The Google Sandbox is an old school SEO term that refers to either an algorithmic penalty or the confinement and suppression of a search result for violation of Google’s guidelines. Despite some disagreement over whether a sandbox ever existed many believe their websites continue to fall victim to Google’s constraints. As a digital marketing agency that helps Plumbers succeed online some of them ask us about being sandboxed prior to investing in our service. Our response if the same to everyone. SEO is not the same as it used to be. Prior the the Penguin algorithm update in 2012, lots of black hat tactics were engaged in regularly by SEO agencies. When Google started to drop the hammer on websites that benefited from them, terms like sandbox were thrown around quite often. Things like hidden text and 500 word title tags were examples of tactics that became subject to the wrath of Google’s newfound idealism.
In 2019 penalties are more rare. First, most websites that engage in old school black hat tactics no longer see benefits. Second, the website’s that are “supposed” to be in the top 10 are now usually placed there. So there’s no reason to knock a website down 20 or 30 spots because it was never high enough to warrant consideration in the first place. Second, Google now has a better grasp on how to rank websites for their positive qualities. Things like clean code, schema markup, and quality content can now be interpreted by Google and used as a ranking consideration. Despite this advancements in the search engine algorithm many plumbers remain frustrated with their rankings of lack thereof. Plumbing Webmasters can help you determine what factors are limiting your existing website and what can be done to reverse course going forward. Here are 3 reasons why your plumbing website could be sandboxed:
If your website has been hacked a giant red notice will appear to all visitors. Needless to say this is bad for SEO purposes and it can be a reason why Google would dismiss you from search results. One of Google’s duties is to protect its users from viruses or unsafe web interactions like phishing. A website that has been flagged for being hacked will never perform well online. Even if some users do reach your website they won’t stick around. While hacks are not assuredly a “sandbox” penalty, they are unequivocally detrimental to your plumbing company’s web efforts.
Lack of Reviews
Being sandboxed on Google Maps can be a result of reviews or lack thereof. While you might have hundreds of reviews on Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor having zero on Google is a bad look. That’s not to say you get no credit for other reviews but having at least some on Google gives you far more credibility, particularly when it comes to Google Maps rankings. Competitors with more reviews than you may rank higher on Maps even if you feel their plumbing services are inferior. They may be horrible at plumbing but if they have a good reputation, it’s irrelevant.
Poor Site Quality
Most ranking problems can be traced back to poor website quality. This can be from the perspective of content, design, and most commonly; a combination of both. Most plumbers who call us for help have a template website that they mistakenly believe is custom. These sites are not custom folks. They are templates that have been duplicated repeatedly with slight tweaks to put your logo and contact information up. Google prefers custom codebase with schema markup so it better understands what a website offers. Plumbers should invest in custom.
Is The Google Sandbox a Myth?
The possible “sandbox” penalties we’ve listed can be attributed to a wide range of terms. Not everyone will attribute the problems we noted to a sandbox. The reality is that Google has never confirmed the existence of a sandbox and because of the paranoia that exists within the SEO industry, it’s just as likely that it is a myth. What we do know however is that certain qualities on a page will influence its ability to rank. What kind of terminology you want to ascribe to such concepts as entirely up to you but what we know as a digital marketing agency for plumbers is that our clients are successful when they have custom websites optimized for search and coded cleanly with schema markup and mobile usability. There’s really no complicated way to deny it.
Google AdWords (now Google Ads) can be highly effective for plumbers. Creating a successful ad starts with following Google’s criteria for advertisements as well as targeting the correct keywords and demographics. Not all ads are the same on Google. Some have sitelink extensions and calls to action while others are simple lines of text without much depth. The highest bidding advertiser is not always the one whose ad will show up first. Google takes several things into account including the quality of the ad which is something they measure through their own metric called Quality Score. Here are some of the things that influence ads:
Plumbers who profit the most target the right consumer base. As you know, some plumbing jobs pay way more than others. Going for specific terms like slab leak, water heaters, etc. can help maximize your ROI on advertising. General terms like plumbing, plumber, etc. will lure in all types of jobs many of which don’t pay big coin. Targeting also involves geographic locations making it important for every plumbing company to define which zip codes they can service.
Not every keyword is worth pursuing as a plumbing company. For example, lots of searchers are looking for resources on how to fix plumbing issues on their own (DIY style). You wouldn’t want your ad for your plumbing services to show up on these kinds of keywords because the clicks would be worthless as the user is not looking to spend money. Negative keywords make sure these kinds of queries are eliminated for your ad so it maximizes its clicks with relevance.
The more information the user has the more likely they are to click on the ad. When an advertisement has sitelink extensions it has expanded lines of text that include links to individual pages on your landing page (your website). These specific pages are often the ones that peak the interest of the searcher and have a greater tendency to receive clicks than more basic ads. Google recommends using sitelink extensions especially for ads that target a certain consumer.
Connecting Google Ads to Google My Business
As you likely know from your own experience on Google, the Local 3 Pack is one of the most important spots for a plumber to show up. This Map Pack pulls the top Google My Business profiles in the area and showcases them to nearby searchers. While this is primarily earned through organic optimization, there is now an advertisement spot within the Local 3 Pack. Obviously this changes the definition of the 3 Pack since it can now be 4 but it is another opportunity for your plumbing company to generate clicks for its business. Connecting your GMB and Ads accounts won’t guarantee you spot on the Map Pack but it will certainly increase your chances.
Out of all the ad spend forked over by companies throughout the year, 80% of it goes to Google and Facebook. Google recognizes their dominance over the advertising industry and has began to create new spots on which ads can show up. The Map Pack is an example of this. Remember, AdWords was originally meant to emulate an organic search result. As users have become more aware of the difference between ads and organic results, the percentage of ad clicks has gone down. The emergence of Map Pack ads helps combat this phenomenon at least partially since its freshness has shielded it from some of the pitfalls of traditional Google search ads.
PPC’ing Your Plumbing Company Name
PPC management services are infamous for their trickery. Many of them lure clients in by promising them lots of clicks. When it comes time to report on these clicks, the numbers seem to validate their original claims. The problem is that these clicks are virtually worthless to the client. One such trick used is the PPC’ing of one’s own company name. These clicks are dirt cheap and therefore drive down the global CPC for your campaign but what your manager doesn’t tell you is those clicks would’ve come to your website anyway through organic. They are waste of time, money, and resources, and are only there to manipulate reporting numbers.
There are some cases where PPC’ing a brand name makes sense. One is if your plumbing company becomes so popular that other plumbers in your general service area are trying to buy ad space for your name at your expense. Your competitors will try to vulture clicks that you would have received organically by appearing on ads on the top of the SERP. So there is validity to PPC’ing your brand name sometimes but it shouldn’t be used as a tactic from managers to drive down your global CPC cost. Transparency should be valued when dealing with campaign management services. Their reputations as slicker than slick snakes is not without legitimacy.
As a plumbing contractor you like to keep your business fairly simple. When a homeowner has a problem with their plumbing system you explain to them what their options are and how much it will cost them. Web marketing agencies are not as humble. The vast majority of them behave as if they are on a superior intellectual level to their clientbase. Just because they know more about search engine optimization does not make them a rocket scientist. Common logic still applies to SEO just like it does with plumbing and any other kind of service industry. The arrogance of marketing companies in 2019 can be known as web geek cocky.
Marketing Companies vs The Common Man
It’s part of their schtick to be arrogant. It’s almost like a defensive mechanism. They understand that the work they are doing is nothing special and so they have to oversell it to make it seem more valuable. You might think that using big words that don’t really meant anything will not impress a plumber or any business owner for that matter. But people can be swayed by the illusion of expertise. When marketers appear as if they possess rare knowledge they are sometimes able to convince a client to buy in. It’s not the fault of the client if they fall for the trick but it something that plumbers should be aware of when they are looking for help with website design or SEO.
