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Marketing 360® Blog

10 Plumber Marketing Ideas, Tips and Strategies for Getting Leads Online

Post By Scott Yoder | Local Advertising

Want to get more plumbing leads through your online marketing and website design?  Here are 10 ideas, strategies and tips for plumbing lead generation.

Plumber Marketing Idea #1:  Develop a Conversion-Based Website

The focal point of your marketing and advertising – both online and off – is your plumbing business’ website.  Today most people whip out their phones to look a business over online, starting with the website.

Your plumbing website has a job to do.  It needs to take the traffic that arrives and convert it into leads for your plumbing business.  The content you create needs to focus – pretty much exclusively – on that goal.

This is what we call a conversion-based website.  It’s set-up to generate leads.  Here’s an example mockup from our UXI® templates:

plumber marketing website design template

What you notice about this design is that the calls to action (to call or submit a form) are highlighted in the design.  Make sure you have strong calls to action that are clear and easy to execute.

Also be sure that your clear about where your service areas are.  One of the first things leads want to be sure of is that you are a plumber who will come to their location.  Mention your service areas in one of your main headers to orient people as they arrive on your site:

plumber marketing ideas location header

Developing a strong, conversion-based website for your plumbing company is no longer time-consuming or expensive, so there is no reason to linger with an outdated, sub-optimal design (in fact, you can get a free website design as a Marketing 360® client).

Read a case study on how design improved conversion-rates for a plumbing company. 

Pro Tip:  Use a Chat Feature

We have a number of plumber websites that have success getting leads to contact them through website chat.  Chat boxes are a third-party plug-in you add to your website that looks like this:

hvac plumber chat box

The effective thing about chat is that it’s low-friction, meaning that a lead can reach out to you with a question without feeling like they’re having to commit to hiring you.  It’s a good way to get a lead engaged – which often results in next steps.

The vital thing about chat is that someone on your end is ready to respond immediately.  So, it works best for plumbing companies that have office staff taking calls and responding to all inquiries (you can turn the chat off when you’re closed).  If you’re a one-man show in the field and not able to respond to chats quickly, then don’t install this feature.

#2.  Create a Unique Sales Proposition

You can’t expect plumbing leads to choose you unless you give them a clear reason to do so.  That’s where your unique sales proposition (USP) comes in.

A USP does three things:

  1. Identifies a clear benefit you offer
  2. Describes how you solve your customer’s problem
  3. Distinguishes you from your competition

There are several approaches we see plumbers take to gain a competitive advantage.

The first is with price.  Since most plumbing services are essentially the same, it can work to entice leads with money savings.  For example, this plumber hits visitors right away with coupons:

plumber marketing ideas coupons

This plumber focuses on being an expert in one area, in this case septic tank plumbing:

plumber marketing ideas value proposition

Without a USP, you’re essentially leaving your lead-generation to chance.  You’ll look just like your competition.  Instead, communicate areas of plumbing where you’re an expert, offer services your competition doesn’t, and create limited time deals where you win on pricing.  Put the lead front and center, and make sure they understand how you’ll solve their problem.

Plumber Marketing Idea #3:  Get On Page One of Google

When most people discover they have a plumbing problem, the first thing they’ll do is go on Google to find local services.  You want to be all over page one.  There are three ways to dominate the search results.

The first is pay-per-click advertising.  These ads are run through auction-based systems like Google Adwords and Bing Ads.  The main advantage here is that you show in the top positions (reserved for paid ads) and that you can control the ad copy and landing page.  For example, you might want to run an advertisement for video pipe inspections.  Your ad and the page it goes to on your website can match that offer.

Next, you need to set-up and rank for Google My Business.   This is the maps listing and review platform Google uses for geo-targeted searches.  It’s a free listing you can optimize with your descriptions and by getting customer reviews.

Then you have the organic website listings.  These are also free clicks, with ranking gained by optimizing your website for keywords, gaining links, getting social media traffic, and adding content to your blog.

If you do this right, you’ll show up in three places on page one:

Plumber Marketing Idea #4:  Target Geographically on Google My Business

Many plumbing services target areas outside their primary location.  Some cover large regions of a state or even multiple states.

With paid ads you can set geographic targets, but it’s difficult to rank organically for multiple geographic areas.  However, there are a few effective tactics.

First, make sure you correctly edit the service area in the address section of your Google My Business listing.  This identifies your business as one that works on-site with customers instead of having a storefront.

To edit your service area details, follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to Google My Business.
  2. If you have multiple locations, open the location you’d like to manage.
  3. Click Info from the menu.
  4. Click Edit for the Address section.
  5. In the window that appears, select Yes next to “I deliver goods and services to my customers at their locations.”
  6. Enter your service area information. You can set your service area based on the zip codes or cities that you serve, or on a given area around your location. Note: If you want your complete address to appear on Google and your business location is staffed to help customers during its stated hours, check the box next to “I also serve customers at my business address.”
  7. Click Apply.

This is a vital step that will allow your listing to show in the larger geographic region you serve.  The other tactic is to create geo-targeted content with monster pages, discussed next.

