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.
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.
Starting a plumbing business intrigues many prospective contractors. After all, the industry grew to over $126.1 billion in revenue in the past year.
With over 600,000 domestic plumbing jobs, the profit exists for the taking. But how can someone start their own plumbing company in 2022?
Owning a plumbing company provides contractors with a sense of pride and the power to create their business vision. No longer will contractors answer to a bully boss who puts down employees for a short-term ego stroke.
While the benefits are apparent, starting a business is hard work. A successful plumbing startup requires a strong plan, strategy, and vision.
Check out HVAC-Plumber SEO Webmasters’ guide to starting your own plumbing business in 2022:
Table of Contents
Business Basics for Plumbers
How Much Money Do You Need To Start a Plumbing Business?
For contractors who hold a license, $10,000 is the ideal starting point for your business. While you can get by with less capital, ten grand will give you a better chance to get up and running with success.
How To Start a Plumbing Business Without Being a Plumber?
If you want to start a plumbing company without being a plumber, you’ll need a good lawyer. It’s challenging, at the very least, to form a plumbing business without being a plumber. Someone within your company must have a license and follow the rules and regulations to operate lawfully. Whoever serves as the master plumber expects appropriate compensation if they don’t own the company themselves.
Writing a Plumbing Business Plan
Your business plan outlines your future business and helps you stay on course. The project should outline each detail for your business from its starting point to its logical launch position. Additionally, a sound business plan helps you secure loans and pick up investors.
Your plan must include your company’s legal specifics, including its legal name, address, documents, a field of expertise, and other critical information. A qualified lawyer should oversee the process to ensure ideal results.
For help crafting your business plan, take a look at this sample.
Getting Started With Your Plumbing Company
Choosing a Plumbing Company Name
You should consider marketing when choosing your business name. For example, does your name sound good as a web address? Does it look good on business cards, trucks, and t-shirts? The aspects of a good plumbing company name include:
Conciseness: The shorter the name, the better
Memorability: Avoid anything too generic since you want brand recall
Regional Identifier: A reference to your city or town helps create a local feel
Creating a Plumbing Company Logo
The next step is to craft a company logo since it will appear on your marketing materials. Think about how the logo looks on a truck wrap and business card. It’s always best to hire a professional graphic designer to craft your digital logo, increasing engagement based on the color scheme, originality, and memorability.
Marketing Your New Plumbing Business in 2022
Getting Listed Online
Plumbers can get their first business from the internet. Create a free Google Business Profile and verify the address via postcard verification. Implement Local SEO tactics on your GMB listing and generate reviews using software like DataPins Once you’ve established yourself locally, expect some plumbing leads to show up on your phone and email.
Launching Your Plumbing Website
Google Business Profile helps you get started, but the top-performing plumbing businesses utilize a company website. Your website serves as the central hub for your business. Prospects may see the URL on your business card or truck, and others may find you organically through search engines like Google. A good website presents a custom design and showcases an urgent call-to-action.
Performing Search Engine Optimization
A website in itself is excellent, but SEO helps it show up for keywords. The more plumbing keywords you rank for, the more plumbing leads you can get in 2022. It’s best to optimize each of your web pages, from service pages to city pages, using best SEO practices. A software tool like DataPins can save you headaches by producing user-generated content about your services without you having to optimize anything manually.
Creating and Marketing Content
Plumbers can get the most business through content marketing. New content pages help you rank for more keywords on search engines and share new content without social media followers. It helps to create a specific service page for each of your services. For example, you have a page for pipe repair and also one for toilet repair. The same trend follows for locations within your service area. Blog posts can also help get clicks as long as they are well-written and inform the user.
Managing Your Company’s Online Reputation
The challenge for new companies is not having a reputation at all. As your business grows, you’ll want to maintain a positive reputation by securing feedback from satisfied clients. As you grow, getting your first review is a big deal. Again, it’s best to use a software tool like DataPins to get your first reviews. The device sends automated review requests through SMS and email. Google and Facebook are the best places to get reviews, though Yelp, Angie’s List, and HomeAdvisor can also help grow your brand.
Scaling Your Plumbing Business in 2022
Establishing a new plumbing business is a significant first step. Taking things to the next level requires the ability to expand your plumbing business in 2022 and beyond. But don’t get too far ahead of yourself right now. Remember to consult with a lawyer before making any business plans official. Always focus on customer service and online marketing. Once you establish your company, consider the following scaling techniques:
Hiring More Employees
The hiring process can create a challenge for more recent business owners. How do you hire? Who do you know who to hire? These are questions that contractors regularly ponder. But one thing is certain, growth requires more employees, and qualified ones at that. Please focus on the customer first and foremost and make sure they get the best services possible.
