Do you need to generate more leads for your HVAC services? Here are 10 essentials to marketing an HVAC service going into 2019.
HVAC Marketing Tip #1. Develop A Conversion Based HVAC Website Design
Your HVAC website design is the focal point of your online lead-generation. Its job is not to tell your personal story or impress your friends. The design must focus on converting visitors into new HVAC leads.
The best conversion based templates are refined so they are clean and simple to use. Content should be informative but concise. Your contact information and calls to action should be central to every page.
Remember that your website will, in all likelihood, be the first impression your business makes on a new lead. Win them over with a sense of professionalism and experience. Here is an example HVAC website design:
Developing a strong, conversion-based website for your HVAC company is no longer time-consuming or expensive, so there is no reason to linger with an outdated, sub-optimal design (in fact, you can get a free website design as a Marketing 360® client).
Pro Tip: Use a Chat Feature
We have a number of HVAC and contractor 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 look like this:
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 leads to next steps.
The vital thing about chat is that someone on your end has to be ready to respond immediately. So, it works best for HVAC companies that have office staff taking calls and responding to all inquiries. If you’re a one-man show in the field and not able to respond to chats quickly, then don’t install this feature.
HVAC Marketing Tip #2: Master Search Results
HVAC repair and installation is not a service people use frequently. Some homeowners go decades without calling someone in.
This means that when they do have a need, they’ll go to 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 discounted water heater installation. 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:
HVAC Marketing Idea #3: Target Geographically on Google My Business
Many HVAC 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 increasingly difficult to rank organically for multiple geographic areas. But there are a couple of 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:
- Sign in to Google My Business.
- If you have multiple locations, open the location you’d like to manage.
- Click Info from the menu.
- Click Edit for the Address section.
- In the window that appears, select Yes next to “I deliver goods and services to my customers at their locations.”
- 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.”
- 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.
HVAC Marketing Idea #4: Create SEO Monster Pages
To rank higher for specific terms (for example, “water heater installation 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.
HVAC Marketing Idea #5: 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. HVAC service 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.
HVAC Marketing Tips #6: Reputation Management
Today, it’s arguable that the most influential content online isn’t created by businesses about their own services.
Instead, it’s created by their customers in the form of online reviews.
Contractors are keenly aware of the impact of reviews since they’re essential content on websites like Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor. Today Google, Top Rated Local, and even Facebook are important places to secure positive reviews.
The effect customer reviews have on HVAC lead generation altered the approach many businesses have towards customer service. It’s no longer adequate to just get the basic job done. You need to impress people by going above and beyond. Likewise, gruff interpersonal skills can cost you. Being professional, punctual, and polite is now part of the HVAC marketing strategy.
The work you do is your main tool in getting positive reviews, but it’s also worth it to ask happy customers. We use an email follow-up strategy that’s helpful if you need to get more reviews for a particular platform. Templates look like this:
If they say good work, it links to the review profile. If no, it opens a feedback form.
Monitor your online reputation. It will influence how many HVAC leads reach out to you.
Pro Tip: Google Reviews
Reviews play a major role in how you’re ranked on both Local Service Ads and Google My Business. It’s important that you get reviews on both these platforms. Obviously, you want high ratings, but it’s also important that you have recent reviews, so keep them coming.
There are some significant differences in how Google treats reviews on these platforms. Some appear on both, but with different user identification. Also, you can only respond to reviews on Google My Business.
Make an active effort to request reviews on both platforms. It will help your rankings on each, and a positive profile will mean more high-quality HVAC leads.
HVAC Marketing Idea #7: Communicate Your Unique Value Proposition
How is your HVAC service unique? What do you specialize in? Where are you best at saving clients money? How do you exceed expectations?
Why should an HVAC lead choose you instead of your competition?
If you can’t answer these questions yourself, it’s certain your leads can’t.
They need a solid answer. Answers that come from your unique sales proposition (USP).
Your USP is a concept that guides your content creation. It does 3 essential things:
- It identifies a specific benefit you offer.
- It communicates how you solve your customer’s problem.
- It distinguishes you from your competition.
A well-crafted USP makes an emotional connection with leads, giving them the sense that you’ll make their life easier. It outlines a particular area of service you excel in; for example, water heater installation, ductless technology, or green energy. And it gives you a competitive edge, which establishes a reason you’re the best choice in HVAC in the area.
For example, this HVAC company outlines a number of areas that distinguish their services:
Once you have a well-developed USP, it will run through all your content: it’s like the theme of your story. Without it, you’re just a name on a list.
Contemplate, test, and develop your USP. It’s the single most important piece of marketing content you’ll develop.
HVAC Marketing Idea #8: Create a Company Video
One of the most effective ways to communicate your value proposition quickly – including to mobile users – is with a video. In less than a minute, you can make your case. Here’s a good example:
HVAC Marketing Idea #9: Retargeting
Even when you’re doing everything right, you won’t capture every lead with your online marketing – at least not on the first try.
People drift, price shop, put jobs off. But you can stay with them using retargeting ads.
These are the ads that “follow” you after you’ve visited a site with a short message reminding people they need that new water heater or air conditioner. For example:
You can use this tactic on Google and social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. It’s low-cost and effective.
Pro Tip: Create a Facebook Business Page
With so many consumers today on Facebook, it’s worth it to create a Facebook business page and maintain a presence there. For HVAC, you can retarget to anyone who visits your page, and you can also show your videos, get reviews, and set up a call to action directly on Facebook. Also, we’re seeing more lead-generation come through Facebook messenger, and you can even set up bots to answer FAQs.
HVAC Marketing Idea #10: Use Marketing Software
To manage and track all your marketing efforts, you’ll want to use marketing software that creates real-time reports. In addition, you want this to integrate into your email marketing and CRM software. With these tools, you can track your lead generation and contacts from initial inquiry to lifetime customer value.
That’s the kind of data that allows you to find your marketing sweet spot and get long-term ROI out of your campaigns.
The Marketing 360® solution also comes with a dedicated marketing executive that guides your campaigns with human insight and expertise. That’s a real difference maker as you try to make the connection with leads that motivates them to hire you.
Make sure you know what you’re getting for your marketing investment so you can invest with insight and assurance. That’s the key to HVAC lead generation that grows your business over the long-term.