Marketing is Not Rocket Science
Just like plumbers won’t act as if they are the only person on earth who can perform the service, SEO experts should follow suit. There’s a culture of talking down to clients especially those who work in the home service industries. These marketers try to pretend their work is unattainable by the common man. While web design and SEO do take specific skill sets at the end of the day it is merely a service that a bunch of different companies can offer around the country.
Plumbers Need a Straight Shooter
In an age where plumbers are looked down upon by arrogant fools in the marketing industry, a straight shooter becomes a breath of fresh air. What if someone who could relate to your business challenges was also the person creating and implementing your marketing campaign? That is the case with Plumbing Webmasters. Owners Nolen & John come from humble beginnings and were once home service providers themselves. They started their own web company after being talked down to with web geek cocky nonsense.
Identifying Web Geek Nonsense
If you are a plumber currently looking for SEO services there are some red flags you should consider during your research. If a company starts speaking in empty language (using words that don’t mean anything) you know you’re in trouble. This web geek is probably cocky. They think they can trick the common man into overspending on services they don’t need. Many such marketers will get you involved in the shell trick scheme where they take SEO money and use it on PPC. Steer clear of these egomaniacs. They have done enough damage to the country already. Especially the common hard working American who is the foundation of our economy.
Plumbing Webmasters: The Exception
Plumbers can relate to the owners here at Plumbing Webmasters because they lived the same experience. Having once been a home service provider company themselves they transitioned to SEO work because they couldn’t find another company that wasn’t unpretentious. It’s almost like shopping for a doctor. They are mostly arrogant people who think because they went to medical school that they are a God like figure. The problem is even more absurd with web geeks though because the work is not dependent on a decade of high-level schooling. At the end of the day, Plumbing Webmasters is a web marketing company run by relatable people. You can trust that our hundreds of clients are enjoying our professional-level design and SEO services, without the web geek cocky.
Today’s podcast episode discusses how to start a successful plumbing company. Plumbing Webmasters is a digital marketing agency so our advice will heavily favor marketing strategies. We will not delve into the specifics of legally starting a business including the necessary tax considerations. Depending on your location, your tax considerations will vary. To learn more about starting a business from a legal perspective, check out the Small Business Administration. Our expertise, which is marketing for plumbers remains the most important element of starting a successful business in 2019.
Content Rich Website
A website with deep dive content and service pages has a great chance to optimize online both on organic results and Google Maps. Furthermore, visitors who reach it have a great chance of converting into a paying customer. A website serves as the digital representation of your plumbing company and can help it maximize your potential. Deep dive content that goes for specific services like hose bib repair can have you ranking quickly. Every business needs leads to grow and plumbers can get them through long tail keyword searches on Google. Volume may be lower at first, but as your site ages, you will begin to rank for the more competitive keywords.
Google My Business Optimization
Get yourself listed on every business directory of note. None is more important than Google My Business which serves as the central hub of your local SEO efforts. Through connection with your Google Maps listing, you will begin to show up on the Local 3 Pack for relevant keyword terms and earn trust from consumers with your aggregate star rating. Few if any local customers will do business with a plumber who does not have an established reputation. Generating more reviews is a process in itself, so you should plan to market your business in that way as well. Google My Business is imperative to SEO success for plumbers.
Market All Day, Every Day
The best thing a brand new plumbing company can do to get started is market all day, every day. Even if that means doing door knocking for several hours per day or leaving business cards in mailboxes. There’s only one way to grow a plumbing business and that’s with leads. By attracting new clients you will start to build a customer base at your foundation. From there you can invest more into marketing and focus on higher end promotion that will take you to the next tier of plumbers in your area. Tenure is important online and in the real world so the process of establishing trust and authority should be progressive.
Check out our top 50 plumbing keywords for primary targets. Today’s episode will discuss how lower volume keywords can still yield significant ROI while straightening the overall health of your website and supplementing your top keywords. Many plumbers question whether pages for services like hose bib replacement are worth their while. Even more common services like toilet repair seem to be met with skepticism by plumbers as it pertains to publishing a webpage exclusively about that service. The truth is that these pages can convert well and yield a great return on investment. They are particularity valuable for websites that are recently launched, as ranking for main terms will take longer than most are willing to wait. Lesser known keywords will rank quickly and can get you plumbing jobs while you wait for SEO to take its full effect.
Americans spend more time on Facebook than they do eating. It is estimated that most U.S. residents check Facebook 15 times per day on average. Facebook pixel tracking allows your website to advertise to users who’ve already visited your site as they browse Facebook. Cookies are stored in their browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc.) when they visit, and then are pulled when they log onto Facebook. Pixel tracking typically improves conversion rates from around 3% to around 15%. Best of all, pixel tracking is relatively inexpensive but highly effective.
2) Google Remarketing Ads
Like Facebook, Google allows for advertisers to track and then follow visitors of their website. Remarketing ads from Google are the same fundamental concept as Facebook pixel tracking and are even less expensive. Why? Because Google doesn’t actually charge a fee until the remarketed ad gets clicked on. Remarketed ads appear on all kinds of platforms in Google’s display network. It could be anything from Accuweather to a tutorial blog post. Let’s say that a potential customer thinks they can fix the plumbing job themself, but then finds your ad on the how-to manual. They might reconsider.
3) Google Ads
Once known as Google AdWords, the now named Google Ads is still one of the most effective ways to advertise your plumbing business online. Because it can be expensive and requires a level of expertise to properly maximize, there are some who have grown frustrated with it as a platform. Still, if ads are properly targeted and campaigns are managed by experts who have an understanding of demographics, targeting, and ROI, plumbers can really clean up with Google Ads. Depending on what city you are looking to target for plumbing jobs, Google Ads may be less expensive than you think. In any case, make sure you hire an AdWords certified manager.
4) YouTube Ads
Like Google Ads, YouTube ads can target specific demographics. As the number one platform in the world for streaming video, YouTube is unsurprisingly a highly frequented domain. Investing in plumbing ads on YouTube can ensure that video watchers in your target area see your company promotions on relevant videos. While the ROI is typically less significant than that gained through Facebook and Google, it is still enough to pursue the venture with open eyes. What can enhance your ability to advertise on YouTube is by creating a video channel for your brand and even posting video content.
5) Search Engine Optimization
SEO remains the most efficient way to advertise a plumbing business online. Some would disagree with this sentiment and for good reason. These plumbers have been screwed over by shady SEO firms who overpromise and underdeliver. This unfortunate combination has given the SEO industry a negative connotation amongst many in the service industries. The facts are unbothered however. SEO is affordable and sustainable which are the two most important components of any advertising campaign in 2019. Make sure you invest in a trustworthy SEO company and one that specializes in your niche, which for you is plumbing.
6) Website Design
Design is important for conversion and personalization. Plumbers advertising campaigns don’t end until a visitor is actually converted. Design goes a long way towards making that happen. From clean codebase and pertinent calls to action, design elements can close the deal on behalf of plumbing companies. Web design also ties in with SEO so it can actually help generate more leads which makes it even more potent from an advertising standpoint. Aesthetics are a big part of trust building, so make sure you website is visually appealing.
Part of strong design is clean codebase. Template websites use obtrusive elements that bog down site speed and hinder SEO potential. The good news is that custom websites often have clean code that has the opposite effect in speeding up your website and improving SEO. Not every designer will be trustworthy however, so doing your due diligence is highly recommended if you are serious about ranking for top plumbing keywords in 2019 and beyond. Part of codebase is schema markup, which is a microdata tag language that helps Google parcel data.
8) Content Quality
Promoting plumbing services is not really possible without quality content. This can come on a multitude of different platforms and in various mediums. For example, videos are content but so are blog posts and so are service pages. Google lists their quality guidelines and calls for unique, valuable, and engaging content to separate your website from others. Prospective clients are not looking for a novel about pipe repair, but they would like to know the specifics about why your services are worth something to them and how they display true convenience.
