Before the Internet boom, businesses used to advertise in the Yellow Pages. Many had figured out that if they wanted to get their listing at the top, they should start their business name with an “A,” or some went as far as to name their business a name like “AAA Plumbing.” That strategy doesn’t work anymore in the digital age and if you want to grow your plumbing business, you’re going to have to try some new approaches to get your company noticed and to build your customer base. Which is to say, grow and build your profits.
Keywords Are the Key To Getting To The Top Of Google
Getting your website to the top of listings in Google search involves utilizing the right keywords. Stop and think about what words or terms you would search for when looking for a plumber. Make a list of terms that potential customers will search for when they need a plumber. That includes single words as well as longer phrases, or what Google calls “long tail keywords.”
In addition to the obvious keywords like “plumber” or “plumbing,” potential clients might search terms like “broken pipe,” “water heater,” or “emergency plumbing services.” Working many keywords into your website can increase what is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and make the listing for your website appear higher in customer searches.
Location, Location, Location…
Don’t forget location. People might search for terms like “plumbers in Boston,” which would obviously yield a lot of results. But, particularly if you live in a smaller town or rural area, including the geographical location in your SEO keywords will be much more effective if people are searching for “plumbers in Union City, Indiana.” If your city has a nickname, include that as well. Also, remember things like the county you live in or state.
Narrow down your list to which five or six words you think will be the most effective search terms and keywords, then focus on those. You don’t want a lot of repetition in your keywords, as Google will consider plumber and plumbing as virtually the same search term.
That doesn’t mean you can’t include other keywords than your focus keywords. That also helps your ranking, but really concentrate on the ones you think will bring you the most traffic and the highest ranking.
Which Keywords Are Most Effective For Building My Plumbing Business?
There are services such as SEMrush, that help you find how keywords are ranking in Google searches. They show many searches are made monthly, and how much competition there is for those keywords. They do involve a fair investment each month — If you can afford it, these services can be extremely helpful in getting a better search engine ranking.
If you can’t afford it, there are still things you can do to research which keywords are the most effective. Try various search terms in Google and see how many results pop up for each term. The lower the number of results, the less competition for that keyword. That also means that fewer people are searching for the term, but let’s face it, you probably don’t need a keyword to have 1,000,000 searches a month to be effective.
You may also notice that when you search for a particular term, some websites may be featured. Some of that is related to advertising on Google, which is another advantage you should incorporate if you can afford to do that. But if you look at the top websites and study their keywords, you can see which keywords are working and how they are utilized.
I Have a Website, But Nobody’s Showing Up
Maybe you built or had someone build a website for your business, but it’s still not getting high traffic or search engine results. When you were looking at the top sites on Google, perhaps you noticed that most if not all have blogs about their industry. Not only does a blog add more keywords to your website, but Google likes sites that do frequent updates. So if your page is static and gets very few updates, it’s probably not going to rank well.
Each page or post should focus primarily on one keyboard you’ve chosen, but including other keywords throughout the page can also help SEO. Just be careful that your content is informative and don’t overdo keywords, or Google will consider your site to be “keyword stuffing.”
For each blog post or page, shoot for using that post’s keyword term 2 to 3 times, or a little more for longer articles. Include it in the headline, and the first paragraph. The last paragraph, and at least once in your subheadings if you can.
If you use WordPress, you can also customize your URL — or website address — to incorporate the keyword. If there are pictures on the page, be sure to include the keyword for that post in the data for the photos. That includes captions, image names, descriptions, and alt-tags.
A quick tip about alt-tags: while the things that Google looks for and gives a higher ranking to often change (their algorithm,) your alt-tags are what is read to people who are visually impaired to describe your images. Google never reveals its exact algorithm parameters, but it’s currently believed that having alt-tags for the visually impaired is one big key to higher search engine placement right now.
Grow Your Plumbing Business Locally
There is another service that doesn’t cost you a thing and can boost your business in local searches. You can set up a Google Business Profile that will be featured when someone searches for a service or item locally. This listing includes your business hours, a map, your phone number, and if you sell products, you can even feature photos of them.
You can sign up through Google, and they will send you verification of your business through snail mail, so make sure your address is accurate. This is one of the best tools for growing your business locally, and the best part is it’s free.
Publicizing Your Plumbing Business Website
Unless you’ve been living on Mars for the last 20 years, you probably know about social media marketing and its benefits as a free advertising service. But another important factor in promoting your website with a high search engine ranking is getting links from other high-ranked websites. This is what we call “inbound links,” when other websites link to yours.
Talk to businesses located near you or who offer services to your potential customers — which is just about everyone if you’re offering plumbing services. Offer to exchange links to boost both of your websites in search engines.
When exchanging links, it’s also important the other business carefully selects the text that links to your page, or what we call “anchor text.” The business should use linking text that has pertinent keywords to your website.
Not only can you exchange links with businesses, but if you link your business on large sites like Yelp or Angi, Google thinks your site is more reputable when its top sites are linking to yours.
You should be able to guess what that means — a higher Google ranking!
SEO Can Be Confusing and Time-Consuming at First
If this seems like it’s very complicated and it’s going to take a lot of time away from your business, that might be true to a certain extent at first. But SEO is important, and this is one of the things you can really focus on if you’re not spending too much time on the logistics of your business.
You can focus on SEO and growing your plumbing business if all the things like scheduling, invoicing, following leads, and daily details are handled by either an employee that you have to pay or by the ServiceWorks software that multitasks all these details and more for your business. It even has a free trial, so there is no excuse not to at least try it today so you can focus on getting your website noticed in Google searches. Plus, you won’t have to name your business “AAA Plumbing” for the Yellow Pages.