The HVAC industry is
one that remains strong because, like it or not, that technology will fail or
need repair from time to time. And being a good HVAC technician is just as much
about your base of knowledge as it is the experience that you acquire.
After all, how can you gain that experience if you don’t
already have the knowledge to do the job correctly? That is where having the
right texts in your corner can really benefit your progression into fully
certified HVAC technician.
Or maybe you are the do-it-yourself type and just want to
get the knowledge necessary to implement your own HVAC repairs. Having the
right books will go a long way towards allowing you to put forth those repairs
on your own without the expensive costs that hiring an HVAC technician can
bring with it.
Whatever your reasoning, there are a few books that you need
to have in your collection to grow your knowledge as a burgeoning HVAC
technician or do-it-yourself HVAC technician. When you have the right books on
your side, you can build your knowledge base to a formidable level.
It is important to remember that not all books are created
the same. There are some books that were once industry standards but have since
grown outdated. Sure, some of these include the necessary updates to accommodate
for technology developments, but you will want to make sure that you do your
homework on the matter before picking a book. The last thing that you want is
to get some archaic tome that fails to build your base of knowledge.
Without further ado, here are ten of the best HVAC books
that you can invest in. They will certainly help to make you a better HVAC
technician or get you well on your way to becoming one.
Because the HVAC industry is so comprehensive, it is
impossible to focus on all aspects in just one book. If you wanted to know all
there is to know about the wiring that is involved in an HVAC unit, then this
the book you want to focus on.
The best part is that it has been revised and updated as the
years have passed, so you can be certain that you are getting modern solutions
and techniques instead of some of the outdated ones that you would find in an
This book does a good job explaining how the electricity
works in heating and A/C units and provides simple, easy-to-understand
explanations of how to implement repairs.
Refrigeration and Air
This is one of the staples of many HVAC schools and there
are a lot of students that might need it for their classes. Because of the
academic necessity, it is one of the most expensive books out there, though it
is definitely worth the cost.
If you find yourself looking for something resembling the
college theory HVAC experience, this is the book for you. While it definitely
covers techniques in repairs and installations of heating and cooling units, it
also covers the inner workings, the why and the how, and everything in between.
Though it was published in 1995, there have been updates to
this book as technologies have changed and techniques with it. The one thing
that makes this so valuable is all of the information on older units. Having
the information needed to repair these newer units is fine, but there are still
plenty of those older units out there that could stump you without the necessary
Best of all, this book will walk through both residential
and commercial heating and air in a way that is concise and shows ell organized
steps. You will never feel lost when you have this text to refer to as you
continue to learn about the HVAC process and the best way to implement repairs.
Simply put, it is a must-have for HVAC texts for those looking to grow their
Step by Step: passing
the EPA 608 certification exam
Not just anyone can be a certified HVAC technician; it takes
a lot of studying and the ability to pass the necessary certifications to earn
that title. Like any test, it requires a lot of studying and a little luck.
Thankfully, this book is there to help get you through the process in one piece
and as a certified technician.
This is also a great tool for a homeowner that is looking to save money on refrigerant. If you are HVAC certified, you would be able to buy it yourself instead of having to go through the traditional method. This book will show you all of the necessary information to pass Type 1, 2, and 3.
and Air Conditioning
an excellent book for someone who is looking to carve out a career path in
the HVAC industry or for a person that considers themselves the do-it-yourself
type that is just looking to expand their education base.
Among the many topics covered in this text is the theory as
well as techniques for troubleshooting that is typically involved in the
heating and cooling repair industry. Even if you have passed your HVAC exam, it
is a great refresher to have in order to continue your education and keep you
as prepared for any scenario as you possibly can be.
Low Pressure Boilers
Meet perhaps the most on-the-nose book on this list. Most of
the other texts that you have read about or will read about are about the HVAC
industry in general. But if you have ever had specific questions about low
pressure boilers, this is definitely the one for you.
This is a comprehensive guide that will teach you all that
you need to know about the ins and outs of the low pressure boiler. After a
quick run through as well as a little bit of experience, you will become an
expert when it comes to low pressure boilers and will never run into a scenario
that leaves you stumped again. A must-have if you deal with this type of boiler
on a regular basis.
Construction Academy HVAC
This is another excellent text on the ins and outs of HVAC
systems and how they work. This is a great tool for students in particular as
it is very educational and uses practical examples to help students with their education.
While it is definitely recommended that you reference
multiple texts along your educational path, this is one of those books that
will make things way easier along the way. It is not as highly rated as some of
the others on the list, but it is definitely worth the trouble of looking over
and reading through.
Refrigeration and Air
Conditioning Technology Lab Manual
Like some of the others on this list, this began as a text
used years and years ago but has since been updated thanks to the development
of technology and methods of repair and installation. Still, the foundation of
the book remains solid which makes it one of the better options out there for
This was one of the primary texts in the early 2000s, but
the principles have all remained the same. And because of its original age, the
price has dropped on this one to make it a more affordable option for students
or those who wish to learn on their own. There are newer and more relevant HVAC
books out there, but for the value, this is one of the best around.
HVAC Level 1 Trainee
This is the perfect book if you are looking to get certified
as an HVAC technician. It is for beginners too, so even if you aren’t planning
on getting certified and are more of a do-it-yourself type, this book can be a
valuable addition to your collection and provide you with many necessary skills
and a ton of information to become a great DIY HVAC technician.
Even if you are currently certified, it couldn’t hurt to go
back and bone up on some of the basics. After all, a solid foundation is the
key to any job and building up your foundation with this guide will only help
to solidify the knowledge that you already possess.
HVAC Level 2 Trainee
This is the next step up from the aforementioned book, but
it is just as valuable to both certified and amateur HVAC aficionados. With a brief
review of some of the techniques touched upon in the first trainee guide, this
builds on those fundamentals to help grow your knowledge base in the HVAC
It doesn’t get terribly comprehensive or complicated – that comes later and with further study – but it helps to grow your already established knowledge base and buffers that information to add to any experience that you may have as well.
This might be more of a niche book but it is a great
addition to any HVAC library and can be a huge help to aspiring or current HVAC
There was once a time where Facebook was the undisputed king of social media, the best way to reach thousands upon thousands of potential leads that could turn into income for your business. But the years have passed and others have stepped up to challenge the Silicon Valley behemoth.
But that doesn’t mean that Facebook is no longer important for
companies marketing their wares and skills to a waiting group of customers
across the platform. With the right techniques, companies can reach more potential
leads than ever before. The key is to use the platform in the smartest way possible.
The thing is, in the ever-changing digital marketing world, it can be difficult to know the best ways to reach that target audience. If you use your Facebook page improperly, you are essentially just yelling into the abyss of the internet. But if done correctly, you can expose your business to far more potential leads than ever before and develop brand recognition that is essential in modern business.
These are just a few of the techniques that you should
implement into your posts to ensure that you are getting your message out there
in the best and most effective way possible. Not all of these will work 100% of
the time, but they are proven ways to help generate more leads for your
company, which then turn into more revenue.
Give these tips a try if your business is having difficulty
marketing on Facebook and needs to find a way to change things up for the
better. More likely than not, you will find yourself with a growing list of
potential leads as well as a litany of new ideas that will help you generate
more engaging content through your Facebook business page.
Post landing pages
for direct offers
One of the most proven ways to generate leads through your
Facebook page is to send your followers to the landing pages that you have
created for lead-generating offers. The key here is to make sure that you have
a compelling featured image that gets pulled into the Facebook post.
To do this, you need to optimize the image’s size for
Facebook and then make sure that you add the proper open graph tags that lead
to your website. There are a number of ways to do this, but this is one of the
more effective ways to get your reader engaged.
It is also important to make it very clear to the reader
where it is you are sending them. They might think they are clicking on a blog
post only to find themselves in the middle of a form that needs filling out; this
can leave them frustrated or confused and that is the last thing that you want.
However you decide to link your readers to these direct
offers, this is one of the tried and true ways to generate those direct leads
that can eventually lead to more revenue for your company.
The first part of this is to learn about how to do a blog
lead generation analysis. Once you have done this, it is important to take
the blog posts that generate the most amount of leads and then post those to
your Facebook page.
Having an intriguing topic and title will ultimately intrigue
your audience to want to click and read it, and then they will find a call to
action within the post itself. You want to make sure that it is as close to the
intro as it can be. This call to action will typically be a solution to a
problem that the reader might have or answer something that the reader wants to
learn more about.
There is even a study that has shown that more leads are
generated by using call to action text in the introduction itself. The anchor
text call to action has been shown to be responsible for between 47% and up to
93% of a post’s leads. Those numbers cannot be ignored.
Do your homework and find out which of your posts get the
most action and push those with calls to action for increased leads.
Include links to
landing pages when you caption images
The best marketers understand the importance of using
visuals, things like images and videos when it comes to your Facebook strategy.
Facebook posts that have images tend to see 2.3X more
engagements than those posts that don’t have images.
To make even better use of those higher engagement rates and
turn them into valuable lead generation opportunities, you might want to put
links to your website into the description of the images, especially things
like cover photo and profile picture descriptions.
These links are opportunities for those interested people to
get to know your company better than ever before and the descriptions that you
put in your profile and cover photo turn into prime virtual real estate. This
way, any time that someone views your cover photo, they can access a download
link as well.
Make sure that you shorten those links and add your UTM
codes. These allow you to track the clicks that happen. There are a variety of
tools that will do these things for you.
