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Plumber Marketing: The Ultimate Guide to Growing Your Plumbing Business
At Blue Corona, we know a lot about plumber marketing. In the past decade, we’ve meticulously tracked every advertising strategy we’ve tried for our customers—a great deal of which are plumbing companies—which has allowed us to continuously 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.
Below, you’ll find a list of plumber marketing strategies we’ve used to measurably increase qualified leads and revenue, reduce marketing costs for plumbing companies, and differentiate our plumbing clients’ brands from their online competition. Let’s get started.
Step One for 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 marketing funnel and followed a preset, linear, predictable path before exiting at the bottom (after they completed a purchase).
Thanks to how easily accessible information is in the digital age, that’s not true anymore. The modern buyer engages in a looping journey, full of twists and turns, as they follow a personalized path when hiring a local plumber.
The phases of the modern buyer’s journey 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 married, 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.” – Research and Discovery Loop
- 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 the company has both a 4.5-star rating and 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, she leaves a review on Google My Business. – Loyalty Loop
- Jane’s pipes burst during a deep freeze later in the year. She saw an email newsletter from the plumbing company she hired to fix her shower. The email is about what to do when pipes burst, so she follows a shortened buyer’s journey 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 the modern buyer’s journey.
How you do that is with a comprehensive plumber marketing strategy that taps into multiple channels and platforms. Different marketing channels are better for different stages of the buyer’s journey, which is why you need a multi-channel approach, starting with digital marketing for plumbers:
The Best Plumber Digital Marketing Channels Increase Leads and Booked Jobs
Growing your plumbing business used to be driven by referrals and word-of-mouth advertising, but those were the old days before the Internet changed everything.
The best marketing channels for plumbing companies start with internet marketing and include:
- Your website
- Google Local Services ads
- Search engine optimization (SEO) and local SEO
- Pay per click advertising
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
- Video marketing, including OTT advertising
- Website chat
- 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.
- 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.
Get the run-down of each marketing channel.
Plumbing Websites: The Foundation of Your Digital Marketing Strategy
Did you know that 63% of consumers primarily use a company’s website to find and engage with businesses, and 30% of consumers won’t consider a business without a website?
Source: LSA (Local Search Association)
In today’s digital age, you need to:
Make Your Website Fast, Secure, and Mobile-Friendly
Your plumbing website is your most important marketing asset. To increase plumbing leads and grow your business, you need to make sure your website can 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% 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.
Why Your Website Should Be Secured (HTTPS vs. HTTP)
If you don’t have an SSL certificate, you need to get one ASAP—84% of users would abandon a purchase if data was sent over an insecure connection. 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 your website needs to be HTTPS.
Why Your Plumbing Company Needs a Mobile-Friendly Website
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 U.S. online traffic comes from smartphones and tablets, and 57% 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.
Tips for Building a Better Plumbing Website
If you’re running a plumbing company and 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.
Local Services Ads for Plumbers: Secure a Top Spot on Google Search
- Occupy the most coveted real estate on Google search results — the very top on both mobile results and desktop results
- Build trust with consumers via the Google Guaranteed badge
- Are affordable, with plumbers paying an average of $23 per True Qualified Lead
- Generate a high ROI compared to the investment required
- Save you money by disputing unqualified leads and getting reimbursed for the fees spent for that lead
Not investing in Local Services ads yet? Start now. Competition is rising, and if you’re not advertising your plumbing business on Google Local Services, you’re losing qualified leads and sales to your competition, guaranteed.
Want to learn more about how Local Services ads for plumbers? Watch this webinar or read everything plumbers need to know about Google Local Services.
Occupy More Google Real Estate with Pay Per Click (PPC)
Before Local Services ads, PPC advertising (specifically paid search ads) occupied the top of Google search results. However, just because Local Services took over its real estate doesn’t mean that PPC for plumbers isn’t a viable marketing strategy.
