So, this marketing guide is broken down into three parts. The first section will cover frequently asked questions. The second part will go over some common plumber marketing tactics. Lastly, there will be a section breaking down the Google search results page for a typical plumbing search. This breakdown will help you fully understand why certain marketing efforts should be undertaken. This is a good visual that is important to understand.
- Plumber Marketing FAQ
- Plumber Marketing Ideas
- Google Search Results Breakdown
- The Wrap Up
Plumber Marketing FAQ
How Do I Get More Plumbing Customers?
For the past 10 years, we’ve found that a great way to get plumbing leads is by making sure your business appears when potential customers need help. If someone types “plumber near me” into Google, are they able to find your company? Are you being recommended on sites like Yelp or other referral services? Getting high visibility in online searches and social media networks ensures people can easily connect with you for their plumping needs.
According to this Brightlocal Consumer Survey, 90 percent of consumers used the internet to search for a local business.
That is a very telling statistic. What it is telling you is that you need to be marketing your plumbing business online. Offline and traditional referral-driven business still has its place. But, you must have a strong online presence to compete in today’s market. This article will cover an array of ways you can get more plumbing customers, so continue reading.
How Do I Advertise My Plumbing Services?
Let’s start with the two most popular ways plumbing companies advertise online. The big two are Google Ads and Facebook Ads. Google Ads is by far the most effective way for plumbing companies to advertise online. The main reason for this is direct intent.
Direct intent marketing refers to the use of marketing strategies that are specifically designed to inspire a direct response or action from the consumer, such as making a purchase, signing up for a service, or visiting a website. This type of marketing is characterized by a clear call to action and is designed to be highly targeted and effective in driving conversions. Direct intent marketing can be contrasted with brand awareness campaigns which are designed to build long term relationship with customers and increase their loyalty over time.
When people need plumbing-related help, they tend to perform a Google search. They search for phrases such as “plumber near me” or “local plumbing company”. They are looking for for something very specific. In this case, they are searching for plumbers. If you want to get your business in front of people who perform these searches, then you need to run Google Ads.
Google Ads is just one of many ways to advertise online. There are other platforms you can test including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Yelp, LinkedIn and more.
Further Reading: Best Places To Advertise Online
What Is The Best Platform To Advertise My Plumbing Business?
Running Google Ads for your plumbing business should be one of the first things you consider with your marketing efforts. When people need plumbing services, then tend to need them relatively quickly. There are exceptions of course. People who are in need of a new water heater generally take a bit longer to make a decision as this can be a big purchase.
But, when someone has a water pipe leaking or broken toilet, they need help right away. More often than not, these people will perform a Google search, look at a few of the businesses that show up in the search results page and start calling. You need to be one of those businesses and Google Ads is the quickest way to get that done.
Facebook can also be a great way to get your plumbing business in front of your target audience. However, it does work differently than Google Ads. One of the main differences with Facebook is that you do not target keywords or search phrases like you do with Google. You target audiences that you can define.
For example, you could target people who have interacted with your Facebook page in the past six months. You could also use Facebook’s AI targeting technology to target people who are similar to people who have liked or interacted with your Facebook page.
Further Reading: Google Ads vs. Facebook Ads
Do Google Ads Work For Plumbers?
Ok, this is a bit redundant but the question gets asked frequently. In short, yes. Of course, you need to know what you are doing or have a good account manager running things.
You can’t just throw in some keywords, create a few ads and add your credit card and think the leads are going to start rolling in. If you go this route, I guarantee you that your money will be wasted. You may get lucky with a few leads but you will waste money and most likely will not know why or how to fix it.
As stated previously, Google Ads can be an extremely effective way to generate leads for your plumbing business. You just need to have the right person running the account.
Below are some Google Ads examples:
Do Facebook Ads Work For Plumbers?
Yes, Facebook can be good for plumbers. I would consider it complimentary to running Google Ads. Generally speaking, it does not have the same impact and effectiveness as Google Ads, but it can absolutely help to increase brand awareness and drive leads. When it comes to a typical sales funnel, Facebook ads can be good for top of funnel and middle of funnel targeting.
Further Reading: Sales Funnels & How They Work
Some common tactics plumbing companies have used for Facebook include:
Running ads to in their service area to people who most likely have never heard of them before. The goal is brand awareness.
Running ads to people who have visited their website already. This is called remarketing. The goal is to re-engage people who are already familiar with your business
Running lookalike ads to people who have visited the their website. This “lookalike” strategy utilizes Facebook’s AI targeting to find people who are similar to those who have visited your website. Thus, they have shown interest in plumbing services. The goal of this is brand awareness.
Below are some ad examples:
Plumber Marketing Ideas
Below are some ideas and tips to strongly consider. A few of them are absolute musts while others are certainly worth considering and testing. One of the first things you will want to consider is the size of your marketing budget. You may not be able to do everything you want to do in the beginning. So, you will have to decide what to do first and plan out how you can roll in other marketing efforts later on.
