The internet can be overwhelming when it comes to advertising your plumbing business. With the hundreds possibly thousands of places to advertise or market your business which ones are the most effective?
Which one will work for plumbers to get the best ROI? In this article we’ll go over which channels you should be utilizing. Not all online ad channels work. In fact their are only a few that you should be focusing on and ignoring the rest.
The goal is to spend money on the channels that will bring in new phone calls and leads from customers needing plumbing service in your area.
Tracking Which Advertising Channel Is Work.
In order to find out if any advertising channel is working for your business (both online and offline) make sure your tracking where customers are finding you from. One of the best ways is to use call tracking numbers or virtual phone numbers which you can purchase from websites such as Callfire.
I personally recommend them and still use them to this day. Callfire allows you to purchase local virtual phone numbers which you can them forward to your main line. The cost per number is $3 a month.
Each advertising channel your on always using a different virtual number. This will allow you to track specifically which channel is bringing in calls and which is not.
Since a majority of a plumbers business is via phone, this option is the best. Having the same phone number on all of your advertising channels be difficult to determine which channel is working. Of if you can’t display different call tracking numbers place special codes next to the phone numbers.
You’ve probably seen advertisements that say something like “mention code 4857 for a special discount”. This allows you to still use your same number but now you have a tracking code you can ask your customer on the phone to give you to help link that code to the advertisement.
The key takeaway here is to track each advertisement so you which ads are working and which are not. Once you find the ones that aren’t working you can then stop those and spend more on the ads that do work delivering a better ROI.
Below are 8 popular websites which you can advertise your plumbing company on.
How did I go about selecting these websites? Because 95% of these websites show up at least once on page 1 when you Google search for a plumber in your area. Google loves them. They get a ton of traffic from customers seeking plumbers.
Plus these websites are branded well. People know the name’s of these companies by heart and personally trust them. Combine quality traffic + trust and you’ll get customers.
Tip: Many of the websites listed below request that you set up your profile. These business profiles are typically free which display information about your plumbing company. When setting them up complete the profiles. Fill out every field that is available.
Try not to skip on any field.
The more content and information you have filled out the better. We want to utilize every field they give us with our information help explain what all we do. A complete filled out profile is the goal with each one. It will not only help when people search for plumbers in that website but also in Google.
Yelp is considered the top #1 review website online. So they say.
First off before advertising your plumbing company on Yelp you must 1) complete your profile in full as I mentioned above and 2) have at least 5-10 good reviews listed under your account. No point in advertising your profile across yelp if your account doesn’t have reviews.
Yelp has been known for filtering out customer reviews from business complaining about it. There is a certain way to get your reviews to “stick” and show up. You see Yelp is like a social media platform. They like active users.
So the key is to ask active users on Yelp vs non-active users to leave feedback. It’s not fair. So many good reviews from businesses get filtered out this. However this is how they work. So before advertising make sure you definitely have reviews in place.
Tip: Set up pay as you go rather than be locked in a contract. There are mixed results using Yelp and you wouldn’t want to be tied up in a contract when initially testing it out.
To set up Yelp advertising click here:
Thumbtack allows service providers to set up an account for free however in order to communicate with the customer you’d have to pay. Typically a customer fills out a form requesting service through their website which is free. Different service providers then are send this job request with job information and location.
You then are able to review the quote and have an option to submit a bid. Each quote will cost you credits as they call it. Each credit is fixed however the number of credits per quote will vary.
I constantly see Thumbtack listed in Google search results on page 1 when searching for plumbers. This is one reason why I’d recommend testing them out.
To advertise on Thumbtack click the link below:
AngiesList is another review based website however AngiesList claims their review to be 100% authentic and real unlike other platforms that can manipulate and add fake reviews to their account such as Google, Yellowpages, Yelp. You see anyone can leave a review good or bad on any profile.
AngiesList verifies each job to ensure that the actual work was done by the service provider they’re leaving a review for. They’re platform is trusted by many when seeking service providers like plumbers to hire knowing that they’ll find honest real feedback from customers.
I consistently see AngiesList in Google search results pretty much all the time. Google loves them. With this you want to optimize your profile as I stated above. Complete your company’s profile in full (fill out ever part including photos). Also focus on gaining reviews here also.
Your goal is to obtain powerful strong profiles with social proof (reviews) to help expand you reach online in as many popular channels.
To learn more about AngiesList click here:
The king of all advertising for plumbers. Good ol’ Google ads. You gotta love em and hate em at the same time. You love them because of the HUGE amounts of targeted traffic you can get from them however you hate them because of how expensive they are.
Out of all the platforms listed here Google Adwords will deliver the most (in terms of traffic) targeted traffic to you. You see people go to Google when they have problems or questions.
If your seeking a plumber online you head over to Google searching for one.
Anyone clicking on your ad most likely is seeking a plumber. Due to this plumbers that are inexperienced with Adwords drive up the CPC (cost per click) making them expensive. I’ve seen rates as much as $80 per click. This means that if someone just clicks on your ad (not even buy or call) you now owe Google $80. Adwords is Google’s baby.
