Author Archives: HVAC Webmasters

6 HVAC Facebook Post Ideas That Will Convert

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.

facebook
Generate more leads than ever with your Facebook page

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.

Post lead-generating blog posts

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.

How-To Videos in SERP Feature
Videos are Great for More Complicated Concept Explanations.

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 your campaigns.

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 action.

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.

Create a 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 invaluable feature.

HVAC Marketing On The Cheap | The HVAC Marketing Plan Podcast

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.

Steps for Registering Your GMB Account

  1. 1. Go to google.com/business/ and get started.
  2. 2. Submit your company name, location, and industry information.
  3. 3. Set your service radius from your business address (or home).
  4. 4. Submit your contact information.
  5. 5. Choose a method to confirm your listing with Google, then confirm.
Cheap Website Templates for HVAC Marketing
They May Not Optimize Well, But Cheap Templates are Better Than Nothing! Image From ThemeForest

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 very memorable 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!

Review Management Tool on an HVAC Website
Reviews Can Make or Break Your Reputation. Always Ask Happy Customers for Feedback!

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.

Other Resources From HVAC Webmasters

Blogs and Podcasts
25 HVAC Marketing Strategies, Tips & Ideas for 2019 (Article)
Should You Halt SEO During Slow Seasons? (Podcast)
How to Be a Better Copycat in Website SEO (Article)

HVAC Marketing Services
Online Citation Sources for HVAC Companies
HVAC Website Design
HVAC Local Search Marketing

Posted: | Updated: Oct 14, 2019 | Categories: Podcast

HVAC Marketing 101: A Reference for Contractors

HVAC marketing is evolving in 2019. The best way to get new customers is through digital promotion. There are many ways to promote a heating & cooling service online. Many of you understand the importance of a website and have tried implementing one into your marketing plan in some capacity. You might have even hired a web company to perform SEO services.

Below are some proven HVAC marketing strategies, ideas, and tips for local contractors in 2019.

HVAC Marketing Strategies 2019

1) Local SEO

The simplest way to get started with marketing is through local SEO. Google My Business is a free tool for all HVAC companies with a verified address. Once you set up your business on GMB, you have a chance to show up on the Local Map Pack which is the most efficient way to generate new HVAC leads for your business. Google shows results based on users’ geo-location.

Google My Business

GMB is a free tool (as we noted) and it helps business match with nearby consumers. When a searcher near your service area types in keywords like “hvac contractor near me” they are shown the Local Map Pack which features 3 nearby business that meet the searcher’s criteria. For yours to be one of those businesses, you must optimize your Google My Business profile.

Google Maps

GMB integrates with Google Maps to help local consumers find local HVAC companies. For your business to be verified on GMB, you must verify the address on Google Maps. Once Google has your address pinned on their map, they can distribute your services to the most appropriate consumers. Some technicians service multiple areas, which you can edit on GMB.

NAP Citations

Google values consistency and uniformity across the web. While GMB is the most important citation, there are many others that help build trust for your business. When your company is listed on Yelp, Yellow Pages, and other similar directories, it sends signals to the search engines. The most important thing is that each citation has name, address, and phone number.

2) On-Page SEO

The foundation of SEO is on-page optimization. It is the most controllable aspect of SEO and can help your web pages rank for relevant search queries. The basics of on-page SEO consist of title tags, meta descriptions, and image alt text. The goal is to help Google understand what a page is about so that they can properly distribute it to the most relevant nearby consumers.

Title Tags

The title tag of a web page is shown on the search engine result itself, so it’s critical to ranking. When you have a service page, for example, the title tag should match the content and target searchers looking for that particular service. Google scans a title when it crawls your page’s HTML, so it expects the title to accurately represent what the page is about — for search users.

Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions expand on the title to give users a preview of the page they are about to click on. Most gloss over meta descriptions but they remain an important aspect of SEO. Google has even given webmasters more control over how many characters are displayed on the visible meta description. Descriptions can impact click through rate (CTR) as well as rank position.

