Author Archives: Plumbing Webmasters

How a Content Writer Works: Insights From Blair Fawcett

What does it look like when a content writer plans out their newest website? Today, we’ll take a close look at their process as we interview Blair Fawcett, one of the skilled content writers at Plumbing Webmasters.

You can view the whole interview on YouTube, or explore our Content Marketing section for additional details about our services.

Introductions With Blair Fawcett

Madison: Hey guys! Welcome back to the Plumbing Webmasters Podcast. I’m Madison. Today, we’re going to shake things up a little bit. We’re going to be talking about content creation, but from the perspective of one of our content writers. We have Blair Fawcett with us today. She is one of our spunky content writers here at the Webmasters. I’m going to be interviewing her, asking her some questions about her process.

Blair: Yes, indeed. Very spunky!

Madison: Let’s go ahead and jump right in. Blair, can you tell us a little bit about what led up to working with the Webmasters?

Blair: Absolutely. I have a degree in Creative Writing from the University of North Texas. After I graduated, I became a teacher for a few years in the public school system. After that, I decided I really wanted to focus on journaling, writing, becoming a journalist. That’s where I found the Webmasters.

Madison: Cool! You caught the bug and you’ve been writing since you’ve been in grade school? That’s awesome. A lot of our content writers start with one different degree – anthropology I think was Shabnam’s (one of our other writers) – and they end up in a few years writing as a career. But I think it’s cool to see somebody who’s been writing her entire adult life.

The Content Writer Planning Process

Keyword Research and Placement

Madison: Why don’t we go ahead and get started on your writing process? Before we start big though, let’s go on a smaller scale. Let’s take a single service page, say “Water Heater Installation” or something like that. How would you start planning that page and what’s your process for working that page?

Blair: I’m so glad you asked! I focus on two different parts of the question. One: How do I optimize the page for SEO? The other: How do I make it where it’s really easy for the customer to read?

The first thing that I do to make sure that I’m optimizing for SEO is that I make sure the word count is correct, that the headers are aligned with the subject matter. I make sure that there’s a call to action, there’s a linked phone number so the customer always has easy access to the company. They know what the company does, so they can say “Okay. Clearly this company does…” What did you say?

Madison: Water heater installation.

Blair: So if I’m the customer and I say “You know what? I need a new water heater.” This is the company that popped up and they popped up because I had my page SEO optimized. That’s great.

Madison: Okay, so you’ve clearly done your keyword research and made sure that’s ingrained into the page itself.

Blair: Keyword research is so crucial for this aspect.

Writing Content for People

Madison: Now you said you had a second goal, which was making for an easier reading experience. How are you going about that?

Blair: So I do this thing called “Kiss it. Don’t kill it.” K.I.S.S it means “Keep it short and sweet.” K.I.L.L. it means “Keep it long and lengthy”.

Madison: That’s cute. Kiss it; don’t kill it. Nice.

Blair: What I do there, I make sure it’s direct. It’s to the point, and I also make sure that the customer has access to what’s going on in that page, as opposed to it’s just long/length/tedious sentences that are missing the point.

Courting Customers and Converting Leads

Madison: That’s so important! A natural reading experience makes for great reading for the [consumer], but it also feeds back into the conversion process of actually turning a prospect into a sale, which is what our clients want. So what sort of stuff are you doing to create that natural experience and to maximize that conversion process?

Blair: I think perspective is so important. I imagine two things. I imagine that I am the customer who’s looking for service (like I mentioned earlier), and I also imagine that I’m the company. What is the message that I want to convey from the company? I do one thing that is really important: I do a logical, an ethical, and emotional appeal.

Let’s say that I have a burst pipe in my home. I’m the customer, and I want a service. I’m going to look for something that’s logical, that makes sense to me. “Yes, I need a plumbing repair right now.” Ethical: “Okay, this company is insured, they have the right certifications. Those are important from an ethical standpoint.” Then finally, we have the pathos, which is emotional. I’ve actually had a burst pipe in my home, and it was terrible! I really feel for the customer there.

Madison: That’s so cool! So you’ve been able to take a lot of your own experience (both as a teach and as a homeowner) and feed that back into your writing. That’s great. You mentioned different sorts of appeals you can make: the ethical, the emotional, and the logical. That’s really feeding back into that natural reading experience. So many plumbing websites are missing that. They focus on the sale, sale, sale. “This is why our services are great…” but they don’t relate it back to the customer.

Blending SEO With Natural Reading Experience

Madison: That’s something that many websites struggle with. How do you make sure that you have that balance with those SEO elements (and clearly displaying services) with that natural reading experience? Is that a struggle to balance those?

Blair: No! I actually have a really good team that works with me all the time. I have graphic designers that make sure the website layout is really clean, pristine, and nice. That all the buttons click where they’re supposed to go. Also, something that I personally do is make sure that all of the pictures that are associated with the services they match what exactly is going on in that page.

Here’s something that I love! Sometimes the companies will give us a whole bunch of pictures that we can work with.

Madison: Oh yes! Pictures are so nice when [clients] actually give them to us. We sometimes have to work with stock photos. We definitely don’t want to if we can avoid it. It’s okay, but if we can get those original photos…that’s fantastic.

Blair: It is. It’s authentic!

Non-Text Elements Crucial to Content Writers

Madison: Now, taking a tangent off that, you’ve mentioned that this is just one of many non-text elements. What other sort of non-text elements really feed into your process that are really important for the page?

Blair: Something that we do is incorporate Righteous Reviews…for the customers to have easy access to the reviews and then also have access to the services themselves. We have a really clean look. We really work with our [clients] to make sure that their plumbing website looks exactly the way they want their plumbing website to look like. We personalize it. We make it really stand out as a beacon of what that company’s message is and what they’re about.

Madison: Now is that from a graphical standpoint, or formatting? What sort of styling are you thinking of?

Blair: From my end as a content writer…I do a lot of research into the company. I see what they’re about. I see how long they’ve been around. Every single company is different. Whenever I work with a company, I make sure to incorporate those individual characteristics (those little details) are worked into the page as much as I can, while also continuing to have it SEO optimized and have all the easy reading.

TLDR, a Challenge for Content Writers

Madison: Speaking of reading, there’s a challenge that many content writers and businesses in general face today. There’s a saying that you’ll see on the internet:TLDR which stands for “Too Long; Didn’t Read.”

Blair: Ah! What a travesty!

Madison: So many people are crunched for time. Maybe they’re browsing for services while they’re at work or they’re at their pilates class, and they need to find information quickly. How do you deal with this challenge in a way that ensures that people actually get to the content that you want them to?

Blair: Madison! You’ve actually hit the heart of the issue. The best way to address that is to make sure that it is a pleasant reading experience. I never want my customers to feel like “Wow. I’ve gotten sold to.” I want them to feel like “Oh. This is informative. It’s telling me about this company. It’s telling me about the service.” That’s what a good website will do. That is what a good message will do.

Madison: Mmhmm. I think a lot of great websites, when you’re reading them it feels almost like a conversation that you’re having with a person, not somebody telling you “Okay, this is how X, Y, and Z goes.” It’s such a relatable experience, that it feels like you’re talking with a person.

Key Takeaways for Great Reading

Madison: What do you think are the most important elements in your content writing that are providing a great user experience for somebody that’s visiting the site (maybe for the first time)? They need services and they’re trying to get information.

Blair: I put in some imagery. I put in some metaphors; I put in some details…

Madison: There’s that creative writing for you!

Blair: Ya! Exactly…describe a burst pipe. “Ah! A burst pipe is in your home and that’s terrible.” That way everybody feels emotionally invested in the process.

Madison: So you’re scene setting?

Blair: Exactly. Scene setting; getting some imagery in there. Everyone likes a good metaphor.

Madison: So many plumbing websites when you read through them, they’re just so dry. I’m like “Ya, I know what plumbing is, but this doesn’t really relate to me.” But the way you’re describing it like a person can see the situation going on in the page. That’s really cool!

A Broader Point of View

Madison: Let’s blow up this perspective and look at it from a whole, cross-site view. How are you going to make sure, as a whole, that your content across the entire website is successful (cohesive, informative, not overlapping)? What are you going to do to try and ensure that?

Blair: Whenever you’re managing a really big website, you’ve got a lot of pages. You’ve got 60 pages that you’ve gotta make sure have a really similar message. That it all works together. To that end, on the front end [it’s about] all the research you do on the front end from the very get go. You’re going to reap the benefits of that as you go through the website and create the content.

Madison: That’s a good point. So you know ahead of time what all the services are so you’re not accidentally overlapping on content. And what else are you doing?

