Category Archives: SEO

The Essential Local SEO Guide for HVAC Contractors

Local SEO for HVAC (Guide Cover)

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO is the practice of optimizing your HVAC business for local searches on Google and other search engines. Specifically, the practice targets Google Map 3-Pack rankings with your Google My Business listing along with regionally-targeted web pages for traditional organic results.

Local SEO

Why HVAC Companies Need Local SEO

Local SEO is tremendously important given how potential clients typically search for the heating and air services you provide (by location).

Not only should your organic on-page and social media content include a focus on local keywords that rank well for geographic factors, but there are additional elements to local SEO that you can employ to help search engines like Google recognize where you are. This is what ensures you’re prominently displayed in SERPs. Some of the local SEO elements that a strong internet marketing plan will include:

  • Citation Management
  • Google My Business management
  • Embedded Google map on Contact Page
  • NAP Consistency
  • Review Management
  • Schema Markup

You don’t have to know how to execute these variables yourself to have a successful HVAC website. However, what you do need to leverage are experts in local SEO (like us) who can dial in all the right pieces of the puzzle to make your site look strong and logical when Google is retrieving location-specific results for users. MOZ listed these (and several other factors) when considering local search ranking results, and it’s worthwhile to consider that some elements weigh more heavily than others for moving the dial on your SERP position.

HVAC Local SEO Results

Local SEO Ranking Factors for HVAC

Once HVAC companies understand the importance of ranking locally, they naturally wonder how to influence rankings. Google Maps and Google Search rankings are based on separate algorithms, so each will require unique solutions. With that being said, some aspects of each algorithm carry over to the other one. 

Below, HVAC Webmasters outlines local SEO ranking factors for 2021. Mastering each factor gives your company the best chance to rank on both Google Search and Google Maps. Though Google’s algorithm continuously evolves, it is important to establish a baseline of best practices for consistent growth in your industry.

Google My Business

Claiming and optimizing your GMB listing is critical to local SEO. You can claim your business here and start ranking on the Local Map 3-Pack. Of course, optimized listings perform far better than empty ones. You should ensure accurate contact information, upload unique photos, and provide answers to the FAQ. You should also enter your website URL in the appropriate GMB field.

Google My Business serves as your local SEO foundation, and without a listing, ranking becomes implausible. Sometimes HVAC companies have more than one listing, in which case you should merge the two listings. Furthermore, it would be best if you decided whether to list your address publically since most HVAC businesses quality as service area businesses (SAB).

Your GMB listing will also serve as a central hub for your Google Reviews, which we will discuss below. You can share your review link in your marketing materials, email signature, and other promotional content. Google My Business reviews have the greatest influence over Google Maps rankings and also increase GMB conversion rates.

Google Reviews

Generating Google Reviews is critical to local SEO success for HVAC companies. Google makes it easy to share your review form by providing you with a shortlink which you can then share with customers. Still, HVAC companies often forget to stay on top of the review generation process. Investing in a local SEO tool like BrandREVU solves the problem for good.

BrandREVU sends automated review requests to customers after finishing jobs. When customers leave Google Revies, your company gains more credibility and converts more prospects. In addition to requesting reviews, BrandREVU also empowers contractors to perform jobsite check-ins.

If you provide enough service, customers may eventually leave negative reviews. A few negative reviews won’t hurt your business, but it does make sense to respond to each review. Try to remedy their problems and ensure great service if they decide to come back and use your company. Remember that prospects are watching how you react to every review.

NAP Citations

The terms “NAP” and “Citations” are often used somewhat interchangeably, but the best way to understand these as critical elements for local SEO is to look at what they represent: Name, Address, and Phone (…N.A.P.). It’s a no-brainer that potential customers searching for local HVAC businesses via Google are going to want easily-accessible contact information. Especially if the issue is emergent — such as a brokedown furnace in the middle of winter — a viewer needs to be able to find your phone number in a matter of seconds to get that repair in the works!

Not only is NAP data important for user experience, but it also demonstrates to Google that your site is well-developed, useful, and communicates contact information explicitly. This makes you a great fit for searches that invoke your stated service area (determined via location keywords or the address listed), which means Google and other search engines are going to give your site higher rankings to meet the need.

NAP isn’t only important for your primary HVAC website SEO — including on-page content, thoughtfully designed Contact Page and structured data usage — but also for your secondary websites. 

Think of social media business pages, Google My Business page, Angie’s List page, etc., which are the citations for your HVAC business. All of these potential entry points are opportunities to provide a great user experience by ensuring NAP is consistent, the pages are optimized, and you’ve managed citations across the web. This establishes authority and reliability when it comes to your overall web presence, giving your local SEO game a huge boost.

Local SEO Content

Organic content has a significant, long-term impact on your ability to rank well for local SEO. For Localized Organic Ranking Factors, the on-page signals count for 26% of your ranking score.

What does this mean? It’s (hopefully) no surprise at this point that you have to have good copy on your website. You can’t throw up a single paragraph on a webpage about HVAC services and expect that to either inform your potential customers in any real way nor will it reward you with a top spot on the search engine results page. I will go ahead and beat this point into the ground: Google wants what your site visitors want

When a potential customer clicks through to your website from the results page or a citation page, they expect to find relevant info. If you have generic or lackluster content or the volume of content is minimal, there is no value. You’re not adding anything worth reviewing, and thus you aren’t considered an optimal candidate for Google to serve up in the rankings.

We know that quality content is a must for HVAC business, but incorporating location keywords into the content will make the biggest impact on local SEO. It’s one thing to kick butt for the keyword search “best heating company,” but if the user follows suit with typical behavior, they’re going to tack on their city name or zip code to get more tailored results. In fact, Google often prompts adding “near me” or even the user’s city (based on location services). 

