Author Archives: HVAC Webmasters

Top 5 Ways to get HVAC Customers in 2021

Get HVAC Customers (Blog Cover)

People often ask us, “how do I market my HVAC business?” The most relevant answer to everyone who asks us is this question is strong SEO. Not every HVAC business is the same. And most regional markets come with their own unique set challenges. As such, there is no one correct way to market your HVAC business. But SEO is the backbone of modern marketing and that’s where every company needs to start. 

You need to have a strong online presence. You need to research keywords relevant to searches that real people are conducting for HVAC services and include them in your content. You need to have a website that is easily navigable on mobile devices. You need reputation management and a stable flow of customer reviews. All of these things are more or less covered by SEO. And while SEO is certainly necessary for getting customers in the first place, there are other methods you should be looking into if you really want your business to be successful.

Here at HVAC Webmasters, we offer every SEO and digital marketing service your business could ever need. And better yet; our services are tailored for the unique HVAC industry. We are all about providing our clients with the tools and knowledge they will need to thrive in this space. And to that end, we want to share with you some proven methods to get HVAC customers. Every day, we work closely with HVAC contractors all around the country and these are the methods that we have seen work time and time again. Take a look.

1) Google My Business

Getting customers is all about being visible. Google My Business is a simple and effective way to make your HVAC business more visible to your customers. Surveys show that 64% of consumers use Google My Business to find basic information on local businesses. That’s half of your local market that you can’t afford to go unnoticed by. Claiming your business on Google My Business is simple too. Just fill out some basic information and you will be all set. But it’s important to make sure the information you submit is accurate, that you update the information as needed, and include plenty of high-quality photos in your listing.

2) Interact With Customers

It isn’t enough to get online customer reviews and have a Facebook page for your business. You have to engage your customers. While this may seem like a tactic more geared towards retaining existing customers (which it most certainly is), engaging your customers is actually a method for gaining new ones too. Not only do nearly all consumers go out of their way to read business’ response to reviews, many consumers feel that these responses signify trustworthiness. When a potential customer sees that you respond to reviews (whether they be good or bad) they will be more inclined to trust you with their HVAC needs.

Interacting with customers also means replying to their Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter comments. Spur conversation on your social media pages with questions like “what’s your favorite way to stay cool in the summer?” or “what is the best thermostat app you have tried?” This engagement draws new customers who may already be warm leads.

3) Post Blog Content

Blogs are an asset for many kinds of companies. That’s because, with a blog, you have a unique opportunity to attract people who may have never heard of your business. High-quality blog content can have a huge impact on your organic search engine rankings. Good blog content can also generate extremely valuable off-site links that will lead to more searches and queries on your website. Say, for example, someone wants to know what a certain sound that their AC is making means.

They turn to an internet search and you just so happen to have a blog post specifically about strange HVAC noises. Your blog helps answers their question. They are therefore more likely to trust you with their HVAC needs because you have already demonstrated value. And even if your post didn’t fully answer their question, you may have come off as knowledgeable enough answer further questions your post may have spurred. The consumer is now intrigued and primed to contact you for your services.

4) Certifications

Being a member of your local chamber of commerce or other industry-specific organizations can help more people find and trust your business. Be sure to post any industry certifications you may possess on your website so that you show up in certain specific searches. For instance, if you have been certified to use a certain type of eco-friendly refrigerant, be sure to make mention of that on your site. That way people searching for “certified refrigerant installers” will see your business listing.

5) Attend Trade Shows

Attending HVAC industry trade shows is a great way to meet and get HVAC customers. HVAC industry trade shows are especially necessary if your business focuses on commercial work. Trade shows are a great way to drum up B2B revenue as many companies large and small attend them to find a contractor to grant a long-term commercial contract. Still, HVAC trade shows are a great way to meet customers face to face and get your name out there. 

Let us help you get HVAC Customers

Getting more HVAC customers for your business is something that we specialize in here at HVAC Webmasters. There is a lot more that goes into digital marketing and customer acquisition and most HVAC contractors don’t have the time to handle it all themselves. We put our full team behind your business plus all of our resources to help increase your online presence, manage your online reputation, and launch a marketing campaign that generates new customers. For more information on how we can help you get HVAC customers, call (800) 353-3409.

Posted: | Updated: Aug 4, 2020 | Categories: General

4 Fundamental Elements of the Best Air Conditioning Ads

Best Air Conditioning Ads (Blog Cover)

If you have been pouring money into your advertising budget and not getting a satisfactory ROI, you may be missing out on some of the fundamental elements that make the best air conditioning ads. As an HVAC contractor, you can’t afford to throw money away on ineffectual ad campaigns. 

The problem that many business owners run into is that they have good HVAC advertising ideas in general but lack the guidance that comes from considering these fundamental ad elements. Their efforts go in vain and they see no increase in customer conversion. As a digital marketing team that works specifically with HVAC contractors, we see this happen all too often. So today we wanted to provide a list of the most fundamental elements for successful HVAC ads based on our extensive experience and expertise in the industry.

Here at HVAC SEO Webmasters, we’ve studied online advertising for the better part of a decade. In addition to SEO, web design, and content marketing, our understanding of ads his given us knowledge worth sharing with you. And in the meantime, you can take a look at our list of the fundamental elements of the best air conditioning ads.

1) Audience Targeted

We start off with the most basic of all advertising principles: know your target market. It may seem simple but even the biggest companies in the world make this misstep. Luckily, for smaller-scale HVAC companies, it isn’t so hard to figure out where best your marketing dollars should be spent. Take a look at a good sampling of your most recent invoices, identify the customers who have spent the most money along with the invoices that represent your most frequent types of customers. For example, if you are seeing that most of your customers are in the residential sector, consider pointing your ad crosshairs on residential service and products. Do the same if you realize that the majority of your business is in the commercial or industrial sector.

