Any business, whether it’s a multi-million dollar corporation or a small company with only a handful of employees, can benefit from an investment in search engine optimization (SEO). In fact, it is even more important for plumbers to implement a plumber SEO strategy to attract new customers in their service areas than it is for larger companies with a high brand recognition factor to attract new customers.
The Yellow Pages is all but dead as we approach the third decade of the 21st century. When people want to hire home repair services such as plumbing services, the first place they go to is Google, Bing, or one of the other big search engines to find what they need. That’s good news for business owners who have invested the necessary time and resources into creating a website with SEO in mind. It means that the company’s website returns on page one of the search engine results page (SERP) because it contains the natural keywords that people searching for a specific service are likely to enter as their search engine query.
Organic search engine results are not a paid marketing campaign but rather the traffic your website receives due to your plumber SEO strategy. For example, using the term “emergency plumber” strategically and writing long form content guided to help users on a page dedicated to urgent plumbing needs, will help your website rank higher on search engines. A high ranking is vitally important as research indicates that very few people read further than the first page of results to find what they need.
Why You Need Plumber SEO
Even as an expert in your field, you won’t find a steady stream of new customers without plumber SEO. Optimizing your website for the words and phrases that online searchers use most when trying to locate a plumbing company ensures that you have a higher SERP return as well as more leads and ultimately more sales.
Define Your Plumber SEO Strategy and Keywords
Although organic search engine results are highly valuable for your plumbing company, you must know your audience and target them correctly before you see this benefit. It’s especially beneficial to use localized keyword phrases as those are the most effective for service-based businesses such as plumbing. As a general rule of thumb, the best structure for your localized keyword phrases are “plumbing keyword + service area location”. Below are the specific types of keywords your plumbing company should try and target.
Brand Name Keyword Phrase
As a plumbing company when users are looking for your specific company you should be the first result. The first keyword to implement in your plumber SEO strategy should be your brand name. By implementing your brand name, you are not only optimizing for when users are looking for your specific business, but Google also may display your plumbing company as a suggestion even when users aren’t looking specifically for your plumbing company as seen below.
General Plumber Keyword Phrases
The most searched keyword phrases for plumbers are general. An example of a general keyword phrase for plumbers would be “plumber Atlanta Ga”. By targeting these general keywords, you are maximizing on the traffic your opportunity to rank for the most searched available. Since they it is a general keyword phrase you have to take into consideration the competition on such phrases which is why it is important to target different variations of the phrase as seen below.
Specific Service Keyword Phrase
Customers who need specific plumbing services such as repair of a clogged toilet or installation of a gas line will search for a plumbing company that can provide it by using terms such as “clogged toilet repair Warner Robins” or “gas line installation Warner Robins.
Specific Plumbing Structure Keywords
Another important consideration when establishing a plumber SEO strategy for your website is to differentiate between residential and commercial services. You would want to ensure that you include phrases such as “residential emergency plumbing Warner Robins” and “commercial emergency plumbing Warner Robins” to target the right customer base.
Tools for Finding Plumber Keywords
It can seem overwhelming to come up with effective keywords and phrases for plumber SEO campaigns when you’re new to online marketing. The Google Keyword Planner is a highly useful tool that makes this process much easier. You can start by registering your business and then entering a keyword phrase into the planner. It will return several suggestions to include the competition you face for that keyword or phrase along with how well it has performed over time.
Optimize Your Plumbing Website for User Experience and Conversions
Your plumbing company’s website is its online representation. Most people viewing your website have never set foot in your physical location, which means they’ll rely on your website to provide them with the information they need as well as help them decide if they should schedule a service with you. We recommend the following steps to help convert more website visitors into paying customers:
Update Your Plumbing Website Design for User Experience
Websites with an outdated style that are difficult to navigate will turn people away immediately. Most people decide within a few seconds if they’re going to delve into the website further or click away to something else. Even if you have optimized every page of your website for plumber SEO, no one will notice if it’s poorly designed. As seen below My Plumber has a visually appealing and easy to navigate website.
Place the Business Location and Telephone Number at the Top of Every Page
Not only does this make it easier for visitors to navigate your site, it offers them the most valuable information without them having to go search for it. A visitor who is ready to schedule an appointment for plumbing services doesn’t have the time to look for contact information that should be highly visible. If it’s not, he or she is likely to click away from your website and never return.