If you haven’t optimized your service area (or areas), you’re not going to seem relevant. Utilizing strong H1 tags with the city name alongside high-performing search keywords will help your site make leaps in bounds.

Domain Authority

Another factor to consider is Domain Authority. In a nutshell, MOZ’s metric, domain authority, is a 1-100 ranking that can help gauge the strength of your site relative to other trusted domains via links. This means outgoing links to reputable organizations (such as unions, trade organizations, libraries, etc.), but also incoming links that establish your content as traffic-worthy. 

This doesn’t mean you should engage in shady linkback tactics. Rather, it reinforces an organic SEO strategy that acknowledges good content, providing value for the internet and those who use it, as the lynchpin of an effective internet marketing campaign.

Since we’re talking about local SEO, including links (or better yet, obtaining links to your well-developed on-page content) to nearby organizations that can bolster your local reputation and cultivate relationships is an awesome strategy!

User Experience

User experience always counts. If the bounce rate for your site is high — which means that viewers aren’t spending much time on pages — Google interprets that as less-than-engaging (perhaps due to superficial content or slow page loading) and will penalize sites that don’t seem to grab users. 

On the other hand, HVAC mobile websites that seem to have a strong response via clicks to call will be perceived as helpful and relevant. Content must be good, and information must be accessible and accurate, but you’ve got to ensure that all typical user experience elements are intact, as well. This includes:

  • Engaging Design
  • Intuitive Site Navigation
  • Obvious “Call to Action” Buttons
  • Optimized Image Size For Device
  • Prompt Page Loading

Local Keyword Optimization

Local keyword optimization is not unlike traditional SEO, but it focuses on local terms and phrases. Company websites will still want to follow standard optimization protocol, as the best practices remain valid when crafting a local keyword strategy. HVAC Webmasters is a leader in online marketing for heating and cooling companies. We’ve been working with contractors in this industry for decades and know what it takes to market to their core audience effectively. Local keyword optimization consists of:

  • Body Content: Distribution of local terms throughout the body text
  • Meta Descriptions: Inclusion of local phrases within web page meta descriptions
  • Title / Header Tags: Placement of local keywords within title and header tags
  • URL Slugs: Disposal of local terms within URL slugs

Using the WordPress content management system, optimizing for local terms is straightforward and intuitive. With WordPress, website managers can easily manage title and header tags, body content, and URL slugs. Internal linking is another tactic for emphasizing HVAC keywords. Link to your most important pages from other internal pages, and use the anchor text for the keyword. Of course, make sure that your terms make sense to the reader and never engage in spammy keyword placement.

The 2021 Google Maps Guide for HVAC Contractors

Google Maps for HVAC (Guide Cover)

What is Google Maps for HVAC Companies?

Google Maps is a web mapping service from Google. It provides ariel viewpoints, satellite images, and interactive looks at locations, streets, and neighborhoods in real-time. Additionally, it provides Local Map-Pack listings for business and service-related Google searches.

HVAC Google Maps Screenshot

Why HVAC Companies Need Google Maps

Local searches make up over 80% of HVAC website clicks. Among those clicks, a great deal originates from Google’s Local Map 3-Pack. Google delivers 3 Google Maps results based on their criteria and the searcher’s location for local search queries. Getting your listing within the pack is critical to lead generation in 2021.

One of the biggest pain points we hear from new HVAC clients is that they cannot seem to get decent placement on Google Maps. This is a big deal because of how important this ranking factors into conversion rates for their potential customers. Luckily, there are steps you can take to improve.

Google Maps Ranking Factors

Google Maps rankings are based on 3 clear criteria, which are proximity, relevance, and prominence. Your business must master each to show up for various keyword terms within your service area. Let’s take a closer look at each factor:

Proximity

How close your GMB address is to the searcher’s location. Although you can’t directly influence proximity once you have an address, there are ways to maximize your existing address for the best results. 

Relevance

How closely related your business listing is to the searcher’s query. For example, if someone searches for an HVAC contractor in Miami, FL, you can expect an HVAC Guys Miami business name to rank well on the Map 3-Pack.

Prominence

How well-known your business is both online and offline. Google uses signals from external sources (like credible links and brand mentions) to calculate prominence along with the most apparent signal of reviews. The more reviews your Google listing has, the more prominent your business becomes.

Google Maps Optimization for HVAC Businesses

Just like anything worthwhile, HVAC companies must put effort into ranking well. Whether you’re trying to maximize your position on Google for mapping, organic searches, or both, you have to put intentional work in to see results. 

Realistically, most HVAC business owners don’t have the time or the insight to put in regular hours on your website and overall internet marketing, which is why it can be beneficial to delegate your SEO strategy and implementation to professional webmasters.

Please don’t waste time guessing on what will work, or throwing many hours into your website over the course of a few weeks, only to abandon it the rest of the year. While we can’t — nor should anyone else — claim to know a perfect recipe for making results happen, we want to share some insight that we’ve gathered over many years in this space, which had served many customers in increasing their rankings (on all fronts) and growing their businesses when nothing else seemed to work. 

It’s not a perfect science, but it’s also not exactly throwing mud at the wall. Let’s dig into some practical steps you can take to improve Google Map ranking for your HVAC website.

Local HVAC Listings on Google Maps

Google My Business

The first step is to claim and optimize your Google My Business (GMB) account. It’s important to verify that everything listed about your business is correct, relevant to HVAC, and consistent with how you’re represented across the web. 

So don’t feel the need to make the GMB page unique from your website; in fact, don’t do that. See one as an extension of the other, with a perfect agreement in terms of basic business info (such as NAP: name, address, phone number), services provided, and company focus.

We always recommend maxing out the available fields for citations across the web, and GMB is a great place to put it all out there. Don’t forget attributes, photos, hours of operation, and service area. You can also add FAQs, which is a great way to add some meaningful content and anticipate your customers’ needs.