Investing in Field Management Software
Once you have a certain number of technicians on the road, you’ll need a sophisticated system to track their jobs, billing, and performance. You can use a tool like Picket Fence or Service Titan to manage your employees on the road. The goal is to keep all your data in a central location, so you can scale your business with ease.
Plumbing advertising is the production of advertisements for commercial or residential plumbing services or products. An ad is a promotional notice or announcement in a public forum. In 2022, advertising can encompass a wide array of promotional materials, including PPC ads, website banners, and Google Profile posts.
1) Google Ads
Once known as Google AdWords, the now named Google Ads is still one of the most effective ways to advertise your plumbing business online. Because it can be expensive and requires a level of expertise to maximize correctly, some have grown frustrated with it as a platform. Still, adequately targeted ad campaigns with an eye towards demographics, budgeting, and ROI can help plumbers win big with Google Ads. Depending on what city you are looking to target for plumbing jobs, Google Ads may be less expensive than you think. In any case, make sure you hire a Google Ads certified manager.
2) Facebook Ads
An estimated 63% of American adults use Facebook. With so many users online, the $10,000 businesses spend on ads each year makes sense. While plumbers shouldn’t spend nearly that much, strategic Facebook advertising can produce substantial ROI in 2022. Similar to Google Ads, competent Facebook advertising results in significant gains for plumbers. Partnering with an advertising expert can help separate your company from competitors who are generally throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks.
3) YouTube Ads
Like Google and Facebook Ads, YouTube ads can target specific demographics. As the number one platform for streaming video, YouTube is unsurprisingly a highly frequented domain. Investing in plumbing ads on YouTube can ensure that video watchers in your target area see your company promotions on relevant videos. While the ROI is typically less significant than that gained through Facebook and Google, it is still enough to pursue the venture with open eyes. What can enhance your ability to advertise on YouTube is by creating a video channel for your brand and even posting video content.
4) NextDoor Ads
NextDoor is a popular community platform for neighbors to discuss service providers, among other things. Infiltrating a community-based social scene can pay dividends for plumbers. NextDoor offers simple advertising measures to select specific neighborhoods. The platform provides ad building tools along with an Insights Dashboard to help plumbers and their marketing teams track performance in 2022.
5) Facebook Pixel Tracking
Americans spend more time on Facebook than they do eating. Most U.S. residents check Facebook 15 times per day on average. Facebook pixel tracking allows your website to advertise to users who’ve already visited your site as they browse Facebook. Cookies are stored in their browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc.) when they visit your domain and follow them to their favorite social media platform. Pixel tracking typically improves conversion rates from around 3% to about 15%. Best of all, pixel tracking is relatively inexpensive but highly effective.
6) Google Remarketing Ads
Like Facebook, Google allows advertisers to track and then follow visitors off their website. Remarketing ads from Google are the same fundamental concept as Facebook pixel tracking and are even less expensive. Why? Because Google doesn’t charge a fee until the remarketed ad gets clicked on. Remarketed ads appear on all kinds of platforms in Google’s display network. It could be anything from Accuweather to a tutorial blog post. Let’s say that a potential customer thinks they can fix the plumbing job themself, but then finds your ad on the how-to manual. They might reconsider.
7) Search Engine Optimization
Plumbers often think of SEO as separate from advertising methods like PPC. While search engine optimization is a vastly different strategy, its ultimate goal is promotional. Ranking on organic search results is an advertising form that requires expertise and know-how. Plumber SEO provides tremendous long-term results for plumbing companies and costs far less than a PPC campaign.
8) Plumbing Websites
Nothing provides better long-term promotion than plumbing websites. Web design is essential for conversion and personalization since campaigns don’t end until a visitor converts into a customer. Design goes a long way towards making that happen. From a clean codebase and pertinent calls to action, design elements can close the deal on behalf of plumbing companies. Web design also ties in with SEO to help generate more leads, which makes it even more potent from an advertising standpoint. Aesthetics are a big part of trust-building, so make sure your website is visually appealing.
9) Content Marketing
Promoting plumbing services is not possible without quality content. Plumbers can market content on a multitude of different platforms and in various mediums. For example, videos are content but so are blog posts and service pages. Google lists their quality guidelines and calls for unique, valuable, and engaging content to separate your website from others. Prospective clients are not looking for a novel about pipe repair, but they would like to know the specifics about why your services are worth something to them and how they display proper convenience.
10) Google Business Profile (Local Map Pack)
Your Google Business Profile is your most important citation and essentially serves as your Google homepage. It is as close to as valuable as your primary website as any other branded web entity. For this reason, the GBP listing should be completely optimized. Be sure to include original images, Google posts, and Q & A sections with informative answers. Don’t forget about hours of operation. When customers leave reviews, be sure to respond to these reviews and do so professionally. Potential clients will want to see that you take a complaint seriously.
