13 Digital Marketing Tips for HVAC Contractors

To survive in today’s marketing landscape, HVAC contractors fully understand that an online presence is required. Resistance to digital marketing techniques was rampant in the heating and cooling industry, until failure to implement such techniques started to directly impact the livelihoods of contractors and their families. What was once considered a forward-thinking outlook, is now one that is non-negotiable. Any small to medium sized business owner can relate to the concept of adapt or die. So yes, internet marketing can be time consuming, frustrating, and downright painful, but it is also a path to earning revenue, and supporting your employees and their families. Here are 15 digital marketing tips to get you started on the right track:

1) Follow The Data

There’s lots of old habits in the internet marketing industry, and many of them are no longer effective. Just because something worked 10 years ago, doesn’t mean it will today. So how can contractors determine what will work? Follow the data. Using tools like Google Analytics, the performance of websites, pages, and advertisements can be tracked and analyzed. Here’s what data might lead an HVAC contractor to:

  • Audience: Who your audience is and what they value
  • Engagement: Which types of content engage consumers mores effectively
  • Process: The consumer’s journey proceeds through several checkpoints, all of which must be optimized

2) Track Everything

It’s not possible to follow data that doesn’t exist, which brings us to our next tip: track everything. The aforementioned Google Analytics is a great tracking tool, and it’s free. Other paid options like Moz and SEMRush allow companies to track their online campaigns, and services like SpyFu even empower companies to track the campaigns of their main competitors. Here’s what to look for:

  • Clicks: How many users are clicking on your site after seeing it on search results
  • Links: What kinds of links are coming to your website
  • Rankings: How are your Google rankings fluctuating over time

3) Be Social

You don’t have have to go to fundraisers to connect with other businesses in 2018. All of it can be done online through social media. Whether its B2B networks like LinkedIn or more customer-centric platforms like Facebook and Instagram, there’s no shortage of options for HVAC companies looking to expand their brand awareness. Some of the best content to publish on social media includes:

  • Blog Posts: Written posts from your website’s blog
  • Curation: Endorsements of 3rd party content that your audience might find helpful
  • Promotions: Discounts or other promotional materials

4) Content Quality Over Quantity

Flooding the net with 300 word blog posts won’t draw any meaningful attention to your brand. Instead focus on crafting higher quality, longer-form blog posts of 800 words or higher. These pots have a greater chance of being shared via social media, as well as linked to from 3rd party websites. There’s no shortcuts to creating great content, it takes time and consistent efforts to reach its full potential. Quality content is:

  • Engaging: Holds the average reader’s attention
  • Unique: Cannot be found elsewhere on the web
  • Valuable: Offers important or noteworthy info to the reader

5) Brand Your Company

To establish a favorable online presence, consumers should associate each instance of your company with its overall ethos. To do so, a web-ready logo must be included with every representation of your company. That means business listings, social media, and perhaps most importantly, your company website. An effective digital brand is:

  • Appealing: Provides distinguishable value to the consumer
  • Consistent: Remains uniform in image and description
  • Visible: Is regularly apparent on all corners of the web

6) Stay Flexible

In a realm as uncertain as internet marketing, it is important for HVAC companies to refrain from becoming attached to a single idea or methodology. Because Google regularly evaluates its algorithm, change is the only constant. Contractors should be ready to adapt to new information, and to implement processes that might not align with initial theories. To be a digital success in 2018, the status quo must be relinquished. Changes come in the form of:

  • Behavioral Tendencies: Changes in the behavior of your target consumer (i.e. increased use of voice search)
  • Data Shifts: Prompt and considerable changes in tracking data
  • New Information: Recently released info regarding algorithms or new technology

7) Out With The Old

Manipulative tactics used to rule the SEO industry, but Google has gotten much better at detecting and penalizing such behavior. Tactics that fall under this category are known as black-hat SEO tactics. Link schemes, sneaky redirects, and the aforementioned keyword stuffing. Just because these methods worked 15 years ago, doesn’t make them worthwhile today. In fact, the opposite is true. Steer clear from:

  • Auto-Generated Content: Low quality content written by AI for SEO purposes only
  • Keyword Stuffing: User intent matters more than verbatim keywords in today’s market
  • Link Schemes: Posting URL’s in blog comments and forums to drive up inbound links