Image Alt Text

Every quality web page should have images inserted to break up the text. Not only is it important for user experience, but it also contributes to SEO. When images are attributed with the proper alt text (usage of relevant keywords), Google counts it as a ranking signal. Make sure each image you include on your page makes sense for the content and the keyword you use.

3) Technical SEO

Technical SEO is the process of optimizing a website’s back-end, and front-end, user experience. Most people think about SEO in the context of keywords and on-page optimization but Google prefers to showcase websites that also cater to their user’s most pressing needs. Those include, mobile accessibility, ease of use, and perhaps most importantly, website speed.

Mobile Optimization

Most HVAC consumers search Google through mobile devices. That means your website should be optimized for those devices. The best way to achieve this is through responsive design. The RD development method ensures that your site displays optimally across all mobile devices, as well as desktop. Mobile navigation is critical to user experience in 2019 and beyond.

Site Speed Optimization

Attention spans have dwindled in the last decade. Users expect pages to load quickly and any delay can cost you traffic. Google understands its user’s needs and is going to priortize pages that meet those needs. If you meet all other SEO criteria, but fail to load in a timely manner, Google will naturally lower your rankings. Ensuring fast loading times can make a difference.

User Experience Optimization

When a consumer visits your HVAC website they are looking for something. It might be the location of your business, it might be a contact form, or it might be information about a specific problem with their heating unit. The goal of your website is to provide what the visitor is seeking. This is done not only through writing, but through web design, and optimizing user navigation.

4) Content Marketing

There is a phrase in the SEO community “content is king.” Although many other ranking factors are taken under consideration, content is perhaps the most significant of all of them. HVAC companies who create quality content on their website, Google My Business profile, and other social media outlets often enjoy the most consistent stream of relevant traffic for their business.

Content Pages

For an HVAC website, service pages are critical. Pages differ from posts in the sense that they are pages with a specific and narrow focus. For example, your page for air duct cleaning services should describe that specific niche and how you can help homeowners solve a related problem. Other examples of content pages include those for specific cities or service locations.

Blog Posts

Posts are far different from pages because they cover a broader subject matter. Blog posts for HVAC contractors should aim to bring in traffic that is less specific and more general. While this traffic may not convert at as high of a rate as your page traffic, it is higher in volume and therefore can increase brand awareness and warm up potential leads for future consideration.

Content Syndication

Writing great content is the first step but for it to make an impact, people have to see it. SEO is one way in which your content can become exposed to users. Another way is through content syndication. This includes sharing posts (and sometimes page) on different web platforms including social media. While Facebook has limited organic reach of posts, you can pay for ads.

What is Content Marketing Graphic

5) Keyword Targeting

If you have ever dabbled in SEO, you have heard of keywords. While Google has cracked down on keyword stuffed content, targeting the right keywords is still an effective marketing strategy. HVAC companies can use free tools like Ubersuggest and Google Keyword Planner to find ideas. You can also invest in paid keyword tools like MOZ Keyword Explorer and SEMRush.

Keyword Research

Researching keywords is fairly simple process. The goal is to identify keywords in your niche (HVAC) that have high volume and also low competition. Depending on how authoritative your company is, you can rank for competitive keywords as well. But for those just starting out, targeting niche keywords that have lower competition can yield the most tangible results fast.

Keyword Mapping

Your website should target keywords intentionally by mapping out which pages are going for which terms. For example, your furnace repair page should go for keywords related to furnace repair. This might include furnace repair services, heating repair, furnace technician, and other similar phrases. Your keyword research tool will populate different ideas based off the terms.

Keyword Placement

Once you identify the keywords you are using on a given page, you must tactically place them in the proper areas. The first place to start is within the URL itself. Your ac repair page should have URL like: myhvaccompany.com/services/ac-repair. You should also include ac repair within the title tag, meta description, and image alt text. It should also appear within the body content.