11) Business Citations
Plumbers can list their business on several directories throughout the internet. These listings are known as NAP citations and should include important information like company name, address, and phone number. Google scans this info in the aggregate, meaning consistency and uniformity are essential. Sure, you can also get calls off of these listings, but their real impact for promotion is that they collectively drive up your brand recognition and improve search rank. Yelp, HomeAdvisor, and Angie’s List are three of the most important for plumbing companies.
Plumbers can advertise through podcast episodes. You might think of podcasting as something for celebrities, but that is not the case. Many “regular” people start podcasts and generate a significant following. The reality is that consumers want to be able to relate to the podcast host. People interested in plumbing will be interested in episodes about specific plumbing services. These podcasts can also improve your web presence, social media signals, and overall SEO. Scope inspections make for an excellent topic to discuss, either through podcast or video.
13) Local Services Ads
Local Services Ads allow plumbers to advertise on Google’s Local Map Pack, separately from the organic algorithm. LSAs are pay per lead instead of pay per click, meaning plumbers don’t get charged for each click. In addition to local search results, LSA ads also command voice searches. Any plumber hoping to invest in Local Services Ads must sign up for Google Guaranteed which performs background and insurance checks.
Best Advertising for Plumbers
At HVAC-Plumber SEO Webmasters, creating an effective plumber ad is what we do best. With decades worth of experience and data, our system helps create high-quality plumbing leads for contractors throughout the United States. Our in-house Local SEO software helps plumbers manage their reputation and rank throughout multiple cities in their service areas. We hope to work with your plumbing company in 2022 and beyond.
Plumbing contractor marketing is all about strategy in 2022. There are plenty of marketing ideas to consider, but formulating a marketing plan will drive tangible results for your business. Whether it is advertising, email marketing, or SEO, promotion is essential to generating high-quality leads. Below, Plumbing Webmasters presents a strategy guide for 2022. Use these methods to grow your plumbing business and enjoy greater success than ever before.
What is Plumbing Marketing?
Plumbing marketing is the promotion of your plumbing business through various methods like advertising, email marketing, and search engine optimization. Any task aimed to drive qualified leads for your plumbing services is a form of marketing. While most modern marketing is performed digitally, offline promotional methods like direct mail, print flyers, and networking are still effective, too.
How to Measure Plumbing Marketing
Plumbing contractors can measure marketing campaigns with financial metrics like return on marketing investment (ROMI) and customer acquisition cost (CAC). On a more granular level, plumbers can review digital metrics from Google Analytics and Google Search Console, including, monthly clicks, monthly unique visits, and monthly impressions.
Because marketing can entail everything from Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC), the most informative metrics will depend on your unique campaign. In some cases, quantifiable metrics such as revenue or return on investment (ROI) can provide conclusive measurements. However, more granular studies will provide further context.
Executing a Plumbing Marketing Plan
To execute a marketing plan, plumbers need information, strategy, and resources. Without them, there’s no practical way to follow through or feel confident in the future process. Most contractors and companies are pressed for time and don’t think they have enough to allocate marketing resources properly.
Businesses must gather information before developing a marketing plan. For instance, study target markets, consumers, and promotional methods as a starting place. Smartphones and WiFi have changed how consumers interact with businesses, and plumbers must adjust. Still, be aware of misleading information and ensure you are getting your data from a verified source.
Reading about the cost of a plumbing website can provide ideas and even cost figures. Still, until you decide what you’re willing to pay for a website and how much ROI you expect it to generate, it isn’t all that valuable. Developing a strategy solves this problem. If through research, you can determine that you hope to make x amount of dollars through marketing this year, you can begin to formulate a plan that projects a favorable return on investment.
Planning and doing are two different things. Plumbers can have the best marketing success strategy but lack the resources to execute the plan. A single person cannot possibly perform all the actions that make up a promising marketing campaign, let alone a full-time business owner. Having access to a team of individuals with unique skill sets is the ideal scenario when promoting plumbing services.
At Plumbing Webmasters, our team meets those exact needs. Call it a sales pitch, but we intentionally built a webmasters’ team to provide the skilled labor required to execute a marketing plan in 2022.
Marketing Basics for Plumbers
Every form of promotion is marketing. Whether you buy billboard space on your local highway or build a branded company website and publish it online, you promote your plumbing services. Think about the times you’ve left business cards on the windshield of parked vehicles or left fliers in the mailboxes of nearby homes. That is marketing. Marketing happens even when you don’t realize it.
