Tag Archives: PPC

True Client Stories: The $5000 Screw Job

Does it feel like your digital marketing company is trying to get away with something shady? Perhaps your marketing expenses seem to steadily climb without generating consistent leads. Hundreds, if not thousands of heating and cooling professionals are going through the exact same story. The only question is:

How will your story end?

In today’s HVAC Webmasters podcast, Jason and Nolen share some red flags that could shed some light on your marketing company’s sketchy practices. If you spot any of these tactics, it might be time to start shopping for a new marketing agency. Look for these following signs…

SEO for HVAC Pros: Red Flags

  • Blackbox pricing covering up where your ad money goes
  • Sudden bumps in results immediately after you call to complain
  • No visible evidence that your website has changed
  • 3rd party expense reporting not directly from Google

3 Signs You’re Getting Cheated

Marketing money is an amazing thing. On one hand, you can invest it into the perfectly tuned advertising campaign and earn a double return on your money! On the other hand, you can trust it to an enthusiastic management team, only to see it slowly disappear with little reward.

Sadly, the latter story is one we hear all the time from HVAC professionals around the country. Unless you have the time, energy, and experience needed to execute your own marketing plan however, you’ll probably have to find a dependable company to handle it for you. You may have already chosen a team, and find yourself wondering if they really have your interests at heart.

The easiest way to spot a shady firm is to look for these three red flags:

  • Blackbox pricing structure
  • Inconsistent payoffs
  • Lack of visible change in your website
A Google Analytics Report
Does Your Reporting Come Directly From Google, or a Source Recommended By Your Marketer?

Red Flag #1: Blackbox Pricing

Money is the ultimate test of character. You can tell a lot about a company by how willing they are to share their spending habits! In the same way, you can quickly get a feel for a marketing firm through their pricing structure.

If we could have our way, every digital marketing firm would have to bill month to month. That’s because monthly billing gives HVAC contractors the ability to examine results and judge whether their investment is paying off. It’s a challenging code to operate by (for a marketing business), but it motivates us to continually produce results!

Bundle Beware

Annual Bundle Deals

On the other side lies annual contracts. Annual billing (or even longer term contracts) takes away that flexibility from the client contractor and gives it to the marketing professional. Blackbox pricing further complicates the picture by preventing heating and cooling professions from seeing how their money is spent.

Say you purchase an annual service package with website design, SEO, GMB, and PPC. The company quickly puts up a basic website, PPC campaigns start up, and results start coming in. Can you actually tell how much of your package budget was spent on each segment? That brings us to our next concern: reporting.

Reporting

3rd Party Reporting

When you invest money in Google Ads, your reporting should only come from one source. Can you guess where? Google Ads. Handing the crucial task of reporting over to anyone besides Google, you’re asking for trouble.

Time and time again, we’ve heard of marketing firms (especially PPC-only companies) bumping click price above the actual cost, then pocketing the difference. That’s in addition to the money you’ve already paid them to manage your campaigns. If a client complains, the firm can easily manipulate the results.

Red Flag #2: Inconsistent Results

Have you ever called into your marketing firm and complained about lack of results, only to see a sudden uptick in leads? As consumers, we like to believe that our phone call is the driving force behind the change. It also makes it feel like we have a voice in the management of our investment.

In reality, it means that your marketing company had the power the entire time to affect those results, but didn’t until you called.

Inconsistent results in your lead generation can indicate shady practices in ad spending. If your leads started slowing down a couple months after your phone call, it’s very likely your PPC management team has reduced the amount of budget going into the campaigns. You could know this for certain, if you had access to the Google Ads account or the direct expense reports. But your marketer’s third party reporting company (if there is a third party at all) makes sure that you can’t know for certain.

A Snippet From an HVAC Blog Post
Regular Blogging is Extremely Helpful For SEO. Does Your Marketing Team Provide It?

Red Flag #3: No Visible Change

Blackbox pricing, shady reporting, and inconsistent results are all frustrating practices. What’s even more alarming is a complete lack of action in non-PPC related activities. There’s a reason why bundled marketing packages show mixed, but ultimately short-term results.

Time and time again, budget for website optimization gets sacrificed so that more money goes to PPC, which means more money can get siphoned out.

If you’ve seen very little or no change in your website design over the past few months (assuming you’ve paid for it), ask why. There’s no reason why a marketing firm couldn’t produce some timely website progress unless they simply didn’t care about it. We’ve seen a business left struggling to survive because their marketing firm never took the time to complete and verify their Google My Business account. That’s something that anyone can do.

Moving Forward

At HVAC Webmasters, we know the frustration and anger that comes with getting ripped off by a shady marketing firm. That’s why we started our business in the first place, to provide dependable (results-driven) service that earns your investment every month. And yes, we bill month to month.