Ultimately, the goal is to generate as many leads as
possible and adding links to your image descriptions is a proven method.
Use videos to promote
those lead-generating offers
While Facebook’s overall organic reach continues to drop
amid controversies linked to the social media giant, there have been tweaks to
the Facebook algorithm that has helped to mitigate the increase the amount of
content that is generated on the platform.
Videos are the one big exception to this. Videos have actually
been able to help marketers stay relevant and continue to reach their target
audiences. This is because the algorithm that Facebook uses actually favors overall video content. This means that
video posts have a 135% greater organic reach than traditional photo posts.
This is a great way to increase those lead generating offers
through your Facebook page. The key here is to use videos as a way to generate
and promote those lead-generating offers. With a video, you can use a verbal
call to action as well as in the video’s description, calling users to “download”
or “register” or something of the like.
Videos are the way that more and more businesses are
reaching their customers and sharing these lead-generating offers. Make your
videos interesting, informative and fun and you will find a greater response to
Use Facebook Live
Much in the same vein as the videos, Facebook Live might
actually be an easier way to go about it. Videos can be intimidating if you are
not familiar with the process, not to mention that they take time to create.
Facebook Live has shown that people comment up to 10x more
on Facebook Live videos than they would on regular videos. This method is more
about generating conversation as well as promoting. If you have an event, show
the setup live. You can also promote an offer by hosting something like a
Q&A through Facebook Live. This encourages comments and interaction, which
generates more leads.
While these don’t have actual tags that you can use, you can
use a verbal call to action through the live video and make sure that you
repeat it more often than you would for a standard video. This is especially
important for viewers who might have joined late and missed the first call to
This is a great way to deliver a sense of spontaneity so
that your followers feel like they might miss out if they aren’t visiting your
Facebook page. That’s a great way to develop new leads for your business.
call-to-action button for your Facebook page
While this might not be a post, really, it is an essential
way to develop leads that you will not want to miss out on as you market your
business. Facebook allows business pages to add a pretty simple call-to-action
button at the top of the business’ Facebook page. This might seem simple, but
it can be pretty powerful in helping to drive traffic from your Facebook page
to your actual website. Best of all, this can include contact sheets, landing
pages, and any other lead generating forms that you might have.
Even more importantly, you can choose from a variety of
pre-made buttons. Things like “Contact Us”, “Shop Now”, “Book Now”, “Watch
Video”, and so on will allow you to get a level of customization out of your
call-to-action button to make it more tailored to your page specifically.
Most of all, the call-to-action button gives you the ability
to be versatile. Most marketers will choose a call to action and stick with it
for an extended period of time. But with the button, you can switch up your
call to action so that it doesn’t feel stale and overused. That is an
Almost every business begins with little to no funds for marketing. Even experienced companies can experience a dry season. Instead of batting down the hatches and doing nothing however, there are a few steps that could make all the difference in the coming years.
Today, Jason and Nolen discuss how to start up your online marketing plan even if you don’t have lots of funds. They’ll focus primarily on growing your search presence, which gradually creates a steady influx of HVAC leads for your business. If you’re operating on a tight budget, be sure to listen in!
HVAC Marketing Tips for Professionals
Always begin by setting up your Google My Business account!
Buy a cheap template site to start developing your online presence.
Start asking for client reviews, and never stop!
Register your domain as close to your name as possible. Avoid generics!
Low/No Budget Marketing
Let’s not waste time. There’s a best way to online search marketing, but sometimes a tight budget prevents people from choosing the best. That’s life. Thankfully, you don’t have to sit on your hands and hope that one day business will pick up enough to start getting online clients!
The following HVAC marketing plan focuses on free and extremely low cost solutions that will build a foundation for your brand. We need to be extremely clear: you (probably) will not notice huge results from the start. However, your business will be in a much better place six months from now if you faithfully follow this process.
Here we go!
Step #1: Get Listed in GMB
Google My Business(GMB) offers free listings to help your business get started in local search. These listings are essential if you want any sort of organic leads. According to a recent publication by Search Engine Journal and extensive research by Merkle, “Organic search produced 23% of all site visits in Q2 2019.” Without registering your company with GMB however, your company is unlikely to earn any leads from Google.
2. Submit your company name, location, and industry information.
3. Set your service radius from your business address (or home).
4. Submit your contact information.
5. Choose a method to confirm your listing with Google, then confirm.
Step #2: Build a Cheap Website
When it comes to website design, there’s a couple sweet spots for getting the biggest bang for your marketing budget (or lack thereof). On the low end of the spectrum, we’ve found that it’s usually better for startups to begin with a free template design, or something dirt cheap. There’s no illusion of fanciness or complicated optimization.
Many HVAC companies start experiencing problems when they move beyond the $100 threshold. You’d expect somewhat higher results and capabilities from a $300 website, but most companies who offer those design packages simply use a cheap template anyway. You might as well save the money and invest it in another part of your business.
Step #3: Register Your Domain
Your domain name (the address or URL) is one of the most important branding assets your company will ever claim. It must be protected at all costs, but most businesses don’t even know how to pick an effective name. There are a few basic rules to follow when it comes to picking and claiming your domain.
Aim for a verymemorable and non-generic domain name!
Generic names are harder to rank for in search. Business listings with ultra-generic names (dallasheatingandcooling.com, for instance) may not even show up in search. It’s better for people to remember your name and laugh, than for them not to remember your name at all!
On an equally important note, make certain that the domain name is owned by your business, not a hosting company. You don’t want any complications with your host trying to sell the domain to another business. Believe us, it’s happened too many times!
Step #4: Ask for Reviews
Reviews could be considered the richest form of online currency, but they’re so much more. Client feedback is a testament to your team’s capabilities and your customer service. Unfortunately, most people forget to provide reviews, unless they’ve had a particularly bad experience.
That’s why you and your team must consistently ask your clients for reviews. Don’t wait either! Ask immediately after service has concluded. At the very latest, you might wish to wait a couple of days (say after an installation) to follow up and ask for reviews. This creates goodwill with the existing client, and trust with prospective consumers.
Google prefers for reviews to come from a variety of resources, so try to spread out the feedback between Google, Facebook, and other citations. By routinely asking happy clients for reviews, you’ll easily drown out any other sort of negative complaints from that odd customer.
Step #5: Review Your Progress
Once you gained some ground in local search, leads should start to come in at a much faster rate. That steady stream of business to your website means you’ll have better funds for future marketing ideas! You can even take some time to upgrade your website and strengthen your brand.
When that day comes, we hope you’ll partner with the HVAC Webmasters! Call us anytime at (800) 353-3409 to learn more about our services and organic SEO.
What do website design, HVAC leads, and freshly baked cookies all have in common? They somehow found their way into this explosive list of 25 HVAC marketing strategies you can try out as we head towards the end of another year! Finding your way through the massive current of lead-hungry businesses can feel overwhelming, but these tips can help you break through.
See which of these ideas could be right for your heating and cooling company, learn how to get HVAC leads online, and open your mind up to a little quirky ingenuity.Let’s get started!
Tip #1: Market to Larger Households.
According to the Pew Research Center, the average household size is actually growing for the first time in over 150 years! It may sit at an average of just over two and half people, but this significant turnabout does represent a shift in our culture too. In a household with a higher number of individuals, there’s opportunity to advertise customized (room by room) temperature control.
That’s one potential campaign for your PPC strategy (which we’ll talk about more later in this list). If you haven’t already, you may also consider adding a dedicated service page for split-temperature control to add to your website! This creates more opportunities for your business to rank in organic search.
Tip #2: Advertise Your Maintenance Service Packages.
While many HVAC professionals limit themselves to advertising their maintenance offerings in the pre-winter and pre-summer seasons, there’s never a wrong time of year to arrange a tuneup. That means you can advertising your maintenance packages and perks in the middle of the spring or fall too. Why not give your maintenance services some attention and advertise them too?
Your PPC campaigns offer a natural means of showcasing your tuneup solutions. That’s one reason why the Google Ads platform is one of the most commonly pursued HVAC lead sources.
Of course, you can easily adapt your advertising strategy and share your deals on social media too. You may even throw in a free AC unit checkup with each new installation, a promotion that you can exhibit on your air conditioning installation service page. Talk with your HVAC marketing agency (or internal employee) about drafting some copy ideas!
Tip #3: Add More Details to Your Online Service Forms.
While you want to provide thorough and courteous service to your clients, there comes a time when you need your office phone available as much as possible for new clients. That’s especially true during heat waves, cold fronts, and power outages. After all, you don’t want to lose a potential client because another is holding up the line!
One way you can enhance your customer service experience and simultaneously free up your phone is by expanding your online service forms.
We’ve already talked about expanding your maintenance advertising to get more HVAC leads. What if you created a unique form just for your maintenance service page? You could fill it out with some of the most common symptoms of disrepair, then arrange automatic messaging to your teams Facebook Messenger account. As long as your employees quickly respond via Messenger or direct text, you could schedule many of your maintenance appointments without ever picking up the phone!
Tip #4: Re-establish Customer Service Expectations for Higher Satisfaction.
It’s a subtle but powerful practice for de-escalating problems and improving customer service. You may have experienced it in the past, and not even noticed the soothing influence it had. We’re talking about setting customer expectations. This includes everything from describing the typical servicing process, to creating time-requirement expectations.
Some industries do an absolutely abysmal job of managing service expectations. We’re looking at you, cable companies! Seasoned airline brands, on the other hand, regularly pacify angry crowds in almost impossible situations by tactfully explaining waits and offering unique benefits.