When you discuss your service with an acquaintance, think of it more like a friendly conversation, but make sure to “sell yourself” just in case you are marketing. Contrary to popular belief, marketing doesn’t have to be manipulative, but it certainly can confirm that same belief.
1. Any Promotion of Your Plumbing Service is a Form of Marketing
2. Marketing Includes Paid Advertising
3. Marketing Requires Neither Manipulation nor Ethics But Can Feature Either
Ways to Market Plumbing Services
At Plumbing Webmasters, our specialty is online marketing. There are many forms of promotion within the online marketing category, but offline promotion exists. The more traditional forms of advertising like print, billboards, and even radio/television are all conducted without the need for an internet connection. They also no longer work very well. Very few consumers find plumbers through offline channels in 2022.
Instead, they visit Google and search for nearby plumbing companies and often compare and contrast them based on customer reviews from their Google Business Profile, Facebook, or Yelp pages. They might also check platforms like Instagram and YouTube to further understand the brand and its trustworthiness. Take a look at some ways to market plumbing:
Google Ads (PPC)
Remarketing / Retargeting
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Social Media Ads
Social Media Marketing
Telemarketing (Cold Calling)
Television / Radio Spots
Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing
If you were to breakdown the list above, you could place every way to market within one of two general categories: inbound marketing and outbound marketing. An inbound strategy pulls potential customers into your services organically while an outbound strategy goes out and gets them. Most traditional forms of marketing (including advertising) are considered outbound. Newer methods, most famously, SEO, are categorized as an inbound promotion.
The main distinction between the two is that outbound marketing is both intrusive and interruptive, while inbound marketing is notably less so. Since outbound promotion relies on “going out to get” potential customers, it tends to require a more significant financial investment. The most common example of this is Google Ads (PPC), a modern form of outbound promotion and costs much more to execute than SEO, which is the contemporary face of inbound marketing.
One old school promotional tactic that has been rendered obsolete by the onset of inbound marketing strategies, mainly digitally relevant, is billboard advertising. When drivers pass a billboard for your plumbing services, the likelihood of the ad being relevant to them at that time and place is shallow. Compare that to the relevance for someone who typed in “plumber near me” on their smartphone.
In the latter case, the person viewing your search result has already demonstrated a need for your services, which makes the relevance of the search result much greater. It so happens that the cost of securing that search result is also much lower than the price of the billboard, making it that much more advantageous from a marketing perspective.
Although they are an old-school marketing tactic, business cards remain a worthwhile investment for plumbers, if for no other reason than their sheer cheapness. The investment in these paper-thin promotional materials is so minuscule that any benefit at all would make them “worth it.” There’s also a degree of personalization that business cards can extend.
After completing a plumbing service for a paying customer, leaving them with a card that lists your contact information and a reminder to review your service on Google or Facebook can increase callbacks, customer retention, and of course, reviews. So while business cards are unlikely to “bring in” customers, they can help retain and maximize the ones compiled through other marketing methods, such as search engine optimization (SEO).
One new-school form of promotion is content marketing. Whether it is a social media platform like YouTube or a search engine like Google, content is the internet’s lifeblood. Without content, Google could not exist; Facebook could not exist; YouTube could not exist, and so on. The opportunity present for plumbers is creating content assets and marketing them through all of these different channels.
An example of content marketing would be writing a highly informative blog post about common plumbing problems and sharing it on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. As word of this blog post spread via search engine and social media, it would begin to funnel visitors to your homepage while growing brand awareness. If it became secure on page one of Google, it would start to earn inbound links, improving its ranking even more naturally.
Google Ads (PPC)
PPC is the intersection between modern and traditional marketing. The concept itself is conventional, but its application is very contemporary. You might think of Google Ads in comparison to the billboard mentioned above example. The difference with ads on Google is that there is relevance that can be demonstrated and tracked. Google allows advertisements to target specific keywords, locations, and demographics.
This way, ads are revealed only to a group of people that are worth advertising to. You cannot apply this same tactic to a billboard campaign since plumbers could not possibly track everyone who sees it. While Google Ads are decidedly modern in their application, keep in mind that they are still a form of outbound marketing, which makes them both expensive and, in some cases, off-putting to consumers.
Local newspaper ads, or even ads in the Yellow Pages, were once enough to generate high-quality plumbing leads. Those days are long gone, and print ads no longer carry much weight to prospective clients. There’s more than one reason for this phenomenon, but the most obvious one is relatively straightforward; nobody reads print anymore. Ok, so “nobody” is an exaggeration, but the decrease in print viewership from the late ’90s is astronomical.