2) “Pain PressureFocused

There is a term in the marketing lexicon, “pain point.” A pain point refers to a problem that your customer base is likely to be experiencing. The practice of “pressuring the pain” refers to advertising campaigns that address these problems. Pressuring a pain point is not a new concept but it is a mainstay in advertising and marketing because it yields results consistently. And the best air conditioning ads will masterfully execute this practice. As Kinetic Advertising puts it, pain points allow you to shape the nature of your service. An effective advertising campaign will, therefore, let the pain points of the customer base dictate the nature of the ads themselves. Once again, the HVAC industry is fortunate because it’s not hard to imagine what the pain points of the clientele would be. Think of sweltering heat and a busted AC. Think of loud AC systems that disrupt a household. Think of a financially strapped customer-facing an exorbitant repair bill. These are all examples of pain points related to the HVAC industry.

3) Effective CTA’s

A CTA is a call to action. In advertising, CTA’s are usually phrases that encourage potential customers to act in one way or another. A lot of business owners use general CTA’s that don’t speak to the needs of their specific industry. But the best air conditioning ads have specified, crafted, and effective calls to action. Whatever your ad medium is, be sure to include a thoughtful CTA that spurs your audience to take a favorable action. In the HVAC business, your call to action should be tailored to the needs of your customer and entice them. “Keep your home cool by working with us,” is a good example of a residentially focused CTA and “Schedule your free estimate” offers an enticing proposition for value-seeking customers. 

4) Consistent Branding

Don’t jump from logo to logo or mascot to mascot. Consistent branding is essential to increase brand awareness, grow brand trust, and ultimately, drive revenue. In fact, consistent branding has been observed to increase revenue for companies by up to 33%. We know that it could be hard to settle on one logo or graphic to represent your company for the rest of its days but it’s important to sort that out as early as you can so you can start establishing your brand. The best air conditioning ads will have clean, eye-catching, prominent, and consistent branding.

Bonus Tip: Funny Ads Can Boost Engagement

While there’s reason to be serious much of the time, funny air conditioning ads can boost engagement for companies. Consumers like funny HVAC ads in the same way they like comedy movies and internet memes. Ultimately, if they associate legitimate humor with your brand, the chances of them clicking-through increases. Multi-channel campaigns allow for message diversity, though the brand’s general them should remain on-brand. You don’t want to confuse or alienate potential customers who may be more or less inclined to find advertising funny.

Get Professional Help

Last but not least, one of the most effective ways to craft a profitable advertising or marketing campaign is to work with seasoned pros. Here at HVAC SEO Webmasters, we have a vast knowledge of the HVAC industry and abundant experience with marketing in this space. The bottom line is that we can help you generate more leads and convert more customers so make your HVAC business more profitable today. Choosing the right advertising agency can be challenging for contractors. Depending on your goals and needs, online ads may seem like a different world. As an agency that specializes in heating and cooling, we know what works and what doesn’t work in 2020.

Posted: | Updated: Jul 20, 2020 | Categories: General

How to Get Online Reviews for your HVAC Company in 2020

Reviews for Your HVAC Company (Blog Cover)

So you want reviews for your HVAC company? You aren’t alone. Most HVAC contractors rely on online feedback to drive customers to their business. In fact, reviews are one of the great separators when it comes to converting online traffic into actual leads. At HVAC Webmasters, we use BrandREVU to help our clients achieve success with online reviews on GMB, Facebook, and Yelp.

People rely mightily on online reviews for services like HVAC because reviews are essentially the only thing that allows outsiders to peer into this world and see what your business is all about. In a world where every industry’s most valuable assets are online reviews, this stands doubly true for HVAC businesses. 

But how do you get reviews for your HVAC Company? In today’s post, we will be outlining some helpful tips for acquiring more reviews for your HVAC Company. We will share tips for companies with some reviews that would like more and for companies that as of yet, have no reviews at all.

Make Yourself Available

Where a lot of HVAC contractors falter is that they do not make their company as accessible to reviews as possible. They create listings on Yelp and Google My Business but these two review platforms aren’t the only fish in the sea – as big as they may be. As an HVAC contractor, you should also have listings on Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor. These two are especially important because they focus on home services like plumbing, carpentry, flooring, roofing, and HVAC. And if you’re wondering just how popular these sites are, in 2018 Angie’s List had users from 6 million households and HomeAdvisor has been used by 30 million households. But why stop there? TrustPilot, CitySearch, and the Better Business Bureau are also good to review websites to avail yourself of.

Make Leaving Reviews Easy

Nothing is more annoying to a customer than having to navigate through a complex gauntlet just to leave a review. You will see your review numbers rise significantly if you streamline the process for your customers. Direct email links to your review platforms sent to recently serviced customers is a great way to make the process easy. QR codes on business cards and fliers make it easy for customers who prefer using their mobile devices. Having a positive review template pre-written and handy for customers is another way you can make leaving a review convenient for them. 

Don’t Sleep on Reviews

This is a tip for all the HVAC companies out there who have reviews but want to get more. We cannot stress enough the importance of responding to reviews. 96% of all millennial consumers read business’s replies to their reviews and 30% of all consumers consider a business’s reply to their review valuable. But how does any of that translate to more reviews? It builds trust in your company. This trust signifies that you care about the customer experience and are appreciative of their business. This brings in new customers who already trust that you will reply to them if they leave a review. In turn, these new customers will be more likely to leave a review.

Stress the Value of Customer Reviews

If your HVAC business is just getting off the ground and you’re finding it difficult to acquire reviews in the first place, this tip is for you. It works best when you know you have a satisfied customer on your hands. When the services have been rendered and you are settling up, mention how important customer reviews are to your fledgling business. This works extremely well with happy customers who are appreciative of speedy, reliable, honest, and affordable service. More people are willing to reward good service than you probably think so don’t be shy about letting customers know how much value their positive reviews hold.

Ensure Accuracy of Listing Information

One of the biggest deterrents for customers willing to write reviews is inaccurate or confusing listing information. It seems simple but it is actually a very common problem. People may see a slight variance in the spelling of your company name between one or two review sites and become unsure of which one is actually yours. They don’t want to leave a false review, so they don’t leave one at all. Be sure that your company’s name is spelled consistently on your business cards, website, and all your review website listings. A simple oversight like spelling your company name “Johnson & Murray HVAC” on your business card and spelling it “Johnson and Murray HVAC” on a review site listing and then spelling it “J&M HVAC” on your website can throw a customer off. Be sure that your business address listings match across all platforms as well.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask

Last but not least on our tips for getting more reviews for your HVAC company is simply asking. According to Search Engine Land, 70% of consumers will leave a review when one is requested. A word of mouth request is still one of the most effective methods for acquiring reviews so make sure you and your team are asking for them when service has been rendered. 

