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Consumer needs are changing—fast—and the contractors who adapt their HVAC marketing strategy will be the ones that see more phone calls, more leads, and more booked appointments.
It’s not enough to do what you always did, and the marketing strategies you used in 2017 and 2018 aren’t going to cut it in 2019 and 2020.
Because you need to focus on running your business, we did the hard work for you. Below you’ll find 14 bulletproof HVAC marketing strategies that will help you measurably increased leads and booked jobs this year. They’re the same strategies we used to get these results for our existing HVAC clients:
- 300% increase in HVAC web leads
- $90k in HVAC revenue with a 32:1 ROI during the slowest month of the year
- 794% ROI on HVAC PPC
- Doubled HVAC revenue with a 1,117% ROI
- $16.36 cost per HVAC lead and an ROI of 9:1 with Google Local Services ads
Keep reading to see the HVAC marketing strategies that will get you results like the ones above, and contact us if you want an HVAC marketing partner to do it all for you.
The Modern HVAC Consumer (and How to Turn Them into a New Customer)
Gone are the days you could rely on word-of-mouth to fuel your leads and booked jobs, and so are the days where customers would stay loyal to a company just for loyalty’s sake. Modern homeowners are impatient and used to immediate gratification. The digital transformation has enabled consumers and sparked an “I-need-it-now” economy. These days, your customers expect an immediate response to appointment requests and phone messages, a frictionless customer experience, and top-notch, next-day service. Say hello to your new reality:
- 60% of American customers say they’ll consider switching companies following two to three instances of poor service.
- About 50% of loyal customers have left a company for a competitor who was able to stay more relevant and better satisfy their needs
- Modern consumers spend 8.8 hours a day, on average, engaging with digital content
- The average web user will only wait 3 seconds for a website to load before hitting the back button
- 92% of consumers look at a company’s website when choosing an HVAC contractor
- 75% percent of online customers expect a response to an online inquiry or chat/message within five minutes
Below you’ll find 14 HVAC marketing strategies that will help you adapt to these new consumer expectations and help you outpace your competitors.
1. Your Top HVAC Marketing Strategy? Build a Better HVAC Website
All HVAC websites are not created equally. Regardless of whether you’re willing to redesign your site completely to make it ideally suited to your company or if you only want to change a few things within your existing platform, there are some simple strategies you can use to make your HVAC website a moneymaker for your business. Pop quiz: where should your company’s phone number be located on your homepage to get the most leads? Click here for the answer and more.
Is Your HVAC Website Secure? 50% of Google’s Page One Search Results are HTTPS
HTTPS means your site is secure. Website security has been an issue for a while, and it’s been front and center in the news—consistently—for at least a year. It’s a search engine ranking factor, and not only that, but it’s also a trust factor.
Your Website Speed Might be Slowing HVAC Lead Growth
Yes, website speed impacts your bottom line, especially speed on mobile devices. We saw throughout 2018 and so far in 2019 a huge shift to mobile as more and more searchers prefer to know-on-the-go. Another thing we learned? They aren’t going to wait longer than 3 seconds for your website to load. What this means for you is that you need to really invest in a mobile-friendly website that’s fast and optimized for SEO.
If Your Website Isn’t Mobile-Friendly, It Might as Well Not Exist
If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re behind the times. Mobile-friendliness has been a ranking factor in the Google algorithm since April 21, 2016, and 57% of HVAC website visits currently come from a mobile device.
More than half of your customers are accessing your website through their smartphone or tablet, which means your website needs to be designed for mobile viewing. Your customers shouldn’t have to hunt for information and they shouldn’t have to zoom in to see your text. Additionally, they should be able to easily contact you and use your mobile website seamlessly—almost effortlessly.
Your website may be responsive, but that doesn’t make it MADE for mobile. Your goal is for someone to walk away thinking, “Well, THAT was easy. I’m definitely using them again.” So, since you created a responsive HVAC website a long time ago, the next step is to consider how well your mobile website works for users. One of the major factors for user-friendliness is site speed. Learn more about why mobile site speed matters here
Dive deeper into this topic by catching up on the following blogs:
2. Learn Search Engine Marketing and SEO
Why Search Engine Marketing is one of the Best Ways to Advertise your HVAC Business
Search engine marketing is one of the best ways to advertise your HVAC business because you can connect with homeowners at the moment they’re searching for your services online. About 97% of consumers go online to find local services, and 82% of smartphone users use a search engine when looking for a local business.