9) Google My Business Optimization
Your GMB profile is your most important citation and essentially serves as your Google homepage. It is as close to as valuable as your primary website as any other branded web entity. For this reason, the GMB listing should be completely optimized. This includes original images, Google posts, and Q & A sections with informative answers. Don’t forget about hours of operation. When customers leave reviews, be sure to respond to these reviews and do so in a professional manner. Potential clients will want to see that you take complaint seriously.
10) Local Mapping
Google Maps are a major part of lead generation in 2019. Organic results now have local map packs which show the top 3 local rankings in a defined radius, which changes based on the location of the user. Map listings that are associated with a well optimized website and also have a number of favorable reviews are more likely to rank on the map pack. This local 3 pack appears above traditional organic results, making it even more visible to the typical mobile user. Best of all, you know that any local user
Plumbers can list their business on several directories throughout the internet. These listings are known as NAP citations. The most important information is your company’s name, address, and phone number. Google scans this info in the aggregate, meaning consistency and uniformity are important. Sure, you can also get calls off of these listings, but their real impact for promotion is that they collectively drive up your brand recognition and improve search rank. Yelp, HomeAdvisor, and Angie’s List are three of the most important for plumbing companies.
Blog posts keep fresh content circulating on your plumbing website but can also serve as advertising assets if they target the proper keyword terms. Posts are considered shareable content and can go viral as well as rank on Google search. Some posts can even rank years later and end up driving traffic to your business because of a recent event in the area. For example, a post about frozen pipes might suddenly ascend during an ice storm. The more quality content through blogs, the better chance of leveraging them for advertising.
13) Site Updates
A website shouldn’t remain stagnant for years. Since Google is always evolving, as is the needs of consumers, websites should continue to evolve along side of them. Site updates can make sure that this process is ongoing and can also prevent any connectivity errors with the server. Redesigns are also a part of sustaining online ranking. What was considered modern 5 years ago is now looked at as obsolete. Plumbers must always be looking for the next best way to market. Updating pictures and client requested changes are other things to consider in 2019.
Plumbers can advertise through podcast episodes. You might think of podcasting as something for celebrities, but that is not the case. Many “regular” people start podcasts and generate a major following. The reality is that consumers want to be able to relate to the podcast host. People interested in plumbing will be interested in episodes about specific plumbing services. These podcasts can also improve your web presence, social media signals, and overall SEO. Scope inspections make for a good topic to discuss, either through podcast or video.
15) Content Evolution
SEO content has changed again. Plumbing companies now have to write longer form pages. Google favors content length when all else is equal. Sure, you still need quality, readability, and uniqueness, but what Google really wants is detail. Part of great content is LSI keywords which can be found on LSIGraph.com. Just type in your primary keyword and see terms that are topically related. You can then use some of the best looking LSI terms to supplement your writing and make it more diverse.
We are the top digital marketing agency for plumbers but even in our case, there are certain things clients can do better than us for internet promotion. One of those things is review generation. We can provide the tools to make reviews convenient for your customers but you have to ask for them in person. Learn about the other things that you as a client can do better than us. If we work together, you can dominate SEO for plumbers in 2019.
In today’s plumbing industry, the competition is steep. Business owners are always looking for new plumbing marketing and advertising outlets, yet few plumbing companies utilize pay per click advertising. However, plumber PPC advertising can be a very effective and relatively inexpensive method of growing your customer base. These ads can be customized, controlled, and easily evaluated which makes them one of the most productive forms of plumbing marketing offered. However, PPC advertising must be utilized correctly to be effective.
What is Pay Per Click Advertising?
Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is a method of presenting ads to prospective customers in which you only pay when the desired action is taken. These ads are available on platforms like Google, YouTube, Facebook, and other platforms and offer complete customization of content and audience parameters so get your money’s worth every time. The entries presented at the top of each Google search with the word “ad” in front of them are PPC ads. The shown ads have been chosen according to relevance, predetermined demographic and psychographic details, and keyword choice and present clear pathways to related content. Along with being presented at the top of SERPs, plumber PPC ads have a multitude of benefits.
Pay Per Click Advertising Utilizes a Combination of Keyword Usage, Quality Ads, and Relevant Placement to Reach More Viewers.
Easy Creation: PPC ads are simple to create with step-by-step instructions from each PPC platform.
Customizable Audience: When using PPC marketing, you are able to customize your audience by age, income level, interests, location, and more to get your ads in front of the right people.
Various Uses: Pay per click advertising can be used at any stage of the marketing funnel, from presenting information to new visitors to displaying new details to previous visitors.
Integratable: PPC plumbing ads can be easily integrated into other marketing efforts and channels for a comprehensive marketing plan.
Website Traffic Boost: Plumbing PPC ads present direct links back to your site for more valuable website visitors.
Quick Results: While a website could take up to a year to completely index, your plumbing pay per click ads begin immediately for fast results and visible ROI.
Budget Flexibility: PPC ads use budget criteria that can be set by flat or adjustable rates for complete control over your budget.
Easily Measured: Plumber PPC ads offer easily evaluated results that can be accessed through clear, accurate reports and real-time data.
Keyword Bidding for Plumber PPC Marketing
The most notable quality of PPC marketing is the ability to bid on the keywords you want your company to rank on searches for. These keywords are the same term used in SEO marketing, however, they are used as a basis for determining which PPC ads will appear for each search. Keyword bidding is decided by the popularity of the keyword itself. ‘Roofing’, for example, will hold a much more expensive bidding price than more specialized keywords like ‘metal roof repair’. Balancing your keyword bids with the quality of your site will give you the best chance for beating your competition in ad ranking.
Use Proper Keyword Research to Get Optimal Plumbing PPC Results.
Google Plumber PPC Options
As the first platform to offer PPC advertising, Google delivers incredible benefits for plumbing PPC efforts. This platform has multiple ad styles and types that can be viewed on the search network as SERP options or that can be shown as display ads on image and YouTube searches. Each ad choice offers its own advantages including audience targeting, content creation, and budget control so you get unbeatable value for your marketing dollars. Both display and search ads provide higher response figures than any other plumbing marketing method.
Google Display Ads
Plumbers can use Google display ads to provide rich media content to a high performing customer base. These ads are displayed on networks like YouTube, Gmail, and as banner and drop-in ads on other sites to reach the exact customer base you have predetermined. Display ads by Google can be presented to viewers by demographic information or psychographic details like interests, previously viewed content, and even lifestyle to ensure that your ad gets in front of the right people. Business owners are also able to easily control ad spend with display ads by using Google budgeting tools that allow budgets based on keywords, performance goals, and even conversions.
Google Display Ads Appear on Platforms Like YouTube, Gmail, and Image Searches.
Google Search Ads
Search ads are the most widely used type of PPC advertising available and offer customizable advertising on Google search pages. These ads appear at the top of Google searches and can be equipped with phone and contact links, additional information, and more. Since search ads are ranked according to keyword relativity along with ad quality, keyword research and content development are key to these ads’ success. Ensure your ad is equipped with a catchy headline, intriguing text, and a call to action for best results.
Search Ads Appear in Google Searches and are Labeled as Ads or Sponsored.
Plumbing PPC Ads That Get Noticed
Google ad placement is based on multiple factors to ensure that the Google network always presents its users with helpful, relevant content. In order for your Google ad to be shown, it must meet specific qualifications put forth by Google as well as having the correct keyword selections and bid settings. If even one of these factors is lacking, your ad may fail to be seen or could even be shown to an incorrect audience. Therefore, proper ad setup and placement setting are crucial.
Making Your Google Ads Seen
While Google ads are typically a lucrative advertising method, they must be created and displayed correctly to be effective. When you’re developing your Google plumbing ad campaign, consider these influential factors.
Bid Amount: This is the max amount you want to pay per bid. Adjust this amount according to keyword cost vs. searchability rankings.
