SEO for Plumbers - How to Rank Your Plumbing Website Organically
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that being on the first page of Google is paramount for any plumbing company that is serious about growing its customer base through online marketing. While there are a number of different ways customers connect with plumbers every day, the majority still go to Google to start their search.
The bottomline is this. Having your plumbing website showing up on the first page of Google is the most valuable internet real estate you can own. And guess what? Everyone that is looking to grow is trying to get there. That means competition is fierce and you have to be better than everyone else to actually win.
In this article, we are going to explain exactly what you need to do in order to own as much real estate as possible on the first page of Google. If you are interested in truly becoming an SEO ninja, we'd suggest reading some of the 5 best SEO books out there so that you understand every aspect of SEO inside and out. In any event, if you execute on our strategy, you will have a consistent source of high quality plumbing leads coming to you on a daily basis.
What is plumbing SEO?
Before we get started, let’s be clear what we are talking about when it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Simply put, SEO is the process of optimizing your plumbing company’s online presence such that it shows up on the first page of Google in positions that are free.
In the above search engine results page (SERP), there are 2 ‘organic’ places your company can show up. This means that any traffic or calls that result from this positioning doesn’t cost you money, versus the paid ads where you are buying visitors to your site (if you were buying that click, you could expect to pay as much as $40).
How do I make sure potential customers can find me on Google?
As mentioned above, you have 2 opportunities to show up on the first page of Google. Let’s dive into those two channels, and explain exactly what you need to do in order to make sure potential plumbing customers can find you when they are looking for a plumber in your area.
Make sure your Google My Business listing shows up on the map
One of the most prominent positions on Google is their map. It’s not only sitting at or near the top of the page, but given its formatting, coloring and size, it jumps off the screen for searchers. That means they’re more likely to engage with your listing and doing business with you.
What would an extra 100+ calls a month mean for your plumbing business, especially if you didn’t have to pay for them?
There’s even more to Google Maps marketing than just appearing when someone searches nearby. Getting your business listed on Google Maps also allows customers to see your plumbing company’s rating, read testimonials, and access your primary website or phone number directly from the map listing. Ease of use is crucial when attracting customers and having your business clearly and correctly displayed on Google Maps means it’s that much easier for customers to find you!
Use these tips to make sure that you are getting the most out of your plumbing company’s Google My Business account:
Configure And Setup Your NAP Information Accurately
- Claim Your Business Profile
- Complete Every Section of Your Google My Business Account
- Be Meticulous With Contact Information
- Select Primary and Secondary Categories
- Mark Off Applicable Attributes
- Write a Complete “From the Business” Description
- Collect Google Reviews From Customers
- Respond to All Reviews (yes, even the bad ones)
Maintain Business Profile
- Add Your Products and/or Services
- Publish Google Posts Weekly
- Upload New Photos Weekly
- Answer Questions
- Set Up Messaging
Make sure your GMB profile is listed in Google Maps
Once you have your business listed on Google My Business, it’s fairly simple to make sure your plumbing company is listed in maps. You’ll either want to add your business to Google Maps directly or claim it if it is already listed. Check out these steps to ensure your business is on Google Maps.
Make sure your plumbing website shows up in the organic results
The second and final opportunity you have to take up valuable real estate on the first page of Google is through the organic listings. This is where searchers can find your website, read a bit about the information you have that is relevant to their search, and ultimately click through to that page if they like what they have seen.
There are 2 goals when it comes to organic listings:
- Get your website page to show up for a relevant search
- Increase the likelihood that someone actually sees your website and clicks through to learn more (and eventually contact you)
How to rank your website for plumbing related searches
We won’t beat around the bush: it’s difficult to do. But the good news is that it’s absolutely possible. Let’s break down the key components you need to focus on…
Technical Aspects of Your Website
Google’s goal is to make sure that people that use their search engine are able to easily find the things they are looking for. In other words, they want to make sure their experience is smooth. That has a lot of implications for your website. If you ignore any of these technical elements, you’re not going to be able to rank well on Google.
Website Page Loading Speed
Your site must load quickly. Why? Because Google knows if it doesn’t, people will leave without finding what they want and won’t be happy about it. Your site needs to load in under 2 seconds.
Make Sure Your Website is Mobile Compatible
61% of searches on Google are done through a mobile phone. Making sure your site is optimized for mobile (read: is built in such a way that provides an intuitive, pleasant experience for mobile visitors). If you don’t, Google knows they aren’t going to like their experience, and they’re going to make sure you don’t show up in search results. This should be intuitive, but often times is completely skipped by marketing companies for plumbers.
