPC Advertising

Unlike Maps and organic, PPC is somewhat of a money game. After all, the advertiser (you) is buying their way onto the top of search results. Despite this financial component, money is not the only factor in dominating PPC advertising space. In fact, Google doesn’t always rank the highest bidder #1 because other qualities of the ad are considered, such as its relevance and corresponding landing page. Google details their ad rank criteria in a 2013 post titled: improving ad rank. Conventional wisdom has always suggested that the highest bid would earn the top spot, but Google’s focus on user experience extends to paid advertising as well. Factors include:

  • Ad Extensions: Enhancements to an ad, like the showing of phone number links, location information, etc.
  • Max CPC Bid: Your maximum cost per click bid
  • Quality Score: An assessment based score that considers relevance, landing page quality, click through rate, and other various behavioral metrics

Paid ads are often seen as the shortest route to digital marketing success for plumbers. Organic rankings take time to earn, and Google has consistently favored the oldest domain names when all other factors are comparable. The waiting game can frustrate plumbers with brand new websites, and even those who lose out to competitors simply because of domain age. PPC ads are certainly one way to even the playing field, and to supplement web traffic while implementing your long-term SEO strategy. Keep in mind though, that to dominate Google Ads, you’ll require a high quality ad with extensions, a significant budget, and an optimal landing page.

Dominate Google Maps

Plumbing Webmasters has spoken at length about dominating your local market, and Google Maps is the most fundamental component to achieving that goal. Every plumber’s objective should be to earn a spot in the Local 3 Pack for their service area keywords. For example, plumbers in Dallas, TX will want to show up in the 3 Pack for terms like plumbing repair dallas, dallas plumber, and dallas plumbing company. Remember too that Google can determine the location of mobile users, so showing up for phrases like plumber near me will also be ideal. So what determines whether or not you can earn a spot on the Local 3 Pack. Consider these factors:

  • Address: Is your address in the city you are optimizing for, and is it verified through Google My Business?
  • Google My Business: Is your GMB profile optimized, and does it show recent activity through Google Posts?
  • Reviews: Does your business page have a considerable number of reviews, which will be displayed underneath the listing as an aggregate star rating?
  • Website: Is your profile and website connected, and does your website show identical NAP information in its footer?

When everything is a cohesive unit, Google view the business more favorably and consumers are more likely to trust it. Since Google’s commitment is to its users, and not you, it is going to show listings that are most likely to satisfy the user’s query. Becoming an authority as a Dallas plumber, or any location around the United States for that matter, takes a variety of contributions in your marketing department. Your website should be designed by a professional, and it wouldn’t hurt to hire someone for your GMB optimization either. Reviews will be somewhat your responsibility, since you’ll need to ask your clients in person. But a marketing company can help, especially if they install a reviews widget on your website.

Dominate Organic Search

The origin of Google is still organic search, and despite suggestions that its losing relevance, the true numbers suggest that users still trust organic. The reason so many people take issue with organic search, and try to dissuade people from utilizing it, is because it requires a lot of work, including small details that the modern marketer isn’t qualified or prepared to accomplish. It also take something that many people lack in 2019, which is patience. Because most things can be achieved in a short time span online, companies expect the same to be true of their ability to rank in the top 5 on organic search results. Unfortunately, these factors are considered:

  • Content Marketing: Appropriate syndication of blog posts and pages
  • Domain Age: Length of time your domain has existed for
  • Domain Authority: Google’s perceived trust of your domain, based mostly on inbound links
  • On Page SEO: Optimized content, meta tags, title tags, header tags, etc.
  • Off Site SEO: NAP citations, social media signals, inbound link building, etc.
  • Technical SEO: Design, site speed, mobile usability, etc.

SEO is certainly a long game in regards to traditional organic results. Don’t expect your brand new site to appear on page one, at least for 6 months. Even then, the battle will be uphill. But that’s not a reason to get discouraged, or to abandon the concept all together. Depending on your market, and its current level of competition, you could rank on page one of Google at the 1 year mark (or less in some cases). That might seem like a long time, but remember, you’ll be supplementing your traffic through other sources in the meantime. Furthermore, many websites have already existed for years, and simply need a new SEO strategy to start ranking quickly.

“I’m a Plumber and I Need Your Help”

If you are a plumber who needs help ranking higher on Google, Plumbing Webmasters can help. Our team of marketing experts is diversely skilled, meaning we have web designers, SEO specialists, social media marketers, and content writers, all in-house, and all working towards the same goal. Because we specialize in marketing for plumbers, we can create unique websites and content that accurately depict your company and industry. The marketers who deal with a general group of clients, are less likely to share our expertise and specificity regarding the world of plumbing. That’s why so many clients trust us in your field.

