It is NOT a secret that 2020 was not a good year for trade jobs. Plumbers from all around the world struggled to get clients. This is ESPECIALLY the case with plumbing companies that did not have an online presence.
It is a shame to see that it takes a global pandemic for professionals to realize that they need a website, primarily when they sell their services locally. For the nationwide plumbing companies, the Covid-19 pandemic was not that bad precisely because they have a robust online presence.
What I am saying here is that if you are a plumber, you need to have a website and social media channels. Also, you need to do plumbing SEO work, especially local SEO work.
When saying local plumbing SEO, I mean local SEO strategies that are designed for plumbing agencies. With this in mind, here are some significant steps that will increase your plumbing business’ local Google rankings.
Before that, let’s think about why you need local SEO for a plumbing company.
Why Invest In Local SEO?
There are three main reasons why local plumbing SEO is crucial:
People Don’t Use The Phonebook Anymore
Older people know about the Yellow Pages, but teens do not know how it was like to use a phonebook or a trade magazine to find plumbers, electricians, and so forth. The Yellow Pages are disappearing. They are being replaced by online search engines. Consider these critical Google stats:
- 20% of search queries look for local businesses. (move this up to 40% for the mobile searches)
- Half of all mobile searches for a local business lead to contact, like a phone call or a visit.
- The vast majority of consumers now look for local businesses with the use of the internet (97%).
When you rank higher in local searches, you get more people visiting your site. This is organic traffic, and it is practically free. Well, so to say free because you still invest in local SEO, but a whole lot cheaper than with other advertising methods.
You might not know this, but because few businesses invest in local SEO, you have an advantage. This advantage will disappear when all plumbing companies figure out the importance of such a practice.
At the same time, your competition is only made out of the plumbing companies located or servicing your geographic area.
Because of these two things, in many cases, you can see exact results in just one month, as opposed to several with regular search engine optimization.
So, local SEO IS vital for plumbing companies, but how can you maximize your business’ visibility in local searches? Obviously, the answer is very complicated, and you need to consider hiring a professional. However, the necessary steps are the following.
Finding Appropriate Keywords That Drive Business
In plumbing, there are specific keywords that describe the services offered. For instance, we can look at keywords like “clogged drains”, “water heater repair”, and “emergency plumbing”. These are all service-related keywords. Based on what you offer, choose the most appropriate ones. Then, consider the following categories of keywords:
Hiring (Buying) Intent
These are basically keywords used by people that have an intention to take action. Usually, such searches are quickly followed by website visits or phone calls. The most common example of such a keyword is “plumber” followed by the location, like “plumber Sydney”.
Use the keywords that signal a hiring intent first because they are the most likely to convert into paying customers.
These keywords are usually used by people that want to learn more about a specific subject. They rarely lead to a sale. For instance, a search like “how to fix a leaky toilet” is often used by the DIY enthusiasts that want to fix the problem alone.
The keywords that have research intent as not as valuable for the plumbing companies as the hiring intent ones, but you can use them to create website FAQ sections. You can quickly turn them into blog content and increase your authority.
Since we are talking about local SEO, there are two main areas where you have to optimize keywords.
Google My Business Optimization
You always need a GMB (Google My Business) page set up for your plumbing company. This allows it to appear on Maps results. The necessary steps to optimize the GMB page are:
- Claiming And Verifying The Business – This is pretty straightforward.
- Adding Your NAP – NAP stands for your plumbing business’ Name, Address, and Phone Number. Make sure your NAPs are always correct and the same for all places where you add details about your company.
- Categories – You need to include “plumber” as the main category. Then, add other services that are relevant, like HVAC Repair, or Heating Contractor.
- Business Description – Use this to introduce the plumbing company to your potential customers. Include benefits, a call to action, qualifications, experience, services, and anything else that is relevant.
- Hours – Pretty straightforward.
- Images – Try to add images that can increase engagement and draw attention to the GMB page.
The most important parts of the website are the service pages and the homepage. This part of the local SEO process needs to be taken as seriously as possible because it will have a considerable impact on rankings. Going into details can be very lengthy, so some important things to remember are:
- Title Tag
- Meta Description
When it comes to service pages, it is very important that you have a dedicated page set up for every single one. As an example, if you offer drain cleaning and HVAC repairs, these are two pages you need to create.
Besides the service pages, it is also a good idea to have a blog, an About page, a Contact page, and an FAQ section.
Link Building And Citations
After you optimize the GMB page and the website, it is time to get backlinks and citations.
Inbound links are vital for every single SEO campaign you work on. Basically, you want to get relevant links towards your site. Some sources you can use for this are:
- Offline relationships
- Links the competition has
A citation is a listing of the plumbing company’s NAP on other sites. Add the NAP in the footer area of all your site’s pages and then start building these citations. Most of them will come from directories like:
- National and general business directories
- Plumbing-specific directories
- Local directories
When you look for something online, do you read reviews before buying? There is a pretty good possibility you do. Due to this, you need to get as many positive reviews as possible. Here are some options that will help you:
- Google My Business reviews
- Reviews from other sources like blog posts
Never underestimate the importance of reviews when you do local SEO work for a plumbing company and for any other business that has a serviced area.
Last but not least, if you do not track your results, how can you know if the work you do is sufficient? The most essential parts to track are:
- Keyword rankings
- Website traffic
Remember that everything I wrote above is only a fraction of the local plumbing SEO work you would need to do. It is also a simplification of everything. The process is very complex, and no matter what you might think, the best choice you can make is to hire a professional SEO agency. If you decide to do everything alone though, make sure you are informed, and you focus on knowledge. Search engine optimization is NOT as easy as some may want you to think.