Author Archives: HVAC Webmasters

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

Survey Says: Communication & Customer Reviews (Study)

Connecting With Consumers

Hunting for new contractors seems like everyone’s least favorite pastime, and for good reason. It’s stressful, time-consuming, and filled with pitfalls. “Are these companies trustworthy? Can I trust the customer reviews on their website?” These are the sort of questions flooding our mind as we shop around online.

At HVAC Webmasters, we continually strive to better understand the consumer search process so that we can deliver stronger results for our SEO clients. We recently conducted a research project to uncover insights into how homeowners (and commercial prospects) overcome search fright to find the next HVAC contractor for their property. We also delved into preferred contact methods for interacting with heating and AC contractors.

We specifically hunted for insights into the following questions:

  • How do consumers prefer to contact an HVAC pro when it’s their first encounter?
  • What device(s) are they most likely to use?
  • Do consumers conduct additional site research before calling for the first time?
  • What website features encourage consumers most when they consider a new HVAC contractor?
Local Pack Listings With Lots of Customer Reviews
Do Most HVAC Consumers Visit a Site First or Call Immediately?

Online analysts and consumer experts continue to describe shifts towards consistent personal research. In a Pew Research study conducted in 2018, 81% of the Americans surveyed said “before making an important decision…they rely a lot on their own research”. That number was significantly higher than the percentage of people consulting friends, family, and even industry professionals. Reviews play a huge part in that personal research process. One Statista report states that that 82% of consumer decisions to use a local business are affected by negative reviews (91% for positive reviews).

Even before the surveys, our researchers knew how important online search is for HVAC consumers, especially the process of consulting customer reviews. With the data we gathered however, we were able to understand even more how testimonials affect the behavior of prospective clients. Our data also reinforced the necessity of maintaining the proper communication channels!

Crucial Findings From Our Consumer Surveys

Key Findings on Customer Reviews and Contact Preferences
Sources: surveys.google.com, www.statista.com, www.pewresearch.com

Our Survey Process

Using Google’s streamlined survey tool, our team conducted a series of surveys designed to tackle some of the crucial questions we listed above. Each survey was released to a sample group of 300+ individuals, spread across the continental United States. Since we specifically needed data from consumers who might require heating and air conditioning services, we confined the respondent age group to the 35+ year range, male and female.

All in all, we ended up collecting responses from over 1200 individuals. Thanks to Google’s tool, we achieved a well-spread sampling across genders, age groups, and US region. For the purpose of our post-survey analysis, respondents were broken into four age groups: 35 to 44 years old, 45 to 54 years, 55 to 64 years, and 65+.

Our Consumer Questions

Research

You discover a new, well-rated heating/AC company on Google Search. The company’s phone number and website address are both listed. Assuming you needed service, would you…

  • Immediately call their listed phone number
  • Wait and visit their website first

Comfort

You’re visiting the website of a heating/AC company that you’ve never used before. Which of the following make you feel the most comfortable with choosing their services?

  • Testimonials from happy customers
  • Clear descriptions of the company services
  • Approval badges from HomeAdvisor
  • Pictures of the company owner & crew
  • Videos of recent AC/heating projects

Contact

You’re on the website of a heating & cooling service you’ve never used before. You’re about to contact them for the first time. Which method would you prefer most?

  • A direct call
  • An email link
  • A contact form
  • A direct messaging (DM) box

Device

Which of the following devices are you most likely to use when you contact a heating/AC service?

  • A mobile phone
  • A desktop or laptop computer
  • A tablet
  • A voice-controlled personal assistant

Key Lessons for HVAC Pros

Lesson #1: Testimonials Take Priority.

When asked which website features made them feel most comfortable with choosing the services of an unfamiliar heating/AC company, 43% of respondents said that happy customer testimonials took priority. This lines up with the findings of numerous industry researchers from the last few years.

According to a study late last year, the average US consumer reads through 10 reviews before they trust a business. Younger polled age groups were likely to read an even greater number (Statista.com). This seemingly high number of testimonials is likely related to the growing distrust towards online reviews. Fake reviews in ecommerce fueled much of the problem, but that distrust has spread to other industries as well.

