People don’t realize how much information Google requires to deliver qualified search results to consumers. The tech giant examines hundreds, sometimes thousands of businesses within your service area alone. Some of them provide plumbing solutions, while some only claim to. The plumbing professionals earning the highest ranks in local search are those that provide the most evidence of their activity.
In a way, all search results are driven by evidence.
Reviews, custom websites, and other plumbing SEO assets serve as proof to Google that your business is active and trustworthy. Today, we’re going to talk about a relatively new form of evidence that contributes heavily towards local SEO rankings, traffic, and leads. We’re going to talk about check-ins!
Key Learning Points for Plumbers
Check-ins are only as effective as your company is consistent in using them.
Check-ins won’t replace reviews, but they heavily influence SEO results.
It’s a team effort! Train other team members to perform check-ins as needed.
What is a Jobsite Check-in?
A check-in is a type of post to Google that shares your location and what you’re doing.
To help you understand the concept, try visualizing your community on the Google Map. Countless businesses and neighborhoods dot the landscape as you scroll from end to end of your service area. You can even see your home office address. However, what doesn’t show on that map are the countless locations where you’ve repaired toilets, installed brand new water heaters, and performed extensive pipe replacements.
As we remind many professionals over the years, Google is not omniscient. It only knows what people tell it. In fact, the search engine only works as well as it does because hundreds of millions of people continually upload information for it to dig into.
Check-ins provide Google with accurate, current, and useful data about your company’s activities. They’re your way of saying “Here I am! This is the work I’m providing. We are serving this community.” When you check into a location, it drops a pin on the Google Map. Keep this up, and pretty soon Google will see evidence of your team’s hard work across your entire service area.
Map Packs Like These are One of the Ultimate Goals of Checking In.
What Benefits Do Check-ins Offer?
Higher rankings, greater volumes of traffic for your website, and (most importantly) leads.
Very, very few businesses utilize jobsite check-ins in their digital marketing strategy. When Google has more detailed information about your company, the search engine is more likely to recommend your business over similar services with less information. Ever since Google’s Local Search Update of Q4 2019, local search rankings have grown more fluid. With the right optimization, plumbers who previously struggled to rank can now earn premium map pack listings for exceptional traffic boosts.
We’ve seen check-ins allow brand new plumbing companies to capture these positions in a matter of months. That represents an astounding marketing success, producing qualified plumbing leads in a very short period of time. Whether you run a seasoned company or a brand new service, check-ins can greatly benefit your business!
What Check-ins Look Like
While solutions and methods vary, this is what a typical check-in might look like. It starts with pulling out your phone at the very end of a job. You snap a picture of the water heater (or toilet, etc) you just installed. You go to a special website, pull up a form, and fill out information about the project. You tap “check-in” and BOOM! You’ve just performed a check-in.
The best solutions upload check-ins directly onto your website. Regular website updates are healthy for SEO purposes, encouraging Google’s crawlers to revisit your site more frequently. If your check-ins offer geo-location data and information directly related to your services, that’s SEO gold for your website!
Tips for Getting the Most Out of Check-ins
Frequency and accuracy are keys to success when it comes to check-ins. Ideally, you want to earn those little pins all over the map of your service area, for each of your services. That means that your business needs to check-in consistently to get the most SEO improvement out of the activity. That may mean adding 3 minutes onto the end of each job, but the results are worth it!
By the time your competitors finally get on board with check-ins in a couple years from now, you’ll already have hundreds of pins across the map.
If possible, choose a check-in solution that lets you upload fresh pictures on to your website. Customers and Google alike appreciate fresh images, and it looks nice on your site. All you have to do consistently snag photos at the end of each job. Just imagine your clients seeing projects closely related to their plumbing needs as they browse through your website!
From Plumbing Webmasters
If check-ins still seem like an entirely foreign (but exciting) concept, don’t worry. Our team at the Plumbing Webmasters is here to answer your questions! Learn more about jobsite check-ins, and your options for incorporating them into your marketing strategy. Call our team today at (877) 388-9884 today.
If you’ve ever closed your feed, deleted an app, and sworn off social media before, you know just how time consuming the marketing channel can be. Every day, countless Americans spend hours of their life pining away at photos of friends and loved ones. What we often forget, is how often social media helps us find the goods and services we need most.
While most consumers rely on Google for their day to day search, others use Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to explore their plumbing options.
Today, we’ll be examining three of the top social media advertising platforms, and how to harness them on a budget. Each offers sophisticated marketing solutions for connecting with qualified prospects in your area, for a price. If you’ve never dipped your toe into this particular social pond, be sure to take notes! You may just discover your next supplementary source of revenue.
Before You Advertise on Social…
Commit to taking baby steps every week. Social media advertising can be an intimidating proposition, especially if you’ve never had any experience with PPC campaign management. Tackle one platform, one tool, one service at a time! Not only does this make social media more manageable, it also allows you to better trace lead generation more accurately.
Helpful Tips on Social Media
Set a maximum budget ahead of time.
Explore all your free options in each platform.
Keep your contact information consistent, especially addresses.
Practice creating multiple campaigns before you launch one.
The odds of striking gold and “going viral” on social media may be small (especially for a plumbing business), but there’s so much practical value in taking full advantage of free exposure. For instance, a company profile offers another outlet for consumers to ask questions about your services, request quotes, and even call. Don’t expect Facebook to replace your website anytime soon, but it just might offer the sort of personal interaction that people need to try your business for the first time.
Advertising Through Facebook
Speaking of Facebook, our first platform features an outstanding collection of over two billion active user accounts. While the social media staple has surely matured over the last few years, there are still thousands of people in your community spending time on Facebook every day. That means plenty of opportunity to get your plumbing company brand in front of the right eyes!
