HVAC SEO – BEST PLUMBING & HVAC SEO GUIDE
Why SEO For HVAC Contractors Might Be A Good Choice
Before diving into the guide, let’s take a quick look at some statistics that might be of interest to you…
- 46% of all searches on Google are seeking local information whereas 97% of local search engine users searched online to find a local business (SocialMediaToday)
- 70.6% of all web traffic originates from search engines. (Backlinko)
- 88% of people are not likely to return to a website after a bad experience while 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content or layout is unattractive (Sweor)
- 46% of all Google searches are local. Yet 56% of local retailers haven’t even claimed their Google My Business listing. (Ahrefs)
With the right SEO strategy, over time, you can increase the number of leads to your HVAC website from organic sources steadily.
Benefits of Plumbing & HVAC SEO
One of the highest ROIs in digital marketing for HVAC companies is search engine optimization (SEO) plus, generating more leads online can be effectively achieved through it. Higher profits come from generating and closing more leads. What SEO does is to increase your brand awareness for relevant queries, making you visible to people in your locality who are in search of heating and cooling contractors.
- Higher Rankings: One of the top benefits of SEO for HVAC companies is that it boosts your website rankings in search engine results for keywords and phrases related to your plumbing and hvac company. This is really important since it has been proven that pages that rank in the top three spots receive more than 50% of clicks from searches. Sites that show up at the top in search results also appear more credible in the eyes of prospective clients especially if they appear at the top of Google Maps with very strong review ratings. SEO might be a solid option if you intend on positioning your HVAC company as a leader in your locality.
- More Leads and Calls: By ranking at the top of search engine results, more qualified prospects get to see your website first, which means you’ve a higher chance of closing more of your website visitors and turning them into clients, that is if your website and digital presence has been setup properly and have given them every reason to pick up the phone and call your company.
- More Viable Opportunity To Scale: the main purpose of SEO is to grow businesses, or atleast ensure they remain in business for a long time to come. Appearing at the top of Search engine results and Google maps gives your business a chance to grow steadily and provides a room for business expansion.
- Increased Brand Exposure: When your site appears higher in search engine results, more people will have a chance to find your company, learn about what your company has to offer, and may contact you to become a customer. If people like what they see, they will also be more likely to recommend your business to friends and family members who may need your services, hence growing your business even without those people knowing who you’re. This word of mouth advertising is extremely beneficial since people tend to trust recommendations from real people over brand advertisements. In fact, 82% of Americans seek recommendations when making purchases (so asides having a beautiful website, ensure you’ve got good reviews online).
Plumbing and HVAC SEO
What is SEO?
SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization, which is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results. HVAC SEO is a series of processes and strategies adopted to optimize your HVAC business’ web presence in order to rank higher on well-known search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo for relevant queries.
SEO cannot be overemphasized when it comes to generating the most HVAC leads for your business. Basically, the growth of thousands of online companies has been influenced by digital marketing. Digital Marketing has been embraced by not only local businesses but also by well-known companies like Facebook, Amazon, and a host of others. Nonetheless, local businesses such as HVAC companies have quickly adopted search engine optimization (SEO) as a means to grow their businesses and as such gain new clients.
Statistically, 80% of people today now prefer to do product and service research online. Digital marketing has been on a boom for a while now, as you might have observed. Since more of our lives now revolve around the internet there is a need to invest more in digital marketing to ensure that your business continues to grow. Utilize SEO so as to gain more potential customers for your heating, ventilation, air conditioning and cooling business.
The fact remains, that Google is the new Yellow Pages. A decade ago, placing Yellow Pages ads and waiting for calls to come in, was an option HVAC companies had to find new customers but today that has changed with Google dominating the search market.
Advertisement stands to be one of the biggest expenses for local businesses like heating and cooling companies and again, has a way of making businesses intrude on people’s personal lives. SEO serves as an inbound marketing strategy where prospective customers will be/are looking for your business, making selling your services much easier. A constant stream of free traffic is ensured when you give SEO the chance to help boost your website’s rankings.
