How to Generate Plumbing Leads with PPC Search Ads – Service Direct
February 16, 2021 by Molly Weybright

How To Generate Plumbing Leads With PPC Search Ads

We recently surveyed 250 local service businesses on their marketing priorities, successes, and challenges. As a lead generation company, it’s important that we know the direction local businesses are looking for marketing. One of the biggest surprises was seeing how few businesses listed PPC advertising as an effective marketing tool.

Most Effective Lead Generation Tactics - PPC LastService Direct surveyed over 250 local service businesses asking a range of questions about their marketing efforts.

With only 4% of businesses surveyed listing it as an effective strategy, PPC advertising ranked second to lowest out of 16 lead generation tactics. As a lead generation company, this sparked many questions. Why aren’t local service businesses seeing the results with PPC that we know can be achieved? Is there a level of intimidation preventing companies from even attempting PPC advertising? Are these businesses using the technique correctly?

We don’t know the answers to all of these questions, but we do know how to find success with PPC advertising. With 16 years of industry experience having spent several million dollars worth of plumbing related clicks on search engines, we like to think we know what we’re talking about when it comes to making the most of PPC. By following a few simple techniques and redirecting your mindset, we think that you, too, can see incredible results from PPC advertising. 

Free Download: The Ultimate Plumber Marketing Guide

Keywords 101

One of the most important things to remember when you are creating PPC ads for your plumbing company is that you can’t set it and forget it. A major part of keeping up with your ads is ensuring that the keywords you are buying are the right ones for your plumbing business.

Tip: Feeling overwhelmed about where to start with keywords? Put your domain name into Google’s keyword planner and see what keywords it suggests. While there might be some obvious keywords you can think of that customers would search when looking for a plumber, this tool helps you see lots of other phrases they also search.

Use Keyword Planner to Find Good Plumber PPC Ad Keywords

Keyword Budget and Bidding

Budget: Google makes it easy to set a daily budget and can optimize clicks around that budget. Just make sure you’ve allotted enough budget to give your ads a chance to optimize and perform.

Smart Bidding: Smart bidding allows Google to automate the bidding for your ads, optimizing for conversions. The key to using smart bidding to your advantage is ensuring you are effectively tracking ad performance so Google has information to take into account when smart bidding in the future.

Target CPA Versus Manual Bidding - Conversion RatesService Direct results based on PPC campaigns we run for our in-house plumbing traffic

Tip: Using target CPA bidding for your campaigns will greatly increase your ability to convert clicks into leads. While the clicks themselves can be more expensive, you can still expect to see somewhere between a 35%-65% higher ROI by employing this bidding strategy.

Keyword Negatives

When it comes to PPC advertising and your budget, keeping up with keyword negatives is arguably more important than making sure you are bidding on the keywords you want to advertise for and that your plumber marketing budget doesn't get out of control. You can easily spend thousands of dollars driving people to your website that aren’t even looking for a plumber and will never turn into customers. In order to prevent those expenses, you want to do everything you can to set those keywords as negatives before they take out a huge chunk of your budget.

Take this search for it something you want to spend your money on?

Adding Keyword Negatives to Plumbing Ad Campaigns

The only problem? There really isn’t a great tool out there to help you stop bad clicks before you buy them. Luckily for you, we’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars on bad ‘plumbing’ clicks and know exactly which negative keywords you should add to your Google ads campaign!

Download Now: Free Plumbing Keywords Negative List

PPC Ad Reporting and Tracking

Along with having a handle on keyword negatives for your PPC ads, you’ll want to figure out a way to monitor your campaigns’ performance that works for you. We recommend creating multiple campaigns and ad groups in your Google Ads account so that you can try out different combinations of keywords to see what results in the most conversions. In order to monitor how those ads perform you will need to have certain tracking systems in place.

Conversion Tracking

Conversion tracking is a free tool provided by Google that allows you to monitor what happens after a customer clicks your ad. The tool allows you to monitor many different actions, but for your plumbing business you will most likely want to track phone calls or form entries from potential customers seeking your services. With conversion tracking you will need to be patient. When getting started, as shown in the above image, you will likely have multiple ads for each ad group and the best way to determine their success is to give it time and see how they perform via conversion tracking.


Tip: Google is a wealth of information, which can be overwhelming. We recommend keeping it simple to start by looking at the conversion rate, cost per conversion, and overall conversion columns.

Quality Score

Another important metric provided by Google that will help you have high performing PPC ads is quality score. Quality score is a ranking assigned by Google that depends on how well your ads are aligned with what people are searching for when your ad shows up in their search results. In other words, are the searcher’s needs met when they click on your ad? A low quality score would indicate that something isn’t lining up between your ad copy and the searcher’s intentions.

Quality Score Vs. Cost Per Conversion For Plumbing AdsService Direct results based on PPC campaigns we run for our in-house plumbing traffic

It’s important to note that the quality score of your PPC plumbing ads should not be used as the singular metric when monitoring your ads. While you want to pay attention to the quality score, we recommend using it as a supplemental tool for determining ad performance on top of conversion tracking data.

Tip: You want to aim for a Quality Score of 7 or higher for your ads. Anything below that will make the costs of your ads too expensive and could mean the difference between making money and losing money on Google.

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Website Essentials

So far we’ve been focusing on the PPC ads themselves, but it’s also important that your plumbing PPC ads are sending searchers to a high-quality website designed to convert. Obviously this is important for your business, but it’s also a strong signal to Google that people that click on your ads are finding the information they are seeking. This in turn allows Google to optimize your ads to drive even more conversions for your plumbing business!

Appearance and Performance

Write content that is useful. Whatever content you have on your website should be well written and concise. This is a great place to add in keywords to boost the organic search result ranking of your website on search engines like Google.

Have clear calls to action. Make it extremely easy for someone to know how to get in touch with you. You want your CTAs to align with what the searcher wants to do. For example: Call 555-555-5555 for emergency plumbing services today.

Optimize it for mobile. The majority of plumbing searches are done on mobile devices these days. If your website isn't mobile compatible, Google will be much less likely to send a searcher to it because they won't have a good experience on your site.

Make sure the site loads quickly. The longer it takes for your site to load, the less likely people are to find what they want. Make sure your site loads quickly on both desktops and tablets/mobile devices using this tool.

5 Tips For High Converting Websites For Local Service Businesses


Site Pages

If you offer a wide range of plumbing services, have specialized services you want to highlight, or serve a large area, you might find it useful to create separate site pages for those things. Having site pages allows you to redirect searchers to a page focusing completely on what they need rather than sending potential customers to your homepage.

Site Page Examples:

  • Emergency Plumbing
  • Sump Pump Services
  • Sewer Rooting
  • Trenchless Plumbing
  • Water Heater Repair & Installation
  • Pages for Each Location You Service

Site Content Matches Search Intent - New

Tip: Send people directly to the service type they need, and make sure that page not only provides them with useful information about that service, but also that they can quickly and easily get in touch with you.

Download Our Free Plumber Negative Keyword List

Most plumbing companies don't find success through PPC ads for a number of reasons. Primary among them is they end up spending money on traffic that doesn't convert into customers. With some of the changes Google has made to their ads, it's easy to let bad spend run away from you.

New call-to-action

Download our FREE keyword negative list for plumbing ads and make sure that doesn't happen to you! We've compiled 75 of the most common negative keywords that cause plumbers to lose money through paid search advertising. You can copy these directly into your ad campaigns and save yourself money and headaches!

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