The Internet has become the number one way we find information out about businesses and the goods and services that they offer. Plumbing is no exception. When a prospective customer is looking for a plumber, the first thing that they’re going to do is search for plumbing companies in their area. With SEO marketing, you can ensure that your business is featured prominently in the search results for the audience that you want to reach.
Think about the last time you were looking for goods or services. More than likely you entered your search terms into Google or a similar search engine. Why? Because you trust it to give you the results that you’re looking for. We all use the internet on a pretty regular basis, but how often do we stop to think about how search engines index (organize) the content that shows up in their results?
BASIC CONSIDERATIONS OF SEO FOR THE PLUMBING INDUSTRY
There’s no arguing the fact that you want your plumbing business’s website to show up on the first page of a potential customer’s search engine results page (SERP) when they punch in the words “plumbers in my city.” So, what do you have to do to make sure that if someone in your city is looking for a plumber, your business is the one they click on? Search engine optimization (SEO) improves your organic search engine rankings, which places your website closer to the top of the search results. This makes it much more likely that the potential customer will click on your title tag and then contact you for their plumbing job.
Developing an SEO strategy for plumbers means:
- Analyzing the existing footprint of your plumbing business
- Distinguishing your plumbing operation from your competitors through a series of actions (outlined below)
- After you’ve sustained your SEO strategy successfully over a period of time, reaping the benefits of greater visibility: more leads, a larger customer base, and the overall growth of your business
It’s important to note that search engine optimization is a long-term advertising strategy. To get the results that you desire, you will need to commit to a sustained, dynamic, internet marketing plan. The purpose of this guide is to introduce you to the principles of search engine optimization for plumbers and plumbing businesses—whether you intend to proceed on your own or to hire a professional SEO marketing firm.
Essential Factors in SEO for Plumbing Businesses
It’s a common misconception that Search Engine Optimization only involves inserting keywords into the text of a website. While keywords are an essential part of SEO, it involves several other components”:
- Website optimizations: In order for search engines to index your content properly, your site must contain coherent headers, content, URL, images, title tags, and meta attributions. Google uses these attribution designations to place your site in a position where it’s relevant. Without them, your site wouldn’t appear in the SERP, even when it belongs there.
- Navigability: Have you ever attempted to locate something on a website and got lost? Or worse, have you ever clicked on a link that brought you back to the page you were just on? Your potential customers come to your site looking for specific information and if they can’t find it, they’re going to look somewhere else. Customers with plumbing problems aren’t likely to spend a lot of time perusing your site if they have an issue that they want to get fixed as soon as possible. You may not be aware of this, but search engines track the amount of time people spend on your website, the time on each page, and how often they hit the “back” button. All of these factors affect your SEO performance.
- Content: In order to show at the top of a SERP (search engine results page), it takes more than just including all of the right keywords—although, they’re also important. Search engines favor pages with useful, original content that’s updated on a regular basis. Solid, well-researched content that also happens to incorporate relevant keywords will ensure that visitors stay engaged and your ranking will climb.
- Backlinks: When you enter a search term into Google, it reviews thousands of websites by reading through them at a phenomenal rate of speed. When the search engine encounters a link, it examines that page, as well. If another website links to a page on your site, the search engine will go to your site, improving your ranking on the SERP. It also helps when you use logical links to your own pages.
Effective Search Engine Optimization focuses on a website’s structure and architecture, your link profile and the content of your page. Keywords that pertain to the plumbing industry are essential and they help the search engine connect your customer with your business, but what good is it if your clients bounce away from your page because they can’t find what they want? SEO maximizes the entire user experience from the point they click on your site to when they call you for their plumbing jobs.
When you use the keywords that are most relevant to the plumbing industry, you’ll have a better chance at being at the top of the SERP, which means that a customer is more likely to choose your page. This visibility is invaluable in a competitive market. The best way to figure out your SEO strategy is to perform an internet marketing analysis for your plumbing business’s site.