If you’re hunting for simple (but profound) HVAC marketing ideas, reexamine how well your team is managing client expectations. Create a new standard for accurate project estimates, waiting times, and customer satisfaction. You’d be amazed how often customers praise their AC repairman for timeliness!
Tip #5: Start Following Up.
Brand loyalty is a powerful thing. Loyalty takes time to craft, and consumers are short on that precious time. That’s why your heating and cooling business needs to take the time to follow up with clients and prospective clients.
In our recent post on HVAC advertising, we laid out a pretty detailed plan on how to follow up with a prospect. It incorporated direct mail, phone calls, postcards, and email. After all, a prospect may require five follow-up moments before they ever make the plunge into a purchase!
You can carefully adapt a follow-up strategy to pursue existing clients too. You might take the opportunity to call and ensure a recent AC unit installation is functioning properly, creating some free goodwill with your client! Some businesses might also take advantage to arrange a future maintenance visit, but be careful not to overstep your bounds.
Tip #6: Modify Your Website Around User Intention.
This is a more involved web design strategy, but one that produces powerful results and turns your website into the most productive of HVAC lead sources. User intent refers to the underlying purpose of a consumer or commercial representative’s reason for performing a search. In other words, it’s the meaning behind those keywords a person types into a Google Search.
If you want more specifics on the concept, be sure to check out our guide on user intent.
Potential customers come to your website for one of a handful of reasons. Some require immediate service, be repairs or replacement. These people require very little selling, but they may also give up on finding information and bounce from the website if they get frustrated. To best cater to this type of user intent, make sure you have an emergency service page and AC repair page optimized with transactional keywords and pointed calls to action. Customers should be able to find your contact information, navigate through the menu, and find their desired service in less than 30 seconds!
Many consumers simply browse for information, and you’ll want to have pages and HVAC content marketing materials aimed at these people too. This user intent group responds very well to bulleted lists, infographics, and step-by-step guides. We’ll talk more about how to create content for this segment in Tip #18!
Tip #7: Revisit Your Keyword Strategy.
Keywords are the lifeblood of your online search strategy. That’s because they permeate practically every element of your HVAC marketing. Your website SEO, your PPC campaigns, your social media, your citations, and all your other sources for HVAC leads all rely on key phrases and terms. Few elements have such a profound impact on your overall marketing success.
So if your keyword strategy sucks, it’s a serious problem!
Even if you’ve had success in the past with your current strategy, it pays to frequently revisit your keyword plan. Start by examining your website homepage and assorted service pages. Most companies focus solely on primary words and phrases (“ac repair”, for example), but it’s hard to rank well for these competitive terms. These professionals end up sinking to the back pages of local search and never grasping why they’ve failed to garner leads.
Here’s a quick few tips for your HVAC Marketing keyword strategy!
Optimize your primary keywords for your service area. “AC repair in Aledo, TX” narrows your field of competition from national to city-wide.
Sprinkle secondary keywords throughout your pages. These are lower-volume, but low-competition phrases that bring in more lucrative business.
Use keywords in your titles and at least a couple of your header tags.
Add keywords into your captions and image titles.
Don’t use the same primary keyword as the focus phrase for multiple pages. This splits attention between those pages in search results.
A call to action (CTA) directs a potential reader to perform a specific action, such as calling a phone number or filling out a service form. Location, wording, and formatting all play a part in the effectiveness of a CTA. Finding your “sweet spot” for higher conversion rates requires some experimentation.
Moz created a wonderful guide that shows how to get HVAC leads by testing and upgrading your call to action. Through some very interesting case studies, they reveal just profound a CTA can be with the right changes!
Here are some helpful guidelines on calls to action.
Make them visibly distinct from the rest of your pages.
Keep forms down to a maximum of five slots, if possible.
Use enticing words like “free” to encourage clicks, calls, and submissions.
Add secondary calls to action in the page text (typically call CTAs).
Explain the value of performing the requested action! Does submitting a form save them time or money?
Tip #9: Test Your User Experience.
Is your website really as convenient as your think it is? Take some time to investigate your user experience (UX). The UX revolves around the simplicity, convenience, and effectiveness of a site. It also focuses on how a potential customer feels when they journey through your pages.
There are some crucial questions you’ll need to answer.
Can visitors locate their desired service within a minute or less?
Does the content formatting make it easy for users to digest info?
Do potential customers feel supported or patronized by the copy?
Does your website provide the info your clients are looking for?
What do clients think about your site in terms of appearance & convenience?
There are a few ways you can go about examining your user experience. First, you can simply ask clients who have recently used the website how their experience was. “Did you find the service you were looking for quickly?” “Was the writing style clear and helpful?” You might also perform a usability test with willing-participants who have never used the site before.
When you identify an area that needs improvement, such as a missing link or a page with multiple grammatical errors, consider it a big win for your company! Your site visitors will have a better user experience, and thus a higher likelihood of becoming customers. Talk with your HVAC digital marketing company about optimizing those pages, or delegate the task within your team!
Tip #10: Try More Google Tools.
If you read the above sentence and though “No thanks! I don’t need anymore work in my to-do list.”, you might be missing out on some time-saving tools! As the leading authority in the search industry, Google knows better than anyone what type of content ranks well. They also understand how to better promote your business in local search, and that knowledge is too valuable to miss out on.
While the search giant provides a multitude of tools, services, and resources, there are three that you can’t afford to ignore. These are Google My Business (GMB), Analytics, and Search Console.
Google My Business
“How do I promote my HVAC business with GMB?” Google My Business creates free listings for companies in local search. As a matter of fact, it makes getting noticed and ranked well much, much easier! Simply go to the main GMB website, submit all the required information (address, industry, operating hours, etc.), and claim your free company listing.
Within your GMB account, you can also post pictures, upload videos, create promotions, and other fun activities. While the full impact of these GMB activities has yet to be fully explained, it’s clear that your listing is incredibly important for your website’s ability to rank in local mapping. Take a little time to explore this free tool. You won’t regret it!
Searching for more business ideas and HVAC marketing strategies surrounding your website? Analytics is the perfect place to start! This tool connects directly with your website and collects performance data. This makes it remarkably easy to measure bounce rates, unique visits, and conversion, among other stats.
Think of Google Analytics as your online general practitioner, diagnosing areas of weak performance and highlighting superstar pages. It also dissects the contributions of different HVAC lead sources, such as organic search, PPC, and social media. Find out which areas of your website are under-performing, and discover new opportunities to advertise!
Google Search Console
Search Console examines the more technical side of your website performance. For one, it quickly identifies and tracks page errors that could cause some embarrassing malfunctions on your website. These might result in visible error codes propagating across the page, or links redirecting to a non-existent page. This early warning system is perfect for your HVAC marketing agency and/or internal marketing pro!
It also tracks the different keywords your site is listed for in local search, including where they rank. Our team at HVAC Webmasters needs to track hundreds of keywords for our clients, and Search Console makes it refreshingly easy. While the tool’s capabilities often overlap with Analytics, there’s plenty of reason to experiment with Google Search Console!
Tip #11: Shift Away From Buying Leads.
We hear so many complaints about lead selling companies. “Their leads aren’t even good!” “They don’t stick to the budget.” “I have a hard time turning off my account for the month.” When we tactfully suggest that companies shift to more independent HVAC lead sources however, many instinctively panic!
There are several reasons to make the shift from buying leads to earning them yourself.
Producing your own leads is almost always cheaper.
Your company has greater control over the quality of leads.
Your money goes towards marketing your brand, not a seller’s.
You don’t have to deal with the lead sales customer service rep!
We generally recommend companies invest some money into a mix of local search optimization and PPC campaigns. The first provides a steady stream of low-cost, high-quality leads. PPC then generates a supplemental supply of business while organic SEO efforts start to grow results.
Tip #12: Diversify Your PPC Strategy.
Managing a PPC campaign is fairly simple. Managing dozens of them isn’t. There’s a real temptation to lay all your eggs in a couple high-dollar baskets (we’re talking about primary keywords) and just let the campaigns run themselves. As convenient as that might be, a diversified PPC strategy often yields more results.
In paid search platforms, such as Google Ads, the cost of a keyword is determined by how well your company ad matches the term and how popular/valuable the keyword is in search. The more people search a particular term, the more heavily contested and expensive it is. A single “AC repair in Dallas, TX” campaign could easily run thousands of dollars in a busy winter season!
Remember how we talked about shaking up your keyword strategy with secondary keywords earlier? Those keywords also work in your PPC strategy too. While they may connect with fewer people, you can still create quality leads at a much cheaper cost per click. You can still target those hot primary keywords, but spreading out your budget could net you some excellent HVAC leads!
Tip #13: Start Advertising in Social!
Google Ads doesn’t have a monopoly on advertising! In fact, there are quite a few amazing platforms for spreading the word on your brand. There’s no better place to turn your amazing, keyword-rich content into ads than Facebook and Instagram!
With Facebook Ads, you can transform any popular post into an advertising campaign. What’s more, you can take advantage of the social media giant’s retargeting platform Pixel to pursue visitors from your website and competitors’. Retargeted ads enjoy a much higher rate of conversion, because they focus on consumers who have already shown interest in your particular services.
Facebook also offers a wealth of demographic data, making it easy to hone your advertising sights on people within your target market!
Tip #14: Give Instagram a Go.
