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Are Directory Sites & Pay Per Lead Services Worth the Investment?
When searching for a local HVAC company on Google, you may have noticed fewer company websites and more local directories showing up in the organic results. Not sure what I mean? Google “HVAC companies” followed by your city and state. More often than not you will see a mix of HVAC company websites and local directory websites like Yelp, Angie’s List, HomeAdvisor, and more.
As these sites have become more popular, they’ve begun to dominate the organic results. So, what does this mean for your HVAC company? Put simply, you’re going to have to invest in both your website AND additional directory sites to stay relevant—and visible. But where should you begin?
Increase Visibility with Local Directories
Any reputable SEO company will tell you that the most affordable and effective lead generation strategies take time to develop. (You can’t build a user friendly website and SEO optimized content overnight.) These strategies require time—and patience—and when you’re a growing company, you may feel like you don’t have the time to wait for these methods to produce quality leads.
Should You Invest in Local Directory Sites?
We get it. You may find yourself tempted by directory sites like Angie’s List, Yelp, or pay per lead services such as HomeAdvisor (because as we saw above, they all rank well in the organic search results!). There’s nothing wrong with trying out directory sites or testing a pay per lead service, but it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into.
It’s true that getting listed in targeted high-traffic directories can deliver short-term leads, but whether or not the effort is worth it depends on your execution. What does this mean? By shifting your all of your focus to local directory sites, you’re reducing the effort put into maintaining the most important lead generation asset of all—your company’s website. (Which is why you need to invest in both assets!)
If you’re considering investing time (and money) in directory sites, you should be asking the following questions:
- How much traffic does this site receive (and how much of it is relevant to my business)?
- How many of my competitors are using this site (and are they doing it well)?
- How many sales will I need to get from this site to recoup my investment?
- Is the user experience offered by the site going to help or hurt my business?
- How is the directory getting its traffic?
Once you’ve decided you’re interested in marketing your HVAC company on local directories, you need to decide which sites will work best for your heating and cooling business.
Which Online Directories Would Benefit My HVAC Company?
We’re often asked by our HVAC clients if they should invest in Angie’s List. And honestly, there isn’t a correct answer because it depends on what your company’s goals are and what you’re hoping to get out of it. So, what exactly is Angie’s List? It is essentially a customer reviews based search engine for paying members. A homeowner pays a yearly fee to be a member and have access to the site where they can browse business profiles and search for home service providers. Members can also read in depth reviews of service providers that were written by other members.
Unlike homeowners, a business does not have to pay to get listed on Angie’s List. We recommend having your HVAC company listed on Angie’s List and from there you can decide if investing in Angie’s List marketing is the right option for you. To rank well and improve visibility on Angie’s List, you will need to:
- Maintain an optimized profile
- Generate a lot of (positive) reviews
- Receive an “A rating”
- Offer special offers and discounts
Reviews are important. I know, I know. You’ve probably heard this before but I’m telling you that nowadays people look to online directories for reviews. Why? Because they want to hear what people like YOU have to say about your experience with a company. Thanks to its easy-to-navigate phone app, Yelp is one of the most popular local directories that people turn to when looking for a recommended company.
But there’s more to having a listing than simply creating a Yelp profile. You will need to optimize your Yelp profile to ensure it 1) stands out from the competitors 2) ranks wells, and 3) generates leads (because what’s the point of having a business profile if there’s no return on investment?).
Next time a homeowner in your area turns to Yelp to find a local HVAC company, you want to be the first choice they see. Do that by:
- Completely filling out your profile
- Encouraging customers to write reviews
- Responding to both positive AND negative reviews
- Promoting special offers or deals
Of all the local directory and pay per lead sites, HomeAdvisor is probably the most-catered to HVAC companies, like yours. Homeowners can use to site to be automatically connected with a prescreened professional that offers the specific service they are looking for OR they can look through reviews of multiple companies in the area and find the best match on their own.
If you’re thinking about investing in HomeAdvisor, we have a few tips that will help you rank better than your local competitors:
- Completely fill your profile, including service area, services offered, credentials, brands used, etc.
- Showcase HomeAdvisor “achievements” on your profile
- Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews
- Offer special offers and coupons
- Enable online scheduling for homeowners to easily book appointments
Local Directory Optimization for HVAC Companies
What exactly does SEO optimization for online directories involve? Apart from the tips mentioned above, it needs constant monitoring—which is why the team at Blue Corona lives by the phrase track, test, tweak, repeat.
Let’s face it, you have an HVAC company to run. Let us focus on your online marketing so you can do what you do best. Contact us today!
About The Author: Katie is a content marketing specialist at Blue Corona. Outside of content creation and SEO, Katie enjoys stuffing her face with nachos, online shopping, and binge-watching Netflix.
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