Conducting an Analysis of Your Plumbing Website
One of the first things that we do before launching an SEO campaign for a plumbing business is to analyze the website’s navigability. When a website is easy to navigate, users stay engaged and it improves overall SEO. Here are some of the main factors affecting navigability:
- Dead ends or 400 errors – When site visitors find that they can’t get the information that they need, they leave. If any of your links leads to a dead end, a blank page, or produces a 400 error, it can increase your bounce rate, which is counter to great SEO.
- Content Organization – Your website should make sense to your customers. Nothing drives users away faster than a confusing website. Strong website structure makes it easier for search engine crawlers to analyze your site, and users will want to stay and read your content.
- Links: There are three types of links that enhance SEO:
- Backlinks – The outside sites that point to your site affects your SEO. If a number of outside sources refer to the information on your site, that’s viewed by search engines as a sign that you provide high-quality information.
- Internal Links – When you link to other pages within your site, it sends users to places where they can find additional information about the services you offer. It also directs the search engine crawlers) to other locations on your site.
- External Links – If you link to authoritative sources, it signals the search engine that your site is well researched. For instance, if you post an article about the Uniform Plumbing Code, it might mention the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) and include a link to their homepage (like we did here).
- Word Count – Your site should be both concise and comprehensive, without sacrificing one for the other. One of the ways that Google judges this quality is by word county. The more words that you have dedicated to a certain topic, the more likely they will contain the information that a web user is looking for. Wasted words, however, can negatively impact the user experience and increase your bounce rate.
Website Analysis Checklist
- Check on the quality, quantity, and relevancy of backlinks
- Replace all broken links with working ones
- Use keywords in your anchor text
- Use internal links to guide users and to encourage search engines
- Link to authoritative sources to increase credibility
- Make sure that your content is clean, accurate, and keyword rich
Consider what you would want to find on a plumbing page as a customer. What’s likely to keep you on that page and contacting the plumbing business that owns it?
INTERNET MARKETING ANALYSIS FOR PLUMBERS
How do you know that SEO is working for your plumbing business? By using key performance indicators (KPI), you can determine how your site is performing and set goals in several critical areas. KPIs can help you determine whether or not your SEO strategy is working satisfactorily. Among other things, KPIs can analyze your website’s navigational structure and link profile, which impact search engine rankings and the ability of customers to locate your page. Here are a few things that you can do to analyze your internet marketing:
- Identify Your Strategy – Do you have an SEO strategy. Not all plumbers do. Some companies just have a website that mentions a few keywords, but those pages are likely to perform well in SERPs. By having a focused internet marketing strategy, you can improve your rankings and garner more customers.
- Use Tools – There are so many online tools that can inform you on how to enhance your SEO approach: Moz, Semrush, Ahrefs, Google Keyword Planner, Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools, Serpworks and Accuranker can tell you how your site is performing and suggest ways for it to improve.
- Conduct a Link Analysis: Making certain that all of your backlinks, internal links, and external links are working is essential to great site performance. Making sure that your external links connect to informative sources gives your site credibility. Authoritative links tell Google that your information is relevant and has utility for their users.
ON-SITE VS. OFF-SITE SEO
If you’re going to have an effective SEO campaign for your plumbing business, it’s important to make the distinction between on-site and off-site SEO. On-site SEO deals with changes that you can make on your website that will improve your rankings. Off-site SEO involve things that don’t alter your actual site in anyway, but can still bolster your SEO campaign.
On-Site SEO for Plumbers
Most of what we’ve discussed in previous sections has been related to on-site SEO. These are the things that you do directly to your page to make it more attractive to search engines and to potential customers. It involves the use of effective keywords, posting interesting content, making your site navigable, and employing a powerful link profile. This multi-pronged strategy requires knowledge of a lot of different areas related to web marketing.
- Keyword Selection – In order for people to find your website, you’ll need to identify the words that someone searching for a plumber in your area would use. Programs like Google Analytics can assist you in identifying the keywords that people are using to find your website, as well as the ones that draw users to your competitors. Google Keyword Planner can give you even more information about your industry’s keywords and their impact on your website.
- Website Structure Optimization – The way that you format your information and organize the pages on your website will affect the way that your search engine is ranked. You want people to come to your page and stay there. That requires a logical site structure.