With an eye-catching photo and a catchy call to action, there’s nothing an Instagram ad can’t achieve! Instagram performs well with younger audiences too, making it a fitting place to pursue new homeowners. Instagram marketing is one of the most visual lead sources for HVAC companies, because it deals primarily in pictures and videos.
With a little skill, or a professional photographer from an HVAC marketing agency, you can quickly generate some very appealing ads. Just remember to keep an appealing, low-risk call to action attached to each offering, and you’ll start raking in the leads in no time! Instagram advertising is also often cheaper than other popular PPC platforms too.
Tip #15: Invest in Some Local SEO.
According to Search Engine Land and a study by BrightEdge, 53% of all website traffic is generated by organic search. Compared to a meager 15% created by paid search platforms. Both provide the vast majority of leads to local businesses, but it’s clear SEO creates the most between the two.
Yet so many businesses flat out ignore SEO and try to make due with PPC and/or lead sales. When over half of all website traffic comes from organic traffic, it only makes sense to invest (at least) some money into exploring that HVAC leads source. Those funds can go into crafting an optimized website, getting listed in prominent citation sources, and developing high-quality content that ranks in search.
Pretty soon, you could be generating thousands of dollars of leads just by taking these basic steps. You’ll also make it easier to collect reviews from happy clients, which further escalates the value of your company brand. You’d be amazed by the results a couple thousand dollars can create in organic search marketing.
Tip #16: Take Your Own Photos.
If Google can recognize a stock photo, your clients certainly can. While that may not be an issue for most industries, stock photography represents a missed opportunity for your company to connect with site visitors. How so?
First, original photos can be used to showcase your staff and create expectations for your services. Second, original photography also creates deeper trust and a stronger perception of professionalism in your brand. Finally, Google values original content over stock imagery, giving you one more edge in local search results.
Unique images aren’t a make-or-break part of your leads strategy, but they do provide clear benefits to HVAC companies.
Tip #17: Take Notes on Common Customer Questions.
Do you ever find yourself answering the same questions time and time again? Grab a pen! These are the questions that potential customers are dying to know the answers to, opening up new opportunities to connect.
One of the most common tools HVAC marketing companies are using these days to rank up their clients is the FAQ page. These pages target frequently asked customer questions in an insightful, easy to digest content format. You can take related keywords and phrases, infuse them into the material, and produce a wonderfully optimized page that both Google and your customers love.
So write those repetitive questions down!
Tip #18: Start Writing How-To’s.
Have you ever typed in a question into Google Search, then sat back to take in the humongous box that contains a perfect answer? That listing is called a featured snippet, and it’s been a powerful new staple of content marketing in recent years.
Look at all that space! Imagine having your brand and unique content featured on the top spot of a popular consumer search. One of the most popular tools for capturing the featured snippet spot is the How-To Guide. Using a frequently searched problem, you can craft a resource dedicated to thoroughly answering that topic and earning a snippet.
How to Find a Snippet-Worthy Topic
Borrow from your list of frequently asked questions (see Tip #17)
Use SEMrush, Answer the Public, or Moz Keyword Planner to find a question-type key phrase.
Find an existing featured snippet and write an even better article!
Take this information and write a lengthy how-to piece on the subject. Be sure to incorporate fitting images, a slew of related keywords and phrases, bullet points, and a step-by-step list. There are a host of schema coding extras that can give your article an edge too.
HVAC professionals may also earn versions of the featured snippet through quality video creations.
Many consumers prefer video formats when tackling a complicated topic, such as how to clean out a furnace control box. These videos can be embedded in your website content and uploaded to your social media account(s) for extra impact. That’s some extra power for your organic SEO and other potential source for HVAC leads!
Tip #19: Re-check Your HVAC Lead Sources.
Sometimes a financial overview of your lead sources paints a clearer picture of your investment returns. After all, these HVAC marketing tools should ultimately provide a profit for your business, right? You’ll need a calculator, a spreadsheet, receipts/bills for the year from each of your sources, and any additional notes you deem appropriate (such as notes on lead quality).
If you’re like most heating and cooling businesses, your leads come a variety of services. These may include Google Ad managers, SEO professionals, radio shows, car wrap companies, lead sellers, etc. Now follow these steps to evaluate the value of each lead source.
Calculate the total number of leads provided by each source.
Sum up the total cost of the service/activity during the period.
Divide the source cost by the total number of leads provided.
You may wish to go further by calculating the average value of a lead from each particular source. You’ll need some very specific data ahead of time however, such as how often that source’s leads converted into sales and what type of service was most common from that lead source.
Tip #20: Double Down on Reviews
Reviews, reviews, reviews! By now, you’ve probably heard over and over again how essential client reviews are to your business. Not only do reviews showcase your team’s reliability, expertise, and trustworthiness to other potential customers, they send the same signals to Google. The search engine wants to connect locals with the most dependable websites.
A lack of reviews could be the deciding factor Google needs to recommend another business.
If you haven’t been consistent with collecting reviews from customers, now is the time to start! It’s time to re-examine your process for gathering and showcasing your client feedback. Most heating and cooling businesses simply ask customers following a finished job (if the contractor on site remembers). By automating the feedback process, you can greatly increase the chances of collecting glowing reviews from clients.
There are many software options for managing reviews. At HVAC Webmasters, our personal favorite is the Righteous Reviews platform. Using a very simple check-in system, Righteous Reviews creates automatic requests for reviews via text and/or email. The message contains links that connect directly to your Google Reviews, Facebook Reviews, BBB review site, etc. On top of all that, the reviews management software geotags the check-ins and reviews, then links them directly to your related service and city pages.
Very few platforms offer this capability, and Google absolutely loves this data. We find that businesses who consistently use this software earn two to three times the local search power from their reviews, which translates to incredible rank improvements! If you’ve struggled with managing the reviews process, be sure to check out this software solution and others like it.
Tip #21: Train Your Crew to Ask Clients for Reviews.
Whether or not you invest in powerful review software, there’s always one factor that makes or breaks your feedback collection process: your technicians. No matter how great of service you provide and the amount of HVAC marketing dollars you spend, your technicians play a decisive role in gathering reviews. Some heating and cooling businesses have a better chance of winning the lottery than earning reviews because their team simply neglects the process.
Guess what happens when your happy clients stop providing feedback. Your unhappy clients continue posting three, two, and one star reviews! Without the positive comments of the customer base, many businesses find themselves with ratings in the three star range, or worse. Why should your business suffer the consequences of poor ratings because of a few angry people?
There are a few guidelines to remember when it comes to gathering client feedback.
Ask soon after each successful project. The sooner, the better!
Explain how essential your client’s review is to your business.
Always provide direct links to your review site(s).
Gather reviews from multiple sources. Google likes it this way.
Courtesy is everything when it comes to asking. Never be rude!
Take a couple hours and train your technicians on the etiquette, importance, and process of asking for reviews. If reviews still aren’t coming in, follow up and make sure your team is completing the task. You might also follow up with clients by calling a few days after the service. Ask how their HVAC equipment is performing. This not only creates goodwill for your brand, but it also puts the client in a positive mood, which is always a good start for a review!
Tip #22: Reformat Your Website Content for Better Digestion.
If you haven’t recently, try taking a look at the Google Analytics profile for your website. Analytics contains helpful reports that, among other things, can help you grasp how well your individual pages are performing. For this particular tip, we’ll examine the effectiveness of your on-page formatting.
To Analyze Your Page Performance
Log into your Analytics profile with your email and password.
In the top right, expand your time period to the last three months. This creates a better picture of your page performance over time!
Click Behavior > Overview. You should see a list of the top performing pages, which you can expand at the bottom by clicking “View Full Report”.
Expand the view to at least 25 or 50 pages. We’re particularly interested in the average time spent on each page.
If a page has an average time of less than a minute (plus a high bounce rate), take some time to look over that page on your website. Is the text all clumped together in a huge block? Do your images look cluttered or out of place? It might be time to reformat your content!
Break up those text walls and add some timely bullet lists. Finish with some fresh, keyword-optimized images. Your readers and your website performance will thank you!
Tip #23: Start Checking Your Google and Social Reviews
With great review power comes great responsibility. After putting in all that effort to collect all that client feedback, there’s a real temptation to simply leave them alone. However, there are plenty of opportunities to explore in your reviews.
For one, you can take an active role in addressing negative feedback from angry clients. No matter how excellent your customer service is, there’s always going to be a handful of people who bash on your brand. Believe it or not, people actually trust websites better if they don’t have a perfect five-star rating! That’s why consumers tend to trust the harsher ratings in Facebook and Yelp.
How a company responds to feedback, both negative and positive, heavily impacts consumer perception of their brand. When you respond to glowing reviews with an appreciative remark, it shows your brand eager wants to connect with customers. On the other hand, responding tactfully and proactively to an upset customer shows that you’re willing to go the extra mile to provide superior service.
You’d be amazed how the right response can turn a one star review into a three (or even a four)! Even if you can’t sway the opinion of every naysayer, courteous and thoughtful responses go a long way towards building brand loyalty with other customers. Take some time every week to examine and respond to new reviews.
Tip #24: Create a Pre-Seasonal Campaign Before the Competition.
There’s more than one way to get ahead in HVAC marketing! The U.S. heating and cooling marketing enjoyed a projected growth rate of five percent last this year, which means there’s more opportunity than ever to improve your seasonal revenues. One simple way to increase your brand exposure is to simply start your advertising early.