A Graph Showing Preference of Customer Reviews Over Other Website Features
Testimonials and Clear Service Descriptions Ranked Highest Among the Website Features Listed.

Despite this, customer reviews clearly still play a crucial role in client adoption rates. Among the popular features listed in our survey, testimonials outweighed most by a wide margin. That margin widened even more for the women polled in the survey, as seen in the table below.

A Gender Statistic Analysis on Customer Reviews and Other Website Features
Women Were More Likely to Prioritize Reviews.

While features like HomeAdvisor badges, original company images, and project videos took priority for a number of consumers, clear service descriptions (more on this later) and testimonials consistently took top placement across each age bracket.

Actionable Takeaways for HVAC Pros

Keep collecting those reviews! Not only do they provide evidence of your company’s trustworthiness, they also serve as a significant ranking factor in SEO. New reviews are especially valuable for prospective clients who haven’t utilized your services before.

Nothing makes a business more attractive than glowing testimonials of excellent customer service.

While testimonials showcased on your website may not be quite as genuine as those on Google Reviews, they still boost consumer confidence. So post away! Get those happy stories front and center on your website. You’ll notice a difference in your site KPIs.

Customer Reviews and Clear Service Descriptions are Touted as Top Website Features for Adoption
Service Pages are an Easy Way to Present More Details About Your Solutions.

Lesson #2: Consumers Need Clear Descriptions.

In one of our recent podcasts, Creative Director Jason Landry stated that website design ultimately breaks down into two key elements: information and presentation.

According to our study, clear descriptions of a company’s services are essential for higher conversions. That’s especially true among men and younger demographics, who may not have as much experience interacting with home service companies. How HVAC companies present their service information makes a significant different in adoption.

Consumers continually show keen interest in personal research. According to the Pew Research study we mentioned earlier, personal research is even more important than recommendations than friends, families, and industry professionals to many consumers. This lines up with the findings in our next survey.

Respondents Say They Will Usually Visit a New Service's Website Before Calling.
Consumers Stating They Prefer to Visit a Site First
Reading Through a Website is an Important Part of Service Shopping for Many Consumers.

When asked whether they’d immediately call an HVAC provider or visit their website first, polled consumers showed clear desire to research the website. For one, this enables prospective clients to dig more into the services available from the provider. Second, the additional research allows the consumers to craft a fully perspective of the company in question.

If the consumers were worried soley about star ratings, fewer would click through to the site. After all, local map packs (the primary source of traffic for many service keywords), showcase Google Reviews aggregate ratings for each listed business. They also desire a better understanding of the company’s services.

To-Do’s for HVAC Companies

If service detail is what your prospective clients want, give it to them! Write full, keyword-optimized service pages for every one of your solutions. Your clients will appreciate the helpful information and reward you with higher conversion rates.

Keyword-rich service pages also enable rankings for a much larger variety of terms. In other words, that’s more people coming to your website for specific services you provide! So many HVAC companies injure themselves my skipping this process in favor of a cheap bullet list on the homepage. That doesn’t work for SEO, and it won’t work for your prospective customers either.

Get those customer reviews! Write those service pages (or have a professional do them for you). Of consumers say it’s important, it matters.

Consumers Stating They'd Use a Mobile Phone to Contact an HVAC Company.
Make It Easy for People to Find and Contact Your Business on Mobile.

Lesson #3: Get Even More Mobile-Friendly

Desktop computers continue to fall by the wayside as consumers eagerly harness mobile technology. Google even recognized the user shift in July 2019 when they switched to mobile-first indexing. Since most search engine users rely on mobile devices for their browsing, it’s no wonder direct calling is their preferred choice when it comes to reaching out to your business!

75% of our surveyed consumers said they’d most likely use a mobile phone to contact their HVAC service provider.

At near 17%, men were the most likely of the sexes to reach out on a desktop computer, while only 8% of women said the same. Tablets followed in the 8-10% range, and voice-controlled personal assistants (PAs) came in dead last with a 4% average. We’ll discuss these devices more later.

This high usage rate for mobile phones just re-emphasizes the importance of adopting truly responsive design. If your website doesn’t conform to user devices, then you’re missing out on a lot of traffic!