Clear Messaging in Website Content

Blair: Something else that I’m doing is that I’m making sure to review and convey the company’s message in a succinct way. Again, I’m making sure that… “You know what? This company really advertises trenchless plumbing repairs. Let’s make sure that message is clear, and let’s hyperlink back to it.” Because if there’s a related service, let’s hop back there. Let’s make it really easy for the customer to have access to these different pages in this big website. It’s a great undertaking to create a website, and with that comes a lot of responsibility.

Madison: Oh ya! I know from experience that process can take weeks to go through, maybe even a month depending on the size of the site. A lot of formatting, a lot of navigational structure is going in. The graphic design team is helping with that, and of course we have people like Amberlynn [our top editor] who are going in and editing it and making sure the message is consistent. There’s so much going in.

Key Takeaways for Plumbers

Madison: Now Blair. Let’s say that up to this point nobody was listening whatsoever. What would you say to plumbers if you had one thing you wanted them to take away from our discussion? What advice would you give to them?

Blair: I would say “Hi! How are you?” Dear plumbing friends, a well-designed website can work wonders for your company’s image. A really good website can tell the customers who you are in a clear way. Your website is your first point of contact with a lot of your new customers, and some of your old customers. By getting a good website, you’re putting a good foot forward on the internet and in real life.

Madison: And you’re balancing that SEO with natural reading experience so that people can not only find you, but choose you as well. Thanks for coming in, Blair. We’ll see what we’re gonna talk about next time. In the meantime, thank you so much for listening in plumbers. We’ll see you next time.

Blair: Thank you!

Related Pages From Plumbing Webmasters

For More Research:
How to Craft a 5-Star Website User Experience (Article)
Brown Friday: Rockstar Plumber (Podcast)
How Plumbers Should React to the Google BERT Update (Article)

Services From Plumbing Webmasters:
Custom WordPress Plumbing Websites
Plumbing Leads
– Plumbing Content Management

Posted: | Updated: Feb 19, 2020 | Categories: Podcast

True Client Stories: Local Plumber Dominance

We all love to hear underdog success stories, especially when the underdog is a startup plumbing company! In today’s True Client Story, we explore the shocking rise of a water heater specialist who began with no brand or online history to speak up, and ended up a top ranking dynamo with outrageous success!

The best part: This plumber did it all in less than six months.

Jason and Nolen share how this clever professional managed to top local search results in such a short time. If you’ve been struggling to break into page one search results – you’ll have to be willing to work a bit – be sure to listen in! Let’s get started.

Key Takeaways From This Podcast: 

  • Local search results are more fluid than they used to be, thanks to Google updates.
  • Geotagging can quickly elevate your brand above surrounding competitors.
  • Google My Business (GMB) is essential for local ranking.
  • Righteous Reviews only works if you use it.

A Chattanooga Plumber Story

One day, a fresh-faced plumber – We’ll call him “Rob” – came to us from Chattanooga, Tennessee. Bob shared his dreams of opening up a plumbing business that specialized in water heater services. Chattanooga was no small town, so he would be facing quite a few established competitors in his local search arena. In fact, when we took a look at Bob’s local community, we discovered a veteran company with hundreds of glowing reviews. This Chattanooga plumber had his work cut out for him!

Less than six months later however, Bob’s water heater service company ranked in the local map pack for almost all of his top service keywords.

That’s right! A brand new plumbing business was beating out long-time champions to dominate the local market. With the power of exceptional search marketing and geotagging, this plumber quickly found himself swimming in business for a premium plumbing service.

Let’s dig into how Bob did it…

Localized Keywords Earn Better Rankings for Your Area. (Name & Number Obscured)

Step #1: He Optimized His Website

Given the substantial revenue potential of water heater services, our Chattanooga plumber faced substantial competition entering the market. Bob’s decision to specialize however, actually made it easier to thoroughly optimize his website. Instead of a handful of pages getting optimized for a handful of generic terms, Bob’s website exclusively optimized for a wide variety of water heater keywords terms from his local area.

When we wrote the site, our team also made sure to tailor the service pages specifically to Bob’s target city. A lot of plumbing contractors make the mistake of targeting a massive area (such as the entire state) before they’ve managed to gain a foothold in their immediate community. We made sure that all of Bob’s service pages specifically contained the Chattanooga, TN keyword tail, which makes it so much easier for local consumers to find his business.

Once we mixed in these localized keywords into the conversational writing and engaging photos, Bob’s site was ready to start kicking butt. But there was still more work to do beyond the site.

An Example of Bob's Local Map Pack Listings

Local Map Pack Listings Offer Tremendous Traffic Volume! (Name & Number Obscured)

Step #2: He Optimized His GMB

Google My Business plays an integral role in local search. Once claimed, filled out, and verified, this free listing service identifies your industry for consumers in your community. Google Maps listings heavily depend on GMB accounts to provide the best possible results for local homeowners. In other words: if you haven’t claimed your GMB account yet, you’re missing out on free traffic!

We gladly handled Bob’s GMB account optimization, making sure his company was specifically designated as a water heater business. This greatly increased his chances of popping up before general service plumbers whenever a nearby homeowner or business Google searched for water heater repairs. Bob automatically bypassed numerous competitors in his service area.

Step #3: Bob Used Geotagging

Geotagging is the process of attaching GPS data to online content. In Bob’s case, he utilized the Righteous Reviews software integrated into all of our custom-built websites. Every time the water heater specialist finished a repair visit or an original installation, he checked-in to the jobsite and asked for a review. He also used the software’s automatic review function to automatically request reviews from clients following each service visit.

In just a couple months, Bob collected scores of new online reviews for his company.

Water Heater Installation Check-in Mark

“Bob” Regularly Checks-in to His Job Sites to Boost Local Search Results. (Name Obscured)

Better still, all of these check-ins and reviews came with GPS data attached. Pins started popping up all over the digital Chattanooga map where Bob provided water heater services. The Righteous Reviews software connected the check-ins and reviews to the associated service pages on Bob’s website. In other words, Bob was creating undeniable proof of his work for local search.

And Google took notice…

Our Story Ends

In less than two months after launching his brand new website, Bob earned a top slot in his local map pack for his most crucial industry keyword. Fast forward to today, and Bob’s website will pop up on local maps for almost all of his top keywords. While the Plumbing Webmasters played a key role in his initial success, this Chattanooga plumber also takes an active role in his continued growth. He actively utilizes his Righteous Reviews tool with each service call, and he continually provides exceptional customer care wherever he goes.

Way to go, Bob!

If you’d like to learn more about Bob’s story of aggressive growth, or if you’d like to see how your business can break out through local search, our team is happy to help. Call us today at (877) 388-9884 and ask about search marketing through Plumbing Webmasters. See what sort of amazing growth your business can achieve!

Helpful Resources From Plumbing Webmasters

Related Articles and Podcasts
The Coolest Review Software Ever (Podcast)
Brown Friday: Rockstar Plumber (Podcast)
Plumbing Client Case Study #1: All About Plumbing and Septic (Case Study)

Our Services
Righteous Reviews for Plumbing Companies
Google Maps for Plumbers
Citation Sources for Plumbers

Posted: | Updated: Feb 5, 2020 | Categories: Podcast

Conversational Marketing: The Ultimate Guide for Plumbers

There was a time when customized solutions and personalized care were the norm in almost every service industry. As modern technology progressed, service became more streamlined for the sake of cost and convenience. With the advent of new software and web development tools however, that service trend has come full circle all the way back to personalized care.

These days, that often takes the form of conversational marketing. We’ll be talking about conversational marketing for plumbers today, exploring the concept and how you can adapt it for stronger lead generation! If you’ve struggled with leads this year, be sure to read along carefully.

A Messaging Form on a Plumber Website

Some Consumers (Especially Younger Ages) Prefer to Instant Message Over Calling.

What is Conversational Marketing?

Conversational marketing creates stronger ties with prospective and existing clients by placing greater emphasis on personal conversation with each individual. That may seem like a very simple idea, especially in the plumbing industry where in-person service is such a core aspect. With conversational marketing however, we take that principle online and adopt it for each of our primary points of interaction with clients.

Key Areas of Conversational Marketing for Plumbers

It’s Personal Interaction

For most plumbers, conversational marketing will primarily involve direct correspondence with prospective clients prior to them hiring your service. The more direct, the better! A chat bot is better than an email. An instant message tool is greater than chat bots, and a direct phone call is absolutely amazing!

At some point during the sales process – this matters whether the consumer needs fast repairs or a system installation – there has to be direct interaction between the client and a dedicated member of your staff. That’s personal service! Your challenge is making sure that each client is directed to the appropriate member of your staff. Callers needing a water heater installation should be directed to an experienced plumber or a knowledgeable sales team, whereas a typical repair call should go straight to your office staff or your cell (depending on the size of your business).