So many plumbers make the mistake of only trying Google Ads in their PPC strategy, when Facebook offers an equally (if not more) affordable marketing platform. Through the Facebook Ads management system, plumbers select the desired geographic area, target audience, and viewing window for their specific needs. This makes it much easier to maximize return on advertising spend and minimize bad leads.
If you’ve struggled with low conversion problems in your current ad strategy, you realize just how crucial eliminating bad leads is to your bottom line!
Advertising Your Most Popular Content
On a side note, Facebook also proffers solutions for reinvigorating your content marketing campaigns. If you have a popular video series or how-to guide that you’d like to milk for even more leads, try “boosting” them for a very reasonable cost. You don’t get as much control over who sees your posts, but the exposure might be worth the investment.
Just don’t get carried away. Focus on assets that deliver real leads to your company phone, not likes to your Facebook Business page. Likes may feel great, but they don’t pay the bills.
Advertising in Instagram
Have an unusually photogenic plumbing team? It might be time to start posting those happy smiles to Instagram! The sibling platform to Facebook may cater to younger demographics, but that user base is aging into home ownership. Instagram advertising offers a distinctively visual medium for showcasing your services and staff.
If you’re looking to advertise with purpose, lay the groundwork by collecting an extensive variety of quality service photos, staff shots, and family pictures. This will give you a stronger assortment of images to choose from when you make your ads. You may also capture some short videos of repair jobs or plumbing products for Instagram Stories. Professional grade footage isn’t mandatory; an iPhone or Android device should be enough to acquire the video you need.
Getting Started on IG
Thankfully, Instagram’s ties to Facebook mean you have many of the same sophisticated consumer targeting tools. Pick your audience and location, and start testing ads! Don’t put all your money into the first campaign. It’s going to take several tries before you find a style that clicks with your audience.
Once you’ve developed a complete company profile on Instagram, be sure to send some of that visual love towards your website! High-grade, original photos make a big difference in organic SEO for plumbing. Both Google and your users appreciate the effort, and you might as well get extra credit for all your hard work! Plus, nice looking photos are their own reward.
YouTube: Video Ad Heaven
One of the most explosively successful platforms in the last decade, YouTube offers billions of hours of content in a convenient user experience. The YouTube Advertising experience is just as lucrative, offering a variety of means for connecting with your target audience (be they residential or commercial). Your audience won’t demand professional level footage either!
Advertising Options on YouTube
Most video ads range between 6 and 30 seconds, and come before the viewers desired content. That’s plenty of time to show off your brand, explain a promotional event, or even fix a leaky pipe. You can also create full length videos and pay to have them promoted on viewers video queues. How-to guides are perfect for this style of YouTube ad.
Just make sure that all your videos link back to your website. Better yet, create unique landing pages for the services most related to your videos.
Parting Thoughts on Ads
Experiment. Experiment some more. Then, experiment again. Finding the ideal platform and social media advertising style is going to take time. Keep taking those baby steps towards your lead generation goal, and protect your budget against splurging.
Remember, social media marketing is supplement for SEO. It’s not a replacement.
If you’d like professional help with your plumbing social media advertising, our team at Plumbing Webmasters is here to serve you! We provide budgeted campaign management for both Facebook and Instagram advertising platforms. To learn more about our services, contact our team today at (877) 388-9884!
We all love to hear underdog success stories, especially when the underdog is a startup plumbing company! In today’s True Client Story, we explore the shocking rise of a water heater specialist who began with no brand or online history to speak up, and ended up a top ranking dynamo with outrageous success!
The best part: This plumber did it all in less than six months.
Jason and Nolen share how this clever professional managed to top local search results in such a short time. If you’ve been struggling to break into page one search results – you’ll have to be willing to work a bit – be sure to listen in! Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
Key Takeaways From This Podcast:
Local search results are more fluid than they used to be, thanks to Google updates.
Geotagging can quickly elevate your brand above surrounding competitors.
One day, a fresh-faced plumber – We’ll call him “Rob” – came to us from Chattanooga, Tennessee. Bob shared his dreams of opening up a plumbing business that specialized in water heater services. Chattanooga was no small town, so he would be facing quite a few established competitors in his local search arena. In fact, when we took a look at Bob’s local community, we discovered a veteran company with hundreds of glowing reviews. This Chattanooga plumber had his work cut out for him!
Less than six months later however, Bob’s water heater service company ranked in the local map pack for almost all of his top service keywords.
That’s right! A brand new plumbing business was beating out long-time champions to dominate the local market. With the power of exceptional search marketing and geotagging, this plumber quickly found himself swimming in business for a premium plumbing service.
Let’s dig into how Bob did it…
Localized Keywords Earn Better Rankings for Your Area. (Name & Number Obscured)
Step #1: He Optimized His Website
Given the substantial revenue potential of water heater services, our Chattanooga plumber faced substantial competition entering the market. Bob’s decision to specialize however, actually made it easier to thoroughly optimize his website. Instead of a handful of pages getting optimized for a handful of generic terms, Bob’s website exclusively optimized for a wide variety of water heater keywords terms from his local area.
When we wrote the site, our team also made sure to tailor the service pages specifically to Bob’s target city. A lot of plumbing contractors make the mistake of targeting a massive area (such as the entire state) before they’ve managed to gain a foothold in their immediate community. We made sure that all of Bob’s service pages specifically contained the Chattanooga, TN keyword tail, which makes it so much easier for local consumers to find his business.
Once we mixed in these localized keywords into the conversational writing and engaging photos, Bob’s site was ready to start kicking butt. But there was still more work to do beyond the site.
