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The Ultimate Guide to Growing Your Plumbing Business in 2019
At Blue Corona, we know a lot about growing plumbing businesses. In the past decade, we’ve meticulously tracked every single advertising strategy we’ve tried for our customers—a great deal of which are plumbing companies—which has allowed us continuously to uncover insights about what works and what doesn’t.
And because we’re so passionate about seeing small to medium businesses grow, we’re sharing those insights with you. Benefit from our years of study and keep reading to learn about the best ways to grow your plumbing company in 2019.
Step One To Growing Your Plumbing Business: Understand The Modern Buyer’s Journey
Traditionally, the buyer’s journey was linear and driven by your sales team. Customers entered at the top of the funnel, followed a preset, linear, predictable path, and exited at the bottom. Thanks to how easily accessible information is in the digital age, that’s not true anymore. The modern sales funnel is a looping journey full of twists and turns as consumers follow their own, personalized path to purchase:
The phases are similar to the old framework, and work like this:
- Consideration, along with the research and discovery loop
- Post-purchase experience and the loyalty loop
I’ll break down each stage with a real-world example. Pretend our consumer is Jane, a 35-year-old homeowner with two small children.
- It’s 8:00 am and Jane’s shower won’t turn on – Awareness
- Jane grabs her phone and uses voice search to Google “shower won’t turn on” – Consideration
- Jane skims two blogs that sum up potential reasons a shower won’t turn on – Consideration
- Jane watches a YouTube video from a local plumbing company on repairing the diverter valve – Consideration
- Jane decides she better leave it to a plumber and Googles “plumber near me” – Awareness
- Jane’s baby starts crying, so she quickly looks at the top three plumbing companies on the search results page and sees the one whose YouTube video she watched. She sees it has both a 4.5 review rating and an online booking capability, so she books an appointment online for later that day – Purchase
- After her shower is fixed, Jane raves about the company on social media, and after she’s prompted from an email, leaves a review on Google – Loyalty loop
- Jane’s pipes burst that winter. She saw an email newsletter from the plumbing company about what to do when pipes burst, so she follows a shortened loop and books an appointment online – Awareness, Consideration, Purchase, and Loyalty loop
If you want more plumbing leads, booked jobs, and repeat customers, you need to connect with customers at every stage of this new looping journey. How you do that is with a comprehensive digital marketing strategy that uses multiple marketing channels. Different marketing channels are better for different stages of the buyer’s journey, which is why you need a multi-channel approach:
Best Plumbing Advertising Channels and Marketing Methods to Increase Leads and Booked Jobs
The best advertising for plumbers includes the following marketing channels:
- Directory and pay per lead sites (be careful with these–we are a fan of Google’s Local Services ads, but have a few choice words about other pay per lead sites)
- Search engine marketing
- Pay per click marketing
- Your website
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
- Video marketing
- Recruitment marketing
- Customer service (yes, you can leverage customer service as a marketing strategy, and we will show you how)
- Review generation (this goes hand-in-hand with customer service)
Get the run-down of each marketing channel in this post »
Directory and Pay Per Lead Sites for Plumbers
Are Directory Sites and Pay Per Lead Services Worth It?
At some point in the quest for more leads—like yesterday—you may find yourself tempted by directory sites like Angie’s List or pay per lead services such as HomeAdvisor, Thumbtack, etc. Pay per lead sites There’s nothing wrong with testing listings in directory sites or trying a pay per lead service; however, if you go this route, you want to do so with caution.
There are a lot of different ways to generate leads for your business—some more effective than others. In this article on pay per lead companies, I’ll walk you through a few lead generation options and explain why you should approach some of them with a fair bit of caution.
Is Angie’s List a Good Investment for Plumbers?
If you’ve ever searched for “plumbers + [your city]” (the way many of your potential customers do) in Google, and you’ve likely noticed directory sites like Angie’s List dominating the first page of organic search results. No longer are Angie’s List commercials just taking up TV and radio ads, but they’re ranking—and ranking well—online where your website could be ranked. So…if you can’t beat them, should you join them? Find the answer in this post.
Can I Get Leads for My Plumbing Company Through Directory Listings?
If you’re wondering “Should I be investing in directory site listings?”, unfortunately, the best answer isn’t so straightforward. The short answer is “yes,” but there’s a huge qualifier that addresses the hidden cost of investing in directory sites. In this blog, we’ll detail the best practices for listing your plumbing company in an online directory, and then we’ll show you what you need to consider before making the plunge into that investment.
Is Yelp Worth it for Plumbing Companies?
When looking for a local home service company, you probably look for reviews. And your customers do the same thing! Yelp is one of the most popular directory sites due to its easy-to-use mobile app and its focus on reviews. So how can you leverage it for your plumbing business? We detail the smartest way to use the platform here.
Tips on HomeAdvisor for Plumbers
HomeAdvisor connects homeowners with prescreened plumbers who offer the specific service they’re looking for. Follow our tips for using the site to put your best foot forward and stand out from the competition.