SEO Strategy and Keyword Research
This stage is more or less a planning phase, this is where keywords are cautiously defined and selected for effective results. Your SEO strategy shouldn’t be done on the fly but rather, you’ve got to be thoughtful about it. Effective planning requires thorough keyword research, URL mapping, attractive videos and images, good website design, and a host of other factors. All of these put together has a whole lot to do with how well your site ranks with search engines. The goal is to identify what your target customers are searching for and place them into separate categories so that you can have something to refer to when creating your service pages and blog content.
While selecting your keywords, it is vital to identify words that will pull the most relevant searchers and not the other way round. This can be achieved by performing extensive keyword research using appropriate tools like SEMRush, Ubersuggest, Ahrefs, MOZ, and other relevant tools. Extensive keyword research helps to set a foundation for a strong keyword map however, a few things should be put into consideration during the research process. They include:
- Search Volume (Estimated Number of average searches for a particular keyword)
- Keyword Difficulty (Estimated ratio of how difficult it’ll be to rank a website based on the current websites ranking)
Going after the keywords with the lowest difficulty level is suggested for websites with a very low domain authority most especially a brand-new website. You may be able to rank even with no backlinks if you use this tip, as long as you have your on-page optimization done right. Not to worry, as we go along in this guide, you’ll understand certain phrases used earlier.
For every marketing strategy, target audience plays a vital role. The same goes for SEO, a vital role would be played by the audience that you target as it decides the success of your campaign. There is a difference between the quality and quantity of traffic you are pulling to your site, there is a possibility that your website attracts visitors who are not interested in the service you stand to offer, this is not quality traffic at all.
In that case, your attention and effort should be focused on targeting customers that actually need or are looking for your services. You can start generating a list of relevant keywords to rank for by narrowing down your target audience. If a keyword is mostly linked to residential repair and your company offers only commercial HVAC repair, such a keyword might be highly irrelevant.
HVAC Keyword List
Once a decision is made on the target audience, it’s time to make a decision on your final keyword list. Basically, keywords can be loosely grouped into two major categories namely;
- Buying intent
- Informational/Research intent
Buying intent keywords are sought after by prospects who are in need of your products or services. They are terms that have a high probability of actually leading to a sale. For instance, an individual who searches for “air conditioning repair Jacksonville” or “heater repair near me” possibly wants a contractor that could help to fix a broken air conditioner urgently. Phrases with buyer intent are:
- ac repair near me
- HVAC service near me
- emergency ac repair in [location]
- central air conditioning repair in [location]
- HVAC installation service in [location]
- Furnace repair companies in [location]
- furnace repair near me
Prospects who search for research intent keywords are those who are just shopping around, probably might need the service of heating and cooling contractors later in the future but certainly not urgently. Or they could also be individuals just looking to learn more about different products and services or need information to make the right decision about a product or service. For instance, someone searching for “best heater” or “portable air conditioning” could have the intention for an upgrade but want to be abreast of what to purchase. Research intent keywords are virtually fantastic for blogs and FAQs since they only attract prospects who are not ready for your service now therefore, priority should be lowered on them.
General HVAC Keywords
This group of keywords generally have a higher search volume than local HVAC Keywords. They encompass most common terms that searchers will use and most importantly, likely include service you specialize in. General HVAC keywords may include:
- HVAC contractors
- Air conditioning installation
- Air conditioning repair
- Heater repair
- Furnace repair
- Furnace filter
- HVAC service
Specific HVAC Service Keywords
HVAC websites with subsequent pages giving a description of their specific services in detail stand to be the most successful. The importance of this is that, these sites make more use of specific service keywords that lay emphasis on one category/service which help compete in narrow searches. For instance, if your HVAC company provides service like “Air conditioner installation and repair” therefore, “Air Conditioner Services” would be a reasonable service keyword.