Measuring Drain Pipe

We can take your existing website and redesign it, which will keep your domain age in-tact, but exponentially improve your SEO and rankability. For plumbers who don’t have an existing website, or who have unofficial domains hosted by Wix, Weebly, or another “free” platform, we’ll initiate the process of domain name registration on your behalf. Yes it will take longer to rank with a brand new domain, which we described earlier, but we can supplement traffic through other channels while we execute your long-term plan, one which we expect to pay major dividends down the line.

Posted: | Updated: Nov 19, 2018 | Categories: SEO

A Brief History of SEO for Plumbing Companies


Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. This cliche applies to search engine optimization for plumbers, as much as anything else. To understand how to properly execute SEO, you must understand its origin and its evolution.

You can break the history of SEO down into 2 primary periods

Before Penguin

B.P. if you will, was a period prior to 2012 where SEO was the wild west in digital form. The best way to rank #1 during this period was to manipulate the search algorithm by sending as may inbound links as possible to your website. This could be anything from blog comments from offshore countries, to spun articles on irrelevant and spammy domains. The quality nor the relevance of the links mattered at all. The only things that mattered were as follows:

  • Link Quantity: The number of inbound links pointing to your domain
  • Anchor Text: The linked term or phrase on the external site

After Penguin

On April 24, 2012, everything in the SEO world changed. Google’s Penguin update dropped the hammer on spam links, and severely penalized websites that engaged in malicious link building. It was a big wake up call for SEO’s, who’d become conditioned to do what works. And what worked in the past, no longer did. In fact, it not only didn’t work, it hurt websites severely. SEO as we once knew it had become black-hat, and everyone would have to learn to adapt. Here’s what Penguin changed:

  • Link Quality: Grade the quality of the inbound links rather than just quality
  • Link Relevance: Decipher the relevance of links as they related to their destination domain
Posted: | Updated: Nov 15, 2018 | Categories: Podcast, SEO

SEO for Plumbers (Updated for 2019)

Each year, plumbers should reassess every aspect of their business model, including digital marketing. As an SEO company for plumbers, Plumbing Webmasters can provide unique insights to contractors across the nation. Because search optimization is dependent on Google, it will always evolve to parallel the latest updates in Google’s algorithm. Although Google does not release their ranking factor to the public, they provide general outlines for webmasters to adhere. Furthermore, 3rd parties devote their lives to studying search engine trends and tracking analytics as a way to construct best practice formulas for websites throughout the web.

What is SEO for Plumbers?

SEO for plumbers is the refinement of digital content in order to maximize ranking potential on Google search results. The acronym SEO stands for search engine optimization, and when referenced in the context of plumbing, alludes specifically to ranking maximization for plumbers.

SEO for Plumbers 2019

Do Plumbing Websites Need SEO?

Yes, plumbing websites absolutely need SEO. In 2019, having SEO is not a luxury but a requirement. Failure to implement any kind of search optimization will result in customers being unable to find your business online, which will result in a massive opportunity cost. This is true both when the consumer knows of your business beforehand and when they are searching for keywords related to your industry and services. In the former case, a lack of online presence will come across as unprofessional and decrease the likelihood of building consumer trust. The latter case discourages organic lead generation and limits your target consumers to those offline. Here are the main reasons why plumbing websites need SEO:

  • Branding: Helps build trust and authority
  • Lead Generation: Helps produce organic leads through search traffic

Another factor to consider is the behaviors of your main competitors. Each year, more websites are launched and optimized, which means that the probability of your competitors having an SEO-friendly website increases each passing year. We say that to say this; if you aren’t improving your plumbing company’s online presence, you are losing ground. It’s why contractors can ill-afford to remain stagnant, since you can rest assured that at least several of your foes will be tapping into your market inefficiencies. The rise in optimized websites also denotes the increase in available digital marketing services throughout the country, whether it’s SEO, website design, or combinations of both.

