Peak summer’s approaching and HVACs are sure to have their hands full this season. After all, there was an added strain on home ventilation during the coronavirus lockdown. And with summer finally here, we can expect a rise in searches for HVAC services – as they do every year – with the biggest volumes to probably hit in July 2020.
If you’re an HVAC, then you need to adapt your HVAC marketing strategy to ensure you’re in the best position to survive, or even thrive, in this economic crunch and get more inquiries, more leads, and more appointments.
This complete SEO & digital marketing guide for HVACs will help you do just that.
Here you’ll find 6 highly actionable HVAC marketing strategies that will help you win across multiple digital channels and measurably increase your leads and booked appointments this season.
1. Create your website (if you haven’t done it already)
This one should go without saying. Creating a great website should be your number #1 goal. Think of your website as your digital home. It’s the main hub where users get to know more about you and likely make their final decision on whether or not to contact you.
“Cool,” you might say, “but what does a great website mean?”
Here are some website design and development Do’s and Don’ts.
Your website must fulfill your business goals
You should have a clear idea about what goals you want your website should accomplish.
Want people to learn more about you? Have a homepage and about us page that tells your prospects exactly who you are.
Want people to know more about your services? Have a separate services page, and consider creating videos that show how you operate.
Want to establish yourself as a leader in your industry? Publish articles regularly on your blog and brag about your past work through awesome case studies.
Want to connect with users and nurture leads? Capture emails by asking readers to subscribe to your newsletter.
What does conversion mean for you? Do you want people to call you or fill out a contact form? Have your phone number on the top right and make sure mobile users can call you with a single click. Consider adding CTAs in the right places to generate leads.
Your website must be responsive
This means creating a website that can change its look based on the device you’re using. Having a responsive website is crucial, because over 63% of Google searches now come from mobile devices, and there’s been a 150% increase in “near me now” searches on mobile devices over the last few years.
The numbers don’t lie. Your website must be mobile-friendly and provide users with an easy experience when they land on your website. Period.
Your website must be visually appealing
97% of users make decisions about a company based on its website. Ask yourself, would you really trust a company whose website looks like it was designed in 1998? A visually stunning website incorporates modern design and leads to better user experience.
Your website must be SEO-friendly
We’ll cover this in more detail in tip #2. But a good website is one that is visible to search engines, can be easily understood and crawled by search crawlers and indexed by search engines.
2. On-page optimization for HVAC SEO
Search engine optimization works when Google’s crawlers (also called spiders or bots) discover your page and crawl/read it. There are different techniques you can use to make your HVAC website SEO-friendly. The techniques you use on your webpage are called on-site optimization.
On-site optimization includes the following:
Google prefers secure sites, i.e. HTTPS, over plain old HTTP. You can secure your site by adding an SSL certificate. This will give you an SEO boost and also show that really nice lock icon on a browser’s address bar, which users also like.
Google is moving toward mobile-first indexing for the entire web by September 2020. You need to make sure your website is mobile-friendly as that version will be indexed first, which will affect your ranking.
A fast load-time for both mobile and desktop versions is critical, not just from an SEO perspective, but also from a user-experience point of view.
We’ll cover backlinks in more detail in tip #4. What you need to know is that backlinks remain one of the top 3 ranking factors in Google’s search algorithm and it’s darn near impossible to rank well without them.
Write relevant, easy to read content that’s created for human readers. Sounds simple enough, right? While using the right HVAC SEO keywords here and there is important, you are likely to be already doing that if the copy of your webpage is well-written.
If you’ve outsourced your search engine optimization efforts to a specialized HVAC SEO agency, ask them to add relevant vocabulary from schema.org to display rich search results that will show your Google review ratings and optimized organizational information.
Apart from the above, you can incorporate alt tags for images, use social signals, AMP and more.
3. Build Your Local SEO
No, go back, read it again, and let it really sink in. We’ll wait…
Yup, that’s the potential of local SEO.
Local SEO helps businesses, like HVACs, promote their products and services to nearby prospects and customers. Try searching for “HVAC near me,” right now. You will see some businesses popping up in the local pack (which is integrated with Google Maps), along with their location, business information and Google review ratings. These are the HVACs that have already worked on their local SEO. They are your competitors – the ones you have to beat.