8) Link With a Purpose

Earning quality links from 3rd party sources can be a slow but rewarding process. The best way to earn links is by writing objectively great content, that provides value to your target consumer. While inbound links are rightfully appealing because of their potential influence on SEO, they aren’t the only type of link worth pursuing. Internal links from one website page to another is helpful for navigation, as are external links leading to relevant content. Every link should be:

  • Helpful: Provides value to the user through assistance of some kind
  • Relevant: Relates to the topic of both the linked and destination page
  • Sensible: Applied with anchor text that makes sense to the reader

9) Monitor Business Listings

Some heating and cooling companies wonder how listing directories gather their contact information, if they have never manually submitted it to a given website. The answer is data aggregation. Services like Neustar and Acxiom collect contact info from public records, and disseminate it to directories throughout the web. Because businesses often change some aspect of their contact information during the company’s tenure, misinformation can spread quickly. Make sure listings are:

  • Accurate: Possess accurate name, address, phone number, and website info
  • Branded: Display your company logo and about-us description
  • Claimed: Are controlled by your company, usually through business verification

10) Map Your Location

Modern searches utilize location information to match users with nearby business. To be matched to appropriate consumers, you must map your business location using geo-coordinates. Once your business is marked on Google Maps and other GPS devices, customers will find your information more easily and therefore be more likely to contact you. You’re HVAC company is also more likely to appear on:

  • Google 3 Pack: The map portion of Google search results
  • Knowledge Graph: The boxed profile on the right hand side of search results
  • Mobile Search: Results for nearby mobile users

11) Target Mobile Users

Most website visitors in 2018 access your site via mobile device, most commonly their smartphones. While desktops have not been removed from society completely, their usage rate has lowered significantly, and it is time for businesses to adapt. Design a website with the mobile user in mind, first and foremost, and make it as simple as possible for smartphone users to locate and contact your HVAC company. Aspects of mobile usage includes:

  • Display: How your site presents on a smartphone or tablet
  • Location: The presence of geo-coordinates for mobile matching
  • Navigation: How simple it is to navigate your site on smartphone or tablet

12) Define Your Audience

With more information available than ever before, defining your target audience is critical. To properly market to consumers, you must know their respective needs and preferences, and trends that manifest in the aggregate. This way, you can narrow your focus and appeal to a defined group, with the hope that many convert into leads. For example, your market might be especially interested in energy efficiency tips. Here are some ways to define your audience:

  • Age: The age range
  • Location: The general location
  • Needs: Which services they need most frequently

13) Hire a Professional

As prideful as they are, many heating and cooling professionals believe they can handle every aspect of their business without outside influence. Of course anything is possible, but the question for contractors should always be, what is best for business? In this case, what is best for business is investing in an HVAC internet marketing service to handle your online promotion. Marketing pros help with:

  • Content Quality: With more resources at bay, pros can produce higher quality content
  • Scheduling: A professional doesn’t forget to post on social media because they’re busy, it is their job
  • Time Management: Outsourcing digital marketing services gives contractors the time necessary to devote on their everyday operations

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About The Author

HVAC Webmasters is a digital marketing company for heating and cooling technicians across the country

Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/HVACWebmasters

How to Get more Business out of your Current HVAC Customers

As an HVAC industry pro, you know the importance of building a customer base. Tips and tricks and marketing tools abound, and you likely have a good idea what works and what doesn’t in your market. But what if there is an untapped market for your business, one that doesn’t require additional work making contacts and building a base? In other words, what can you do to increase profitability among the customers you already have? Many residential customers may go years without a specific complaint serious enough to warrant a service call. Here are some tips and tactics for you to consider that can help you get more business.

Before we get started, here’s one important caveat: let’s operate under the assumption that dishonest tactics might make money in the short term but are bad business in the long term. The tips you’ll find below do NOT include anything intentionally shady or deceptive. Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get started.