If you’d like to see the difference we can make for your HVAC company, give us a call at (800) 353-3409!

Other Resources From HVAC Webmasters

Related Articles and Podcasts
Streamlined SEO for HVAC Contractors: Tips and Traps (Article)
Should You Halt SEO During Slow Seasons? | Search Trends (Podcast)
You Don’t Have to Be Perfect to Win at HVAC SEO (Podcast)

Helpful Services From Our Team
HVAC Website Design
HVAC Local Search Marketing
PPC Advertising for HVAC Companies

HVAC Marketing On The Cheap (Podcast)

Almost every business begins with little to no funds for marketing. As a result, even experienced companies can experience a dry season. However, a few steps could make all the difference in the coming years instead of battening down the hatches and doing nothing.

Today, Jason and Nolen discuss how to start up your HVAC 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. So 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 Budget Marketing

Let’s not waste time. There’s an ideal way to do 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 business will pick up enough to start getting online clients one day!

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 tremendous 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 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.” However, without registering your company with GMB, 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.
Picture of HVAC GMB

Step #2: Build a Cheap Website

There’s a couple of sweet spots for getting the biggest bang for your marketing budget (or lack thereof) when it comes to website design. 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. Of course, you’d expect somewhat higher results and capabilities from a $300 website, but most companies who offer those design packages use a cheap template anyway. So you might as well save the money and invest it in another part of your business.

Cheap Website Templates for HVAC Marketing

Source: ThemeForest

Step #3: Register Your Domain

Your domain name (the address or URL) is one of the most crucial branding assets your company will ever claim. Of course, you must protect it at all costs, but most businesses don’t even know how to pick a compelling name. There are a few basic rules to follow when it comes to selecting 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. People should remember your name and laugh, then for them not to remember your name at all!

On an equally important note, make sure that you own the domain name, 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!

Reviews Can Make or Break Your Reputation. So always Ask Happy Customers for Feedback!

Domain Name Search

Step #4: Ask for Reviews

Reviews are a 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 an awful experience. 

That’s why you and your team must consistently ask your clients for reviews. Don’t wait either! Ask immediately after concluding services. At the very latest, you might wish to wait a couple of days (say after an installation) to follow up and ask for reviews. Asking in person creates goodwill with the existing client and trust with prospective consumers.

Google prefers reviews to come from various 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 different sort of negative complaints from that odd customer.

Review Management Tool on an HVAC Website

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

14 (Super Cool) HVAC Contractor Marketing Ideas for 2022

HVAC Marketing is essential to growing your HVACR business in 2022. But which methods produce the highest ROI? Additionally, which techniques can companies implement in-house, and which should they outsource to 3rd party specialists? These are questions that every heating and cooling contractor should ask themselves in the new year, and questions HVAC SEO Webmasters can answer. Be sure to bookmark this list of 14 cool HVAC marketing ideas for 2022.

HVAC Webmasters Marketing Promo

Digital Marketing

In 2022, most HVAC marketing is digital. From local websites to business listing submissions, the majority of leads originate from online sources. HVAC companies can take steps to enhance their online presence with various digital marketing strategies. Each technique produces ROI in the right circumstances, but contractors should stay aware of pitfalls associated with specific online marketing ventures. Let’s take a look at some of the top digital marketing techniques for HVACR companies in 2022:

1) Search Engine Optimization

One of the most popular digital marketing techniques is HVAC SEO, otherwise known as search engine optimization. The strategy consists of refining web content, URLs, links, and user experience to rank more effectively on Google, which naturally drives more traffic and business to your company. SEO is a massive industry, and most local companies now invest in some form of SEO. There is a right way and wrong way to execute search optimization, and HVAC contractors should invest in the right services to help them achieve their goals in 2022.

SEO Statistics

2) Pay Per Click Advertising

Advertising is a form of marketing, and PPC is the most popular digital advertising method. Most novice HVAC companies gravitate towards pay-per-click ads because they produce quick results without much effort. While short-term lead generation is appealing, a long-term PPC investment can yield negative ROI without careful planning. In most cases, PPC works best as part of a larger digital marketing strategy that includes SEO, reputation management, and remarketing or pixel tracking.

HVAC Advertising Through PPC

3) Social Media Advertising

In addition to paying for Google ad clicks, contractors can invest in Facebook Ads, YouTube Ads, and even NextDoor Ads. Every social platform has an advertising platform for local businesses. For HVAC companies, in particular, Facebook Ads have grown in popularity as of 2022. With Facebook advertising, companies can target consumers with discounts, offers, and seasonal specials. HVACR professionals can even invest in lead-gen ads that capture the user’s contact information on the spot.

Adult Social Media Users in the U.S.