6) Link Building

Google bases the importance of a page (domain authority) at least in part by the sites linking to it. Successful HVAC websites must have links coming from other domains. Links were once the primary ranking factor but as people began to manipulate the process through tricks and schemes, Google decided to penalize anyone engaging in shady link factors. Still, acquiring good links matters.

Blog Outreach

One strategy to acquire links ethically is through blogger outreach. You email a blog writer in your industry and ask if you can either write a guest post or have one of your infographics or statistics featured on their blog. If they properly attribute you, they will include a link back to your website which search engines will then acknowledge as a vote of confidence to your domain.

Linkable Assets

It’s much easier to get links with great content. When you have a quality blog post or even service page, it is considered a linkable asset. Some pages get links simply from ranking on page one of Google. Blog posts are typically considered to be a more linkable asset because they cite more general information, including statistics that can be showcased on other blogs.

Follow vs NoFollow Links

Not every link counts as a vote of confidence for your website. Links that are user-generated, like blog comments, or social media posts, are tagged as nofollow links. This tells the search engines not to consider these to be as valuable as follow links (which are not user-generated). Google recently has said nofollow links will count as a “hint” but not as much as follow links.

7) Facebook Ads

Facebook has a lot of targeting options for businesses looking to advertise online. You can reach people based on demographics like age, location, employment, etc. Let’s say you wanted to promote a seasonal special for your HVAC company. You could target Facebook users within your service areas and encourage them to take action by creating a duration for the special.

Budgeting

Generally, you can spend as much or as little as you’d like on a campaign. The more you spend, the more people you reach. Many companies use a daily budget of around $10.00 to run targeted Facebook advertisements. Your budget may vary based on the size of your business as well as the population of the areas (cities, zip codes) in which your company services.

Split Testing

Running multiple ad sets allows you to test which audience is more receptive to your promotion. This helps you efficiently spend your advertising dollars on the people most likely to convert into paying customers. Aside from split testing audiences, you can also split test the creative parts of an ad. For example, the better performing ad may feature a video, while the other is an image.

Remarketing

It’s easier to advertise to people who are already familiar with your service. This familiarity can become apparent on Facebook when a user likes your business page or interacts with your website. All you have to do is set up pixel tracking on your website so that every person who visits can be targeted while they are browsing Facebook. They have already shown interest.

Facebook Pixel Tracking Chart

8) Google Ads (PPC)

SEO can take time work so Google Ads (PPC) are a way to supplement traffic in the meantime. If you’ve ever done a Google search you’ve noticed the top results have a small box that says ad on the left. This marks them as paid advertisements rather than organic results. You don’t need to do SEO to show up on Google Ads. All you have to do is bid on the advertising space.

Ad Spend

Your ad spend is how much money you invest in Google Ads. Depending on the keywords you target, your campaign may have a higher or lower cost per click (CPC). The most competitive keywords have high CPCs while those with less clicks, have much lower CPCs. Some companies also spend to advertise on their brand name keyword, so others can’t steal it.

Ad Optimization

Google uses the metric quality score to determine which ads to show first. They base it on how well the ad represents the corresponding landing page. If the user clicks the ad, they should expect to receive relevant information based on the keyword and the title of the ad. HVAC companies should spend some time with their landing pages to ensure the highest quality.

Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner helps businesses identify the best keywords for PPC ads. We mentioned this tool before because it can also help with SEO keywords, but for the purposes of Google Ads, Keyword Planner is going to help optimize your ad spend. Go for keywords that have buyer-intent, meaning someone who searches for it is demonstrating a need to purchase.

Seasonal PPC for HVAC Contractors Blog Graphic

Posted: | Updated: Oct 22, 2019 | Categories: Local SEO

7 Great Qualities of The Best HVAC Marketing Videos

Best HVAC Marketing Videos Banner

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.

YouTube Optimization

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.

