Today we’re going to talk about search engine optimization, a.k.a. SEO for plumbers.
What is plumber SEO?
SEO is an abbreviation for search engine optimization, which is the science of developing your website and its content to rank well in Google for search terms that matter for your business.
Why do plumbers need SEO?
Plumbing companies need local SEO to generate leads.
“In 2020, 93% of consumers used the Internet to find a local business. From this 34% searched every day, while 73% searched weekly.” – Bright Local study 2020
The Internet is where your prospects are looking for businesses like yours.
Good SEO can eventually greatly reduce your needs for advertising to generate leads.
Good SEO can answer lots of questions prospects have before they ever call you.
Good SEO can help brand your company once it starts being seen everywhere for your searches related to your plumbing services.
Are you getting seen and generating leads from their searches?
Your prospects can’t do business with you if they don’t see you on page one of Google for your local services and know you exist.
In 2021, Google is getting 83% of all US search traffic, according to Statista.com.
So optimizing for local Google searches should be a top priority of your marketing strategy.
But what does optimizing for local Google Searches mean?
It means creating a website and business directory listings for searches related to your services.
SEO is not just for your website, and it also applies to getting your business listed in Google Maps, Yelp, Bing Places, and hundreds of other online business directories.
So let’s look at 21 SEO tips to help get your plumbing company seen in local searches.
1. Get Listed In The Major Business Directories
Most directories are free.
Google Maps is #1 – which displays your Google My Business listing.
See our FREE guide on how to optimize your GMB listing for local searches.
A summary of our free guide is to complete the listing in full, keep it accurate and updated daily or weekly.
Add jobs photos daily or weekly.
Generate a steady flow of customer reviews – review count, quality, and velocity are key ranking factors.
Make weekly GMB posts that promote and link to your services or blog posts.
Combat spam from your competitors.
The same tips apply to your Bing Places listing, which you can sync to your GMB listing and share the same data with each.
The same tips apply to your Yelp listing and those you may have on Home Advisor, Angi.
Four major data aggregators sell business info to thousands of other online business directories.
It is crucial that you are listed in each of these, and the information is consistent across all platforms.
Incorrect or inconsistent name, address, and phone (NAP) information can hurt your rankings in Google because there are data conflicts. Don’t confuse the directories. Keep all data correct and up to date, and consistent across all platforms.
We use Bright Local, Whitespark, and Yext to manage our client’s business directory listings and clean them up.
2. Grow Customer Reviews on GMB, Yelp, Bing, and if you’re using Home Advisor or other lead gen sites.
Customer reviews are a major ranking factor in Google, so get proactive and install an automated reputation management system, so you’re constantly growing reviews on these platforms.
We use a system called GatherUp, but there are many others out there. Just make sure the system you choose doesn’t write reviews to their website, that they instead can be written to your website and that you can direct them to Google or most other important sites to your business.
3. Get listed in Plumbing business directories
Many business directories specialize in-home services and plumbing companies only.
Get listed in as many of those as possible to gain traffic and leads directly from them and send “plumber signals” to Google with your name, address, phone, and website URL.
Download our list of over 20 plumbing directories your company should be listed in.
4. Have a page for service on your website and provide great info on each
If you want to rank for any service in your city, you will need a specific service page for that service in that city.
So make a page for each service you offer.
5. Create City Pages for your service area
Google looks at local search as proximity-based.
So if you want your website to show up in cities outside of the one your office is in, you’re probably best suited to create a separate city page for each with unique content on each one.
Don’t duplicate your service pages for each city; just name them differently; that doesn’t work anymore. You need unique pages for each city, and if you’re in a very competitive area, you’ll probably need a unique service page for each city page.
Think of them as city clusters, a city page with its service pages.
6. Create a blog on your website
According to a study by Hubspot, service companies with blogs attracted 68% more leads than those without.
7. Create blog Q&A content related to each of your services and link articles to their related service page.
For example, you might have a page on drain cleaning and blog posts that educate people on hydro-jetting, trenchless sewer line replacement, preventative maintenance of drains, etc.
Then you would link all of these pages to each other and the main drain cleaning service page.
This helps create “topical silos or clusters” and helps Google understand that you’re an authority on these subjects and services.
If you just put up a service page and expect to rank, you’re probably delusional. There are dozens of nearby companies with the same pages. You have to be better and provide more info.
You also want to create blog posts with helpful info for people who are just starting to think about using your products or services.
People thinking about repiping their house, getting a water softener, or doing a bathroom remodel want information first. They need to learn a whole bunch before they’ll ever be ready to pull the trigger and hire you.