Expected Click-Through Rate: This metric is how often Google expects your ad to be clicked.
Landing Page Quality: Google inspects the landing page connected to your Google ad to ensure information quality and usability for the viewer.
Ad Relevance: Your ad will be shown to viewers based on how relevant the content is to the search topic.
Ad Formats: Ads viewability is also based on the ad format itself and whether it includes extensions and additional helpful information.
Ad Quality: Google rates your ad according to quality, from 1-10. Higher quality ads with well-organized bidding structures are likely to be shown first.
Creating Quality Plumber PPC Ads on Google
The first step to creating a compelling ad is to decide what you want the ad to accomplish. Do you want your ad to drive traffic to your website? Are you more interested in promoting a particular promotional offer? Your goal will drive the style, keyword selection, and content creation of your ad by guiding the communication style, ad placement, and even the landing page. Ensure you have a clear goal defined before beginning your ad creation for the best results and most ROI.
Your PPC Marketing Should Persuade Your Viewer to Complete a Preset Goal.
As a business owner, you know that it doesn’t matter how many times a prospective customer sees your ad if they don’t complete the goal. But how do you create compelling Google ads that will be seen? The two most important factors of a well-performing Google ad are a compelling headline and an effective landing page. The landing page is the page on your website that the viewer is directed to through your Google ad. Each ad can have a separate landing page or can each direct back to a single page or promotional offer. No matter which route you choose, the landing page must be interesting and easy to navigate. It should offer relevant and useful information that is original and fresh. However, the landing page is irrelevant without a good Google ad, and a good Google ad begins with an intriguing headline. The headline of your ad can be up to 30 characters and should be clear and precise. A primary keyword should be included along with a secondary keyword, if possible. Whether you are creating a display or a text ad, your content should be compelling and interesting, with a clear call to action leading your viewer to complete a goal. It should highlight unique or specific services that your company provides along with including both primary and secondary keywords. Accurate Leak and Line Displays a search ad with multiple keywords and click-through options along with a clear, well-organized landing page. Consequently, their ad is listed first on the Google Search for their keyword.
A Well-Organized Google Ad Has Multiple Keywords and Calls to Action.
Creating a Good Landing Page Boosts the Chances of Your Ad Being Placed.
Building an Effective Plumbing PPC Budget With Google
One of the main factors of Google ad placement is budget setup including bid style selection. This element of your Google ad can be the deciding factor between whether your ad is shown or whether it’s outranked by another. Knowing your Google budget and ad spend choices can help you make the best budgeting decisions for your plumbing company’s PPC campaign.
Your PPC Budget is Balanced Between Keyword Cost and Competition.
CPM (Cost Per 1,000 Impressions): These ads are best used for general brand awareness and are distributed on all relative platforms and are charged a flat rate under 1,000 impressions. CPM is perfect for increasing awareness.
CPC (Cost Per Click): The most popular selection, this method charges only for clicks instead of views. CPC budgeting works well with sales and traffic increase goals.
CPV (Cost Per View): Used mainly to increase views and website traffic, CPV budgeted ads charge when the video content is viewed.
CPA (Cost Per Acquisition): With this budgeting style, your pay for goal completions only. CPA budgeted ads are great for increasing sales and appointments.
Your budget style can be adjusted or changed throughout your campaign depending on your company’s specific needs. This may be needed in situations where you want to change your bid structure or keyword list or if you want to make adjustments to your max bid or cap amount. Simply go into your campaign settings in Google Ads to adjust your budget amount, style, or even campaign length to meet your budgetary requirements and advertising goals.
Using Social Platforms for Plumber PPC Marketing
Along with Google, there are multiple platforms that offer companies PPC marketing campaign utilization. With more than 70 percent of the U.S. population being active on at least one social media platform, social media marketing is crucial for achieving maximum customer reach.
Social Media Platforms Offer a Lucrative PPC Marketing Option.
These marketing channels provide a constant stream of potential customers along with simple to use campaign set up so your plumbing company can market to a customized, specific audience base for the best results possible. Along with easy-to-use creation avenues, each platform offers analytics tools to measure and adjust your marketing efforts for maximum results. As with Google, PPC marketing campaigns on social platforms utilize keywords and user experience measurements to decide which ads rank best. Therefore, proper keyword research and ad planning are imperative for a quality PPC campaign.
Facebook Marketing for Plumbers
We’ve all seen the Facebook ads that pop up in our feed and on the right side of our screen. Facebook ads are a comparably inexpensive method of reaching your audience that can generate web traffic, brand awareness, and conversions. Like Google Ads, Facebook offers multiple audience-targeting methods including age, income, location, interest, and more so you can hone your marketing efforts to be as focused or as general of an audience as you wish. Facebook also offers budgeting options that allow you to set a daily or weekly cap to avoid overspending and prevent underperformance of your ad. However, developing an effective Facebook ad isn’t as easy as it sounds. In order to get the most out of your Facebook advertising efforts, your plumbing ads must have an interesting image, relevant content, and an effective call to action. It must also contain relevant keywords along with a budget and campaign structure that matches the marketing goals you have in mind.
As the Most Used Social Platform, Facebook PPC Offer Incredible Result Potential.
Planning Your Facebook Plumbing PPC Campaign
In order to create an effective Facebook plumber PPC campaign, it’s important to take proper planning steps. First, decide whether your campaign goal is to boost followers, drive traffic to your website, or increase conversions. Your business goal will greatly affect your Facebook ad and budget structure. Once you have decided on the goal of your marketing campaign, you can begin thinking about the topic of your marketing piece. Using your topic, you are able to identify keyword options to use within your marketing content. Remember to include national, local, and service-based keywords for optimal marketing results.
Facebook Marketing Creation
Once you have completed the necessary research to learn what your audience is looking for, you can begin creating your post. While not required on the Facebook platform, using visual aids like images and videos can exponentially boost your engagement and share results. However, images and videos must be formatted correctly to be accepted by Facebook and to deliver an ideal user experience. Text should also be well-planned and should include keywords, unique service or promotional information, and a clear call to action.
Format Videos Properly for Better Reception and More Frequent Placement
Formatting Your Images Correctly Leads to More Frequent Ad Placement
Your ads can appear in multiple locations on the Facebook platform. Facebook PPC ads can appear in-feed, meaning they appear in the scrolling feed that viewers see, or they can show on the right side of the screen along with other info and detail snippets. Both placement locations have great click-through potential and can drive traffic to your site or your Facebook page, depending on your goal.
Facebook PPC Marketing Offers Multiple Styles and Formats to Reach Your Audience.
Once you have your ad created, simply follow the steps provided by Facebook to build your plumbing PPC campaign. You can customize your plumber PPC campaign audience by demographic information such as age and location as well as psychographic details like interests and lifestyle behaviors. This ability promotes more promising results for your ad spend. You can also customize your budget. Choose a budget cap according to a flat rate for the campaign, daily spending limit, and more to ensure you’re getting the most out of every dollar you spend.
News Feed Ads are the Most Popular Style on Facebook Mobile.
Using Facebook Analytics to Optimize Your Plumbing PPC Campaign
While running your Facebook campaign, be sure to assess and adjust your campaign using the provided analytics tools. These tools provide information like clicks and shares, views, click-throughs, and other engagement metrics so you know exactly how your campaign is performing and can make proper adjustments. The metrics provided by Facebook are up-to-date and accurate so you can identify details such as the most responsive times and days of the week, what types of content work best with your audience, and even where your audience is located. Knowing these facts can give you the tools you need to maximize your customer base and your company’s PPC marketing ROI.
Facebook Analytics Tools Offers an In-Depth Look at Your PPC Endeavors.
