If you’re reading this you obviously realise the importance of marketing for plumbers. Many plumbers have tried traditional marketing like newspaper advertisements, which can feel like your wallet is leaking and little else. That’s because in 2016 you need to be where your customers are looking, and times have changed.
To find a plumber, people used to check the phone book or ask a friend – these days especially in an emergency people simply pull out their phone and search for a plumber on Google. To be the one they find you’ll need to include plumber SEO or search engine optimisation in your marketing.
But how do you implement SEO for plumbing? In this digital marketing guide we’ll give you a rundown of marketing for plumbers and how you can use these tips to help grow your business (with examples). We’ll cover:
- Digital marketing for plumbers. Does it work?
- The 3 ways to get on the first page of Google
- The top 15 plumbing keywords
- Website optimisation for plumbers
- Example meta title and description tags
- Content writing for plumbing websites
- Essential website pages
- Linkbuilding for plumbers
- Social media for plumbers
Digital marketing for plumbers. Does it work?
The days of flipping through the Yellow pages are well behind us. If you still use these kinds of marketing services you’re probably here because it’s no longer working for your business. In fact, there is an entire generation that has grown up with the internet, and probably wouldn’t know what the yellow pages are!
The fact is 4 in 5 consumers conduct local searches from blocked drains to bathroom renovations. And in Australia 93% of people use Google as the search engine of choice to find the products, information and plumbing services they need.
How do I get on the first page of Google?
There are three ways your plumbing company can appear on the first page of Google.
Paid listings. The paid section of the search results is based on a bidding system called Google Adwords. The order in which the advertisers are displayed is based on how much they are prepared to ‘pay per click’ (PPC) when the keyword they bid on is searched. So there is no monthly fee for appearing, you pay when someone clicks on your link.
PPC is a good way to market your business, but it should be thought of as a short term solution, as some plumbing keywords can cost as much as $35.34 per click which gets expensive quickly.
Google maps. The three map listings are very important for plumbers and local businesses, as they appear anytime Google thinks local results are most relevant. Google knows someone searching for ‘plumbers + your city’ are looking for local plumbing companies in their area, and shows the map listings accordingly.
You must submit your plumbing business information on “Google My Business” to be able to appear in Google maps. Unlike paid ads the map listings are ‘organic’ meaning websites are placed according to Google’s search algorithm.
Organic listings. The websites you see in the organic listings (and maps) are there because Google believes they are the best quality and most relevant to the search intent. The process of earning your place in Google’s organic and map listings is called Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO.
Plumbing SEO is a medium – long term investment, once you earn a place in Google’s search results there is no cost per click to stay there.
Where do people click? Paid listings attract around 30% of the clicks with the other 70% going to map and organic listings. So the next question for plumber marketing is…
What are the top plumbing keywords?
Understanding what potential plumbing clients are searching for is a key part of any plumbers SEO or digital marketing strategy. Below is a list of the most important keywords that you need to be targeting in a plumbing SEO campaign (from highest to lowest search volume).
- plumbing (your city)
- plumbers (your city)
- plumber (your city)
- emergency plumbing (your city)
- emergency plumbers (your city)
- blocked drains (your city)
- (your city) plumber
- (your city) plumbing
- (your city) plumbers
- blocked drain (your city)
- commercial plumbing (your city)
- 24 hour plumber (your city)
- hot water systems (your city)
- hot water system (your city)
- plumbers in (your city)
To rank for these keywords you need to use them naturally in all areas of digital marketing & SEO.
Where do you rank right now?
Go to Google now and search, “plumbers (your city)” or, “blocked drains (your city)”. In fact, your website browser will remember the websites you visit most frequently and show them higher in search results, so to see what other people might see use an online tool to find your real ranking. If you don’t see your website listed on the first page, you’re losing business to other companies who have realised the value of digital marketing for plumbers.
Our plumbing marketing strategy
Unlike Adwords, a top spot on Google’s map and organic listings can’t be bought. It needs to be earned through search engine optimisation, or SEO. Any plumbing marketing needs to have a local SEO focus, to maximise exposure in your service area. The key parts of our plumbing SEO strategy are:
- Optimising your website so it’s easy for Google to find and understand.