Search engine marketing includes search engine optimization (SEO), local SEO, and pay per click search advertising (PPC).
Learn more about the core components of digital marketing here.
The Basics of SEO as An HVAC Marketing Strategy
When homeowners need HVAC services, 97% of them go online to find a contractor, and 93% of them start their online experience with a search engine. And when it comes to search engines, if you’re not on the first page of results you may as well not even be there at all. While there are more than 200 actual search ranking signals, here’s what you should focus on if you want your company to show up on the first page of Google:
- Secured sites (HTTPS vs. HTTP)
- Websites that are mobile-friendly
- Schema markup
- Webpage content quality
- Webpage content length
- Page speed
- Social signals
- Quality backlinks
- Optimized images
- Domain age
- User experience
Each page of content on your site gives you an opportunity to rank for a specific set of relevant keywords, so the more content you have, the more likely you are to rank. If you’re looking to improve your SEO and rank higher in search results, try these 10 ways to improve rankings for contractors.
3. Improve Your Local SEO
With the shrinking of the organic results and the rise of the local pack, local SEO is more important than ever for HVAC companies. Why? Because you want homeowners near you to find your business when they need your services.
If you want to get to the top of Google’s local listings or any other map listings, you need to do the following:
- Fine-tune your website structure. By making sure your site has an XML map, title tags, meta descriptions, and other site structure essentials, you make it easier for your site to be crawled. In turn, this will result in improved rankings and an easier time of getting into the local pack.
- Make sure your website is mobile-friendly. Mobile search isn’t going anywhere. On the contrary, 52.2% of all worldwide online traffic is conducted on a mobile device. Make sure your local SEO is mobile friendly.
- Associate your website with local directories. When these sites update online business listings, you want to make sure your own site’s information is correct and you’re in good standing with users. Local searchers love using directories to find services near them, so be sure to use them to your advantage.
- Make sure you’re in proximity to the searcher. Local means local. The closer you are to the search, the higher chance you have of appearing in the local pack.
- Have consistent business information across social media profiles. Yes, your social media profiles help local SEO, as long as they’re regularly updated and have the correct information. This includes having a consistent name, address, and phone number (NAP)
- Optimize your Google My Business page
There is a myriad of ways to improve your local SEO so you’re more visible to users in your service area, but let’s start with three of the easiest ways that you can boost your HVAC company’s local SEO right now.
How to Rank in Cities Where You’re Not Located
The past year saw the shrinking of the organic search results page and the rise of mobile. One of the consequences is that it’s harder to rank in cities in which your building isn’t located. If you have a large service area, that’s a problem. You’ll need to put in some extra effort to capture rankings over multiple cities or states, and here’s how you do it.
4. Master HVAC Content Marketing with a Lead-Generating Blog
You need to build out your content to try and capture more of those search rankings. 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 HVAC repair, duct cleaning, furnace inspections, etc.).
But eventually, you’ll run out of services to write pages about. So what do you do? Blogs are perfect for bringing in qualified traffic for specific services. For example, a blog called “Do I Need a New Air Conditioner,” fits perfectly into an air conditioning marketing plan, targeting people on the fence about getting a replacement AC. We explain more in-depth here.
5. Test Google Local Services Ads
If you’re looking for HVAC advertising ideas, look no further than Google Local Services ads. They are available nationwide for HVAC companies and are the first thing that pop up when someone searches for your services in an activated area.
Take a look at the image below of a modern Google search result page for “plumber Washington, DC:”
First come Google’s new Local Services ads, then PPC ads, then the local pack, and waaaaay down at the bottom are the organic search results. What this means for you is that it’s getting harder and harder to show up in organic search results for geographically-related searches. In order to counter it, you need to be investing in Google Local Services ads for HVAC contractors and PPC ads (they show up at the very top for the search results page),
Here’s how it works:
- You apply for a Google Guarantee
- Your ads are eligible to show at the top of Google’s search results when someone searches for your services in an activated area
- The searcher then calls you, and you are only charged per QUALIFIED lead
Learn more about Google’s Local Services ads here.
