Buying Leads Can Be a Pitfall for HVAC Companies (Podcast)

Buying a lead is not the worst idea for an HVAC contractor. After all, leads drive your business. Unfortunately, in our experience, when HVAC contractors do buy leads, the leads are expensive, and the contractor is unhappy. But the issue with purchasing HVAC leads expands even further beyond the negativity surrounding them. Buying leads can be a pitfall for your company and might discourage you from investing in marketing resources that increase your brand visibility and generate sales sustainably.

Finding a Lead Source for HVAC Companies

If you are a heating & cooling contractor, who struggles to find a solid lead source, you aren’t alone. Although buying leads as a concept is not foolish since every business’s goal is to profit, the practice presents challenges. Low-quality distributors who offer “shared” leads rather than exclusives are the most common problem. But even with so-called exclusive prospects, HVAC companies are climbing uphill to secure the sale.

Getting More Leads

Despite well-documented disgust with lead sources many contractors continue to buy them. Why? Because at the end of the day they still want more leads. Securing a sale brings money to their business and becomes a cyclical process. The profit is just enough to seem like it’s worth it for the heating & cooling business. Getting more leads can be a challenge especially with sources offering shared leads. Worse yet, it often distracts contractors from other forms of marketing, like SEO, that will actually end up producing more sales over the long run.

Investing in Your HVAC Company

When you purchase a lead from a 3rd party platform, their brand benefits most. Next time the customer needs HVAC services, they will probably go back to the source instead of your HVAC company. Your goal should shift towards investing in your brand and growing the allegiance of consumers. This way, you will generate sustainable business for your company and not shell out hard-earned funds to 3rd parties.

Custom Websites

The first thing you’ll need is a custom website with schema markup. A website can be the central hub of your HVAC company and create a foundation for sales. Unfortunately, today, most websites use templates, either from a WordPress theme market or from DIY website builders like Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace. While they have their advantages, of course, they don’t have the type of long-term potential that custom sites do. As a result, they limit ROI in terms of organic optimization and the long-term control of your brand, which we want to avoid.

Google My Business

Nobody will take your company seriously without a Google My Business listing. You might ask how GMB is different from a 3rd party lead platform. First, you are not investing money. Google My Business listings are free and allow you to rank in the Local Map 3-Pack. Second, you can link your website URL to your GMB listing so that your web property becomes associated with the Google listing as well as the Google Reviews. All of this is free of charge for companies.

Search Engine Optimization

The best leads come from organic clicks on Google. For example, ranking for terms like “ac repair” and similar phrases can drive searchers to your website or Google My Business Listing. In either case, with websites optimized for conversions, you can earn most of your profit organically. SEO is the best long-term strategy for online marketing since it is an investment in yourself and becomes a sustainable profit generator for years and decades to come. 

A Full-Scale Approach

A single strategy may not always work out, but the combination of several techniques helps HVAC companies earn sales online. Investing your marketing dollars in leads only or ads only discourages long-term growth. You can still buy HVAC leads, but only if you optimize your brand at the same time. Using SEO, you can reap the long-term rewards of a complete and robust web presence. Try partnering with a full digital marketing agency like HVAC Webmasters, the top-rated agency in 2021.