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ACHR News recently featured our President—Ben Landers—in its NEWSMakers podcast, where he offered tips on how HVACR contractors can more effectively market their services on the Internet.
Last week on the blog, I wrote a recap of the first half of the podcast, which offers tips for building your HVACR company’s online presence. Today I’ll cover the second half of the podcast, which includes the most common mistakes HVAC companies make when it comes to their online marketing.
Not Knowing Your Numbers
According to Ben, one of the most common mistakes small business owners make is not knowing their numbers as they relate to marketing. This usually results in over investing in certain marketing strategies and under investing in others. Read: wasted money and wasted opportunities.
So what numbers should you know? For each of your marketing channels, you need to know:
- Total leads
- Total sales
- Cost per lead
- And cost per sale
And when I say marketing channels, you have to think granularly. It’s enough to just say “I know how many leads I’m getting from the Web.” You need to how many leads you’re getting from Google organic, PPC, Facebook, etc.
Bottom line: if you own an HVACR company and you’re looking to improve your advertising ROI, the first step is measurement and tracking.
Not Knowing the Lifetime Value of a Client
In the HVACR industry, it’s likely that you will do repeat business with many of your clients for HVAC repair, replacement, and maintenance jobs. You should know how often they call you and how many referrals you typically get.
Why is this important? It makes all the difference in determining whether $10 per click is a great deal on PPC or whether it’s a fast track to running out of cash.
Can’t you just use industry standards? Not necessarily. Some HVAC companies convert 30 percent of their calls into sales and others convert 80 percent. Those who get 80 percent can afford to pay more per click and per lead.
Not Investing Enough
Most HVAC companies want to triple their leads—tomorrow. However, their investments aren’t always in line with their expectations.
If you want to grow quickly (especially if you’re starting from scratch), you’re going to have to invest more money, or more of your time.
For an average HVAC contractor doing $1 million or less, spending between $500-1500 a month to invest in your Web presence is reasonable.
Having a Poor Excuse for a Website
Most business owners think of their website as an online brochure, when really they should think about it as an extension of their sales team, capable of driving leads and sales to their business 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
What makes a great HVAC website?
According to Ben, there are three main criteria for determining a great HVAC website:
- Findability. There’s no point in having an awesome site with awesome content if people who are searching for your services can’t find it. Search engine optimization (SEO) can help with this!
- Accessibility and content. Fewer and fewer people perform searches on their desktop and laptop computers these days as tablet and smartphone surfing are on the rise. This means that your website and its content should load and be easy to use across multiple devices. We refer to this as a “responsive” website.
- Identity and trust. There’s a difference between Web reality and the real world, and consumers know this. Go above and beyond to show that you’re a real HVAC company. You can do this by putting your physical location on your site (along with pictures of your staff). If you’re on Angie’s List or a member of the ACCA, put those badges on the site to establish trust, along with any testimonials you have.
How Can Blue Corona Help Your HVAC Company?
In 2013, we built a software that examined over 10,000 local and regional HVAC and plumbing websites. We know what the most successful HVAC and plumbing contractors are doing to market their businesses online and we use this insight to help our HVAC clients get more leads and sales from the Internet.
If you’re annoyed that you don’t know exactly what you’re getting from each of your HVAC marketing strategies, we can show you the sales, revenue, profit from each of those marketing channels that you invest in—including the Web.
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About The Author: Blue Corona is a data-driven online marketing company with offices in Gaithersburg, MD and Charlotte, N.C.
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