Most of the plumbing contractors we talk to know the importance of marketing their business online. Still, there is a level of confusion about what exactly plumbing internet marketing actually is. Plumbing internet marketing is a series of techniques and strategies, designed and implemented for the purposes of ranking on Google search results pages (SERPs). Plumbing companies should focus on the primary 5 components of online marketing:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The foundation of your plumbing internet marketing, will be your search engine optimization (SEO). For generational plumbers, their parents and grandparents generated leads primarily from the Yellow Pages, newspaper ads, and good old word of mouth. Today, the Yellow Pages are dead and buried. The majority of customer leads today, come from Google SERPs. To give your company a chance of ranking well, you must focus on the following 3 components:
- Content: Well written content, constructed with the user in mind, that enhances the user experience, and also properly markets your plumbing services
- Link Building: Internal links that help users seamlessly navigate your website, and external links that lead them to authority websites, that can further enhance their overall experience
- Social Media: Regular content sharing via Facebook and Twitter, as well as customer engagement through promotional content, or more informal exchanges
Focusing on these 3 things, can get your plumbing company on Google’s radar for search engine results. Though, SEO services alone won’t maximize your marketing potential, they certainly set the foundation, and serve as a sustainable asset for many years to come.
Pay Per Click (PPC)
SEO takes time to work. Google crawls websites at their own pace, and determines rankings based on several different factors. If you are a plumbing contractor, frustrated with the SEO process, it is important to remember 2 things. First, you can’t give up on SEO, it is a long term commitment that rewards those with persistence. Second, you should consider pay per click (PPC). PPC can work with SEO, to provide more immediate results. PPC offers the following:
- Budgeting: Only spend as much as you want on PPC campaigns, giving small businesses the flexibility to determine the best course of action
- Targeting: Target specific locations and demographics, in order to maximize your marketing dollars to their fullest potential
- Tracking: Generate valuable data that can help your plumbing company gain insights on how to best market services to consumers
PPC can serve as a band aid for plumbing contractors who fail to consistently monitor their SEO. While the short term benefit is attractive, using it as your primary long term strategy will end up costing you big in the pockets. The best plumbing internet marketing strategy is for PPC and SEO to work together, to create multiple channels of traffic.
Business Directory Sites
SEO and PPC are the big dogs, of plumbing internet marketing, but those who stop there, are leaving meat on the bone. Business directory sites are one of the most important online marketing tools for plumbers. Directories like Angie’s List, HomeAdvisor, and Better Business Bureau (BBB), all present valuable citation sources for contractors. Characteristics of a solid citation source include:
- Authority: Check out Hubspots list of 50 directories to get a feel for the most authoritative sites and which ones you might want to claim your listing
- Consistency: For companies that have gone through several name alterations, or address changes, a service like Moz Local can help you clean up your online business listings.
- Optimization: Just as you would for content on your website, online directory pages can be optimized to best market your services to interested consumers
It’s sometimes difficult to get plumbing contractors to understand just how important business directory sites are to their online marketing campaign. Many of these directory listings remain unclaimed, leaving your company page looking empty and unprofessional. Each listing is a representation of your plumbing company, and should be displayed with the same professionalism as you would a business card, or promotional flyer.
Online Review Sites
Online reviews can be a nightmare for contractors. Still, allowing a couple bad reviews to ruin your entire plumbing internet marketing campaign is a short sighted decision. Swallow your pride and do what’s best for business and your reputation. In cases like these, what’s best for business is:
- Accumulate Reviews: The more positive reviews you accumulate, via email signature links, website links, or other means, the less your negative reviews will matter
- Diversify Your Portfolio: Make sure you are listed on several review sites and not just one, Google My Business and Yelp are great places to start
- Respond Professionally: Respond to negative reviews in a calm and professional manner, one that does not present your company as confrontational
Online reviews are part of the business. Nobody likes being trashed from behind a computer screen, but it is a reality of modern culture. Focus on the task at hand, which is plumbing internet marketing, and how it can help grow your company, and generate customer leads that will give you the last laugh.
SEO is important in general, but for plumbing contractors, local SEO is really where the money is made. With Google evolving to the point of tailoring search results to users based on location, local optimization has become priority number 1 for plumbing companies. Since more users now search on mobile devices than on desktops, plumbers must ensure the following qualities:
- Location Data: Make sure your business information is registered on Google My Business, and that your business location can be accessed via Google Maps
- Mobile-Friendly Website: Responsive design is the best option for plumbing internet marketing, as it allows users to seamlessly view your website across all devices
- Local Keywords: Local keywords differ from national keywords in that they generally combine an industry term (plumbing services), with a local term (Dallas)
Yes, the marketing landscape is changing before our very eyes, and the beneficiaries will be plumbing companies who embrace modern techniques. Competition is fierce in the plumbing industry, and the only way to ensure a successful internet marketing campaign, is to invest wisely, remain persistent, and constantly evolve. Call 877.388.9884 for plumbing internet marketing services.