Dial-in on Your Target market
The first step to any plumbing marketing strategy is crafting your target market. To win business, you need to know who your customer base is and what they are looking for in a plumber. By nature, a plumbing company is a home service. Therefore, your primary customer will be homeowners.
Your core business offering should be focused on what homeowners need. Specifically, your residential services should include bath, kitchen, HVAC systems, and even sump pump installations. Most plumbers will stop at the homeowner. However, there is a huge opportunity to find more customers by focusing on a b2b (business-to-business) strategy. This means you will market to other home service companies that are looking for a quality referral partner. For example, if an electrician is asked to refer a homeowner to a plumber, your name is mentioned first.
Word of mouth is a marketing channel that helps expand your brand to new customers rapidly. Chances are you know a few other electricians, handymen, and contractors. Reach out to your colleagues and try to build a strong network. To build trust in your network, you will likely have to refer business to your associates from your existing customers. Dialing in on your target customer and building a strong referral network will be the foundation of your business. However, to truly expand, you will need to tap into the digital world through website development, SEO, pay-per-click, social media, and a few other marketing tactics.
Plumbing Websites & Local SEO
Having a website is vital to the success of any small business. In today’s fast-paced online marketing world, consumers expect a website with relevant content and responsive design. Because users expect this from every plumbing website, search engines will require high usability for local SEO rankings.
Therefore, your website marketing efforts should be focused on creating top-tier content. When creating great content, you need to think of your target audience. For a local plumbing service company, your target audience are homeowners that have issues with their plumbing systems. Therefore, you need to write blogs, create videos, and design graphics that discuss this topic. Furthermore, your content should not be the same regurgitated plumbing solutions that are all over the internet.
Create authentic content from real-life examples. Often, customer case studies stand out to a consumer. Additionally, this will give you a level of authority that search engines will love. Once you have an authoritative website and unique content, you need to ensure you have a responsive website.
A responsive site loads quickly and can adjust to laptops, tablets, and mobile devices. People are using their phones to search businesses more and more every year. This is impacting digital marketing so much that Google is using mobile usability as a major ranking factor. When designing your website, ensure that your developer is building your site for all screen types. All–in–all, to create a website that Google can read and rank, ensure your design is responsive and your content is uniquely authoritative. If you follow these guidelines, you will see great results with your local SEO efforts.
Google Ads For Plumbers
Once you have developed your local SEO strategy, the next step in your marketing campaign is Google Ads. While local SEO is important, Google Ads will always dominate the top of the search results. Whether you decide to utilize Google Ads or not, your competitors are bidding for the most-searched plumbing terms and winning business. At the end of the day, there are always high-quality leads to be won on the Google Ads platform. However, because lack of knowledge, most plumbing businesses never run Google Ads.
To succeed in Google Ads, your campaign needs to focus on the following items: keyword research, budget, campaign structure, text ads, and most importantly proper conversion tracking. With this said, there are hundreds of optimization techniques and setup nuances you can add to your campaign, however, these core 5 items will build a strong foundation for long-term success.
First, let us dive into keyword research. The reason why we start with keyword research is that your keywords will ultimately decide how much you should spend a month in your area. There are a ton of marketing tools and online software that can research your area. However, you cannot go wrong by using Google’s keyword tool that is built into the ad’s platform.
Navigate to the Tools section and select keyword research. If you have a comprehensive website, you can drop in the URL to the research tool. From there, Google will scrape your website for relevant keywords and output a list. This list will show the average cost per click, search volume, and overall cost. If you do not have a large website, just type in a few plumbing keywords you want to rank for (plumbers near me, plumbing companies, plumbers, etc.). Google will give you the search data on your keywords as well as output similar phrases that users search. From there, add up the cost of the keywords you want to rank for in your target geo. This will give you the monthly cost you should aim to spend every month.
The budget in Google Ads is set at the daily level. If you have a marketing budget of $1,500, divide by 31 and use $48 as your daily budget. A quick disclaimer, Google will average $48 a day across every week. Therefore, do not be worried when you spend $100 one day and $5 the next. Google will optimize towards spikes in traffic to try and win you business.
