Remember back in the day when you could depend on flyers, word-of-mouth, and the Yellow Pages to market your business and generate leads? Unfortunately, those days are long gone. And while every HVAC contractor knows that in 2020 you need a website, many still don’t realize that a website is not enough. What you need is a website that’s supported by field-tested marketing strategies and strong Search Engine Optimization (SEO). But what does that mean?
SEO and digital marketing can feel overwhelming for many HVAC contractors. So, we decided to break down our in-house marketing strategy into 6 easy principles that every air conditioning contractor needs to know.
Follow these simple rules, and you’ll be bringing in more (and better) leads than you can handle!
1. Make Sure You Have a Killer Website
Okay, I know. I just finished saying that having a website isn’t enough. But having an amazing website should be the starting point of every HVAC marketing strategy. So, what’s the difference between a great and bad website?
Great websites are designed for SEO. The goal is to make sure that when Google users search for an ‘air conditioner contractor’ in their region, your site appears on the first page. For that, you need to hire an SEO company like LinkNow to design your website with the following things in mind:
Mobile-Friendly Web Design
If your website isn’t designed to be viewed on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices, you’re going to miss out on a ton of local searches made by consumers on-the-go. Not to mention (as I will explain below) that in 2019, Google started ranking mobile sites first and desktop sites second. Go mobile!
Fast Load Speed
Load speed is not only important for ensuring that impatient consumers stay on your site (on both mobile devices and desktop computers), it’s also one of Google’s top-ranking factors.
Easy to Find Contact Information
We use the 5-second rule for our websites. That means that within 5 seconds of landing on your website, a consumer should know:
- • Who you are
- • What you do
- • How to contact you
If it takes longer than 5 seconds to find that information, it is extremely likely that they will click the “Back” button and find another HVAC company that can help them.
Make Sure Your Site has an SSL Certificate
An SSL certificate activates a secure and encrypted link (which appears in the URL as HTTPS rather than HTTP) between a user’s computer and your website. With an SSL certificate, no one can intercept the data that is exchanged between the two. Not only is web security good for business, but research also indicates that around 50% of page-one Google results are HTTPS—making it an important ranking factor too.
Content That’s Written to Convert Readers Into Leads
The written content on your site needs to be professional, focused, clear, and succinct. It should convince users that you’re the top HVAC service provider in the region and that they should choose you. Now. Right now.
And by writing for your readers, you’ll also be optimizing your content for better SEO on Google.
Gorgeous, Optimized Photos Relevant to HVAC Services
Since you only have 5 seconds to show consumers what you do, you need industry-specific photos—preferably professional photos taken of your own work—that attract attention and get the message across in an instant. So, if your written content is meant to sell your services and products, your pictures are meant to explain who you are and what you do.
Web Design That’s Visually Appealing and Industry-Specific
Strong web design will be both attractive to readers and guide their attention toward the things that matter most—your brand, your contact information, and the service or products they are searching for. Make sure your HVAC website is designed by a professional to get the best results!
2. Content Is King
The writing on your website, what we in the SEO business call ‘content’, is one of your main tools for improving your marketing. The idea is that, when your website goes online, Google reads every word on it and tries to categorize it based on those words. Your goal is to be categorized as an HVAC company and air conditioning contractor who works in X region. When consumers search for the keyword ‘HVAC contractor’ or ‘air conditioner repair’ in Google, Google should pull up your website as one of the search results.
Google’s goal is to provide accurate, user-friendly information. Your content should always be written with the reader in mind. It should be:
- • Focused
- • Clear
- • Succinct
Yes, in 2020, content is still king! By following these rules, your content will rank better on Google. That means more consumers will be able to find your business. Combine this with a killer website, and you’ll get tons of new leads!
3. Improve Your Local SEO and Get Leads from Google Maps
As an HVAC contractor, your goal is to build a strong local customer base. This was true before digital marketing, and it’s still true now. It’s just the tools that have changed. Nowadays, you need to supplement word-of-mouth referrals with online reviews to establish your reputation. And where you used to make sure you were listed in the Yellow Pages directory, now you have to make sure you’re listed in the many online business directories like Yelp, Google, Facebook, Bing, and yes, YellowPages.com with an up-to-date business name, address, and phone number.
As we’ve noted in countless blogs, the combination of lots of great reviews and accurate business listings (what we in the SEO business call citations) across all major directories, is a one-way ticket to being discovered by Google Maps users. And with more and more consumers preferring to use their smartphones to search for businesses on-the-go, mastering local search means dominating your local market.
4. Make It Mobile-First
Mobile searches on smartphones have become the number one way that consumers find the businesses they’re looking for. That’s why, in the spring of 2019, Google announced that all websites would be indexed and ranked based on their mobile sites first. Meaning that if you don’t have a mobile site, Google will assess your desktop website based on its functionality on mobile devices.
Make sure your website is built for mobile! Not sure if it is? Check it out on your smartphone. Does it look like a desktop site squashed into a little screen, or has it been designed for fit and functionality on mobile devices?
At LinkNow, we put mobile-first. All our sites are designed to function on every screen size—from desktops to smartphones and tablets—and with the page load speed that’s crucial for users on data plans.
5. Get Backlinks that Show Google You’re an Authority
Backlinks are links from another webpage to one of your webpages. If the website that links to you is a very respectable source and has a lot of authority online, Google will understand that you, too, are trustworthy and authoritative. Building a strong backlink profile is a long process that usually involves reaching out to blogs, organizations, and authorities in your field, and asking if you can do a little write up for them—or, if they can do a little write up on you.
However, by working with a veteran SEO company like LinkNow, you get the advantage of years of industry contacts who would be happy to give you a backlink on their site. We do the legwork, so you can focus on your business!
6. Try a Google Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Ad Campaign
This is hands-down one of the fastest ways to generate strong leads. And you’re in luck because our field-tested pay-per-click strategies are generating tons of leads for air conditioning contractors across the country. Here’s how it works:
You start with a budget of, let’s say, $1000.00. Then you target a specific keyword and set up a small advertisement at the top of Google’s search results page. It looks like a search result except for the small ‘Ad’ written in the top left corner:
You’re essentially paying to be at the top of the search results page. Each time someone clicks on your ad, you will be charged a pre-established price that will come out of your budget. Every click is a potential service job. And it works. Really well. Let the leads roll in!
If you’re an HVAC contractor who’s interested in pay-per-click, content writing, web design, local SEO, and just generally getting more leads, leave us a comment below, give us call (1-888-667-7186), or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.