In the United States alone, the plumbing industry has a market size of $129 billion, and it is expected to grow even more in the coming years. Yet, not a single company in this industry owns more than 5% of the market share. This goes to show the competitive nature of the business. It is therefore important to devise marketing strategies to remain competitive.
One of the ways to gain competitive advantage is to establish an online footprint and ensure your website is amongst the top listed on Google’s search engine result pages. This is what SEO does for you.
It can be difficult to do SEO on your own, considering the fact that you have a business to run. The alternative is to outsource this service to digital marketing agencies. A good plumber SEO agency can make a huge difference for your business. With the right team in your corner, you can get more calls, sales, customers, and a positive return on your marketing investment. This begs the question…”how do I choose the best plumber SEO agency for my business”.
In this guide, we will be answering this question, along with other questions you might have about this subject. The goal is to arm you with the necessary knowledge to not only pick the right agency, but also filter out the ones with too many red flags that can drain you of your marketing budget and return no valuable results. Ultimately, you should get the most bang for your buck when you use the tips provided in this guide to select a plumber SEO company to partner with.
What Is Plumber SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. It simply means implementing certain techniques and strategies to improve your website’s ranking on Google’s search engine result pages. There are three main types of optimization namely
- On page SEO:These are optimization techniques implemented on contents that will be hosted on your website.
- Off page SEO:As the name suggests, they are strategies implemented outside the website’s pages to directly influence ranking. One of such techniques is backlinking.
- Technical SEO: Technical SEO makes it easier for Google to register your plumbing website as one in the plumbing business, and not say photography for example.
Competent plumber SEO companies always use a combination of all three to improve your business’s visibility online. This is something you can consider when you contact an agency for a potential partnership. If they do not make mention of any of these services and how they intend to implement them, that would be your sign to take a hike.
In addition to these generic SEO services, plumbing SEO agencies also offer what is known as local SEO services. As the name suggests, it is a form of search engine optimization that focuses on a certain geography rather than just the searcher’s intent. The goal of local SEO for plumbers is to target keywords like “plumbing near me”, “plumbing in [city]”, “plumbing close to me”, and so on.
The results above are from a Google search in Houston, Texas. Users that type in those exact keywords will see those plumbing services before they see anything else. In summary, local optimization ensures Google puts your business in front of potential customers in your service areas.
Why Do Plumbers Need SEO?
Here is a stat that might interest you: Only 5% of traffic goes to the second page of Google. The remaining 95% get their answers on the first page. This traffic begins to reduce significantly beyond the second page. So if your website is not well-optimized for your target audience, you are potentially losing out on 95% of plumbing business.
This is just one of the benefits you stand to gain from plumbing local SEO services. Here are other benefits plumber SEO services provide:
- Increases business awareness
- Improves trust and credibility
- Boosts sales and leads
- It is cost effective and one of the cheapest digital marketing service
- It is a long-term strategy
What Services Do Plumber SEO Companies Offer?
Plumber SEO companies provide optimization services specifically to businesses in the plumbing industry. It is important to note at this point that plumber local SEO service providers come in different forms; they could either be a specialized agency that only does SEO for plumbing businesses alone, or a generic company that offers several marketing services to various businesses other than those in the plumbing industry.
Whichever one you decide to partner with, a good plumber SEO company will do the following:
1.) Audit website: This is a thorough evaluation of your website to assess how it is currently doing as regards ranking and website traffic. They also analyze any penalties and red flags plaguing your website and affecting your rankings.
2.) Build website: If you are a completely offline plumbing business looking to go online, SEO is a good place to start. A competent local plumber SEO agency will help you build a well-optimized website as part of their offering.
3.) Optimize website structure: One of the goals of a plumber SEO agency is to optimize your website for conversion. This falls under technical SEO where the agency will work to improve the website speed, increase the chances of Google recognizing your plumbing website, and optimizing the website for mobile users.
4.) Carry out keyword research: This is one of the core aspects of search engine optimization. Plumber SEO companies will typically carry out in-depth research to find keywords that are relevant to your business and will improve your rankings.
5.) Create new content: Content creation is also part of the SEO service pack. Plumbing SEO companies can help you create blog articles, informative pieces, review pieces, infographics etc. that all center on plumbing. This is a great way for your business to build awareness and garner credibility, especially when the content is very helpful.
6.) Optimize existing content: If you already have content available on your website, SEO agencies will usually place all of them under review and optimize them for maximum reach.