NAP Citations

Citations are everywhere you show up on the internet for your business, such as Angie’s List, Better Business Bureau, Yelp, etc. On any given citation page, you generally have the opportunity to “claim” or manage that listing, ensuring that the correct information is listed for your business. 

NAP refers to the name, address, and phone number and is the minimum information you need to appear in the undercurrent of Google’s records across the web. You can generally include other data, such as your website URL, which can help with HVAC SEO rankings.

For example, don’t use the website field to add a link to the AC repair page of your website in hopes that traffic will boost that page in rankings. In many cases, those citation links are “nofollow” and don’t count toward rankings. Not to mention, you know that the user intent is to find your home page and go from there, so serve up what the customer wants.

Website URL

Perhaps the most undervalued aspect of Google Maps ranking is your attached website URL. Google considers the strength of your website, particularly its content and link profile, when ranking the attached listing. For example, a strong HVAC company website attached to your GMB listing can help you outrank a competitor with a lesser website.

We mentioned content and links as the major signals from your website to your GMB listing. Google actually scans your homepage menu to find keywords that relate to local queries. If Google knows you provide services like AC repair, air duct cleaning, etc., they will rank you for those on Google Maps.

If you publish vanilla, generalized content, you’re going to fade into the background with the zillions of other vanilla HVAC webpages. We know you can’t afford that, and if you’re frustrated with subpar Google Map placement, quality content could be an area you need to bolster for better results.

Business Address

Your GMB address directly impacts proximity to the searcher’s location. HVAC companies can hide their address by checking the box for a service area business (SAB). Since most HVAC companies don’t have a storefront business, the SAB options may be appropriate. With that being said, research shows that businesses who keep their address public perform better in search results. 

In either case, your address must be legitimate. You cannot utilize a virtual address or share space for your GMB listing. Google may suspend your listing, which eliminates you from search results entirely. You can apply for reinstatement but must prove that your business truly exists at the questioned address.

Google Reviews

It would be best if you generated as many Google reviews as possible for your HVAC business. You can share your review link by clicking “share review form” on your GMB profile page. You can include that link in marketing materials like your email signature, newsletter, and even on your website. You can also use software like BrandREVU to send automated requests.

While nobody wants bad reviews, some customers will inevitably leave less than 5-star reviews. An aggregate rating between 4.5 and 4.9 is ideal since some customers may become suspicious of a perfect 5-star rating. If you do get a bad review, be sure to respond professionally and offer to remedy the situation, if possible. You should also respond to good reviews.

Google Posts

Publishing Google Posts further optimizes your listing and can also increase conversion rates. Having a summer special? Create a Google Post. Running a local contest? Create another Google Post. Think of Google Posts as social media for your Google My Business profile. While they don’t directly impact rankings, they can affect engagement.

If you are unsure how to create a Google Post, follow this guide. You’ll find the process simple and something you can do within minutes. You can even attach a call now button or sign-up button to get immediate conversions.

Ranking Outside Your Main Service Area

HVAC companies often ask about ranking in cities outside their main service area. If your address exists in Frisco, how can you rank in Dallas? The best way is to install BrandREVU Local SEO software on your website. BrandREVU offers check-ins that produce schema markup that validates your location pages. In other words, Google can recognize jobs you’ve done in Dallas through your check-ins and schema code.

Another option for trying to rank better on mapping for a city outside of your own is to…well…move to that city. Sometimes moving your business is the best option for Google Maps ranking. However, companies without this option can still maximize their presence in other service areas with BrandREVU.

For those operating in a large metropolitan area, competition is fierce, and the map view for HVAC repairs in a given area will be much more concentrated. You have to pull out all the stops when it comes to location marketing, and optimizing with cities as part of your keyword strategy will be vital.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNc5uzoI1QY

Local Mapping Services For HVAC Contractors

At HVAC Webmasters, we like to go above and beyond for our clients. Although optimizing business listings is important, it is not the only element that determines local search rankings. With this in mind, after we set up business listings, solidify NAP information, and optimize your website citations, we continue to other elements that can improve your local ranking. Some of them include:

  • BrandREVU: Local SEO software that allows contractors to perform jobsite check-ins and automat review requests, included for every client
  • Link Building: Establishing quality backlinks from local authorities can improve your local search visibility
  • Review Management: Encouraging reviews with automated requests and monitoring reviews on Facebook, Google, and Yelp
  • Schema Markup – We can expand online visibility through schema.org and structured data markup

Every local business should now have a functional mobile website that is optimized for local keywords. If you aren’t receiving the number of local leads you require to run a profitable business, now could be the time to change marketing services. 2021 can be a fresh start for your HVAC company. The HVAC Webmasters’ experts have years of experience researching and implementing this SEO component for local HVAC contractors and companies. We perform mapping services to earn trust with Google and other search engines and boost customer traffic and encourage more sales conversions.

The Ultimate HVAC Google Business Profile Guide

HVAC Google My Business

Update: Google My Business is now Google Business Profile

What is Google Business Profile for HVAC?

Google Business Profile is a free profile and tool for HVAC companies to showcase their business on Google Search and Google Maps. Business owners must verify their business (via postcard) to edit information and manage the profile. Once verified, a GBP listing showcases your company’s business name, phone number, hours of operation, and other promotional content.

Why Small Businesses Utilize Google Business Profile

The bottom line for marketing any business in the digital age is the same as decades ago: making your business as visible as possible. And today, you aren’t making your business nearly as visible as it can be if you do not have it listed on Google Business Profile. 

Just as the name implies, Google Business Profile is a business listing service offered by none other than Google. It’s a platform that allows businesses large and small to be more visible to Google users. And there are plenty of those. Over a billion people currently use Google products and services like Gmail, Google Maps, and Google Business Profile.