We’ve already mentioned quite a few ways to advertise your business, such as:
Sending your seasonal tuneup promotions to your email base
Writing an article about the importance of furnace maintenance prior to the cold weather shift
Running Google Ads and Facebook Ads with an enticing offer.
Mailing out postcards.
Posting limited-time-only advertisements on Instagram.
You never know how a little pre-season exposure will impact a searching homeowner or business owner!
Tip #25: Get Quirky!
This last tip actually comes from an ingenious HVAC company out in Utah. Main Street Heating and Cooling of Sandy, UT developed their own quirky customer service routine. As a matter of fact, it even found its way into one of their glowing customer reviews!
Cookies! Before business even started, this team kicked off their outstanding experience with freshly made cookies. You can bet that the customer – they took the time to leave a review, by the way – was extra impressed by this cute, inexpensive show of gratitude! She even stated that she would be calling Main Street for her future heating and cooling needs.
You don’t need sugar to make a quirk work, but finding some way to set your brand apart could make all the difference! By reinforcing a client’s perception of your business with something memorable, they’ll be that much more likely to call when the time comes for followup service. Find your freshly baked metaphorical (or literal) cookies to top off your outstanding customer service.
Team Up With HVAC Webmasters
Sometimes a seasoned HVAC marketing professional makes all the difference! We hope that these 25 strategies, tips, and ideas have inspired you to go out and rank up in local search. If you need help getting started, our team at HVAC Webmasters would love to partner your business!
Get your free consultation at (800) 353-3409, and see why hundreds of businesses come to us for better rankings, website traffic, and leads.
Regardless of the industry that your business resides, it is as important now more than ever before to have a marketing strategy in place. You might have the best service or product available, but if the consumer doesn’t know who you are and what you do, none of that will matter.
This is particularly true when it comes to HVAC services. In the eyes of the consumer, many of these companies are the same. As a business owner in the industry, you know that to be an untrue statement, but it is essential to have a marketing strategy that will help you stand out among a sea of competitors.
Videos are becoming on way to make a huge impact in a marketing sense for businesses of any kind, let alone those in the crowded HVAC industry. But what do you do to create a video that will grab the attention of prospective customers and make them take a chance on your business?
Here are a few must-haves when creating a marketing video for your HVAC company to help it stand out among the competition.
Know your audience
There are some companies across different industries that attempt to make one of those videos that seems zany and weird thinking that it will help them stand out. But the fact of the matter is, as an HVAC company, your reach is really quite small in the grand scheme of things. And for that reason, you want to appeal to your target demographic.
Think about it: you don’t want to appeal to an audience that will never use or have a need for your service. You are aiming for homeowners, so probably in the 26-60 range. Granted, that is still a pretty broad brush to paint with, but you get a better idea of just who it is you are targeting.
When you have a refined approach as far as your audience in creating an HVAC marketing video, you can put out a more concise message. You want to let that target audience know who you are and what it is you do. Not only that, you want them to get the message that they should call your company and not the others.
Knowing your target audience can help you convey that message far more clearly and will make the most of your marketing dollars. Stay on message and stay focused with your videos.
Optimize your search quality
This is a big one that has started to become a little less important over the years but remains something that all businesses should explore in regards to their online impact. Google remains one of the biggest and best tools available online to market to your audience. The problem with that is that everyone and their mother is trying to do the same thing. This makes for a crowded pool of businesses that are all trying to reach a similar audience.
The way to stand out in that sea of competitors is to work on strengthening your SEO or Search Engine Optimization. Essentially, this is how Google pushes more relevant sites to the top of those searches. And when you can appear on the first page of a Google search, the amount of eyeballs that will see your business is massive.
With your video, you want to make sure that you are hitting all of the proper tags and keywords so that Google can find and promote your page a bit better. This will go a long way towards getting more eyeballs on your product and making it stand out when there are so many other viable competitors.
While making sure that your SEO rankings are the best they possibly can be, it is even more essential to do this on YouTube. For those of us who are not as experienced with YouTube, you might think that it is as simple as posting your video and hoping for the best. But YouTube has evolved in such a way that it operates in a sense like Google does: it looks for relevant keywords and tags so that when you search for something specific, you get the featured videos in that category.
For your HVAC marketing videos, you want to use this same approach. Make sure that your tags are clear and concise and that you are aiming as carefully as possible with your YouTube SEO terms. This will help YouTube differentiate your video among the millions of others and push it towards the top of the rankings for that particular search.
While YouTube might not quite have the reach that Google does, it is a monster in its own right and one that you need to take advantage of. Make sure that your videos are properly optimized and you will see more views and results on YouTube.
Stay on Time
While it might sound easy to create a video for your HVAC company – and it is far easier these days to shoot it thanks to the high-quality cameras and editing tools that are available on smartphones – it isn’t as easy as point, shoot, edit.
First and foremost, you have to go into the shoot knowing what message you want to convey and how to do it. This is the most important aspect of getting your HVAC marketing video together. If you don’t know what you want to say and who you want to hear it, you won’t be able to deliver the kind of message that gets results.
But more importantly, watch your time. We as a society have a very short attention span these days and using a video that is too long will only deter your potential audience from giving it a shot. Keep your videos to 30 seconds or less; honestly, keeping them to 15 seconds or less is probably a better bet because attention spans are just that short.
Keep your message tight and your time as low as you think you can so that you can grab all the eyeballs and keep them focused.
One of the things that you want to take advantage of after you have made your video is sharing it with your audience. YouTube and your website are certainly fine avenues to do this and it is recommended that you go that route. But make use of social media as well.
Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat have all exploded in popularity in recent years. That is why it is so essential to make sure that your video reaches these platforms: there are millions upon millions of users on each platform, which means those are potentially more eyes that could be drawn to your video.
Use relevant hashtags and try to promote your video without coming across as pushy. This can be a difficult thing to achieve but finding that balance through social media can make a huge difference in finding and creating more leads.
Demonstrate customer loyalty through testimonials
This might be a bit of a tricky endeavor to pull off, but if you can get your customers involved in your video, it could make for a potentially great idea. After all, any company will tell you how great their services are, but not all of them can be great. That is where involving your customers can come in handy.
If at all possible, film testimonials and reviews with your customers. This will let your prospective clients know that you are trustworthy and that there are actual customers out there who have used your service and had a positive experience. Ultimately, prospective customers in any business are just trying to make sure that a company is reputable and trustworthy; if you can project those qualities to your audience, you have already taken care of half the battle.
Make sure to not overdo it, though: having a ton of testimonials might drown out your message a bit and take away from the video overall. Add in a few customers here and there to deliver your message, but continue to use the rest of the video to tell the narrative that you are looking tot ell and to deliver the message to prospective customers just what your company is all about.
Create do-it-yourself tutorials
This can be a bit tricky because it might seem like it defeats the purpose of trying to get customers to pay for your services. But what you might not realize is that you can help develop that sense of trustworthiness by showing your audience that you care more about their issues being resolved more so than who resolves them.
The fact of the matter is that some people will be do-it-yourselfers because of cost. No matter what you do or how cheaply you offer your services, this will be the case. So, by creating do-it-yourself videos for very basic HVAC services – ones that you are not likely to get calls about anyway – you can build brand trust and that is a huge thing.
Use these DIY videos to establish that trust with your audience and they might be less hesitant to call you when they need a service they can’t handle themselves.
For HVAC contractors out there, it can be a bit difficult to set yourself apart from the pack. After all, in any given region, there are likely to be a multitude of options for the consumer to choose from with little to differentiate each of them.
That is why it is imperative to have the right advertising plan in place for HVAC contractors. With the right advertising campaign, you can reach consumers far more easily and give them cause to think of your company above all the others in the industry.
There are a multitude of ways that HVAC contractors can achieve this and no one plan is proven to be better than the next. It ultimately depends on your company, its location, its target audience, and a little bit of luck. But having the right advertising plan in place to exercise your strengths to your customers will go a long way towards setting you apart.
Without further ado, here are a dozen different HVAC advertising ideas that your company should be considering for 2019.
Idea #1: Use Seasonal Advertising
Not all advertising is not created equally; there are different tactics and ideas that stand above the others depending on how they are used and where they are implemented. Seasonal HVAC advertising can help you generate a lot of additional revenue.
Whether your focus lies in customer retention or generating new leads for air conditioning and heating repair, timing plays a critical role in your advertising campaigns. The winter and summer months are especially critical to annual sales, and your advertising should reflect that.
Make sure that your marketing campaign begins at least 6-8 weeks before the busy seasons. This will help keep your company in the mind’s eye of the customers that you are hoping to reach.
Companies can have highly successful campaigns if done properly. There are a few success stories of this that are definitely worth noting:
One Missouri heating and cooling company brings in $30,000 on average with each of their seasonal campaigns. These seasons campaigns have become a crucial part of their revenue stream.
An Illinois company brought in a whopping $258,040 in revenue with a highly successful winter campaign. They took the opportunity to take a very busy time of the year and turn it into a financial advantage.
Perhaps most interesting of all is that these companies didn’t use the go-to methods of HVAC advertising, such as radio or TV. No, they got it done with a very affordable, simplistic, and repeatable method…
Idea #2: HVAC Postcards
One of the time-tested methods of advertising for HVAC companies is using the direct mail approach. This is a proven method that generates leads with consistency. All of the above companies used the seasonal postcard approach of direct mail.