Tips for Getting More Business from your Current Customers

1. Offer a Service Agreement (Retainer Service)

If you don’t yet, consider setting up a service agreement (i.e., a subscription or retainer service). Some customers will pay monthly or yearly for the peace of mind of knowing that if something goes wrong, they will get priority service. This is also a good way to make money on regular AC unit service and maintenance. Customers are very likely to forget to schedule this manually, and it’s a hassle for your company to have to call customers to remind them to get this done. So if it’s built into your service contract or subscription service, not only will the units be better cared for, you’ll make regular money from these customers. It’s a win-win. The level of service you offer in this may need to scale with the size of your business. If you’re a one man show, you may not be able to promise 12- or 24-hour service in these contracts. But you can still monetize and make consistent your customers’ maintenance needs.

2. Stay Social All Year

If the only time your customers think of you is when their HVAC is broken, you’re doing it wrong! Use technology to your advantage. These days it’s incredibly easy to build an email database and you can also build a following on social media. Whenever you leave a satisfied customer, make sure you’re reaching them electronically. And then email and post regularly! If you live in a region with a definite slow season, use this time to build up a list of short posts and tidbits that you could send to your customer list via email. These electronic touches remind customers about you and can also include calls to action about potentially needed services.

3. Check In with Them

Let me illustrate: I know there’s something off with my home plumbing. It doesn’t seem to affect anything else, so I’ve just been ignoring it and haven’t called my plumber. But if he called me to check in, I would certainly mention it, and he might make some money off me.

The point? When business is slow, pick up the phone and start calling your customers. Ask them how they are and how their system is doing. You might be surprised to hear, “Well, you know, it’s doing this thing…” There you go; you’re in business.

4. Always Be Available (via Virtual Receptionist)

Unless your company is large enough to have an office with multiple people answering phones, it’s likely that at some point a customer will get sent to voicemail. And if you’re a one-man operation you certainly can’t interrupt the customer you’re currently with to answer the phone. But if a customer is having a crisis and you’re unreachable, he or she may reach for the phone book and start calling down the list until they find someone that answers. When this happens, best case, you lost some business; worst case, you lost a customer!

Hiring a virtual receptionist fixes this completely. You can rest assured that your customers will reach a live human, and you can focus on what you do best rather than on answering the phone.

5. Diversify

Consider whether there are any add-on services you don’t currently offer, but with a little extra study or training you could. One popular area is air duct and dryer vent cleaning. Another option is offering an HVAC efficiency check-up, which allows you to identify ways to improve the customer’s home or business. And if you can offer to procure and install efficiency upgrades, that could become another revenue stream. The “free system inspection” is far from a new idea, but it can go a long way. You can find problems before they become crises, and most low- or average-information customers will be grateful to spend the money now to avoid the crisis later.

If you’ve yet to implement one or more of these 5 methods, consider making the change today.

 

Mr. HVAC wants to thank our guest contributor – JC Heating & Cooling.

JC Heating & Cooling, Inc is here to help with the heating and cooling systems in your home or office. Our combination of skills and services make us your best choice. All JC Heating & Cooling, Inc technicians are factory trained and certified, and we offer flat rate pricing that lets you know up front how much your HVAC installation will cost. We serve the North and South West Suburb areas and can provide same-day or next-day service in most cases. We also offer hvac emergency service and free estimates on heating & cooling equipment.

5 Ways to Generate Leads in the HVAC Business

As the owner of an HVAC business, generating leads should be your single most important objective. The more quality leads you are able to get, the more likely you are to get long-term customers. There are so many ways that have been proven to work effectively in lead generation. You should combine several strategies to generate leads from various sources, while your sales team employs effective strategies to convert those leads into sales.  Below are some tips to get more leads for your HVAC business.

Search Engine Optimization

When setting up your website, you should use the SEO tool to give your page presence in search engines. This marketing effort helps you the reach the greatest number of people.  There are a number of ways you can use to rank your pages higher for organic search.

  • Geo-Targeted Pages for Local Listings – search engines rank individual pages rather than whole websites. If your business offers services to multiple cities, it is necessary to create individual web pages for each city in order to generate more specific listings in many cities.
  • Writing Content for Your Geo-Pages – you should write unique content for each page to boost your page ranking.  Your content should be simple and natural.
  • Using Keywords – be sure to include keywords in your content to increase rankings. There are tools that can help you identify the most searched words which you can add to your page content, Meta descriptions, title tags and headings.