Drainmen Plumbing Inc.'s Promise of Great Customer Care

Plumbing Companies That Focus on a Highly Positive Customer Experience Earn the Best Long-Term Success!

It’s Tailored Service

Not every client’s needs are the same. In metropolitan areas where contracting businesses are plentiful, conversational marketing for plumbers stands out. That’s because plumbers who incorporate this strategy into their marketing provide spectacularly tailored customer service!

What does that look like for a small business? It means offering multiple convenient ways for consumers to contact your business and inquire about your services. When a homeowner or commercial prospect lands on your website, they get the 5 star user experience with all the helpful insights and contact information they need.

It’s Timely Interaction

This may be the most crucial aspect of conversational marketing contributing to your success. Consumers have grown more and more demanding in their essential services. If a prospective client can’t gain direct contact with a member of your team within a matter of minutes (sometimes seconds) there’s a real chance of losing the lead! So it’s essential that your business is ready to interact with these online consumers in real time. 

How to Use Conversational Marketing

So what can your business do to take the concept of conversational marketing for plumbers and really nail it for your customers? First, you’ll need to understand how your clients prefer to interact with your business, such as whether they prefer instant messaging or service forms (or both). Next, you’ll need to have the systems in place to support these communication channels.

Don’t worry! You shouldn’t have to spend thousands of dollars on some complex organizational system (unless you want to). There are very simple ways to make sure your business is ready to handle these potential leads.

Emergency Services

In Fast Plumbing Repair Service

When it comes to small scale repair projects, consumers don’t need that much time to investigate their local services. Most likely, they’ll be eager to contact the first highly-rated plumber located in their community. Your Google My Business (GMB) profile plays a critical role in whether your company shows up first in a consumer’s local map pack!

Make sure your GMB profile is up to date with your latest contact information. If you haven’t already, you should download the GMB app on your phone and enable instant messaging for your business. This creates a “Message” button on your GMB profile that consumers can use for immediate contact. Considering the high percentage of consumers that use a phone as their primary search device, this is a great tool to have!

Home Projects

For Larger Home Projects

Home projects, such as water heater replacement, may require more steps between a consumer’s initial research and calling your business. With that being said, conversational marketing provides consumers with means to conveniently contact your business at any phase of the sales funnel. For homeowners not quite invested in a particular solution, a contact forms and instant messaging tools allow them to inquire about their options without calling your business.

You can easily provide a general quote for these prospects, and allow them to follow up at their own speed. Just make sure your website is ready with dedicated service pages for those projects, be they water heater replacement, water restoration, or pump installation. Your sales professionals can also follow up with questions and helpful information!

Commercial

With Commercial Solutions

Do you provide specialized services for local businesses and non-profit organizations? When it comes to commercial-oriented projects, clear communication is essential. You need to be able to provide accurate documentation of the projected costs for the project, as well as the timeframe.

While chatbots and instant messaging could save you time, your commercial clients will appreciate direct communication. Make sure your GMB is set up to receive calls! Having a documented quote will also speed bidding for any major projects, so it’s great to follow up with a personalized email.

Website Integration

For many consumers, the first point of interaction with your business is on your company website. For others, it may begin on a GMB knowledge graph with your company information. Conversational marketing for plumbers demands that both your website and GMB be ready to handle these interactions in a timely, convenient manner.

There are several tools worth integrating into your website to ensure your customers can easily contact you as they need. If you haven’t already added these features into your site, now’s the time to consider them!

Linking Your Chatbot

Chatbots have come a long way in the last decade. A long way! Through the use of artificial learning programs, they can better understand conversational subtext. Put simply, chatbots understand the sort of language we use everyday in order to provide better service for clients. If your clients need to ask questions about your plumbing services after hours, they can engage with the chatbot.

A Question Transfers From a Chatbot to a Staff Member

If a Chatbot Can’t Answer a Question, it Gets Routed to a Staff Member. Image Source: Acquire

In the event of an emergency, the chatbot can redirect the prospect to a staff member on standby. Otherwise, they can answer many of the typical questions your clients have to ask. According to the experts from Convince & Convert, “25% of consumers say that basic details about the business are hard to find!” Chatbots can relay this sort of information quickly.

Chatbots are by no means a replacement for dedicated, informed staff members. However, they can reduce the number of informational calls coming into your office. Clever companies can also use the chatbot to link to important resources, blogs, and galleries, making it easier for prospects to find the details they need for their project. Some programs can even service appointments for your clients, though that function may come at a premium to your business! If you’re interested in learning more about chatbot technology, Drift and Intercom are two of the top names in the industry, though you can find other popular tools in this helpful list from New Breed.

Setting Up Instant Messaging

As we’ve said before, there’s no replacement for quality human interaction. If you’ve ever struggled through an automated service call, you know how much comfort a real person can provide! At the same time, not everyone likes to communicate through phone calls (especially younger age groups). That’s where instant messaging comes into play.

Mobile View of a Business to Consumer Messenger Chat

Facebook Messenger Already Has Over 1.3 Billion Users to Pursue! Image Source: Facebook

Instant messaging, be it through Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp, provides direct access between your business and your clients. That connection can be dangerous if you aren’t ready to handle the conversation, but it can be a tremendous source of higher lead conversion. If you aren’t ready for an integrated website feature yet, the Google My Business app allows you to set up instant messaging for your clients to your phone. You can also arrange instant messaging for your website.

Preparing Your Team

Now, it’s going to take a little work to make sure your team is ready to engage people in this highly-personalized manner. After all, communicating through multiple platforms can be a challenge for smaller teams. With proper planning however, you can achieve outstanding results with conversational marketing for plumbers!

There are several aspects of this marketing strategy that you’ll need to prepare for. 

  • Receiving messages and calls through new channels
  • Delivering personalized care for each client.
  • Creating a process for collecting client feedback and reviews.

Process Training

Process Training

For every line of communication that you open with clients, your staff needs proper training to receive them. Chatbots, for instance, can handle many of the initial questions that a homeowner has regarding your services. When the time comes for the handoff to a live staff member, that process needs to happen quickly to avoid losing the prospective client. Some chatbot service providers offer training to help get your team acquainted with the capabilities and uses of their software. Be sure to take full advantage!

If you install an instant messaging system to communicate directly with homeowners and needy businesses, your staff will need to be able to write about services in detail. It may take some time to get use to each channel of communication, but success only comes from dedication and thorough preparation.

Personal Care

Personalized Care Training

Like we mentioned before, there’s no substitute for the personal touch a human provides! As your staff members learn each new channel of communication, it’s crucial that they also grasp how to listen to the needs of each individual prospect. At Plumbing Webmasters, we’ve witnessed so many high-quality leads lost due to miscommunication (or inexperience) from the call handler. We’ve also seen would-be clients turn away because of rude staff members!

If you want to provide the sort of personalized care that leaves clients wanting more interaction with your business, train your staff well. Teach them how to talk about your services, handle questions about pricing, and how to work best with each channel. If you do, you’ll see much stronger returns in your conversational marketing.

Brace for Success

Preparing for Glowing Reviews

When you have dedicated staff providing exceptional service, outstanding results are sure to follow! For many homeowners, customer service is almost as important as the plumbing work itself. If you nail conversational marketing by providing the personalized service consumers so strongly desire, glowing reviews are the natural result. That is, if you know how to ask for them!

Historically, consumers haven’t been very good at providing positive feedback for the services they receive. Only a small percentage ever take the time to leave a review, while a larger number of consumers jump at the chance to leave an angry review! That’s why your team must take every opportunity to ask for reviews, especially after a job well done. This ensures a steady stream of happy 4 to 5 star reviews, which does wonders for your local SEO! If you haven’t listened to it yet, be sure to check out our podcast “The Coolest Review Software Ever“, which dives into how to further enhance your reviews.

Long-Term Strategy

When it comes to any marketing strategy, it’s always important to keep both eyes open for problems. While conversational marketing for plumbers is based on long standing principles of customer service, it does come with it’s own share of obstacles to overcome. For instance…

  • How will customers react to the new communication channels?
  • How will your staff respond to learning a new process?
  • How will you examine / measure your results to determine success?
  • What will you do if customers struggle to use the new tools?
  • How will your team respond if the new channels are wildly popular?
A Website's Behavior Flow Chart in Analytics

Use the Analytics Behavior Flow Chart to Inspire Your Conversational Marketing Plan!

You will naturally find ways to improve your service over time, identifying areas of weak performance and opportunities for growth. Your staff may need to talk with clients and see how they like whatever chatbots, instant messaging, or form submissions you add to the website. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes! As long as you continue to treat customers with respect (and provide good plumbing services), your clients will keep coming back.