Proven Results From HVAC Webmasters

The reviews that people write for on-site services like plumbing, appliance repair, and HVAC are vastly important. One of the reasons they are so important is because services like HVAC repair and maintenance are private. They occur in the home or on the grounds of a commercial building. The HVAC business isn’t like running a car wash or a restaurant where outsiders can readily see the finished product and how many people are frequenting your business.

Online reviews allow leads to see how you treat your customers, deliver your service, how punctual you are, how professional you are and what you are capable of. Reviews are essentially a source of advertising for your company and consumer information for your potential customers at once. 

Of course, getting customers and reviews in the first place starts with online visibility. And online visibility is all about effective HVAC SEO. Here at HVAC SEO Webmasters, we utilize proven digital marketing and modern SEO tactics for visible results. You will see a surge in web traffic, leads, conversions, and reviews when you use our services.

Posted: | Updated: Jul 13, 2020 | Categories: General

Best HVAC Tools for 2020

HVAC Tools (Blog Cover)

HVAC tools are important to contractors who pride themselves on performing excellent work for their clients. Whether you buy your supplies at Home Depot or through another vendor, it is important to understand which tools are most helpful for heating & cooling projects in 2020.

Making sure your team has the latest and greatest tools isn’t just about pleasing the customers – it boosts worker morale too. When you give your team everything they need, they won’t have to work so hard. And when technicians don’t have to work so hard, they are generally happier.

At HVAC SEO Webmasters, we are at the service of our clients in the HVAC trade. If at any time you would like to boost the online presence of your HVAC company and get more traffic to your site, get in touch with us. In the meantime, check out our list of the best HVAC tools to have in your arsenal in 2020.

Hand Tools

Pretty much every trade has its own specialized set of hand tools that are essential to the work. There is some overlap, however. For instance, some hand tools that are important for HVAC work are also used in plumbing. You will see what we mean in a moment as we highlight some of the essential hand tools every HVAC technician should be equipped with:

  • Shears – Cutting into sheet metal is a big part of HVAC installation and repair as vent work commonly needs to be altered in some way. Steel shears are essential to make long, straight cuts into sheet metal and if you can, find a good pair with an insulated handle.
  • Aviation Snips – For cutting into ductwork more comfortably when a curve is needed, aviation snips are crucial. As the name suggests aviation snips were originally developed to cut metal for aircraft. But now they are a staple in the HVAC industry for making curved cuts into ductwork and cuts that require a change of direction at some point. 
  • Tin Snips – Tin snips (both left and right) make cutting into round ductwork much easier. They will help your technicians make longer, straighter cuts into ductwork which is usually required when making an HVAC system more energy-efficient or watertight. 
  • Pipe Wrench – This is one of the tools that a plumber and HVAC technician will likely have in their bag. HVAC appliances like gas furnaces and water heaters are hooked up to utility lines. As an HVAC contractor or technician, you will have to connect and disconnect these lines on service calls. A good pipe wrench therefore cannot be overlooked. The best pipe wrenches have ductile iron handles that will actually bend before they break. They last a long time and they give you a warning before they completely fail.

Refrigerant Scale

The career of an HVAC technician is essentially a prolonged practice is precision. Measurements of all kinds in HVAC need to be precise. Refrigerant is no exception. Putting too much refrigerant can put undue strain on an air conditioner’s compressor. Putting too little will render the system incapable of maintaining the desired temperature. A refrigerant scale is therefore needed to carry out service calls and detect leaks the right way. A good scale will allow you to use exactly the right amount of refrigerant so you won’t have to make a second service call for the same problem.

Voltage Meters

Think voltage meters are only used by electricians? Think again. Voltage meters are yet another tool that is extremely important in multiple trades. Voltage meters allow you to test for live wires and outlets before working on them. They will also allow your technicians to see if systems are putting out the amount of energy needed to power certain HVAC systems. Voltage meters are therefore very important for the safety of your team and to help them diagnose and fix common HVAC problems. 

Vacuum Pumps

Vacuum pumps allow your technicians to suck out moisture and air out of ductwork. Why is this important? It’s important for maintenance and cleaning jobs but also for leak testing. Vacuum pumps can help your technicians pinpoint a line leak before they do something like charge the system with refrigerant; saving lots of time, money and risk.

Drills

A good cordless drill goes a long way in the HVAC industry. Make sure your team is equipped with cordless drills with all the necessary bits. One of the most important parts of a drill kit that many HVAC contractors overlook is a drill bit sheath. A drill bit sheath can help your technicians avoid puncturing holes in refrigerant lines when installing test ports. A drill bit sheath will also help prevent creating leaks in the ductwork that can throw off static pressure readings. At any rate, it is also a good idea to ensure that all your technicians have at least 2 batteries on hand for their drill to make sure they will be able to complete all-day projects.

Top HVAC Tool Brands

Now that you know what types of tools you need, you should consider the top brands for HVAC tools. After all, a tool is only as good as its manufacturer. Trust is probably the number one consideration for contractors looking to invest in heating and cooling tools, especially when it’s for their business and employees. Let’s take a look at some top brands:

Milwaukee Tool

Milwaukee tool is considered one of the most trustworthy brands for HVAC. They’ve been in business since 1924 which gives contractors an idea of how reliable they are in the marketplace. They are known for appealing directly to “real users” rather than just marketing their tools for anybody. Milwaukee makes trade-specific equipment that is built for durability.

Fieldpiece

Fieldpiece is near and dear to the HVACR community. They make hand-held test instruments that are crafted specifically for HVAC contractors. They were the first to offer modular expandability which allow for contractors to test the majority of parameters with only a single meter. The HVACR powerhouse now offers additional tools such as manifolds and scales.