Most newspapers have transitioned to digital formats as their flagship distribution channel, and that is, of course, because their readers will only show up online. Being mentioned in a newspaper article still holds value in 2022, but only if it’s digitally published, and preferably with a link back to your website. Inbound links serve as endorsements in Google’s algorithm.
Remarketing / Retargeting
If one marketing method can be considered both inbound and outbound, it would be remarketing, aka retargeting. Remarketing is the process of advertising services to someone who has already demonstrated interest in your service in one way or another. Most times, this interest is made clear through website visitation, but users can also complete other defined events, such as watching a branded YouTube video.
If someone browses your website or watches your video, their interest in your ad is theoretically more significant than someone who has not. Advertisements can retarget these users using browser cookie tracking. The numbers back up retargeting as a promotional method by showing significant increases in conversion rate to groups who have shown prior interest in the service. The previous interest of the consumer was inbound while your promotional targeting of them is outbound.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is the most effective marketing strategy for plumbers in 2022. It checks all the boxes discussed on this page. It is a form of inbound promotion; consumers reach it at their most preferred source (Google), incredibly cost-efficient. Furthermore, it can be easily tracked, monitored, and analyzed at all times. While paid advertising methods like Google Ads (PPC) require a real-time investment for a short-term return, SEO is a concept that necessitates a much lesser investment to secure a long-term business asset.
Once search results appear on Google, they can become an ongoing lead generator for years to come and cost you very little as a plumbing company compared to other forms of promotion. Google is a constantly evolving search engine, so SEO is always subject to minor changes.
Social Media Ads
You now know about Google Ads, but were you aware that social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube also offer ad space? Displaying ads on social media has become an increasingly popular promotional method. Facebook, the top social network, has minimized the impact of organic posts from local businesses, including plumbing contractors.
Since an organic Facebook post on your business page will no longer reach any of your followers, advertising becomes the logical solution. Ads, of course, can be expensive, but sometimes the investment is worth the trade. Facebook ads can yield considerable ROI if adequately constructed, managed, and tracked throughout their lifespan. The process is not dissimilar to the analysis of a Google Ads campaign, and the goal is identical.
Social Media Marketing
Ads are not the only way to promote through social networks. Organic posts on Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube remain meaningful assets for plumbers. While they may not directly generate leads, they can help grow brand awareness and even influence local SEO by sending signals to Google. Even if it effectively as a business listing, a presence on social media boosts authority and lets Google and its users know that you are a legitimate business and have taken the time to connect with your potential customers through social media.
One way to utilize LinkedIn, for example, is to share blog posts published on your website. Content sharing helps distribute on-page content to external sources, which helps SEO as a general principle. Sharing original photos and videos is also beneficial to plumbers.
Telemarketing (Cold Calling)
Remember the days of smashing your Motorola to pieces with a baseball bat? Ok, so maybe you don’t, but that isn’t so far-fetched to consider when telemarketers harass you in your home. There was always a negative connotation associated with cold calls, but consumers are more aware of their tricks in 2022 than ever before. As a result, the few times telemarketing did work have dwindled to an even less likely occurrence.
So imagine calling random strangers in your service area to see if they have a broken pipe in their kitchen. Here’s a tip; if they do, they have already searched Google and found the plumber of their choice to rectify the issue. They don’t need you, and they don’t want your phone call. They might even block your number on their iPhone or Android device and make a note of your utter disgracefulness.
Television / Radio Spots
In 2022, the crazy plumber that comes on a commercial when watching the local news is doing two things; embarrassing himself and wasting money. Flashback to 1999, and he’s only embarrassing himself. But today, there’s no longer an incentive to do so. For that matter, TV spots and radio spots reach a much narrower audience than they did 20 years ago.
The cost of advertising on either medium remains higher than it’s worth, and a commercial’s production is not doing plumbers any favors. Uploading a self-made video to YouTube using only your iPhone device has an excellent chance of ROI than does a TV spot. Like with other types of old-school promotion discussed on this page, TV and radio ads are a form of outbound marketing and reach a pool of viewers or listeners who will find them mostly irrelevant.
Draping your truck in a sized-fit and mobile promotional sticker is not a horrible idea, even in 2022. Although it is undoubtedly a form of outbound marketing and is not trackable in the way SEO or social media marketing is, it can still provide ROI to plumbing companies. What makes it different than a billboard, you ask? For one, it costs less money to implement. Secondly, once it’s a part of your truck, it becomes a permanent business asset.
With a billboard or TV spot, you are paying an ongoing fee to keep the word out. The truck or car wrap can show your company logo, contact information, website URL, and whatever else you choose to promote. Again, it can be a worthwhile investment because it is a one time cost with a lifetime of opportunity to return. There is no fixed fee, and it can help brand your business.