For better or worse, Google is mammoth. Whether you are watching YouTube or performing a simple search to help you decide on dinner tonight, your life is being affected by Google. 

And as an HVAC contractor, you can leverage the unfathomably huge audience that Google boasts for the success of your business. Today we are going to be talking about how your Google Business Profile can gain you more customers, increase brand awareness, and how you can utilize it for maximum effect.

Picture of HVAC GMB

Why HVAC Contractors Need a Google Business Profile

Some of you may be asking why you need a Google Business Profile (GBP) listing in the first place. Maybe your HVAC business is doing fine without one. Or perhaps you are just reluctant to spend time setting one up. Whatever the reason, there are vital benefits both for fledgling HVAC businesses and established ones. The three main benefits of GBP are:

Local 3-Pack

The local three-pack shows up at the top of 93% of local Google searches. Without a GBP listing, you have no hope of getting your HVAC business indexed on the local three-pack. And in case you were wondering why the local three-pack is so important, an overwhelming majority of Google users click on the top 3 search results and rarely click on lower results. 

Reputation Management

Since so many people start their research into local businesses with a Google search, GBP usually accounts for people’s first interaction with business reviews. GBP offers a platform for people to leave reviews of companies. Your aggregate rating is prominently displayed when your site company appears on relevant searches. And customer reviews are a huge commodity in digital marketing.

Key Insights

When you have your GPB profile set up, you will see how people find your business, what keywords they are using, and even what kinds of people are looking at your profile. Google data can give you invaluable insight into who you should be targeting in subsequent marketing and ad campaigns

And if that all wasn’t enough, Google Business Profile is free. An GPB listing will cost you nothing to set up or maintain. 

And if that all wasn’t enough, Google Business Profile is free. A GBP listing will cost you nothing to set up or maintain. 

https://youtu.be/mnNNC42wlAM

Setting up your GBP Profile

Setting up your Google Business Profile is very easy. It all starts here. You enter the name of your business and fill out the prompted information during the setup process. Creating a new listing is a straightforward process that you can easily navigate by clicking the link above. So we’ll skip the details of that part. And luckily, “HVAC Contractor” is an established category on GBP, so you don’t have to worry about your business category not being available. 

But we will walk you by solving some of the problems you may run into while setting up your HVAC Google Business Profile. 

Address Listing

As an HVAC contractor, you may not have a central office or location. You may operate out of your home. You have to have a physical address for your business for Google to verify you, so you will have to list your home address in this case. But that doesn’t mean you have to display your home address online for the world to see. If you don’t want your address listed on your GBP profile, log in, click on the “Info” tab and look for your address listing. There should be a pencil icon next to your address – click it to open the editing menu. Towards the bottom of the menu, you will see an option for “Clear Address,” click it. Then click “Apply,” and your address disappears on your public GBP page. 

Adding Multiple Locations

If you have more than one office serving different areas, you can manage all of them from a central GBP account. Head to the “Location Groups” tab once signed into your GBP account. Click the “Add Location” option, and you will add a single location or import locations. If you have more than one place to add, choose import location, and you receive a template to fill out with all of your business location information. But if you want to a single spot, click “Add single location” and fill out the fields.

Business Claims

If you find a claimed business matching your company info, you have already created an account, or someone else has. If someone previously claimed your business, Google will give you a hint for their email address. If this doesn’t help, you’ll need to choose the option for “Request Access.” You will then provide business and contact info to help verify that you are the business owner. Google will then contact the person who claimed the company and get back to you within a week. 

Google My Business Logo

Getting the Most from GBP

Now that you have your HVAC Google Business Profile set up, it’s time to start optimizing it for maximum customer response. Here is a list of essential optimizations you should make for your GBP profile:

Q & A’s

GBP allows you to populate your GBP listing with Q & A’s regarding your business. It’s a good idea to fill out some essential Q & A’s about your business when your page goes live. Think about the most common questions you have heard from customers in the past and add them to your profile. Another tip: customers can also provide answers to questions about your business to review any customer contributions for accuracy. 

Add Photos

Adding high-quality, relevant photos to your GBP listing can improve click-through rates by 35%. That means 35% more people will click on your website if they see that you have photos on your GBP listing. The images you add should be relevant to your business and the services you offer. They could be photos of you and your crew, your service vehicles, and on-site work. Make sure the images are high-definition and not blurry. 

Add Service Locations

As an HVAC contractor, you more than likely service more than one city or area. You must list these service areas on your GBP page. There’s a simple tutorial on recording multiple service areas on your Google Business Profile here. Just make sure that you list all of the places you service to show up on more local intent searches. 

Consistent NAP

NAP stands for name, address, and phone number. Google doesn’t like inconstant NAP information and will omit listings for the same business if their NAP info differs from one site to another. It may seem mundane, but it’s a mistake that a lot of people make. You have to make sure that your business name, phone number, and address are listed and spelled the same way across all platforms. That means your official website, your GBP account, and any review websites you may be listed on (and you should be listed on all of them, by the way). 

Service Listing

Being thorough with service listing will also help you appear in more searches. Make sure that you fill add every HVAC service you offer on your GBP page. Don’t forget to update your service list if you have recently added new services to your repertoire. 

Superior SEO for Your HVAC Rich Media

In today’s HVAC marketplace, online presence is everything. Consumers look to Google to find heating product and A/C unit information, operation instructions, HVAC services, and more, and if your HVAC business isn’t being properly represented in SERPs, you are probably missing out on company dollars. However, traditional website SEO methods are no longer enough to rank well for HVAC services on Google and other search engines. In order to have a chance at a top Google ranking spot for the heating and air industry, your website must be highly optimized, using in- and outbound linking, well-organized content, and proper coding. But, it takes more than that to stand out among the crowd and end up in top ranking positions on searches and maps. Using images, videos, and other rich media formats that are correctly optimized can help give your website the boost it needs to rank well in SERPs.