Plumber PPC Campaigns On Instagram
As with Facebook, Instagram offers business PPC campaign creation and implementation that can boost your customer base and web traffic. Instagram provides an ideal channel for video and image display that highlights your company’s skills and workmanship along with promotion-awareness and company image. The platform also delivers accurate and up-to-date analytics tools that can help you maximize your Instagram advertising efforts.
Using Instagram PPC Campaigns Effectively
When creating your Instagram account, keep your business in mind. Use a business email address to create your account and create a username that reflects your company. When selecting a profile image, use an image that encompasses your business ideals such as a logo. Use the bio section to provide a general view of your company using service terms and keywords. Once your account is created, you can choose the “Switch to Business Account” option from the menu to begin using the PPC campaign platform.
From Your Account Page, Click the Menu Option and Press Settings.
From the Settings Menu, Select Account.
From Your Account Menu, Press Switch to Business Account.
There are now multiple ways to create a plumber PPC campaign through Instagram, although the Instagram app and Facebook platform are the most popular. These platforms provide easy setup of campaign goals, audience parameters, and add-ons so you are able to create campaigns that are productive and effective. Whether you use Facebook or the Instagram app to create your plumbing PPC campaign, the first step is to decide what the goal will be. When advertising on Instagram, you have a more limited goal selection than with Facebook. Your Instagram PPC campaign goal options include:
App Installation: This campaign option directs viewers to download your app on the appropriate app store.
Brand Awareness: By implementing this goal, you can help generate more awareness of your company using a more general audience base.
Conversions: Increase conversions on your site by using this marketing goal to direct viewers to a landing page.
Engagements: Maximize engagements with your post and your account by selecting this marketing goal.
Lead Generation: With this campaign goal, you can create marketing that directs your audience to provide lead information like name, phone number, and email address.
Reach: Use the reach goal to expand and maximize your reach by displaying your ad to a more general audience.
Traffic: Increase traffic to your site by selecting a traffic goal which directs viewers to a landing page on your site.
Once you have decided on a PPC campaign goal, you can select your content and viewing audience. In order for your plumber PPC marketing to be effective on Instagram, ensure that your media is properly optimized for efficient viewing. Proper image and video formatting is crucial for your audience to receive the intended experience, and should be completed before uploading to your marketing campaign. These formatting requirements ensure that your content can be viewed properly, no matter what type of device your audience is using.
Properly Formatting Your Images Allows for Optimal Ad Display.
Ensure Your Videos Are Properly Formatted for Optimal Display
Instagram Analytics for Your PPC Marketing Campaign
While Instagram doesn’t provide as many analytics metrics as Google or Facebook, the platform does deliver helpful information to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your campaign. Just as with other platforms, your PPC campaign can be adjusted and altered at any time for optimal results. Instagram provides metrics involving your audience interactions to give you an idea of how well your marketing is received. These analytics metrics include:
Engagement: This metric tells you how many viewers responded to your marketing in some way, whether it’s liking, commenting on, your clicking on your post.
Follower Growth: Find out exactly how much your follower base has increased to learn how well your plumber PPC marketing campaign is doing.
Impressions: Learn the total of viewers that your PPC marketing reached to learn whether your audience needs adjusting.
Reach: Find out how many unique viewers saw your ad to get an idea of how your viewer base is growing.
Other Platforms for Plumber PPC Marketing
Although Google, Facebook, and Instagram are the most popular options for PPC marketing, YouTube, Twitter, and other social platforms can also be used for PPC marketing efforts. In fact, YouTube is one of the most used platforms today and can provide a video viewer base that is unrivaled by any other platform. However, like with other social platforms, YouTube requires specific formatting for optimal viewing. It also requires extensive keyword research to ensure optimal results throughout the campaign. You can choose to display your ad before other videos or as a right-side ad during videos so you can reach your audience exactly how you prefer. Twitter and Snapchat also offer PPC marketing avenues that can help increase awareness, build your customer base, and maximize traffic to your website. While each platform has individual nuances, goal setup, audience selection, and analytics tools are similar and provide specific options and choices that help you identify the ideal viewer for your content.
Consider Where You Want Your Ad Placed for Optimal Formatting.
Each Platform Requires Correct Formatting for Display.
Using PPC Campaigns in Remarketing Efforts
To get the most out of your online efforts, remarketing can be used to present your marketing to previous viewers and visitors for a better response. This works by tracking viewers and actions to provide detailed data about engagement, location, and behavior, and delivering this pertinent information for you to use in re-delivery efforts. Remarketing is one of the most effective online marketing tactics and can deliver dramatically increased ad effectiveness over almost every platform. Some of the benefits of using remarketing efforts are:
Audience Targeting: Easily target recent visitors and viewers for better, more focused results.
Improved Brand Recallability: By remarketing to previous viewers, chances of audience recognition are increased exponentially.
Ad Relevance Improvement: Find out exactly what your audience is looking for and deliver more focused marketing for a better response.
Flexible Budget Options: Just like with other PPC marketing, a PPC remarketing budget is flexible and adjustable for the ultimate ROI.
Remarketing Redelivers Your Message to Previous Viewers for a More Promising Response.
Google provides remarketing campaign setup that makes creating a PPC remarketing campaign simple and quick. Through Google remarketing, you can quickly see which groups respond best to your marketing so you can customize your remarketing efforts to be delivered to your most promising viewers. Through Facebook and Instagram, your remarketing PPC campaigns are created through pixel tracking. This method uses a code that is embedded onto your website to track viewer response on landing pages as well as goal completion so you can see exactly who your most promising viewers are. Then, you can create remarketing plumber PPC campaigns that target these audiences for maximum response and engagement.
There is much dispute about whether organic marketing or PPC marketing is the better choice for reaching a bigger audience. However, there are multiple benefits to each style that makes both crucial for a well-rounded campaign effort. Organic SEO strategies offer unbeatable results in Google searches as well as on other platforms. However, plumber PPC campaigns can provide extended reach to focused audiences for increased response. In the end, both avenues provide outstanding marketing and lead generation capabilities.
Both Plumber SEO and Plumber PPC Marketing Have Benefits and Are Most Effective When Used Together.
Organic SEO marketing uses keywords and content to appear in organic SERPs throughout the internet including Google Search, Google Maps, Bing, Yahoo, and more. This method of marketing utilizes coding and presentation as well as content and linking to establish a rapport among search engines which results in top rankings and listings. Organic marketing for your plumbing business provides benefits like affordability, complete control and adjustment capabilities, and a spot on the top method of finding services. Because these strategies are organic, budgeting requirements are minimal. Along with affordability, SEO methods have comprehensive and accurate analytics tools that provide information on details like user engagement, click through rates and even platform where the viewer originated.
PPC marketing uses paid methods to communicate your message on social platforms as well as Google Search, Google Maps, Gmail, and more. While these marketing strategies are more expensive, they are completely trackable and revisable for complete control of your marketing. These methods are also more easily seen and can provide an ideal supplement for websites that have yet to index for proper optimization, new businesses, and even established businesses that are looking to expand their customer base. Like organic SEO tactics, PPC marketing comes with an extensive array of analytics tools that can be used for audience and budget adjustments as well as remarketing new marketing efforts.
While organic SEO tactics provide affordable ongoing searchability and engagement for your site, it can be difficult to outrank your competition, especially when considering older, more established sites. Google has structured a multitude of algorithms that use bot crawlers to index and identify the content of your website, judging search relevance, content quality and more. Because of the extensive and sometimes unknown requirements of Google, organic appearances may be difficult to achieve, especially in highly populated areas. These results are even more difficult to keep and require consistent website attention and adjustment in order to keep indexing well for search results.
Although plumber PPC marketing for your company offers a great way to expand your reach and customer base, an effective PPC campaign requires extensive attention and budgeting. These campaigns need regular adjustments including run-times, bid amounts, and audience parameters in order to continue being successful. Bidding can also be difficult and requires a balance of keyword strength and bidding amount in order to provide results.