The term “time-tested” might not sound so sexy, but it generates results. Perhaps more staggeringly, there are studies that have been conducted recently that show that 54% of consumers prefer to receive these kinds of promotions via direct mail. Even more eye-opening is that 79% of those who receive direct mail open them immediately as compared to the 45% who get them via email. And most importantly, 40% of consumers have made a purchase due to direct mail in the last three months.
The numbers are there and so are the results. Direct mail marketing with postcards is a tried and true method for HVAC companies.
Idea #3: Pay Per Click Advertising
That doesn’t mean that digital advertising is not important. Getting on the first page of the Google search results can do wonders for any business and should be a priority regardless of the business. Google has a massive reach and ignoring that would be foolish.
There is a distinct advantage in this type of marketing in that you only pay when someone clicks on it (hence “pay per click”). The only downside is that there will be wasted clicks that do not convert into customers, though that’s true of any form of advertising.
It’s also worth noting that other businesses will be competing for the same keywords. Since you bid on keywords (Google AdWords will suggest an amount, but you can bid whatever you want), you could wind up spending a hefty amount to land on page one.
While you might not want to start with an expensive Google AdWords account, consider investing some money into showcasing your company name and creating a more competitive web presence!
Idea #4: Your Website is Key
The one aspect that has changed greatly in HVAC advertising is getting a lead to call your business. This is because people can now do their own research on a company online and often will do so. After all, wouldn’t you want to know about the business you intend to use before spending the money?
Regardless of the type of marketing that you do, interested leads will likely head straight to your website first. What they find there will dictate whether or not they use your business. An effective website design should have a few features:
An About Us page that features actual photos of your business and staff
Your contact information, clearly visible on every page
Effective lead-capture forms that will encourage info exchange (email and name, generally)
Many website visitors will visit your page before they are ready to transition into buying. Regardless, it is important to have a lead-capture form available. This gives prospective clients a reason to interact with your company. Most of the time, this is in the form of a coupon or discount, but those will help you follow up and turn leads into sales.
Idea #5: Keep it Clean and Simple
As mentioned above, your website is one of your most crucial assets for building leads with prospective clients. Your HVAC website is a focal point for advertising, and should clearly convey the services your company provides.
Using a clean, simple design is important for achieving this. Your website is often the first point of impression for these potential customers and you want to win them over with a sense of expertise and professionalism.
A clean, yet friendly and modern design is the key to attracting positive attention from prospective leads and customers. Make your website the first impression that will leave a lasting mark in a positive manner.
Idea #6: Implement a Chat Feature
Even as technology progresses, timely customer communication is still one of the most important factors in company brand perception. But with that progression of technology, the ways that customers reach your company have changed.
Try implementing a chat feature into your website! This provides a sense of comfort to prospects for a couple of reasons. The first is that making a phone call is simply not acceptable for the younger generations. If they can get it done via email or chat, that is the option they will choose. The second is that it gives prospects the ability to converse with your company without feeling like they are locked into hiring you.
If you decide to implement a chat function to your HVAC website, it is important that you have quick response times as well. For smaller companies, this might not be a great idea, but larger companies can definitely turn this feature into a real asset.
Idea #7: Use Follow-Up Ads on Google
What if an interested prospect leaves your website without filling out one of those lead-capture forms? Don’t worry! That client needn’t be lost forever.
With Google follow-up ads (also known as retargeting ads), you can make sure that all of those prospective leads get a second look at your company. This is how it works:
A customer learns about your business through local search or postcard.
They go to your website to learn more about your company, but don’t necessarily need HVAC services right away.
After they visit your website, they will be “cookied” with a piece of coding that tells Google to start showing them banner ads for your company.
As they browse the web, they will see these ads anywhere they go online.
This repeated exposure increases the chances of them remembering your business when they have an actual HVAC need.
There have been studies that have shown that this method can improve response rates by up to 400%. It is proven ad strategy, especially when compared with other tools today’s evolving digital world. You can greatly enhance your returns by mixing your current advertising with follow-up ads.
Idea #8: Expand Your Follow-Up Program
This strategy makes another attempt to convert site visitors that have expressed interest through online forms, but haven’t made the jump to client. It is important to note that the first call or contact generally does not lead to a close. The follow-up system can more than double the rate that your company closes on those leads.
It may not always be on the next follow-up – it can sometimes take three, four, five follow-ups before the prospect is ready to make the leap. This can also be something of a long-term effort, but a year of providing follow-up emails, phone calls, and postcards can make that number jump substantially again.
Potential consumers need reassurance about your company’s capabilities and service. Constantly showing these people what your business has to offer and reminding them about your existence are the two best things that you can do to close a follow-up lead.
The key is to find the middle ground between enthusiasm and invasive advertising. Follow-ups work best in moderation, otherwise the marketing simply annoys the potential customer. Find that sweet spot and you will begin to establish a connection with those leads and turn them into a close that will result in revenue for your business.
Idea # 9: Use Testimonials & Reviews to Build Trust
A recent study showed that a whopping 92% of customers will read online reviews for a local business before using them. 68% of the people surveyed said that a positive review makes them more likely to trust that business.
Make sure that you ask for reviews from each of your customers after a job is completed. This is a great way to build trustworthiness with your leads and provide hard evidence a reputable company that deserves their business.
Best of all? This is a FREE form of advertising that can work just as well as any ad campaign you can conjure up. Get those reviews where you can.
Idea #10: Use Referral Programs
According to Nielsen, a research firm, 83% of consumers will trust recommendations from people that they know. And why wouldn’t they? Certainly, people that we know in our lives are more trusted than strangers on the web or a company that is trying to sell something.
As you may have learned by now, trust is the name of the game when it comes to HVAC marketing. This is because HVAC services can be costly and the consumer wants to make sure they are getting the best value for their money, but because you will be entering their homes as well.
Offering perks for referrals is a great way to get those customers to share their experience directly with those in their lives. This will then generate leads for your business, which has the potential to generate even more revenue. It is a win across the board.
Be certain to make sure that your staff on the ground knows about the referral program and promotes it to each customer. You could even create postcards to hand out after a job is finished or a sheet at the end of a receipt. Get the word out that referrals are valuable to both your company and your customer.
Idea #11: Use Consistent Marketing to Close More Sales
Want to hear something crazy? According to sales professionals, 80% of sales will occur after the fifth contact or later. Yeah, you read that right: the fifth contact. The fact is that the vast majority of people do not jump at every single advertisement they see for obvious reasons.
The process generally goes a little something like this:
A prospect will see your message once via a banner ad, postcard, billboard, or whatever other means you are advertising. If they think they might need your service in the future, they will make a note of it but might not think about it otherwise.
The prospect sees the message a second time and it rings a bell because they’ve seen your ads before. This is important to establishing brand recognition.
The prospect sees your message for the third time. Because they are consistently seeing your adds, they get the message that your HVAC company is dependable and stable.
Now comes the time when the prospect requires one of your services, like needing a new air conditioner. When they Google a related search term, they might see your company name as well as your competitors. But because of the prior messages, they will recognize your company name and you will be come an “established” name in their eyes.
They will make the move towards HVAC services and because you are the name they see most often; they are more likely to call your business.
This is not an exact science and it might take far fewer or far more steps than the ones outline above before a prospect turns into a client, if ever. But establishing that brand recognition and making the prospect think of your company is an important step towards establishing that lead.
Idea #12: Target Geographically
Advertising online has many perks, but it can be easy to get lost in the mix. Additionally, it can be easy for consumers to confuse your location, making it difficult for them to find you if you don’t have the right services in place. That is why having paid ads set to geographic targets is important. It will target potential customers in your designated location, weeding out those companies that might be across the country.
The caveat to this is that it is become difficult to rank organically for more than one geographic area. But there are a few different things that you can try. You can edit the service area that you serve in the address section of your Google My Business. Instead of having a store-front, this will let you identify your business as one that works on-site with customers.
Ultimately, being able to show your listing in the targeted geographic region that you serve is of the utmost importance. Stand out among those looking for you in your service area as opposed to painting with a broad brush that might not reach 95% of the people who see it.
Team Up With HVAC Webmasters!
As always, our team at the HVAC Webmasters is here to support and empower your heating and cooling business to succeed in HVAC advertising and search engine marketing! If you’ve been looking to expand your business, we’d love to help. Give us a call today at (800) 353-3409 and consult with a seasoned marketing pro for free!
Of all the Google search trends we observe at HVAC Webmasters, one of the most alarming is seasonal drop offs. Not consumers dropping off of the search engine, but HVAC companies dropping off of the front page. Ranking changes happen, but many heating and cooling professionals inflict this problem on themselves.
“Should I halt my HVAC SEO efforts during the slow seasons?” Today, we’re going to answer this very important question, and why you should almost never abandon search engine optimization altogether. Be sure to listen in if your company ever struggles to earn sustained lead generation.
Key Points to Hold Onto
Google doesn’t recognize the seasonal shifts for HVAC businesses.
Seasonal PPC campaign changes are okay, but neglecting SEO isn’t.
Continued efforts during slow seasons could net you better rankings!
Fighting the Natural Urge
Google search trends show it and HVAC professionals know it: the heating and cooling industry naturally booms during the hot and cold seasons. That’s why so many businesses strip down to a skeleton crew in the spring and fall. Since business starts to lag during these months, you’d be forgiven for thinking that your online marketing can follow suit.
PPC campaigns and social media work can handle the downtime. Organic SEO is another story! Extended periods of inactivity typically result in serious rank drops. When the slow period ends and the busy season roars back to life, your website will face an uphill battle to recoup the traffic losses.
