January 1, 2023

SEO for plumbers in 2023

Laptop and phone with SEO banner

SEO can sometimes seem like a scary word. If you’re not clued up on the details of how to perform search engine optimisation, then the thought of implementing an SEO strategy for your business may seem pretty unappealing.

The good news is, SEO for your plumbing business doesn’t need to be complicated, in fact, it’s relatively easy to do.

But before we get into any of that we need to answer a few essential questions relating to plumbing SEO: firstly what is it and secondly, why do you need it?

Let's take a look.

What is SEO plumbing?

SEO plumbing is when plumbing businesses optimise their websites so that their blogs and landing pages show up on page one for specific plumbing-related search queries. These plumbing-optimised websites include keywords relating to the plumbing industry and answer industry questions that attract web visitors to the site.

In other words, it’s about making your website Google-friendly.

This means making sure your website runs smoothly and contains all the right keywords (basically just words) relating to the plumbing industry.

This is usually done by making sure your site code is up to date and properly optimised, combined with the regular release of industry-specific blog content relating to plumbing.

Why do plumbers need SEO

Plumbers need SEO because over half of potential customers search for plumbing services online, while less than 1% of people click on the second page of a search query. This means if a plumber hasn’t optimised their website for search engines, then they could lose up to 54% of potential customers as their website wouldn’t show on page one of search engines.

To break this down, in 2023, if someone wants to ask a question, find a product or service, or do just about anything, they will turn to Google to find their answer. This applies to plumbers too.

This means that when customers are looking for a plumbing business to service their boiler or sort out their water issues they will search online for their plumbing solution. And if your business doesn’t show up on Google, then you're going to fall behind your competition.

The good news is, SEO doesn’t need to be super complicated and it’s pretty much free to implement. So for just a little bit of work, you will get paid back big time through the customers you acquire.

So, how do you get started?

Start with a plumbing website

If you want to implement an SEO strategy for your plumbing business then a website is essential, as it’s via your website that you will attempt to rank on Google.

Setting up your own plumbing website is easy to do. You could turn to a website-building platform like Wix or Squarespace, where you will be given an overall structure for the site along with some tools to format the site the way you like.

These kinds of tools offer free access initially, however on these plans you will not receive a unique URL (essentially the web address in the google search bar), which is very important to have.

To get your own URL you will need to pay. This can add up to a lot of money over a long time, as payment is based on a subscription.

BUILT for trades

An easier option, and what we would recommend, is to go and check out our friends at BUILT. They create custom websites designed especially for tradespeople, plus they offer additional help with your SEO.

These guys are really great as they design unique websites that are tailored to the plumbing industry and appeal to your target demographic so that you can attract the right customers. If you’re interested you can check out BUILT’s website here.

Some of the key benefits you get from a website are the following:

  • Your site has the potential to appear in google search results
  • You can add reviews and testimonials to your site that win over new customers
  • You can provide images and examples of your good work on the site
  • All your contact details and information are easy to find
  • You can link your site to google maps and your social media channels

For more information on how to start a website for your business and why it’s so important, check out our blog on tradie websites and get all the details on how a website can help your business to thrive.

Plumbing Keywords

Implementing an SEO strategy isn’t as difficult as some people would let you believe. Essentially the main concept behind SEO is about competing for keywords.

You may ask “What are keywords?” Well, essentially these are the words and phrases you type into the Google search bar when you’re trying to find something online.

For any given search query, millions of sites all over the world will be competing to be the top webpage that appears for that google search result.

While the idea of millions of websites worth of competition may sound like an impossible challenge, the good news is, you don’t actually need to take on the whole internet to get your website ranking.

The great thing about keywords is that there are endless variations, allowing you to target specific combinations that appeal to your target audience and that are less competitive.

Let's take an example. If you tried to target the keyword phrase best plumbing business then you would be going up against thousands of plumbing businesses, potentially worldwide.

However, say you’re a Bristol-based business, you could target the keyword phrase best Bristol plumbing business.

Now instead of competing against the whole English-speaking plumbing industry, you’re only going up against the plumbing businesses in your area (in this instance Bristol).

What’s more, the people who are searching and clicking on your website are more likely to be the kind of customers you want to go after.

Understanding search intent

When deciding what keywords to go for you should think about the kinds of questions your customers might be searching for online. There are three main categories of search intent that internet users fall into. These are:

  • Informational searches - People looking for answers to specific questions or who are trying to gain knowledge.
  • Navigational searches - These are searches for a specific website, for example, customers searching for Facebook, Amazon or even your website.
  • Commercial searches - These are searches for a product or service. Here people are looking for something they can purchase or use to fulfil their needs.

So which kind of searches should you be going after? The answer is all three.

Navigational searches

Let's start with navigational searches.

These searches should be the easiest to rank for - that’s assuming your business has a unique name. These customers know you exist and are trying to find you on Google. They are typing in your company name and expect to find your website on page one of Google.

All you need to do is, make sure your website is well-designed and contains the correct keyword in the copy of your website (that keyword being your company name).