- Headings – Visually, headings appear as different font sizes, but the H1, H2, H3, et cetera designators mean something different to the search engines. They essentially tell the search engine that the content carries more weight that the words with lower designators.
- Title Tags – These appear in the SERP and indicate something about your business. They must use keywords that indicate what someone will find on the webpage. For example: “24-Hour Plumber in Your City | Emergency Plumbing”
- Meta-Description – The meta is a brief sentence or two about the page. It appears next to the title tag and is visible in the search engine results page (SERP). It must be under 160 characters. Example: “Fast-response professional plumber available for 24-hour service. Call now.”
- Custom Content – Your site should offer useful information to your audience. Custom content needs to offer relevant information or an answer to a question. It should be readable, well organized, and accurate. It should also contain links to relevant information and strong keywords.
- Google Analytics – This tool can give you vital information about your web traffic, click-through rates, keyword rankings, and referral sites. These are among the key performance indicators (KPIs) that you’ll want to monitor to test the effectiveness of your SEO campaign.
- Google Search Console and Your Sitemap – Submitting your sitemap to the Google Search Console and other search engines is vital to your SEO campaign. This will allow search engines to locate pages within your site and rank them accordingly.
- On-site Security – Your site may contain sensitive information about your customers and about your business. Moreover, if your site is hacked, it could erase months of work you’ve done to build your SEO. Protecting your site and its content is an important part of site ownership.
- On-site Load Speed – Faster sites load quicker, but they also affect your search engine rankings. If people don’t wait for your site to load, it will increase your bounce rate.
- Calls to Action – Your website should include buttons that can put the customer in contact with you and similar calls to action. The idea is to make it easy for a customer to contact you once they’ve reached your site.
The Importance of Great Content
For an SEO strategy to be effective, all of the parts have to work in concert, but nothing is quite as important as top-tier content. If a user locates your website, but finds that the content is flat, inaccurate, and poorly written, they’re not going to stay. Your content needs to be organized, informative, and well written. Grammar, punctuation, and impact are essential components of great web content.
Maintaining an Active Blog
Maintaining and updating a blog is an effective way to make your page an internet center for information. Unless you move, change the name of your plumbing business, or restructure your operations, many of the pages on your website will remain unchanged for long periods of time. By adding informative blog posts about topics closely related to your plumbing business, you can ensure that your page is actively expanding and that the new information drives traffic to your business.
You may, for example, use your expertise to write a page about installing garbage disposals. You can describe the tools and supplies that are required, mention a few types of garbage disposals, and list the steps involved in the process. People searching the internet for information on how to install a garbage disposal will land on your page, and if the instructions are useful, they may stay on it. Here’s how this benefits your site:
- It drives traffic to your site.
- Google tracks the amount of time that users are on your page, so, this can reduce your bounce rate.
- You can enhance your link profile by adding internal and external links.
- Some users may decide that it’s not worth the trouble to do it themselves and they’ll call you to install it.
Your blogpost can remain on the page for as long as the information is relevant, and you can (and should) go back and modify them if the information changes.
Your potential customers will land on your page and have access to the information that they’re searching for. The variety of topics relevant to plumbing are endless, and as long as you’re providing effective, well-organized information, it can only enhance your SEO.
Another important reason that you should build and maintain an active blog is to give users a reason to return to your page. As you gain a reputation for publishing well-researched, credible information about plumbing, you can gain a following. Even a handful of returning fans can greatly enhance your website’s profile and increase your Google ranking.
Tips For Effective Blogging
Blogging requires discipline, knowledge, and creativity. It also doesn’t hurt to have an editor. Here are a few guidelines for making your blog successful:
- Identify your audience – Plumbers usually want to draw the attention of homeowners, businesses, and facility managers who have plumbing needs.
- Determine your message – What do you want your blog to be about?
- Include visuals – Visuals can be described with words, photos, or videos.
- Determine your pace – How frequently will you add posts to your page?
- Who will be writing? – If you’re not a writer, do you have someone in your shop who is? Do you need an editor? Or will you be outsourcing your writing to an SEO advertising company.