Benefits of Marketing for Plumbing Companies
A plumber benefits from promotion in many ways. Assuming you develop and implement the best strategies, marketing can drive your business to the top of your market. The key is to take the time to create a plan based on research and to invest in the labor required to apply it successfully.
Building a brand can seem like “fluff” from a plumber’s standpoint, but branding is essential for several reasons and is a product of effective marketing. Brands are built on recognition first and foremost, but trust ultimately sustains them. Google has shown time, and again that trust is one of its most influential search ranking factors.
By building a brand through digital platforms (business listings, social media, website), you legitimize your plumbing company with a strong and expansive web presence. When people complain about Google favoring brands, they are bickering about the trust those companies have built through Google and the individuals who utilize its search engine. Sure, is it hard to build more confidence than a conglomerate? Yes. But remember, local results get priority for plumbers.
Plumbing marketing exists to generate leads. It cannot be any more simple than that. Leads are potential customers who connect with your business in one way or another. Both an email inquiry and a phone call are examples. Leads vary in quality, and services that are promising “lead generation for plumbers” may fail to produce serious prospects. Sometimes they offer shared leads, which implies those same customers are given to other plumbers in your area, making them less likely to convert into a sale.
The best kinds of leads are exclusive, meaning the prospect is inquiring only about your services in the email or phone call. SEO produces the highest quality leads (exclusives), which is another reason why it’s so valuable. Advertising, digital or otherwise, is also designed to generate leads.
Return on Investment (ROI)
The goal of plumbing companies is to make money. It’s not rocket science. You, as a plumber, must make more than you spend. This simple equation is known as ROI, which is short for Return on Investment. The revenue must significantly exceed the expenses to succeed in business. When adequately executed, marketing will yield an ROI, and sometimes one that is so significant, it changes the trajectory of your life.
SEO is one of the most powerful tools on earth because it can help plumbers earn money without spending too much of it. It can get you a larger home, a more appealing car, and a better education for your children. No, it does not guarantee you any of those things, but it gives you a chance, which is usually enough to justify the investment in the first place. But plumbers must decide for themselves.
Defining an Audience
No one can fully explain marketing without discussing the importance of a target audience. Sure, promotion in itself can reach anyone, anywhere, anytime. But as we discussed with some of the specific methods, that is not always the best course of action. It makes far more sense from both a practical and financial standpoint to promote services to a defined subgroup of people. Who belongs to this subgroup is determined by you as a plumber and us as your marketing adviser.
Age, education level, lifestyle, profession, relationship status, residence status. These are each an example of a demographic. Plumbing contractors might find one or more of these quite helpful when defining their target audience. Let’s take residence, for example. For individuals who own and live in homes (homeowners), plumbing services are highly relevant. After all, they, as a homeowner, are responsible for the plumbing.
Now let’s compare that to people who rent homes or apartments. These people are not liable for plumbing maintenance. So, by and large, they aren’t on the lookout for your services. As you might imagine, it’s cost-effective to promote services only to homeowners and not home renters.
Reaching a prospective customer requires some vehicle, and we don’t mean your plumbing truck. We are alluding to the medium or channel through which the prospect learns of your services. We’ve detailed options and which of them we believe are the most effective in 2022.
In our opinion, Google is the number one medium through which to reach a potential client, and the data backs this up. With this in mind, SEO becomes a clear-cut choice for plumbing marketing. Keep in mind that companies are not limited to only one channel. You can reach prospects on both Google and social media, for example. You can even use a truck wrap and also use Google Ads. There’s plenty of flexibility.
As a plumber with ambition, your service radius might be “optimistic,” to put it kindly. Contractors’ truth is that they should not market services to locations they cannot serve efficiently. If it takes you 2 hours to deploy a truck to an area you market, it can compromise your business.
Not only are you spending on fuel it takes to get there and back, but you are providing a substandard service and one that a company with a closer radius could easily outperform. Focusing on a radius that you can serve optimally will improve your performance and likely help your company build a superior reputation, including online reviews on Google and Facebook.
Tracking Marketing Data
We identified measurement as one of the three core elements of marketing. But before you can measure, you must track data. There must be a large enough sample of data to make a measurement worthwhile. Several tools exist that can help plumbers track their marketing data in 2022.
Facebook Page Insights is the platform’s native analytics tool that tracks the behaviors of users who visit or interact with your page or posts. Page Insights is the most potent native social media tracking tool available online. As we noted before, Facebook no longer a network on which to reach consumers organically.
To bring people closer together, they changed the algorithm to return the focus to human interactions rather than business or brand to human. That’s not great news for plumbers, but Facebook Insights remains a useful tool to track Facebook users’ behavior.