Local Map Pack Listings Offer Tremendous Traffic Volume! (Name & Number Obscured)
Step #2: He Optimized His GMB
Google My Business plays an integral role in local search. Once claimed, filled out, and verified, this free listing service identifies your industry for consumers in your community. Google Maps listings heavily depend on GMB accounts to provide the best possible results for local homeowners. In other words: if you haven’t claimed your GMB account yet, you’re missing out on free traffic!
We gladly handled Bob’s GMB account optimization, making sure his company was specifically designated as a water heater business. This greatly increased his chances of popping up before general service plumbers whenever a nearby homeowner or business Google searched for water heater repairs. Bob automatically bypassed numerous competitors in his service area.
Step #3: Bob Used Geotagging
Geotagging is the process of attaching GPS data to online content. In Bob’s case, he utilized the Righteous Reviews software integrated into all of our custom-built websites. Every time the water heater specialist finished a repair visit or an original installation, he checked-in to the jobsite and asked for a review. He also used the software’s automatic review function to automatically request reviews from clients following each service visit.
In just a couple months, Bob collected scores of new online reviews for his company.
“Bob” Regularly Checks-in to His Job Sites to Boost Local Search Results. (Name Obscured)
Better still, all of these check-ins and reviews came with GPS data attached. Pins started popping up all over the digital Chattanooga map where Bob provided water heater services. The Righteous Reviews software connected the check-ins and reviews to the associated service pages on Bob’s website. In other words, Bob was creating undeniable proof of his work for local search.
And Google took notice…
Our Story Ends
In less than two months after launching his brand new website, Bob earned a top slot in his local map pack for his most crucial industry keyword. Fast forward to today, and Bob’s website will pop up on local maps for almost all of his top keywords. While the Plumbing Webmasters played a key role in his initial success, this Chattanooga plumber also takes an active role in his continued growth. He actively utilizes his Righteous Reviews tool with each service call, and he continually provides exceptional customer care wherever he goes.
Way to go, Bob!
If you’d like to learn more about Bob’s story of aggressive growth, or if you’d like to see how your business can break out through local search, our team is happy to help. Call us today at (877) 388-9884 and ask about search marketing through Plumbing Webmasters. See what sort of amazing growth your business can achieve!
There was a time when customized solutions and personalized care were the norm in almost every service industry. As modern technology progressed, service became more streamlined for the sake of cost and convenience. With the advent of new software and web development tools however, that service trend has come full circle all the way back to personalized care.
These days, that often takes the form of conversational marketing. We’ll be talking about conversational marketing for plumbers today, exploring the concept and how you can adapt it for stronger lead generation! If you’ve struggled with leads this year, be sure to read along carefully.
Some Consumers (Especially Younger Ages) Prefer to Instant Message Over Calling.
What is Conversational Marketing?
Conversational marketing creates stronger ties with prospective and existing clients by placing greater emphasis on personal conversation with each individual. That may seem like a very simple idea, especially in the plumbing industry where in-person service is such a core aspect. With conversational marketing however, we take that principle online and adopt it for each of our primary points of interaction with clients.
Key Areas of Conversational Marketing for Plumbers
For most plumbers, conversational marketing will primarily involve direct correspondence with prospective clients prior to them hiring your service. The more direct, the better! A chat bot is better than an email. An instant message tool is greater than chat bots, and a direct phone call is absolutely amazing!
At some point during the sales process – this matters whether the consumer needs fast repairs or a system installation – there has to be direct interaction between the client and a dedicated member of your staff. That’s personal service! Your challenge is making sure that each client is directed to the appropriate member of your staff. Callers needing a water heater installation should be directed to an experienced plumber or a knowledgeable sales team, whereas a typical repair call should go straight to your office staff or your cell (depending on the size of your business).
Plumbing Companies That Focus on a Highly Positive Customer Experience Earn the Best Long-Term Success!
It’s Tailored Service
Not every client’s needs are the same. In metropolitan areas where contracting businesses are plentiful, conversational marketing for plumbers stands out. That’s because plumbers who incorporate this strategy into their marketing provide spectacularly tailored customer service!
What does that look like for a small business? It means offering multiple convenient ways for consumers to contact your business and inquire about your services. When a homeowner or commercial prospect lands on your website, they get the 5 star user experience with all the helpful insights and contact information they need.
It’s Timely Interaction
This may be the most crucial aspect of conversational marketing contributing to your success. Consumers have grown more and more demanding in their essential services. If a prospective client can’t gain direct contact with a member of your team within a matter of minutes (sometimes seconds) there’s a real chance of losing the lead! So it’s essential that your business is ready to interact with these online consumers in real time.
How to Use Conversational Marketing
So what can your business do to take the concept of conversational marketing for plumbers and really nail it for your customers? First, you’ll need to understand how your clients prefer to interact with your business, such as whether they prefer instant messaging or service forms (or both). Next, you’ll need to have the systems in place to support these communication channels.
Don’t worry! You shouldn’t have to spend thousands of dollars on some complex organizational system (unless you want to). There are very simple ways to make sure your business is ready to handle these potential leads.
In Fast Plumbing Repair Service
When it comes to small scale repair projects, consumers don’t need that much time to investigate their local services. Most likely, they’ll be eager to contact the first highly-rated plumber located in their community. Your Google My Business (GMB) profile plays a critical role in whether your company shows up first in a consumer’s local map pack!
Make sure your GMB profile is up to date with your latest contact information. If you haven’t already, you should download the GMB app on your phone and enable instant messaging for your business. This creates a “Message” button on your GMB profile that consumers can use for immediate contact. Considering the high percentage of consumers that use a phone as their primary search device, this is a great tool to have!