Pay Per Click (PPC)

In addition to SEO, you can use PPC advertising for better and faster results. PPC is a paid ad, targeted to a specific search term that appears alongside your organic result, either at the bottom of the search result page or at the top, that helps to boost your SERP visibility. Google AdWords is a platform where you can advertise your website in search results and when someone searches for a specific keyword, you “pay per click” on your advertisement. The click leads the user to your website where they can get more information about your company.

To use PPC advertising you should have a clear budget on how much you are willing to pay for each lead you receive and keywords that you want your HVAC ad to show.

Social Media Marketing for HVAC Companies

Marketing your HVAC business on Social media is irrefutably a great way to maximize your visibility to potential clients.

Your business should leverage on all social media platforms, used by your target audience, as a marketing strategy. Create a Facebook page for your HVAC business and post compelling content for your target customers. Make it useful and resourceful by providing valuable information on HVAC and how tips on how to save time and money. The idea is to present your company as experts in HVAC. Remember to include a call to action in your posts.

You should invest in Facebook ads campaigns and boosted posts to maximize your presence and to get more likes and followers on the platform. Facebook ads are less expensive compared to PPC ads. It is also very important to positively engage your customers. Avoid negative or rude comments that might ruin the image of your HVAC business. Always respond promptly, engage the social media users in a friendly manner and be willing to help. You should explore other social media platforms as well such as Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Yelp and leverage on them to build a brand for your HVAC business.

Email Marketing for HVAC Business

Make use of email marketing to generate business leads and sales for your HVAC business.

Your website should have a subscription link that is easy and quick to sign up, requiring less information, for instance, name and email. Create email newsletters that are consistent with the look and feel of your HVAC brand. When designing your email newsletters, make sure the content is engaging and easy to digest. Divide the content into sections to make it easy to skim through. Remember to optimize your newsletter for mobile devices and test it on different devices for user experience, to ensure its effectiveness, before sending it out. Always include an accessible unsubscribe button in the email for those who opts-out.

Great Customer Service

Providing exemplary customer service is a long-term growth strategy that your HVAC company should invest in. your advertising campaigns are geared towards engaging target audience to get them interested with an aim of converting them into customers. Remarkable customer service is the best strategy that you can use to achieve these goals.

 

Mr. HVAC wants to thank our guest contributor – JC Heating & Cooling.

JC Heating & Cooling, Inc is here to help with the heating and cooling systems in your home or office. Our combination of skills and services make us your best choice. All JC Heating & Cooling, Inc technicians are factory trained and certified, and we offer flat rate pricing that lets you know up front how much your HVAC installation will cost. We serve the North and South West Suburb areas and can provide same-day or next-day service in most cases. We also offer hvac emergency service and free estimates on heating & cooling equipment.

Embracing Social Media for Your HVAC Business

Social Media is an Important Part of Marketing your HVAC Business

You provide a service business that relies heavily on advertising and word of mouth. But what about finding other streams of income for your business? Has your company started embracing social media? Below are some suggestions to help you get started.

Referrals

When dealing with water heaters and air units, your company likely also encounters water damage and mold at times. Many water mitigation companies pay a referral fee to contractors that refer new business to them, even repeat business. In this scenario, the contractor goes out to do a duct job and finds mold. He calls XYZ company to handle the mold and gets a referral fee for the job. Or perhaps the water heater needs fixing and a flood is present, again the water mitigators would be called to dry the area. I have witnessed this scenario more times than I can count. Call around to a few of the local companies and ask what they’re going rate is for referrals.

Blogging

I’m often surprised by the amount of companies that haven’t yet joined the social media age, starting with a blog. While the purpose is to market your services, you can expand your reach to an audience around the world by providing information; not to mention it’s good for your brand. You can write posts that offers how to articles and videos and photos. Also, on these posts you can use programs such as Adsense to make money and also affiliate marketing. Blogs are fairly easy to install these days with WordPress and Fantastico that is available with most hosting programs. The more content you provide, the more helpful your site is, the more worth that the search engines give it. Be a resource of help to visitors in your areas and ones that are also not in your area.