HVAC Local geo-modified keywords
This group of keywords is similar to general keywords but with a little difference, a geo-modifier. The geo-modifier is majorly the suburb or simply put, the local city where you are competing for leads or customers. These keywords are likely:
- [City] Air conditioning repair
- Heater repair in [City]
- Furnace repair in [City]
- [City] Furnace filter
- HVAC service [City]
- HVAC Contractor [City]
Specific HVAC Structure Keywords
This group of keywords depend solely on the type of customers that you are willing to serve. They are structured in such a way that they accurately illustrate what you are selling to a specific group of clients. If your HVAC company only offers commercial repair, for example, your website should, therefore, generate traffic or leads focused around other different businesses, industries or organizations rather than just individuals and families.
Keyword Research Tools
You can possibly come up with a wide range of keywords using the aforementioned keyword types and categories. More often than not, you might run out of ideas. Using useful tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, Moz Pro, and a host of others offer you the opportunity to find relevant keywords that are constantly searched for in your industry. Keyword research tools are a great resource where you are most definitely to find keywords that would have never crossed your mind if you were to do it on your own. Leveraging on them makes twice as much your potential reach, fetching your business more customers and profit monthly.
While some of these tools are free, you may have to pay a token for many before you can use them. Since it is necessary (which of course is) to find the right target keywords, you’ll think less of the monthly fee associated with them. However, many may rather get an agency for their keyword research with the thought that this agency has years of experience carrying out keyword research plus, they readily have access to these tools.
As powerful as these tools are, they serve different purposes. So, apart from finding relevant keywords, you will also have to deduce the level of their competitiveness so that you have an idea of what you are up against, how much effort would be needed to get to the number one spot on search engines first page and the time it might take to get there. You can get this figured out by carrying out a backlink analysis using tools like SEMRush, Moz or Ahrefs. To evaluate the competitiveness of certain keywordss, it is of great importance to research your competitors’ backlinks, more reason why backlinks are a key component of SEO.
Virtually all tools hold different information, let’s check out some of them.
- It’s not a free tool.
- Afford website owners and publishers the opportunity to see what they might be missing out on link opportunities.
- Its feature provides useful information that includes; top 5 anchors, top 5 pages, your domain rating and the top 100 backlinks.
SEMRush SEO toolkit
- It’s an advanced SEO tool.
- The tool is accessible from SEMrush’s super elaborate dashboard.
- It has robust dashboard information, analyzes competitors’ metrics but uses complicated terminology.
- Most importantly, the SEO toolkit affords you the opportunity to compare the performance of your pages so that you can see what you rank hence, you can analyze backlinks from other websites to yours.
- Well known for its “Majestic Million” features which display the top 1 million websites ranking.
Moz Link Explorer
- One of the wide range of tools provided by Moz Pro, a community supported search marketing tool.
- With Moz link explorer, you can create a solid strategy, uncover valuable prospects and track your progress.
- Great tool for backlinks analysis.
Google Ads Keyword Planner
- A free-to-use tool.
- It’s a tool useful for getting your PPC campaign off to a running start and building strong keyword lists.
- Affords you the opportunity to see the performance of a group of keywords and also helps you to choose competitive bids and budgets that could be used in your campaigns.
Optimize Your Website For Leads And Conversions
Once you’ve cleared the air on your SEO plan, the layout of your site for conversion is another food for thought. As an HVAC contractor, understand what your website needs are, so that visitors will easily find what they need and know how to reach you. Put your customers in mind when designing your website because the user experience is a crucial component of a successful site. Have a clear layout of your site’s page structure along with videos, images, keywords and URL for each. When designing your site, do not overemphasize the importance of its navigation and speed.
The site’s menu usually found on the top of the site is known as the navigation. A well-structured and organized navigation should be able to guide visitors towards needful information as soon as they visit the site. Don’t make the mistake of putting all your services and information on the Home page.
Speed is another factor, how responsive and quick your site is, goes a long way to determine its success. If your HVAC website takes one second too long to load, it is considered sluggish and will cost you, customers.
Image by Beeblueg
• Website design and layout: is your website properly designed to convert cold visitors into hot paying customers? If it’s not designed properly, then you definitely need your website to be redesigned to suit its purpose, which is to market your business effectively 24 hour a day. Ensure its responsive and user friendly, so you don’t keep losing potential customers due to a horrible design pattern and user experience.
• Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO): Is your website structure, design and content setup in such a way it converts more visitors into customers? If no, here are a few tips that can help:
- Put contact details as close to the top as possible, so customers can reach you quickly. Also ensure you website is littered reasonably with details customers can use to contact you anywhere they’re on the website.
- Ensure to put your positive reviews closer to where visitors can see it quickly, so that it can act as a form of social proof and trust for website visitors. It works well, especially if the reviews are videos.
- Ensure to have a portfolio or gallery page where you can show case previous HVAC installation and repair work. Preferably try to have before and after pictures.
When your contact information isn’t easily found on your website, your company is likely considered unprofessional or substandard. More importantly, you want to assure your customers that there’s nothing shady about your company. This does not only build trust and confidence in your customers but also present a better user experience that could likely retain them.
For better conversions, your email address, phone number, location address and map should appear on every page of your website (except if it’s a multi location website).
Add A Free Call To Action To The Top Of Your HVAC Website
Prospective customers can be a little skeptical about choosing a HVAC contractor. This hesitancy can be overcome by offering them something for free. A free call to action tends to inspire, lead and instruct any visitor on your site so as to finish the desired action which could either be to put a call through for more information or to schedule an appointment. A free call to action can come in the form of a free personal quote and consultation.
Multiple calls to action encourage visitors on your website to complete conversion. For effective marketing, ensure that all pages on your HVAC site have at least one call to action.
Add Your HVAC License, Badges, Awards and Certifications To Your Site
Adding certifications to your site not only delivers favorable linking opportunities but also displays your business abilities. Certifications you got through specific boards, if by any chance you’ve been featured in a newspaper or local events, probably your company has been listed on Better Business Bureau and has good ratings, all of these puts together add certain level of social proof to your company.
Display Photos And Videos Of Previous Works Done
Unique photos and videos of previous works done showcase the quality of your job to prospects. You sell your service to people when you show them samples of works that you have done in the past. Photos are great but a detailed perspective of your service is captured in videos which make customers more comfortable to contact you. However, videos should be carefully selected, correctly sized and properly presented to represent content because images and videos on HVAC sites can also boost rankings when correctly done.
Put Your Reviews, Testimonials and Accolades on Your HVAC Website
To complement your certifications, display your reviews and testimonials on your site. 80% of customers research a service or product, particularly reviews and testimonials before any contact with a service provider or salesperson. In fact, customers see that they take them with a pinch of salt. This not only provides outward lining opportunities to reputable sites within the HVAC industry but massively increases your conversion rate and as well communicates your skills and abilities to prospective customers hence, generates more leads to your business.
Optimize Your HVAC Website For Mobile
Nowadays, a lot of website visitors make use of their mobile phones to search for services, which is why your HVAC site must be optimized for mobile devices. There is a high tendency that someone who searches for heating and cooling services on a mobile phone needs urgent help.
In addition, Google would only show searchers the best results, they will rank websites that are mobile-friendly especially when most of the users are on mobile phones. Failure to optimize your HVAC website for mobile devices would lead to a lower ranking. A website can be referred to as responsive if it can adjust content for any screen used to view it, be it smartphones, tablets, desktops or laptops.
Secure Your HVAC Website
It’s dangerous to leave your website’s sacurity door wide open, security is mandatory. Not only does it practically keep your customers data safe from prying eyes but also protects your website from the risk of a site crash. Protection should be put in place to keep out hackers, bugs and other online nasties. Web browsers like Google chrome are now showing warning signs on websites that have no SSL As of July 2018, Google chrome started marking non-https sites as unsecured.
A crucial step to start with is to install a Simple Secure Layer (SSL) on your website. This form of website security ensures that data transfer is secured, especially on sites where email addresses are accepted or online payments are made. Other ways of security are to make passwords uncrackable, run regular backups, and use anti-malware software, to mention a few.
Local HVAC SEO
As a HVAC contractor, one of the biggest hurdles you must prepare to jump is to see that whenever someone in your area needs HVAC services, you are one of the first couples of companies on the list when they run a Google search. Therefore, all resources should be focused on that crucial spot which is, to rank locally.