Hilmor

Hilmor is another popular brand for HVAC tools. They are known as one of the more innovative manufacturers and provide considerable value to contractors. Whether you are looking for gauges, hoses, manifolds, or another type of equipment, Hilmor is going to provide a solution, and an innovative one, at that. Check out their duel readout thermometer.

Other Equipment Considerations for HVAC

When you equip your team with all the tools mentioned above, you give them the best chance to service your clients professionally. The tools that your team of technicians carries reflect directly on you, the owner of the company. Be sure you are sending them out into the field with everything they will need to represent your company in the best possible light.

As an HVAC contractor, you have to view quality tools as an investment. Equipping your team with the tools they will need to get jobs done effectively and efficiently will only benefit your bottom line and endear your company to your customers. From simple yet essential hand tools to advanced measuring equipment, this list will help you and your team prepare for the rigors of the field. 

Posted: | Updated: Jun 30, 2020 | Categories: General

How Not To Get Screwed By HVAC Marketing Agencies

Getting hosed by HVAC marketing agencies has become commonplace in 2020. There are so many scam artists in the digital marketing industry who promise things like getting into the Local Map 3-Pack. Unfortunately, promises in SEO are often intentional lies from the marketer to the consumer (the HVAC contractor, in this case). Having spoken with thousands of HVAC companies about their marketing experiences, many of them want to understand one simple thing: how to NOT get screwed by marketing agencies. The HVAC Marketing Plan podcast has decided to tackle this subject in today’s episode, and we hope you learn from it and apply it next time.

Don’t Let Them Ruin Your GMB

One tactic used by hack agencies is to ruin your Google My Business listing by attaching a separate website to it. These agencies will promise you a ranking within the Local Map 3-Pack and gain control of your business listing. They distort your online credibility by putting up a new website that is cheaply built and unprofessional. Not only do they not help your GMB rank in the 3-pack, but they hurt your overall web presence. The map rankings are based on relevance, prominence, and proximity, and research shows that stronger websites with good links help the listing rank … not cheap websites. So if any HVAC marketing agency tries this, shut them down ASAP.

HVAC Map Pack

Don’t Trust Bulk SEO Packages

If we’ve learned one thing from our HVAC clients, it’s that bulk SEO packages are not to be trusted. An agency that handles PPC, social media, web design and SEO is going to be horrible at SEO nine times out of ten. There’s a good reason for this too. It’s because most of these agencies put SEO on the back burner. Their real money is made through PPC campaigns which can be easily manipulated. For example, many PPC campaigns encourage HVAC companies to spend money on terms that are irrelevant to their business. As the campaign costs pile up, the quality of your web presence decreases. All of this time ignoring SEO only hurts your brand’s long-term trajectory. So if you want SEO, get it from somewhere like HVAC Webmasters, where we actually care about your livelihood and not just screwing you out of money.

Don’t Screw Yourself, Either

Because of the frequency in which agencies overcharge consumers, there’s a tendency to go too far in the other direction. An example of this is HVAC companies who want to pay $99 dollars for digital marketing and SEO. That’s far too little to help you rank on any search engine or generate any kind of quality HVAC leads. To be fair to yourself and your commitment to business growth, you need to spend between $600-$1,000 per month. The only thing $99 dollars will get you is a glorified hosting fee which ends up as a waste of time and money. Instead, focus on affordable SEO services that actually produce tangible results. You want leads, you want business.

The “Organic SEO” Takes Too Long Myth

Another myth in the SEO industry is that organic SEO takes too long. It no longer takes a full year to optimize your website online. In fact, if you do everything right, you can be optimized in less than 6 months, and maybe even within 3 months. People use this antiquated idea to encourage you to drain your bank account on PPC and Facebook ads. While those things can work if they are properly executed, they are nowhere near the ROI of SEO. Of course, it only matters if HVAC companies take SEO seriously by investing in reputation management and making a real effort to get reviews. The other piece of this is branding which is something every HVAC contractor should be taking seriously in 2020 and in the foreseeable future. For more tips about HVAC Marketing check out our other podcast episodes for free.

Posted: | Updated: Jun 10, 2020 | Categories: Podcast

Delivering Excellent Customer Service for HVAC During COVID-19

As an HVAC contractor, you probably depend a lot on word of mouth referrals and recommendations. But in a time when social distancing is a must and people are struggling to communicate, this can be a challenge for your business. Nonetheless, the current pandemic is an excellent opportunity to show your customers that your business is of value.

One of the most effective ways to do that is to maintain a high level of customer service in these trying times. If you are able to give your customers great service and friendly interactions at this time, your business will reap the benefits both now and in the future. Now is the time to strike while the iron is hot so to speak because many businesses aren’t focusing on customer service right now. Owners have their minds on other things. But if you can be the HVAC contractor that didn’t forget about delivering an awesome customer experience during COVID-19, you will have won a loyal customer.

In today’s post, we will be talking about the importance of customer service during this time as well as giving you some customer service tips that apply specifically to the current crisis. Still, it is important to realize that all the following tips revolve around thinking about the customer. And thinking about your customer is a practice that will serve you well no matter what is happening in the world. 

If at any time you would like to speak to an HVAC marketing expert, please feel free to contact us here at HVAC Webmasters. But for now, let’s discuss some customer service tips to remember.

Communicate Clearly

Communication is at a premium now that social distancing and quarantines are the norms. It is important that you let your customers know that you can still service all their HVAC needs, first and foremost. Secondly, it is crucial that you communicate with your clients how you intend to keep them safe even as you are in their homes or businesses working on their HVAC systems. You can accomplish both these feats simply by updating your social media pages and website. Outline the preventative measures you are taking against the spread of COVID-19. 

You can also send an email newsletter to your clients, reminding them that you are still available to service them and that you will observe the recommended 6-foot distancing suggestion, wear protective face and hand coverings and limit face-to-face interactions to only what is absolutely necessary. You can also emphasize these points anytime a potential customer calls you and inquires about your services.