7.) Build links: SEO agencies usually execute backlinking campaigns to further improve the credibility, authority, and above all, ranking, of your website.
8.) Monitor and report on results: Finally, plumbing SEO companies will monitor the result of their SEO strategy and give you periodic reports to keep you in the loop.
9.) Boost your online presence: Using local SEO strategies, plumber seo companies can improve your online presence by optimizing your Google my business profile, listing your business on citation websites, and verifying your business on Google maps.
How To Choose An SEO Digital Marketing Agency For Your Plumbing Business
The following are guidelines you can take to improve your chances of partnering with a reliable, qualified plumbing SEO agency:
Establish Precise Business Goals
Before you begin to search for any plumber SEO service at all, you need to precisely define what you want to get from search engine optimization. Usually, businesses would say something like “I want to be number one for plumbing in Texas”. While this can be considered a business goal, it is too generic and frankly, illogical when you realize it takes 12-14 hours to drive from one end of Texas to the other. What you want to do instead is to target precise locations that your plumbing business serves within a few mile radius. This way, your SEO campaigns can be targeted to a specific demography. You also want to specify exactly what you want from optimization campaigns. Simply saying you want to appear on search engines is, again, too generic. Here are more specific SEO goals you can consider:
1.) Improve your plumbing business’s awareness
2.) Get more industry recognition
3.) Get more customers through sales or leads
4.) Build your business reputation
These goals are precise and, most importantly, measurable.
Make A List Of Potential Agencies
One way to search for potential plumbing SEO companies to partner with is to use Google, but not in the way you might think. Typing “best seo agency” in Google will usually turn up results with paid ads or listicles (e.g top 10 seo companies, etc). These ads belong to agencies that have paid big bucks to appear at the top of the page and most times, the owners of the “top 10…” list would have been paid by certain agencies to feature on their list. The best way to go about this is to search for plumbing companies in areas close to your service area. Reach out to these companies and ask for the plumbing SEO company they work (or have worked) with. This should point you in the right direction.
Research Their Area Of Expertise
After defining your business goals, the next thing you want to do is to check if the plumbing SEO agency has experience in the service that matches your goals. As we stated earlier, there are three main types of SEO services, on page SEO, off page SEO, technical SEO, and local SEO. Some plumbing SEO companies might only deal with on page SEO which includes content creation and keyword research. While others offer the whole package. You want to select the ones that offer the whole package, especially if they offer local SEO. You can do this by reviewing their website to see if they mention these services as part of their offerings or by asking about their services in your initial consultation calls.
Review Case Studies And Client Success Stories
It is a common occurrence for certain digital marketing agencies to claim they offer services they do not. One way to weed out these agencies is to look for relevant experience in plumber local SEO services. You can do this by looking at their case studies and client success stories. Usually, agencies will leave their client success stories on their websites. You can also check for plumber SEO reviews in their-party platforms like Facebook, Google, Yelp, Angi’s list and so on. These platforms will give more reliable testimonials than the ones you see on their website.
Reach Out To Past Clients
If you can, reach out to their previous clients of these plumber SEO companies to know how their professional relationship worked out. This will give you a preview of what to expect when you partner with them.
Have A Budget
Knowing how much you are willing to spend on SEO campaigns will help you rule out plumbing SEO companies that are a little bit outside your price range. Keep in mind that going for the cheapest option could end up costing you more in the end. Quality services come with a price and it is best to pay that price than end up having to pay double because the first cheap option didn’t do a good job. Even worse, cheap SEO services could result in penalties because most often than not, they bend the rules to quickly get you traffic.
Assess Their Transparency
Any plumbing local SEO company you choose to work with must be open about the strategies they implement to improve your website’s rankings. Here is where you want to be asking questions about their communication protocol – how will they communicate results, when will you be getting reports? Weekly? Monthly? Bi-monthly? These are the questions you should be asking your SEO agency. They should also be able to communicate results in a language you can understand.
Evaluate Their Workflow
Another thing you want to look out for is how your work relationship is going to look like with the plumber SEO experts. The question you want to be asking here is how much of an involvement will be demanded from your end. Good SEO companies usually involve their clients in their processes,because local SEO and google listings optimization require local content. You should be asked to provide some form of content (pictures, videos, your thoughts as a professional plumber on certain topics for blogs, etc) to improve your online presence and boost your local rankings.