Add Your Heating and Cooling Business To The Top Local Listings And Directories
By adding your business accurately not only increases your brand awareness but also impacts your business marketing by increasing your reach online and making it easier for prospects and customers to find you. Also, you tend to increase your SEO, show your credibility and of course, add to your authority when your correct information is on many sites and platforms.
The relevancy of pages linking to your site is also used by Google as a signal for which keywords you should be ranked for. As a HVAC contractor, it’s worthwhile to be listed in industry-specific directories like Angie’s List. It can impact your rankings greatly.
Have Consistent NAP (Name, Address and Phone Number)
You stand to boost your HVAC efforts by ensuring NAP consistency throughout the web because these three pieces of information are considered most important in your business. Search engines like Google can easily pair your site with other of your other business listings, which not only establishes your credibility but influences your rankings and local listings.
When your NAP is different across the internet, search engines crawlers can get confused. You can use Moz Local’s listing checker to check discrepancies in the information.
Optimize Your Google My Business (More detailed guide towards the end)
HVAC companies majorly service local areas, hence having a Google my business listing and appearing at the top of Google maps in search results is one of the most important digital marketing strategies that must be adopted. When search engine users perform a search on your business name, they will be presented with a Google knowledge graph, this knowledge graph contains details about your company’s contact information (email, phone number and location), ratings, hours and days of operation within the week, and reviews. Other details are directory, listings and links to company social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and others).
On-Page SEO For HVAC Contractors
Basically, SEO can be split into two sections, on-page and off-page. Searchers are taken to a page within a site when they enter any search queries, this page provides the information which they search for. Search engines are able to know the pages that hold the accurate content by the help of on-page SEO. On-page SEO gives Google clues through headers, images, bullet points and other techniques.
Use Keywords Throughout Your HVAC Website
On your website content, your keywords should be strategically placed and should have a good natural flow, because Google may rank you for keywords that never appear on the page, which is why it is advisable to guide them in the right direction. Heading tags are the most powerful places to include keywords on a web page for optimal referencing during search queries. Moreover, search engines give headers more weight because it provides more description of what a page is all about.
Optimize Your Title Tags And Meta Descriptions
Title tags and meta description are significant for effective on-page HVAC SEO. While the title tags provide Google with a comprehensive description of your webpage, the meta description is like a brief summary of your web page. It’s also what users see on Google before clicking through to your website.
Your title tags should be unique, short and concise, with about 70 characters at max. Include main and secondary keywords if possible when creating your meta description, to prevent being cut off keep characters under 160. The existence of the title tags and meta description on each webpage help in keywords ranking when they are optimized.
Add Location Pages
Businesses that have one or more physical locations should build a well-designed locations page. If your HVAC company serves multiple locations, create multiple location pages so that prospects can find your nearest location. The essence of a location page is to enhance local SEO optimization, enhance the website’s user experience and also afford opportunities to rank for local keywords.
Make HVAC Service Pages
For each of your core services, build a separate service page and optimize them for buying intent keywords. Doing this helps you to rank for each service keyword that prospects and customers are searching for.
Optimize Your Site Navigation
One of the most important elements of your website is the navigation menu. It serves as a guide to any visitor on your website and without it, the visitor would be lost from the moment they land on your home page. To optimize your site navigation, choose the right pages, arrange them in the right order, ensure it is responsive to all devices, reduce broken links, create a logical internal linking strategy and remove 404 errors.
Use HVAC Schema Markup (more detailed guide later on)
Schema markup is code (semantic vocabulary) that you put on your website to help the search engines return more informative results for users. If you’ve ever used rich snippets, you’ll understand exactly what schema markup is all about. It includes details such as location, phone number, opening hours, or star rating. Rating increases clicks and generates more traffic. You may visit Schema.org to know what schema to add to your HVAC website.
Optimize Your Image Alt Text
Images or pictures can greatly enhance your SEO effort if correctly used. Pictures are an important aspect of your website, alt text on the other hand when read gives a better understanding of what an image is and helps Google to index image content correctly. For every image on your website, ensure it has the right alt text for better ranking. Also, make sure that you include appropriate tags and description and include keywords where possible.