More Compelling Reasons
When marketing stops, ranking power gradually drops too. Instead of stopping there however, let’s explore some key Google search trends that provide more compelling reasons to continue your organic SEO efforts during the slow seasons.
When the Competition Takes a Break…
The fabled Tortoise and Hare story teaches the dangers of untimely breaks. On the flip side of that story, we learn that when the competition takes some time off, it’s a wonderful opportunity to gain some ground! Google search trends teach us that many HVAC professionals take some time off from marketing during the spring and fall seasons.
That’s the perfect time to rank up in local search!
Continue writing your keyword-rich blog articles. Take some time to update and enhance your service pages for a stronger user experience. Keep collecting reviews! As competition naturally starts to fall in local search rankings and your brand starts to climb, you’ll be in prime position for the next busy season!
HVAC SEO Still Earns Leads
While volume may start to drop as part of the seasonal Google search trends, consumers still need their heating and cooling services! Nowhere is this more true than in Texas and other warm climates, where high temperatures naturally extend far into the fall. Homeowners and businesses continue to experience part failures, even if it’s on a smaller scale.
With fewer competitors actively courting these consumers, that’s more revenue for your business to pursue. These clients contribute to your reviews too, sharpening your image for the upcoming busy months.
Even in the spring and fall, consumers continue to research replacement options for their furnaces and air conditioning units. If you start planting seeds during the off season, there’s a good chance you’ll earn some very valuable replacement leads in the future. That’s one more reason to make sure your page content is top notch, answer key consumer questions and providing tips into the search process!
Establishing Your Brand
For up and coming HVAC companies, branding can make or break your business’ future. As other contractors take a break, that’s the perfect time to get noticed and spread the word about your brand. Continue to optimize your website for local search, even when larger brands are taking a break.
If Google search trends are anything to go by, the search engine rewards businesses that continue to release new content and update old resources. You could earn significant exposure for your HVAC company brand, and some lifelong clients in the process. That’s more than enough reason to persevere during the off seasons!
Want Some Marketing Advice?
When industry norms say it’s time to take a break from marketing, Google search trends tell a different story. With a capable organic SEO plan, social media campaigning, and (maybe) some timely PPC ads, you could earn some amazing leads even in a slow season. Make your brand advance through the ranks, while competitors start to fade.
Our team at HVAC Webmasters would love to support your marketing plan! Our web design, local search, and PPC advertising services enable our clients to capture front page rankings and amazing lead generation. If you’ve been looking for a marketing team to partner with, see why so many heating and cooling professionals choose our seasoned team.
Sometimes, it’s okay to take page from the playbooks of other successful businesses. While finding your own original brand is essential, it pays to understand what causes success in your industry. That’s why part-time copycats can win (and win big) when it comes to website SEO!
Today, we’re going to explain how to research your competitors to identify their key strengths and weaknesses. While some forms of copycatting should be kept strictly off limits, these tips will help you discover your own paths towards better online traffic and leads. By the end, you should have a handy list of improvements to make for your own web presence!
What is Website SEO?
In case you’re new to the world of website search engine optimization, it’s the designing and updating a website for better performance in search engines (namely Google). SEO professionals research guidelines published by the search engine and recommendations from other industry authorities to help their clients rank higher.
From the viewpoint of a hardworking business owner, website SEO makes the difference between obscurity on the back pages of Google and outstanding lead growth on page 1. While dozens (if not hundreds) of digital marketing companies offer up their insights into local search, why not borrow strategy from HVAC professionals who have already proven successful? Not only will you save time and money, you’ll save a lot of energy and heartache!
Copycatting vs Plagiarism
Before moving on, we need to make a quick note: Plagiarism and other copy/paste tactics are not ethical or effective copycatting tactics.
Scraping (taking content without giving credit) will rarely provide your website with any sort of boost to website SEO. Claiming credit for someone else’s work (plagiarism) could even land your business in legal trouble! Avoid these tactics at all costs. They aren’t worth the hassle.
The true key to copycatting is identifying the underlying principles behind a company’s success and adopting them in a unique style for your business. Once you learn how the top ranked companies earn their premium position, then you find a way to one-up their tactics. Now, let’s dive into developing your research strategy!
Step #1: Find Your Top Competitors
Let’s say you work in the Grapevine community of North Texas. How can you go about identifying which competitors are worthy of research? After all, you don’t want to take your tips from a poorly ranking company, no matter how fancy their website is!
Since the goal is to eventually rank up in local search and other organic results, that’s a great place to begin your research.
No one earns better site traffic than the local 3 pack at the top of search results. Google only awards these listings to brands that display a high degree of industry expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. In other words, these professionals have earned their place, making them the perfect research material.
You’ll also want to analyze local competitors who rank well in the regular organic listings. These are the traditional placements that still earn a large percentage of clicks. Be sure to examine their listing features and text too!
Notice, we’re not concerned with companies beyond page 1 of search results. Even if they have some lessons to teach us, they don’t rank well enough to claim the premium front page traffic. We only want to learn from the best! Don’t be concerned by the PPC ads either, as their paid positions rarely reflect the quality of their website.
Step #2: Identify Strengths
Now that you’ve identified your ranking competitors, it’s time to dig deep into what makes those websites successful. Keep in mind, we want to focus on elements that matter most to local search and lead generation. So don’t spend too much time on aesthetic differences between your site and your competitors.
Areas to Focus Your Research
Keyword Strategy: phrases, frequency, and placement
Navigation: menu style, number of service pages, placement of links
Mobile: mobile browser loading speed, page responsiveness
Loading Speed: initial loading and time between site pages.
Calls to Action (CTAs): forms, phone number placement, frequency
Images: custom vs stock photos, captions, size, frequency
Videos: embedded videos (or lack of them)
Social: like & share buttons; follow buttons
Reviews: placement, variety
That’s a pretty sizeable list to go through, so make sure to keep a checklist to help you during research! Begin with each competitor’s homepage, taking a close look at everything above the first page fold. What sort of menu do they use? How does it respond to a mobile browser? Most top ranking companies already utilize a responsive design that fits to any screen size. You’ll probably notice a very clear call to action (with a number included) near the top. What sort of wording do they use?
Make sure to pay close attention to how your competitors structure their service pages! Many high ranking companies do a fantastic job of going beyond the homepage and hyper-optimizing their child pages. Once you’ve written down all the strong points of each competitor, it’s time to move onto the final step.
Step #3: Copycat & Adapt
Now we come to the most challenging part of our copycat process: application. Hopefully, you’ve studied your competitors well, learned their keyword strategies, and picked up some valuable ideas. When it comes to effective copycatting however, there’s one rule of thumb you’ll need to keep in mind…
Top rank websites don’t have to be perfect, but they must be the best.
In other words, the most successful copycats learn how to adopt their competitors’ strategies and add their own unique improvements. What might this look like in website SEO?
More diverse keyword usage.
More original, high quality photos.
Better text formatting and writing.
Better reviews integration.
Stronger calls to action.
Faster page loading times.
Direct messaging capabilities.
Keep in mind, many of the unique and experience-molding features in these websites may be the work of seasoned web professionals. Even writing style takes time to adapt, so don’t feel disheartened if these improvements take time. You may also find helpful tools/widgets in WordPress to make the changes easier.
With that being said, you don’t have to perform all these updates by yourself! There are plenty of digital marketing teams that can bring you closer to ranking #1 in local search. Take a look at marketing companies that rank high for “HVAC SEO”. After all, you only want to team up with winners!
Develop Your Website SEO!
Crafting your own successful website SEO strategy can be a real challenge, even if you can take a few pointers from industry champions. Our experienced SEO pros at HVAC Webmasters would love to partner with your company to create lasting growth! We support hundreds of businesses around the United States, providing stronger traffic and lead generation through higher ranking. For a free consultation, call us anytime at (800) 353-3409!
If there’s anything we’ve seen in the year 2019, it’s more of the same from sleazy HVAC SEO companies. We hear all sorts of stories and tales from contractors across the US, but a handful of common tactics seem to pop up pretty consistently. Tune in as Jason and Nolen discuss digital marketing red flags to avoid in 2020. Be sure to listen in if you’re looking to expand your HVAC business next year!
Useful Tips on HVAC SEO
$300 a month simply can’t support sustained work on a website.
Stick with month to month pricing! Long term, flat fee contracts often backfire if your digital marketer isn’t motivated to perform.
SEO for HVAC should produce results within two to three months.
Tricks from SEO Companies
It’s a sad truth of our industry. The handful of well-intentioned, productive services often fall beneath the waves of sophisticated money grabbers. Experienced sales pros learn to sway businesses with high reaching claims and confusing verbiage. So many people get burned every year by shady SEO companies, that many HVAC contractors swear off online marketing altogether.
We don’t want that to happen for your business! After all, online marketing provides many valuable opportunities to connect with lifelong customers.
So let’s make sure that the sad tale of all these hardworking professionals is not your story in 2020. Below, we’ve outlined some of the most common tricks used by SEO companies to trick contractors. Learn these trends, then use the knowledge to weed out candidates for your HVAC marketing team.
Trick #1: The $300 Pricetag
Somewhere in the last decade, the $300 online marketing pricetag rose into popularity. It because so commonplace, that our team receives questions about it all the time. “These other HVAC SEO companies offer a $300 monthly package. Why don’t the Webmasters do the same?”
Because a package priced at $300 (or less) simply doesn’t work.
