Are you a local HVAC contractor looking to out-rank and out-perform your competitors? Continue reading our 6 Step HVAC SEO Guide secrets to help you get higher rankings in 2020!
- What Determines the Cost of Local SEO?
- What Should Contractors Know Before Starting SEO?
- What Makes a Good HVAC Website?
- How Many Pages Should Your Website Have?
#1 Treat Your Website Like Real Estate
It isn’t so surprising that the biggest HVAC contractors always have the best online presence in their local area. The biggest are usually the ones racking in the big jobs. This is because they treat their website like property… digital property.
If you’ve ever owned a home or know someone who is a homeowner, you’ve probably heard nightmares about unexpected bills and how the home is costing them lots of money. Well, I’m sure you’ve also heard people saying that their home is making them a couple extra thousand a month through rental income during the summer via Air BnB.
Your HVAC website can be used to either generate a few extra jobs a month or be another bill to pay at the end of the month. Of course, every HVACS’s dream is to have a few extra jobs a month without needing to do much extra work because, after all, you’re a contractor, not a web technician or SEO expert. Just like a good property owner knows the basics of heating and cooling, you should understand the basics of SEO and know enough to be able to take control of your marketing. Start paying more attention to your site, and you’ll see that you can earn a few extra jobs a month.
#2 Start by researching your competitors and their keywords
This is one of the most popular tips in the SEO industry, and chances are you’ve probably come across this before… HOWEVER, what most people DON’T tell you is HOW to research your competition.
Without using any fancy tools, you can simply start by typing “HVAC” + “Your Location” so for example, if we’re in Washington DC, we might type “HVAC Washington DC” Remember to write down, pen and paper, or on a word document or excel sheet, the companies that appear for this keyword.
Google Guaranteed Contractors
You’ll notice that the first results are usually going to be “Google Guaranteed” which is usually the case for a lot of trusted contractors. This means Google has verified them as a legitimate business, and trusts them. We’ll talk about getting this status is another blog so stay tuned for that.
Look at Google Ads
You may notice a lot of contractors in your area are paying for ads. Companies paying for ads will have something that says “ad” next to their link. Google Ads can convert to traffic pretty quickly, if you have the budget consider purchasing some ad space for results that can appear overnight.
Take a look at who’s ranking in Google Maps
You’ll want to pay attention to Google Maps, or three pack as we call it. This is where contractors get the bulk of their money since most people in need of an urgent service will just call the first company or two to appear in the maps section. Remember you should be writing down the names of these companies and scanning their websites for reasons why they are out-ranking you. We have a checklist for you to follow, so continue reading for that info.
Keyword research and variation for HVAC-related phrases
Usually, the larger the city/region, the more difficult the keyword is to rank for. However, the reason we recommend first finding the top online competitors is that now you see who the big guys are and what they are doing. Yes, it’s annoying to look at our competition dominating us in any regard, but it’s also an opportunity to see what we can do to out-do them.
Because a keyphrase like “hvac in New York” is so difficult we need to start small. The best way to build up traffic is via smaller, more specific keywords. Write down and research the most common problems people have with their air conditioner or heating unit. A good tool to use is Answer the Public, which spits a bunch of good questions people are asking about any key phrase. People are constantly asking questions like “how can I repair a hole in a heat pump” or “how often should I repair my air conditioner” and “how much does ac repair cost in (your local region)?” Other good keywords to research are service-related phrases like “emergency ac repair in Tucson” these usually are less difficult to rank for and often have a higher conversion rate since people looking for an HVAC near them can also just be an SEO salesman looking for find leads, while “ac installation (your region)” is likely someone in need of installation service.
#3 Take a thorough look at your competitor’s site, the right way
I’m going to give you our agency’s checklist for what we look for when determining a good prospect for us to reach out to. This is going to help you identify what issues your site may have and why it might not be performing as well as your competition.
- Does your site have an SSL certificate? Look at the top of your URL and if you see a message that says “your connection is unsecure” or an icon with a lock that’s unlocked, you DON’T have an SSL.