Understand Your Unique Position

As an HVAC contractor, even you may not be aware of the unique position you are in. But the fact is that HVAC services can actually help to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Running a home or commercial HVAC system can actually stymie the spread of the virus within a building. 

This is a bit of information that you can leverage to help your customers. Again, you can use email newsletter campaigns or your social media pages to let people know that you can install filters for their heaters and air conditioners to help stop the proliferation of COVID-19. Let them know that they shouldn’t be afraid to run their HVAC systems and that you can help them if their systems have been hindered in any way.

The HVAC trade is in a unique position compared to other trades in this sense so let your customers know that you are there for them to provide this essential service.

Prioritize Safety Gear

The precautions you are taking off the clock (face masks, gloves, etc.) should be the same precautions you take when you are on the job site. This is another important customer service tips to remember. It is important for safety first and foremost, but when your customers see that you actually value their health and safety, that will stand out to them. 

Be sure that you and your technicians are equipped with masks and gloves at all times on the job. This is the best way to stay healthy when you have to interact with people and it makes customers feel more secure. And if they feel secure with you, they are more likely ot enlist your services in the future. 

Expand Communications

A lot of times, estimates are given in person because a customer wants you to see with your own eyes and hear with your own ears what is going on with their HVAC systems. But in-person interaction isn’t the only way to get on the same page as your customer.

Now more than ever, it is important to familiarize yourself with and utilize video chat applications like Zoom, FaceTime, WhatsApp and others. By opening this channel of communication with your customers, you are telling them that you A) value their health and safety and B) are adapting to the crisis to meet their HVAC needs. 

Plus, it is a great way for people to get that face-to-face rapport with you without risking infection of any kind. While it may not be perfect, this form of virtual communication will at least show your customers that you are doing your best to service their HVAC needs during a difficult time.

Stay Positive

Throughout all this confusion and uncertainty, it is important to stay positive and focused. The last thing a customer wants is a visibly stressed out and pessimistic person to come into their home or business and work on their HVAC system. They will not call you back again if you have a dour attitude.

People need to be uplifted right now. They need positivity. So be the HVAC contractor that provides them that. It will help you too.

With a bit of persistence and diligence with these and other customer service tips, your business will get to the light at the end of the tunnel. For more information, marketing help, and customer service tips, contact us here at HVAC Webmasters.

Listen To The Audio Podcast Below

Posted: | Updated: Apr 30, 2020 | Categories: Podcast

Enhance Local SEO With Check-in Tools

Google considers a wide range of information when creating the search results you see online. For Local Map rankings in particular, Google looks at thousands of businesses within a service area prior to selecting only three for the Map Pack results. Not all HVAC companies are legit but many are trying to rank anyway. One of the most effective ways to prove your worth as a company is to provide social proof, AKA evidence of actual work.

Both Customers and Search Engines Value Social Proof

Among the factors, Google considers as evidence are custom websites, reviews, and proper SEO elements. In this podcast, we are going to speak on an innovative form of social proof that can change the landscape of local SEO as we know it, and produce qualified HVAC leads for contractors. What is this we speak of? Check-ins.

What HVAC Contractors Should Know About Check-ins

  • Companies who use check-ins regularly have a decided advantage over those who use them sparingly
  • Reviews are still the #1 source of social proof but check-ins enhance their validity and contribute significantly to SEO ranking
  • Employees and other team members can receive their own login information to perform check-ins on their own

How To Define a Check-in

Check-ins are a form of user-generated content that publishes your geolocation along with your performed service.

Think about your city on Google Maps. Lots of other businesses and residential homes span across the area. You may even notice the exact address of your main office (or home). But what you don’t see, and more importantly; what Google doesn’t see, is which of the homes or business buildings you repaired air ducts, air conditioners, and furnaces for.

As we remind many professionals over the years, Google is not omniscient. It only knows what people tell it. In fact, the search engine only works as well as it does because hundreds of millions of people continually upload information for it to dig into.

Google can only produce information based on the data it can see, record, and distribute. By providing Google with check-ins, you give them the source they need to improve rankings. Check-in technology is an asset to Google and to you as a business owner.

HVAC Check-in Example

Advantages of Using Check-ins for HVAC

Check-ins increase rankings, attract qualified leads and improve conversion rates. In essence, check-in technology provides every core need for the HVAC contractor who markets their services online.

Although SEO is definitely a copycat industry, so few contractors have dipped their toes into the world of check-ins, simply because they don’t know that they exist. This lack of industry knowledge provides a great opportunity for HVAC companies who are ahead of the curve. When Google can verify detailed information about your company’s worksite performances they can highlight your service over other competitors.

In our own case studies, we’ve seen check-ins prove heavily effective in moving businesses into Google’s Local 3-Pack. Contractors are always in the market for qualified leads, especially if they have to do very little work to acquire them. With check-in technology, all it takes is a simple form submission and you are benefiting your SEO like never before.

Visualizing HVAC Check-ins

Once a job is completed, take out your mobile phone and grab a picture of the freshly repaired AC unit or furnace. From there you visit your check-in dashboard and fill out the job-site check-in form. Finally, you click “check-in” and the process is done. You can just sit back and enjoy what that simple sequence of events is going to do for your SEO and lead generation.

Uploading check-ins to your company website is the most effective way to boost organic rankings. Regular updates allow for Google to crawl new information regularly and ensure your crawl schedule is frequent. Combine this with the embedded geolocation data from your job site check-ins and you are light years ahead of many competitor websites in terms of local SEO.

What Else You Need to Know

Check-ins should be frequent and accurate in order to maximize its value. The more map markers you have across your service area, the more prospective customers you will attract. HVAC companies must check-in whenever they do a job in order to take their SEO to the next level in 2020. While the extra 2-5 minutes it takes to check-in may take some getting used to, the business benefits will make you want to do it every time.

Think about your map markers as a board game against other competitors. As you fill out your map, you gain a major head start on any company that will start check-ins in 6 months to a year. You are already way ahead of them.

If possible, choose a check-in solution that lets you upload fresh pictures on to your website. Customers and Google alike appreciate fresh images, and it looks nice on your site. All you have to do consistently snag photos at the end of each job. Just imagine your clients seeing projects closely related to their plumbing needs as they browse through your website!