- Should you hire an internet marketing firm? – Writing and maintaining a blog isn’t for everyone, but there are other advantages to hiring an internet marketing firm. Professional companies constantly keep up to date on changes in the online advertising industry. They also employ writers with SEO experience.
As you write your blog, remember that a big advantage of it is to increase your link profile. Your blog posts should have internal links to other pages on your site. This prompts the Google spiders that crawl over websites to visit your other pages.
SEO Content, Google Rules, and Advertising Ethics
Building your website’s rankings via SEO requires time and patience. While there are ways that you can get a quick influx of internet traffic, these techniques tend to anger users, discredit your site, and can sometimes get you banned from search engines. Some examples of this would be advertising information that’s not relevant to your website, “keyword stuffing,” and other black-hat techniques.
SEO is a proven, time-tested way of improving your search engine rankings. If you build an informative website, with excellent content, easy navigability, and well-researched links, you will see results. Your website will be the first and possibly only interaction that users have with your company. Your reputation and character will be judged by the claims that you make on your page. Your page content should have the following qualities:
- Truthful – For example, don’t advertise that you have a 30-minute response time if you don’t.
- Consistent – Pages shouldn’t contradict one another, nor should they contradict flyers, business cards, billboards, radio ads, or other information sources about your business.
- Relevant – Don’t include statements about things unrelated to your plumbing business in the hope of drawing page clicks. For instance, if you mention a political scandal on one of your pages, users looking for information about will bounce away as soon as they realize that that isn’t what your page is about.
- Concise – Don’t repeat information or stuff your sentences full of keywords. The words “plumber” and “plumbing,” for instance, shouldn’t be repeated too many times in the same sentence.
Remember, you want to keep users on your page. The surest way to drive them away is to make them angry about the information they’re seeing (or not seeing) on your webpage.
Black-hat vs. White-hat Techniques
White-hat SEO techniques are the approved methods that website owners and internet advertising companies use to promote and popularize their websites. They utilize tested, ethical practices that improve the experience for the user and assist search engines in locating them. Black-hat techniques seek to exploit vulnerabilities in the internet to promote a website. Common black-hat techniques include keyword stuffing or using a latent (white or 0-size) font to include terms on the page that are invisible to the human eye, but can be seen by search engine crawlers. If Google determines that your site is using black-hat techniques, it will either issue you a warning or ban your site, which means that you won’t show up in Google searches.
Your website and your SEO progress are valuable assets for your plumbing business. That’s why you should only employ white-hat techniques to ensure the viability of your site.
As is the case with other types of advertising, advertising laws in the United States mostly focus on keeping the information provided to consumers accurate. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) uses a two-prong test to determine whether or not content is misleading:
- Does the information misinform potential customers?
- Does the claim affect consumers’ behavior or decisions about the product or service?
There are additional tests to determine if damages should be awarded in a civil action, but if your content makes truthful claims about your service, they shouldn’t come under judicial scrutiny.
Your content should always avoid derogatory statements about the competition, but an untrue statement that’s also damaging could be considered libel and could open you to a civil suit.
Approximately three-quarters of all web searches go through Google, so it’s important to stay in their good graces. Google will temporarily or permanently remove a website from its index if:
- It’s obligated to do so by law (i.e. the site hosts illegal content, Google is served with an injunction, et cetera)
- The site doesn’t meet Google’s quality guidelines
- The site detracts from user’s ability to retrieve relevant information
- The site uses black-hat SEO techniques
A professional internet advertising company can assist you in avoiding the pitfalls that can get you banned from Google and other search engines.
Who should write my online content?
Your web content needs to be factual, informative, and error free. In addition, it needs to contain the keywords and structure that will appeal to the user searches that you want to target. Producing high-quality web content is a skill that includes having a strong command of the English language, but also requires a working knowledge of SEO. An SEO company that works with independent businesses, like plumbers, can help you write your content or develop professional web content for you.