For Larger Home Projects
Home projects, such as water heater replacement, may require more steps between a consumer’s initial research and calling your business. With that being said, conversational marketing provides consumers with means to conveniently contact your business at any phase of the sales funnel. For homeowners not quite invested in a particular solution, a contact forms and instant messaging tools allow them to inquire about their options without calling your business.
You can easily provide a general quote for these prospects, and allow them to follow up at their own speed. Just make sure your website is ready with dedicated service pages for those projects, be they water heater replacement, water restoration, or pump installation. Your sales professionals can also follow up with questions and helpful information!
With Commercial Solutions
Do you provide specialized services for local businesses and non-profit organizations? When it comes to commercial-oriented projects, clear communication is essential. You need to be able to provide accurate documentation of the projected costs for the project, as well as the timeframe.
While chatbots and instant messaging could save you time, your commercial clients will appreciate direct communication. Make sure your GMB is set up to receive calls! Having a documented quote will also speed bidding for any major projects, so it’s great to follow up with a personalized email.
For many consumers, the first point of interaction with your business is on your company website. For others, it may begin on a GMB knowledge graph with your company information. Conversational marketing for plumbers demands that both your website and GMB be ready to handle these interactions in a timely, convenient manner.
There are several tools worth integrating into your website to ensure your customers can easily contact you as they need. If you haven’t already added these features into your site, now’s the time to consider them!
Linking Your Chatbot
Chatbots have come a long way in the last decade. A long way! Through the use of artificial learning programs, they can better understand conversational subtext. Put simply, chatbots understand the sort of language we use everyday in order to provide better service for clients. If your clients need to ask questions about your plumbing services after hours, they can engage with the chatbot.
If a Chatbot Can’t Answer a Question, it Gets Routed to a Staff Member. Image Source: Acquire
In the event of an emergency, the chatbot can redirect the prospect to a staff member on standby. Otherwise, they can answer many of the typical questions your clients have to ask. According to the experts from Convince & Convert, “25% of consumers say that basic details about the business are hard to find!” Chatbots can relay this sort of information quickly.
Chatbots are by no means a replacement for dedicated, informed staff members. However, they can reduce the number of informational calls coming into your office. Clever companies can also use the chatbot to link to important resources, blogs, and galleries, making it easier for prospects to find the details they need for their project. Some programs can even service appointments for your clients, though that function may come at a premium to your business! If you’re interested in learning more about chatbot technology, Drift and Intercom are two of the top names in the industry, though you can find other popular tools in this helpful list from New Breed.
Setting Up Instant Messaging
As we’ve said before, there’s no replacement for quality human interaction. If you’ve ever struggled through an automated service call, you know how much comfort a real person can provide! At the same time, not everyone likes to communicate through phone calls (especially younger age groups). That’s where instant messaging comes into play.
Facebook Messenger Already Has Over 1.3 Billion Users to Pursue! Image Source: Facebook
Instant messaging, be it through Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp, provides direct access between your business and your clients. That connection can be dangerous if you aren’t ready to handle the conversation, but it can be a tremendous source of higher lead conversion. If you aren’t ready for an integrated website feature yet, the Google My Business app allows you to set up instant messaging for your clients to your phone. You can also arrange instant messaging for your website.
Preparing Your Team
Now, it’s going to take a little work to make sure your team is ready to engage people in this highly-personalized manner. After all, communicating through multiple platforms can be a challenge for smaller teams. With proper planning however, you can achieve outstanding results with conversational marketing for plumbers!
There are several aspects of this marketing strategy that you’ll need to prepare for.
Receiving messages and calls through new channels
Delivering personalized care for each client.
Creating a process for collecting client feedback and reviews.
For every line of communication that you open with clients, your staff needs proper training to receive them. Chatbots, for instance, can handle many of the initial questions that a homeowner has regarding your services. When the time comes for the handoff to a live staff member, that process needs to happen quickly to avoid losing the prospective client. Some chatbot service providers offer training to help get your team acquainted with the capabilities and uses of their software. Be sure to take full advantage!
If you install an instant messaging system to communicate directly with homeowners and needy businesses, your staff will need to be able to write about services in detail. It may take some time to get use to each channel of communication, but success only comes from dedication and thorough preparation.
Personalized Care Training
Like we mentioned before, there’s no substitute for the personal touch a human provides! As your staff members learn each new channel of communication, it’s crucial that they also grasp how to listen to the needs of each individual prospect. At Plumbing Webmasters, we’ve witnessed so many high-quality leads lost due to miscommunication (or inexperience) from the call handler. We’ve also seen would-be clients turn away because of rude staff members!
If you want to provide the sort of personalized care that leaves clients wanting more interaction with your business, train your staff well. Teach them how to talk about your services, handle questions about pricing, and how to work best with each channel. If you do, you’ll see much stronger returns in your conversational marketing.
Brace for Success
Preparing for Glowing Reviews
When you have dedicated staff providing exceptional service, outstanding results are sure to follow! For many homeowners, customer service is almost as important as the plumbing work itself. If you nail conversational marketing by providing the personalized service consumers so strongly desire, glowing reviews are the natural result. That is, if you know how to ask for them!
Historically, consumers haven’t been very good at providing positive feedback for the services they receive. Only a small percentage ever take the time to leave a review, while a larger number of consumers jump at the chance to leave an angry review! That’s why your team must take every opportunity to ask for reviews, especially after a job well done. This ensures a steady stream of happy 4 to 5 star reviews, which does wonders for your local SEO! If you haven’t listened to it yet, be sure to check out our podcast “The Coolest Review Software Ever“, which dives into how to further enhance your reviews.
When it comes to any marketing strategy, it’s always important to keep both eyes open for problems. While conversational marketing for plumbers is based on long standing principles of customer service, it does come with it’s own share of obstacles to overcome. For instance…
How will customers react to the new communication channels?