Build A Website That Converts
Now, you may already have a website. But is it designed to convert? Meaning, is it designed to get people to contact you? Is it compelling enough? Do you have calls-to-action? The design of your website is vitally important to the success of your marketing efforts. Your website is what I like to call the phase one “closer”. By phase one closer I mean it should be getting people to contact your business. That’s phase one. Without this you can’t truly close them and turn them into paying customers. And, turning these leads into paying customers is phase two closing. The “real” close.
Below are some common aspects of a well designed website that can help you get the phone ringing.
- Make your phone number prominent and easy to call from any page on your website.
- Add a call-to-action phrase next to your phone number. For example, “call for a free quote.”
- Add customer testimonials
- Add service-level pages for each of the different services you provide.
- Add a contact form that someone can easily get to from any page of your website.
- Add a page for special offers and discounts
- Add a page for financing if you offer it.
- Provide a compelling reason for someone to contact you. With plumbing people tend to want and need immediate service. If you can offer same-day service then clearly state that across your website.
Below is a screenshot of a plumbing company that does a pretty good job with the above tips. Make note of the blue boxes and arrows I marked up the screenshot with.
Below is a screenshot of all of the different service-level pages they have on their website. When you hover over the ‘services’ link in their menu you will see the following:
Having separate landing pages can serve two main purposes.
First, it will make it very clear to website visitors the kind of plumbing services you offer. People may make assumptions that any and every plumbing company provides the same services. But, that is obviously not the case. Not every plumbing company offers trenchless sewer line repair and replacement, for example.
Second, this is very good for SEO (search engine optimization). Just like having these pages is good for people, it is also good for search engines like Google. This type of content makes it clear to Google what you do and what services you offer. I’ll cover SEO a bit more further down the page.
Claim Your Google Business Profile
Oftentimes, when you do a Google search for a business, you will see their business profile on the right side of the search results. Below is an example:
In many cases, Google will create a business profile for a business without that business even being aware. If you are running a plumbing company right now and have not done this, then do a search for your business name. You may already have one.
Whether you initiate the business profile creation process or Google does, you need to do this. Click the link below to get started with this.
Claim Your Business On Yelp
This is very similar to your Google business profile. But, instead of having your business profile on Google, you will have this one on Yelp. Again, you may already have a listing and not know it.
Many people will use Yelp to not only find local businesses, but to research businesses as well. It is common for people to initially come across a business in Google and then go to Yelp to read the reviews. Thus, it is very important to get this setup as well.
An additional benefit for getting your Yelp profile set up, is that Yelp listings frequently show up in the search results pages. When someone does a local search like “local plumbing companies”, the Yelp page for local plumbing businesses in your area tend to be listed on the first page. This is a great way to leverage the power of Yelp and tagalong by getting your business to show up on these local Yelp pages as well.
I will show you how this appears in the ‘Google Search Results Breakdown’ section below.
Task: Setup Your Yelp Listing
Set Up A Facebook Business Page
This is another essential step in marketing your plumbing business. Don’t skip this one.
Your target audience is on Facebook as well. Generally speaking, the more places online that you can get in front of your target audience, the better. Building a strong Facebook presence is key and one of the first steps is to create your business page.
Once you have this setup you will need to be active with it. By active I mean you will want to add images, fully fill out your business information and post content to it. You don’t want a business page that looks like it has been abandoned. It is a very bad look for a business to have a business page where the last thing posted was over a year ago. At a bare minimum, you want to post new content to it on a weekly basis.
These three tasks along with creating a compelling website designed to convert, are all “musts”. I would not skip doing any of these things. Now, the suggestions below are all things you don’t necessarily have to do. They all vary in importance. Your budget will determine what you can afford to do.
Having said that, there are two options that standout immediately and should be apart of your overall marketing strategy. They are running Google Ads and SEO. So, let’s start there.
Run Google Ads
I have made this pretty clear already, so I don’t need to go into detail. You can certainly give it a go on your own. Or, you can find someone else to run Google Ads for you. Like us!
Consider Google Local Service Ads
These are paid ads but they are completely different and separate from Google Ads. They use two different platforms and work differently.
Google Ads is pay per click marketing. Meaning, you pay when someone clicks on your ad. Google local service ads are pay per lead advertising. You only pay when a prospective customer contacts you from these ads. You may have already seen these when doing a search for various local services businesses. Below is a screenshot example of these ads:
When you click on any of these ads you will be taken to a page that looks as follows (this is for Parker & Sons):
So, with these ads you do NOT get taken to the business website. The right side shows all of the business information while the left side shows the business listing atop a list of other businesses.
In my experience with businesses running these ads, the results are mixed. Some businesses find running these ads worth it while others did not find these to be a profitable marketing endeavor. One of the common complaints is paying for poor and unqualified leads. Remember, this is a pay-per-lead program. Google does have a process to dispute leads for a refund, but that can be a laborious task for some.
Additionally, there is very little control over targeting and what you can do with these ads, compared to Google Ads. For example, you don’t get to pick keywords to target like you can with Google. You can only select service categories. You also don’t get to test different types of ads like you can with Google. Google automates much of this ad program, which can lead to poor quality leads.