SEO Tips for Plumbing Companies 2019

 

SEO Elements for Plumbing Companies

SEO can be broken down into elements. These help organize different aspects of optimization and help plumbers understand the process in its entirety. Each element works cohesively with the others to produce a fully optimized digital presence. SEO applies to more than just your primary website, something we’ll detail later, and requires attentiveness and understand to properly execute. Remember also that SEO in 2019 is not what it was in 2009, or even 2014 for that matter. You should also expect SEO to change continually as we move forward, meaning 2029 will look far different in regards to internet marketing for plumbers. Review the elements:

On Page SEO

On page SEO is the one most typically referenced when optimization is described in a general sense. It entails keyword research and placement, which are two of the methodologies most closely associated with the SEO industry. In fact, people only vaguely familiar with SEO often still understand the meaning of keywords, meta descriptions, and title tags. These are a few of the many components of an on page SEO strategy. Despite its relative popularity, on page SEO is not executed properly often enough. Some of the primary components of on page SEO are:

  • Header Tags: H1s, H2s, & H3s
  • Keyword Placement: Insertions of top keywords for plumbers within different page elements
  • Meta Descriptions: 158 characters (928 pixels) shown beneath search results
  • Title Tags: SEO titles shown on search results and on the page browser
  • URL Structure: URLs shown in the web address

Off Site SEO

Having pages on your primary website optimized is great, but it won’t be enough to rank them towards the top of Google search results for the most competitive keywords. To achieve this status, you’ll need a properly executed off site SEO strategy. Although it’s less discussed by non-professionals than its on page counterpart, off site SEO is absolutely critical to the overall health and vitality of an online presence. Just a decade prior, off page SEO was something far different than it’s today. Inbound links still matter, but where they come from matters more. Off site SEO components include:

  • Brand Mentions: References to your brand on external domains
  • Link Building: Inbound links to your website (or other web property) from external domains
  • NAP Citations: Business citations from directories like Angie’s List, BBB, & HomeAdvisor
  • Social Media: Business profiles on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, & YouTube

Local SEO

The local portion of search engine optimization has become increasingly critical over the last decade. This is especially true for plumbing services. As Google has integrated location data like geo-coordinates into their search algorithm, they can now display results dynamically based on the current location of the searcher. Additionally, the emergence of mobile devices and WiFi internet access has made search queries more frequent, and their corresponding results more appropriate. Here are some of the primary components of local SEO for plumbing companies:

  • Google Maps: Verified business location on Google Maps
  • Google My Business: Verified business page on Google My Business
  • Online Reputation: Branded and optimized profiles throughout the web, preferably with reviews
  • Online Reviews: Customer reviews on Google, Facebook, and elsewhere

Technical SEO

The most understated aspect of search optimization is technical SEO. Technical optimization takes place behind the scenes, so only those affiliated with web design and programming really understand how it works. These technical refinements are sometimes hidden from the user, and would only be noticed by someone with a programming background. Keep in mind however, that this doesn’t make them any less important. For the other SEO components to reach their fullest potential, the technical element is imperative. Examples of technical SEO include:

  • HTML / CSS Coding: Internal web coding for clean and responsive web display & navigation
  • Mobile Display / Optimization: Optimal display and coding for mobile devices like smartphones
  • Schema Markup: Microdata tags that help Google interpret websites and their content
  • Site Speed: Maximization of loading times for websites and their pages
  • Website Design: The design of a website itself, including aesthetics, display, & navigation
Posted: | Updated: Nov 14, 2018 | Categories: SEO

Social Media for the Anti-Social Plumber

The social media landscape in 2019 is not exactly conducive to a plumber’s daily lifestyle. While A bunch of 20 year old’s are pretending to be people they aren’t — oftentimes on beaches in the Caribbean, you are inspecting the depths of a septic tank in Everytown, Illinois.

But research is confirming the importance of the platforms, and according to speakers at SEO conferences throughout the U.S., social media signals have around a 20% influence over organic rankings.

The harsh reality is that ignoring social media because of a personal disdain for it is allowing ego to get in the way of business. There’s always aspects of a job that we’d prefer not to deal with. Social media is now one of them for plumbers.

So how does an anti-social plumber leverage social media for the greater good? There’s several ways, each of which Plumbing Webmasters can assist you with. But the bottom line is this, you don’t have to be social to take advantage of social media.