The Importance of Rich Media On Your HVAC Site

Cisco Online Traffic Research and Predictions

According to Cisco Studies, Internet Video Will Make Up 71% of Online Traffic by 2022.

While the use of each of the SEO techniques is crucial, rich media such as video, images, and audio, can dramatically boost your SEO ranking and website visibility. Google is always establishing new and helpful ways to deliver better search results to its customers. Because of this, the search engine offers blended results in most cases, including rich media such as images, videos, and podcasts, as well as content. If your HVAC site offers more rich media and indexed avenues of information, it is more likely to appear in more search queries, resulting in more clicks and viewers. By using properly optimized rich media about HVAC within your site, you are able to create more links, shareable content, and keyword optimization that can boost your site’s trust and authority, strengthening your searchability. However, poorly optimized rich media does little to nothing for your site and can inhibit load times and user experience, negatively affecting your website authority and SERP ranking. When adding rich media to your HVAC site, ensure that proper planning, creation, and display efforts are followed for maximum exposure.

How to Optimize Your HVAC Images for Higher SEO

Including HVAC images as a rich media option on your site is not just a no-fail way to break up text and create better flow within your page, but it can also provide credible linking, sharing, and secondary SEO techniques for better ranking. However, each of your images must be correctly optimized in order to provide top rich media benefits to your HVAC site. They should be relevant to the content being delivered and be formatted correctly in order to provide maximum benefits.

What is Image Optimization

Image optimization is the process of making your images more detectable by Google crawlers. This means adding bits of information and data to help crawlers correctly and quickly index the content that is being displayed. Since Google is not yet able to index images, video, or audio itself, it uses the metadata and surrounding content to identify the topic being communicated. Therefore providing quality metadata that is detailed, informative, and contains keywords is imperative for successful HVAC SEO. When Google can index your images effectively, you appear higher in traditional search results as well as image search results.

HVAC Image Selection for SEO

When It Comes to Great SEO, Every Image Matters.

HVAC Image Selection

The images chosen for your webpage should flow seamlessly with the HVAC content presented. Images can be photos of work and services being completed, employees and company photos, or other HVAC-related topics, infographics, illustrations, or graphs and charts. They should be relevant to the idea of the page and offer a visual aid to the information presented. While unique images are always recommended, you may sometimes need to use stock HVAC images or other paid avenues of image collection to create the site you want. When using stock or paid photos, ensure that they aren’t overused by conducting a few quick Google image searches. Resize your HVAC images instead of shrinking them down to avoid long load times that can hurt SEO.

Correct Image Formatting

Your images should be formatted according to what they present. For instance, photographs typically format best as a JPEG which is the most versatile format. For graphics and other images types, GIF and PNG formatting may work better. GIF formats have a limited color range but offer small file sizes and a translucent background. This format works well for logos and simple images. PNG formats deliver high resolution and a transparent background but often come with large file sizes which can slow download times. This formatting style should be used only with graphics and animations that require high-quality resolution and is not ideal for all rich media selections.

HVAC Image Formatting Screenshot

The Format That You Use for Your Image is Crucial for Maximizing User Experience.

Image SEO Setup

In order for your images to be indexed by Google, they must be properly optimized. Naming images for SEO can be difficult, but is also crucial for the optimization process. The file name of your image should be descriptive and have a prominent keyword. The metadata attached to your image is also important. You can find this data by right-clicking your image from the library and selecting Properties and then Details. You can then delete all useless information to create metadata that Google bots can easily index for better rankings. The alt text of your image appears when the image is obstructed for some reason. The alt text should describe what’s in the image while using a keyword if possible. Along with the alt text, the caption is crucial for Google indexing and should provide a short connection to the content as well as a primary keyword for optimal Google ranking.

Metadata Entry on WordPress

When Using WordPress, Metadata is Easily Entered for Each Image.

Keyword Selection for Image SEO

When selecting a keyword to use for image optimization, use keyword tools like MOZ or SEMrush to identify the most beneficial words possible. These programs offer keyword metrics such as volume, difficulty, and competition so you can locate the ideal keywords for your purpose. Use top keywords in image names and title tags to help Google identify the main topic of your image. Then, utilize specialized keywords in your image caption for more focused optimization to appear in local, map, and image searches. For instance, an image titled Residential Furnace Repair could use a keyword such as Furnace Pilot Light Repair in the caption to focus crawlers on specific information.

MOZ Keyword List

Use MOZ and Other Keyword Programs to Find Secondary Keywords for Image SEO That Can Boost Appearance in Specialized Searches.

Image Placement

Google uses the surrounding content to verify your images. Therefore, it’s imperative to place your images near relevant content. Use keywords and keyword phrases in the text surrounding your images to ensure that Google correctly indexes your site page. Add your images to the sitemap to better allow crawlers to quickly retrieve your information. For WordPress sites, this can be done with an XML plugin.

  • Photo Use: When using photos on your website, ensure they are high-quality and intriguing. Choose shots that clearly display an action or service such as a technician working on a repair project. Another top choice is staff and office photos which work well on About Us and Contact Us pages.
  • Infographics: These images should present clear, accurate information and should have correct attribution tags to prevent copyright problems.
  • Charts/Graphs: Use these images to present difficult information in a more appealing manner. Ensure each graph is properly labeled and the information is correct and accurate.

Adding these types of images provides the user with a better experience along with displaying your company’s skill and expertise. These images are also able to be shared and syndicated to provide your HVAC site with valuable links and reach.

Are HVAC Videos Important for Better SEO?