Google Analytics is the number one tracking tool available online. And why shouldn’t it be? After all, it tracks data using the best source we possibly have, Google itself. Analytics can track data from both SEO and paid advertising campaigns. Although they don’t reveal every bit of information, for example, you can’t see all of the terms people search for to enter your website.
They expose enough to give plumbing companies a good idea bout where improvements are necessary and where their successes originate. To install Google Analytics on a website, all you need to do is embed the code within the HTML. If you don’t know how to do this yourself, contact a local website designer or programmer.
HubSpot Marketing is a marketing analytics software that tracks data from all of your different promotional channels. Unlike Facebook Audience Insights or Google Analytics, HubSpot Marketing can organize information from multiple sources into a single unified dashboard. It empowers plumbers to analyze their data from a broader view.
While HubSpot Marketing helps track data as it flows in, its utility is even more impactful than that. The ultimate goal of this tool is to increase website conversion rates for businesses. There are other kinds of software like HS that exist on the web, but most independent evaluators rank it as the most prominent marketing analytics software available as of 2022.
Plumbing Marketing Services
Many contractors have a fundamental question about marketing, is there someone who can do it for me? The answer is yes. Plumbing Webmasters markets plumbers all across the United States of America and helps them reach their business goals each year. Our process is not complicated. We have a team of 15 skilled webmasters who perform the skilled labor required for an effective marketing campaign. We handle everything from design (custom websites) to plumbing SEO services. Here’s a full breakdown:
Our content team includes professional writers, trained regularly in the latest SEO practices and whose work is verified by an on-staff editor. There is a saying in the SEO industry; content is king. That’s because Google has publicly stated its affinity for quality content and cites it as the most critical factor in a page’s value.
We produce highly relevant content that is original, relevant, and unique. Each piece of content published on Plumbing Webmasters’ designed websites passes Copyscape to confirm its uniqueness and avoid duplicate content issues. Our writers are knowledgeable about plumbing services and write content for your consumers. We never engage in black-hat content tricks like keyword stuffing. We are a white-hat SEO company.
Design (Custom Websites)
Our website design team includes professionals with experience in marketing for plumbers. Each site built by our staff is custom-made and optimized for search. But most importantly, it is designed with clean code and schema markup. There is a direct relationship between SEO and custom design. When HTML code is clean, CSS style sheets are advanced, and schema markup microdata is incorporated, the sky’s the limit for plumbing websites.
Visual appeal is also a consideration under the Plumbing Webmasters design team’s watchful eye. Although the presentation does not reveal the code behind it, having an aesthetically pleasing display can increase conversion rates on a plumbing company website. A practical design integrates your company logo and color scheme.
There’s a saying in marketing, “put yourself on the map,” and it’s never been more literal than in 2022. Today, “the map” in its most literal sense is Google Maps. Search queries are adjusted based on the searcher’s geo-location concerning the search result. Local SERPs yield a group of results known as the Local Map Pack, which is 3 Google Maps listings that are most relevant to the user, based primarily on their location. Google Maps links with Google Business Profile to show the aggregate star rating of a plumbing company.
When Plumbing Webmasters conducts mapping services, we verify your Google Business Profile’s location and optimize it for local search. We also go to great lengths to ensure that you optimize your Google Business Profile, including the presence of favorable reviews that we help you generate with DataPins software.
Part of the promotion is reputation. How can a plumber most effectively market himself without a solid reputation? For many plumbers, reputation starts with becoming known in their local community. Establishing a name can be challenging enough on its own, but maintaining a favorable perception is even more difficult. The first step in gaining notoriety is to install DataPins software from Plumbing Webmasters. It makes the process of leaving reviews more convenient for customers. They can visit your website and directly submit feedback to Google or Facebook without ever having to leave your site.
Additionally, the software sends text reminders with links so that customers don’t forget to do it while at home. To maintain a positive reputation, try to do a great job on services and always monitor review platforms for any negativity. If it exists, respond professionally and request its removal if it is unfounded.
The objective of SEO is to optimize every aspect of your plumbing company’s web presence. Some mistakenly believe SEO is explicitly reserved and only for a website. That is not the case. SEO expands far beyond your main website — although it helps to have one as a central hub. Business directories, external domains, and social media pages are examples of web properties that encompass SEO on a larger scale.
There was a time when a website was the only viable destination for a prospective client, but that is no longer the case. Google can no longer grade websites exclusive from other factors, including but not limited to, citation sources, and social media signals. Inbound links remain an SEO factor whether Google chooses to dismiss it or not. Sites with quality links generally outperform those without them.
