Author Archives: Plumbing Webmasters

Developing a Relaxed, Productive User Experience

Do your customers have a tendency to leave your website quicker than you’d like? It might be that your user experience is chasing customers away. With careful planning and proper design, you can turn a poorly performing website into a lead-generating powerhouse! Today, we’ll define the user experience and discuss how plumbing contractors can improve it. By the end, you should have a simple game plan for creating fresh growth for your company.

Let’s get started!

A Google Analytics Form Shows the Bounce Rate

Bounce Rate is Just One Important Metric for the User Experience.

What is the User Experience?

The name says it all. The user experience (UX) is simply a consumer’s journey through your website. Now, that journey may end within seconds. It might also last for thirty minutes. Success depends upon your company’s (or your web designer’s) ability to direct the consumer to where they need to go. Many elements affect the journey, including:

  • Homepage & Landing Page Design,
  • Service Categorization,
  • Content Quality,
  • Calls to Action,
  • and more.

While logic may govern the ultimate purchase decision, emotion drives potential customers throughout their user experience. The wrong combination of eagerness and frustration drives would-be clients away from your website. That’s why you want your site experience to flow as smoothly as possible, with no speed bumps along the way!

Key Metrics for User Experience

Conversions aren’t the only metric you should be concerned about as a plumbing company. The user experience produces many types of data that can reveal kinks in your content mapping. Perhaps the most popular measure of plumber SEO success is the user bounce rate. This term describes the percentage of users who leave the site after visiting just one page.

Keep in mind, it’s very common for people to leave after viewing your homepage. Some people only need to look up your company’s hours, while others perform initial recon on local services. It’s completely normal for plumbers to have bounce rates between the 60 and 70 percentiles. Higher rates could indicate an issue with your homepage!

Bounce Rate Showing Quality of User Experience

A High Bounce Rate Could Indicate Problems With Your Homepage.

Since bounce rate can be deceptive by itself, it’s crucial to include other metrics in your site analysis. Examine factors such as scroll depth, how far the average user looks down the page before leaving. Of course, you should also include average time spent on site and the average number of pages viewed. Plumbers can easily gauge their site health by consulting the company Google Analytics account.

So how can someone who isn’t a plumbing SEO professional take this data and interpret it?

Good Signs

Signs of a Healthy User Experience

  • Length: Most user journeys last well over a minute.
  • Depth: Most users scroll down the page for additional information.
  • Multiple Pages: Average pages viewed rounds up to two (at least).
  • Lead Development: A good percentage of people call or email your company.

Negative Symptoms

Symptoms of a Poor User Experience

  • Bouncing: More than 70% of people leave after one page.
  • Shallow Scrolling: Most users don’t scroll down very far on the homepage.
  • User Complaints: People call because they can’t find their service on your page.

How to Enhance UX

The good news? Plumbing contractors with mediocre or poor user experiences can fix them! Below, we’ll walk through each step of a hypothetical journey that one of your future clients might go through. With each step, we’ll offer ways your business can make significant improvements to your UX and plumbing SEO results!

Part #1: Homepage & Landing Page Impressions

Did you know that the average person forms an opinion about your company within 0.05 seconds of landing on your website? (SWEOR) This first impression heavily influences the ultimate destination of your user experience, whether that ends with another bounce or a quality lead. Of course, 0.05 seconds isn’t enough time to complete a thorough read-through of your homepage. So what elements are crafting that initial opinion?

Simple Design Example for Good User Experience

Even a Simplistic Landing Page Can Provide a Pleasant First Impression!

Key (Initial) Factors in Homepage UX

  • Clean Company Logo
  • Simple Menu Navigation
  • Professional Graphic Design
  • Excellent Images
  • Clear Call(s) to Action

Since the human brain processes images much faster than text, much of the user experience hinges on clean menu design, pleasant spacing, and vivid color. Of course, you’ll need to back this imagery up with well-written content and easy navigation. Ideally, your customer should be able to scroll through your homepage and find their required service within 10 seconds or less.

Part #2: Progressing into Services

Speaking of navigation, your menu system forms the backbone of your site’s user experience. Keeping the menu concise and visible can be a serious challenge, especially for plumbing contractors with numerous service offerings. The temptation to include every single repair service spells disaster for far too many businesses. So does the allure of dozens and dozens of city pages.

What do all these pages do for customers however? They make it exceptionally difficult to find the services they actually need.

An Example of How a Schema List Aids the User Experience

Schema Lists Make it Easy for Users to Navigate to Their Desired Services.

Most successful plumbing companies restrict themselves to a handful of service categories. This allows users to find their services quickly, instead of instinctively bouncing from text overload. If your company caters to a larger community, be sure to limit your city pages too! You’ll still get a high volume of calls, and crafting quality content will be so much more manageable.

Part #3: Engaging Users With Content

Most Americans go through content at a 9th grade reading level. In other words, plumbers need to keep wording professional but fairly simple. Avoid throwing out special terms that only contractors understand. While it might feel exciting to prove your plumbing expertise, your potential clients won’t appreciate the vernacular. Let your license and association credentials prove your skill!

What other tips can help plumbing companies improve their SEO results and user experience?

Pro Content Writing Tips

  • Don’t forget to include great images!
  • Spell out your service process in a step-by-step list.
  • Manage your customer expectations with average time requirements and costing.
  • Link to other helpful services that might apply to their situation.
  • Include your company name and phone number a few times throughout each page.
  • Mention well-known industry authorities in your content to increase your credibility.
Blogs Aid User Experience

Blogs Create Ongoing Interest for Your Site & Show Google You Mean Business!

If you’re hunting for ways to impress your audience, trying using step-by-step lists and visual guides! As we mentioned earlier, people process visual information a lot faster than they do text. Save their time and energy with these convenient content features.

Part #4: Finishing With a Call to Action

Your site users have made it all the way through multiple pages of text and several minutes of reading. Now, they’re ready to make the call (or email) to your business. This is perhaps the simplest, yet incredibly important part of their user experience. All your hard work could go to waste if there isn’t a clear call to action.

That’s why the most successful plumbers provide call buttons at both the top and the bottom of their pages. Make the buttons clearly visible against the background! Your phone number should be spread across the text too.

The Call to Action at the Top of a Homepage

Remember, Keep That Call to Action Visible at the Top and Bottom. That’s Standard SEO for Plumbers. 

Need Help Crafting Your User Experience?

Our team at the Plumbing Webmasters supports numerous companies across the United States. Thanks to the hard work of our experienced web designers, graphic artists, content writers, and social media experts, our clients dominate search listings in their local service areas! We’d love to help your business grow too.

To learn more about the user experience and how our plumbing SEO experts can help, contact our friendly staff today at (877) 388-9884. See for yourself why so many companies trust us with their online marketing!

Posted: | Updated: Jul 10, 2019 | Categories: SEO

Reputation Management | The Plumbing SEO Podcast

Reputation management encompasses multiple aspects of your plumbing company marketing, including reviews, content creation, and social media. In today’s podcast, Jason and Nolen dig into the subject and explore how plumbing contractors can make their reviews, service pages, and city pages work much harder for their businesses. If you’ve been struggling to improve your local rankings, even if your company has plenty of reviews, be sure to listen in!

Be on the Lookout for These Key Points

  • Do reviews alone improve my local search engine rankings?
  • Should new plumbers focus on reputation management or social media marketing?
  • Is there a way to coordinate reviews across different platforms?
  • Are city pages worthwhile?

Managing Your Company Reputation

In a way, reputation management revolves more around the perception of your plumbing company than anything else. Along with the obvious consumer perceptions created through reviews, your site’s graphic design, and navigation, there’s another crucial aspect that all too many plumbers forget about. How does Google perceive your business?

In the past, we’ve talked about the crucial E-A-T factors: expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. When Google spiders (re-examines) an existing plumbing contractor website, it attempts to identify data elements that show your site, content creators, and business possesses these qualities.

Where Google Looks for E-A-T Factors

  • For Expertise: Content creator bios, content organization and quality.
  • For Authoritativeness: Content, creator bios, reference sites, keywords, & web design.
  • For Trustworthiness: Reviews, geo-tags, check-ins, images, navigation, and link profiles.

These character traits impact both Google and customer perception of your business. Of course, that also means you can expect two-fold benefits when you nail all three elements! Below, we’ll dig into three of the most crucial aspects of reputation management.

Reviews

Review Management

Reviews can make or break a plumbing business. While almost any plumber could tell you they need reviews, many don’t know how to collect them effectively or what to do with them once reviews start pouring in. While they certainly contribute to a company’s perceived trustworthiness, reviews don’t automatically cause your site to rank higher on google

So how can you get the greatest value from your customer testimonies and all those 5 star ratings? First, make sure your reviews come from a variety of sources. In other words, don’t put your eggs exclusively in Google Reviews, Facebook, or Angie’s List. While Google once prioritized recommendations through their own platform, the search engine now prefers a more diverse collection from multiple sources.

Second, be sure to take time to display customer reviews inside of your website! Not only does this please Google, but potential customers will also feel more confident about using your services. It may take a bit of research to find a widget that presents reviews in the way matches your tastes. At the Plumbing Webmasters, our team actually uses our own special platform called Righteous Reviews which convenient pulls recommendations from Facebook, Google, and other top providers.

Website Optimization

Site Optimization – Navigation & Service Structure

Continued site optimization also impacts your reputation management. After all, few things affect a customer’s first impression of your company than your website design. Will they have a convenient time of browsing your services when they land on your homepage, or will they get frustrated and leave? We’ve encountered so many plumbers over the years who ask why their site isn’t performing well, only for for our experts to learn their design was creating a terrible user experience.

Simplistic, concise navigation makes for the best visitor interaction. That’s why many of the most successful plumbing contractor websites simply rely on a few service categories to showcase their work. This simplistic navigation also makes it easy for Google to explore your website and identify your key services.

Content Dev

Content Creation

Of course, professional content also impacts your company’s reputation too! Not only does the quality of the material affect Google’s perception of your business, the quantity affects your ratings as well. Companies that release new content on a regular basis tend to earn better rankings in the long run.

What Types of Content Can You Use?

  • Blogs
  • Podcasts
  • Videos
  • Images
  • Guides
  • Infographics
  • and More!
A Review That's Been Geo-Tagged

Geo-Tagged Reviews Shows Proof of Your Service Around the Community.

Two Ways to Enhance Reputation & Rank Up

As we’ve mentioned before, our team at the Plumbing Webmasters utilizes our own in-house tool to collect reviews. Righteous Reviews allows customers to leave reviews for their preferred platform (Google, Facebook, etc.) directly on a client’s website. It also collects reviews left on those platforms and citation services.

While that cross-platform functionality certainly offers convenient reputation management, the really exciting benefit of Righteous Reviews is geo-tagging! When a customer receives a request for a review (usually via text), their submission gets tagged on Google Maps without revealing their exact address. Google loves this input, and ranks up websites that display them.

Our reviews platform also allows plumbing professionals to check-in on a job site, provide a tag of the service they’ve provided, and even post pictures of the work they completed. Again, this information gets geo-tagged in Google Maps and displayed on that client’s related service page and city page. Even if each plumbing truck only checks in a few times a day, that leads to dozens of checkins within a single week! This provides extremely visible proof of your activity to Google, and the search engine greatly rewards the effort.

An Example of Reputation Management Through Service Check-ins

Google Loves to See Geo-Tags of Your Company’s Activity Around the Community!

If you’d like to learn more about the processes behind reputation management, or if you’d like additional details about how Righteous Reviews can help your business, give us a call at (877) 388-9884. At Plumbing Webmasters, our clients regularly dominate the rankings in local search! They earn higher traffic volume, stronger user engagement, and better lead generation. We’d love to partner with your plumbing business too.

Resources For Additional Information

Earlier Talks on Reputation Management:
3 Things Clients Can Do Better Than Us

Our Related Services:
Reputation Management
Google Reviews
Righteous Reviews

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

Plumber Online Marketing Confusion | The Plumbing SEO Podcast

Lately, we’ve talked with a lot of plumbing companies about highly technical services that marketing agencies try to sell them. In today’s podcast, Nolen and Jason talk about the dangers of single-service “cure all” solutions. To help you understand some of these crucial terms, we’ve also provided a short terminology guide at the bottom. If you’ve struggled to determine what your plumbing company needs to succeed online, be sure to listen in!

Look Out for These Key Points

  • Can a singular service improve my rankings online?
  • Is a low-dollar service package a good deal?
  • What do these online marketing terms mean?

Confusion Regarding Online Marketing

For roofing contractors, explaining concepts and processes to homeowners is a crucial portion of the job. Not only do you manage expectations better this way, you also enable your customers to make informed decisions based on their needs. Now imagine a homeowner that claims they need a particular service (which you know to be unnecessary) because a shady roofer said so. Naturally, you’d want to guide your client towards the best solution, and steer them away from potentially wasteful suggestions.

When it comes to online marketing, plumbing contractors often rest at a significant disadvantage to the professionals within the marketing industry. That’s because marketing experts spend countless hours researching the latest trends in online search. Most businesses use this information to better serve their current and future clients. Unfortunately, some marketing companies try to exploit this knowledge gap for the own ends.

That’s where we see the rise in buzzword marketing, promoting a technical service in a way that sensationalizes both the function and the results of the solution. In buzzword marketing, an agency salesman often takes a service out of context with the rest of search engine optimization (SEO), making it difficult to understand its purpose. Of course, the sales pitch usually comes with dramatic claims of soaring site traffic and customer leads.

Be Careful of Cure-All Solutions

Plumber SEO is influenced by hundreds of different factors. Many rest within the confines of your commercial website and how well it’s optimized for search. Other external factors include your business’ reviews, the completion of your Google My Business listing, and your social media marketing activities. All of these points contribute towards your overall online marketing success.

If a business struggles with low rankings, slow traffic, and poor lead generation, it’s almost never because of one factor. So when a marketing firm comes along and promotes a singular service to turn everything around, plumbing contractors should automatically be suspicious. If a company approaches you with a brand new, highly complex solution, take it with a pound of salt!

Taking a Full Health Approach

The most successful (results-producing) marketing companies always examine their clients from a broad point of view first. Our team at the Plumbing Webmasters examines hundreds of data points whenever we take on a new client. That’s because your search engine marketing (SEM) success depends on your success in several key areas.

Crucial Factors for Success

  • Factor #1: Your Company Website – Coding, Keywords, Content, and Management
  • Factor #2: Your Advertising – Adwords PPC Campaigns, Facebook Ads, etc.
  • Factor #3: Social Media Content – Visitor Experience, Reviews, Response Speed
  • Factor #4: Citations – Reviews on Google; Listings on Yelp and Angie’s List
  • Factor #5: Phone and Email – Employee Courtesy, Responsiveness, Organization
  • Factor #6: Credentials – Licenses and Certifications (Including Their Promotion)

All of these elements contribute towards your lead generation and online search rankings. If that seems like too much to handle for your plumbing business, don’t worry! Experienced digital marketing companies have both the time and the experience needed to handle all of these elements (minus the credentials, that’s on you).

Below, we’ve taken some of the big industry buzzwords and provided a brief explanation for each. The next time a marketing company tries to sell you something you don’t need, you’ll have a wonderful surprise waiting for them!

8 Fancy SEO Buzzwords Explained

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

This is a broad term encompassing all the activities devoted to promoting your business on Google and other search engines. Practically every element of online marketing falls under SEM.

SEO Elements Illustration for SEM Reporting

All of the Outside Elements Feed Into Search Engine Optimization.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Another broad term, typically referring to website design and other activities meant to get your site acknowledged, analyzed, and (highly) ranked by Google and other search engines. It can be divided into two categories:

  • On-site SEO: activities and elements inside of your website meant to improve rankings
  • Off-site SEO: activities and elements outside of your website meant to drive better site rankings

Keywords / Key Phrases

These are words and phrases intentionally placed inside your site content. Ideally, your content should include words and phrases frequently searched by people in the Google Search Bar. The search engine identifies these words inside your site and uses them to determine a page’s relevance during a consumer’s search query.

Content

This short, but profound term refers to any material created by a business, organization, or individual for the purpose of consumption. This may include written material, videos, infographics, pictures, and more. In the context of a plumbing website, content usually refers to the material in your service pages, homepage, “Contact Us”, “About Us”, and blog posts.

Content Marketing

This concept made its popular debut over 5 years ago now. It refers to the development and distribution of non-sales oriented content for the purpose of creating followers. This is why businesses now produce so many guides, top 10 lists, industry FAQs, blog posts, and podcasts (like this one). While the process takes time and consistent effort, content marketing is designed to grow brand value, enhance rankings, and establish your company as an authority.

An Example of Content Marketing

Content is a Crucial Element on Online Marketing That Drives Engagement and Promotes Your Brand!

Geo-Fencing / Geo-Targeting

Google Adwords and other paid search ad platforms provide the ability to target specific geographic area. This is by no means a new capability, though it is an important factor in creating a cost-effective and productive ad campaign. To visualize it, imagine choosing a point on a map and drawing a circle around it with your chosen mile radius. That’s geo-targeting.

Social Media Marketing / Advertising

Social media platforms (such as Facebook or Instagram) are excellent places to promote your business. Social media marketing is the process of promoting your brand, company, and services through these platforms. Facebook Business is a particularly helpful tool, as businesses can easily create a highly-functional place for potential customers to research and interact with your company.

Social media advertising involves using these platforms to post advertisements to potential customers. Multi-billion dollar giants like Facebook have done a great job of equipping your business to target specific users and geographical areas.

Schema Markup / Coding

Think of these as special features coded into your website for higher functionality and better recognition from Google. These are small elements of search engine optimization (SEO) that can have profound effects on your rankings, but only in partnership with quality content, professional website design, etc. When our team at the Plumbing Webmasters says that we’ll provide a custom-built website for your business, we’re often referring to this special coding and graphic design.

Team Up With the Plumbing Webmasters!

We hope that you’ll take the knowledge here and use it in your journey towards productive online marketing. Remember, your success depends on healthy optimization for your overall strategy, not just one area. Should you decide that your business requires a professional digital marketing team, our crew at the Plumbing Webmasters would love to help you! Our clients earn better rankings, deeper engagement, and higher-quality leads. To learn more, simply call us at (877) 388-9884.

Resources For Additional Information

Earlier Podcasts and Articles on Online Marketing:
– Launching a New Service: https://www.plumbingwebmasters.com/new-plumbing-service-launch/
– For New Companies: https://www.plumbingwebmasters.com/how-to-start-a-plumbing-company/

Our Related Services:
– Big Picture SEO: https://www.plumbingwebmasters.com/seo-services/

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

3 Ways to Leverage Your Facebook Business Page

At Plumbing Webmasters, we work with numerous plumbing contractors across the country as they work to streamline their social media marketing efforts. Time and time again, we see that familiar light bulb go off as they realize the power that social media platforms (particularly Facebook) offers for their plumbing SEO and advertising efforts. Because of the enormous marketing power that the tech giant offers professionals around the US, our team developed a handy guide for getting more out of your Facebook business page!

Keep in mind, these tips may work for other social media platforms too. If you read along and think “Hey, this could work for my Twitter Account!”, go for it.

Pro Tip #1: Share (and Re-Share) Content

Nothing adds fresh life to your website like rich visual media and informative guides. Google loves this type of content! With thorough plumbing SEO and proper formatting, your content may earn a spot of the top of consumer SERP results as a featured snippet

Then again, there’s only so much real estate in your plumbing company website. Sometimes there’s simply no room for that high-quality video of a recent project. Your Facebook business page offers a perfect place to showcase your most attractive work that (for whatever reason) can’t be posted to your blog or gallery.

Plumbing Contractors Leave a Post on Their Facebook Business Page

Have a Great Guide You’d Like to Share With Potential Customers? Share it on Your Facebook Business Page!

Unless your company blog already has a substantial following, content rarely travels beyond the page. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t offer valuable results! Much of Google’s ongoing website evaluations depend upon a steady stream of new content. Facebook offers an environment much more conducive to sharing your best materials. That includes both organic sharing and paid advertising.

A New Content Lifecycle

The plumbing industry rarely experiences dramatic change, at least on a year to year basis. That means that practical guide or homeowner savings blog you wrote last year (or even two years ago) still offers great value for your clients! It simply needs updates. One of our favorite tricks at the Plumbing Webmasters is taking outstanding, but aged content and refurbishing it. For instance, we grabbed an older guide, updated the content, added invigorating visuals, and re-released one of our favorite plumber SEO guides (Your 2019 Plumbing Content Strategy).

So how can your business take advantage of this convenient trick?

Recycling Old Content on Facebook

  1. Step #1: Take any well-performing content from previous years.
  2. Step #2: Review the material and make updates for the current year/audience.
  3. Step #3: Add fresh keyword optimization. Target hot questions from People Also Ask.
  4. Step #4: Infuse fresh visuals, including diagrams, photos, and/or infographics.
  5. Step #5: Re-post on your company blog page.
  6. Step #6: Take the new version and post it to Facebook (minus any internal site links).

Pro Tip #2: Build Your Brand

A Plumbing Company's Facebook Review Page

Nothing Creates Trust Faster Than Open Accountability! Keep Asking for Those Google and Facebook Reviews.

Think of your Facebook business page as the younger brother to your company website. No only does it offer your customers valuable information about your operating times, reviews, etc., it also provides you with opportunities to enhance your brand image! The three most essential qualities you can convey about your business are expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. Also known as the E-A-T factors, these traits promote deeper interest with prospective clients and higher rankings on Google SERPs. 

E-A-T Up!

So how can plumbing contractors use their Facebook business page to create stronger relationships? Look for activities that naturally develop your E-A-T factors! Below, we identify ways to develop your Facebook profile in a way that emphasizes these qualities.

Expertise

Qualifying Expertise

A Company Directly Links Their Website to Their Facebook Business Page

This Particular Company Uses a Website Portal to Showcase Their State Plumbing License.

Does your plumbing company offer the necessary credentials and experience to warrant a higher ranking on Google SERPs? That’s the question that the search engine tries to answer every time it evaluates content from your website. After all, directing people to an un-certified professional would reflect poorly on Google’s listing capabilities. That’s why plumbing contractors must properly showcase their…

  • State License(s) and/or Certification(s)
  • Brand Certifications
  • Training Certifications
  • Related Association Membership Badges
  • Years of Experience

All of these website elements show that the company and employed individuals offer the necessary expertise to provide quality service. Your Facebook business page deserves the same treatment. After all, some homeowners shop exclusively through Facebook. Be sure that your certifications and licenses are featured prominently on your Facebook homepage (or under a “Licenses” page). Likewise, anyone creating blog posts or having content posted under their name should also have their credentials visible at the top or the bottom of the page in a brief bio.

Authority

Displaying Authority

This Bio Shows Clear Expertise and Authority. Source: PM Mag

Who would you trust more: a master plumber with 20 years experience or a hobbyist with no certifications? Expertise focuses explicitly on the qualifications of a business and employees. According to Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines, authoritativeness examines the website as a whole, the content within, and the authority of the plumbing contractors.

Questions Google Might Ask

  • Does the website incorporate professional design with competent navigation?
  • Does the content link to authoritative industry sources?
  • Does the site review and refine content on a regular basis?
  • How often does the site produce new content?
  • What are the content developer’s qualifications on the subject?
  • How many other sites link back to material in this website?

If your business has already been around for years, odds are you and your employees already have significant industry knowledge that’s worth sharing. Share your professional insights (or have a content writer ghost-write them for you) in a simple guide. Just make sure you proudly share your credentials in certification form or in a bio (as in the example above). Authoritative content shared by an experienced industry authority: that makes for good plumber SEO and great shareability!

Trustworthiness

Earning Trust

Trustworthiness offers a bit of a conundrum. On one hand, you can easily spell out the various activities and qualities necessary to earn trust. On the other, building rapport with followers and customers takes genuine effort and (often) a lot of time. The fastest way to prove your company’s trustworthiness is to let your happy customers lay the groundwork!

Examples of Great Reviews on a Facebook Business Page

Most People Trust Online Reviews as Much as a Recommendation from a Friend or Family Member.

Of course, you’ll have to ask for reviews to receive them! If you haven’t already, try creating a special “Please Review Us!” card (or text program) that your professionals can distribute to customers after a job. Facebook page is the perfect place for reviews for many reasons.

Why Facebook Business Reviews are Awesome

  • They’re prominently featured across each page.
  • Customers tend to speak more informally.
  • Your business can easily write back to customers to thank them.
  • Facebook reviews can be easily seen by Google too, affecting trust ratings.

While it may be tempting, never erase negative reviews unless they contain inappropriate or hateful speech. Show a clear, thoughtful attempt to address any unhappy client posting in the reviews. An unhappy review here and there actually creates a sense of credibility that you wouldn’t have with only 5-star ratings.

Pro Tip #3: Generate Additional Leads

With over two billion active users on Facebook, no other social media platform offers such fantastic opportunity for developing leads away from your website. As we mentioned before, your Facebook business page provides a capable second outlet for connecting with potential clients. To support plumbing contractors and professionals in other industries, the social media giant provides incredibly sophisticated analytical tools too! Perhaps the most important tool is Facebook Insights.

What sort of information do you have at your disposal?

A List of Data Elements Businesses Can Glean From Facebook Insights

Examine the Demographics and Behavior Patterns Behind Your Target Market! Source: Buffer

Think of this analytical tool as a report card for your Facebook business page, but one that offers infinitely more detail. Your social media marketing team can easily track performance, outreach, and engagement with your target community. The platform also makes it easy to take your most popular posts and turn them into paid advertisements via the “Boost Post” feature. Do you have a particular video or guide that people just go crazy for? Try turning that content into an ad and target your geographical area.

Speaking of targeting, a huge percentage of wasted ad budget can be traced back to campaign / target mismatch. You have the right promotional message but the wrong audience. With Facebook’s ability to deliver pinpoint targeting (demographic, monetary, industry, etc.), you can rest assured that your advertising shows up in front of the eyes you want to see it. Now you can reach new markets you’ve been dying to test.

To learn more about Insights and other invaluable tools, check out the Facebook Business page!

Plumbing Webmasters & Social Media Marketing

Feel like your team has neither the time nor the energy to successfully manage a Facebook business page? Our team at Plumbing Webmasters would love to help! Our social media marketing team specializes in building long-term engagement and optimizing your page for search. We also target those essential E-A-T factors (expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness) to expand your business online. Clients regularly experience faster lead development, increased ROI on ad spend, and superior plumber SEO development.

Call (877) 388-9884 for Your Facebook Business Page!

Posted: | Updated: Jun 24, 2019 | Categories: Facebook

Make a Plan: A Guide for Launching a New Plumbing Service

You’ve put your seasoned plumbers through rigorous training. You’ve prepared the necessary certifications and supply chains. Now there’s just the matter of spreading the word about your brand new plumbing service! How can you harness the power of your company website, social media presence, and search engine marketing tactics to create exposure (and interest) in your new offering?

Today, we’ll cover in three stages how to prepare your new plumbing service for the world. Equip yourself and your online content manager with this information, and you’ll have the building blocks for a sophisticated growth plan. Let’s dive right in!

Stage #1: Start With the Basics

Your website is the foundation for any online marketing program. Whatever creative strategies or lucrative sale a company may employ simply falls flat if it doesn’t link back to the main website. Considering more and more consumer interaction begins and ends online, failing to incorporate your website means planning for failure.

How do we prepare our company website to support a new plumbing service offering? You will mostly likely want to create a search engine optimized page for the promoted product or service. If you truly want the launch to take off (no pun intended), take some time to research hot keywords from the industry. Of course, years of plumbing SEO have taught us that paid service keywords can get expensive quickly, especially if you’re optimizing for communities out of your current reach!

If you want to cut down on wasted energy and costs, make sure to localize your keywords. Transforming “plumber near me” – which is currently rated at an average $24.73 cost per click – to “plumber in Dallas, TX” (or your town) can help you lower your Adwords campaign budget and excess call volume. Even organic search results fare better when you localize!

Design Updates – Playing it Safe

Start by talking with your site design team. Whether you retain a specialized employee or have a third party design team make adjustments for you, it pays to have the new structure laid out ahead of time. Making changes manually to a live site can cause any number of problems. After all, you don’t want an error message greeting customers when they link back to your site!

An Error Made During New Service Launch

Not the Best Way to Launch a New Service, is it? Avoid Live Site Editing When Possible.

Once you have the new structure laid out for your website pages, you may need to update your homepage content to reflect the new plumbing service. As the first interaction point consumers have with your business, your homepage should naturally lead into any products and/or services you wish to promote (more heavily). It might feel scary updating your homepage, but changing up the face of your online presence every once in a while is actually a healthy habit for your website SEO.

It’s worth noting that some businesses like to go the extra mile and craft temporary landing pages to promote their launches. A landing page is a customized message, promotion, and call to action that greats your customer when they land on your site via a particular path. These special pages partner well with sophisticated email promotions and Adwords campaigns! If a potential customer lands on the page after following a link embedded in an email or paid ad, these pages offer higher chances for quick conversions (calls for service). If you want some fresh ideas on how to style a functional, eye-catching landing page, check out this list of examples from companies that have mastered the art!

Stage #2: Work Outward via Social Media

Stepping up your promotion through your Facebook business profile doesn’t take a lot of effort on your company’s part. In fact, you can easily create a virtual coupon to promote the offering on your company page, without paying extra money to Facebook. Assuming it’s possible and you haven’t done so already, consider including pricing information. While some consumers may turn away, you’ll create much more informed potential customers when people start to call.

A New Service Listed on a Plumbing Page

Simultaneously Educate Potential Customers and Encourage Interaction With Your Company Facebook Profile.

In the example shown above, this plumbing and HVAC professional cleverly includes estimated project times for their services. One of the most crucial aspects of customer satisfaction is managing expectations. This page does a fantastic job of informing customers and simultaneously encouraging them to seek additional information.

Finally, expand your business and promote your new plumbing service through Facebook’s paid advertising platform. Considering the media giant’s enormous user base has an average age range that fits the majority of homeowners, it would be crazy not to consider promoting your launch on this social venue. It’s also a very cost-effective platform for promotions!

Stage #3: Adwords and PPC Campaigns

How could we miss out on this lucrative venue for advertising a new plumbing service? Despite the shrinking amount of real-estate available on Google’s search results, paid adverts still take up an incredible volume of space! Adwords campaigns often consume over half the available space above the fold, the line that marks the point where consumers must scroll down to see more.

An Adwords Campaign for New Plumbing Service

Sophisticated Design Allows Businesses to Advertise and Highly Specific Plumbing Services.

As we mentioned earlier, localizing your keywords makes running these highly effective advertising campaigns very affordable. Create a specific promotion for your new plumbing service and/or link back to a specialized landing page to harvest the best results! If you don’t have the time or experience required to run your own campaigns, you can easily find local services to craft them for you.

Just remember: no matter what sort of advertising and promotions your company runs to promote your new plumbing service, all these efforts should feed back into your website. Not only does this ensure long-term growth for your site (and your business), it also makes it much, much easier to monitor your marketing successes. Make a solid foundation for your marketing, and you’ll reap the benefits for years!

Posted: | Updated: May 22, 2019 | Categories: Marketing

3 Reasons Your Plumbing Website is Sandboxed | The Plumbing SEO Podcast

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:

Hacked Website

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.

Red Website Warning

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.

Be The First To Review Screenshot

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.

Codebase Screenshot

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.

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

AdWords for Plumbers (Google Ads) Best Practices | The Plumbing SEO Podcast

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:

Consumer Targeting

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.

Negative Keywords

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.

Sitelink Extensions

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.

San Diego Plumber AdWords Screenshot

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.

Posted: | Updated: Aug 13, 2019 | Categories: PPC

Web Geek Cocky | The Plumbing SEO Podcast

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.

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

How To Start a Plumbing Company | The Plumbing SEO Podcast

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.

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

Plumbing Keywords: Which Terms Should You Target? | The Plumbing SEO Podcast

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.

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