When a homeowner has a plumbing emergency they turn to their phone or laptop to look for a plumber. Yet in most markets there are dozens if not hundreds of plumbers competing for their business online. Local SEO for plumbers is not about getting to be number 1 for that phrase plumber in your community. It’s too cast a wide enough net that consumers can find them even if they don’t see you first on Google.
First of all, if you’re a plumber and looking to rank number 1 for that particular phrase, think again. Take the phrase Denver plumber. Much of the page is dominated by ads at the top and along the right hand side. Then comes the Google 3 Pack, which is their local directory. That leaves 10 spots below for which sites can rank. Yet, just 3 area actually plumbing companies. The rest are local directories such as Angie’s List and Yelp. According to the Yellow Pages website there are nearly 800 plumbers in the area. So thinking you can break out from this group and magically reach the top 10 isn’t realistic.
This amount of competition makes bidding for this phrase also very expensive. On Google the average bid for Denver Plumber is nearly 72 dollars. As will be shown, pay per click is important, but choosing how to spend your advertising business is crucial.
There are many categories in Local SEO and I’ve come up with 10 suggestions on where to begin taking action to get your business found.
Take Advantage of Local Directories
If the telephone book has been replaced it’s by the many local directories that people now turn to on their laptop and phone.
- Optimize your Google listing – the Google 3 pack is one of the first thigs people see in the search results. Get ownership of this listing and build it up with photographs, videos, and content.
- Develop your listings in other local directories – as mentioned, Yelp and Angie’s List are prominent in the search results. So make sure you have control of these listings and that all your information is accurate.
- Get Reviews – Reviews are becoming more and more important for people searching for home service providers. Try to get your customers leave reviews, whether it be on Google, Yelp, or Angie’s List.
Don’t Overspend on Website Design But Mobile Is Crucial
This is a mistake I see too many home service providers make. They have a website and when it doesn’t seem to work, get an expensive makeover for their site. I had one client that in the space of a year, hired 3 different web designers at a cost of more than 10,000 dollars. Yet, the original one he had was fine. It just needed more content. Think of it this way. Does a thousand-dollar wrench work that much better than one you pick up in Lowes. A bare bone website can work as long as allows for the following criteria.
- Have a site that is mobile friendly – Google and Bing put a lot of emphasis on mobile friendly sites, but that shouldn’t be your main incentive. Over 50% of searches for a plumber are done via a cell phone.
- Optimize your site – this may be the hardest thing to find the time to do and do correctly. Yet, you should have a site that emphasizes all of your services, preferably with each getting it’s onw page. Likewise, if you serve more than one community than you want a page for each of these, as well.
- Add Content Regularly – content comes in a variety of formats, but for plumbers a blog is one of the best options. Think of the questions your clients regularly ask you and use these as the source of your subjects.
Google AdWords is Crucial for Generating Leads
As mentioned, pay per click can be expensive for home service industries such as plumbing, but it’s becoming more and more a necessity to reach relevant leads. First of all, it can get you to the first page of Google when your site isn’t there. And on mobile, ads are the first thing people see, often with the first three spots they see. The good news is that because people with a plumbing emergency are motivated to act quickly, very often a click on an ad results in a call. This being said there are things you need to be aware of with PPC.
- Make sure you target only prospects in your market – when setting up your campaign target just the market you serve, whether it’s 10 miles around your business or 50.
- Target words that imply intent – the phrase leaky faucet might yield some leads, but it could also be someone looking to do it themselves. Sewer line replacement is more specific and also a bigger ticket item.
- Have the ads lead to Relevant Pages – if they’re looking for sewer line repair and you take them to your home page, which focuses on all your services, they may not stay long. Take them to a page that relates to what they’re looking for.
- Use Ad Extensions – Another game changer with AdWords and Bing are ad extensions. You can add additional information to your ad such as your location or a promo. More importantly you can have it so that they call directly from your ads.
With Local SEO for plumbers there is a lot that can be done to generate leads in your market. These 10 actions will make a definite impact, but they’re the tip of the iceberg.