Key Action Items for Mobile Usage

Be sure your design caters to a mobile audience. Features these make browsing much easier:

  • Clickable / tap-able phone numbers
  • Sandwich menus
  • Direct messaging / texting tools
  • Large font

Adding these elements to your web design allows people to read and call on the go. For an even more convenient user experience, ensure that all your CTAs (calls to action) are clearly visible and hyperlinked.

Lesson #4: Go Beyond Direct Calls

“But you just said…” True. Direct calls are the most preferred method of contacting HVAC professionals. However, take a moment to consider the results from our last survey.

A Chart Showing Preference on How Consumers Contact HVAC Pros for the First Time From Their Website
Contact Device Preferences by Age Group
42% of Respondents Preferred Methods Besides a Direct Call.

While approximately 58% of consumers preferred direct calls for contacting a new HVAC company, over 42% said they’d rather use other means. Email and contact forms were the most selected runner ups to direct calls, at 20% and 14% respectively. 8% of respondents – these were mostly from the 35 to 44 age bracket – were very interested in direct messaging as their first interaction tool of choice.

Potential To-Do Items for HVAC Pros

Expand the number of ways first time prospects can contact your business. A large portion on the consumer base we polled would rather contact your company through email and/or contact forms. Even if you’ve already provided these contact channels, consider whether or not they’re visible enough on your site.

Summing Things Up

For many consumers, the company website serves as a first point of interaction. Consumers are hungry for information, more so than ever before, when it comes to key purchase decisions. Beyond visual design and graphics, there’s an obvious need for encouragement from client testimonials. Equally important is the provision of detailed descriptions of your services.

Most of our findings boil down to two key issues: comfort and contact.

Reduce the barriers between your prospective clients and their choosing your services by making them more comfortable with your brand.

  • Take the time to gather original, unmanipulated consumer reviews from your happy customers. Again, 43% of polled individuals stated that happy customer testimonials are the most important feature for making them comfortable with an unfamiliar HVAC company.
  • Instead of lazily dropping all your services into a homepage bullet list, craft informative and keyword-rich pages for each one. This may be a standard practice in organic SEO, but it’s also matters very much to your would-be clients! Remember, the customer is (almost) always right.
  • Finally, consider expanding your customer contact options beyond direct phone calls. Not every method is appropriate for everyone, but additional options could help some prospects reach the conversion threshold. Be sure to consider all the contact tools that lie outside of your website too, such as direct messaging tool on your GMB profile. Experiment, analyze, and adapt the tools that work for your business!

A Note From the Team

The infographic and all related charts from our consumer research will be available in an upcoming HVAC Marketing Statistics page (in development). Some charts may have been altered for better visualization, but no data was changed. Our study focused on consumers within 35-65+ years of age to improve representation of the average homeowner. Younger demographics may have different browsing habits, and merit further study.

If you own or manage a heating/AC company in need of SEO services, our team at HVAC Webmasters would love to assist you. Ask about our lead-driven solutions at (800) 353-3409.

A Beginner’s Guide to Social Media Marketing – 3 Essentials for HVAC Pros

Social media is a fascinating, malleable industry that changes every time you look at it. Budding HVAC companies spend years getting lost within its many folds, only to resurface without a clue towards what happened. Despite the challenging environment, social media marketing promises a fantastic hoard of leads to those who learn how to unlock its treasures.

That’s what we’ll be doing today!

Listen in as we discuss how heating and cooling professionals can dip their toes into the waters of social media marketing without sinking their budgets. With the right tools (and the right attitude), your business could earn a healthy new channel of revenue. Be sure to take notes!

Helpful Lessons for HVAC Pros

  • Ideal platforms vary from company to company. Experiment & adapt!
  • Not every platform offers the same audience targeting capabilities.
  • Social media marketing is not a replacement for organic SEO.
  • Keep your goals in order. Focus on sales, not popularity.

Marketing Through Social Media

When it comes social media marketing, many HVAC professionals simply want to know one thing. “Why?”

Why take the time, money, and effort to promote your business in one of the most chaotic environments around? Why do advertisers consistently push these channels, and how does social media marketing affect sales?