Summary: Nolen of Plumbing Webmasters discusses how plumbers can succeed in 2019 with digital marketing ventures like SEO, Website Design, PPC, Social Media, and more. Having worked with hundreds of plumbing clients, Plumbing Webmasters understands what it takes to rank on top of Google as a local contractor.
Schema markup is a boring & technical concept that could put most plumbers to sleep. But once they realize what it can do for their SEO and subsequent business success, they awaken rather quickly. Of course, the tricky part is getting plumbers to buy into the idea that a microdata tag language within HTML coding can directly impact their bottom line.
But bear with us because we’ve tested schema for plumbers extensively over our decade-long management of plumbing contractors’ digital presences and have experienced nothing but an enhancement, success, and competitive advantage. But the technical vocabulary can be tedious, even for web designers.
What is Schema Markup?
Schema is an extra layer of code inserted into web page HTML, labeling pieces of data according to relevance. Schema tells Google what things are. For example:
The name of your company
Which image is your logo
Your company phone #
Yous business address
And much more
What Google Sees
If you use Google’s Chrome browser to surf the web, you can click CTRL+U to bring up the source code. It might look like gibberish to you, mainly if you’ve never studied programming or back-end website design, but it is something that Google’s web crawlers intimately understand. Furthermore, it is how websites communicate with Google, which, as you might imagine, can heavily influence the perceived value of a website and its ultimate position on Google rankings.
So don’t mistake a lack of understanding for lack of importance. Google perceives that code, and that’s what matters. At the same time, most people focus on the front-end of a website (the visual component), but it is far less relevant to organic SEO than the source code. So think of Google crawlers when performing any technical SEO task, which ultimately contributes to higher rankings.
Attractive Websites With Horrific Code Base
It’s natural for the average internet user to focus on the presentation of a website and not its back-end source code. But what if they never see the front-end presentation? Because that’s what happens to thousands and thousands of sites every year. They are buried on search rankings and fail ever to exhibit their good presentation to the masses.
An appealing website can help with conversion rates, closing the deal, and keeping visitors on the site longer (decreasing bounce rate), but it can’t get them there initially. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for aesthetically pleasing websites to have a putrid code base that directly impacts business sales. All because of a pathetically atrocious code base behind a nice-looking visual.
Semantic Markup vs. Schema Code
Before schema code was an absolute powerhouse in web design communities, semantic markup was the original version. It still holds value to this day, albeit on a less specific scale. Semantic markup helped Google parcel web elements on a page. For example, it would tell Google this is the header, the body text, the sidebar, the footer, etc.
Of course, this is important for Google to understand, but schema takes it to a whole other level. For instance, schema can say that a business address, company logo, etc. The two methods don’t conflict with one another, but instead, the schema is the natural progression of semantic markups’ original intention. Plumbers should take full advantage of this evolution when designing their company website. In addition, it can have a direct influence on Google’s rank positions.
Semantic Markup: Divides web elements into basic categories
Schema Markup: Denotes specific information within semantic categories
What if My Plumbing Website Already Has Schema?
In our experience, 99% of plumbing websites use template websites before investing in our services. Unfortunately, the lack of success from these websites drives them to pursue a new marketing campaign. But sometimes, these template websites do have schema code. So why does it fail? Because having schema can range from 1-2 schema code blocks to hundreds of thousands.
So while your template website might have fundamental schema code, it does not have the advanced code that Google values. It might tell search engines basic business information, but to compete for the top rankings, you’ll need much more detailed information than that. One great example of advanced schema is aggregate star review ratings which show the 5-star rating of your business. Plumbing Webmasters tracks about 100 types of schema code on a standard client.
Why Does Schema Matter for SEO?
The more Google understands about a website, the more effectively it can market it to consumers. Furthermore, the more revealing a website is about its contents, the more Google can trust that it’s worthy of being ranked on SERPs. Another factor regarding schema & SEO for plumbers is the SERP presentation. We mentioned the appeal of the aggregate star review rating.
When this becomes an extension of your website result on Google SERPs, the click-through rate increases exponentially. Schema helps your site earn trust from Google and effectively markets your services to relevant consumers. In addition, it encourages superior user behavior metrics, which, as we know, are very important for ranking positions. To sum up, schema’s relation to SEO, consider these:
Enhanced SERP Presentation: Users are more likely to click on results with enhanced features
Improved Trust: When Google understands your data, it is more likely to trust it when positioning its ranking
Increased Relevance: When Google knows the specifics of your site, it can market it to relevant users
Schema markup aims to help Google parcel data and effectively promote your website to relevant users. Because of its heavy influence over SEO, it deserves significant attention and resource allocation. We cannot stress enough the importance of this factor for plumbing SEO. With professional designers on staff, we can help you take your web coding to the next level in 2021.
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.