On the other end of the spectrum, don’t shy away from rejecting a new technology if it fails to provide measurable returns after long-term use. Not every plumbing business needs a chatbot, even if many companies benefit from the technology. Only cling to conversational marketing strategies that actively grow your business and serve your clients’ needs.

Measuring Success in Conversational Marketing

It’s exciting to try out new tactics and tools! However, it’s crucial for your long-term success to measure the effectiveness of each channel you open. If you install a chatbot on your website, for instance, you can gauge the effect it has on your sales.

Do you see a higher or lower number of people calling in for service? You may find that the volume of people calling into your office for service stays the same, while the number of informational calls drops. That frees up more phones in the office, a definite win for your staff!

If your company sets up an instant messaging system, keep track of how many inquiries result in scheduled service. If instant messaging ends up taking more of your staff’s time than you’d like, that’s another important factor to consider in your overall strategy. Conversational marketing for plumbers requires tinkering to ensure peak performance!

Adapting Your Strategy Over Time

As a plumber’s client base grows, there’s always the risk of losing hold of the customer service quality that brought people to that business in the first place. Your plumbing experts don’t have the time to answer every call for information. To meet the needs of both your clients and staff, an effective conversational marketing strategy must be able to gradually expand over time.

A Look at a Plumbing Company's Analytics Data

Google Analytics Will Help You Track Your Marketing Effectiveness Over Time.

For example, instant messaging through your phone may become a serious challenge to keep up with once your client base grows large enough. This may lead your team towards a more integrated messaging system for your website, or even a chatbot. That’s just one more reason to routinely examine the effectiveness of your customer service!

Before You Get Started

Jumping into a new form of customer care without preparation is a recipe for disaster. No business is exactly the same as the next. Take the time to determine which channels will work best for your customers. Determine which members of your staff are likeliest to provide exceptional service. Have them champion the new technology and processes, so they can train other people how to do it too!

How to Adopt Conversational Marketing for Plumbers

  • Research, test, and adapt the right conversational tools for your clients’ needs.
  • Make sure you have the time, energy, and resources for each new channel.
  • Pick capable team members to try out the new technology.
  • Train other staff on how to deliver personalized care through the new channels.
  • Reassess performance every month, including Google Analytics.
  • Adjust your strategy as needed.

Again, we can’t stress enough how important it is to have the right people handling the customer service side of conversational marketing for plumbers. Well-spoken, courteous staff members make a huge difference in both the client experience and your lead generation. If a rude or ignorant staff member handles the conversation, it could permanently marr the prospect’s view of your business. It might even result in a very public low-star review on Google.

On the other hand, skilled and friendly staff members turn interested homeowners into lifelong clients! That means recurring business and a steady stream of outstanding reviews coming into your brand. Stronger customer experience is one of the top 10 marketing trends of 2020! Consumers are looking to develop deeper relationships with the companies they do business with. With a team of seasoned customer service experts driving your conversational marketing, you’ll create an experience unlike any your clients have seen in plumbing!

Example of Review Geotagging Through Righteous Reviews

Our Righteous Reviews Check-in System Works Really Well With Conversational Marketing.

Support from the Plumbing Webmasters

Homeowners and commercial consumers demand better customer service than ever before. Thankfully, conversational marketing allows your plumbing company to uphold that premium standard of service. We’re here to help you adopt this strategy into your online marketing for stronger results than ever before!

Adapting new technologies and strategies can be a challenging process. Integrating them into your website is just as difficult. At Plumbing Webmasters, our website design team makes it easy to develop a custom site perfectly tailored to your team’s needs. Not only do we make it easy for your staff to interact with plumbing prospects, we also produce stronger performance from local Google Search results!

Learn more about how conversational marketing for plumbers and plumbing SEO work hand in hand by calling us at (877) 388-9884.

Additional Resources for Study

Related Podcasts and Articles
Being Social on Google (Podcast)
10 Really Awesome Email Marketing Tips for Plumbers (Article)
How to Expand Your Plumbing Business in 2020 (Article)

Services From Plumbing Webmasters
Plumbing SEO Lead Generation
Google My Business for Plumbers
Plumber Reputation Management

True Client Stories: Trouble With Leads

Have you ever been on a kids roller coaster? As a child, the thrill of moving easily keeps us entertained. As an adult however, that thrill changes to irritation as we long to progress to loops, sudden drops, and rapid turns. A kids roller coaster simply goes nowhere, fast. 

When it comes to plumbing companies, lead sellers are the new kids roller coaster. There’s a real thrill of feeling your business gradually move with each incoming lead. As your company brand matures however, it becomes clear that you’re paying a frustrating sum of money to essentially spin in circles. Very little brand growth occurs, and you’re left none the richer from your investment.

Today, we’re going to talk about that frustrating ride. More importantly, we’re going to reveal how to get your business off the tracks and into some real long-term growth. Be sure to listen in as Jason and Nolen share real-life stories from plumbing companies.

Key Lead Generation Lessons & Plumbing SEO

  • Continually paying for leads slows down your brand development and customer base growth.
  • Even when you pay a seller for a lead, you may still have to compete with other local businesses.
  • Paid leads are simply way more expensive, both in the short and long term.

Buying Your Way Into Oblivion

Another day, another frustrated caller talking about expensive lead sellers. But what is it about buying leads that plumbers find so frustrating? At the Webmasters, we’ve heard all kinds of stories about people’s experiences with these services. Most boil down into a handful of common complains…

Top Problems With Buying Leads

  • They get really, really expensive!
  • When you pay for a lead, you still compete with other listed companies in your area.
  • Some “leads” are just people looking for quotes, not interested would-be clients.
  • It discourages SEO for plumbers, and other forms of lead generation.
  • Buying leads encourages return visits to your lead seller, not your company website.

The Eye-Opening Secret of Lead Sellers

Everyone wishes they could cut out the middleman and earn their leads at cost. After all, that would mean saving thousands (maybe tens of thousands) of dollars every year! It’s clearly possible; not everyone pays for lead sales. How do they do it? The real question you should be asking is: Where does your seller find their leads?

95 times out of 100, lead selling companies source their leads directly from Google Search! Not only do lead sellers pay next to nothing for each lead (even when you factor in long-term marketing), they add a massive upcharge to leads you could have earned for free.

Two Lead Sellers and an Organic Listing for a Local Plumber

This Local Plumber Managed to Outrank a National Lead Seller and Earn Their Own Leads.

How does that make you feel?

In the picture above, you can see one of the frequently-used tools of lead sellers for acquiring new customers. National level brands like to use localized “top plumber” lists to try to capture consumers. However, they actually have to work very hard to secure these listings, because Google prefers to list local businesses over national organizations. That’s why an independent contractor can earn a second place organic (free) in the same results page as two huge lead generation companies! 

Not only is it very possible compete with these household name lead sellers, Google will practically help you do it. If you’re tired of spending lots of money paying for leads, why not invest in making your own leads like this plumber?

How to Generate Leads

You’ll need two major tools to start generating your own leads: a Google My Business account and a company website. Some businesses try to get away with only one of the two; it just doesn’t work well. Now you might be thinking “Bah! I’ve heard about this SEO for plumbers stuff. It takes too long.” While plumbing SEO does take a couple months to start producing results, at least.

So what?

A Local Map Pack for Repiping Companies

Local Search Optimization Offers Faster Results After Google’s Local Search Algorithm Update.

Marketing always takes time to fully mature. If you have to spend a little money to earn a long-term source of cheap, high-quality leads, isn’t that worth your money? Anyway, there’s great news.

If you optimize your website and GMB well, you could start earning local listing traffic even sooner. In a recent podcast called “Brown Friday” (linked below), our team at Plumbing Webmasters got a tankless water heater specialist ranking for his top keyword in his community within a month. A brand new business (and website) knocked out long-term champions for top spot in a local map pack, which represents a huge portion of traffic.

Optimized Website Design

Your website will need to be fully optimized with dedicated service pages for the keywords you wish to rank for. This supports the local search results driven by your Google My Business account (which is absolutely free, by the way). Tools like Moz Keyword Explorer, Answer the Public, and SEMrush make it easy to discover hot keywords in your industry. You can also use Ubersuggest to see what terms your competitors are ranking for, and try to steal them!

If you’d like to learn more about using local search and organic listings to secure high quality leads, our team at Plumbing Webmasters would be happy to talk about it with you. Consult with one of our seasoned experts for free at (877) 388-9884!