When trying to achieve an unbeatable customer experience while providing your HVAC site with backlink and sharing opportunities, video additions may be the rich media addition you’re looking for. In fact, 80 percent of today’s internet use is video-related. Using HVAC videos on your site can provide shareable content that is directly linked to your HVAC site, create the opportunity for backlinking as others share your content, and generate better overall and on-page SEO for your website.Website Video Stats According to Cielo24

Whether viewers are watching, sharing, or talking about online videos, the SEO benefits can’t be disputed. When your website uses videos that are properly optimized for SEO, your business has a chance of appearing in YouTube searches as well as Google searches, creating further reach and more traffic to your site. Videos can also be used to provide rich snippets on SERPs which can boost your rankings and click-through rate. Like images, however, video optimization must be properly completed in order to get the best results.

Video Optimization

Much like images, videos must be properly optimized using title tags, keywords, and links to benefit your site’s SEO efforts. Correct optimization of your videos includes on-site SEO efforts as well as SEO and keyword optimization on YouTube or other hosting sites. This requires a multi-step process that can lose effectiveness if not completed correctly.

Finding Your Goal

First, you must decide what you want your HVAC video to accomplish for your site and your business. Are you looking to build links and generate shares or do you want your rich media addition to help increase conversions? Identifying the purpose for your video will help you create the content and idea.

Link and Share Generation

Videos that are made to generate links and shares must have compelling content that is informative and useful. How-to, demonstration, and interview videos work well as link builders and provide shareable content that’s interesting and compelling.

When utilizing videos for link building or share generation, it’s common to use a secondary platform such as Youtube to host your video. This also allows your video to appear in helpful Youtube searches which can generate more traffic to your site.

On-Site Conversion Increase

Videos that display material and product use or direction, as well as interview and news videos, provide excellent avenues to help increase conversion on your site. These videos can help provide additional information and techniques that lead a user to complete your desired task.

Many times, HVAC company owners choose to host their own videos on their site. While self-hosted videos can be difficult to set up, they have great benefits that can’t be found with embedded video options. For instance, self-hosted videos are able to generate a rich snippet on SERPs that can give your business an edge among the competition. However, this method prevents your video from appearing on Youtube searches and can hinder sharing and likes. When using WordPress, the Yoast plugin allows you to add a rich snippet to search results without having to self-host your video, delivering the best of both worlds.

Yoast WordPress Plugin

With the Yoast Plugin You Can Use a Third-Party Host and Get Self-Hosting Benefits.

Planning Your Video

You should never begin a video without sufficient planning. Your topic and ideas to be discussed should be preplanned with regard to keywords, both primary and secondary. This will ensure that your video stays on track and delivers helpful, informative information to visitors. The keywords used in your video should also be researched to ensure your video delivers optimal SEO for your site and your content.

Keyword Research

Even in a video, keyword research is crucial. Your keywords will be used in the video itself as well as in the video URL, title, and tags in order to index correctly for your content. Your keywords should be researched using effective tools like MOZ or SEMRush and should include both top-level keywords and specialized keywords. A top-level keyword may include general terms like “roof repair” or “air conditioner service” while specialized keywords are more specific such as “ductless A/C repair” or “sewer line replacement”. Using both types of keywords can help improve your chances of appearing on SERPs.

SEMRush Screen Example

Programs Like SEMRush Help Find Keywords That Get Your Site Found.

Video SEO Essentials

In order to get the most from your video, its SEO functions must be complete. Just like images and content, video can and should be optimized for effective SEO capabilities. Depending on how you use your video on your site, SEO strategies can help tell Google crawlers exactly what your video is about.

YouTube Upload

When uploading your video to YouTube and embedding within your site, make sure to include your brand or a keyword in the URL. A URL with branding and keywords such as https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heater-repair-your-company will be indexed by Google and YouTube much better than a URL that looks like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h58th948j46d.

YouTube Upload Screen Example

Completing Your Video’s SEO Helps Ranking on YouTube as Well as Google.

This small step gives you a great advantage over most of your competition since this step is widely skipped. To edit your video’s URL, select the “custom URL” option from the “settings” menu. However, in order to have this option, your account must meet YouTube’s requirements.

Using Keywords Throughout You Tube Metadata

Utilizing Multiple Keywords Throughout Your Metadata Increases Your Appearance in Search results.

Next, you want to consider the title of your video. Your title should be approximately 5 words long and should include a main keyword as well as a secondary term, if possible. Your title should also encapsulate the idea behind your video. For example, if your video is about how to repair an air conditioning unit, a good title could be “Central Air Conditioner Troubleshooting and Repair Instructions” over more general options such as “A/C Repair” or “HVAC Repair”. This provides a much clearer picture of your content which is more easily indexed by Google crawlers.

Once your title has been created, it’s time to write a description that will be displayed along with your video’s link. YouTube video descriptions cannot be more than 5000 characters and should be clear and to the point. When creating your video description, try to use the same keywords as you used in your title, and put more important keywords at the beginning of the copy. YouTube provides searchers with a preview of your video description that is a few lines long and then attaches a “see more” button to view the rest of your content.Keyword Usage in HVAC Videos and Descriptions

Just as important to your YouTube video as the title and description are the tags you use to label your video’s subject matter. Tags should include a combination of both general and specific terms to ensure that your video appears in more search results. While YouTube allows as many tags as you want, there is a 400 character limit across all tags. YouTube recommends 6-8 tags for every video for proper optimization.

Website Upload

If you would rather upload your video straight to your site, you will need to submit an XML sitemap in order to tell Google that you have a video.

Sitemap List

Each Listing on Your XML Sitemap Opens the Contents of Each Entry.