Check-ins are nice because of map markers and geolaction but original photos really take them to the next level, especially for conversion rate optimization. Every check-in should include a photo taken by you or the job-site employee which showcases the job you did on the AC unit, furnace, etc. As visitors browse through your jobs, they can really get a feel for your work.

Posted: | Updated: Apr 29, 2020 | Categories: Podcast

How to Diversify Review Sources for Your HVAC Business

With all that is going on right now with COVID-19, you should be taking extra protective measures in every aspect of your life. As an HVAC contractor, you need to be sure that you are keeping yourself, your team and your customers safe. 

Part of being prepared as an HVAC contractor during these times is focusing on alternative review sources that help legitimize your business online.

Why is it Important to Know Alternative Review Sources?

Online reviews are one of the most powerful marketing tools that you can leverage as an HVAC contractor. The numbers don’t lie. A study conducted by My testimonial Engine concluded that 72% of consumers will base their purchasing decisions on customer reviews. A separate study conducted by the Spiegel Research Center showed that online reviews can drive the sales of a product or service by a whopping 270%. 

Increase Brand Trust

It is easy to see that people look to online reviews as a sign that your company can be trusted. They are also a source of information for people who want to know what kind of services you offer, where you operate and how you treat your customers – all very important factors when choosing an HVAC contractor. 

Diversify Sources

So now that you can see why online reviews are important, you may be feeling like diversifying your reputation portfolio. After all, any credible company has a co-sign from more than just one entity. We have compiled a list of the best alternative review sources for HVAC contractors. But if you have marketing questions that need answers right now, feel free to call us here at HVAC Webmasters, and we will be happy to serve you. 

The Best Alternative Review Sources for HVAC Contractors

As an HVAC contractor, you should know that Google Reviews is not the only platform where your customers can leave reviews of your business. There are other effective forums that you need to be taking advantage of right now that Google Reviews is not functioning. Here is our list of the best alternative review sources for HVAC contractors:

Facebook

Facebook is number one on our list for a very good reason: besides Google reviews, it is the most popular forum for business reviews for all kinds of contractors. In a survey conducted on 2,000 internet users, it was found that 49% of them used Facebook business reviews to help them decide on a product or service. And that number is only expected to grow. The Facebook review system is based on user input whether they recommend your business or not. It is often called Facebook Recommendations. But based on the number of people who say they would recommend your business, Facebook generates a star rating similar to Google reviews. Facebook is a powerful tool that you can leverage to keep customers aware of your HVAC services and drive sales during this trying time.

Yelp

Yelp has been around for a long time and it is still one of the internet’s top sources for business reviews. The iron is still hot on this review platform so if you aren’t already, start striking. Yelp reviews tend to be more detailed which can be good and bad. It’s bad if your customers are unhappy with your work because they are able and encouraged to describe in great detail why they were unhappy with your services. But it’s great when you have a happy customer on your hands because they are more likely to be much more descriptive about what it was that made them so happy about your HVAC work. This, in turn, inspires a lot of trust for potential customers. It also gives them valuable insight into the kind of work you do and your level of customer service.

Better Business Bureau

We conducted our own survey to validate our selection of the Better Business Bureau as a top alternative review source. What we found was that the Better Business Bureau was actually the second most used review platform by people in the market for HVAC services – behind only Google reviews. The Better Business Bureau is one of the highest-regarded sources for business information and customer reviews. Their ‘A+’ business grades are still coveted across all industries as it stands as an undeniable testament to the quality of your service.

Make your Reviews Tell a Story

It is important to get the most out of any reviews you can get amidst this crisis. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to make your reviews work for you right now. For example, people value hygiene more than ever now. Small gestures like wearing sanitary footwear while working in a customer’s home, wearing masks, staying 6 feet away while interacting with customers and maintaining a clean workspace will definitely leave a mark in the minds of your clients.

When they review your service, they will mention those things. People will see this specific description of how your business is taking measures to keep your customers safe and know that yours is the company to trust during these unsure times.

You can also use Facebook reviews and recommendations to interact with your customers. Make an effort to reply to your customers who leave a review. Let them know that you appreciated their patronage and tell them about ways they can continue to remain safe and healthy.

If you implement these alternative review sources and strive to make your reviews work for you; you can actually thrive during this time. For more ways to grow your business now and in the future, talk to us here at HVAC Webmasters. 

Other Resources From HVAC Webmasters

Related Articles and Videos
How To Earn and Protect Google Reviews (Podcast)
Why HVAC Contractors Need Reviews (Research)
How HVAC Contractors Can Implement E-A-T (Article)

Related Services
Facebook Reviews for HVAC
GMB Optimization for HVAC
Ranking in The Local 3-PAck

Posted: | Updated: Apr 20, 2020 | Categories: Podcast

The World With Coronavirus (COVID-19), and How HVAC Pros Can Respond

What a strange time we’re living in! While COVID-19 introduces its own flurry of anxiety and panic, it’s important to remember that we’ve been here before. With every health, financial, and security crisis our nation has faced, there’s always been service professionals dedicated to helping get back to our day to day normal.

As people hunker down and brace for whatever the Coronavirus may throw their city’s way, your heating and cooling company has a unique opportunity to comfort them with considerate and timely service. It’s going to require careful planning, strategy, and empathy. But your business can make a difference! Here’s how…

Continue Your Online Marketing

When people are scared to even go out to the mailbox for fear of COVID-19, opportunities to get your physical brand in front of consumers are limited. On the other hand, more Americans are going online than ever before. Thousands of people in your community are working from home now, meaning you have an even larger window to harness search marketing and reach them.

Your company needs to continue advertising and optimizing organically as much as possible during this period.

If your website isn’t fully optimized for local search yet, you need to get that taken care of yesterday! If you haven’t done so already, check the findings from our latest HVAC consumer research article “Survey Says: Communication & Customer Reviews“. We offer some awesome data on what website features and communication channels people are wanting most these days.

There’s a couple challenges you’re business will need to master even before your start marketing your services. Nail them however, and you’ll create some exceptionally long-lasting goodwill with clients.

