HVAC Marketing – What Rich HVAC Contractors Understand That the Broke Ones Don’t
By Michael Haines – Founder of ACDirect.com
Have you ever wondered why some contractors are phenomenally successful while others seem submerged in endless struggle?
Why some just seem to get “it” and others are never quite able to reach their business and lifestyle goals?
Of course, common traits among successful contractors include business experience, superior customer service, financial strength and others, but I have noticed something else; a grasp on a simple fact:
“I must advertise.”
“I must keep my company front and center among my target audience.”
In the old days this meant phone books, radio, TV, and newspaper.
Today HVAC marketing and advertising means the internet. More specifically:
· PPC (Google AdWords)
· Organic search placement
· Inbound marketing
· Proactively seeking 5 star reviews
Here’s a quick guide to 4 simple pieces of internet real estate you must claim:
1) PPC – Paid search, also known as Google AdWords.
Yes, it works and it works well if you manage it properly. Unfortunately, the AdWords interface has become so bitterly complicated that it requires a professional if you expect to thrive and not just survive.
For HVAC contractors just getting started with paid search, commit a minimum of $1500 per month (more if you can) and have the account professionally managed by a firm that specializes in home services contractors, such as HVAC.
Here’s how to qualify your agency
Insist that they commit to a minimum conversion rate percentage (from phone calls and emails) of at least 15%. I would be looking for trackable conversion rates of between 15%-25% within 5 months.
Agree on an acceptable cost per conversion. In most markets, acceptable means between $40-$125 per conversion. Make them commit to this goal.
Landing pages – Make sure their management pricing includes custom landing pages. If you drive PPC traffic to your existing website, your failure is guaranteed, period.
Tracking – all phone calls must be recorded on dedicated numbers so you can tell which keywords and which landing pages are performing the best. Without access to this data, your failure is guaranteed, period.
Give them 5 months to “season” the account. If they are not reaching the metrics I mention above within 5 months, fire them and move on.
Make sure you have full administrative access to the actual Google account. If not, don’t hire them to begin with.
2) Organic search placement
This is an on-going, never ending commitment if you expect to succeed on the web. I would commit at least $1200-$1500 per month, FOREVER. Without a dedicated commitment, your website will simply become a giant billboard in the middle of the internet desert. It will be of zero benefit and contribute nothing to your success.
Here’s how to qualify your SEO agency:
Ask for a thorough analysis of your website and market – Reputable firms don’t just throw a proposal together – they do their research first and then suggest a long term solution.
Ask what strategies they use to improve your website placement – If they tell you that information is proprietary, keep looking. They must be transparent and open every step of the way.
Ask for and check on referrals in the trades industry – electricians, HVAC, plumbing, etc. Find out what type of results they are achieving for similar businesses. Find out if they track all inbound lead sources and use Google Analytics to quantify the data gathered on visitor and traffic sources.
Make sure they know the only results you care about are on Google. If they talk about first page placement, make sure they know that Google is all that matters. Yahoo and Bing are fine as a supplement but can’t replace first page Google placement. Results obtained on obscure search engines that almost no one uses are pointless.
You will need to post at least one well written and relevant blog article per week (2 per week is even better) so be sure and discuss how to make this happen.