Plumber Marketing Idea #5:  Create SEO Monster Pages

To rank higher for specific terms (for example, “rooter service Denver”), you can create what we call a monster page.

A monster page is an SEO focused page that uses fully developed content and design to rank higher organically in search.  It works well for informational searches, and can also rank well for geo-targeted searches.

For example, if you have multiple cities or regions you want to target – but that are outside your primary location – you can use monster pages to rank organically and as landing pages for targeted paid search campaigns.

You can create these pages for all the services you’d like to rank for in your area, increasing the free, organic traffic to your site.

Read a case study on how a monster page increases organic ranking. 

Plumber Marketing Idea #6:  Sign Up for Local Service Ads (LSA)

In 2017, Google began running a new paid advertising platform for home service professionals called Local Service Ads.  Plumbing is one of the categories using the type of advertising.

LSA ads are actively running in many metropolitan areas and beta testing in others, but going into 2019 the chances are you’ll want to advertise on this platform.

LSA is a pay per lead platform where rankings are determined by the business’ ratings and reputation.  You have to apply and go through a screening process to be included.  When you’re verified you become a Google Guaranteed business.

If LSA is running in your area, get in it.  Note that this is separate from your Google My Business profile.

Plumber Marketing Idea #7:  Create a Plumber Sales Video

Video is now one of the most powerful ways to communicate on the internet.  Computers and phones download videos quickly so they are easy to view.  They require little effort on the part of plumbing leads – always a plus online.  And in only 30 seconds, you can say everything necessary to convince leads you’re the plumber for them.  Here’s an example:

Video helps your pages rank higher because Google sees it as useful content.  Also, you can rank your video on YouTube to gain more traffic and brand name awareness.

Plumber Marketing Idea #8:  Manage Your Reputation

At this point, there are few plumbers or contractors who don’t realize what a huge role online reviews play.  Many leads will look at review sites like Yelp or Angie’s List because they simply trust what other consumers say about you more than what you say about yourself.

A great deal of what you do as a plumber feeds into your reputation.  Every time you go above and beyond, you’re creating a marketing opportunity as positive review content.  Every time you do the opposite, you’re hurting your marketing.  There is no such thing as work in isolation in the digital age.

Be active about getting happy customers to write you positive reviews.  And when things don’t go as planned and you get hit with a bad review (it happens to the best of us) be responsive on the platform.  If you rectify the situation you can turn a negative review into something positive.

We’ve had success using email follow-ups with this type of template:

plumber marketing review email

When they hit “Good”, it links to the review platform where you want a review.  “Not Good” opens a feedback form.  So this tactic favors getting you more positive reviews.

Monitor your reviews closely on Google, Yelp, Home Advisor, and Top Rated Local.  Know what’s being said about you – it’s some of your most persuasive content.

Pro Tip:  Website Testimonials

In addition to outside reviews, use testimonials on your website.  Our UXI® templates have areas on the homepage you can add testimonials, and you can also create a page with testimonials.  When possible, include a faceshot to add legitimacy to the comments:

best hvac websites testimonial

You can also use the Top Rated Local® badge to connect to review content directly from your website.  This lets people see your ratings without having to leave your website:

best hvac websites top rated local reviews

Plumber Marketing Idea #9:  Use Call Only Campaigns

When it comes to emergency plumbing services, many leads won’t even take the time to visit plumber’s websites.  They’ll just go to their phone, find someone who advertises for the services they require and click on the number to call.

Advertise directly to these leads with call-only advertising campaigns.  These ads only show up on people’s phones, and the only action they can take is to call you directly.  The ads look like this:

mobile call ad

Call-only campaigns make the best use of your budget while targeting leads with the most active needs.  We see a lot of advertising ROI for the type of local lead-generation plumbers do with these campaigns.

Plumber Marketing Idea #10:  Use the Right Marketing Company and Software

At Marketing 360®, we hear a similar story too often.

It starts with a plumber who hates marketing and feels he’s been ripped off by his providers.  As we dig into why, we get the details of how his SEO firm didn’t do anything.  And how his PPC management was too expensive.  He could never get in touch with his website design guy.  His social media person never sent any reports.

In other words, he has different service providers doing each marketing tactic separately.  They don’t communicate with each other because they don’t work together.

The problem here is more than just poor communication.  In today’s competitive marketplaces, it’s impossible to develop a competitive marketing strategy when you have independent vendors with different agendas.

The solution is the marketing software and services of a company like Marketing 360®.  Our mission, in fact, is to provide a comprehensive, all-in-one marketing solution that small businesses like plumbers can afford.

This provides more than just convenience.  It allows your marketing executive to create a strategy where the different marketing tactics support each other.  You learn new SEO keywords from your PPC campaigns.  Your social media posts improve your organic rankings.  Ad copywriters and designers work together to create a stronger conversion funnel.

And you only need to speak to one person and get data from one software platform.

With the fast pace of digital marketing changes today, you need one resource you can trust.  Marketing 360® is the industry leader.

Find top rated plumbers near me.

Here are more tips and ideas from plumber marketing executive Bobby Shell: