The way online marketing is progressing, plumbers will likely be forced into one of two paths: start developing your own company branding strategy, or pay another brand to feed your business with leads. It’s a tough situation to be in, but there’s still plenty of opportunity to grow your company online. In our latest podcast, Nolen and Jason discuss what company branding means today, and how to make the most of local search.
If your plumbing business has struggled with slow growth online, be sure to listen in!
Important Lessons for Plumbing Professionals
- Online company branding requires dedicated SEO.
- It takes more than a website to show up in local search.
- You can start earning leads, or pay someone else for them.
Modern Company Branding
As a whole, marketing in the United States has shifted dramatically from its roots. While it changed only gradually over hundreds of years, the modernized internet causes tumultuous industry changes even in just a five year period. 5 years ago, any company with a decently written website could expect a favorable ranking on Google Search. Today, “decent” just doesn’t cut it. Google expects exceptional branding towards its search engine and towards potential customers.
What is branding when it comes to marketing your business online?
As a plumbing contractor works to establish their company identify with Google, they must add several more branding elements into the mix. These include: customer reviews, NAP listings, and content (just to name a few). Such elements create a general profile that helps the search engine understand who you are, where your business operates, and what sort of services you provide.
Crafting an online image might seem like a mundane task, but everything makes a difference in a world where the vast majority of consumers search for essential services online. To be successful, we ultimately must distinguish the things that shape consumer perception from those that shape Google Search’s perception. That’s where the “E-A-T factors” come into play.
The E-A-T Factors
E-A-T: expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. The world’s number 1 search engine works hard to create dependable results for its user base. That’s why it only lists contractor websites it believes conveys these three attributes. What sort of activities and materials does Google use to gauge these qualities?
Measuring Expertise in Branding
Think of the expertise factor as an industry qualification process for your company branding. To convey expertise, you need to provide insightful content specifically tailored to address popular consumer problems and questions. Flaunting your plumbing certifications also helps establish your expert status.
Below are some company branding tasks that help build your online industry expertise.
- Writing well-structured (and organized) service pages
- Consistently releasing insightful blog posts on popular questions
- Earning featured listings for frequently searched plumbing topics
- Producing social media posts with homeowner or business tips
- Displaying your credentials on your website’s front page
- Crafting FAQs and answering questions in your GMB account
Gauging a Brand’s Authority
While expertise is proof of your right to join the plumbing conversation, authority determines your place in the pecking order. Do other plumbing companies reference you content in their websites? Do consumer websites link back to your blog posts when diving into the hottest homeowner topics? If so, you likely have a fantastic authority rating.
New businesses may start out with a very low authority website score, but they don’t have to stay that way. Below are some popular ways to enhance your company branding for better perceived authority.
- Find prestigious industry organizations, and see if you can provide a quote.
- Build relationships with other local businesses, then see if they will provide links.
- Ask for recommendations from your best clients!
- Add social sharing buttons in your blog.
- Create exceptionally shareable material in your content marketing (ex: videos, infographics)
It’s theoretically possible to get by without great expertise. It’s very possible to still achieve moderate results with low authority. But no business is going to survive long with a poor trustworthiness rating! Without trust, Google has no incentive to show your business, and consumers have no reason to take a chance on you (especially for expensive projects).
So what company branding activities can you perform to prove you’re business is worth the risk?
- Ask for reviews! Consistently ask for reviews from every happy client (across multiple platforms).
- Answer consumer questions on your website and social media profiles.
- Turn angry customers into content ones with conflict resolution.
- Keep your company office addresses exactly matched for every listing.
- Finish your company Google My Business listing.
The Near Future of Company Branding
People simply don’t read Yellow Page-type listings anymore. More and more consumers look to local search for their essential services. Thankfully, it’s easier than ever to start branding your company online and establish a steady influx of organic leads. Branding online takes time, money, and effort on your team’s behalf, but it’s so much more cost-effective than the alternative.
Alternatively, plumbers can sit back and pay other brands to supply leads for them. It’s sad to see businesses get locked into the cycle of buying leads, for multiple reasons:
- The lead-selling service gets the brand recognition and website traffic.
- Lead quality fluctuates wildly. You never know if you’re getting a buyer or a shopper.
- PPC campaigns provide leads at a much higher cost than organic means.
- Paid leads have a smaller chance of becoming repeat customers.
When it comes to organic company branding, a little help can go a long way. Our team at Plumbing Webmasters supports businesses all over the country with custom website development, content writing, PPC advertising, reputation management, and so much more. Clients earn exceptional traffic, better rankings, and wonderful lead quality. We’d love to partner with you too!
Contact us today at (877) 388-9884 to learn more about our plumbing SEO services!