Here’s how HVACs can build their local SEO:
- Optimize for Google My Business: GMB helps Google verify your business as authentic and is one the best ways to optimize for local SEO. Head over to Google My Business, create your company’s page by following the instructions on GMB and start building your local presence. Ask your happy customers to share reviews and answer their most popular queries. The two things that help the most with GMB are having an actual physical location in the area you’re targeting, and earning great Google reviews.
- Optimize your website structure: This includes using relevant keywords in on your URL, title tags, headers, meta-description, and content. Add a sitemap and make it easier for your website to be crawled. Create localized content, such as a blog post or case study about the HVAC services you provided to the local municipal office, for example.
- Get linked to local directories: Getting local citations is another key technique to your local SEO efforts. Get yourself listed on the most popular local directories users are likely to consult when searching for nearby HVACS.
Top tip: See if you can get a Chambers of Commerce membership in your city, which will provide you a coveted .gov external inbound link. If you want more help on how to get listed on local directories, contact our team to find out how we can help you get those links.
Other helpful tips include having consistent business information across all channels, building your social media presence where you can highlight your business info, having a mobile-friendly website, and improving your internal linking structure.
4. Content Marketing & Link Building
Odds are that your prospects may just skim your blog, but that could be enough to convince them that you know what you’re talking about. Moreover, you can create topical content addressing covid-19. For example, you can create videos or blog posts that talk about how your HVAC business is following proper precautionary guidelines while providing home-call services. Make customers feel they’ll be safe even when you are entering their homes to provide services.
Find link building opportunities
- As we’ve mentioned previously, backlinks remain one of the top 3 ranking factors in Google’s search algorithm and it’s very difficult to rank well without them.
- Try to uncover link opportunities using free tools like Answer the Public or Ubersuggest, or use paid tools like Ahrefs.
- See if you can discover guest blogging openings in your niche, pitch your content and earn external inbound links from reputable publishers to boost your rankings.
- Create solid pieces on your blog that others would want to link to. Use the skyscraper technique to develop highly authoritative blog posts, which involves finding link-worthy content, creating the best content for that content, and reaching out to the right people to promote it. It’s exhausting and time-consuming … but it works. However, if you want to outsource it to professionals to do it on your behalf, we can help.
5. Email marketing
Email marketing is still one of the best tactics that you can use to reach and engage your prospects. If you’ve already built an email list, then nurture these leads to generate business. You can also run special promotions and give attractive discounts to bring in more customers.
6. Use PPC Search Campaigns
PPC search ads, or search engine marketing, allow you to place your advertisements on search engines. You can set specific parameters for your ad campaigns, such as deciding on your ad budget, the keywords you’ll target, your bids, when and where to show the ads, etc. PPC is a highly effective way to generate leads, and if you’re looking for ideas to advertise your HVAC business, pay per click advertisements may just be the answer.
Helpful PPC Campaign Tips for HVACs
- Identify the right locations: If you provide services in multiple regions, try targeting areas with high interest in HVAC related searches.
- Have an optimized and user-friendly landing page: Your landing page is a key component of the Quality Score (QS). An optimized landing page can boost your QS and help lower the cost of your campaign since pages with high QS need to spend less than their competitors.
- Set the right budget: You want your PPC campaigns to provide a positive ROI and not be a drain on your resources. Talk to your PPC team to find out what’s a competitive budget for your business.
- Use ad extensions: The right ad extensions, such as call, price, review, location or structured snippet extensions, can set you apart from other ads and drive clicks to your site.
- Try Google Local Services Ads: Google Local Services ads are available across the country for HVAC companies and are the first thing a user sees when they search for your services in your target region. HVACs can generate solid leads from local services ads, as they are promoted as “Google Guaranteed.” However, you should check out if local services ads are the right fit for your business.
There’s a lot more we can get into when it comes to digital marketing for HVACs. But I hope this was a good place for you start. You’ve learned about the different channels you can use to gain more visibility. Now it’s time to start implementing them. Good luck!