Create Unique Content
Unique and original content contribute tremendously to a website’s success. To create unique content, try creating a blog. Many service providers and businesses who have active blogs have been able to rank for broader keywords over the years. Focus on creating a very strong headline always, ensure your content provides answers, update your website continually, and add images and video to content created. More importantly, do not duplicate content.
Off-Page SEO For HVAC Companies
Off-page SEO is all things done outside your website that can enhance your SERPs position. Off-page SEO helps Google to understand what others perceive as regards your website, product or services. There are several off-site factors that Google uses to rank pages, prominent ones among them are backlink and social media.
Primarily, a link from one website to a page on a different website is referred to as a backlink. While it is worthwhile to build backlinks, it’s another thing to get the right link for your business, therefore, a collection of inbound links, from authoritative, relevant and credible websites is a key component in your google rankings.
Businesses today are engrossed with getting industry-specific links, HVAC companies are not exempted at all. As incredible as this sounds, local businesses like HVAC must give attention to local links as well because 97% of search engine users go online to find a local business. To rank a local business on Google, local link building is an effective way to get it done, when you rank high, more leads, more customers and more revenue is certain. Moreover, you try to tell Google that you are well acknowledged in your community when you get backlinks from local businesses. Google, in turn, ranks you higher so that searchers in your community, town or city can easily find you.
Great opportunities to get backlinks includes participating in local charities, open local event pages that contain content on what people can do in your area, partnering with local newspapers or media outlets, partnering with local schools, and do other creative things that can make your company get featured on the news.
Create Engaging Content
You can earn backlinks from relevant sources by creating great and useful content. When others find your content useful, they will stop at nothing but to share it on social media and link to other sites. Understand that every social media has its own preferred content. While Twitter and Facebook tend to express an individual’s thoughts via written articles, YouTube is known for videos and images for Instagram.
You can add a community-driven section to your article and reach out to well-known influencers within your industry through Buzzsumo, then tell them to make their perception known through quote, review and feedback. Once you get their feedback, you can just add one or two contexts to their replies and publish the content. Convince them to share content on their social media or request that they should link it to their website. With influencers, relationships and inbound links are built.
Social media is a great platform where you can build up an audience, connect with your fans and as well share content. Today, people spend more time on social media, which is why you should engage in social networking as a strategy so that your content gets in front of a wider audience.
HVAC Facebook SEO
When you are aware of the number of individuals using a platform, you are more likely to envisage the opportunities that are resident in there. Statistically, 1.62 billion users visit Facebook on a daily basis. However, for a service provider like HVAC contractor, Facebook will be of more advantage to run ads for specific demography. You can use this to pull visitors to your website and get them informed about your service. The same can be done for influencers by convincing them to link to your page.
Instagram SEO For HVAC
Instagram is another social platform where image and video contents can be viewed monthly by about 1 billion users. Results of works done in the past can be shared here. Ensure that you leave a link in your bio, in addition, listing your account as a business would likely create a link to your website which as a result generates traffic. Influencers are more likely encouraged to link to you too.
HVAC YouTube SEO
YouTube is claimed to be the second largest search engine after Google where a total of 1,325,000,000 people can view video contents. With YouTube, “how to guides and tutorials” are made easy for visual businesses like HVAC. DIY guides or tutorials on how to operate a newly bought heater or air conditioner are useful contents that could be created on YouTube.
Practically, you can insert a link in your video description, where people can access your website and the video can enhance SEO efforts. This video can also improve other marketing benefits for your company.
In-depth Guide On Schema, Local Relevance and Google My Business
Before diving a little bit more in-depth into talking about Google My Business Creation and Optimization strategies, I’d like to talk about Schema. A schema is a cognitive framework or concept that helps organize and interpret information.
Having the right Schema in place helps Google bots understand what each page on your website is all about. You’ll need a schema that is custom to HVAC, and it should have your mobile number, address, GMB link, Social profiles and some other important details in there. This helps tie all your local properties together. Need to know more about Schema Specific to HVAC companies?