Lastly, you will have to get approved to run these ads. Google has a pretty stringent process for getting approved. This process includes providing business documents and even going through a live video interview at your business location.
Having said that, we have had plenty of clients run both Google Ads and Google Local Service Ads. Taking up more “real estate” on Google’s first page can be very good for business. I’ll touch on this a bit later on the article.
Work On SEO
Again, SEO stand for search engine optimization. It is the process of optimizing a website or content to make it more visible to search engines and users. This includes things such as using relevant keywords, improving page loading speed, structure, and layout. SEO can help a website rank higher in search engine results and drive more organic traffic to the website.
For local businesses, such as plumbers, you can break down SEO into two types: SEO (traditional) and Local SEO.
Local SEO is a specific type of SEO that is focused on optimizing a website or web page to rank higher in search engine results pages for specific keywords or phrases, but with a local focus. The main goal is to increase the visibility of a website in search results for users in a specific geographic area. This is accomplished by optimizing the website for local keywords, creating local business listings, and building backlinks from local websites.
In summary, SEO is a general term for improving visibility in search results and Local SEO is a specific type of SEO that is focused on improving visibility in search results for users in a specific geographic area.
If you want to get your business to show up in Google’s local search pack, then you need to have a strong Local SEO game.
Task: Research Local SEO
Task: Research SEO
Claim Your Bing Places
This is Bing’s version of Google’s Business Profile. Bing’s search engine market share pales in comparison to Google. Most statistics over the years have them ranging below 10%. Having said that, it only takes a bit of time to get this set up. So, why not take the time to claim your business listing, get it set up and optimized using best practices.
Task: Set Up Bing Places
Get Listed on Angi (formerly Angie’s List)
Angi is similar to Yelp. People will absolutely go on Angi to review businesses and contact them via Angi’s lead service. There is both a free and paid options. It does not cost you to set up a business profile. If you want to take part in their lead service, then there is a charge for that.
Additionally, Angi listings regularly show up in Google’s search results for local searches just like Yelp does.
Task: Set Up Angi Profile
Get Listed on Thumbtack
Thumbtack is similar to Angi and Yelp in that you can create your business profile and connected to potential customers searching the website for local business services. They also have a paid program for lead generation that may be worth considering.
Task: Set Up Thumbtack Profile
Google Search Results Breakdown
Ok, now let’s go over the Google search results page so you can fully understand each section. Use the corresponding numbers below to identify each section. I’ll provide some insights below the image.
- Google Local Service Ads
- Google Ads
- Google Local Search Pack
- Google Organic Listings
Previously, I mentioned owning as much “real estate” in Google as you can. Of course, budget and performance needs to be considered. If you had the budget to run the following, you could conceivably show up in all four sections in the screenshot above:
- Run Google Local Service Ads – Show up in section 1
- Run Google Ads – Show up in section 2
- Implement a Local SEO strategy – Show up in section 3
- Implement an effective SEO strategy – Show up in section 4
Additionally, make note of the arrows for the Angi and Yelp listings. Notice they show up in the organic search results. This is pretty common for various local searches for businesses. If you work on your business profiles on these websites, maintain them, earn positive reviews and respond to reviews, you could show up on the page results for these listings as well.
What I mean by “page results for these listings” is if someone were to perform a Google search and click on the Yelp or Angi result in Google, they will be taken to a page with a list of local businesses. Ideally, your business would show up on this list. Below is a screenshot of the page for the Yelp listing in the screenshot above.
There is a specific phrase for leveraging another website’s ranking and strength with Google. It’s called barnacle SEO. Just like a barnacle can attach itself to bigger things, this strategy allows you to “attach” your business to a bigger website like Yelp.
The Wrap Up
Ok, so we covered a lot here. Your marketing budget will determine how much you can do. You may start off with a big list of marketing and advertising to-do’s but find out you don’t have the budget to do them all just yet.
In my experience, getting a good converting website is priority number one. This is where you drive all of your traffic. If you can improve the conversion rate of your website, then you can improve the performance of all your marketing efforts. A rising tide lifts all ships.
Next, get your Google Business Profile and Facebook page set up if you have not done so already. Additionally, consider getting your business profile set up for the bigger business listing sites like Yelp and Angi. Finally, to get leads coming in sooner than later, consider Google Ads for advertising. If you have additional dollars for advertising, then Facebook Ads and Google Local Service Ads would be next.
SEO is a long-term game. It can take a while to get your business to show up in the Local Search Pack and organic listings. Unlike Google Ads which can get you traffic just as soon as you turn the ads on, SEO is a slower process.
You will have to spend some money and may not see results for a while. You will need to decide if you have the budget (and patience) to put towards some SEO marketing that may not begin to pay off for a good six months.
But, when you do start seeing results, SEO can pay off in spades and be well worth the investment.
I hope this article helped you out with marketing your plumbing business. Thanks for reading.