Google Local Services
How Google’s Local Services Ads Work
Google’s Local Services ads dare relatively new, but worth testing—the results we’ve gotten for our plumbers have been encouraging, to say the least. How it works is advertisers choose from a list of services for their industry. When a person’s search matches criteria for those services, your ad will be eligible to show. It hasn’t rolled out everywhere in the United States, though. To apply (or express interest if your market isn’t available yet) either go to the Local Services website or contact a Google Premier Partner agency (like Blue Corona!) to help you apply directly with Google.
Search Engine Marketing for Plumbing Companies
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
How to Get Your Plumbing Company on Page 1 of Google
At Blue Corona, we service all industries, but we specialize in SEO and PPC for plumbing companies. We have a proven pay per click setup and management system specifically designed for the plumbing industry, and our SEO specialists have extensive experience helping plumbers like you get more qualified traffic. Get some insight into our strategy in this post.
How to Rank in Cities Where You’re Not Located
As the owner of a plumbing company, you want to see your business grow. You know that you can do this by expanding your web real estate—but have you noticed that your pages aren’t showing up for Google searches in the areas that you provide service to? You will need to put in some extra effort to spread capture rankings over multiple cities or states. Here’s how you do it.
3 Things You Can Do Right Now to Improve Your Local SEO
If you’d prefer for people in your service area to find your business when searching for your services—what plumber wouldn’t?—there’s a whole long list of ways to make that happen. But let’s start with three of the easiest ways that you can boost your company’s local SEO right now.
How to Get Your Plumbing Business to the Top of Google’s Local Pack
A full 97 percent of consumers go online to find local services, and searches with local intent frequently trigger Google’s local pack. If you want your business to show up in the block of local map listings in Google’s search results, there are a few things you need to do. Learn how to get your plumbing business to the top of Google’s local pack here.
Does My Website Need a Blog?
Keep in mind that Google ranks web pages, not whole websites—so as part of maximizing your online real estate, you need to have pages for all your lines of business and more specific pages related to those services (i.e., emergency plumbing service, drain cleaning, camera pipe inspection, etc.). But your service offerings end at some point. So what do you do? We’ll explain here.
Pay Per Click (PPC)
Is PPC Worth It For Small Companies?
In order to determine whether PPC advertising (or any other marketing strategy) is worth it, you have to know your numbers. If you own a plumbing company and you’re willing to pay $200 per sale and your lead-to-sale conversion rate is 50 percent, you should be willing to pay $100 for a lead. If you then find out (through accurate tracking) that your website converts 10 percent of pay per click visits into leads, you’d know that you could afford to pay up to $10 per click. Click here for more practical tips on how to evaluate your need for PPC marketing.
Do People Actually Click on Paid Ads?
With current tracking capabilities, if companies weren’t seeing positive ROI, they wouldn’t be running ads, and pretty much every major brand runs AdWords ads with Google. But while the above data points that in general, paid ads are effective for getting clicks through to websites, we understand that marketing strategies and budgets are not one-size-fits-all. Click here for a more in-depth discussion.
Make Your Website Fast, Secure, and Mobile-Friendly
Your website is your most important marketing asset. In order to increase plumbing leads and grow your business, you need to make sure your website is able to be found in search results, loads quickly, and is both secured and mobile-friendly.
How Fast Should Your Plumbing Website Be?
Speed matters, especially when it comes to your website—40 percent of users will abandon a web page if it takes longer than three seconds to load. When users aren’t satisfied with the experience they’re getting, they know they can hit the “back” button and try again. Learn more about how fast your website should be here.
Why Your Website Should Be Secured (HTTPS vs HTTP)
If you don’t have an SSL certificate, you need to get one ASAP—84 percent of users would abandon a purchase if data was sent over an insecure connection, and people expect their information to be safe on your website. Having a secured website helps boost your SEO rankings, not to mention it helps prevent your business from getting hacked. See five more reasons you need to be HTTPS here.
What It Means to Have a Mobile-Friendly Website (and Why Your Plumbing Company Needs One)
If your website doesn’t look like it was built to be used on a mobile device, you need to get it tuned up—as of 2017, more than half of all US online traffic comes from smartphones and tablets and 57 percent of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site. Learn more about what makes a website have a mobile-friendly design here.
Tips for Building a Better Plumbing Website
If you’re running a small- to medium-sized plumbing company and you want to grow your business, you can learn a lot from watching industry trends and monitoring the top sites. But we know you’re probably already wearing too many hats, so we’ve put together the Cliff Notes version. Check out these tips based on common mistakes we see plumbing companies make or learn more about we can design you a new plumbing website.
Social Media for Plumbers
Facebook Tips for Plumbing Companies
Facebook isn’t just a way to pass the time and keep in touch with friends. This form of social media is used every day by plumbing businesses like yours to generate qualified leads. But it takes a combination of data-driven strategy and consistent effort to do it right. In this post, we’ll show you where to focus your efforts.