Get social

3 YouTube Trends For HVAC Contractors

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.

12 Can’t Miss HVAC Advertising Ideas for 2019

HVAC Advertising Ideas Banner

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.

HVAC Advertising for Heater Repair
Even Simple Ad Templates Like This One Can Gather Significant Attention During the Winter Season.

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.
  • An HVAC business in Arkansas generated a massive 839% return on investment (ROI) using a furnace tune-up winter ad campaign.

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.

HVAC Advertising Via PPC Ads
Pay Per Click Listings Enjoy Premium Positions at the Top of SERP Results.

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.

HVAC Advertising Company Homepage
Simplistic, Modern Designs Like These Help Focus Attention on Your Services.

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.

HVAC Advertising Follow-Up Strategy
Create 76% More Customers With a Follow-Up System.

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.

HVAC Advertising Through PPC
Do Your Ads Consistently Provide Contact Information and a Call to Action?

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!

Posted: | Updated: Oct 10, 2019 | Categories: Industry

Should You Halt SEO During Slow Seasons? | Google Search Trends

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.

Competition

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!

Continued Need

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!

Branding

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.

Get a free consultation today when you call us at (800) 353-3409!

Additional Resources from HVAC Webmasters

Other Podcasts and Articles
HVAC SEO Strategies for 2020 (Podcast)
Why Regular Work on Your Web Effort is Important (Podcast)
Streamlining SEO for HVAC Contractors: Tips and Traps (Article)

Services From HVAC Webmasters
HVAC Local Search Marketing
HVAC Website Design
PPC Advertising for HVAC Companies

Posted: | Updated: Oct 3, 2019 | Categories: Podcast

How to Be a Better Copycat in Website SEO

An HVAC Expert With Good Website SEO

Doing Your Competitive Research

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!

A Snapshot From an HVAC Website
Scraping or Plagiarising Content Won’t Help Your Business Rank.

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.

Companies Doing Well With Website SEO
The 3 Pack Represents the Who’s Who of Local Search. This is a Great Starting Place!

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!

Listings That Perform Well in Website SEO
Be Sure to Examine These Traditional Listings Too, as They Earn Plenty of Site Visitors.

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.
  • Writing Style/Format: section size, page size, headers
  • 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?

Using Reviews for Website SEO Improvements
How Do Your Competitors Utilize Client Reviews?

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.
  • and More!
Excellent Website SEO With Diverse Keyword Usage
Notice the Use of Short and Long-Tail Keywords. Source: Coventry & Gattis

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!

Keyword Strategy in Website SEO

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!

Posted: | Updated: Sep 26, 2019 | Categories: SEO

The Dirty Secrets of HVAC SEO in 2020 Revealed | The HVAC Marketing Plan Podcast

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.

Activities of SEO Companies
$300 Per Month Will Not Cover All the Activities Necessary for Productive SEO.

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.

An SEO Company's Monthly Performance
How Many SEO Companies Show Exactly How They’re Doing in Organic Search?

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.

Results of Paid and Organic Campaigns
Marketing Firms Often Earn More Money With PPC Campaigns Than SEO.

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?

A Quality Website SEO Companies Might Produce
Real SEO Companies Make it Easier to Earn Cheap Leads for Your Business!

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.

See the difference for yourself when you call us at (800) 353-3409!

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Posted: | Updated: Sep 24, 2019 | Categories: Podcast

True Client Stories: You Don’t Have To Be Perfect To Win at HVAC SEO | The HVAC Marketing Plan Podcast

“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 Marketing Plan With a Website Call to Action
With Organic SEO, You Could Start Seeing Results in Just a Couple Months.

A Simple Solution

Start small.

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
  • Keyword Research
  • 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!

Service Categories From a Website Marketing Plan
It Takes Team Effort to Earn Front Page Rankings!

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!