Local vs. Global Internet Marketing Strategies
There are businesses that require a statewide, national, or even international reach, but when it comes to plumbing, you generally want to focus on the geographic market in your vicinity. That’s why it’s important to include geomodifiers in your technical optimization. Local SEO marketing reaches the potential customers in your market by using key phrases that include the names of your region that clients will search. Here are a few examples of geomodified key phrases:
- “Miami plumbing company”
- “Dade County plumbers”
- “South Florida full-service plumbers”
When someone with a plumbing need is looking for a plumber in their area, they usually include a geographic indicator in their search. By focusing on your city or region, your page will appear when locals near you search for plumbers.
If you happen to be part of a larger plumbing operation that covers several large cities or areas, you can use multiple geomodifiers and include specific pages for each site: “Miami Plumbers,” “Fort Lauderdale Plumbers,” et cetera.
Navigational Structure and Website Architecture in SEO Campaigns for Plumbers
The organization of your website is not only important to the users who visit it, but to the search engine crawlers that examine your website and rank it for the SERP. Among the components of effective website structure are:
- Hierarchy – Your webpage should follow a logical order with topics and more specific subtopics that relate to the subjects that they’re categorized under. By nesting several topics under a larger umbrella topic, your site stays more organized. Mapping out your websites structure before you start to create it and then filling it with content can save you from a confusing array of options once the page has been constructed.
- Sitemaps – Your website must contain a sitemap to enable search engines to crawl over your site.
- Simplicity – Having a “busy” website with drop-downs, buttons, and links will slow down your page, confuse users, and make it difficult for search engine crawlers to review your information. It’s better to have a few well-placed features like these.
- Limited Page Levels – Part of having a clean, navigable page is limiting the number of levels in your hierarchy. It’s important to nest subtopics under umbrella topics, but when you get to the point where you have sub-subtopics or even a fourth level of topics, it can be confusing to your site’s visitors.
- Mobile UX (user experience) – When potential customers have a plumbing emergency, the last thing that they want to do is go to their laptop. They’re going to search for your business via their mobile phone. Your site should be optimized for mobile phone users.
Off-Site SEO for Plumbers
While building your website and filling it with useful content is an essential part of an SEO campaign, there are things that you can do to improve your search engine rankings that don’t directly affect the structure or content of your site.
Part of the aim of off-site SEO is to build your website’s stature by including links to relevant, authoritative sites. When you comprise a list of relevant keywords, one of the ways that you can improve their value to search engine crawlers is by hyperlinking or “anchoring” internal and external links that relates to those words.
What are backlinks?
Backlinks are the links from another website that direct users and search engine crawlers to yours. Backlinks are extremely valuable to your SEO, and with good reason. When another page considers your information valuable enough to direct its users to yours, it says that your information is credible and informative. This improves your domain authority (DA) and will generally push your site up in the SERP. A link-building campaign can assist you in building backlinks to your page.
What is a link profile?
Your link profile is a list of all links going to your profile (backlinks). Search engines use backlinks as a way of determining if the information on your site is useful to individuals seeking information. There are ways to get other sites to use your site as a reference, and they will be discussed in another section.
Importance of maintaining a healthy link profile
Building and maintaining a link profile is a way of validating your profile and is an important factor in off-site SEO for the following reasons:
- Search engines deem your site as trustworthy since it’s been vetted by unrelated user.
- Your target audience will see you as credible when they’re referred by another trusted site.
- Google will rank your site higher.
- Your site will be perceived as more authoritative than similar sites with lower link profiles.
- You can target important keywords with anchor texts.
What kind of links will benefit my plumbing business?
Like content and keywords, the links embedded in your website’s content need to be relevant to the plumbing industry or to the information that you’re providing on your page. For instance, if you’ve written a blogpost about United Association plumbing apprenticeships, you would include a hyperlink to the U.A.’s webpage on the subject. The websites of governmental agencies, educational institutions, and trade unions are all examples of external links that can be useful in boosting your sites link profile.
Are there any backlinks I should avoid?
In most cases, the pages that will backlink to your site are doing it because the information that you’re providing is credible and will provide some utility to their users. In some cases, you may be able to encourage backlinking to your page. There are instances when a site or organization that you don’t believe should be linked to your page either intentionally or inadvertently connects users to you. Maybe they meant to post a different link or they’ve misunderstood the information that you’re providing.