Resource: How to make your site mobile friendly
Make Sure Your Website is Secure
According to Hubspot, 82% of websites aren’t secure. Google understands that increases the likelihood of malicious activity, and most browsers will serve a warning encouraging you not to visit those sites. Obviously you can’t show up on Google if Google doesn’t even want people to go to your website for fear your computer will end up being compromised.
Resource: How to secure your site with HTTPS
Add Keyword Optimized Meta Title & Description to All Website Pages
Your meta tags are code that quickly tell search engines what any given page on your website is about. You have a very limited space for these tags, and you need to be very diligent about what keywords you want to use to tell Google what your page is about, as it will have a big impact on your site’s ranking as well as the likelihood people click on your website.
Resource: Meta tags for beginners
Content on Your Website
Ok, so now your plumbing website is set up properly, such that Google trusts visitors it sends your way will have a safe and pleasant experience, one that will allow them to quickly and easily find the information they are looking for. Now what? Make sure you provide searchers with great, engaging content that is useful to them.
Build Pages For Each Service Category/Keyword Phrase You Want to Rank For
As a plumbing company, you offer a wide variety of services to clients. From a website perspective, you’ll want to make sure that you devote a page to each of those service types. Why? Typically a web page is only going to be able to rank for one keyword phrase (and other variations of that phrase). In other words, if you just one page with all of your services Google wouldn’t really know what exactly you did.
Example: Strand Brothers Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing
If you have a page specifically devoted to drain cleaning, and it talks about all of the various methods you use, why it’s important to do, etc. and someone goes on to Google searching specifically for ‘drain cleaning near me’, Google is more likely to show your page because it knows that content is very relevant to that searcher in your area.
Blog, Blog, Blog
Google loves great content. It also loves more content. Get on Google’s good side by blogging…a lot. But don’t focus on churning out 500 word blog posts stuffed with keywords. Write about things that people care about. Be helpful, show pictures, provide advice.
By blogging, you not only get in Google’s good graces, but you also increase the likelihood your website shows up for different types of keywords.
As an example, you might have your drain cleaning main page on your website, such that your goal is to rank for ‘drain cleaning near me’. But by blogging, you could write an article about ‘How to unclog a toilet’. This would allow you to show up for people specifically searching for that type of project in your area.
The above is a look at our blog traffic since getting serious about blogging. It has had a massive impact on our ability to generate new customers through organic traffic and grow our revenue from that channel.
It can have the same impact for you, you just have to commit to it!
Get Other Great Websites to Link Back to Yours
‘Backlinks’ in the SEO world are when someone else’s website links to yours. One way to look at them is as votes of confidence. They tell Google ‘hey, this website liked your website enough that they choose to link to some of your content.’
The more quality websites you have linking back to yours, the more authority Google places in your domain, and the more likely you are to show up in organic search results. There are many types of backlinks you can acquire to your website, but arguably the most important are contextual backlinks. These are links to your website that come from content that is relevant to your website. For example, if you run an e-commerce website selling dog food and a popular blog focused on dog owners links to your website from an article talking about the best dog foods to give your older dog, that's a contextual link. But if you get a link from a popular marketing blog that perhaps quotes you regarding how you market your website, that isn't contextually relevant to what your website actually does.
Resource: How to get backlinks to your website
How to make sure your organic result sticks out and garners more clicks
Congrats! You’ve fought the good fight and are now ranking for key terms that you were targeting. Now there’s still some things you can do to try and maximize your positioning on the front page and increase the likelihood searchers choose your site over the other first page offerings.
Use Schema Markup
Schema markup is a jargony way of saying ‘a way to help Google make sense of specific snippets of information on your website.’
What does that mean? Take a look at the following example…
As you can see, this page has deployed schema markup to break up its content into bite sized pieces, and Google has chosen to display that information in those same bite sized pieces.
Why does that matter? Look how much real estate it takes up on the page. It's twice as big as the other websites listed. The more real estate you own, the more foot traffic you get!
Use Open Graph protocol for your images so they show up as thumbnails on SERPS
Does anything jump out at you from the following SERP?
If you want to attract more attention to your listing on Google, having a thumbnail image displayed helps. By ensuring your website uses Open Graph protocol for images, Google is more likely to display a thumbnail image on your listing, thus increasing the likelihood someone sees it and clicks on it!
Local search engine optimization is a key element to connecting with potential customers in your area. When someone nearby searches for “plumbing companies near me” you want to have done everything possible to ensure your plumbing business appears at or near the top of search results, and SEO is how that happens. Combining the above tips with a healthy dose of patience, and in combination with your paid lead generation efforts, is a surefire way to develop a successful local SEO strategy and see results for your plumbing company!
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