Schema can get quite confusing to make from scratch, so head on here to Web 20 Rankers Local SEO Schema Tool and fill in all your business details (as it appears on your Google my business listing and Local citations, read on to understand all these terms I’m using here): Local Schema Generator
To use this tool:
- Head on to the link above
- Click the drop down and select local business
- Under select local business type, find your business type (which is the ”HVACBusiness”)
- Next fill in your business name
- In the URL section, enter your website address
- If you’ve setup social profiles (e.g. Facebook, twitter etc), get their URLs and click sameAs and continue to add till you’ve got nothing else to add.
- Add your business logo URL. To do this just right click on your website logo on your website and click copy image address and paste it in there
- For image, just get a good image depicting your business from your website, use the method above to get the image address (URL) too
- Description is where you fill your company description
- The rest is self-explanatory except the longitude and latitude. To find this, just head on to your Google my business listing, it’ll be displayed in the URL bar.
- The part highlighted in blue is the Latitude and Longitude: https://www.google.com/maps/place/OKC+Towing+Service+%26+Roadside+Assistancefirstname.lastname@example.org,-97.466279,
Once you’re done setting it all up, copy the code generated here and go to https://search.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool to test if the code is clean and works just fine. Ensure the Name, Address and Phone Number are correct.
To do this:
- Just head onto the URL above
- Once it loads it’ll ask you to paste in a code snippet or Fetch URL,
- Choose code snippet since that’s what you’ve
- Then submit it. It’ll process a bit and spit out a result if you don’t see any error, you’re good to go, if you see any error, you would need to fix it. You can fix it by Googling the error, those who are conversant with Schema can fix those errors without much problems.
- Once complete put this code in your website’s header (or footer) any is fine. I typically put mine in the header since I believe the bot crawls from top to bottom, so it gets to see schema as one of the first items, but the footer also works fine too.
Well, that’s all settled, now let’s proceed into working on the GMB, what you’ve been secretly waiting to get to (or maybe not lol). When it comes to local SEO, which is the service most HVAC companies need, since they service a local community, a Google My Business (GMB) Listing is a must, as it serves as a major corner stone for local businesses.
Here’s what the 3-pack (or snap pack) looks like for the search:
What on Earth is the snap pack or 3-pack (common among SEOs):
Google Snack Pack is a boxed area that appears on the first results page when a local online search is made through Google’s search engine. The Snack Pack box displays the top 3 local business listings most relevant to the search enquiry. (Source). According to one study, 33% of clicks go to the local “snack pack” results, with 40% going to the regular organic results.
Key takeaway: it pays to rank in both, which is where local SEO comes in.
Image Source: Wordstream
So why should you consider getting one for your business?
- These listings typically appear above Organic search results and tend to carry more weight, especially for local SEO.
- You can get reviews on your profile which stands as a strong social proof and trust signal to prospective customers
- You can get a lot more calls by having a GMB listing ranked in the 3-pack (The top 3 listings that are displayed when customers search for your services).
- You can get a free website when you’ve a GMB listing verified and setup
So, what exactly do you do to rank in the 3-pack?
When it comes to ranking GMBs, Google has put a proximity filter in place, which means your GMB visibility is limited to certain area radius, can that be broken, well yes, but not completely and It takes a whole lot of work to accomplish that. The purpose of this filter is to get customers the closest business to them as possible, so the closest business to a searcher typically tends to come up first in the 3-pack before businesses further out from where the searcher is located.
GMB Step by Step Ranking Guide:
I’m not going to be overly detailed here as this guide is already a lengthy one. I’ll try to be concisely broad.
- Create a business listing in the first place or claim your profile if it has already been automatically created. Go here to learn how to create and claim your Google my business listing
- Complete every section of your Google my business account. Fill up every detail that you can, in summary don’t leave any stone unturned or in this case any field blank. Here’s a great resource to fully optimize your GMB listing.