Not all backlinks to your page are desirable. An unwanted backlink can connect you to a nefarious organization or increase your bounce rate as users seeking unrelated information leave your page after a short visit. As a local business, consider the concerns that you might have if a political campaign cited your business on their page and linked to your website. Whether you support their agenda or not, users will associate you with the campaign.
There are sites on the internet that exist solely to provide backlinks to customers who are willing to pay for the endorsement. Current search engine algorithms may be able to pick up on this tactic and actually reduce your ranking for using backlink farms like these. There are, however, many ways to legitimately build valuable backlinks to your page. If you notice a dearth of information on a particular plumbing topic, for instance, you may be able to provide useful information that others in your industry will link to. There is considerable evidence—search engines don’t announce exactly what influences their algorithms—that newer backlinks are weighted more heavily than older ones—meaning that the process of building your link profile never ends.
How do online directory listings improve my SEO?
When a potential customer is looking for a plumber, they don’t want to be continuously surfing the internet. A directory listing can help put you in touch with those customers immediately.
There are directory sites for nearly every industry, including plumbing. Being listed on the right kind of directory—one that focuses on putting users in touch with plumbers in their area—can help to raise your site’s profile. Additionally, having your business listed on social media and directory sites, Facebook, Yelp, Google My Business, or Angie’s List is critical to your SEO campaign.
Social media can bolster SEO for plumbing businesses
There are an estimated 2.5 billion social media users in the world and 81% of all Americans have social media profiles. For most of the people in your target market, social media is a significant source of their information, so it’s an effective way for you to connect with them.
When you have a business profile on social media sites, customers in your market will see your name, and if they choose to, see the what people are saying about your company. Additionally, search engines read engagement with social media as an indicator that users are interested in the message behind your site, which improves your SEO.
There are many benefits to amping up your social media presence when it corresponds with your business:
- Social media gives you the opportunity to create customers from your followers
- You gain access to an entirely new customer base and can possibly reconnect with older ones.
- People feel more comfortable doing business with companies that they feel connected with. Social media can assist in building those bonds.
- Social media interaction enhances SEO.
Depending on the type of social media campaign that you run, images, videos, and other graphic content prompts your customers and social media followers to comment on your posts and share them. Conclusion: building a social media following will improve your SEO.
Recommended platforms for SEO for plumber social media campaigns
Facebook for plumbers SEO campaigns
Facebook is the most popular social media platform on the planet. The social media company now boasts in excess of 2 billion accounts, which is over a quarter of the world’s population. And while your plumbing business probably won’t service the majority of their geographic areas, not having a presence on Facebook has become tantamount to not being on the internet. At a minimum, you need to at least list your business name and contact information on Facebook. But there’s no reason to limit yourself when there are so many opportunities to connect with customers.
Consider Facebook as a way to direct traffic to your webpage. When you post new content on your site or blog about a new topic, you can link to it in your Facebook newsfeed. Customers may only view your webpage when they require a plumber and are doing an internet search, but when your post an article about installing a sprinkler system or the kind of drainage pipes that last the longest on Facebook, it appears your followers’ feeds. If they have an interest in your post, they may read it, like it, or repost it. If you’re lucky enough to have a piece of content from your site goes viral, you may receive thousands of page hits in a single day.
YouTube Videos for Plumbing Businesses
With almost 5 billion videos are viewed on YouTube every day, you’re going to have competition for your “how to” videos. But instructional videos are, in fact, a great way to drive traffic to your page and improve your SEO. Consequently, YouTube videos are an extremely popular way for plumbing businesses to get noticed.
Making a do-it-yourself video to get customers may sound counterintuitive. After all, you want potential customers to pay you for your work, not drive to the hardware store and fix the problem themselves. But when you post a video on YouTube, it’s accessible to hundreds of millions of viewers, some of whom will watch your video and then go to your website, improving SEO.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when making YouTube videos:
- Create videos with relevant topics
- Don’t make your videos too short or too long. Visitors clicking on your video for instructions probably aren’t going to expect to learn what they need to know in 45 seconds, but they also aren’t going to watch an hour-long video.
- Stick with your keywords in your titles and descriptions.