The answer to these questions: targeted exposure. With the right social media channels and the right advertising tools, HVAC professionals can drastically increase the exposure of their brand and meet new, qualified prospects in need of service. As HVAC social media marketing matures, the opportunities for supplemental revenue grow increasingly easier to grasp.

You just need the right place(s) to start!

What Does Social Media Marketing Cost?

A lot of heating and cooling professionals want to know how much social media marketing (SMM) costs. That depends on a handful of factors.

Factors affecting the cost of SMM:

  • Size of your local community / service area(s)
  • Concentration of free activities vs paid advertising
  • Keywords used
  • Style of advertising
  • Degree of target audience specificity

With that being said, you can develop a very productive advertising strategy across a handful of platforms for a monthly rate in the low hundreds. It’s all about finding your ideal platforms and experimenting to see what works for your business. Below, we’ve crafted a bare essentials kit to tackle social media marketing for HVAC beginners.

Where to Start Social Media Marketing

Facebook

Facebook Advertising Strategy

Facebook is the perfect place to kick off a SMM campaign. It offers plenty of free and paid options for promoting your business. More importantly, the tech giant offers access to thousands of active accounts in your local community! First, you’ll need to claim your Facebook Business profile.

Provide as much detail regarding your company as possible. Operating hours, services offered, FAQs, prices (if you feel comfortable), contact information. Upload plenty of original photos and videos too! Once the profile is launched, you can always use it to post timed promotions and other marketing projects.

Paid Advertising: Unless you have a sophisticated and productive content marketing strategy in action, don’t worry about post promotions (“boosting”) just yet. Focus your time on getting acquainted with Facebook Ad Manager, which offers exceptional customization for your campaigns. It also helps you control where, when, and to whom your ads show up.

Instagram

Promoting Through Instagram

Get visual! Instagram harnesses the power of pictures, stories, and other forms of visual media to engage with millions of viewers throughout the world. On the free side of the SMM platform, you can upload fresh images and video of your projects. That’s a fantastic way to help first time homeowners discover exciting solutions for their heating/AC needs.

Instagram caters to a younger demographic than its parent company Facebook. It also promotes a more whimsical environment, meaning it’s okay to to present a more relaxed side of your crew and staff. In fact, prospective clients might enjoy a more personable side of your team!

Paid Advertising: Again, stick with Instagram Ad Manager, unless you’ve already developed a substantial following in your target market. You’ll have plenty of opportunity to select an audience within your community, set your budget, and test ad styles. Stick with Instagram Stories or colorful still ads as you start out.

YouTube

Advertising on YouTube

As one of the fastest growing platforms in social media marketing, YouTube has exploded into the marketing world with more force than anyone could have predicted. People spend hours at a time watching their favorite streamers, original TV shows, and how-to guides. That’s a huge window to get your brand in front of their eyes!

Before you jump into advertising, get in a little practice. Start filming your repair projects. Ask a spouse or loved one to hold a camera while you try giving a branded talk. Experiment with tripods, or even a selfie-stick. Just don’t get too carried away during a service call!

Paid Advertising: As a Google property, YouTube Advertising has far-reaching potential for connecting with the perfect (qualified and enthusiastic) audience. Start with simple video ads. You might show how to identify a common fault in an AC unit, and offer a promotion on professional repairs. Don’t worry about producing studio quality footage. Master the basics and you can earn some fresh leads for your HVAC team!

SMM Ad Experts

If you lack the time or energy to manage your own social media marketing campaigns, there’s always the professional option. A person with years of experience can make all the difference in connecting with the right audience, especially on a limited budget! When you choose an agency, just make sure they do their research.

Our social media advertising team at HVAC Webmasters offers customized campaign management for maximum return on your ad spend. Talk with us about your budget and goals, and see if our services might be the perfect fit for your company. To learn more, call us at (800) 353-3409!

Additional Resources From HVAC Webmasters

Related Articles and Podcasts
How HVAC Contractors Can Implement E-A-T (Article)
What Content Writing is All About: An Interview with Shabnam Kuraishi (Podcast)
So You’re Starting an HVAC Company (Podcast)

Related Services
Getting More HVAC Online Reviews
Content Marketing for HVAC Companies
Online Citation Sources for HVAC Companies

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