- Be very accurate with contact information. Try not to change it across any platform if you can. In summary your GMB address and other contact details should be the same on your website, Apple, Bing and Yahoo maps as well as local citations. If you service diff cities or towns and have GMBs there, create separate pages having accurate information on those pages and add those pages as the corresponding website pages in your GMB website URL section. Slightly confusing? Let’s take an example to simplify things:
Joe owns a plumbing website: randomjoeplumbing.com. Joe the plumber serves Jacksonville and Gainesville in Florida, 2 different cities in the same state. Joe would need to create 2 different service pages, one for Jacksonville and the other for Gainesville. When Joe decides to create 2 different GMBs for these 2 locations, he won’t just put randomjoeplumbing.com as his website address for both GMBs rather he would put: randomjoeplumbing.com/Jacksonville-plumbing for the Jacksonville GMB as the website address and randomjoeplumbing.com/Gainesville-plumbing as the website address for the Gainesville GMB. But why? Because these pages would have different information that corresponds to that location and would fit in just fine with Google bots understanding what the service and location of the page is all about and attribute it to the GMBs respectively.
- Select primary and secondary categories. If you search for your keyword e.g. HVAC New York, the primary category you should select should be the one your competitors have in place, unless your business is different from that, which I doubt. The phrase underlined in pink is the main category for the businesses listed in that location. For secondary categories, use this tool, it’ll show you categories strongly related to yours: Pleper
- Upload at least 5 pictures for good measure and try to upload new pictures weekly
- Upload videos if available
- Upload your Logo and cover photo
- Setup and Optimize the free google website attached to your GMB account.
- Answer common questions your customers ask you on your GMB, if no one has asked a question, you ask it and then provide an answer.
- Begin posting, once every 2 – 3 days is fine
- Download the GMB App and enable messaging so customers can send you messages directly to your GMB.
- Ask your customers to leave you reviews and ensure to respond to those reviews, even if some of them are negative. By responding to negative reviews, customers can see how you’d treat them if it doesn’t work out, and most would consider if you won’t come at them like a dog running after a bone thief.
Pro Tip: Tell them to mention what service you offered to them in their review if possible, this helps get your keywords into the review section
- Claim your Apple, Bing, MapQuest and yahoo maps listings
- Setup your Yelp profile
- Embed your Google map in your website footer if you’re serving a single location like the whole of Jacksonville for example. If you service multiple cities, do not do that, only embed your GMB map on the respective city location page.
To embed a your GMB Map:
- Go to your GMB listing Page
- Once it’s loaded, to the right of the listing, the fifth icon which says share, click on it
- Select the tab that says Embed
- Copy that code and put it on your website based on the info above. Your map should be embedded now.
- Get other local citations done. A local citation is a mention of your NAP (Name, Address and Phone Number) on a directory listing. It’s typically called local citation, because a lot of these directories have a section local to your location where they only display businesses specific to that location. Sample local citations include: Yelp, Manta, Foursquare etc. This helps put some local relevance in the links going to your website.
Pro Tip: Use the Address from your GMB to create the local citations
- Submit your business information to data aggregators. A data aggregator Is a large source of information where other websites can access your contact information and some automatically use that to create profiles for your business online, hence you want the info here to be correct. By submitting to a data aggregator, you know when other websites come to pick up your info it’ll be correct, and if Google comes crawling by (which they would), they see the correct info too. Some Data Aggregators are: Infogroup/InfoUSA, Factual, Acxiom, Thomson local and Neustar Localeze
- Add geo relevance to your website by speaking about your location. For example, talk about the top parks to visit in your location, an international airport in your location (if available), top schools, Zoos, Aquariums, top shopping malls and the sorts. Embed maps of these locations in your articles too. But Daniel! There are too many places to talk about, how do I know the best to pick? Why don’t we let Google tell us what’s best?
Head on to Google and type in “Top 10 things to do in [location]”. You should see a result like the one below:
Click on more sights, then you’ll see what Google consider the top places in [location] according to user review stats. There, you can pick 5 – 10 to talk about!
- Get local websites to link back to you. You can get this from some establishments by becoming a sponsor or contacting local bloggers. More difficult to get than normal links, but definitely worth it.
Well that’s it! I genuinely hope this helps your business grow more, follow this guide and you’ll definitely see some decent improvements in your rankings.
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