The company that provides them the best info along the way is the one more likely to get the work when they’re ready to buy.
8. Install the free Yoast SEO plugin if you have a WordPress website.
This plugin will help you layout page titles and meta descriptions for each page and post.
The page title and meta description are what people see in Google search results for each website link.
Write these to provoke people to want to click on them. Make them relate directly to what the page is about.
Include your main keyword in the title and description and if it’s a service page, include the name of your location’s city and state.
For example, you might have the title “Leak Detection Dallas TX” for a leak detection page if that’s where you are.
Watch a YouTube video or two on how to use the Yoast plugin. It’s pretty simple, but there are a few technical settings you need to set up.
Yoast will also create a sitemap for your site.
Be sure to set all thank you pages on your site as “no Index” so they don’t show up in searches.
9. Use URLs that make sense and keep them short.
For your blog posts, create URLs (the post’s web address) that are short, include the primary keyword(s), and use dashes between the words to make it easy for Googlebot to read.
If you make a page about “how to shut off your water main” to relate to and link to your leak detection service, then make that the URL with dashes between the words.
Keep all URLs in lower case. They’re case-sensitive, so make a standard procedure and stick with it. Lowercase is best practices management.
10. Use a good site URL structure
List each service page under your main services page.
List your city pages under your main service area page.
Use dashes between words.
Match URLs to page titles.
Don’t use “stop words” in URLs such as “to, and, or, the, of, etc.”
11. Your website should be responsive and adjust to look great on mobile phones, tablets, and desktop computers.
Each view will have slight needs, making sure your web team looks at the site in each mode and adjusts everything accordingly.
Google now searches and indexes your website in mobile phone mode. If it’s not compatible with smartphone windows, you won’t rank for anything.
Is your website mobile-friendly? Test it on Google’s free tool.
12. Connect your website to Google Search Console & Google Analytics.
This will help you submit your site to Google so it can index your pages.
It will also notify you of any errors or warnings about the site so you can fix them for improved rankings.
GSC will also provide data to help you see and understand what keyword searches people are using to find each page on your site, which can help you optimize the content on those pages for better rankings.
13. Make sure you have no broken internal or external links on your site. If so, fix them.
14. Avoid Duplicate Content
When writing a lot of blog posts on the same topic, you can duplicate content sometimes. Avoid this, and if it’s already happening on your site, it’s usually best to consolidate that content into the best-ranking page and then place a 301 redirect from the old URLs to the one new consolidated content URL.
15. Avoid Keyword Stuffing
Write naturally about a topic and for the reader. Don’t stuff your keywords into an article because you think it might help with search rankings.
That trick stopped working several Google Algorithm updates ago, and now it can potentially hurt your rankings.
So use your keyword and semantic variations, but use them naturally and don’t stuff them in there.
16. Use Title and heading Tags
Make sure each page has a Title and a sub-title that is made into an H1 tag. You can repeat the same title or create a variation for your H1.
If there are sub-headings to your content, then use H2 through H6 tags appropriately.
17. Use an SEO Tool To Analyze and Optimize Your Website
Some great SEO tools can help you analyze both the technical aspects of your website and the content on it.
We use Ahrefs as our primary SEO tool for technical analysis, keyword research, and backlink analysis.
We use SurferSEO to analyze the top-ranking content for keywords we wish to target and better understand the format, content length, keyword optimization, and images needed to compete with those pages.
We also use SurferSEO to analyze our existing content to examine how best to optimize it for improved rankings.
18. Improve Site Speed
In June of 2021, Google introduced its new Core Web Vitals algorithm update which made the landing speed of your webpages a ranking factor and the deciding factor if it’s between your content and someone else.
19. Add Schema Markup – Structured Data to every page and post on your site.
This is a universal language for all search engine robot crawlers better to understand your site, business, and content.
This can also help you get those treasured review stars snippets on search results pages.
This can get pretty complex and is not really for the novice.
We use the Schema App Pro, and it’s the only tool out there that has the schema for every type of need and keeps the schema updated as industry changes are made.
20. Share your blog content on social media sites.
Syndicate your content on social media and Web 2.0 sites to gain traffic, branding, and the potential for other sites linking to it.
Links from other websites are a major ranking factor. So besides creating good and useful content to attract links, the syndicate that content to help it be seen.
21. Google also requires your site to be secure with HTTPS protocol.
So contact your hosting company and make you have an SSL certificate on your website and that little lock icon shows up to the left of your domain name in the address bar.
Alright, I hope that helped some of you.
Thanks for sharing your time and attention with us today.
Good luck out there, and create a great day!