Now that you have your keywords and budget, it is time to flesh out the campaign structure. For those that do not know, Google’s campaign hierarchy starts with a themed campaign that breaks down into specific ad groups. From there, every ad group has its keywords that relate to the ad group.
In this example, you start by creating a plumbing lead generation campaign. From there, you will have two ad groups: Plumbers for Homeowners & Plumbers for Business. In the homeowner ad group, your keywords will be plumbers near me, plumbers, plumbers for homeowners, etc. In the business ad group, your keywords will be plumbing for businesses, plumbers for contractors, contracting plumbers, etc. The campaign structure is extremely important for these two reasons: targeting & relevancy.
The magic to Google Ads is keyword targeting. However, you do not want to target two different audiences with the same ad copy. For example, in our ad group setup, we have businesses and homeowners split into two groups. Now that they are differentiated, we can send specific messaging and ads to different groups of people. If you send a homeowner an ad about being a plumbing contractor, they are likely not going to respond to the ad and your relevancy score will decrease.
Google measures the success and failure of your campaign by relevancy score. If your ads are not relevant, they will lose searches to more relevant ads. Thankfully, if you set up your campaign structure accordingly, you will have no issues with relevancy.
This leads us directly to text ads. Your text ads should first and foremost be relevant to your ad group targeting. Therefore, ensure your headlines highlight your target, showcase your brand, and finish with a strong call to action. Your description should show your services while highlighting the most popular keywords you are targeting. I recommend creating a few ads and test them against each other. After a few weeks, keep running the converting ads while revising the text ads that have a low click-through rate.
Lastly, you must have conversion tracking set up properly. This will allow Google to track who is calling your business, filling out forms, and asking for quotes. Without a proper way to track conversions, it is impossible to track the success or scale your campaign. At the end of the day, Google Ads is an essential part of any plumbing business marketing strategy. If you do not have the confidence to run a campaign yourself, we highly recommend you contact Plumb Solutions so you don’t waste a single ad dollar.
Business Listings & Review Management
If you have not taken advantage of local directories, you need to start right away. A local business directory is a website that features specific listings in your industry, town, or state. Most business directories are free and just require a phone, address, and website verification. A business directory is a low-hanging fruit that gives you exposure to consumers, builds credibility, and helps local SEO rankings.
If you are an older plumbing business owner, you may have old listings with inaccurate information around the web. This is a problem for a few reasons. First, if customers are trying to contact your business with false information, they will reach dead phone lines or inactive websites. Beyond losing business, inaccurate information will hurt local SEO rankings.
If this is the case, I recommend looking into citation management services through companies like YEXT. YEXT is a data management company that keeps track of your business information across the internet. Therefore, instead of spending hours trying to update your information across the entire web, you can make one adjustment in YEXT. YEXT is not the only company that manages online listings, but they are the gold standard. All in all, it is vital that you start building local citations or claim your existing listings across the web.
If you are a new plumbing business and only have time to build one business listing, create a Google My Business account. Google My Business (GMB) is the most valuable directory for a few reasons:
- Google My Business dominates the search results.
- GMB will list your business on Google Maps and open your listing up to a whole new audience.
- Google My Business has a direct impact on your local search engine optimization rankings.
- Google reviews are the most valuable and authoritative review platform on the internet.
Google reviews are shared and viewed by thousands of consumers in your marketplace. It is a way for consumers to immediately gain trust and share your info with friends and family. If you have not taken advantage of Google My Business, create your listing in minutes at Google.com/business.
Like Google, Facebook is an extremely powerful business listing tool. Facebook is the most powerful social media for a plumbing business for this simple reason, your customers are interacting with the platform every hour of the day. Therefore, if you have credibility with Facebook, your customer will trust your brand because they trust Facebook. Authority gained by brand association is what makes Google and Facebook so useful for plumbing companies. It can take years to build a brand in your area and gain trust with consumers. In today’s day and age, if you have a strong Facebook business page with reviews and customer engagement, trust is gained almost immediately.