Include a Call to Action on the Homepage
Visitors want you to tell them what to do, so make it easy for them by providing a clear call to action. Offering something without obligation such as a free consultation tends to grab people’s attention the most. Another idea is to increase the sense of urgency by stating that someone is available right now to help them schedule an appointment. This will ultimately increase conversions.
Include an About Us Page and a Picture of the Company Owner or Staff on the Homepage
The plumbing business requires your customers to place a great deal of trust in you and your employees. After all, they will be coming in and out of the customer’s home. Placing a name with a face helps customers see your team as real people who they can trust. It also helps to inspire trust when they can read a brief biography about the people working on their home’s plumbing. The biography should include a description of the education and experience of each person, any special honors and awards, and just a sentence or two about their life outside of work. Kimberly City Plumbing has a video on their homepage that displays the owner and team.
Add Pictures of Your Plumbing Certifications and Awards to the Website
You can include the recognition your plumbing business has received, such as a high rating with the Better Business Bureau, and individual certifications and awards that employees have received. This provides much-needed credibility for people to judge whether your company is legitimate based on what they see online. Ace Plumbing and Rooter have their certifications easily available on their homepage to add social proof and creditability.
Add Your Work with Videos and Pictures
You have probably heard the expression that a picture if worth a thousand words. While that might be a slight exaggeration, a picture can convey messages that words cannot do. Including photos of your hard-working employees lets potential customers know that they can expect the same thing when they hire your plumbing company. A video is even better because it shows the workers in action. Both pictures and videos provide your company with important social proof and allow customers to feel more comfortable about hiring you because they have already seen your work. Bell Plumbing has a gallery of photos of the work they have done or currently doing.
Put Your Reviews on Your Website
It’s a good idea to link to third-party online reviews of your business as people tend to trust the word of other customers more than they do the business owner or employees. If you’re on the fence about this strategy, consider these seven findings from a 2017 consumer review study conducted by Bright Local:
- A whopping 85 percent of people who read online reviews state that they trust them just as much as personal recommendations.
- After reading a positive review of a local business, 73 percent of respondents said it made them trust the business more.
- Nearly half of consumers won’t consider a business with less than a four-star average rating.
- Almost one-third of people claimed that a company’s response to an online review influences their decision as much as the review itself.
- Yelp, Facebook, Google, and the Better Business Bureau are the names that consumers trust the most when it comes to online reviews.
- The typical consumer reads seven online reviews about a business before he or she feels that the business is trustworthy enough to pursue.
- Consider sending an email follow-up to customers asking them to post a review. According to the Bright Local survey, more than two-thirds of customers are willing to do this.
Make Sure You Have Optimized Your Plumbing Website for Mobile Users
People now conduct more website searches on their mobile devices than they do on a desktop or laptop computer. Recognizing this, Google implemented big changes back in April 2015 requiring businesses that wished to earn a higher SERP ranking to optimize for mobile users. Google effectively punishes those that don’t comply by assigning them low value on the SERP. The change applies to all the pages within a website and not just the website itself. Google allows for no gray area here. It either considers your website pages optimized for mobile or not optimized for mobile and ranks them accordingly.To test to see if your website is mobile-friendly simply use the Google Mobile Friendly Test as it not only tells you if your website is mobile friendly but also what steps you need to take to correct your mobile appearance.
Ensure That You Have Optimized the Speed of Your Plumbing Website
We live in a fast-paced society, which means that people have little patience for slow-loading webpages. Google has little patience for it as well because a slow page load speed has a direct relationship with a high bounce rate. Google has used page speed as a factor in ranking its returns on the SERP for desktop and laptop computers for several years. As of July 2018, it will now include page load speed when ranking mobile search results as well. To check the speed of your site you may use tools such as GT Metrix and Google Page Speed Insight.
Install Google Analytics and Google Search Console
It’s difficult to optimize your web pages for plumber SEO when you don’t understand the words and phrases that people use to find your plumbing services in the first place. Google Analytics reviews inbound searches to your site and provides you with detailed information such as bounce rate and click through rate. This enables you to tweak your plumber SEO efforts to better meet consumer demand. Both Google Analytics and Google Search Console are free services. Search Console enables you to optimize visibility of your website as well as check its indexing status.