Update: Google has temporarily suspended local GMB reviews – this includes collecting and responding to them – to protect companies from Covid-19 related claims. In the meantime, continue to provide exceptional service. You might also want to keep track of clients you support during this time, so that you can request reviews when the suspension is lifted in the future.

Empathizing With HVAC Consumers

Perhaps you’re scared to death of going outside, but you’re locked into working anyway. Maybe you could care less about COVID-19, and everything feels like business as usual. Whatever end of the spectrum you fall on, remember how most consumers are feeling these days: worried. Many people are terrified of opening up the doors of their homes, but they also need help.

How your technicians handle service visits in these next couple of months could determine the future of your business for years to come.

Training for How to Wash Hands and Protect Against COVID-19
Frequent Hand Washing is Just One Tool to Halt COVID-19. Source: Johns Hopkins Med.

If you take extra steps to reassure your clients, they’ll respond with enthusiastic praise for your service. Consider training your technicians how to maintain proper distancing from homeowners and their families. Take extra care with cleaning up work areas and wiping them down with disinfectant. When you take a break, ask if you can wash your hands. Make a visible effort to leave the area cleaner than you (or your technicians) found it.

Reordering Your Service Offerings

Homeowners are cutting down on visits outside their residence. They’re also going to limit the number of people coming into their home. That means emergency repairs and essential replacement projects are going to be more common in the coming months.

With the rising concerns about health however, their may be greater demand for air purification solutions. If your HVAC business offers humidity-controlling or air-purification products, these services are likely to see a bump in demand. Harness the trends to figure out which services you’ll need to sideline from advertising (for now), and which ones deserve a boost in spending.

Marketing Effectively With COVID-19

What’s most important is making sure your website shows up for people in your area. Everybody’s online, which mean your competition is frantically scrambling to follow. If you’ve already done the groundwork to optimize your website with quality service pages, great! If not, you need to build those keyword-rich, optimized service pages ASAP.

Compile all of your individual services into categories. These categories make for good top level (broad-topic) pages, where you can easily link to other specific services. Make sure you’ve optimized them with original writing, frequently asked questions, and formatting for easy reading.

Addressing the Elephant in the Room

COVID-19 has people scared of calling out for service. You should heavily consider creating a statement on your homepage about what action your team is taking to prevent spreading the disease. Make sure you back up your statements by training your staff and technicians on how to clean their work spaces.

Be Sure Your Techs Follow “The Five“. Customers Will Appreciate It.

You might also link to related articles about HVAC solutions helping prevent the spread of pollutants and antigens. Don’t make any 100% promises (or suggestions) about viral safety, but offer solutions that can help people keep their air clean. If you provide installation services for air purification equipment, now might be the perfect time to invest money towards PPC ad campaigns.

Speaking of ad campaigns, here’s an idea: essential businesses still need service too during this time. With fewer companies working in offices, you might save some money and nab a few more clients by narrowing the scope of your ad campaigns. See which counties have active shelter-in-place orders, and try to limit your spend in those areas. You might focus your commercial ads on other essential service companies that are still working.

Parting Thoughts

Be sure to follow recommended practices for preventing the spread of COVID-19, then share your efforts with prospective clients. Not only will it keep your technicians and local homeowners safer, but prospective clients will greatly appreciate your efforts!

In the meantime, keep advertising and promoting your business through local search. People stuck at home still need AC and heating services. Your company has a fantastic opportunity to earn long-term clients during this uncertain time. If you need help with the online marketing part, our team at HVAC Webmasters is always here to help! Call us anytime at (800) 353-3409.

Posted: | Updated: Mar 31, 2020 | Categories: Industry

How to Earn & Protect Your Google Reviews

What a strange and curious time we live in! This article was meant to be an invigorating reminder of how crucial Google Reviews are to your heating and cooling business, and why every professional should be zealously collecting them. As of last week however, Google released a community announcement that new Google Reviews, response capabilities for reviews, and FAQs will be suspended until the COVID-19 crisis is over.

However, we at HVAC Webmasters eagerly look forward to the day were society returns to happy, normal life! So, while your current ability to collect client reviews may be temporarily paused, look to this guide as a way to hit the ground running when normal life comes back with a vengeance.

Read (and/or listen) carefully, take notes, and start making your own HVAC Google Reviews plan! And of course…stay safe.

Key Takeaways for HVAC Professionals

  • Google Reviews are a crucial ranking factor for local SEO.
  • Reviews serve as a sign of trustworthiness, for Google & people alike.
  • Reviews also indicate your recent activity in the community.
  • Continually gathering new reviews protects you from negative ones.
  • Fake reviews are a non-starter. Avoid them at all costs!

You Need Google Reviews

No “if”, “and”, or “but” about it. Your business desperately needs reviews. While you should certainly collect them in a variety of online citation platforms – Facebook Recommendations, Yelp, and the BBB are great places to remember – Google Reviews (the platform) is the top priority for HVAC pros. There are a number of reasons why you need Google Reviews. Here’s two:

Most Visible Ratings for Clients

While Facebook Business certainly provides a number of prospects for your business, the vast majority come from Google Search. It’s the easiest and most prevalent way for locating essential services these days. That means that the most visible ratings / feedback about your services will be on your Google My Business profile.

These Google Reviews show up in two key situations:

  • When people directly search your company name or similar branded keywords, your GMB profile appears with reviews on the right side of of the search engine results page (SERP).
  • When your company pops up in a Google Maps listing, also known as the Local Map Pack. This show when you rank very well for localized service keywords.

If you aren’t familiar with these SERP features, be sure to watch our short guide on HVAC Search Marketing to get the gist! We explain each feature and what’s required to rank for them.

An Example of a Local Map Pack, Listings That Earn High Traffic.
Google Reviews Make it Much Easier to Rank Locally.

Necessary for Local SEO Results

Search engine optimization (SEO) has a heavy local element these days, especially when it comes to heating and cooling services. As Moz Search Scientist Russ Jones puts it…

“National SERPs are a myth — these days, everything is local.”