In order to fully optimize your video, you will want to surround it with relevant content that includes headings, schema.org, and traditional content, all of which should have primary and secondary keywords. Keyword placement is even more crucial in this type of video display because other video SEO elements are less prevalent, such as tags and the title. In order to submit an acceptable sitemap, you must include a few basic points of information. These values should be created with keyword usage in mind to maximize your video’s SEO.

First, you will need to create a code line to tell Google the location of your video on your site along with the image and location of your thumbnail preview.

Sitemap Individual Entry

After Clicking on the Main Link, You WIll See the Video Entry for Your HVAC Site.

Next, add a title for your video, which can be up to 100 characters. Your title should be clear and concise, using at least one keyword. After your video title, you will need a description. It’s crucial to keep your description to under 2048 characters because longer descriptions will be cut off.

Rich Snippet Example

Rich Snippets Give You An Edge Over Your Competition by Providing a Preview of Specialized Content.

The main benefit of hosting your own video is that a rich snippet will be visible along with your business listing in search results. Since viewers are six times more likely to click on a website with a video, this can dramatically increase your click-through rates. When you use a third party to host your video, such as YouTube, the URL for your video begins with their brand tag. However, when you host your videos, the URL begins with your brand which can boost visibility and reach. This can also help to build direct links to your site when your video is shared or displayed.

Transcripts

Along with your video file, you should also create a text transcript of your video’s content. Since Google cannot properly index audio and video for searchability, a text transcript allows crawlers to identify the content and keywords within your video. While transcripts are time-consuming to create, they allow ranking for multiple terms instead of only the keywords used in the title and description. Because of the boosted SEO effects, adding a transcript to your video is proven to improve views, engagement, and ranking on Google and other search engines.

Video Transcript Use

When You Upload Through YouTube, Your Transcript Can Be Added or Auto Generated.

Adding Audio for Better SEO

Now that you have fully optimized images and video on your site, audio is another rich media option that can make a nice addition to boost your site’s performance even further.

Audio files, such as podcasts, can enhance your site, are rich media options that create a more enjoyable user experience, and provide additional SEO opportunities. Audio files can be embedded to your site by using third-party hosting sites such as BuzzSprout, Pod Bean, or Castros, or can be added to your site through the use of a sitemap, much like video. No matter which way you choose to add your audio content, correct optimization is imperative for maximum results.

Podcast and Audio Creation and Setup

Just as with video, your podcast or audio file should be well planned before anything is ever recorded. With so many podcast options already available, you want to provide your listeners with something new. Try to identify information that can set you apart from your competition. This will give you an opportunity to not only provide new and useful information but also to rank for keywords that other sites aren’t ranking for. Keywords are just as important in podcasts as they are with images and video. Keywords are how Google will index your information for search inquiries so they should be researched and implemented accordingly. The same research sites used for finding and researching traditional, image, and video keywords can be used to find relevant audio keywords. Remember to note the volume, difficulty, and competition of the keywords to ensure you are implementing terms that are productive.

Once your audio file or podcast is created, it’s time to add it to your HVAC site. Like with video, you have a choice on how you would like to add the content to your website. You can use third-party hosts such as Blubrry, PodBean, or Buzzsprout to host your audio files on an RSS feed or you can submit a sitemap to add the podcast directly to your site. Third-party hosting is common with podcasts and provides simpler attachment to your site as well as easier SEO creation. Through these sites, you will simply embed your audio feed into your site using an embedding code provided by the host.

Blubrry

The Blubrry hosting site works well with WordPress and offers many advantages over a basic host site. Along with podcast and audio hosting you receive:

  • Simple and Advanced Mode Choices for All Levels of Knowledge
  • Submission of Your Shows to Spotify
  • Free Migration
  • SEO ToolsFeatures of the Blubrry Podcast Host

PodBean

With the PodBean host, you get great benefits along with superior analytics. ALong with your audio hosting service you get:

  • Your Own Domain
  • Unlimited Storage
  • SEO ToolsFeatures of the PodBean Podcast host

Buzzsprout

This hosting platform is designed for the novice user and boasts easy-to-use capabilities such as:

  • Easy-to-Read Stats
  • Multiple Directory Listing
  • Automatic OptimizationFeatures of the BuzzSprout Podcast Host

While each host site offers incredible benefits, it’s important to choose the best site for your needs and experience level. A superior hosting site means nothing if you can’t properly utilize it.

Adding Metadata for Better HVAC SEO

Adding proper metadata to your podcast or audio file is crucial for it to have a positive impact on your HVAC SEO efforts. Both primary and secondary keywords should be used along with efficient tagging and linking. While these datasets must be created using the sitemap submission when self-hosting, most hosting sites offer SEO entry tools to make your metadata creation easier and more productive.

Podcast Title

Your HVAC podcast will have two separate titles- one for the show and one for the episode. With your feed, you are able to group podcasts together by topic, date, or just about any other grouping property. These groups are called shows. Within each show, you will have multiple podcasts that fit into that category. These are called episodes.

Your podcast show title should be no longer than 60 characters to avoid being cut off and should include at least a primary keyword with either a location or brand tag. It’s also helpful to include a secondary keyword if possible. Show titles are displayed on directory lists, so should be very explanatory of the content. If your podcast is about energy efficient air conditioners, a good title may be “Energy Efficient A/C Units in Your Town, USA”. Another option would be to include your brand in the title, which might look like, “Energy Efficient Air Conditioners by Your Company Name”. This allows your HVAC show to be indexed for not only keywords but also for location and brand searches.HVAC Podcast Title

Next, your episode title should be comprised of a primary and a secondary keyword that explains exactly what the content is about. An effective HVAC episode title might look like: “Are Ductless Air Conditioners More Energy Efficient?”. These titles will be displayed once a viewer selects your show. They should be explanatory and communicate the exact information in your podcast.