Additional Resources From Plumbing Webmasters

Related Articles and Podcasts
Brown Friday: Rockstar Plumber (Podcast)
How to Rank Your Plumbing Company for “Plumber Near Me” (Article)
Forced to Brand (Podcast)
– All About Plumbing and Septic (Case Study)

Services Related to Lead Generation
Google Analytics for Plumbing Websites
PPC vs Organic SEO
Website Design Services

Posted: | Updated: Dec 23, 2019 | Categories: Podcast

Brown Friday: Rockstar Plumber | The Plumbing SEO Podcast

Family holidays are a fantastic time for residential plumbing professionals. With all the festive meals and grease goop going down the drown, it’s no wonder that homeowner calls shoot through the roof! In fact, it’s estimated that “Brown Friday” (the day after Thanksgiving), produces a 50 percent increase in plumbing leads for garbage disposals and sink clogs.

Not every plumbing professional however, is in a place to take advantage of that surge in leads.

If your website and GMB account haven’t been properly optimized, you could be missing out on thousands of dollars in service calls throughout the holidays! Thankfully, that’s what we’ll be covering today in our latest podcast. Listen in as Jason and Nolen explain how to capture more leads through the season.

Key Plumbing SEO Lessons

  • Make sure your GMB profile covers each of your major services.
  • Keyword-optimized services pages will almost always outperform simple service lists.
  • Talk with your marketing service company about optimizing for seasonal surges.
  • Make sure your PPC ads each link to a related service page.

Seasonal SEO Opportunities

As with many home service industries, plumbing experiences seasonal spikes in demand. That’s especially true during family holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. Because this season represents such a considerable windfall for plumbers, it’s also a period of strong online competition. The winners earn premium placement in local map packs, plus the traffic that comes with it. 

So how can your business work towards earning these exceptional local listings?

It all starts with plumber SEO, your website, and your GMB account. We’ll dig into some of the most impactful tools to enhance your online marketing performance, both now and in the coming 2020. Ultimately, we’re looking to create a sustainable strategy that offers big dividends for years to come.

The Tools You’ll Need

Keywords

A Strong Keyword List

What’s the first task you think about when developing a high-performance page? A strong, diverse assortment of keywords not only makes it easier for Google to rank your content, it also creates a better user experience for your site visitors. Each service page should have a high volume primary keyword mixed in with a variety of similar phrases and synonyms.

Where you can you find these premium keywords?

  • SEMrush
  • Answer the Public
  • Moz Keyword Explorer
  • Ubersuggest
  • People also ask (Google SERP feature)
  • Blue phrases at the bottom of search results

GMB

A Completed & Verified GMB Listing

Considering how crucial the listing is to your local search, it’s remarkably easy to claim, complete, and verify your Google My Business account! If you haven’t done so already, take an hour. Fill out everything and request your postcard verification. Upload those pics and videos. Neglecting your GMB account only hurts your business, so don’t put it off!

Moving forward, make sure to check your GMB on a monthly basis for potential updates. The address you pick for your GMB should match the one you use for all your other citations, including abbreviations. Google continues to update the listing program with additional service categories, so be on the lookout for ones fitting your plumbing solutions.

Google Ads

A Google Ads Account

PPC advertising is a great channel for supplementing your organic leads. They also enable your business to quickly adapt your marketing tactics for seasonal opportunities. While Google Ads is the most recognized and comfortable advertising option for many plumbers, Facebook and Instagram both offer some cost-effective solutions.

When you create a new campaign for Brown Friday, Christmas, or another holiday, make sure you have dedicated service pages to divert that ad traffic to. If you’re going to take advantage of the upshift in drain clogs, have a “Drain Clog Removal” page ready to go! Plain landing pages are better than simply directing users to your homepage, but service pages generally offer the best SEO power for your website.

Reviews

A Collection of Client Reviews

No one supports your business better than happy customers! Client reviews are one of the most important resources for your local search marketing, but they don’t grow from trees. You need to have a system in place to request feedback after service. Whether that comes in the form of employee training sessions on how to ask for reviews or an automated program, consistency is key.

For more information about automated review platforms, be sure to see our podcast on Righteous Reviews!

Five Steps to Boost Local SEO

Keep in mind, this plan hinges on a solid company web design. If your company doesn’t have that yet, here are 15 amazing plumbing websites to get inspiration from. They incorporate the tips we’re about to reveal.

How to Improve Local SEO Performance

  • Step #1: Create three to four primary service category pages.
  • Step #2: Write keyword-optimized pages for more focused services, and arrange them by those categories.
  • Step #3: Take original pictures with your staff members, then post them in all your pages (as well as your GMB account).
  • Step #4: Embed your client reviews into your website. Search for reputation management software, such as Righteous Reviews.
  • Step #5: Run service campaigns of Google and Facebook Ads ahead of peak seasons.
A Review Geotagging Software Solution

Righteous Reviews Enables Job Site Checkins and Geotagged Reviews.

Need an SEO Consultation?

Want to get professional input on your plumbing company’s local SEO strategy? Our seasoned experts at Plumbing Webmasters would love to talk with you! Call us anytime for a free consultation at (877) 388-9884. You’ll see why so many of our plumbers earn premium ranking in local, organic, and paid search!

Other Resources From Plumbing Webmasters

Related Articles and Podcasts
How to Rank Your Plumbing Company for “Plumber Near Me” (Article)
How to Expand Your Plumbing Business in 2020 (Article)
Forced to Brand (Podcast)

Plumbing SEO Services
Plumber Content Management
On-Page SEO for Plumbing Sites
Ranking #1 on Google for Plumbing Companies

Posted: | Updated: Dec 23, 2019 | Categories: Podcast

Being Social On Google | The Plumbing SEO Podcast

Plumbing contractors often underestimate the value of personalized design. With all the trucks, fancy equipment, slogans, advertisements, and websites out there, it’s easy to forget that the most important brand asset for your company…is you. Your face (and your employees’ faces) play a huge role in website performance and local SEO!

In this interconnected age, now’s not the time to be shy. Now’s the time for high quality photography with big smiling faces. You’ll be amazed just how big an impact the human touch will make for your business! In today’s podcast, Jason and Nolen share why personalization creates stronger connection with both your customers and Google!

Key Lessons for Plumbing Professionals

  • Content goes beyond text. Even your page photos are considered content.
  • Personalized photos create a deeper reserve of trust in your brand.
  • Both Google and people can spot stock photos, and they don’t perform as well as custom.

Original Website Images Matter!

We all know how a well-timed shot can make us feel so strongly, but photography also serves as a more social medium. It brings us together and allows us to empathise. In business, the right image can make or break a sale, especially in a home-centered industry like plumbing. SEO for plumbers relies heavily on image optimization. This isn’t rocket science, or even highly technical SEO.

Frankly, it’s easy to stand out from the crowd when so few companies take the time to produce original photos!

Building Stronger Connections and Listings

But why bother?” you might ask. What does original imagery have to do with search engine optimization? After all, digital marketers aren’t in the business of enhancing your website simply so it looks really fresh (that’s a bonus). We have to drive measurable key performance indicators like page views and conversions. The answer is simple: high quality, optimized imagery can greatly increase your volume of search traffic and average time on page. They also increase the likelihood of someone calling your business. Does more business revenue sound worth it to you?

Expect these sort of benefits when you add personalized photos to your plumbing website.

  • Immediately stronger connections with visitors
  • Longer time on pages (deeper engagement)
  • More page views per visit
  • Stronger plumbing keyword performance (more on this later)
  • Better conversion rates, meaning more calls
A Plumber Stands for a Personal Photo

Captions are Perfect for Short, Emphasized Tips.

Crafting the Perfect Images

Obviously, performance-driving photography doesn’t just appear by itself! You can simply drop them into your pages either. There are two key parts to getting the most out of your website imagery.

Get Personal

Tip #1: Take More Photos (With Employees in Them)

Don’t get us wrong: we’re all about photos of pipes and busted sewer lines. However, we (and your clients) would rather see the smiling faces of your friendly employees. So the next time you stop to take a photo of a newly installed sink, get yourself in the photo and take a selfie! It’s worth it.

So many businesses spend dozens of hours uploading their latest team photos to Instagram and Facebook and never put them on their website. Gather all your team together and empower them to take selfies after a job well-done. Better yet, hire a professional photographer to get pictures of your plumbers, office staff, your family, and even your trucks!

Optimize

Tip #2: Optimize Your Image Attributes

Did you know that your images can be optimized for stronger keyword performance? At Plumbing Webmasters, we’ve found that three key elements provide great SEO power for your page. Obviously, captions work very well for communicating quick facts. Since personal images create very focused attention, captions are often the best places to restate key points. 

Alt image captions also contribute to your keyword strategy. Finally, be sure to input an Image Title Attribute. This causes the little box of text to appear whenever the mouse hovers over an image. If you like, you can even embed a link into your image that directs your visitors to another service page.

