Many plumbing contractors find that digital marketing is inaccessible, either feeling that it’s unnecessary or simply don’t know where to start. There are a number of factors that go into digital marketing; some are complicated, and other aspects are relatively easy to understand and implement today. While the landscape of digital marketing is evergreen, the foundational principles are constant. Misunderstanding digital marketing or avoiding it altogether is simply a mistake you can’t afford to make, especially in the highly competitive plumbing industry.
Using Google as a Marketplace
To make things simple, think of Google as a marketplace for new potential customers of yours. This is an easy way to understand how to approach your digital marketing strategy in finding new customers that are searching for services you offer in your area. At RYNO, we often find that plumbing contractors have tried many different approaches to performing well with Google, but have consistently fallen short of expectations. Our advice? Keep it simple.
Understanding Google, and Google Understanding You
Remember, what Google is “selling” is search engine results. When a potential customer types in “plumbing contractor in Kansas”, they are going to see a page of links to plumbing contractors in Kansas. The last thing Google wants is to lose the trust of their customers, so having the best possible links on that page is vital to their continued success. That means the onus is on them to make sure each contractor they feature is the best and most relevant to the person searching via Google.
To achieve this, Google needs to trust that you are who you say you are, you do what you say you do, and you perform your services where you say you perform them. Otherwise, that person searching might end up getting an irrelevant link to something like a water filter manufacturer located in a state nowhere near them, which is not what they wanted. So, you need to make sure what you’re telling Google about yourself is honest and accurate. Trying to ‘trick’ Google is probably the worst thing you can do.
Persistence is also key here. You have to continue giving Google honest and accurate information about your company every day in as wide of a variety of ways possible. There’s no finish line, and performing well one day doesn’t mean you can take your foot off of the gas and coast to the finish line. Google is constantly looking not just at how relevant you are, but how relevant you are in comparison with your competitors. This requires a well-executed and ongoing strategy.
Undoubtedly, falling short of expectations with your Google performance can lead to frustration. However, cutting your digital marketing budget or switching up your strategy all the time isn’t going to improve your performance. All too often at RYNO we see plumbing contractors tearing through marketing companies, not satisfied with results after a short period of time and chasing the often fallacious greener grass. Remember, Google likes consistency! Imagine that your local supermarket changes ownership. During your next shopping trip, you’re going to struggle. The produce section has changed locations, they stopped selling your favorite brand of yogurt, and your grocery routine is all messed up. Now imagine this happens every few months—you’re going to find a new store, and Google will do the same.
So, where to start? You can create a page for each of your targeted locations, and then for each service you offer in each location. For example, if you offer sewer line repair and you’re in Phoenix, AZ, but also serve Tucson, have a page for “sewer line repair in Phoenix” as well as for “sewer line repair in Tucson”. This tells Google that you offer that service in both locations. Once the pages have been published, you’ll want to track the performance of each individual page. A good routine is to evaluate performance monthly, and look at whether the revenue generated from each page is meeting your goals.
The worst thing you can do is nothing! We recommend having your current website evaluated for visibility in your targeted areas from a trustworthy and professional digital marketing company. Watch out for sales tactics, and look for a team you can trust to give you transparent and accurate data about what search terms you’re ranking for and which terms you could use some help with.
Another thing you can do today is to set up a Google Local Services Ads account (LSA). This is a somewhat new offering from Google that has been showing great ROI. An LSA account is pretty simple to set up, and will allow you to directly target potential customers in your service area and only pay when a lead comes through.
Like it or not, digital marketing isn’t going anywhere. We recommend finding a digital marketing partner that not only has experience with the plumbing industry, but one that you can trust to give you the transparency and raw data you deserve and need to know you’re getting your money’s worth. Use your marketing partner to come up with a multi-year plan to continue being relevant and visible to best attract more and more customers, and most importantly—to grow your business.