Description of Your HVAC Podcast

Like the title, the description of your podcast is made up of both the show category and the episode category. The show or podcast description will appear in podcast directories and varies in length according to which directory you use.

Podcast Description Example

The Descriptions of Your Show and Episodes Should be Descriptive and Concise, Using both National and Local Keywords.

This description should utilize both primary and secondary keywords along with branded long-tail keywords. The episode description will be displayed on the show’s directory page and tells the viewer what each recording is about.

HVAC Podcast Episode List

Episode Titles and Descriptions Should be Concise and Utilize Multiple Keywords.

Podcast episode descriptions should be no longer than 255 characters to avoid being cut off and should use top keywords as well as secondary keywords for full optimization. The episode description should be specialized to the content of only that recording. Therefore, service and product keywords can be utilized with greater effect. For instance, while your show description may discuss the advantages of more energy efficient air conditioners, your episode description may focus on energy efficient Rheem A/C units installed by your company. By using this method, your podcast can reach listeners searching for your company, energy efficient A/C units, or specific details on Rheem brand units.

Podcast RSS Feed Optimization

An RSS feed stands for “Rich Site Summary”, but more recently has been coined “Really Simple Syndication”. This feed is a list of your rich media and resembles a sort of digital table of contents. Your podcast’s RSS feed is also the basis for your URL. You want a primary keyword in your RSS feed’s URL as well as your brand. This way, when you submit the feed to platforms for viewing, it can be easily indexed.

Fully Optimized Content Page

Once your podcast is successfully uploaded to its host and thoroughly optimized for searchability, you are ready to embed it into your site. This can be easily done with an embedding code offered by your host platform. Along with embedding your podcast onto your site, it’s important to create fully optimized content that relates to the audio presentation. Be sure to include primary and local keywords along with varied H2s and H3s for complete optimization. You should also include meta tags and titles on the page, as well as an optimized image. This will allow your rich media to be searchable on SERPs as well as audio search platforms and create more indexable content to help your page rank higher.

Page Optimization For HVAC Podcasts

Surrounding Your Podcast With Relevant Content Helps Google Decipher Your Topic.

HVAC SEO and Rich Media Experts

Our experts are trained and experienced in all SEO tactics to ensure that your site and rich media effects are fully optimized for maximum reach and results. We work with you to identify your SEO and rich media needs and provide realistic options that fit your needs and your budget. HVAC Webmasters provides complete website and social media management so you know that your site is performing where it should be. As a HVAC Webmasters client, you are able to receive

  • Website Creation and Management
  • Professional HVAC SEO Research, Development, and Implementation
  • Media Addition and SEO Creation
  • Social Media Management
  • Blog Management and SEO
  • PPC Marketing
  • Rich Media Implementation

Our team also provides updates and data that delivers a clear picture of your HVAC site’s progress and performance so you never feel in the dark. We deliver comprehensive reports and figures so you can not only see how far your HVAC site has come, but you can also see where it stands now.

Ranking In The Local 3-Pack For HVAC Contractors

Google search engine results pages, often referred to as SERPs, are the prime real estate of the digital marketing industry. Companies from all over the world, of all sizes and disciplines, compete to rank prominently for competitive keywords. Most HVAC contractors understand how valuable SERP visibility is to their business, so they invest in services like local SEO and PPC. 

As Google has evolved, new avenues of search visibility have manifested. While organic results and PPC ads were once the only vehicles to appear on SERPs, there are several new and innovative additions. One of those is the local 3-pack, a location-dependent block of search results aimed to match local searchers with companies near them.

What is The Local 3-Pack?

The Local 3-Pack is a group of 3 Google My Business listings that appear on the top of SERPs for location-based queries. So, for example, when a user searches for ac repair near me, they will see a Local 3-Pack featuring the top HVAC companies in their proximity. 

Ac Repair Local 3-Pack Screenshot

Less Is More In Local SEO

What is now known as the local 3-pack was once a 7-pack. The reason behind the reduction stems from Google’s renewed emphasis on the mobile experience. Since most local searchers, and searchers in general, are performing search queries via smartphones, or other mobile devices, the limited screen size makes less information more prominent and more valuable. For example, a smartphone user’s viewport can more effectively display three local companies than it can 7. Things to consider for mobile experience include:

  • Display: How much can be shown within the screen dimensions?
  • Location: Where are users searching?
  • Navigation: How easily can users navigate the page?

A Local Map Pack Shows the Value of Regular SEO Updates

How To Appear On The Local 3-Pack

While there’s no way to guarantee a spot on the local 3-pack, there are steps that can certainly aid your efforts in securing one of those coveted placements. Practicing good local SEO, in general, is conducive to appearing on local results, and subsequently, the local 3-pack. We noted above how mobile experience drives local SEO and what is expected of it. Catering your website to mobile users is one way of signaling to Google that your website is worthy of a prominent local ranking. Other ways to improve local SEO include:

  • Google My Business: Claim and optimize your listing on Google My Business
  • NAP Consistency: Ensuring consistent name, address, and phone number info on directories
  • Responsive Design: Creating a mobile-first website that responds based on device

Local 3-Pack Ranking Factors

Google uses three ranking factors for the local 3-pack, including proximity, relevance, and prominence. HVAC companies can’t influence proximity unless they move their address to a different location. However, some companies will impact their business for SEO purposes since establishing a map pin in a high population area can help generate traffic.

HVAC contractors can influence relevance by writing content on their main website and attaching the website URL to their GMB listing. You can also impact relevance with your business name. For example, if your business name features your primary city, it will help you rank on the map pack. 

As for prominence, HVAC companies can also impact this metric online. The best way to gain reputation is to generate as many reviews as possible on your Google My Business listing. Consider utilizing an app like DataPins to automate review requests. Strengthening your website can also impact your listing’s prominence in 2021.

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