- UX – Don’t forget the user experience when making your videos.
- Learn what YouTube allows and what it doesn’t. For instance, using copyrighted music in the background can get your video taken off of YouTube.
You can make surprisingly professional looking videos using the editing software that comes standard on most computers. Once your video is ready to post, you can embed it in your webpage and link to it from social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter.
Instagram and Plumbing SEO
Instagram is an easy way to make your plumbing business relatable to your customers and to help drive your SEO. Images of your facilities, staff, vehicles, and jobsites can make a favorable impression to users when they’re thumbing through images. Because Instagram is owned by and linked to Facebook, your friends on the most popular social media site will receive suggestions to follow your business Instagram account. And you can link to your website in your Instagram bio and in the comments of each image. Also, when you use proper hashtags, people who are looking for a particular type of image will see yours among those listed. (i.e. #showerheads #installation #SouthFlorida)
Using LinkedIn to Boost Your Customer Base
LinkedIn operates a little differently than other social media platforms in that it connects various tradespeople and professionals who may have nothing in common other than the fact that they work in the same field or in the same geographic location. LinkedIn’s “business first” approach to social media often means that people are less reticent to connect with strangers than with some of the other platforms. You can post articles, videos, send private messages, expand your network, and link to your website via LinkedIn.
GET RESULTS WITH THE BEST SEO COMPANY FOR PLUMBERS
As you can see SEO and internet marketing is a full-time job, which is why so many small and medium-sized plumbing businesses decide to retain the services of an experienced professional internet advertising firm. But how do you know which firm is going to get you the best results for your money? And how can you be sure that the company that you choose to represent your plumbing business doesn’t do anything to hurt your reputation?
As was previously mentioned, there are white-hat techniques and black-hat techniques. Consequently, there are companies that employ either or both.
- White-hat Companies – These highly-ethical firms focus on long-term SEO strategies and use techniques that improve the quality of experience for the potential customers that will be visiting their clients’ sites.
- Black-hat Companies – These firms develop ways to game the system by exploiting flaws or using techniques that have been outright banned.
Imagine that you’re a potential customer living in a townhouse who’s just had a pipe burst and water is coming through the ceiling. They enter the term “24-hour plumber” and the name of their city into Google and inspect the SERP to select a company, but the first plumber they choose is actually a handyman who does a few smaller plumbing jobs; isn’t available on nights and weekends; and is headquartered 90 minutes away. Not only will the potential customer bounce out of that page, but they probably will have an unfavorable opinion of the handyman.
Black-hat companies can sometimes get results, but at the cost of the user experience. White-hat SEO firms employ time-tested methods to climb search-engine rankings by focusing on the needs of the users. While these methods don’t always develop quickly, unlike black-hat companies, white-hat techniques drive potential customers to your business.
Here are a few key differences in the two types of internet marketing firms:
White-hat SEO Practices
- Quality Content
- Semantic Mark-up
- Keyword Research and Effective Keyword Use
- Quality Inbound Links
- Specific Title Tags and Meta-Descriptions
Black-hat SEO Practices
- Unrelated Keywords</s>pan
- Keyword Stacking and Keyword Stuffing
- Tiny Text, Hidden Text, and Hidden Links
- Doorway Pages or Gateway Pages
- Bait-and-Switch or Page Swapping
- Duplicate Content or Mirror Site
- Spam Blogs or Splogs
Business owners and customers recognize the value of having a stellar reputation. Exclusively using white-hat techniques can help you retain that favorable opinion and not irritate the people you depend upon for positive referrals.
How to Track Internet Marketing Efforts and the Growth of Your Plumbing Business
When you hire an internet marketing firm to handle your SEO and improve your customer base, you’re going to want measurable results. How else will you know if the service that you’re paying for is working? Here are a few questions that you should be asking over the course of the first year:
- Are profits increasing?
- Are customers finding you via search engines?
- Is your client base growing and is this growth attributable to your SEO campaign?
- Are you committed to long-term growth via SEO?
- Are you adjusting your SEO campaign to spur new growth?
- Is your SERP ranking improving over time?
- Is your link profile increasing?