Every consumer gets their own custom search engine results based on where their query (their entered keywords) originated. Google’s localized search algorithm takes note of their location, and seeks to provide them with the most relevant business listings from the community. If you aren’t earning reviews within your service area, that indicates a lack of activity to Google.

“Hey! That’s not fair!” you might think, but consider it from a Google team’s perspective. How else will they know when and where you provide service? Anybody can claim to offer furnace repair in Bismarck, North Dakota, but only a handful of the most trusted services earn top placement. Those businesses optimize locally, and you can bet they collect reviews!

How to Collect Google Reviews

Collecting reviews is the simplest marketing activity you will every have to do. Just ask for them! That’s all there is to gather Google Reviews for your business. Now there are a handful of handy tips to rapidly expand your collection:

  • Ask happy clients for them immediately after providing service.
  • Emphasize how essential their review is to your company.
  • Provide a card, text, or email with the appropriate review links.
  • Consider an automated request and tagging system, like BrandREVU.

Never stop asking for reviews. They’re essential for prospective clients and Google alike. They also provide one of the purest representations of your customer service, something you want to keep as untainted as possible. Of course, problems are a natural part of business, which leads us to our next segment…

How to Beat Negative Reviews

Negative reviews suck. Not only do they leave a gross taste in our mouth, they feel very personal when directed at your business. When someone leaves harsh feedback on your Google Reviews profile, it’s easy to lash out and/or make excuses. It’s also easy to panic!

Here’s how to take negative Google Reviews and transform them into branding opportunities.

Cool Down, Then Respond.

First off, don’t do anything. Stand up, walk away for a few minutes and try to take the situation into perspective. Once you’ve cooled off a bit, take a moment to carefully analyze the complaint. Is it a genuine problem submitted by a real client? If not, you might be able to flag it for Google. The same applies if the review has any foul or abusive language.

An HVAC Company Responds to a Customer Complaint.
This Company Does a Good Job of Responding to Complaints! (Name Removed)

Odds are however, you’ll need to address this negative feedback.

In many cases, you can flip a negative review on its head and turn it into an advantage. This is how to respond to negative reviews (successfully). You’ll need to carry out the following steps very carefully to achieve this:

  • First, courteously respond to the client on the review platform.
  • Explain how quality customer service is important to your business, and that you’re very sorry to hear of their poor experience.

Note: even if your technician has done nothing wrong, it’s okay to be sorry. After all, you want all your clients to be happy!

  • Next, offer to listen to more of the situation that lead to their satisfaction.
  • Take the discussion off the reviews platform, via email or phone call.

You do not want this conversation unfolding on the reviews page. It’s not appropriate, and prospective clients don’t need to know all the details of the situation. Most clients respond best to a phone call or email.

  • Once you’ve gathered the details of the complaint, see if you can provide a solution that satisfies the customer (within reason).
  • Provide the supplementary service, repair, rebate, etc.

This last step is absolutely crucial. Once you are confident the client feels satisfied (happy is better), you can move onto this next step.

  • Politely remind the client that their review is important to the success of your business.
  • Ask the client if they would feel comfortable either changing their review to a higher star rating, or removing it entirely.

If you master this process, you will successfully turn a percentage of negative reviews into higher ratings. More importantly, you will actively prove to existing and future clients that you are 100 percent dedicated to your superior customer service. That’s branding gold, and good business.

Continue Providing Superior Service.

Even if you can’t resolve every single negative Google Review that falls on your plate, you can lessen their impact on your profitability. Again, gathering positive reviews makes it much easier to protect against the few angry clients who complain. Just continue providing outstanding service and asking for reviews.

Again, reviews do not happen by accident! You must actively request them from all your happy clients. No one else can do it for you.

Self-Destructing With Fake Reviews

Pew Research recently conducted a study that showed most Americans rely on their own personal research most when making important decisions. In our own recent survey project, we discovered that client reviews are one of the most important factors for a consumer considering a new HVAC company. This makes sense! After all, Google Reviews and other feedback platforms show a relatively unbiased picture of your company services.

Or do they? With the rise of fake reviews, consumers face uncertainty whenever they try to learn who’s worth their business (and who’s worth running away from). Fake reviews don’t just hurt consumers though. They hurt your business.

The Cost to Your Business

Reviews are about trust. If people can’t trust your reviews, they’ll look elsewhere to find their services. Google’s analytical tools continue to improve their ability to identify fake reviews. However, prospective clients know how to spot shady-looking entries even better.

If they suspect your business of paying for five star reviews, you’ll almost certainly lose out on their patronage. In fact, they may even accuse you in a public forum, like social media, or flag the questionable entries on Google Reviews. The result would be substantial, long-term damage to your brand. If Google catches your business in the act, you might even lose your GMB account and your ability to rank for local search. That’s tens of thousands of dollars lost, at minimum. That kind of loss has cost many HVAC professionals their businesses.

In short: don’t use fake reviews (paid or otherwise)!

Closing Points to Remember

Are Google Reviews important for business. YES! Consumers rely heavily on them when choosing whether or not to try your services. Google uses them as proof of activity and trustworthiness. You need Google Reviews!

Example of Where Google Reviews are Located on GMB Listing
Your GMB Account Showcases Your Google Reviews.

Continue collecting client feedback as often as possible, especially after successful service visits. When possible, try to resolve negative reviews on your GMB account, as this dramatically improves your perceived service quality. Finally, steer clear of fake reviews. They aren’t worth the risk to your business.

Our team at HVAC Webmasters makes it so much easier to collect and empower your Google Reviews. Thanks to our BrandREVU tool and custom website design solutions, we’ve helped numerous HVAC professionals earn substantial growth in local search, even brand new businesses! To learn more, contact our team at (800) 353-3409.

Other Resources From HVAC Webmasters

Related Articles and Videos
So You’re Starting an HVAC Company (Podcast)
Survey Says: Communication & Customer Reviews (Research)
How HVAC Contractors Can Implement E-A-T (Article)

Related Services
Google Reviews for HVAC
Google My Business for HVAC
HVAC Local Search Marketing

Posted: | Updated: Apr 17, 2020 | Categories: Podcast