Ensure the Security of Your Website
It’s important that your website enable Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), especially if you collect emails, credit card information, and other personal information from customers. SSL encrypts the data to prevent a hacker from stealing it. Additionally, SSL-enabled websites rank higher because it tells the search engines that the site is secure. As of July 2018, Google will begin identifying non-https sites as non-secure which will hurt your search engine rankings.
Local Plumber SEO
While you might ship plumbing parts and supplies to people in other locations, the bulk of your business is local. It’s for this reason that developing a local plumber SEO strategy is vitally important. Local SEO means that you optimize keywords and phrases according to your city, ZIP code, address, and other local identifiers. For example, you will want to include local plumber SEO terms such as “expert Warner Robins plumbers” on your website. It’s also important to remember that local SEO refers to just more than the search engines. For example, listing a link to your website on social profiles will likely result in an increase of likes and follows from a local audience.
Add Your Plumbing Company to the Top Local Listings and Plumbing Directories
When you list your plumbing business on local business listing websites, it helps to build citations as well as credibility in the eyes of Google and the other major search engines. The more credible your company appears, the higher ranking it will receive on SERPs. A citation means that your business has received an online mention of its name, service address, or telephone number on a local listing. The most common places for a citation to appear online include social media sites, local business listing platforms, and smartphone applications.
One of the easiest ways to increase your relevancy with the search engines is to ensure that your place a listing for your plumbing business on sites like Angie’s List, Home Advisor, and My Zip Plumbers. It’s important to only list your business website with online directories that serve your niche area. You would only expend energy for little to no results otherwise.
Using sites such as BrightLocal makes adding your listings that much easier. Using their manual submission services will greatly decrease the time of manually doing them yourself.
Make Sure Your NAP (Name, Address, Phone) are Consistent Across All Listings
Google recognizes that it’s extremely frustrating for people to look up the address of a business and go out of their way to drive there only to discover it’s permanently closed. When this happens often enough, people stop trusting the search engines to provide them with accurate information. This is the reason that Google takes the accurate reporting of your business name, address, and telephone number so seriously. If you fail to keep your listings consistent across all platforms Google will punish you with poor results in search engine listings. Be sure to assign someone the task of checking your business listings across the entire internet for accuracy and consistency on a regular basis. MOZ Local provides free tools as shown below that can check for incomplete, inconsistent, and duplicate listings.
Optimize Your Google My Business
Google My Business is a free service that enables you to take advantage of many features. It’s yet another way to ensure that the listing for your plumbing company shows up on the coveted top 3 of the local map pack on the search and map features when a potential customer is looking for plumbing services. To receive the greatest benefit from Google My Business, make sure that you use the following features:
– Complete Your Google My Business Profile in Full: Be sure to use a lot of industry-specific terms when describing what your plumbing company offers as well as answer every question that Google asks. Adding one or more videos to your profile is also a good idea because this prompts Google to rank your profile higher than those without videos in search engine results.
– Utilize the Google Posts feature: On Google Posts you can add CTAs such as the “Call Now” button on your posts to invite prospective customers to contact your plumbing business for a free estimate. Making it easier for users which will inherently increase conversions.
-Question and Answers: Customers have a lot of questions, but you don’t necessarily want to answer the same ones with every phone call. Putting up an in-depth question and answer section allows you to address some of the most common questions asked by prospective customers so you both save time when the customer follows through with a phone call. It also enables you to answer common objections customers might have about working with a professional plumber, so you don’t feel like you must convince him or her to hire your company during the phone call.
-Encourage customers reviews: By encouraging your customers to write reviews for your business on Yelp, Angie’s List, and similar websites the more credible Google sees your business and the higher your listing on the SERP. While it isn’t advisable to hound customers about it, there’s nothing wrong with a few gentle reminders. Most people enjoy the opportunity to feel heard and leaving an online review allows them to do just that.
Local Link Building
Customers love a local business that supports its own community. When you get involved in charitable events such as holiday toy drives or offering free or reduced plumbing services to seniors, disabled individuals, or those with a low income, the local newspaper or news station may just pick up your story. That means it could end up on a lot of local websites as well as authoritative links such as .edu or .gov. It’s a win-win for everyone since the community benefits and your company website receives more local authority leading to higher rankings.
On-Page SEO For Plumbers
On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing each individual page of your plumbing website. This helps you to earn more relevant traffic from search engine results as well as a higher ranking. On-page SEO differs from off-page SEO in that the former deals with HTML source codes and content eligible for optimization and the focus of the latter includes links and other types of signals coming from outside of the website.