Effective Plumber PPC Marketing Campaigns From the Experts
Plumbing PPC marketing campaigns are effective and efficient and offer exceptional results when correctly utilized. However, PPC marketing campaigns require consistent attention and intricate strategy in order to get the results your plumbing company is looking for. At Plumbing Webmasters, our experts have the experience and know-how to provide plumber PPC marketing efforts that expand your reach and increase your web traffic and customer base. Our professionals work with you to define your business goals and design a customized Google Ads, Facebook, or other PPC marketing campaign that gets your viewers’ attention and encourages action leading to conversion. Our PPC marketing team offers:
Goal Creation: Our experts provide guidance and advice on the most productive goals for your plumbing company.
Keyword Research and Implementation: The Plumbing Webmasters professionals will perform extensive keyword research to develop a comprehensive keyword list to implement in your PPC marketing.
Keyword Bidding Structures: Get expert help with your keyword bidding strategy to ensure you get the most bang for your buck.
Ad Creation: No campaign is successful without the right ad. We can help create the ideal ad for your marketing campaign.
Landing Page Creation and Optimization:Ensure that your campaign is performing at its best by ensuring that your landing page delivers a great user experience through the help of our team.
PPC Campaign Monitoring and Adjustment: Our experts provide continuous monitoring and adjustment of your plumber PPC campaign to ensure it’s always performing well.
PPC Budget Management: With the help of our professional PPC marketing team, you can rest assured that your PPC budget never gets out of hand. We monitor and adjust your budget as needed for optimal performance.
PPC Marketing Analytics and Performance Tracking and Reporting: Unlike other marketing channels, PPC marketing efforts provide results that are easily assessed. Our professionals keep you updated on the performance of your PPC campaign as well as the expected results.
Our Experts Work to Assess and Refine Your Current Plumber PPC Strategy for Improved Results.
Whether your plumbing company is large or small, rurally or metro located, brand new or well-established, it can benefit from the use of plumber PPC marketing campaigns. These easy to track and adjust campaigns offer extreme customizability, revisability, and adjustability so you always get the most out of every advertising dollar. Call our experts at (877) 388-9884 to learn more about your plumber PPC marketing campaign options and which routes may be best suited for your company. The Plumbing Webmasters experts are here to help you make the best marketing decisions for your plumbing company to gain you better ROI and extended reach in your market.
Plumbing marketing is a simple idea that presents a difficult challenge. Contractors know that service promotion is important and understand its correlation to success. What they often fail to grasp is how to optimally define, measure, and execute a marketing plan.
What is Plumbing Marketing?
Plumbing marketing is the action or business of promoting plumbing services, including market research and advertising.
How to Measure Plumbing Marketing
Since marketing is either an action or a business, and often both, it can be measured by result and revenue, and often both. Because the action of promoting a plumbing service is so wide-ranging, pinpointing a single metric that reveals success or failure is illogical. The truth is that measuring plumbing marketing involves several or more sets of data and the analysis of each. Because marketing can entail everything from Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC), a broader examination is required. When viewing marketing strictly as a business, its measurement becomes more straightforward. In these cases, quantifiable metrics such as revenue or return on investment (ROI) can tell most, if not all, of the story.
Executing a Plumbing Marketing Plan
To execute a marketing plan, plumbers need information, strategy, and labor. Without them, there’s no effective way to follow through or to feel confident in the process going forward. Most contractors and companies are pressed for time and don’t feel that they have enough of it to properly allocate marketing resources.
Research is one way to gather info about markets, target consumers, and the processes of reaching them in 2019. Because of Google and advancements in technology, information is available at our fingertips 24/7. Smartphones with WiFi connectivity empower plumbers to gather intelligence anytime, anywhere. This has a downside to it however, since an excess of information naturally produces some that is inaccurate, misleading, and even manipulative. Other ways to gather information include consultation, networking, and even training.
Information itself is very raw until it is analyzed, organized, and conceptualized. For example, reading about the cost of a plumbing website can provide ideas and even cost figures, but until you decide what you’re willing to pay for a website and how much ROI you expect it to generate, it isn’t all that valuable. Developing a strategy solves this problem. If through research you can determine that you hope to make x amount of dollars through marketing this year, you can begin to formulate a plan that projects to achieve that goal in a defined timeframe.
Planning and doing are two different things. Plumbers can have the best strategy for marketing success, but without the labor to perform the tasks, it is inconsequential. You’ll learn later why a single person cannot possibly perform all the actions that make up a promising marketing campaign, and why having a team of individuals with unique skill sets is the most ideal scenario when promoting plumbing services. At Plumbing Webmasters, our team meets those exact needs. Call it a sales pitch, but we intentionally built a team of webmasters to provide the skilled labor required to execute a marketing plan in 2019.
Marketing Basics for Plumbers
Every form of promotion is marketing. Whether you buy billboard space on your local highway or you build a branded company website and publish it online, you are promoting your plumbing services. Think about the times you’ve left business cards on the windshield of parked vehicles or left fliers in the mailboxes of nearby homes. That is marketing. In fact, marketing happens even when you don’t realize it. When you are discussing your service with an acquaintance, thinking of it more as a friendly conversation but making sure to “sell yourself” just in case, you are actually marketing. Contrary to popular belief, marketing doesn’t have to be manipulative, but in confirmation of that same belief, it certainly can be.
1. Any Promotion of Your Plumbing Service is a Form of Marketing
2. Marketing Includes Paid Advertising
3. Manipulation is Not Required to Market Services but Neither are Ethics
Ways to Market Plumbing Services
At Plumbing Webmasters, our specialty is online marketing. There are many forms of promotion within the online marketing category, but there is also promotion that exists offline. The more traditional forms of advertising like print, billboards, and even radio / television are all conducted without need for an internet connection. They also no longer work very well. Very few consumers find plumbers through offline channels in 2019. Instead, they visit Google and perform a search for nearby plumbing companies and often compare and contrast them based on customer reviews from their Google My Business, Facebook, or Yelp pages. They might also check platforms like Instagram and YouTube to get a further understanding of the brand and its trustworthiness. Take a look at some the ways to market plumbing:
Google Ads (PPC)
Remarketing / Retargeting
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Social Media Ads
Social Media Marketing
Telemarketing (Cold Calling)
Television / Radio Spots
Inbound vs Outbound Marketing
If you were to breakdown the list above, you could place every way to market within one of two general categories which are inbound marketing and outbound marketing. The former aims to pull potential customers into your services organically while the latter is designed to go out and get them, per se. Most traditional forms of marketing (including advertising) are considered outbound. Newer strategies, most famously; SEO, are categorized as inbound promotion. The main distinction between the two is that outbound marketing is both intrusive and iterruptive while inbound marketing is notably less so. Since outbound promotion relies on “going out to get” potential customers it tends to require greater financial investment. The most common example of this is Google Ads (PPC) which is a modern form of outbound promotion and costs much more to execute than SEO which is the modern face of inbound marketing.
One old school promotional tactic that has been rendered obsolete by the onset of inbound marketing strategies, particularly those that are digitally relevant, is billboard advertising. When drivers pass a billboard for your plumbing services, the likelihood of the ad being relevant to them at that time and place is very low. Compare that to the relevance of a search result for your plumbing services that is revealed to someone who typed in “plumber near me” on their smartphone. In the latter case, the person viewing your search result has already demonstrated a need for your services which makes the relevance of the search result much greater. It so happens that the cost of securing that search result is also much lower than the cost of the billboard, making it that much more advantageous from a marketing perspective.
Although they can also be categorized as old-school marketing, business cards remain a worthwhile investment for plumbers, if for no other reason than their sheer cheapness. The investment in these paper-thin promotional materials is so miniscule that any benefit at all would make them “worth it.” There’s also a degree of interpersonality that business cards can aid. After completing a plumbing service for a paying customer, leaving them with a card that lists your contact information, and a reminder to review your service on Google or Facebook, can increase callbacks, customer retention, and of course; reviews. So while business cards are unlikely to “bring in” customers they can assist in retaining and maximizing the ones that are compiled through other marketing methods, such as search engine optimization (SEO).