You will likely achieve this naturally when getting your website up and running, but double-check to make sure your company name does feature a couple of times on your site and crucially make sure your URL includes your company name.

Commercial searches

This is where you want to promote your business. Customers searching commercially are looking for the best product or service.

For your plumbing business, these are the people who are looking for the best plumbing businesses in their area.

To appear organically for these search terms think about the kinds of words people in your customer demographic might be searching for. Some potential examples are the following:

  • Best boiler service in location
  • Best value plumbers in location
  • Where to find a good plumber in location
  • Best toilet fit services location
  • Best boiler fit in location

Think about the kind of searches you would make if you were looking for a plumber or other tradesperson in a new area and base your keywords around that.

To target these keywords you should aim to include information on your website covering these topics in detail. You could also create unique blog posts addressing these topics. It’s important to make these blog posts informative and helpful to the customers.

Informational searches

This is where you can really get the value out of organic search.

These days most plumbers have their own websites but not many have got their heads around making the most of informational searches.

If you put into practice some of the tips we’re going to give you, you can get way ahead of the competition.

Informational searches occur when people are looking for answers to their questions or want to know how to do something they can’t already do. What usually happens is someone has a question and they type it into Google.

This is a great opportunity.

All you need to do is think of some relevant plumbing-related questions that your customers could be asking and then write blogs answering those questions directly and in detail.

Using this approach can have a big impact on your website and is incredibly valuable to your overall marketing strategy. But before you try creating this content, you need to understand how to research the right topics.

We cover blogging and how to implement this strategy in more detail in the section on blogging later in this article. But first, let’s take a look at keyword research.

Keyword research

Keyword research can take a few different forms; some SEOs will recommend using expensive tools such as Ahrefs or other search traffic resources, however, as a plumber you don’t need these tools to find the keywords you need.

Most keyword research is actually pretty straightforward and logical. Understanding keywords is just about understanding your customers and how people search.

You don’t need a clever tool to know that people are searching for “Plumbers in my area”. All you need to do is put yourself in the shoes of the user.

So how should you be choosing your keywords?

1. Brainstorm

A good old-fashioned brainstorm will get you a long way when picking keywords. Think about some main themes relating to your business, expertise and the plumbing industry.

Draw up a mind map like you might have done in school and think about related words that link to your industry.

Make sure you don’t limit yourself to single words. You should also think about relevant questions and topics relating to your industry and business.

Here’s an example of what a mind map might look like for a Bristol plumbing business. You could of course go into more detail.

2. Google autocomplete

This is a really easy and effective method to find long-tail keywords and keyword phrases or questions. The method works by using the autocomplete function on Google searches.

What you do is choose a primary keyword, or a couple of different words and type them into the Google search bar.

Google will provide suggested searches based on the initial words you enter which you can then use in your content.

Some good words you can use to get the best results out of Google are “how”, “why’ and “what”.

Top tip: When using this technique open google via incognito mode. This ensures your search isn’t affected by previous search history and gives a more genuine view of what people are searching for.

To open incognito mode hold down the control, shift and “n” key on your keyboard or if you use a mac use command, shift and “n”.

3. ‘People also ask’ section

The ‘People also ask’ section works in a similar way to Google autocomplete.

On any given Google search, displayed on page one, you will see a drop-down list of other related questions.

These are similar searches that people who have searched for the primary query also search for.

These related searches can unearth some great topics and queries you can also address and use.

4. ‘People also search for’

You can find this section when you go back after having clicked on a webpage.

Once you’ve made any Google search, click on a webpage that looks like it could be relevant to your plumbing business, then hit the back button and the ‘People also search for’ section will appear.

Use these suggestions to help with keyword ideas.

5. ‘Related Searches’

Once you’ve made a search on Google, at the bottom of the page you can find related searches.

Use these to inform your keyword selection.

Improving your web authority

So now you know how to choose your keywords and target topics, you need to think about how you’re going to use them.

There are essentially two ways in which you can improve your web presence on Google. You can optimise your website with target landing pages or you can create informative blog posts.

We will go into how to use landing pages in the next section, but first, let's dive into blogging and why you should do it.

Blogging

As we have already touched on, you can use blogs to create informative content for your target audience and pick up new customers. The key is about directly answering questions that you have picked out during your keyword research.

For example, a customer might ask “How do I unblock my sink” or “How do I use a plunger properly”.

You can create a blog, with a title that matches one of those questions and using your expertise, you can write content that answers that question. You can include images from your work and include all your best tips and inside knowledge.

This kind of content will rank well on Google if you make sure it’s really helpful and informative. And the best bit is, that by doing this, you help your business to reach new customers while cementing your position as an expert in the industry.

This means that when customers have issues they can’t fix themselves, they’ll come to you as their trusted expert for help. It’s a potential gold mine if you can tap into it. All you need to do is to make the time to write a blog every now and then (although the more the better).

Don’t worry about not being perfect at the start, stick with it and you will see success.