Add Plumber Keywords throughout Website
Your H1 marks a line of descriptive text that discusses the most important information on your website. Most websites have at least an H2 and H3 tag as well. It’s important to include keywords that you want to optimize in these header tags. Additionally, you should include these tags on your home page and all service pages at a minimum. When you have relevant content and keywords, Google picks up on that during its crawl and returns those results to people looking for plumbing services in your area. As you can see below, Monkey Wrench added the main keyword their targeting in their header which is “Los Angeles Plumbers”.
Optimize Title Tags and Meta Description
A title tag is several words of text above the link to your website on the SERP. Since a title tag is part of the clickable link to your website, it’s important to get it just right by including your main keyword. A meta description is a small snippet of no more than 155 characters that summarizes what the reader can expect to see after clicking through to the page. Search engines display the meta description most often when an online user includes one of the keywords it contains in his or her search. Although Google states that it doesn’t include the meta description as part of its ranking algorithm, it does count the click-through rate it earns to determine if the online user identified it as a helpful response or not.
Add a Location Page on Your Website
A location page is a separate page on your website that lists all the cities your plumbing company serves. For example, your page might include that you serve Warner Robins, Macon, and Savannah, Georgia. The more cities you serve and list, the better your opportunity to gain higher local rankings. Some people searching for plumbing services in your service area will enter their actual city as the location while others will default to the nearest large city like Savannah. This is the reason that listing all cities you serve is so important as it allows you to rank for multiple locations.
Make a Separate Page for Every Service You Offer
Creating a separate page for each service your plumbing service offers enables you to add more content and look more credible to the search engines. It also allows you to go into a more in-depth explanation of services such as toilet repair, sewers and drains, leak detection, water heaters, and more. Adding a location-based keyword such as “Warner Robins Leak Detection” also enables you to rank higher for both the location of your business and the service that it offers.
Optimize Site Structure
Website structure or internal linking, refers to how the links within your website connect everything together. Good website navigation helps online users to quickly locate the information they need while broken links, 404 errors, and similar issues turn them away from your website. These things can also cause Google to rank your site lower than it would have with optimal site navigation because this helps it to understand the importance of each page. It’s much easier for the search engines to crawl the pages of your website when everything works as it should. Internal links connecting one page of your website to another are extremely important. For example, you may briefly list all pages on your homepage and then hyperlink words such as water heaters or gas leaks to a separate service page. Besides linking your content and providing readers with a better navigation experience, linking pages informs Google as to the structure of your website. It helps to establish a hierarchy as well as tip off the search engines as to which pages are the most important and deserve the highest rankings.
Use Schema Mark-Up
Schema is micro-data that you can add to the HTML coding on your website to improve the way that Google and the other search engines crawl your page and list it in SERPs. It provides online users with more relevant information to help them decide if they should visit your page. A composite star rating from a variety of online review sources and services are two of the best examples of schema mark-up for plumbers. By implementing review schema on your website you build social proof before a user clicks on your website, and by listing your service you define the services you can provide the users, enticing them to click on your website. You can visit schema.org to find schema relevant to your plumbing website.
Use Plumber Keywords in Alt Text on All Your Pictures
Alternative text, more commonly called alt text and sometimes alt tags, alt attributes, or alt descriptions, describe the function and appearance of text on your web pages. The primary reason to use alt text is to provide equally accessibility to visually impaired online users. Alt text also helps provide better descriptions and image context to search engines when crawling the internet. This in turn enables the search engines to properly image an index. Images with text provide a better user experience in addition to allowing your plumbing website to earn backlink opportunities to other bloggers and websites in the plumbing industry who may use your plumbing company’s pictures. It’s another way to rank higher with Google as well. As seen below, Naugatuck Plumbing adds their keywords in the alt text of their images.
Have Unique Content Such as a Blog
Publishing new content regularly via a blog tells the search engine crawlers that your site is relevant and current. It also gives incentive to your website visitors to return to learn more about various plumbing topics. For example, one blog might discuss how to identify a plumbing emergency while another can give practical tips on immediate steps homeowners can take before a service technician from your company arrives. Another benefit of regular blogging is that it increases the likelihood of earning inbound links from other websites that link to your content. This improves ranking and possibly traffic because it makes your website more authoritative.
Off-Page SEO for Plumbers
Off-page SEO is any marketing effort you make away from your company website to attract new customers or engage your current customers. These actions can also improve your ranking on SERPs.