Leverage Social Media for Plumbers With Advertising

People spend more time on Facebook than they do eating. The average person visits Facebook 14 times per day. This makes Facebook a great place to run a business ad. You don’t have to put up some contrived video while feigning enthusiasm. Instead, just invest in a professional-looking ad with a high quality photo and a call to action. You can even target demographics so that you narrowly focus in on homeowners over 30 in your local service area (or anything that your target market calls for). In summary, advertising on social media provides these benefits:

  • Demographics: Target your specific consumer base on Facebook
  • Professionalism: Avoid the ridiculous videos and post an image based ad
  • Rankings: Acquire the social signals which influence organic rankings by up to 20%
  • Visibility: Get your services in front of the eyes of the massive social media audience

Invest in Social Media Marketing Services

If you hate the idea of social media entirely, you can hire a social media marketing firm to handle all of its aspects on your behalf. This would be a prudent move for plumbers who can afford to do so. Marketing involves republishing blog posts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, as well as sharing important news updates on the same platforms. Instagram is the fastest growing social platform and requires visual content, so will require some form of concession on the part of the plumbing contractor. We can help make the process go smoothly. Here’s where you can market:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Linkedin
  • Twitter
  • YouTube

Yes, YouTube is social media, and yes, we know most of you don’t want to be on there. The good news is that you don’t have to be. Plumbing Webmasters does provide video packages that would serve as short commercials for your company. Furthermore, we offer YouTube ads as part of Google Ads package (formerly AdWords). If you need help with any part of your social media campaign don’t hesitate to give us a call. Just make sure you understand the importance of this medium to the overall strength of your online presence.

Posted: | Updated: Nov 7, 2018 | Categories: Podcast

Dominate Your Local Plumbing Market

Most plumbing companies did not start with private equity money. They started with one guy in a truck. So when we hear plumbers speak about the fear of the bigger companies, it’s a misconception on their part. So what’s really separating the so-called top companies, from your own?

Marketing for Plumbers

They aren’t better plumbers than you. They aren’t better people than you. What they are better than you at is marketing. Usually this is because they hired assistance for digital marketing services. But not your neighbor down the street, or your son-in-law’s brother fresh out of college. We’re talking about legitimate and verifiable marketing firms and website designers. The difference is almost always that simple. So what does a professional marketing firm do?

  • Content Marketing
  • Google My Business Optimization
  • Organic SEO
  • Paid Advertising
  • Website Design

Google My Business

Google My Business is an organic search element. In other words, when locals search for plumbing services, they’ll find nearby companies via Google My Business / Google Maps, which come up as organic results. You cannot pay your way to a top 3 Map ranking, it is a determination that Google grades algorithmically. You need the help of professional marketers is you hope to rank at the top of Maps results, and you need a professionally optimized Google My Business page. What does that entail? See below:

  • Address Verification
  • Google Posts
  • NAP Consistency
  • Website Affiliation

Get Dominate as Hell

To take your plumbing business to the next level, a dedication to excellence must be present. When the owner of the company does not call for marketing him or herself, they have their lackeys do it. This shows that they aren’t serious about marketing. Domination requires dedication. Having someone who doesn’t know what you go through on a daily basis invest in marketing on your behalf won’t get you dominate as hell, but in leads hell instead. You will never get page one rankings with this kind of subpar effort. How to be dominant:

  • Eliminate Excuses: Stop worrying about a bigger company and go do it
  • Invest in Yourself: Hiring a real marketer is an investment in yourself, hiring your nephew is a favor
  • Take Control: Call the marketer yourself, don’t have a lackey do it

Organic is Not Dead

76% of consumers still use organic search. Rumors of its demise are false. When you look for an avenue for marketing success, organic is as opportunistic as its ever been. Yes, PPC is still available to plumbers. But organic is the most cost effective. Remember, organic includes Google Maps results as well as the knowledge graph and featured snippets. There’s many opportunities available. Some of them include:

  • Google Maps Results
  • Knowledge Graph
  • Traditional Organic Results (1-10)
  • Featured Snippets

Spend Money to Make Money

Organic is so inexpensive. So why refuse to pay for it? Still, some plumbers tend to avoid spending any money on marketing whatsoever. The trick to making money, is spending it. That doesn’t mean you have to break the bank on SEO either. All you need is custom design, custom content, structured URL, on page SEO, and local SEO. You can then add paid advertising as a bonus. If you spend money wisely, you’ll make all of it back along with a major profit.

One misnomer is that being a great plumber and person will help you rank. I can assure you there are worse plumbers ahead of you on the results. There is no Google algorithm metric for morality or quality. Sure, Google Reviews help define a company’s overall standing, but many times companies who’ve been around for 20+ years have earned that rep on consistent marketing alone. Oftentimes they have been passed down to new generations who are worse at their job. You can pass them with regular marketing efforts.

Posted: | Updated: Nov 5, 2018 | Categories: Podcast