Is PPC Worth It For Plumbing Companies?
To determine whether PPC advertising — or any other plumber marketing strategy — is worth it, you have to know your numbers. Although PPC is an efficient lead generation engine for plumbing companies, it may not be right for everyone depending on the size of your monthly marketing budget.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What is your average revenue per job?
- What is your gross margin on jobs?
Let’s say your average revenue per job is $9,000, and your gross margin is 50%.
That means your gross profit is $4,500 per job. Great!
Now ask yourself:
- What are you willing to spend to acquire a new customer?
- What is your lead-to-sale conversion rate?
Using the numbers above, let’s say you’re willing to spend $500 to acquire a new customer, and your lead-to-sale conversion rate is 35%.
That means you should be willing to pay $175 (35% of $500) for a qualified plumbing lead.
If you can afford for leads a price you’re comfortable with, like in the example above, AND you have additional funds to invest in PPC ads to account for users who don’t convert into a lead from search ads, then PPC is one plumber marketing strategy you need to invest in the increase leads and grow revenue.
Learn 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 paid search ads with Google Ads. But while the above data points that paid ads generally can effectively get clicks through to websites, we understand that marketing strategies and budgets are not one-size-fits-all.
Learn more about the effectiveness of paid ads.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Local SEO for Plumbing Companies
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
How to Rank Your Plumbing Company on Page 1 of Google
To rank on the first page of Google for plumbing searches, you must address the four pillars of plumber SEO services:
- Website code and structure – Your website needs to be fast, mobile-friendly, and secure. Its code should be streamlined, ensuring Google and other search engines can easily find, crawl, and index your website. Don’t forget about Core Web Vitals and Google’s Page Experience update!
- On-site content – Google ranks web pages, not websites. That means you need pages upon pages of SEO-optimized content to rank for the hundreds of keywords homeowners search to find and hire a plumber.
- Local SEO – Claim and optimize local directory listings, like Facebook, Nextdoor, BBB, Bing Places, Yelp, Angi, and other directory sites.
- Off-site authority – Build high-quality backlinks and earn natural backlinks through blogging and your content marketing strategy.
Learn more about how to rank your plumbing company on page one of Google.
How to Rank in Cities You’re Not Located In
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 you provide service to? You will need to put in some extra effort to spread capture rankings over multiple cities or states.
Learn more about how to rank in cities you’re not located in.
3 Local SEO Tips for Plumbers to Improve Local Search Rankings
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. And it all starts with local SEO.
How to Get Your Plumbing Business to the Top of Google’s Local Pack
A full 97% 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.
Does My Website Need a Blog?
Keep in mind that Google ranks web pages, not whole websites—so to maximize your online real estate, you need to have pages for all your lines of business and more specific pages related to those services, such as emergency plumbing service, drain cleaning, camera pipe inspection, etc. Butt your service offerings end at some point, so what do you do?
Let us explain why your website needs a blog.
Social Media Marketing for Plumbers
Facebook Tips for Plumbing Companies
Facebook marketing for plumbers isn’t just a way to pass the time and keep in touch with friends. This form of plumbing social media marketing is used daily by businesses like yours to generate qualified leads. But it takes a combination of data-driven strategy and consistent effort to do it right.
Let us show you where to focus your Facebook marketing 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 run hundreds of successful social media campaigns for plumbers and can show you how to 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.
Let us show you nine effective, proven strategies for leveraging Instagram.
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 consistently. 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 qualified 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. 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. 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, but they’re also changing the rules about creating video and animated content.
Learn more about why you need video marketing.
How Much Does It Cost to Advertise On YouTube?
When it comes to video marketing, YouTube is where it’s at. YouTube advertising is both effective and affordable.
How affordable? Depending on a few key factors, you can typically expect to pay less than a dollar per video view.
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.
Over-the-Top (OTT) Advertising: How Plumbers Create Brand Lift & Generate Qualified Leads
What Is OTT Advertising?