6. Get HVAC Leads Quickly with Pay Per Click (PPC) Ads
There is a waiting period to get your Google Guarantee, so if you want to get HVAC leads quickly, pay per click ads—specifically paid search ads—are the way to go.
What Is PPC? What Are Paid Search Ads?
When using paid search ads, you pay to list advertisements throughout the internet search engines and platforms. Paid search marketing is oftentimes referred to as PPC (which stands for pay-per-click). PPC is the most common form of paid search marketing there is.
The term “PPC” is self-explanatory. Every time your ad is clicked on, you pay the network who is showing your ad. Basically, you are buying visits to your website instead of having them simply rank organically.
Is PPC Worth It for HVAC Companies?
Like we saw above, you need to do everything you can to get on that prime first page. Many people think PPC doesn’t work for small businesses, but that simply isn’t the case. The real question isn’t whether PPC works, it’s whether it makes sense for your HVAC company. In order to determine whether PPC advertising (or any other marketing strategy) is worth it, you have to know your numbers.
First and foremost, you should know how much you’re willing to pay for each HVAC lead you receive. Looking for more practical tips on how to decide if PPC ads fit into your HVAC marketing strategy? Click here!
Do People Actually Click on Paid Ads?
If companies weren’t seeing positive ROI, they wouldn’t be running ads. And pretty much every major brand runs PPC ads with Google. Paid ads are effective for getting clicks to HVAC websites, but we understand that marketing strategies and budgets are not one-size-fits-all. Click here for a more in-depth discussion.
7. Fill Out Your HVAC Marketing Plan with Social Media
Social Media Tips for HVAC Contractors
Social media is undeniably a great way to engage with your current customers, promote your services, and increase your visibility to potential customers. But if you’re new to social media marketing, it can be tough to know where to start. Check out this detailed list of tips for marketing your HVAC business on social media.
Want to spread brand awareness and create loyal fans of your HVAC business? Great idea! Instagram is a surprisingly effective way to build your brand. In this post, we’ll show you nine effective, proven strategies for leveraging the platform.
Does your HVAC company need a Facebook page?
Before you answer, consider the fact that your target market is already on Facebook. Why wouldn’t your business leverage Facebook as an HVAC marketing strategy? Read this post to learn how Facebook can help get you qualified leads, create loyal customers, and increase your company’s search visibility.
Here’s the thing, though—if you want your Facebook strategy to work, you need to put money behind it with Facebook ads.
If you already use PPC ads, you might be thinking “Why do I need to do Facebook ads, too?” The short answer is that the audiences for these two types of ads are different, and to maximize your online real estate, you should use both tools (if you can afford it). There are several types of Facebook ads you can run depending on whether you’re looking for more website clicks, “likes” on your Facebook page, or engagement on a particular post. Click here to learn more about Facebook ads for HVAC contractors.
8. Establish a Presence on Nextdoor
If you haven’t heard of Nextdoor or aren’t active on the platform, you’re missing out. Nextdoor is a social media app for defined neighborhoods in the U.S, and it’s where homeowners get a pulse on what’s going on in their neighborhood.
It can also help grow your business—90% of American neighborhoods are using to get recommendations and find local service providers. It’s also one of the best places to get referrals, build trust in your company, and increase brand awareness. The best part? Now local companies are able to advertise on Nextdoor.
9. Make the Most of Video
You, better than anyone, know just how many homeowners don’t know how to change their HVAC filter. What do modern consumers do when they need to do something but don’t know how?
They head to YouTube—86% of U.S. viewers say they regularly turn to YouTube to learn something new. YouTube is also the world’s second-largest search engine. Not only is video becoming the majority of the population’s preferred way to consume information, but it also increases conversion rates up to 80% when you put videos on your web pages. The key is in creating the right kind of videos and distributing them on platforms your target audience uses (social media, your website, email, etc.).
Before you hit record, here are a few things to consider in your video marketing strategy:
- Limit videos to two minutes or less to increase the likelihood of viewership
- Place videos on popular service pages
- Incorporate videos on blogs
- Upload videos to both your website and your YouTube channel
- Don’t forget about video on social media
10. Audit Your Current Pay-Per-Lead Site Investment
It doesn’t take very long and it could save you a bundle.