- Do you have anything that isn’t working properly? Maps not loading, images missing, etc.
- Is your site mobile-friendly? Does everything collapse nicely, or do you notice it hard to read the content when on a mobile device?
- Is there a clear call to action? Do you have a button on the home page that says “Contact a Heating Expert” or something along those lines? Is your phone number and email listed clearly throughout your site?
- How long does your site take to load? Use GTMetrix to find out for FREE. If it takes more than 4-5 seconds to load your site, fix that! A long load time will hinder your ranking.
- Do you have engaging content like images and videos? Plain text is not enough to grab most people’s attention
Remember, your HVAC SEO strategy should be based on thorough research and analysis of your competition. The above checklist isn’t the ONLY thing you should be using, but should guide you in the right direction to what you should be looking out for.
#4 NAP Consistency, Google Maps Optimization, and Local Listings
Consistent name, address, and phone (NAP) throughout the web is one of the most crucial components of ranking higher in Google, especially for Google Maps / Google Local.
Make sure your Google My Business listing is displaying the right name, address, and phone number. If your company is Bill’s Heating and Cooling, but on other directories, you have Bill’s Heating and Air Conditioning, it can cause confusion to search engines. Make sure you choose one name, one address (if you have multiple locations, that’s another story), and one phone number of listing. Make sure it is as consistent as can be; copy and paste the exact address everywhere. If you use 33 Elm St don’t use 33 Elm Street as any inconsistency will prevent maximum results.
Get as many citations as possible. A citation is simply a business listing on a site. For HVAC companies, you should be on Yelp, Home Advisor, Yahoo Local, Google, and Bing Local, to name a few. The more, the better!
#5 Post on Google My Business and respond to customer reviews
In order to rank higher in the Google three pack, you want to be proactive with your Google My Business. Posting consistently shows Google you are active, and responding to reviews shows your customers that you appreciate them. Why wouldn’t you be active?
What content should an HVAC company post on Google My Business?
Upload pictures of your staff, recent projects, new business ventures, and your office. Most people want to know the faces of who is coming to their home before hiring. A selfie, group photo, or photo of a technician working on a specific unit can do wonders for gaining trust by both Google and new customers.
Respond to your reviews
Always respond to your customer reviews, even if they’re negative ones. This shows both responsibility and appreciation.
How should I respond to bad reviews?
If someone leaves a negative review, you can leave something like the following:
“We’re sorry to hear your disappointment with our service. Please feel free to contact us at (your email) and let us know how we can make the situation right.”
DO NOT BASH THE CUSTOMER!!! No explanation needed.
#6 Create as MANY RELEVANT pages as possible!
Once you do the research to find your top competitors, you probably notice that they all have more than just “home”, “services”, “about” and “contact”. They most likely have a drop-down menu under services that say “heating repair” “ac installation” etc.
Write down all the services you offer, and make pages for each service. “heat pump repair” “ac maintenance” “overnight service” etc.
Bonus tip: make sure the URL of each page is relevant to your service. For example if you have a site, billsheatingandcooling.com and want to list a page that is about ac repair, you can use the following formats:
Just make sure it’s understandable and not too confusing. Remember, Google is a robot at the end of the day, make your URL clean.
#7 BONUS SECRET
If you have immediate access to your site and are feeling a bit confident in editing your site, you can edit the HTML elements to ensure your site is optimized properly.
Sprinkle your keywords in the following places:
- Meta description
- Title Tag
- Heading tags (h1, h2, h3, h4, etc)
- Paragraph tags
- Internal links
If none of these tags makes sense, then you can skip this step and contact an SEO expert.
Get the SEO Experts at JCSURGE to do the heavy lifting
So you’re ready to jump into SEO for your HVAC business, right? But it seems too difficult, or you just don’t have time to do it all by yourself. That’s where we come in; give us a call at (917) 747-4234 or email [email protected] and request a FREE audit of your online presence.
We look forward to working with you
Empowering local business owners to take control of their marketing.