Google Adwords Tips:
- Monitor your click and filter out negative keywords. A huge waste of money spending dollars on keywords not directly related to what you offer. Negative keywords will kill your budget so make sure your keywords are directly related to your business.
- Try out Google Call Only Ads – Google Call Only ads displays your ad to customers only on mobile devices and not desktops. Mobile searches today are increasing and growing past desktop usage. People use their phones to search more than ever today. Google Call Only Ads work by displaying your ad only on phones and if clicked will allow the person to instantly call you (bypassing your website which is good). The shorter the steps to calling you the better.
- Make sure your ads displays only in the cities you can service and make sure your ads aren’t running entirely across the Google network.
- Make sure your ad is relevant to the keywords your bidding on and make sure your landing page is simple and optimized to get a customer to call you. Never send a customer to your homepage. Custom build a landing page for your ads so they’ll be better optimized and convert better.
To sign up with Google Adcenter click here:
Advertising on Bing is very similar to Google Adwords however Bing offer much less traffic than Google. The upside however is cheaper clicks than Google. Bing Adcenter allows you to import your Google Adwords account into theirs so you can literally mirror the account.
To set up Bing Ads click here:
Home Advisor (formerly Service Magic) offer leads to businesses that are looking to grow their customer base (similar to AngiesList, Thumbtack, Porch).
You basically sign up, pay a set up fee to join and they start to send you leads from customers in your area that have signed up requesting service work.
They charge you per lead (ranges from $10-$40+) and again this varies upon industry and service of work. Also these leads aren’t exclusive meaning when a customers fill out a form a plumbing job, the lead is not only sent to you buy 3-5 other plumbers to in your area.
You are charged per lead no matter what even if you can’t get a hold of the customer. I’ve found a lot of bad review about them regarding their service, lead quality and pricing. Do your homework before signing up and again avoid any contracts so you aren’t locked in if it doesn’t work.
To sign up with Home Advisor:
I love Facebook advertising. Their platform is so powerful in targeting your exact market down to a T.
However does it work in terms of gaining new customers for plumbers?
Facebook offer a few different ways to advertise. 1) Sponsored post 2) Sponsored Timeline Ad. For now ignore Sponsored Post. This is “boosting” a post from your business’ timeline. It basically allows more eyeballs to view this post. Sponsored ads are the way to go.
However first lets understand a person’s intent in Facebook. Who’s on it and what they’re looking for. Unlike Google when you are specifically searching for a “plumber near you”. You go to Google because your having an problem and seeking a solution.
Facebook users on the other hand aren’t specially browsing their timeline searching for a plumber. They’re just either at home layout around reading posts from friends or at work on their downtime doing the same thing.
More of an entertainment source. That’s not to say Facebook won’t work for plumbers however it’s important to first understand the channel and it’s users along with their intent to deliver better targeted advertisement.
As I mentioned before Facebook’s advertisement platform is very powerful. You can create local call to action ads which you can set your ad to only display around your city based on a specific radius.
You’d only pay when someone clicks on your ads or calls you directly from it. Now that mobile usage has now surpassed desktop optimize your ads for mobile.
Facebook’s also flexible with ad spending. You could literally spend a few dollars a day or a set monthly budget.
I don’t see to many Facebook pages in Google when searching for plumbers however according to Alexa.com Facebook is ranked #3 as of Feb. 2017 (Behind Google and Youtube) for the websites with the most traffic. Everyone is on Facebook and picking of customers on their is possible with the right message, ad and targeting done.
Facebook Advertising Quick Tips:
- Target cities your plumbing company services do not advertise across the entire Facebook platform. You don’t want your ads showing up in cities you don’t even cover.
- Track your ads with tracking numbers or Facebook pixel insertion if sending them to a landing page.
- Offer an incentive for people to call now for plumbing issues along with an expiration.
- Speak directly to your audience. Be specific. This will improve CTR or CTA giving you a better ROI.
- Build your audience to your Facebook page. Consider setting up an Facebook ad to help build your company’s business page with likes. Directly target your market and city (age, sex, location, etc) and aim to build like. As your Facebook page grows with new likes from local people around your city you can then start branding your company to these people with new daily or weekly posts.
To set up Facebook Ads click here:
We all know Yellow Pages. No need to go into detail about them however they offer again similar services as other comparison review style websites like Yelp. They do offer internet package (exclude print) allowing you to advertise in your city or market on their site.
Remember to key to any advertising you do is to track your ads and measure the ROI. If you spend $500 on Home Advisor (please don’t) what type of reasonable return would you like to see on the leads they deliver to you?
And as always track your ads. Where are they coming from.
Use tracking numbers, tracking codes, tracking emails, etc. Each unique to each advertising channel your on. If you not doing this then your driving blind and will just waste advertising dollars on channels that don’t work.
Remember each of these channels will provide different results and one of the main reason these channels were selected for plumbing advertising was due to the fact that these websites consistently show up in Google search for plumbing related keywords.
If I had to start off I’d go with Google Adwords however please find a professional that can help you set up campaigns properly. It’s more than just creating an ad and throwing it on Google. Choosing keywords, ad creating, negative keywords, optimizing, landing pages, etc. If you need help give me a shout.
I can look into your campaign and tell you what your doing wrong and help set it up correctly free.