4) Reputation Management

For local contractors, reputation management is critical to converting traffic. Search engines also favor companies with strong reputations and often rank them higher on Google Maps. Generating more reviews is a prominent component of reputation, but managing your online perception goes beyond testimonials. Managing your HVAC company’s reputation includes Google My Business optimization, NAP citation building, and ensuring positive search results for your brand name. 

Review Management Tool on an HVAC Website

5) Remarketing / Pixel Tracking

As traditional marketers know, consumers rarely buy a service or product at first glance. The levers required to boost conversions often occur gradually after repeated exposure to a brand. In digital marketing, remarketing or pixel tracking helps companies achieve these goals. Users visit your website and their browser stores cookies that tag them to see your ads as they browse the internet. Your target customers spend a lot of time on Facebook and other social media platforms, targeting them after leaving your website.

Retargeting Ad Process Chart

Traditional Marketing

While digital marketing ascends to the mainstream, aspects of traditional marketing remain effective. Although investments like print advertising, radio spots, and television commercials no longer hold the same prestige, they still have a place in modern marketing. These methods can provide substantial value for HVAC companies across the United States when used along with digital strategies. Check out some of the top traditional marketing methods:

6) Business Cards

In 2022, business cards remain relevant to HVAC companies. Part of the business card’s intrigue is their ability to take your customers online. Every modern business card should list a company website and various social media handles, along with the legal name, address, and phone number. For older customers, business cards can often serve as the transition from traditional to digital marketing. For example, a client may read your card and then navigate your website URL and leave a review.

HVAC Business Card

7) Billboards

Research shows that billboards continue to produce substantial ROI in 2022. As a form of out-of-the-home advertising, billboards place your HVAC brand front and center for potential customers. Like other forms of advertising, billboards work best in unison with different marketing techniques, both online and in-person. The downside of billboards is the cost. After all, placing your company on a highway or main road is not ever going to be cheap.

HVAC Billboard Opportunity

8) Print Advertising

Newspapers and magazines have grown virtually obsolete in the past decade, and investing in advertising on these platforms might seem like a waste. However, those that continue to read newspapers trust them more than ever. Research indicates that 82% of people trust print ads. If you can target local newspapers with HVACR advertisements, the ROI could prove surprisingly favorable in 2022.

HVAC Print Magazine

9) Radio Ads

While music streaming services seem to have taken the radio’s place, a surprising amount of consumers still listen to the radio. A study shows that the average American still consumes 13+ hours of radio per week. Some of the most reliable clients have not entirely transitioned online for HVAC contractors and may need a bit of coaxing to start connecting digitally. Tracking radio ROI is simple and one of the reasons companies still invest in advertising in 2022.

10) TV Commercials

Let’s be clear; YouTube is now the top platform for video consumption across the world. Back in 2018, digital ad spend officially overtook television ad spend. However, in the same year, television ad sales increased by 5%. The trend indicates that as the competition diminishes, the ROI increases. HVAC contractors looking to make a name in their local community may still be able to benefit from a television spot in 2022.

HVAC Marketing Essentials for 2022

Most companies aren’t going to invest in every single marketing venture. So which concepts should HVAC contractors prioritize in 2022? Digital marketing is undoubtedly the foundation for any local business and makes up most of HVAC Webmasters’ recommended pursuits. It’s helpful to pay attention to the latest marketing trends for HVAC companies:

11) Custom Website

Your website will serve as the central hub of your HVAC marketing strategy in 2022. Whether you invest in SEO, PPC, business cards, or print advertising, a branded, custom website is critical. In 2022, most consumers associate professionalism and brand recall with your company website. That’s why skimping on your design and user experience can have dire consequences. The best course of action is to invest in high-quality HVAC website design.

Metro Air and Heat Website

12) Google My Business Listing

If you do nothing else for your business online, make sure you claim your Google My Business listing. A GMB listing is cost-free and can allow your business to rank on Google’s Local Map 3-Pack. Ensure you optimize your listing for accuracy with the proper name, address, and phone number. You can further enhance your listing by generating reviews and uploading high-quality images of your staff, trucks, and equipment. 

Picture of HVAC GMB

13) Reputation Management Software

We cannot stress enough how important reputation is to HVACR companies in 2022. But managing your reputation manually is both time-consuming and challenging. The best course of action is to invest in software like DataPins, which sends automated review requests to your clients. DataPins also features job-site check-ins to help showcase your work across various service areas. Best of all, the software uses reviews and map pins to boost your local rankings without any effort from you as the contractor.

DataPins Square Logo

14) Service Pages

One-page websites might help your brand, but they limit your SEO reach. Investing in service pages is the best way to achieve sustainable business growth in 2022. SEO works best with specific service pages like AC Repair or Furnace Repair. When users search for a particular job, they find your business on Google Search and Google Maps. In conjunction with an enhanced reputation, local service pages can grow your HVAC company faster than any other marketing technique.

A Commercial Service Page