Personal is Powerful

We can’t overstate just how powerful personalized images can be in both regular listings and local search results! Not only do they offer amazing results for your website KPIs, they also create deeper trust with your target audience. Remember, personal is powerful!

If your plumbing company has struggled to make headway in online search marketing, our team at Plumbing Webmasters would love to help. Not only do our design experts know how to create high-performance websites for growing businesses, they understand the value of imagery in SEO for plumbers. For a free consultation, call our team today at (877) 388-9884.

Additional Resources From Plumbing Webmasters

Articles and Podcasts
Best On-Page SEO Tips for Plumbing Websites (Article)
How to Take Social Media Marketing For Plumbing to the Next Level (Article)
Website Layout Tips for Plumbers (Podcast)

Related Webmasters Services
Google My Business for Plumbers
Custom WordPress Plumbing Websites
Website Structure for Plumbing Contractors

Posted: | Updated: Dec 13, 2019 | Categories: Podcast

Plumber SEO Conference 2020

Plumbing SEO changes year after year. In fact, the industry shifts so much, we go to conferences to stay on top of all the latest news and practices! In this latest podcast, Jason and Nolen share some of the juicy tidbits they picked up from their latest SEO conference.

Look for key changes GMB management, online brand development, on-page optimization, and more! If your website has struggled to break into premium rankings, be sure to listen in.

Helpful Lessons for Plumbing Professionals

  • Keyword strategies must incorporate synonyme usage. Variety creates healthier optimization.
  • Remember the big four: Google, BBB, Facebook, & Yelp. You need reviews from all of them.
  • Continue to monitor your GMB account, including your Q&A section in the Knowledge Graph.
  • Keyword optimization and mobile friendly optimization are basic essentials.

What’s Changing in Search Marketing?

Let’s start by analyzing some of the key industry updates that your business will need to keep on top of. In 2020, your Google My Business account will become even more important to your success in local search. The search engine continues to add new functionalities to the listing service, including new ways for potential customers to interact with your company.

Thanks to the Knowledge Graph, people can check reviews, operating hours, location, and contact information without ever interacting with your website.

While that might seem like an intimidating prospect for some plumbing SEO professionals, these changes could mean great things for your business in 2020. For one, clients who direct search your name won’t need to dig through your site to find a phone number or determine if you provide emergency services. This increases the chance of people calling your business.

Showing Up in Google Maps Listings

In search marketing, visibility equals success. That’s especially true in the case of Google Maps listings, whose top ranks generate some of the most impressive traffic. Apart from the usually website optimization (more on that later), we’ve seen GMB play a larger role in these search listings. Since Google only awards this premium search real estate to dependable businesses (as best they can), it’s essential that your GMB data is continually checked and re-checked for accuracy.

Local Maps Listings

Local Maps Listings Earn Exceptional Traffic and Lead Generation.

Reviews also serve as a make or break criterium for Google Maps listings. Lately, Google has emphasized diversity in review sources as a healthy indication of trustworthiness. In other words, don’t put all your rating eggs in one basket! While there are hundreds of rating websites to choose from, start with these four:

  • Google Reviews
  • Facebook
  • Better Business Bureau
  • and Yelp

These four feedback sources are considered by many to be the most essential citations for plumbers. If you want even more plumbing SEO power from your client reviews, we’ve seen a rising trend in geotagging. That’s the tagging of reviews with GPS location data. It provides stronger evidence to Google’s search engine that you provide services in tagged locations, giving them more reason to rank your site over competitors.

Breaking Digital Language Barriers

With the release of Google’s BERT update still fresh in our minds, the search giant continues to advance towards a deeper algorithm understanding of human speech. With latent semantic indexing (LSI), keyword optimization has gone beyond the simple “3% focus keyword formula” – no more flooding pages with unnatural keyword volumes – to create a more human reading experience. Keywords still play a foundational role in SEO for plumbing. They determine how Google understands and ranks, but now professionals must take a different approach to writing content.

Keyword Synonyms for a Plumbing Term Search

Mix in Related Phrases and Synonyms of Your Focus Keyword for Better Content Performance.

It’s more essential than ever before that your content provides unique insights for would-be clients. Businesses can finally stop the ridiculous barrage of “plumbers near me”s and start presenting information in ways that people can easily digest. The most insightful content (usually) gets rewarded these days, not the most keyword redundant. Keyword spamming is a remnant of past plumbing SEO strategy, but it will hurt your results today.

What elements can you use to create more helpful resources for your customers?

  • Bullet points,
  • Keyword synonyms, 
  • Infographics,
  • Related (original) images, 
  • and Numbered lists.

Continue to produce keyword (and synonym) optimized content, but infuse all your expertise and problem solving skills into the mix! If consumers truly find your content valuable, your rankings will naturally rise and your broad excel.

The Question and Answer Section of a Plumbing Company's Knowledge Graph

Keeping Your Google My Business Updated, Including the Knowledge Graph Q&A, is Essential!

Final Words of Advice

Because Google My Business and the Knowledge Graph continue to draw in more eyeballs from the community, it’s important that you monitor these tools for information accuracy. If your company makes significant organizational changes, or if you start offering new services, make sure your GMB reflects the updates. Also, be on the lookout for consumers in your Questions & Answers section (halfway down the Knowledge Graph). This Q&A section is open to the community, meaning anyone can contribute questions and answers.

You don’t want a random stranger (or worse, a competitor) answering questions on your behalf. 

If you carefully manage these assets, your business can expect continued growth for your company brand. In the meantime, keep creating fresh content for your website filled with hot topics and questions from your target market. Even if you can only blog once a month, it’s worth the effort!

If your team doesn’t have the time, knowledge, or capacity to manage these online marketing activities, our team at Plumbing Webmasters can help. We provide custom website design, keyword-rich content, citation assistance, GMB support, and reputation management. Our clients continually earn premium rankings in local search, creating more traffic and better leads!

To learn more about our SEO for plumbers, contact us today at (877) 388-9884.

Additional Resources From Plumbing Webmasters

Podcasts and Articles
How to Expand Your Plumbing Business in 2020 (Article)
15 Amazing Plumbing Websites – With Features (Article)
Plumbing Marketing With No Money (Podcast)
– All About Plumbing and Septic (Case Study)

Related Services
Plumbing Web Design Services
Google Maps for Plumbers
Citation Sources for Plumbers

Posted: | Updated: Nov 25, 2019 | Categories: Podcast

10 Really Awesome Email Marketing Tips for Plumbers

Did you know that email marketing for plumbers boasts one of the highest return rates, but less than a quarter of US small businesses planned on using it in 2019? With a careful segmentation, consistent scheduling, and regular testing, any plumber can craft a sophisticated (and productive) email campaign. Considering how easy and cheap the marketing channel is, it’s a wonder that more businesses haven’t made more of an effort to link their website design and local SEO efforts to email.

Infographic: Top 2019 Small Business Marketing Tactics in the U.S. | Statista

Many Small Businesses Don’t Even Use Email Marketing. Find More Infographics at Statista.

Today, we’ll explore 10 easy ideas to power up your email marketing campaigns for stronger lead generation. If you’ve been struggling to get your email list off the ground, be sure to read along. Remember, even the strongest email campaigns work better when partnered with a healthy website and local search optimization. 

Let’s get started!

Idea #1: Reader Segmentation

Do your would-be clients receive the same emails as your long-time customers? If so, you could be missing out on a whole lot of leads! While you may not experience the 750% increase in revenue that Campaign Monitor speaks of in it’s recent guide, email marketing for plumbers naturally benefits from matching clients with the content that suits them best.

How can you effectively break your email list into cohesive groups?

Idea #2: Segmenting by Interest

Toilets vs water heaters. There’s a huge interest gap between these two topics. Likewise, the client base in your email list is made up of different segments very different interests. Some crave insight on how to save on water utilities. Others want to avoid the sort of emergencies that require calling your business early Saturday morning!

But how can you construct fitting segments for each of these groups?

A Potential Email List Segmentation Strategy

One Potential Segmentation Strategy Would Be to Divide Repair Clients from Installation Clients.

Take a look at each client’s service history. If you’ve kept good records over the last few years, this should be an easy task. For customers who’ve called for emergency repairs in the last three to sixth months, consider sending content related to home maintenance, leak prevention, and/or clog situations. For original installation customers, you may want to contact them with remodeling guides and style tips!

Idea #3: Segmenting by Sales Funnel

Your prospective clients might not be as eager to hear from you as your faithful company fans. One of the easiest ways to segment your email base is to consider where each individual is in the sales funnel. If you aren’t familiar with the term, a sales funnel represents the various stages of interest in your services.