Twitter

If your company is not yet tweeting you really need to jump on the bandwagon. Start by tweeting helpful tips and finding people of interest to follow. While the intended purpose is to get more people to your site, don’t just blatantly sell your business. You need to have a tone to share as well as information. Twitter is about communicating and sharing information and can be hugely successful in drumming up more traffic and interaction for your site. If you don’t have the time to do this for yourself, consider hiring someone to do it for you with the understanding that the twitter account is yours and you will retain it. They are being hired to tweet on your behalf. Once you build up your Twitter account and have a good number of interactive followers you can get paid to tweet.

Facebook

Most companies do have a Facebook page for their customers. Many of those pages lay dormant. Interact with the people that like your page and business it encourages referrals and future business. A small personal touch goes a long way.

Pinterest

One of the hottest social media sites nowadays is Pinterest! You can share, find and bookmark information on anything from making a bow to making beef jerky and cleaning tips – literally anything and everything can be found. You can just as easily share your own work photos.

Tying it all together

Start by signing up for all the social media sites using your business profile and most importantly, after you have signed up and you are using your profiles make sure they are linked too on your website so it is easy for people to follow you and interact. It may seem like a daunting task at first but once you get started you will see that it’s not as bad as you thought. Takes only a few minutes a day and can equal a greater deal of business and/or traffic for your site no matter your industry.

Gabrielle Greene is a co-blogger for TipsOnHowToSaveMoney.com

Social Media is an Essential Part of Marketing Your HVAC Business

Creating Physical Marketing Collateral for Your Business

As a service contractor, very often when you work on a job you’ll be asked to provide some physical collateral to provide more information about your business. Outside of cheap business cards and quote/invoice forms, very few contractors actually consider this as important starting out in the business. However, customers like having access to printed collateral so they can refer their family and friends to your service a benefit that can help your business grow rapidly.

Here are some guidelines for the kinds of business marketing collateral you’ll need as well as printing advice, for the smart service contractor.

Basic Marketing Collateral Needs

Your marketing package should include the following basic elements: business cards and flyers printed on high quality materials. These are the most frequently requested materials by customers so be sure to have multiples on hand for each job. Use the best quality printing service your business budget can afford, and be sure to brand your materials with your company name, a logo, and contact information. The key is to develop a strong brand so you will stand out amongst other contractors in your industry.

Vehicle Promotional Advertisement

To enhance your marketing efforts, it’s important to also develop a vehicle advertisement program that includes high quality vehicle decals or wraps that prominently display your company logo, business name and phone numbers. This is especially important as you will be marketing yourself as you drive around town picking up equipment and to each job site. If you drive your work vehicle for personal errands, your marketing efforts will be increased with every mile.

Brochures and Service Illustration Books

Include detailed information about your services with full-color brochures and contractor service illustration books. These are handy to have whenever you are working up a quote or service plan for a new customer to be able to explain with visuals what you are going to be doing for the customer. Instead of abstract ideas, you will have illustrations and pictures that include detailed figures and information that will help you prove you are the expert in your industry.

Website Marketing

Another key element in developing your marketing collateral is the inclusion of a website address to give your customers a chance to view more information about your company. You’ll also have the opportunity to provide helpful examples of your work, as well as the testimonials from past customers which can be very powerful marketing tools. Work with an experienced marketing company to develop your print collateral as well as your online marketing resources for a streamlined, well branded approach to business promotions.

Select the Best Printing Service

As you start working on your print collateral, be sure to choose a service that offers low shipping costs and the best quality materials. Remember to order ahead of time and order in bulk quantities for savings. This will help you make a good impression with clients, and you can have pride in sharing your company with others.

About the Author: Jake Downs spends most of his time covering different printing companies. When he’s not doing that, he enjoys spending time with his three dogs.

 

Please contact Mr. HVAC if you would like to be a guest writer.

 

The Four Keys To Business Success

There is a lot to running a service construction business successfully. Thousands of books have been written on the subject and many more will be written. However, all of the successful service contracting companies (especially HVAC and plumbing) that I have either been associated with or studies have the following four attributes in common.

  1. Pricing For Profit (through accurate monthly financial statements).
  2. Effective Marketing & REAL Salesmanship (most of us are bidders).
  3. Recruiting & Coaching (have you become the “boss” you quit?).
  4. Organization & Strategic Planning (most make it up as they go along).