OTT is a relatively untapped advertising channel for plumbers. OTT is an acronym for over-the-top, meaning plumbing companies who advertise here bypass broadcast TV to deliver video ads to a highly qualified audience of homeowners.
OTT ads can be viewed:
- Anytime – When it’s most convenient for the viewer, not necessarily when an episode premiers
- Anywhere – In homes, cars, hotels, etc.
- On any device – Smart TVs, phones, tablets, gaming consoles, computers, Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick, Roku, and more
- On any streaming service or TV network app – Streaming services such as Sling and Tubi, and streaming apps like HGTV, NBC, Trvl, TLC, FOX, FOX Sports, A&E, Discovery Channel, and more
Should Plumbers Invest in Over-the-Top (OTT) Advertising?
Yes, plumbers should absolutely invest in OTT advertising because, as a plumbing company, you have very specific customers that live in specific service areas (such as within a 25-mile radius from your office), earn a specific household income (for example, over $100,00 per year), and are homeowners.
OTT ads give plumbers the flexibility to target their Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), leveraging thousands of demographic targeting options to serve relevant ads at the perfect time, including:
- Age of home
- Building type (if necessary)
- Average household income
- Customers in-market to move or recently moved
OTT Advertising Results: Home Service Company in Pennsylvania
Comparing a six-month period of running OTT ads to the prior six months with OTT ads included in their marketing plan, this Pennsylvania-based home service company generated:
- 156% increase in direct website traffic
- 54% qualified lead increase
- 93% increase in Brand Lift
Read our blog to learn more: What Is OTT and How Does It Work?
Website Chat Services & Chatbots
When homeowners want to connect with a local plumbing company, they want to do so on their terms, and website chat services—like Blue Corona Chat—are a great way to give customers the flexibility they desire.
Busy working from home while their kids run around in the background? A web form might be the simplest option to request service.
Have some peace and quiet and want to prefer to someone over the phone? Phone calls work best here.
But what about those that prefer to chat with your customer support team? Enter website chat services and chatbots.
But the point goes beyond tailoring your website to every consumer’s personal preference: Blue Corona Chat is proven to generate a 20% increase in qualified leads from your existing investment in plumber marketing.
Want to learn more about the value of chat? Read our blog: Every Home Service Website Needs Blue Corona Chat. Here’s Why.
Customer Service As a Marketing Strategy for Plumbers
Great Customer Service Is a Great Marketing Strategy
Too many companies treat customer service as an afterthought, and they’re making a terrible mistake. The 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 your customer service.
The Power of Consumer Reviews
Personal recommendations create the most reliable leads, and 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends or family members.
As if that’s not enough, 97% of consumers read online reviews before making a buying decision in 2017. Unless you want to run your plumbing business into the ground, you need a reliable method for consistently generating new reviews.
Learn why reviews are important.
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.
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 Angi or pay-per-lead services such as HomeAdvisor, Thumbtack, etc.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 many 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.
Angi (Formerly Angie’s List)
Is Angi a Good Investment for Plumbers?
If you’ve ever searched for “plumbers + [your city]” in Google—the way many of your potential customers do—you’ve likely noticed directory sites like Angi dominating the first page of organic search results. No longer are Angi’s commercials just taking up TV, radio, and OTT 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?
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.
Learn the best practices for listing your plumbing company in an online directory, and then let us show you what you need to consider before taking 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’ll tell you the smartest way to use the platform.
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.
How to Execute Your Plumbing Marketing Strategy
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 your plumber marketing plan on your behalf.
Contact us online to learn more about how Blue Corona can help your plumbing company increase qualified leads and revenue.
We’re here for you every step of the journey to growing your business.
About The Author: Jenny was an SEO Analyst at Blue Corona. She enjoys spending time DIYing around her home and exploring new restaurants with her husband.
View more blogs by Jenny Mott
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.