When it comes to email marketing for plumbers, you may distinguish a few different levels in the funnel:

  • Early-stage browsers (top)
  • Deeply interested researchers
  • Spenders (bottom)

Early-stage prospects usually don’t have as much motivation to read through dense informational content, but they might be tempted with a special offer email. Your researchers, on the other hand, should be more willing to spend time reading. Client stories and limited-time-offers might be the encouragement they need to make the jump to spenders!

A Plumbing Company's Client Review

This Previous Client Might Be Interested in Learning About Septic Maintenance in a Marketing Email.

Former clients, especially happy ones, have a much higher likelihood of coming to your business for larger installations in the future. For these people, you may spend some time talking about remodeling ideas and high-efficiency products. You might even create a segment specifically for recurring clients, the ones that like to share content with their friends!

Idea #4: Personalized Email Design

Names are very powerful. There’s something wired deeply into the mind that lights up when someone’s name is called aloud. The same can be said when a company takes the time to personalize an email with a client’s name. It has tremendous conversion-boosting power, which is why the best email marketing services work so hard to gather that personal information.

In fact, it’s said that a personalized email subject alone can increase open rates by 26%.

A Concept Explaining Personalized Email Subjects

Name Usage is a Powerful Tool in Email Marketing for Plumbers. Image Source: Campaign Monitor

Custom Email Copy

Why stop at a subject line though? Imagine receiving an email specifically written with your name, service history, and interests sprinkled throughout the content! That can be a reality with today’s advanced email marketing software companies. Brands like MailChimp and AWeber offer exciting tools for personalizing your standard email campaigns with each client’s name.

Personalized emails enjoy higher click through rates (CTR) than non-customized emails sent out en masse. Even if you can only manage to plug in the client (or prospect’s) name, it still has tremendous value for your campaigns.

Idea #5: Regulating Frequency

We get battered by a barrage of emails everyday. One of our content writers boasts that his personal (non-work) inbox is filled with almost 20,000 unread emails. Marketers describe the growing resistance to opening and reading inbox messages as “email fatigue“. While you may think that people who voluntarily signed up for an email list would be hard drive away, that simply isn’t the case.

Does your email list seem to be shrinking on a regular basis? While some regular turnover is to be expected, a rapidly dropping number of subscribers could be symptom of email fatigue. Many plumbers operate on a monthly schedule, while others simply blast out emails whenever they feel up to it. Consider switching to a scheduling cycle with fewer releases. This allows more time to plan and craft an impactful message and offer. It also makes for higher opening percentages and reduced fatigue.

How to Schedule Delayed Email Marketing for Plumbers

Regular Email Intervals Increase the Chances of People Finding and Opening Your Emails.

Idea #6: Switch to a Scheduled Release

Does your email production schedule look random from the outside? Many contractors are so busy, they simply don’t have the time to manage a regularly recurring email campaign. However, your clients and prospects will better respect a regular release period. People like to know when to expect email!

If you’ve been wondering how to do email marketing on a tight time budget, simply write the emails whenever you have the time, and schedule them through your email provider. For instance, you can arrange delayed release through your regular Gmail account.

How to Pick a Date for Delayed Emails

If You Have Little Available Time to Write, Use Delayed Releases to Maintain Your Schedule.

Idea #7: Protect Against Email Fatigue

Worried about over-sending in your email campaigns? Having trouble keeping track of how many times you’ve mailed a particular segment? Thankfully, there are tools to assist you as your team tries to avoid creating email fatigue!

For instance, Thinbox monitors your email campaigns to see who your company contacts the most. If you lose track of posting frequency and over-push your welcome in a particular addresses inbox, Thinbox issues an alert to warn you. You can also use the planning software of the other big brands we’ve mentioned to keep tabs on your posting frequency.

Remember, moderating volume is a make-or-break challenge in email marketing for plumbers. If you successfully find your perfect posting rate for each segment, you’ll see remarkable returns on your investment!

Idea #8: Start A/B Testing Emails

We all feel the pull of routine. Writing emails for a large pool of individuals takes time and serious effort. While it’s tempting to rely on tried and (fairly) true templates, there’s also the real possibility that your emails could become even more effective at creating leads for your business. 

That’s where A/B testing, the process of running two different versions of an email, comes into play.

A Graphic Explaining the A/B Testing Concept

Some A/B Testing Tools Allow You To Send the Best Performing Templates to the Rest of Your List. Image: Zapier

Email marketing for plumbers takes a lot of trial and error, but A/B (or split) testing makes it much easier to determine what type of materials, email lengths, images, etc. work best with your audience. Both MailChimp and AWeber provide convenient tools for convenient A/B testing, but you can theoretically save the subscription fee and do it manually. It’s just a lot more work doing it by yourself.

Going Small

Idea #9: Try Micro-Emails

In email marketing for plumbers, one of the most decisive elements of email design is the actual length of the material. 2000 word essays about the credibility, ratings, and skill of a plumbing team may do more harm than good, driving away members of your email list. In contrast, some of the most successful email marketing campaigns rely on brevity to communicate important sales, events, etc. 

What if you could boil down your longest emails into 300 word releases? These short, sweet, and to the point emails work exceedingly well for prospective clients, particularly when combined with tasty deals. When you A/B test the same email with different lengths, just make sure you use addresses from the same user segment. This makes it easier to determine if email length is really the driving factor in stronger CTR.

New Attractions

Idea #10: Switch Email Lead Attractions

Do you use the same “Free Inspection” hook for every single email? You might experiment with some new lead attractions. There are so many alluring materials, resources, and deals to try out! 

  • Special coupons
  • BOGO deals
  • Pro tips
  • YouTube how-to guides
  • Downloadable pamphlets
  • Consultations
  • and More

As we mentioned earlier, early-stage prospects may not respond well to certain promotions. YouTube videos and coupons are great ways to lure in would-be clients. In the meantime, you might use special maintenance promotions to bring past clients back into circulation!

Need a Digital Marketing Team?

At Plumbing Webmasters, we support hundreds of businesses around the nation with custom web design, local SEO, reputation management, and paid advertising campaigns. We’ve helped so many plumbers find page one rankings for their local service area, leading lasting growth opportunities. If you want to power up your online marketing, call us at (877) 388-9884 for a free consultation!

Posted: | Updated: Nov 7, 2019 | Categories: Marketing

How Plumbers Should React To The Google BERT Update

You may be wondering who BERT is and what he did to affect your business. The answer would simply be: Not much. BERT is the latest major update in a long line of releases from Google.

Algorithm updates generally pursue two objectives: enhancing the average user experience and drawing people deeper into Google services.

Major updates tend to send companies scrambling to find out how their business (and/or their clients) will be affected in the keyword rankings. While this year has certainly been an impactful one for millions of listings across the US, we aren’t seeing the dramatic change with this latest algorithm renovation. As Search Engine Land’s Barry Schwartz reassuringly tells us, “…many SEOs and many of the tracking tools did not notice massive changes in the Google search results while this algorithm rolled out in Search over the last week.”.

Google representative Danny Sullivan goes even farther with his Tweet on the subject:

Danny Sullivan on the Google BERT Update

Google Rep Danny Sullivan Underscores the Company’s Focus on Informative Content.

What Does the Google BERT Update Change?

Essentially, BERT enables better interpretation of long-tail conversational search phrases. It better analyses user intent behind longer search queries, and subsequently provides stronger listing matches. Long-tail searches take up a smaller percentage of search volume compared to the popular (and ultra-competitive) short keywords, yet Google believes this update will affect 1 in 10 searches across the nation. 

It’s clear that the Google BERT update has clear ramifications for businesses across the country, but what takeaways can your business pull from this release?

No Rush

Tip #1: Don’t Rush to Rewrite Your Content

Every time a new major algorithm change comes from Google, there’s an instant urge to burn everything to the ground and start over. Don’t put the torch to your content just yet, because the Google BERT update probably won’t impact your rankings very much (in the short term). If you’ve already taken the time to connect with your target market through informative content, you may notice higher rankings thanks to the update!

Take a little time to examine this last week’s Google Analytics results against numbers from previous weeks, just in case.

You should also read Google’s blog article on the subject, where they discuss in detail BERT’s effects on search query results. The update has been steadily rolled out over the last month in numerous languages. We also know from Danny Sullivan’s tweets that the Google BERT update has ramifications for both organic and local search results (such as featured snippets).

New Inspiration

Tip #2: Get Reinspired to Make Quality Content

Every new question to the Google team seems to come back with the same answer: Continue making excellent content for your users. There’s been such a heavy emphasis on keyword-optimization in the past, that many plumbing contractors forget the ultimate purpose for website material. Content is meant to provide helpful insights to guide behavior and solve problems. 