Best Facebook Ads for Plumbers
Facebook paid ads do work for plumbing companies—and we can show you how to make them work for yours. We’ve hundreds of social media campaigns for plumbers, and can show you how to successfully get more:
- Visits to your website from people in your service area
- Website conversions
- Facebook business page likes
- Likes on your posts
How Plumbing Companies Can Leverage Instagram
Want to spread brand awareness and create loyal fans of your plumbing business? You should! Instagram is a surprisingly effective way to do that. In this post, we’ll show you nine effective, proven strategies for leveraging the platform.
Email Marketing for Plumbing Companies
How to Stand Out in an Email Inbox
Email marketing campaigns offer a highly effective way to promote your products and services on a consistent basis. Your audience has already opted-in to receive your content. They’ve shown interest in your company, so give them what they want! Sending a regular email newsletter is a cost-effective way to ensure your company is constantly in the minds of your customers—which is right where you want to be.
So how can you get your email newsletter to stand out amidst the hundreds of other emails your customers are receiving weekly? Let’s find out.
How to Nurture Customer Relationships Through Email
At the end of the day, the most important thing for any business owner is that you’re making money. But to grow your plumbing business, you need to increase the number of leads you are getting. The more leads you get, the more sales you’ll make. And this is where email marketing can really make an impact. Your goal should be to figure out what your customers’ needs and wants are and use your email newsletter to fill the void. In this post, we’ll show you how.
How Important Is Video to Growing a Plumbing Business?
Video marketing is no longer a trend, it’s mainstream. U.S. Internet users spend an average of 15 hours each week with digital video, and Cisco predicted that video will even make up 82 percent of all internet traffic in 2021. If you haven’t started investing in video marketing, you’re already behind the top plumbing companies in the U.S. Not only are internet users consuming more online video than ever, they’re changing the rules about creating video and animated content. Learn more about why you need video marketing here.
How Much Does It Cost to Advertise On YouTube?
When it comes to video marketing, YouTube is where it’s at. Video advertising on YouTube is both effective and affordable. How affordable? You can typically expect to pay less than a dollar per video view, depending on a few key factors. Producing videos has also gotten a lot more affordable thanks to advanced video technology and the introduction of smartphones. No longer do you have to shell out $50,000 for a professionally produced commercial—with today’s technology you can create 20 high-quality professional videos for less than that. Find out how much it costs to advertise on YouTube here.
Recruitment Marketing for Plumbers
Using LinkedIn to Hire Great Talent for Your Small Business
According to a Pew Research Study of Americans who have looked for a new job in the last two years, 90 percent have used the Internet to research jobs and companies. This study did not just include millennials either like you might be thinking—job seekers ages 30 – 49 (and even some 50 – 64) engaged in online research before applying.
However, in a recent study that Blue Corona completed of more than 500 small to medium-sized businesses that analyzed their digital footprint, 20 percent didn’t even have a LinkedIn company page. That’s the first solution to this problem—companies need to have a visible profile that is complete and informative to job seekers.
How to Use Glassdoor to Grow Your Company
Many business owners cite hiring and retaining employees as a major struggle—in fact, 48 percent of small businesses report there are few or no qualified applications for the positions they are trying to fill (according to NFIB). However, Glassdoor brings the talent pool to you—if you have a company profile, that is.
Customer Service As a Marketing Strategy for Plumbers
Great Customer Service Is a Marketing Strategy
Too many companies treat customer service as an afterthought, and they’re making a terrible mistake. The #1 most effective long-term growth strategy any plumbing company can employ isn’t content marketing or SEO, it’s top-notch customer service. Learn how to make the most of it here.
The Power of Consumer Reviews
Personal recommendations create the most reliable leads, and 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends or family members. As if that’s not enough, 97 percent of consumers read online reviews before making a buying decision in 2017. Basically, unless you want to run your plumbing business into the ground, you need a reliable method for consistently generating new reviews (like Review Us Now, our proprietary lead generation software). Learn why reviews are important here.
How Should My Plumbing Company Handle Price Shoppers?
Have you ever been in the office and overheard your customer service representatives’ (CSRs) calls, only to realize that many of the conversations revolve around the price of a toilet installation or tankless water heater repair? If you’ve felt disheartened as these price shoppers waste your CSRs’ time and don’t convert into paying customers, we’re here to encourage you to take heart—price shoppers don’t have to be frustrating time wasters. If your CSRs have the skills to properly handle them, you can turn these leads into customers.
How to Execute Your Plumbing Marketing Strategy in 2019
If managing all of these options seems like a lot of work, that’s because it is! Fortunately, you don’t have to do it all yourself. Do what you do best—manage your plumbing company—and let Blue Corona handle every aspect of digital marketing on your behalf as your virtual online marketing manager!
About The Author: Jenny is an SEO Analyst at Blue Corona. When she's not helping her clients grow their businesses through the web, she enjoys furnishing her new home and exploring new restaurants with her husband.
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The information on this website is for informational purposes only; it is deemed accurate but not guaranteed. It does not constitute professional advice. All information is subject to change at any time without notice. Contact us for complete details.