Plumbing blog case study

Le’s take the example of “How plumbers unclog drains”.

This is a search query that comes up after using the Google autofill technique.

  1. Open incognito mode using control, shift and ‘n” and type in Google so that you’re on the google search engine.
  2. Type in “How plumbers” and allow Google autocomplete to fill the search query with “How plumbers unclog drains”
  3. One of the top web pages you will see is a blog titled “How Do Plumbers Unclog Drains? - Nick’s Plumbing”. You can find Nick's blog here.

This is a great example of a plumber just like you making use of some of the blogging SEO techniques we’re explaining in this article.

If you read his blog you will see he has created an in-depth blog answering the question. At the bottom of the blog, he writes the following:

“If you’ve tried all the do-it-yourself remedies and that clog still won’t go away, it’s time to call in an experienced and licensed plumber to do the job. Professional companies like Nick’s Plumbing & AC have the experience and equipment to identify your clog and clear it regardless of its location. Call us today to schedule your appointment with the best drain cleaning company in Houston, Nick’s Plumbing & Air Conditioning.

You can see how this blog has answered the query and then directed potential customers to his plumbing service. It’s that easy.

There’s no reason you can’t create blogs like this.

The added benefit of creating blogs that rank well for these search queries is that as well as attracting customers via individual articles, your whole website is improved by the success of your blog so that your website will appear higher up on page one. This is called increasing domain authority - the authority or quality of your website.

Winning the Snippet

The final part of blogging to consider is winning the snippet.

Often when you make a search query online, you will see an answer appear at the top of page one directly answering your question. It looks like this:

This is called a Google snippet and you can get in on the benefits of this too.

Whenever you write a blog answering a direct query, make sure to write a compact and succinct answer, that answers the question in a couple of sentences.

If your answer is very informative and packed with information and is responding to a question you have framed within your blog, you stand a good chance of winning the snippet and appearing top of page one.

Make sure you have a title that is the target question (this should ideally be either the main blog title or an H2 tag) and the target answer below. And that’s it, if Google likes it, you will rank and win customers from it.

Creating landing pages

Alongside your blogging strategy, you should also use target landing pages.

If you’re unfamiliar with what landing pages are, these are unique pages on your website with their own URL ending that allow you to target specific keywords. Usually, a landing page will be used to cover a certain topic or service that your business covers.

For example, your plumbing business may offer boiler fits, so you would create a landing page specifically around boiler fits.

It’s a good idea to create multiple landing pages, each covering the different plumbing services you offer.

The benefit of doing this is it allows you to rank on Google for more keywords than you otherwise would. You can rank your website directly for more search terms with the targeted URLs and the ability to use more specific keywords for each service.

To get help with this, we’d once again recommend talking to BUILT and making use of their expertise.

Google maps

Google Maps is another great tool you can take advantage of to get your website to appear on Google search.

By adding a Google maps address your business is more likely to appear in Google searches, especially for search terms relating to your area.

For example, if you want your business to appear for the search term “plumbing businesses near me” or “plumbing businesses in location” then you need a Google maps profile for your business to appear.

Furthermore, a Google maps profile offers an extra platform that people can find you on. For anyone browsing Google maps, they can physically see your business on the map in front of them.

To really optimise your maps profile, include as much detail about your business as possible including details about your opening hours, standard rates and the service you offer, plus all your contact details and of course your website link, is essential.

You should also encourage customers to leave positive reviews on your Google account as this will help to increase the authority of your profile and helps to win over potential customers.

If you need help setting up your Google profile, Google has put together a helpful step-by-step guide you can use. Read it here.

A word of warning

All the information we have provided here is really valuable and involves techniques we have been using to boost our company's SEO.

However, it is important to understand a couple of things.

  1. Firstly, SEO takes time. Don’t expect instant results. the groundwork you lay with these techniques can take many months to pay off, but when it does it’s incredibly valuable.
  2. Secondly, remember to pick your battles. When you’re trying to get a blog or page to rank and you can see that all the other sites on page one are big websites, it might not be worth trying to compete against them. Though it’s possible to outrank big sites, it’s difficult.
  3. Thirdly, there is more to this. Although we’ve given you some of the key points and techniques you need to get started with SEO, there are many different factors involved in optimising your content. What we’ve shown you will get you off to a good start, but to get to the next level, there is more to learn. That’s why we recommend speaking to a company like BUILT who can help you further.

After SEO

Once you’ve got your SEO strategy sorted and your website up and running, it’s worth having a look at how you can convert all your new website visitors into paying customers.

To really streamline this process you should have a look at Payaca job management software. The tools Payaca provides allow customers to book directly into your calendar.

You will be able to manage the whole customer journey up until the final job and book repeat work. This software is so valuable, but if you’ve got any doubts, check out the Payaca free trial to find out for yourself.

For more information about how this technology works BUILT have written a really helpful blog going into all the details of how this lead conversion technology can be applied.

For more tips on how to better promote your plumbing business check out our blog on how to use marketing for plumbers.

Transcript

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