How will your staff respond to learning a new process?
How will you examine / measure your results to determine success?
What will you do if customers struggle to use the new tools?
How will your team respond if the new channels are wildly popular?
Use the Analytics Behavior Flow Chart to Inspire Your Conversational Marketing Plan!
You will naturally find ways to improve your service over time, identifying areas of weak performance and opportunities for growth. Your staff may need to talk with clients and see how they like whatever chatbots, instant messaging, or form submissions you add to the website. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes! As long as you continue to treat customers with respect (and provide good plumbing services), your clients will keep coming back.
On the other end of the spectrum, don’t shy away from rejecting a new technology if it fails to provide measurable returns after long-term use. Not every plumbing business needs a chatbot, even if many companies benefit from the technology. Only cling to conversational marketing strategies that actively grow your business and serve your clients’ needs.
Measuring Success in Conversational Marketing
It’s exciting to try out new tactics and tools! However, it’s crucial for your long-term success to measure the effectiveness of each channel you open. If you install a chatbot on your website, for instance, you can gauge the effect it has on your sales.
Do you see a higher or lower number of people calling in for service? You may find that the volume of people calling into your office for service stays the same, while the number of informational calls drops. That frees up more phones in the office, a definite win for your staff!
If your company sets up an instant messaging system, keep track of how many inquiries result in scheduled service. If instant messaging ends up taking more of your staff’s time than you’d like, that’s another important factor to consider in your overall strategy. Conversational marketing for plumbers requires tinkering to ensure peak performance!
Adapting Your Strategy Over Time
As a plumber’s client base grows, there’s always the risk of losing hold of the customer service quality that brought people to that business in the first place. Your plumbing experts don’t have the time to answer every call for information. To meet the needs of both your clients and staff, an effective conversational marketing strategy must be able to gradually expand over time.
Google Analytics Will Help You Track Your Marketing Effectiveness Over Time.
For example, instant messaging through your phone may become a serious challenge to keep up with once your client base grows large enough. This may lead your team towards a more integrated messaging system for your website, or even a chatbot. That’s just one more reason to routinely examine the effectiveness of your customer service!
Before You Get Started
Jumping into a new form of customer care without preparation is a recipe for disaster. No business is exactly the same as the next. Take the time to determine which channels will work best for your customers. Determine which members of your staff are likeliest to provide exceptional service. Have them champion the new technology and processes, so they can train other people how to do it too!
How to Adopt Conversational Marketing for Plumbers
Research, test, and adapt the right conversational tools for your clients’ needs.
Make sure you have the time, energy, and resources for each new channel.
Pick capable team members to try out the new technology.
Train other staff on how to deliver personalized care through the new channels.
Again, we can’t stress enough how important it is to have the right people handling the customer service side of conversational marketing for plumbers. Well-spoken, courteous staff members make a huge difference in both the client experience and your lead generation. If a rude or ignorant staff member handles the conversation, it could permanently marr the prospect’s view of your business. It might even result in a very public low-star review on Google.
On the other hand, skilled and friendly staff members turn interested homeowners into lifelong clients! That means recurring business and a steady stream of outstanding reviews coming into your brand. Stronger customer experience is one of the top 10 marketing trends of 2020! Consumers are looking to develop deeper relationships with the companies they do business with. With a team of seasoned customer service experts driving your conversational marketing, you’ll create an experience unlike any your clients have seen in plumbing!
Our Righteous Reviews Check-in System Works Really Well With Conversational Marketing.
Support from the Plumbing Webmasters
Homeowners and commercial consumers demand better customer service than ever before. Thankfully, conversational marketing allows your plumbing company to uphold that premium standard of service. We’re here to help you adopt this strategy into your online marketing for stronger results than ever before!
Adapting new technologies and strategies can be a challenging process. Integrating them into your website is just as difficult. At Plumbing Webmasters, our website design team makes it easy to develop a custom site perfectly tailored to your team’s needs. Not only do we make it easy for your staff to interact with plumbing prospects, we also produce stronger performance from local Google Search results!
Learn more about how conversational marketing for plumbers and plumbing SEO work hand in hand by calling us at (877) 388-9884.
Have you ever been on a kids roller coaster? As a child, the thrill of moving easily keeps us entertained. As an adult however, that thrill changes to irritation as we long to progress to loops, sudden drops, and rapid turns. A kids roller coaster simply goes nowhere, fast.
When it comes to plumbing companies, lead sellers are the new kids roller coaster. There’s a real thrill of feeling your business gradually move with each incoming lead. As your company brand matures however, it becomes clear that you’re paying a frustrating sum of money to essentially spin in circles. Very little brand growth occurs, and you’re left none the richer from your investment.
Today, we’re going to talk about that frustrating ride. More importantly, we’re going to reveal how to get your business off the tracks and into some real long-term growth. Be sure to listen in as Jason and Nolen share real-life stories from plumbing companies.
Key Lead Generation Lessons & Plumbing SEO
Continually paying for leads slows down your brand development and customer base growth.
Even when you pay a seller for a lead, you may still have to compete with other local businesses.
Paid leads are simply way more expensive, both in the short and long term.
Buying Your Way Into Oblivion
Another day, another frustrated caller talking about expensive lead sellers. But what is it about buying leads that plumbers find so frustrating? At the Webmasters, we’ve heard all kinds of stories about people’s experiences with these services. Most boil down into a handful of common complains…
Top Problems With Buying Leads
They get really, really expensive!
When you pay for a lead, you still compete with other listed companies in your area.
Some “leads” are just people looking for quotes, not interested would-be clients.
Buying leads encourages return visits to your lead seller, not your company website.