Link Building for Plumbers
When another website has a link pointing to your website, it helps you to establish authority and trust with the search engines. Therefore, it’s important to include earning backlinks from authoritative websites as part of your overall marketing strategy. Here are some ways to go about that:
- Creating Engaging Content: Creating highly informative and useful content and sharing it on social media helps others to find it initially. It’s especially good for your rankings when your social media followers share your content on their accounts and when other websites in the plumbing industry link to your website.
- Email Outreach to Plumbing Influencers and Bloggers: If you haven’t already, research people in the plumbing industry who have big influence as well as popular bloggers. Once you have a list prepared, reach out to these people via email to discover new ways to earn linking opportunities and increased traffic to your website.
- Guest Blog Posts in the Plumbing Industry: Guest blogging is an ideal way to get your company name out there. You can start by asking someone in your network if you can exchange guest blogs with each other. The blog you write should link back to your website to expose that website’s audience to the products and services your company has to offer. This is also a good way to improve credibility and relevancy for your website as well as authority with the search engine crawlers.
Optimize Social Media
By now, you’re surely aware of the importance of a social media presence for your plumbing business. Setting up and actively maintaining business accounts on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and other social media sites gives you more opportunity to network with influential people in the plumbing industry. This is important when you’re trying to find link-building opportunities. Optimizing your social media profiles may lead to increased social signals which works hand in hand with increased search engine rankings.
Facebook SEO for Plumbers
Facebook advertising is a great way for your plumbing business to target your ideal audience. When you setup an ad, you can choose the age range, gender, geographic location, and other preferred demographics for who you want the ad to reach. It’s one thing for thousands of random people to see your ad and another thing for those with a high probability of becoming a qualified lead to see it and drive traffic to your website.
Instagram SEO for Plumbers
Since Instagram relies solely on photos, it’s a great chance to display past projects your company has completed. You can optimize your Instagram posts by putting the link to your business website in your biography as well as indicating when setting up your profile that it’s for a business. As seen below, Scott Fletcher Plumbing not only displays visually aesthetic photos on their page, but also include their link in the bio which drives potential customers to their website.
YouTube SEO for Plumbers
Taking the time to create how-to videos on plumbing topics can send a lot of people to your website to learn more and to schedule service. You will receive increased traffic in addition to improved SERP ratings. As seen below T & S Plumbing made a video on “How to Fix a Clogged Drain”.
White Hat SEO Vs Black Hat SEO
White Hat SEO is a set of ethical actions to improve organic traffic to your website. It includes such things as including relevant keywords, backlinks, proper site navigation, and listing high-quality content. People who utilize these strategies are trying to connect with other on a human level. Black Hat SEO, on the other hand, is largely automated and often unethical. Some actions associated with Black Hat SEO include using scraped or duplicate content, gateway pages that draw online users with certain keywords and then direct them elsewhere, spam, and the use of automation to create numerous low-quality backlinks. Implementing White Hat SEO tactics will benefit your search visibility in the long-term, while Black Hat SEO may help in the short-term, you raise the risk of potentially getting your website banned from search engines if caught.
When it comes to attracting new customers online, creating a website is only the beginning. You must also optimize every page of your plumbing website to ensure that you receive the highest possible ranking on SERPs. Better yet, you should aim to have your listing included in the top three as well as those are the ones that people click on the most. Optimizing for specific services and locations, including relevant and high-quality content, and ensuring that your website contains fresh information are just some of the things you can do to improve your plumber SEO efforts.
To succeed in the plumbing industry, you obviously want to work with an agency that implements White Hat SEO tactics that leads to search engine rankings that will increase your leads and sales as well bringing in a higher ROI. Working with a reputable Georgia SEO Agency such as Better Bistro Media can make implementing your plumber SEO campaigns much easier. A veteran-owned company, Better Bistro Media has helped plumbers across the country use plumber SEO to gain more customers and a more prominent online presence. Owner Jonathon Henderson has received training from the top names in the digital marketing world. His training and experience, combined with his passion for helping plumbing businesses grow, has helped to establish Better Bistro Media as one of the premiere SEO agencies in Georgia.
We invite you to learn more about the difference that SEO can make for your plumbing business. Please contact us at 478-333-4373 to request a consultation today. In addition to plumber SEO, we can assist your plumbing company with reputation management, web design and development, and social media marketing.