One new-school form of promotion is content marketing. Whether it is a social media platform like YouTube or a search engine like Google, content is the internet’s lifeblood. Without content, Google could not exist, Facebook could not exist, YouTube could not exist, and so on. The opportunity present for plumbers is creating content assets and marketing them through all of these different channels. An example of content marketing would be writing a highly informative blog post about common plumbing problems and sharing it on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. As word of this blog post spread via search engine and social media, it would begin to funnel visitors to your homepage while growing brand awareness. If it became secure on page one of Google, it would start to earn inbound links naturally, improving its ranking even more.
Google Ads (PPC)
PPC is the intersection between modern and traditional marketing. The concept itself is conventional, but its application is very contemporary. You might think of Google Ads in comparison to the aforementioned billboard example. The difference with ads on Google is that there is relevance that can be demonstrated and tracked. In fact, Google allows advertisements to target specific keywords, locations, and demographics. This way, ads are revealed only to a group of people that are worth advertising to. This same tactic cannot be applied to a billboard campaign, since plumbers could not possibly track everyone who sees it. While Google Ads are decidedly modern in application, keep in mind that they are still a form of outbound marketing which makes them both expensive and in some cases, off-putting to consumers.
There was a time when an ad in the local newspaper, or even the Yellow Pages, was enough to generate high quality plumbing leads. Those days are long gone and print ads no longer carry much weight to prospective clients. There’s more than one reason for this phenomenon, but the most obvious one is rather straightforward; nobody reads print anymore. Ok so “nobody” is an exaggeration, but the decrease in print viewership from the late 90’s is astronomical. Most newspapers have transitioned to digital formats as their flagship distribution channel and that is of course because their readers will only show up online. Being mentioned in a newspaper article still holds value in 2019, but only if it’s digitally published, and preferably with a link back to your website. Inbound links serve as endorsements in Google’s algorithm.
Remarketing / Retargeting
If there’s one marketing method that can be considered both inbound and outbound it would be remarketing aka retargeting. Remarketing is the process of advertising services to someone who has already demonstrated interest in your service in one way or another. Most times, this interest is made clear through the act of website visitation but can also be expressed in other defined events, such as the watching of a branded YouTube video. If someone browses your website, or watches your video, their interest in your ad is theoretically greater than someone who has not. These users can be retargeted using browser cookie tracking. The numbers back up retargeting as a promotional method by showing significant increases in conversion rate to groups who have shown prior interest in the service. The prior interest of the consumer was inbound while your promotional targeting of them is outbound.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is the most effective marketing strategy for plumbers in 2019. It checks all the boxes discussed on this page. It is a form of inbound promotion, consumers reach it at their most preferred source (Google), and it is incredibly cost-efficient. Furthermore, it can be easily tracked, monitored, and analyzed at all times. While paid advertising methods like Google Ads (PPC) require a real-time investment for a short-term return, SEO is a concept that necessitates a much lesser investment to secure a long-term business asset. Once search results on Google are established, they can become an ongoing lead generator for years to come and cost you very little as a plumbing company in comparison to other forms of promotion. Google is a constantly evolving search engine, so SEO is always subject to minor changes.
Social Media Ads
You now know about Google Ads but were you aware that social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube also offer ad space? Displaying ads on social media has become an increasingly popular promotional method. This is especially true on Facebook, a social network that has minimized the impact of organic posts from local businesses, including plumbing contractors. Since an organic Facebook post on your business page will no longer reach any of your followers, advertising becomes the logical solution. Ads of course can be expensive but sometimes the investment is worth the trade. Facebook ads can yield considerable ROI if properly constructed, managed, and tracked throughout their lifespan. The process is not dissimilar to the analysis of a Google Ads campaign, and the goal is identical.
Social Media Marketing
Ads are not the only way to promote through social networks. Organic posts on Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube remain meaningful assets for plumbers. While they may not directly generate leads, they can help grow brand awareness and even influence local SEO by sending signals to Google. A presence on social media, even if it effectively as a business listing, boosts company trust and lets Google and their users know that you are a legitimate business and has taken the time to connect with your potential customers through social media. One way to utilize LinkedIn, for example, is to share blog posts published on your website. This helps distribute on-page content to external sources which is helpful for SEO as a general principle. Sharing original photos and videos is also beneficial to plumbers.
Telemarketing (Cold Calling)
Remember the days of smashing your Motorola to pieces with a baseball bat? Me neither. But that isn’t so far-fetched to consider when you are harassed by telemarketers. There was always a negative connotation associated with cold calls, but consumers are more aware of their tricks in 2019 than ever before. As a result, the few times telemarketing did work have dwindled to an even less likely occurrence. So imagine calling random strangers in your service area to see if they have a broken pipe in their kitchen. Here’s a tip; if they do, they have already searched Google and found the plumber of their choice to rectify the issue. This means they don’t need you and they don’t want your phone call. They might even block your number on their iPhone or Android device and make a note of your utter disgracefulness.
Television / Radio Spots
In 2019, the crazy plumber that comes on commercial when you are watching the local news is doing two things; embarrassing himself and wasting money. Flashback to 1999, and he’s only embarrassing himself. But today, there’s no longer an incentive to do so. TV spots, and radio spots for that matter, reach a much narrower audience than they did 20 years ago. The cost of advertising on either medium remains higher than it’s worth and the production of a commercial is not doing plumbers any favors. Uploading a self-made video to YouTube using only your iPhone device has a superior chance of ROI than does a TV spot. Like with other types of old-school promotion discussed on this page, TV and radio ads are a form of outbound marketing and reach a pool of viewers or listeners who will find them mostly irrelevant.
Draping your truck in a sized-fit and mobile promotional sticker is not a horrible idea, even in 2019. Although it is certainly a form of outbound marketing and is not trackable in the way that SEO or social media marketing is, it can still provide ROI to plumbing companies. What makes it different than a billboard you ask? For one, it costs less money to implement. Secondly, once it’s a part of your truck it becomes a permanent business asset. With a billboard or TV spot, you are paying an ongoing fee to keep the word out. The truck or car wrap can show your company logo, contact information, website URL and whatever else you choose to promote. Again, it can be a worthwhile investment because it is a one time cost with a lifetime of opportunity to return. There is no fixed fee and it can help brand your business.
Benefits of Marketing for Plumbing Companies
A plumber benefits from promotion in many ways. Assuming the best strategies are developed and implemented, marketing can literally drive your business to the top of your market. The key is to take the time to create a plan based on research and to invest in the labor required to successfully apply it.
Building a brand can seem like “fluff” from the standpoint of a plumber but branding is actually important for a number of reasons and is a product of effective marketing. Brands are built on recognition first and foremost but the ones that you aspire to, are built on trust. Google has shown time and again that trust is one of its most influential search ranking factors. By building a brand through digital platforms (business listings, social media, website) you are legitimizing your plumbing company with a strong and expansive web presence. When people complain about Google favoring brands, they are really bickering about the trust those companies have built through Google and the individuals who utilize its search engine. Sure, is it hard to build more trust than a conglomerate? Yes. But remember, local results get priority for plumbers.
Plumbing marketing exists to generate leads. It cannot be any more simple than that. Leads are potential customers who connect with your business in one way or another. Both an email inquiry and a phone call are examples of leads. Leads vary in quality. Services that claim to offer “lead generation for plumbers” are not always producing worthwhile leads to contractors. Sometimes they produce what are known as shared leads which implies they are also given to other plumbers in your area, making them less likely to convert into a sale. The best kinds of leads are exclusive meaning the prospect is inquiring only about your services in the email or phone call. SEO produces the highest quality leads (exclusives) which is another reason why it’s so valuable. Advertising, digital or otherwise, is also designed to generate leads.