The Eye-Opening Secret of Lead Sellers
Everyone wishes they could cut out the middleman and earn their leads at cost. After all, that would mean saving thousands (maybe tens of thousands) of dollars every year! It’s clearly possible; not everyone pays for lead sales. How do they do it? The real question you should be asking is: Where does your seller find their leads?
95 times out of 100, lead selling companies source their leads directly from Google Search! Not only do lead sellers pay next to nothing for each lead (even when you factor in long-term marketing), they add a massive upcharge to leads you could have earned for free.
This Local Plumber Managed to Outrank a National Lead Seller and Earn Their Own Leads.
How does that make you feel?
In the picture above, you can see one of the frequently-used tools of lead sellers for acquiring new customers. National level brands like to use localized “top plumber” lists to try to capture consumers. However, they actually have to work very hard to secure these listings, because Google prefers to list local businesses over national organizations. That’s why an independent contractor can earn a second place organic (free) in the same results page as two huge lead generation companies!
Not only is it very possible compete with these household name lead sellers, Google will practically help you do it. If you’re tired of spending lots of money paying for leads, why not invest in making your own leads like this plumber?
How to Generate Leads
You’ll need two major tools to start generating your own leads: a Google My Business account and a company website. Some businesses try to get away with only one of the two; it just doesn’t work well. Now you might be thinking “Bah! I’ve heard about this SEO for plumbers stuff. It takes too long.” While plumbing SEO does take a couple months to start producing results, at least.
Local Search Optimization Offers Faster Results After Google’s Local Search Algorithm Update.
Marketing always takes time to fully mature. If you have to spend a little money to earn a long-term source of cheap, high-quality leads, isn’t that worth your money? Anyway, there’s great news.
If you optimize your website and GMB well, you could start earning local listing traffic evensooner. In a recent podcast called “Brown Friday” (linked below), our team at Plumbing Webmasters got a tankless water heater specialist ranking for his top keyword in his community within a month. A brand new business (and website) knocked out long-term champions for top spot in a local map pack, which represents a huge portion of traffic.
Optimized Website Design
Your website will need to be fully optimized with dedicated service pages for the keywords you wish to rank for. This supports the local search results driven by your Google My Business account (which is absolutely free, by the way). Tools like Moz Keyword Explorer, Answer the Public, and SEMrush make it easy to discover hot keywords in your industry. You can also use Ubersuggest to see what terms your competitors are ranking for, and try to steal them!
If you’d like to learn more about using local search and organic listings to secure high quality leads, our team at Plumbing Webmasters would be happy to talk about it with you. Consult with one of our seasoned experts for free at (877) 388-9884!
Plumbing SEO changes year after year. In fact, the industry shifts so much, we go to conferences to stay on top of all the latest news and practices! In this latest podcast, Jason and Nolen share some of the juicy tidbits they picked up from their latest SEO conference.
Look for key changes GMB management, online brand development, on-page optimization, and more! If your website has struggled to break into premium rankings, be sure to listen in.
Helpful Lessons for Plumbing Professionals
Keyword strategies must incorporate synonyme usage. Variety creates healthier optimization.
Remember the big four: Google, BBB, Facebook, & Yelp. You need reviews from all of them.
Continue to monitor your GMB account, including your Q&A section in the Knowledge Graph.
Keyword optimization and mobile friendly optimization are basic essentials.
What’s Changing in Search Marketing?
Let’s start by analyzing some of the key industry updates that your business will need to keep on top of. In 2020, your Google My Business account will become even more important to your success in local search. The search engine continues to add new functionalities to the listing service, including new ways for potential customers to interact with your company.
Thanks to the Knowledge Graph, people can check reviews, operating hours, location, and contact information without ever interacting with your website.
While that might seem like an intimidating prospect for some plumbing SEO professionals, these changes could mean great things for your business in 2020. For one, clients who direct search your name won’t need to dig through your site to find a phone number or determine if you provide emergency services. This increases the chance of people calling your business.
Showing Up in Google Maps Listings
In search marketing, visibility equals success. That’s especially true in the case of Google Maps listings, whose top ranks generate some of the most impressive traffic. Apart from the usually website optimization (more on that later), we’ve seen GMB play a larger role in these search listings. Since Google only awards this premium search real estate to dependable businesses (as best they can), it’s essential that your GMB data is continually checked and re-checked for accuracy.
Local Maps Listings Earn Exceptional Traffic and Lead Generation.
Reviews also serve as a make or break criterium for Google Maps listings. Lately, Google has emphasized diversity in review sources as a healthy indication of trustworthiness. In other words, don’t put all your rating eggs in one basket! While there are hundreds of rating websites to choose from, start with these four:
Better Business Bureau
These four feedback sources are considered by many to be the most essential citations for plumbers. If you want even more plumbing SEO power from your client reviews, we’ve seen a rising trend in geotagging. That’s the tagging of reviews with GPS location data. It provides stronger evidence to Google’s search engine that you provide services in tagged locations, giving them more reason to rank your site over competitors.
Breaking Digital Language Barriers
With the release of Google’s BERT update still fresh in our minds, the search giant continues to advance towards a deeper algorithm understanding of human speech. With latent semantic indexing (LSI), keyword optimization has gone beyond the simple “3% focus keyword formula” – no more flooding pages with unnatural keyword volumes – to create a more human reading experience. Keywords still play a foundational role in SEO for plumbing. They determine how Google understands and ranks, but now professionals must take a different approach to writing content.
Mix in Related Phrases and Synonyms of Your Focus Keyword for Better Content Performance.
It’s more essential than ever before that your content provides unique insights for would-be clients. Businesses can finally stop the ridiculous barrage of “plumbers near me”s and start presenting information in ways that people can easily digest. The most insightful content (usually) gets rewarded these days, not the most keyword redundant. Keyword spamming is a remnant of past plumbing SEO strategy, but it will hurt your results today.