Red Flags: How To Avoid Bad Plumber SEO Agencies
For every good plumbing SEO expert out there, there are tons of bad ones that will provide no solutions, waste your time and ultimately, your money. You need to be able to spot these agencies a mile away so you do not end up in an unfruitful partnership. The following are red flags most common to bad SEO agencies:
They Use Unethical SEO Practices
There are several SEO tactics and they all fall into two categories – white hat SEO and black hat SEO. White hat SEO strategies are legal, widely approved tactics to improve optimization. These include some of the SEO strategies we discussed earlier, keyword optimization, content creation, website structure optimization, link building and so on. Black hat SEO practices on the other hand, are illegal practices that are against Google’s term of services. Be weary of plumber SEO companies that use black hat techniques. While these black hat practices seem to work, the success is usually only for a short time. And it can lead to serious penalties. Examples of blackhat SEO practices include:
1.) Link farming: A link farm is a group of websites that all link to each other for the sole purpose of improving SEO. It is also referred to as private blog networking (PBN).
2.) Link buying/exchange: This is another link manipulation black hat SEO tactic. It involves the buying or exchanging of backlinks.
3.) Keyword stuffing: As the name suggests, it involves putting lots of keywords into blogs and other web content to artificially jack up rankings.
They Guarantee #1 Spot On Google
SEO agencies that promise you #1 spot on the fly is a major red flag. No matter how good a plumbing SEO company is, they cannot guarantee any specific position on Google’s result pages. It is up to the algorithm to decide which position your business will be.
They Offer Ridiculously Cheap Services
Search engine optimization takes a lot of hard work. A reputable plumbing SEO company will recruit top class, experienced professionals to handle your job, and that comes at a price. Bad agencies, on the other hand, will simply outsource your job to foreign freelancers that might not do as good a job. On average, general SEO services cost $1,500 – $5,000 per month or $100 – $200 per hour for consultants. On the other hand, local SEO services for plumbers cost between $300 – $2,000 monthly.
Plumber SEO FAQs
When should I expect results from a plumber SEO company?
Unlike most digital marketing services, search engine optimization takes a lot of time to yield results. Usually, you should expect to start seeing significant website traffic, calls, or leads in about 6 months from the implementation of the strategy. It could also be as early as 4 months, or as late as one year. It all depends on the competitiveness of your plumbing service areas. Whoever you choose to partner with, we recommend you stick with them for at least 6 months to a year before you decide on whether to continue working with them or not. However, it is important they adequately communicate progress with you periodically during this time.
Should I do my own SEO or have it done in house?
The average annual salary of an SEO specialist in the US is $58,350. Since it is unlikely that one person will have all the necessary SEO skills, you would be recruiting a team of 2 or 3 at the very least. That is about $200,000 a year if you decide to do your SEO in-house. This is quite expensive considering the fact that high-end SEO services from a reputable plumber SEO agency will cost an average of $65,000 per year. Moreover, SEO agencies are equipped with the necessary technology, experience, and expertise to handle anything thrown at them, making them more effective than any in-house staff you might get. From a pricing and efficiency perspective, we recommend you outsource your SEO to a reliable plumbing SEO service provider.
Should I choose local SEO or general SEO?
This depends on your business goals. If you want to get more traffic or leads that are potential paying customers, you want to go with local SEO. If your goal is to simply improve your plumbing business awareness, you can explore the generic SEO option.
Does SEO really generate leads and sales?
Search engine optimization is one of the oldest and most reliable ways to get organic, local traffic and leads. Depending on the competitiveness of your industry, you should expect to see anywhere between 100+ to 800+ increase in leads and sales if SEO is applied appropriately.
How do SEO services provide more profit to a plumbing company?
SEO is supposed to improve your plumbing company’s visibility. With more visibility comes more traffic and more sales. The exact ROI for SEO varies but we can use a hypothetical. Google receives 100,000 to 1,000,000 searches for the keyword “plumbers near me” every month. Let’s say only about 1,000 of those searches find your locally optimized website, and you convert about 2% of this traffic. That is 20 leads per month.
How much should I spend on SEO per month?
There is no definitive answer for this, it all depends on the size of your plumbing business and your revenue. Ideally, you should set aside a certain amount for your marketing campaigns. We recommend that 10% of your revenue should go into marketing. As a small-medium-sized plumbing business, we recommend you start with local SEO that costs just about $300 – $2,000 per month. If executed properly, local SEO will get you the calls and customers you need as a small business. If you are a larger plumbing business with more dough to spend, you can also consider general SEO which costs $1,500 – $5,000 per month per month. It will help increase your business awareness in your service area.