How do people find tradesmen? Through social media and search engines!
The days of advertising in the local rag have long gone. Customers now find independent tradesmen via search engines and internet referrals – in the digital age, search rankings are king. It is not good for business to be working under a misunderstanding of how advertising works. Even if your business is old-fashioned, your approach to search engine marketing can’t be.
Here at Compass Plumbing, we decided to put together some search engine marketing tips for people working in the plumbing industry.
Google: My Business
One of the quickest and most effective ways of marketing your plumbing business is by registering it with Google: My Business – a Google created website that lists information about your business. This is a fantastic way of helping your customers find you. Because it was created by Google it gives you a bump in the search rankings by listing a picture and a map of your location as shown above.
This is the practice of reaching out to potential customers by paying for advertising space on search engines (Google, Bing etc). There are numerous types of paid search such as on the Search Engine Results Page (most notably AdWords), Display and Remarketing, and they all use the Pay per Click or Cost per Impression costing methods. Investing in search engine advertising is usually an incredibly prudent investment, if you do it properly. Work out what the important keywords for your business are likely to be. For example, a good one would be ‘Plumber in London’. You could then focus your marketing around a similar keyword.
You have to research and find out which method is going to be the best for you. Paid Search is really useful for increasing business.
When you search for a business you see two types of results. The ‘paid search’ shows up at the top and is usually separated by a divider, depending on which engine you use. The rest of the links are ‘natural’. This means that the search engine has decided they are the most relevant to the user.
Here you can see the difference between the two:
This is decided by a clever combination of keywords and links that direct people to your site. For instance, in the plumbing industry it would be prudent to have the word ‘plumber’s merchants’ feature quite heavily on your page. This will alert Google to your site and help it understand that it is relevant to that search term.
Importance of a smart website
However, none of this means a thing unless you have a nice and efficient website. A well-built, well-designed website is preferred by the search engines. And as with any trade business the aim of the game is to get as many enquiries as possible, so you will need to have a strong ‘call to action’.
This is an instruction on your website to your customers that will provoke a response. This can be anything from ‘call now’ to ‘call me to book a boiler repair’. This makes sense for the customer and helps convert visitors into customers.
The latter section is arguably the most important. Think of online reviews as the modern version of word of mouth. It would be prudent to ask previous customers to leave a good review. This can get the ball rolling in terms of announcing yourself to your new internet audience.
Social Media Marketing
Everyone uses Social Media (Facebook, Twitter) these days and you need to make sure that you are on it as well. It’s well known that word of mouth is the best form of advertising and this is what Facebook marketing essentially is.
You can choose to advertise (Facebook have a friendly pricing structure, it can be anything from £6 a day to upwards of £1,000). However, this can be problematic as many people block adverts from appearing on their browser.
A way to get round that is by posting relevant and interesting content to your audience. This could be anything from new plumbing products to a Vine of a plumber really enjoying his job. If you think about what kind of content your customers will like and re-share, then you can really be successful through this method.
Create content, talk to customers through social media, post interesting comments and this will help create a buzz about your business and ensure you remain uppermost in the minds of your potential customers.
A successful business today isn’t about doing one thing well, it’s about doing a lot of things well. Think about which tactics will improve your plumbing business and what will work for you. If you invest the right amount of time, you will be successful.