What elements can you use to create more helpful resources for your customers?
Related (original) images,
and Numbered lists.
Continue to produce keyword (and synonym) optimized content, but infuse all your expertise and problem solving skills into the mix! If consumers truly find your content valuable, your rankings will naturally rise and your broad excel.
Keeping Your Google My Business Updated, Including the Knowledge Graph Q&A, is Essential!
Final Words of Advice
Because Google My Business and the Knowledge Graph continue to draw in more eyeballs from the community, it’s important that you monitor these tools for information accuracy. If your company makes significant organizational changes, or if you start offering new services, make sure your GMB reflects the updates. Also, be on the lookout for consumers in your Questions & Answers section (halfway down the Knowledge Graph). This Q&A section is open to the community, meaning anyone can contribute questions and answers.
You don’t want a random stranger (or worse, a competitor) answering questions on your behalf.
If you carefully manage these assets, your business can expect continued growth for your company brand. In the meantime, keep creating fresh content for your website filled with hot topics and questions from your target market. Even if you can only blog once a month, it’s worth the effort!
If your team doesn’t have the time, knowledge, or capacity to manage these online marketing activities, our team at Plumbing Webmasters can help. We provide custom website design, keyword-rich content, citation assistance, GMB support, and reputation management. Our clients continually earn premium rankings in local search, creating more traffic and better leads!
To learn more about our SEO for plumbers, contact us today at (877) 388-9884.
Do you ever feel frustrated buying leads from another company? Not only do thousands of plumbing businesses purchase their leads from online services, they’re forced to share them with local competitors. That’s a hard pill for any professional to swallow, especially when competition is so fierce! Yet many businesses feel trapped into perpetuating the lead-buying process.
How can you break free of the cycle?
Today, we’re going to explore the process of improving your local search performance and generating your own leads. While we talk with plumbers with all kinds of backgrounds and stories, this strategy can help practically any business develop more traffic and higher quality plumbing leads. Let’s get started!
Interesting Tips for Plumbing Professionals
You need to be active in asking for reviews, especially if you average a 3.5 rating or lower.
Always test your website content with Copyscape to spot copied content.
Service pages tend to perform better than landing pages.
You need quality SEO to allow your PPC campaigns to convert.
The Same Old Story
Most of the plumbing professionals listed online experience some form of lead sales. Some buy leads through large household brands, while others purchase them via Google Ads. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with supplementing business with additional work from these sources. However, depending on these channels as your sole sources can severely limit the quality, scale, and effectiveness of your lead generation.
This also limits your ability to grow the reputation of your brand.
If you want to start growing your own sustainable, affordable leads, you’ll need to invest in the right channels. One of the easiest paths to lead growth is local SEO (search engine optimization), which focuses on making your business more visible to consumers in your service area. While it may require some continued effort on your company’s part, this channel offers a very dependable supply of customers and brand growth.
Why Choose Local SEO Over PPC?
First of all, SEO vs PPC is not an either/or choice. You can easily use both types of search campaigns to generate even stronger performance for your brand. However, SEO proves time and time again that it offers more dependable results than PPC. As a matter of fact, PPC campaigns have a very difficult time converting leads into customers without an organically optimized website to support them. If you click on an ad but the resulting website doesn’t make sense, will you buy from that site?
Organic SEO Still Provides a Much Higher Percentage of Site Traffic.
A website optimized for search will also provide a more pleasant user experience. If you’ve felt the 5-star user experience on a site before, you’ve already felt the effects of local SEO. An optimized website also delivers fresh, insightful content that encourages more meaningful relationships with the associated brand.
To put it simply: SEO is cheaper, more reliable, and contributes directly to your brand’s growth. That’s a winning combination that lead sales and PPC can’t provide. So why not invest in a channel that’s better for your company’s long-term success?
Key Factors in Local SEO
There are four crucial factors when it comes to local SEO:
Reviews / Recommendations
Content and Web Design
Like any other marketing activity, SEO requires a solid foundation. For most, that foundation is a well-crafted website design with structured service pages. While a PPC management company might try to bypass this requirement with short, sales-y landing pages, they typically don’t perform well without service information to back them up.
The best websites combine informative content with streamlined design.
Service pages make it easy for both Google and potential clients to understand exactly what you do. Without them, even people who find your website probably aren’t staying around for too long. Your Google Analytics should confirm this through average time on page and bounce rate.
Most successful web designs use a simple dropdown menu to direct people to their desired services. They also organize content by service category, making it easier to find and digest information in a timely manner. Finally, an optimized design heavily relies on schema coding to make content easily recognizable for Google crawlers.
Reviews and Citations
Among its many goals, Google strives to present the most dependable results to its user base. The search engine examines both information provided by a plumbing company and feedback presented by the community to determine whether that business deserves a spot in page 1 results. That’s where the majority of consumers pick their essential services from.
If local listings provide conflicting information about a plumbing company (such as different addresses or operating hours), it may choose to look to another contractor instead. Likewise, if client reviews indicate the business is not to be trusted, Google will not rank the company well. Reviews and citations work together to determine a plumbers overall dependability.
Crucial SEO Requirements for Plumbers
Continue asking customers (especially happy ones) for reviews!
Never try to cover up negative feedback.
Gather reviews from a variety of sources, especially Google, Facebook, and Yelp.
Make sure your listings provide the same contact, location, and operational info.
Get citations from as many reputable companies as possible (BBB, Yelp, etc.)
At Plumbing Webmasters, we help hundreds of business develop a reliable source of leads through organic, local SEO. Not only do our customers enjoy higher rankings in search, they also earn more traffic and better lead quality! We’d be thrilled to talk with your plumbing company about your future growth plans.