It’s easy to be tempted by sites like Angie’s List, HomeAdvisor, and Yelp when you constantly see their names in search results for your target services. The thing is, there are many factors to take into consideration when deciding whether to invest in these types of pay-per-lead services. To see if your current pay per lead investment is worth it, figure out your entire return on marketing spend, and see if the benefits outweigh the costs. See our in-depth discussion here.
11. Opt-In to Email Marketing for HVAC Companies
Looking for a great way to keep in touch with your customers and inform them about special promotions? Email marketing is a great way to generate leads and sales from your existing customer base:
- 90% of email gets delivered to the intended recipient’s inbox, whereas only 2% of your Facebook fans see your posts in their News Feed.
- 61% of consumers enjoy receiving promotional emails weekly, and 28% would like emails to come even more frequently
- You are 6x more likely to get a click-through from an email campaign than you are from a tweet
There’s also this: one of our HVAC clients made $17,000 in new sales from ONE email newsletter send in the slowest month of the year! You can see the case study here »
Get eight email marketing tips that you can apply to your HVAC company here.
How to Stand Out in an Email Inbox
Even when you know the basics of HVAC email marketing and you’ve sent out a few messages to your contact list, it can be tough to get people to open your emails. Click here for a few simple tips that will help your next email newsletter stand out from the crowd.
12. Generate More Online Reviews
How to Get Google Reviews for Your HVAC Company
Reviews are important—period. About 95% of consumers read online business reviews, and 85% trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. You can’t just get a few good reviews and call it quits, however—85% of consumers don’t trust reviews more than three months old.
Not only could low review ratings (or a total lack of reviews) steer potential customers away from your website, but higher review ratings may also help you get in the “local pack” on Google results pages. Read this post for guidelines on how to get more Google reviews for your HVAC company.
Dive deeper into this topic by catching up on the following blogs:
13. Take Your Recruitment Efforts Online
Using LinkedIn to Hire Great Talent for Small Businesses
According to a Pew Research Study of Americans who have looked for a new job in the last two years, 90% have used the Internet to research jobs and companies. However, in a recent study that Blue Corona completed more than 500 small to medium-sized businesses that analyzed their digital footprint, 20% didn’t even have a LinkedIn company page. That’s the first solution to this problem—your company needs to have a visible LinkedIn profile that is complete and informative to job seekers.
How to Use Glassdoor to Grow Your HVAC Company
Many business owners cite hiring and retaining employees as a major struggle—in fact, 48% of small businesses report there are few or no qualified applicants 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.
Dive deeper into this topic by catching up on the following blog:
14. Use Customer Service as an HVAC Marketing Strategy
Great Customer Service is a Great HVAC 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 HVAC company can employ isn’t content marketing or SEO, it’s top-notch customer service. Learn how to make the most of it here.
How to Show Your Customers Love
The first step to evaluating your customer service strategy is to find out how well it’s working in the first place. And if your customer service representatives (CSRs) aren’t doing a great job, all they need is a little extra training.
Handling Price Shoppers as an HVAC Company
Have you ever been in the office and overheard your CSRs’ calls, only to realize that many of the conversations revolve around the price of an air conditioner installation or furnace 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.
Dive deeper into this topic by catching up on the following blogs:
Need Help Executing Your HVAC Marketing Strategies in 2019?
Now you know what you need to do to better market your HVAC business this year, but a plan is nothing without implementation.
Learn the basics of digital marketing strategy execution here.
We know that that you wrack your brain trying to come up with HVAC business ideas, and marketing can be complicated and frustrating at times—especially when you’re trying to focus on the day-to-day duties of running a business. If the above sounds daunting, I have a suggestion. Make sure you’re not making one of these awful HVAC digital marketing mistakes.
If you are, you know you need help. If you’re still feeling a little lost with regard to HVAC internet marketing, or you just don’t have time to handle everything yourself, we’re here to help. Let Blue Corona market your HVAC company for you!
About The Author: Betsy is Blue Corona's Digital Content Manager. When she’s not directing Blue Corona's corporate digital content campaigns she’s urban exploring with her wife, diving into the latest marketing trends, or teaching horseback riding lessons. Twitter: @educatedbets
View more blogs by Betsy McLeod