- Creating website content that explains your services, informs and inspires potential clients.
- Building quality links to your website that boost your authority.
- Generating social buzz – After all how good can a website be if no one is sharing it?
Let’s look in more detail and give you some actionable plumber marketing tips.
Website SEO for plumbers
Optimising your website for Google can help then find, understand and better rank your website. It’s a good idea to do an SEO audit of your website, but a few simple optimisations will have an impact.
- Make sure your website is indexed by Google. Search for “site:yourcompany.com.au” If no results appear, or your homepage doesn’t appear first there is a serious issue!
- Is your business address on your website? To attract local rankings and plumbing clients make sure to mention your location and service area on your home page.
- Write SEO optimised meta tags for your home page. The meta title and meta description are important because they influence how you appear in search results. They should include some of the local plumbing keywords we looked at earlier and your main services.
Here’s the example meta tags if you want to copy and edit them for your website:
Meta Title: Emergency Plumbers Melbourne – XYZ Plumbing 1300 XXX XXX
Meta Description: XYZ Plumbing are fast & reliable Melbourne plumbers unblocking drains, replacing hot water systems, & installing gas heaters. 24 hour Emergency Plumbing.
- Make sure your website is mobile responsive, Google uses this as a ranking factor and has created a free mobile friendly checker.
- Nobody wants to wait for a website to load (including Google) so go and check your website speed here. Make sure your website is faster than your competitors for another ranking advantage.
Copywriting for plumbing websites
Most average plumbing websites consist of just a handful of pages, home, services, gallery, contact, and maybe an about us page. Show Google you deserve to be ranked ahead of your competition by creating pages with the information people are looking for. Here’s the three types of website copywriting that will help you do just that.
Create individual plumbing services pages for each of the types of plumbing you offer. With a targeted webpage, you are more relevant and likely to appear in search when someone is looking for these specific services. For example:
- Emergency Plumbing
- Hot Water Systems
- Blocked Drains
- Bathroom Renovation
- Gas Heater Installation
Having a visually appealing gallery to showcase your work is essential, but you need more than images to convince visitors and Google of your expertise. Regularly creating how to articles and bathroom design ideas in a blog builds your authority in the plumbing niche, and has other benefits (which I’ll get to).
If people in your area are researching “Solar vs. Gas Hot Waster Systems” or “How to Repair a Broken Shower Screen” they are only going to find you if you’ve written about it. And guess what? If they decide to get some professional help who are they going to call?
Build local landing pages for your most important suburbs. Don’t go overboard here, stick to the closest 3-6 suburbs. Each page should be as unique as possible, include images and testimonials from jobs in each suburb.
Linkbuilding for plumbers
Links to your website an important signal Google uses to judge how to place you in search results. When another website links to yours it’s kind of like a vote for you and your business. Quality comes before quantity, so when you see those spammy emails promising hundreds or thousands of links, don’t be sucked in. That kind of low quality high scale linkbuilding will only harm your website.
If your website content is awesome enough people will naturally link to it, but it pays to be pro-active. The best place to start is with the these Australian local directories. Look for opportunities from other plumbing and trade websites as well, such as home improvement blogs, plumbing suppliers, and plumbing industry associations.
People look for and trust online reviews, so make sure you ask your clients to leave reviews on your Google map listing, and other directories. Proactively building a 5 star online reputation will mean more clicks from search results.
Social media for plumbers
With 14 million Australians on Facebook for an average 50mins every day, using a Facebook business page is a great way to stay ‘top of mind’. Remember we talked about starting a blog? This sort of informative, entertaining or inspiring content is perfect for building your social media following! Mix it in with photos from current jobs, client testimonials, and sharing content from other plumbing and home improvement websites.
The quickest way to turn people off your posts is to overdo the sales pitch. Keep your posts 90% informative and 10% sales to be well received.
Digital marketing for plumbers: conclusion
Can digital marketing and SEO for plumbers grow a business? Absolutely! It’s working for your competitors right now. Following the plumbing SEO tips in this guide will set you on the path to growing business profits.
Need help marketing your plumbing business? Have plumbing SEO questions? Get in touch and outrank your competitors!