Like many long-term investments, your SEO strategy will take time to yield noticeable results. You may want to consider establishing a monthly or bi-monthly routine where you go over the data.
What Should Return on Investment Should I Expect From SEO?
Now that you’ve built your website and hired a marketing company to launch an SEO campaign, you’re going to want to know whether or not it was a good idea. Return on Investment (ROI) is the ratio of profits to the dollars you’ve invested. It’s one of the main ways that businesses that have invested in SEO determine whether their cash outlays were worth what they made back in additional profits. By examining key performance indicators (KPIs), you can measure the effectiveness of your SEO campaign and see if it’s comparable to the growth that you’ve experienced in your plumbing business. Here are a few areas that you should focus on when calculating your return:
- Improved site health, site structure, and site functionality.
- A more interactive user experience, making your site more attractive to your potential clients.
- Improved presence on social media channels.
- Increased traffic to your site.
- Improved ranking on the search engine results page.
Plumbing Operation SEO Campaign Length
The process of improving and maintaining your company’s web presence is ongoing. Search engines, like Google, are constantly changing their practices and guidelines. Measuring your page’s success may be a better indicator of the performance of your SEO campaign. Here are some factors to consider when monitoring your page’s success:
- Length of time your page has been running – Newer sites don’t generally rank very highly in SERP. That’s because there usually hasn’t been much traffic, and the search engines haven’t “seen” enough to recognize the value of your page.
- Overall condition of your website – If your site isn’t navigable or has broken links, the crawlers that examine your page, won’t tell users to go to it.
- Is your SEO campaign established? – If you’ve just started your campaign, it will take time to build your site’s profile.
- Quality of content – Content is king. Posting new, informative, and cleanly-written content with authoritative links will eventually garner the interest of search engines.
How Else Can I Track My SEO Return Over Time?
If you want to track your websites key performance indicators with a minimum of interruption to your daily routine, there are a number of easy-to-use tools, like Google Analytics and Google Webmaster, to monitor the ongoing progress of your SEO campaign:
- Phone Tracking – Tracking incoming calls is a good way to determine which keywords or campaigns turned page clicks into phone calls.
- Form Tracking – You can monitor the forms that people fill out online and see which page that customers were visiting when they filled out the form.
- Traffic Reports – The purpose of traffic reports is to inform you about which keywords are trending. They also let you where traffic is coming from and what kind of traffic it is.
- Ranking Reports – Ranking reports tell you how the keywords that your site uses rank from highest to lowest.
Tracking your SEO results can be both frustrating and rewarding, depending on what your expectations are. You will want to know whether or not your SEO campaign is working, but it’s important to manage your expectations for the short term. Remember that the ultimate goal is to increase your plumbing business’s customer base. SEO is one of the most cost-effective ways to accomplish that goal.
SEO FOR PLUMBING BUSINESSES: A PROVEN DIGITAL MARKETING SOLUTION
Whether you intend to launch your own SEO campaign or decide to hire an internet marketing agency, the objective is to improve your profitability by drawing customers to your business via the internet.
On The Map Marketing is a team of skilled, professional marketers who work diligently to bring success to our clients. We are committed to the prosperity of the businesses that trust us with their internet marketing needs and we get results for our clients.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
If my site is already ranking well, why do I need to continue with SEO?
SEO is an ongoing process. Your site can fall out of favor with the search engine crawlers as your information becomes dated. If there are other plumbers in your area engaging in an aggressive SEO marketing campaign, they can pass you up on the SERP and steal potential clients.
Most of my business is through word of mouth. How can an SEO campaign help me?
Getting referrals from existing customers is a great way to gain new clients. By having a professional webpage and effective SEO campaign it will confirm the positive things that they’re hearing about your plumbing services. It will also draw new clients that aren’t connected with your existing customer base, which means growth.
Why can’t I just run my own SEO campaign?
You absolutely can. Using this page as a guideline, you can build an effective SEO campaign that will raise the online stature of your plumbing business. Many businesses do just that. Because we provide these services for hundreds of professional clients and employ experienced SEO specialists, however, we’re very confident in the quality of the services that we provide.