For such a small sum, digital marketers can’t afford to provide a comprehensive or sustained effort towards your website, let alone PPC campaigns and citations. Results continue to shrink as that price edges towards the $99 dollar threshold. How many experienced web designers do you think can produce a front page ranking site for less than $100? Zero.
Why the Low Price?
“That doesn’t make sense.” you might say. After all, why would a business advertise their services at such a low price if they can’t produce results at that rate? First, it’s easy for a company to buy a cheap (or even free) WordPress template and lightly customize it for a client. Second, they only have to accomplish enough work to convince the client that results are on the way.
A $300 package may also be used to coax a business into purchasing other services. More often than not however, the low price point simply covers a single “specialized” marketing service. Listen for fancy buzzwords that sound convincing, but don’t actually provide results.
Red Flag Phrases from Cheap SEO Companies
“For only $300/month, I can provide website development, social media, citations, PPC, reviews, blogging…”
“We utilize a brand new marketing technique called…”
“It takes a full year to produce results in SEO. We’ll get there!”
“I have a (cousin, nephew, etc.) who’s really good at website design!”
Before moving on, here’s a challenge. Try to find an HVAC contractor who’s paying $300 or less for SEO service who’s happy with their results. How many can you find that have stayed with their cheap SEO companies for more than a year? While there are a handful of low dollar solutions that provide additional functionality for already successful websites, few offer the expertise necessary to get a new online marketing program off the ground.
Trick #2: The 12 Month Contract
Ask our company founder Nolen what he thinks about 12 month marketing contracts, and you’ll quickly see how strongly he advises against them! That’s because long-term service contracts that lock in a business without a guarantee of results typically lack accountability. With no accountability, disaster isn’t far behind.
Year long contracts are a favorite of larger SEO companies, especially those with an established sales force. The promise of a lower average monthly cost (or a simple lack of monthly pricing) draws in many HVAC contractors. After all, established digital marketing agencies must be trustworthy. Right?Sadly, dishonest tactics seem to be the norm even among giants.
Red Flag Phrases to Watch Out For
“Sorry, but SEO does take 6 months or longer to produce results.”
“I’ll try to connect you with the website development team, but they may be too busy to answer right now.”
“We’ll earn you page one rank for 5 keywords you choose!”
“That’s going to include a website change fee. Is that okay?”
“This design change may seem small, but it’s actually very hard.”
“We don’t use clicks for our measurements. We use impressions.“
Long term contracts allow SEO companies to slow their efforts and conserve budget spend. When leads start to diminish and clients complain, they can simply claim that SEO takes time, or create a brief surge of growth with PPC campaigns. Most of these companies also try to discourage client requests and changes by claiming updates are too hard or expensive to achieve. As long as business continues to trickle in, most HVAC contractors continue to pay for lackluster results.
Trick #3: The Bundle Shuffle
This is particular tricks is one of the worst offenders in digital marketing, because it preys on the fears of HVAC contractors. SEO companies often approach businesses with a PPC/SEO bundle offer. This seems like a more convenient solution to most professionals, so they buy into the package deal. The bundle often comes with third party reporting to provide an air of accountability. But this arrangement rarely involves anything of the sort, especially when a long-term contract is included!
Here’s what typically happens.
First, results start to trickle in from the PPC campaigns. Paid search typically offers fast results, so the leads are fairly simple to acquire. However, SEO companies tend to mark up the cost per click (CPC) of keywords. That markup isn’t clearly indicated in the reports, but a little research in Google Ads can reveal the actual CPC.
Over time, it usually becomes clear that the marketing agency isn’t showing results in organic search. While some quasi-SEO companies provide a measure of website development (mostly simple templates) and citation work with their bundle, many intentionally work as little as possible towards organic search. There’s a very good reason for that.
Most PPC firms don’t want your website to succeed organically.
If a HVAC company website takes off and starts earning cheaper (but high quality) leads, that company will naturally start to lower their ad spend. Those advertisements are how many digital marketers earn their money. PPC campaigns also represent a fairly low time investment. Those CPC markups start to disappear when PPC fades away, so why would a digital marketing PPC-focused company try to cut down on their revenue?
Even when these companies continue to provide poor results, many HVAC contractors stick with their existing firm because they’re scared to quit PPC. There are countless PPC and SEO companies that can run these ads, but very few can manage an effective organic strategy. Don’t be afraid to shop around for a better marketing team!
Avoiding the Bundle Shuffle
With bundle pricing, your digital marketing company can make it look like they’re spending money (and time) to progress your organic SEO, when they actually haven’t. In a recent chat with a home contractor, Nolen found a PPC-oriented firm that hadn’t even completed their client’s Google My Business profile. That’s a basic, mandatory task for ranking in local search, and they hadn’t even touched the listing!
You can dodge the “Bundle Shuffle” in two easy steps. First, make sure your PPC campaigns are always priced separately from your organic efforts. Next, make sure your credit card for the PPC campaigns is set up directly through Google Ads, not through your marketing company! While they can charge you a managing fee, this prevents your digital marketer from marking up the cost per click.
Avoid These Bundle Red Flags
“We provide PPC reporting through a third-party report, not Google.”
“You shouldn’t spend very much on SEO. PPC offers better return.”
“We’re working on your website, but these things take time.”
“If you search your company name, it comes up in paid search.”
By the way, this last red flag is a common trick PPC companies use to show proof of activity. Company names are very cheap to buy in PPC. Who else would be competing for your company name?
Worried About Your Company?
If you think your marketing firm may be trying to trick you, we’d love to help. There are a handful of honest, productive SEO companies in the industry. Our highly rated team at HVAC Webmasters supports hundreds of businesses across the United States, earning them front page rankings, better traffic, and higher quality leads.
“It’s too hard.” “It just takes too long!” “That’s too complicated for me.” These are the sort of things we hear a lot at HVAC Webmasters when it comes to organic SEO. Fear of the unfamiliar keeps thousands of skilled technicians from seeking a more cost-effective means of gaining leads. In our latest podcast, Nolen and Jason discuss true client stories about SEO for HVAC companies, plus habits that are holding many companies back.
If your heating and cooling business has struggled with earning leads and/or spending too much money on marketing, be sure to listen in!
Helpful Tips for HVAC Professionals
PPC campaigns are an ideal supplement for your organic leads.
An organic SEO marketing plan produces better quality leads.
Paid search platforms are only getting more expensive.
Many businesses already have building blocks for local search success.
Stuck in a PPC Rut
Which of the following two scenarios is most appealing?
Paying $16,000 dollars a month for a handful of leads.
Paying $1,000 dollars a month for more leads.
“Duh!” you’re probably thinking. Paying less and earning more simply makes better business sense, doesn’t it? Yet countless businesses shy away from SEO for HVAC, because they’re addicted to paid search campaigns. You may not pay over $10,000 – many technicians do – but odds are your company could save thousands of dollars every year by investing even a little time and effort into SEO.
Understanding PPC Addiction
We understand why PPC is so appealing to heating and cooling contractors. It offers fairly dependable returns. Paid campaign platforms (such as Google Ads) are simple enough for most people to understand, and they provide the means to track your campaign success.
In contrast, an organic search marketing plan requires careful research, website design, and optimization. Initial time requirements certainly outweigh those of PPC, and it’s somewhat harder to track results, even if leads are dramatically cheaper. For many business owners, the differences are simply too much to mentally overcome.
Most HVAC contractors simply don’t understand SEO.
As a result, they continue eeking out a sliver of the online business they could be earning. Even as prices for Google Ads and similar services continue to rise, they cling to the solution because it’s the one they’re familiar with. The same holds true with frustrated contractors purchasing potential leads from a vendor. It’s a story we hear hundreds of times every year.
A Simple Solution
The prospect of trying a new marketing plan can be an intimidating one. It takes a lot of willpower to wean your business off of exclusively paid leads! With that being said, it’s still remarkably simple to get started on an organic SEO plan for HVAC professionals. If your business is spending over $10,000 a month on PPC, take one tenth of that amount and feed it into your SEO plan.
What sort of activities should your HVAC SEO include?
Optimized Website Design
Basic Content Marketing
Review Collection and Integration
Google My Business Account Creation
Citation Source Management (Yelp, BBB, etc.)
You don’t even have to stop your PPC campaigns! After a few months of growing organic success however, you may decide on your own to start leveling off your ad spend. Natural organic leads are simply that much more cost-effective!
Why 20 is Greater Than 1
Odds are, you won’t be able to find an in-house solution that covers every one of the SEO activities. The truth is that even the most capable marketing manager doesn’t have the time or experience needed to complete all these tasks. A fledgling intern or a recently graduated marketing student will cover even less.
At HVAC Webmasters, we rely on at team of 20 people to complete all these activities for our clients!
One person, even a skilled marketing professional, doesn’t have the time. So find a seasoned and highly-rated agency to perform the work for you. Be sure they provide detailed reporting so that you can hold them accountable for their results each month! If you find the right team, you’ll quickly see just how much easier it is to connect with potential clients from your community.
Team Up With HVAC Webmasters!
Our team at HVAC Webmasters would love to partner with you and start saving your business money. We support hundreds of businesses around the country, producing better ranking, more traffic, and higher quality leads! We know how intimidating it can be to try something new, so our team makes it remarkably affordable to get started.
Want to learn more about SEO for HVAC professionals? Let’s make a marketing plan together. Get a free consultation with one of our seasoned experts at (800) 353-3409!