Does your content directly answer the key questions that searchers are asking?

If not, let the Google BERT update inspire you to make greater steps towards insightful content. Your materials may include video, original photos, infographics, podcasts, and a host of other engaging devices, but everything comes back to user value. The good news: you can draw people to your website with user-friendly content, and still create leads for your plumbing company.

Time Investment

Tip #3: Invest More Energy in Content Marketing

If you haven’t taken time to learn more about the latest SERP features, check out our guide on the subject. Featured snippets and local map packs are dominating local search results, and Google continues to place more emphasis on them. As we mentioned already, BERT impacts both organic traffic and snippets, which is traditionally won by content marketing materials.

To this day, it’s still a struggle trying to convince plumbing professionals why they should invest time in blogging and other practical forms of content marketing.

Not only does content marketing enable your website to rank for more keywords, it provides more opportunities for interacting with potential clients. By solving real world problems that a would-be client faces, you create that much respect for your business and recognition for your website. Plumbing companies that do really well can earn featured snippets, which offer tremendous traffic boosts (ie: potential leads) for their website. 

In Summary…

Don’t let this latest release from the search engine giant intimidate you. Watch out for digital marketing companies that might claim the Google BERT update comes with changes that only they know how to address. You shouldn’t feel any major effects in the near future, at least as far as your general website traffic goes.

However, there are some valuable lessons that we can learn from our buddy BERT. 

  • Google remains heavily invested in directing users towards great content.
  • Even long-tail queries have significant impact in search.
  • Google has a vested interest in SERP features, such as snippets.
  • Content marketing will continue to play a key role in featured SERP results.
Testing Process Used for Google BERT Update

Google Continues to Test Out New Layouts for SERP Pages. Pay Close Attention to Search Results in Your Area!

If you haven’t been taking stock in long-tail keywords till now, it’s time to heavily consider infusing some into your content. While they may not have the volume that search volume that shorter plumbing phrases do, they’re valuable for their heavy user intent and higher conversion rates. As we’ve talked about before in previous blog posts, developing a diversified keyword strategy typically provides better traffic and growth for your business online.

Don’t miss out on traffic that you could be earning with content marketing either! Even one blog post a month could have significant value for your brand and for your local searchability. If you aren’t sure what sort of materials perform best, try seeing what sort of content your top ranking competitors are producing. You can also check out our page on perfect content for plumbing sites!

Need a Hand?

Our team at Plumbing Webmasters would love to help you grow your business online. With our custom web design, in-depth keyword strategy, and dedicated content development, plumber businesses like yours enjoy incredible rankings in local search! To learn more about our services or ask questions about the industry, call us at (877) 388-9884.

Posted: | Updated: Nov 4, 2019 | Categories: SEO

How To Rank Your Plumbing Company for “Plumber Near Me”

Plumber Near Me Search Query Screenshot

If you run a plumbing company, it probably goes without saying to note that your business is fighting for customers with several competitors at all times. Every industry is a crowded one where businesses are all fighting for the same limited number of customers; that is no different for plumbers, too.

There are, however, ways that you can make your business stand out from the rest and get the advantage when looking to grab more leads that could turn into prospective customers. None of them are guaranteed to make your client list explode, but steady and consistent implementation should show you results that can’t be ignored.

One of those things that you can do is to optimize your website. This is important for a lot of reasons, the most important of which is making sure that huge search engines like Google can more efficiently find your website and rank it higher in their relevant searches.

This includes any “near me” searches that users might input. Often times, when looking for a business on Google, customers won’t have an idea of who they are looking for. That is why they might put in “plumber near me” and look at what is geographically closest.

Being able to improve your rank in those “near me” searches can make you a focal point of that specific geographic search, which can make your business a go-to for users who are searching for your industry in that particular area. This is huge as so many more people are now using Google to find businesses in a given industry.

But how do you improve your rankings so that you stand out in these searches on Google and other engines? Here are a few tips.

Google My Business listing

Google My Business listing

Make sure your Google Local Business page is updated

One of the most sure-fire ways to show up as a Google Local Business is to improve your overall visibility in the Google search. If a user searches for “plumbers near me” in your given geographical area, Google will generate a list of locations that will appear at the top of the search.

When you click on one of those top options, Google will put a pop-out box that will include relevant information about a business, like phone numbers, business hours, and even directions to that business. Where your listing holds more importance here is when you input more information for the user to take in. The more information about your business that you make visible to your potential customers, the more likely they are to click on or use your listing.

Updating your listing is easy as it gets. Make sure that you include information that is listed there like the name of your business, the address (including the city, state, zip code, and country), any phone numbers for your business, and the category that it will fall into.

What is also important is to make certain that you are uploading unique information. This includes things like making sure your display name matches your listed name, that your URL doesn’t get redirected, that you have a custom profile image instead of a stock photo, any legal terms (think LLC and Inc.) are omitted, any 1-800 number is not listed, that your business is verified with Google, and that it has a minimum of five Google Reviews.

Make your customer feedback visible

Customer reviews have become one of the most influential aspects for businesses gaining increased business. This is because, in this day and age, a huge amount of people look for reviews before using a service or purchasing a product. People tend to trust those reviews like recommendations from their own family, feeling as though it gives them a level of trust in a business that may not have been there previously.

Google makes it very easy for their customers to review a business. All a customer has to do is to open Google Maps, find that business, and select “write a review”. It’s that simple.

Reviews play a huge impact not only on the authority and trustworthiness of your business but also on your overall search ranking. Google places a high priority on the number of reviews as well as your overall score when it comes time to rank your business.

If your business has a lot of negative reviews, don’t hide them; work on improving them. Even when you are receiving positive reviews, you should take the time to respond to each review left. Show your customers that you care about the overall quality of service that they receive by replying professionally to the complaint and working to make certain that they enjoy their overall experience.

Ultimately, you need to make certain that your business is earning plenty of positive reviews because Google’s SERPs (search engine results pages) use this as a factor in their overall search rankings. When you have a ton of positive reviews, though, you want to make that as outwardly visible as you possibly can.  Make it easy to see that your business is trustworthy and provides quality service.

Check to make sure your information is consistent

One of the biggest issues, and most correctable at that, is inconsistent information provided by your company. Consistency is one of the factors that helps Google to display the most accurate of information for your potential customers. The last thing you want to do is have inconsistent information as this can frustrate potential customers and turn them off from using your services.

Not only that, when you display things like incorrect addresses in a local directory, you run the risk of confusing Google. Thankfully, this is something of a common issue and it can be cleaned up pretty easily on your own or through a paid service that does this sort of thing.

There is one thing worth noting: if you use a paid service, the minute you unsubscribe from that service, your listings will revert back to what they were previously. Be aware of this if you plan to unsubscribe from a service or switch to another; this is an easy way to lose track of a bit of information.

Google Reviews

Google Reviews

Always display your Business’ Name, Phone Number, and Address

It should go without saying that displaying accurate information when it comes to your business name, address and phone number is crucial when it comes to optimizing your website for local search functions. Make sure that this information is displayed clearly and often throughout your website. Preferably, it should be at least on the bottom of every single web page that you have.

You can use schema markup to fill in this information as well. Schema markup will include things like region, address, postal code, and the country as well. When you update your schema markup, Google will then pick out that information and use it to show any potential customers who search for services in that area.

Make your website mobile-friendly

More and more, users are moving to mobile for their web services. And why wouldn’t they? Having our phone in our hands at a moment’s notice is far more optimal than having to get the laptop out or sit down at a desktop computer.

And because it is so much easier to use our phones than the aforementioned services, more and more websites are making sure that they are optimized for mobile use. The last thing that you want is for a customer to move away from choosing your business because your website looks bad on mobile.

Making all of your pages optimized for mobile means that any potential customers can access the important information that they are looking for without it looking odd or being difficult to get to on their phones. This will give you a leg up in optimizing your website and will make it easier for customers to find your information. And, really, that is what it is all about.

Conclusion

There are so many different things that you can do to optimize your search rankings for those valuable “near me” searches. This is a surprising number of users that might have been unaccounted for previously, but now, you can make your business one of the focal points for those local “near me” searches for plumbers in a given area.

When you do this, you make your information more visible to potential users and make your business visible to those potential users. The name of the game to grow your business online is to make sure that you are easy to find for any potential customers. They might not know exactly what they are looking for, but when your information is accurate and your website is optimized, it gives them a clear and present option to choose from.

Couple all of that with positive reviews that your company has received and you can help take some of the guesswork out of finding a company for those potential customers and drive potential leads to your company in ways that you may not have previously experienced before optimizing your search results.

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Posted: | Updated: Oct 30, 2019 | Categories: SEO