This is the third article in a series called “Search Marketing Priorities” which looks at what different types of businesses would benefit most from concentrating on when it comes to Search Marketing. When you have spent years perfecting your specific craft you want to make sure that people know about it and that you are using your time in the most effective way to promote your skills. This article will help guide Plumbers and Plumbing Companies on what areas of Search Marketing they should concentrate on that will bring them the most business for their time and effort spent.
The importance of Local Listing and Map listings for a plumbing company cannot be over stated. When someone has a plumbing issue they want it solved ‘yesterday’ so they will make immediate searches either on their mobile device or computer. Typically they will be looking for someone close by that can get the job done quickly for them. Google will help them by providing just the closest businesses to their house or location and they will make a call. Being on these listings is very important as the potential customers may not even consider the other listings in the panic of solving their plumbing crisis. The tough thing about Map listings is that it is very dependent on your company’s physical location. So if you are right next door to a major city but not in that city you can have a hard time getting business there because you will be listed last on the maps. In many cases companies have satellite offices in many locations just to accommodate people who make searches in multiple areas to gain the business. Making sure that you’re in the location of people you want to service and that all of your contact information is correct all over the Internet is key to your success.
Plumbers are a unique business type because they have so much competition. It’s hard to find a business type in any area that has so many competitors as plumbers do. So when you need to distinguish yourself from the competition Paid Search offers you a lot of opportunity to do so. Not only because it will allow you to be seen at the top of the fold (above the local listing) but because with all of Google’s Add-on and widget options it will allow you to show your monthly or weekly specials, show areas of your business that might bring you higher profit margins, feature location information etc. If you are in a large city paid search can let you get in front of customers in nicer areas that may have more complex issues (high end communities) and profit from those higher cost service calls. Paid Search can also act as your only way of getting onto certain searches depending on how Google is treating your local/map listings. It is especially helpful for any new plumbing businesses who are trying to get established and provide customers for their staff.
Plumbers can benefit greatly from exposure through Organic SEO. When a customer already sees you in the Map listings and they look below or above that and see your organic placement as well it tells them that you are an established business in the area and quite trustworthy. The trust that organic SEO builds is hard to be replicated. It also is more solidly dependable then the map and paid listings. As those can be fickle depending on where someone is searching from. If you are in the city of Portland and someone makes a search for ‘portland plumber’ or just ‘plumbing company’ you will come up for both if you are trusted by Google in organic search. This can bring long term value to your company and brand.
For a plumbing company your site should be informative and to the point. Letting customers and potential customers know what services you provide and what specials you might be running at that time. A good area for contacting you and receiving a quote is important as well. Overall the site should be pleasant looking but nothing super fancy. You want to look established and like someone who can get the job done but the site doesn’t need to look like you spend tens of thousands of dollars constructing it. People are looking for reliability and durability more than the shiny whistle of a slick website.
Social Media for a plumber should consist of having a space in all of the areas that your customers can possibly venture to but shouldn’t require non-stop Social Media engagement. Let your customers know you exist and about the specials that you have. Make sure that if anyone has a negative comment to make about your company that it is addressed right away. Monitor places like Yelp and your Google reviews to make sure that you respond to anything positive or negative. Overall, Social Media will likely not gain you vast amounts of new customers with passive effort towards it.
For a Plumbing Company to find success it needs to bring in a good amount of “emergency” business as well as a steady stream of loyal customers who depend on them for their plumbing issues. Utilizing Maps and Paid Search to make sure you are in front of ‘Emergency’ type customers is important for your businesses income and keeping your website updated and staying in the organic ranking will ensure a strong amount of return business for your company.