Each year SEO evolves, and those who keep pace reap the rewards. If you haven’t reviewed our SEO for Plumbers Guide, you should do so promptly, but if you’ve already read it, you might want to learn more about specific mistakes to avoid this coming year. The mistakes to avoid this year will be mostly the same as the ones from last year. However, for others who have not studied the digital marketing landscape in quite some time, the tips suggested through this podcast and blog post will be eye-opening. Here are the top SEO mistakes plumbers should avoid in 2019
1) Template Websites
Template websites are one of the most common SEO mistakes, and therefore essential to address. Contractors continue to choose them over custom designs because of their low cost. These template websites are cheaper because they require no professional design experience. The downside is cookie-cutter coding which hinders SEO efforts. While some template websites continue to look more visually appealing, their back-end coding causes SEO problems.
When you look at the most amazing plumbing websites, they visually appeal to users and rank well on Google SERPs—having one without the other defeats the purpose of digital marketing. Of course, you want users to have a great experience on your website, but they have to find it online first. Finding a balance between design and ranking is critical to SEO success, and template websites discourage plumbers from reaching their goals.
2) Favoring PPC Over SEO
PPC is popular amongst plumbers because it’s the fastest and most surefire way to rank at the very top of Google. The prevailing wisdom for contractors is that everyone clicks on the ads. But ask yourself, do you click on the ads? Do I click on the ads? In both cases, the answer is no. So why is the assumption that everyone clicks on PPC results? At a recent SEO conference in Dallas, TX, experts stated that 76% of all clicks come from organic results.
Keep in mind that Google Maps rankings are organic, so most local searches also come through SEO. The idea that everyone clicks on Google Ads conflict with statistics, suggesting that only 24% of searchers click ads over organic results. Other studies claim ads generate a higher percentage of clicks, but SEO is generally more favorable. Still, as a company that has provided both services (Paid & Organic) for plumbers, we can attest that organic results produce a higher ROI.
3) In-House Marketing
Good SEO agencies follow Google’s guidelines and abide by their standards. So why then do plumbers hire a single in-house marketer who claims to be smarter than people who have their own marketing company? Relying solely on an in-house marketer is one of the biggest SEO mistakes for 2019. We’ve had plumbing companies contact us via their in-house marketer, who then tries to tell us what works best for SEO.
Our response is simple; why are you calling if you have all the answers? We respect the jobs of marketers; after all, it’s our industry. But we have a team of uniquely skilled employees that can help you with every aspect of your campaign. Unfortunately, plumbing companies with in-house marketers often still lack the results they covet online. One-person marketing teams don’t have the resources to produce content at scale, validate NAP citations, and manage reputation.
4) Being a One Trick Pony
There are many components to SEO, but doing any one of them on its own is not enough. What makes SEO effective is collaboration and cohesion. The more signals you can send Google, the better chance you have to rank as a plumber in your local market. For instance, writing content only is not enough. Having a website only is not enough. Getting plumbing leads only is not enough. Here’s one; PPC only is not enough. Are you starting to get the idea? If you find that competitors outrank you for the top keywords, it’s because they are doing things that you neglect.
The lack of understanding is often not plumbing companies’ fault because so much misinformation exists online. But doing the proper research and preparation can help you avoid the pitfalls of some of the lower-end marketing companies looking to manipulate home service companies. Standalone services like those offered by self-proclaimed Facebook Ads gurus can spell the demise of your business. Investing in a full-service digital marketing agency is the only logical way to grow your plumbing company.