Return on Investment (ROI)
The goal of plumbing companies is to make money. It’s not rocket science. You as a plumber must make more than you spend. This simple equation is known as ROI which is short for Return on Investment. To run a successful business of any kind, the revenue must significantly exceed the expenses. When properly executed, marketing will yield an ROI and sometimes one that is so significant, it changes the trajectory of your life. SEO is one of the most powerful tools on earth because it can help plumbers earn money without spending too much of it. It can get you a larger home, a nicer car, and a better education for your children. No it does not guarantee you any of those things, but it gives you the chance, which is normally enough to justify the investment in the first place. But plumbers must decide for themselves.
Defining an Audience
Marketing cannot be fully explained without discussing the importance of defining a target audience. Sure, promotion in of itself can be marketed to anyone, anywhere, anytime, but as we discussed with some of the specific methods, that is not always the best course of action. It makes far more sense from both a practical and financial standpoint to promote services to a defined subgroup of people. Who belongs to this subgroup is determined by you as a plumber and us as your marketing advisor.
Age, education-level, lifestyle, profession, relationship status, residence status. These are each examples of a demographic. Plumbing contractors might find one or more of these quite helpful when defining their target audience. Let’s take residence for example. For individuals who own and, or live in homes (homeowners), plumbing services are highly relevant. After all, they as a homeowner are responsible for the plumbing. Now let’s compare that to people who rent homes or apartments. These people are not liable for the plumbing maintenance. So by and large, they aren’t on the lookout for your services. As you might imagine, it’s cost-effective to promote services only to homeowners and not home renters.
Reaching a prospective customer requires some sort of vehicle and we don’t mean your plumbing truck. We are alluding to the medium or channel through which the prospect learns of your services. We’ve detailed some of your options to do this and which of them we believe are the most effective in 2019. In our opinion, Google is the number one medium through which to reach a potential client and the data backs this up. With this in mind, SEO becomes a clear-cut choice for plumbing marketing. Keep in mind that companies are not limited to only one channel. You can reach prospects on both Google and social media, for example. You can even use a truck wrap and also use Google Ads. There’s plenty of flexibility.
As a plumber with ambition, your service radius might be “optimistic” to put it kindly. The truth for contractors is that they should not market services to locations they cannot realistically serve in an efficient manner. If it takes you 2 hours to deploy a truck to a location to which you market, it can compromise your business. Not only are you spending on fuel it takes to get there and back, but you are providing a substandard service, and one that a company with a closer radius could easily outperform. Focusing on a radius that you can serve optimally is going to improve your performance and likely help build a superior reputation for your company, including through online reviews on Google and Facebook.
Tracking Marketing Data
We identified measurement as one of three core elements to marketing. But before anything can be measured, it must be tracked. There must be a large enough sample of data to make a measurement worthwhile. There’s several tools that exist that can help plumbers track their marketing data in 2019.
Facebook Page Insights is the platform’s native analytics tool that tracks behaviors of users who visit or interact with your page or posts. It is considered the most powerful native social media tracking tool available online. As we noted before, Facebook no longer a network on which to reach consumers organically. In an effort to bring people closer together they changed the algorithm to return the focus to human to human interactions rather than business or brand to human. That’s not great news for plumbers, but Facebook Insights remains a useful tool to track the behavior of Facebook users.
Google Analytics is the number one tracking tool available online. And why shouldn’t it be? After all, the data is tracked using the best source we possibly have, which is Google itself. Analytics can track data from both SEO and paid advertising campaigns. Although they don’t reveal every bit of information, for example; you can’t see all of the terms people search for to enter your website, they expose enough to give plumbing companies a good idea bout where improvements are necessary and where successes are originating. To install Google Analytics on a website, all you need to do is embed the code within the HTML. If you don’t know how to do this yourself, contact a local website designer or programmer.
HubSpot Marketing is a marketing analytics software that tracks data from all of your different promotional channels. Unlike Facebook Audience Insights or Google Analytics, HubSpot Marketing can organize information from multiple sources into a single unified dashboard. It empowers plumbers to analyze their data from a broader view. While HubSpot Marketing helps track data as it flows in, its utility is even more impactful than that. The ultimate goal of this tool is to increase website conversion rates for businesses. There’s other kinds of software like HS that exists on the web, but most independent evaluators rank it as the most prominent marketing analytics software available as of February 2019.
Plumbing Marketing Services
Many contractors have a very basic question about marketing, is there someone who can do it for me? The answer is yes. Plumbing Webmasters markets plumbers all across the United States of America and helps them reach their business goals each year. Our process is not complicated. We have a team of 15 skilled webmasters who perform the skilled labor required for an effective marketing campaign. We handle everything from design (custom websites) to plumbing SEO services. Here’s a full breakdown:
Our content team is made up of professional writers who are regularly trained in the latest SEO practices and whose work is verified by an on-staff editor. There is a saying in the SEO industry; content is king. That’s because Google has publicly stated its affinity for quality content and cites it as the single most important factor in a page’s value. We produce highly relevant content that is original, relevant, and unique. Each piece of content published on Plumbing Webmasters’ designed websites passes Copyscape to confirm its uniqueness and to avoid duplicate content issues. Our writers are knowledgeable about plumbing services and write content for your consumers. We never engage in black-hat content tricks like keyword stuffing. We are a white-hat SEO company.
Design (Custom Websites)
Our website design team is made up of professionals with experience in marketing for plumbers. Each site built by our staff is custom-made and optimized for search. But most importantly, it is designed with clean code and schema markup. There is a direct relationship between SEO and custom design. When HTML code is clean, CSS style sheets are advanced, and schema markup microdata is incorporated, the sky’s the limit for plumbing websites. Visual appeal is also a consideration, and one taken under the watchful eye of the Plumbing Webmasters design team. Although the presentation does not reveal the code behind it, having an aesthetically pleasing display can help increase conversion rates on a plumbing company website. An effective design integrates your company logo and color scheme.
There’s a saying in marketing “put yourself on the map” and its never been more literal than in 2019. Today, “the map” in its most literal sense is Google Maps. Search queries are adjusted based on the searcher’s geo-location in relation to the search result. Local SERPs yield a group of results known as the Local Map Pack which is 3 Google Maps listings that are most relevant to the user, based primarily on their own location. Google Maps links with Google My Business to show the aggregate star rating of a plumbing company. When Plumbing Webmasters conducts mapping services, we are verifying your Google My Business account’s location and optimizing it for local search. We also go to great length to ensure that your Google My Business listing is completely optimized including through the presence of favorable reviews that we help you generate with our native Righteous Reviews website widget.
Part of promotion is reputation. How can a plumber most effectively market himself without a solid reputation? For many plumbers, reputation starts with becoming known in their local community. Establishing a name can be difficult enough on its own, but maintaining a favorable perception is even more difficult. The first step in gaining notoriety is to install the Righteous Reviews widget from Plumbing Webmasters. It makes the process of leaving reviews more convenient for customers. They can visit your website and directly submit feedback to Google or Facebook without ever having to leave your site. Additionally, the widget sends text reminders with links so that customers don’t forget to do it while at home. As for maintaining a positive rep … try to do a great job on services and always monitor review platforms for any negativity. If it exists, respond professionally and request its removal if it is unfounded.
The objective of SEO is to optimize every aspect of your plumbing company’s web presence. Some mistakenly believe SEO is reserved specifically and only for a website. That is not the case. SEO expands far beyond your main website — although it helps to have one as a central hub. Business directories, external domains, and social media pages are examples of web properties that encompass SEO on a larger scale. There was a time when a website was the only viable destination for a prospective client but that is no longer the case. Google can no longer grade websites exclusive from other factors including but not limited to citations sources and social media signals. Inbound links remain an SEO factor whether Google chooses to dismiss it or not. Sites with quality links generally outperform those without them.