Out of all the activities that our plumbing SEO specialists recommend, getting reviews clearly offers the greatest benefit for businesses. Not only do they draw more attention to your brand, they knock down the psychological walls that stand between you and potential clients. In our latest podcast, Jason and Nolen discuss the amazing results that feedback produces for your plumbing company, plus how our custom-made software makes getting reviews ridiculously easy.
Be sure to listen in if your business has struggled with local map ranking in the past.
Key Points to Listen For
Getting reviews from multiple sources makes your company appear more trustworthy.
Righteous Reviews makes it much easier to ask for and collect reviews.
Our software also provides geotags for reviews and check-ins, supercharging your SEO.
The Typical Process of Getting Reviews
Did you know that no one is quite so effective at getting reviews for your business as you? “Ask and you shall receive” certainly applies here, but not everyone has the same skill at soliciting feedback from their customers. In fact, some plumbing contractors are downright terrible at asking for reviews!
That’s too bad, because customer feedback plays a huge role in SEO for plumbers. When Google crawls (examines) a website to judge its content, the search engine looks for three key characteristics commonly referred to as the “E-A-T factors“:
When Google examines a company and sees a hearty collection of 4-5 star reviews, it interprets those reviews as a signal of trustworthiness. In other words, the search engine believes it can trust your business enough to direct people to the company website for your given service category (ie: plumbing). Getting feedback on Google Reviews isn’t enough, however. It’s best to procure them from a variety of resources.
The Problem With the Normal Reviews Process
Not all plumbing contractors faithfully collect reviews for their business. There’s just enough active plumbers however, that trying to compete on basic reviews alone won’t produce the premium search rankings that your business craves. When Google takes two companies with outstanding reviews and stands them side by side, the oldest local business typically wins out in search results.
That is unless your company displays better plumbing SEO practices.
Getting Reviews is an Essential Part of Your Local SEO!
We talk a lot about organic search engine optimization at the Plumbing Webmasters, especially when it comes to aligning your website with Google preferences. In the past, we noticed that most businesses don’t know how to effectively tie in their client reviews into their website performance. It’s not the fault of plumbers or their marketing team! There simply weren’t many great options for posting reviews on the official company website (again, effectively).
Since WordPress widgets and tacked-on solutions weren’t cutting it. So our team produced a completely new tool that not only greatly simplifies the process of collecting reviews, it also supercharges them for the purposes of SEO. We call this in-house developed solution Righteous Reviews.
“E-A-Ting Up” With Righteous Reviews (RR)
Remember how Google uses normal reviews as proof of your business activity? That effect only goes so far when competing against other more experienced companies who also collect reviews. With the Righteous Reviews platform, every 5-star rating comes tagged with the specific service(s) you performed for that customer.
Why does that matter for your business?
Any business can claim to provide “high-quality, professional water heater repair in Fort Worth, TX” (for example). Google churns through dozens, sometimes hundreds of these website claims, but only a handful ever make page one in local search results. When Google starts seeing dozens reviews associated with a specific service in a specific geographical area, it heavily prioritizes these reviews in local search. The search engine craves this geotagged data, because it proves legitimate service activity (instead of just claiming to provide a service).
How does the collection process work? It all starts with a process your team controls. Every time your plumbers finish up a project at a jobsite, they fill out a simple form. All you have to do is describe the service provided and the location of the job, then fill in the client’s name, number, and email. You can even take a picture of the finished work! Plumbers can easily complete this all in 60 seconds.
After completing the form, your client automatically receives an email or text with links to your favorite review platforms (Facebook, Google Reviews, etc.). When the client follows those links and submits their rating, the review is automatically geotagged with their general location and the service(s) provided. All of these check-ins and reviews are uploaded to your website, were Google and your future customers can browse them.
Getting Reviews is Great, Getting Geotagged Reviews is Better!
The Geotagged Review Collection Process
Step #1: Your plumbers finish a job and perform a 60 second check-in.
Step #2: Your client automatically receives a request for a review via text or email.
Step #3: The data from both the check-in and review get uploaded to your website.
Step #4: Google and your future customers see the reviews.
Step #5: Your local search rankings climb!
Other Fantastic Benefits of RR
Our team produced Righteous Reviews to work specifically with our custom, optimized websites. Since the software is fully integrated with your site (not tacked on as an afterthought), you don’t have to worry about bugs or other performance issues. This enables our team to provide a number of other invaluable benefits through the reputation management platform.
Unhappy customers happen. That’s why our team created an early warning system that automatically generates an email alert whenever a client rates your company 3 stars or lower through Righteous Reviews. This means you can quickly contact any frustrated customer and work to fix the situation. Deal with low ratings, and discover new ways to improve your customer service in the process!
As we mentioned before, geotagged check-ins and reviews automatically upload to your website. Each event is tagged to a specific service and city page (if your site has them), where they show up as pins on a local map. Readers will also see the latest reviews you’ve received from the field. No more losing customers because of dated reviews from 5 years ago!
Simplify the Process of Getting Reviews from Your Happy Clients!
Why Does Righteous Reviews Matter?
That’s the real question, isn’t it? Our team at the Plumbing Webmasters wants your team to earn continued growth through better Google Search rankings. Our clients who faithfully perform these check-ins often experience tremendous growth in their website traffic and generated leads. With your reviews working twice as hard to advocate your business, you’ll enjoy stronger plumbing SEO than ever before!
To learn more about Righteous Reviews, getting reviews, or any other aspect of local search marketing, talk with one of our experts at Plumbing Webmasters. Get a free consultation today when you call us at (877) 388-9884! We can’t wait to serve you.