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Posted: | Updated: Sep 11, 2019 | Categories: Podcast

HVAC SEO Strategies for 2020 | The HVAC Marketing Plan Podcast

What does the online marketing landscape look like as we advance towards 2020? What sort of HVAC SEO strategies can your company use to climb the ranks even higher this year? Nolen and Jason discuss some helpful tips to increase local search visibility and earn more leads. If you’ve struggled to make page 1 rankings in Google Search, be sure to listen in!

Helpful Points for HVAC Companies

  • Original content is still important, but it’s a baseline now.
  • Collecting reviews is more essential than ever.
  • Make sure your Google My Business account remains active.

A New Baseline for Marketing

Original content. That’s a concept businesses live and die by, but also a practice that’s become the norm for those looking to perform well in local search. While everyone can and should pursue original content that provides real value for consumers in their target market, it’s simply expected now.

In other words, quality content is the new baseline.

To actually win front page rankings and develop a consistent pool of website traffic, roofing contractors have to go above and beyond that baseline. Thankfully, there are plenty of tools at your disposal to rise above the competition and let your brand stand out. Some of them are free tools from Google, while others may require a little investment from your company.

Google My Business Activity

It’s one of the easiest resources to access, yet so many businesses fail to claim their free Google My Business (GMB) account. If you haven’t claimed your business listing, you’re liking missing out on hundreds of potential customer impressions! Fill out as many boxes as possible, as Google will be more likely to present your business during a local consumer search.

GMB accounts come with a number of fun tools to showcase your company. The portal allows businesses to upload original company photos, videos, and infographics. You can also create updates and promotions that show up whenever someone searches your company name. It takes only a few minutes to upload a photo, write some catchy insights about common heating and cooling challenges, then send out the post for viewing in local search!

Be sure to post on a regular basis, as GMB posts disappear a week after crafting them. All posts can be viewed from your archives, but Google only shows recent releases in search engine results pages (SERPs).

Showing Off Office Life for SEO Strategies
Posts are Also a Great Means of Showing Internal Company Life.

You can upload images to serve as your company cover and office exterior shots. Just be careful that the photos you post represent your company well. As of now, there’s currently no way to ensure that your favorite photos are the ones actually showing up in local SERPs.

Review Management and Collection

Apart from your company website and content optimization strategy, nothing impacts local search like customer reviews. As such, all great SEO strategies work to incorporate a steady influx of client feedback. Google used to favor reviews from its own portal (Google Reviews), but now it prefers them from a variety of sources.

You’ll notice that many of the top industry performers work hard to consistently gather reviews from their customers. You’ll find these companies standing out in local service packs, earning premium leads for some of the most popular services. As you can see, even a little effort goes a long way when it comes to reviews.

Where should you ask for reviews?

Most SEO Strategies Incorporate Client Reviews
Reviews, in Google and Your Website, Create Trust With Consumers.

Of course, the easiest way to collect client feedback is to simply ask for it! Send your customers (especially the happy ones) a brief invitation via text or email. It doesn’t have to be complicated, just provide the link(s) so they can do it quickly.

Showcasing Reviews on Your Website

For the greatest impact, incorporate those reviews into the company website. You’ll likely need a professional to do this for you, but watch out! Most HVAC SEO companies simply aren’t very good at infusing these reviews into the site effectively. It took years for our team at HVAC Webmasters to develop our tool (Righteous Reviews) to do so, but the impact on our clients’ local search results is nothing short of incredible.

Team Up With HVAC Webmasters!

If your business sometimes struggles to earn that oh-so-important front page listing, our team would love to talk with you! At HVAC Webmasters, we enable HVAC companies around the country to earn higher ranks, better traffic, and outstanding leads. To learn more about SEO strategies or digital marketing in general, talk with a professional at (800) 353-3409.

Additional Resources from HVAC Webmasters

Related Articles and Podcasts
Why Regular Work on Your Web Effort is Important (Podcast)
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Posted: | Updated: Aug 29, 2019 | Categories: Podcast