Implementing effective local SEO For plumbers comes with its own unique set of challenges and circumstances. First, there’s a strong sense of urgency from customer demand because, quite frankly, people do not think to call a plumber unless there’s an emergency. And second, when you do call a plumber, you typically have high expectations on their availability, speed in which they can respond to your call, and expertise in resolving your plumbing emergency. Third, the plumbing industry is highly competitive. You have a wide range of players in any given market from well established small to medium sized plumbing companies, to the one man show that works out of his house and is just getting started.
The shear volume of competitors in the plumbing industry creates a unique challenge in getting plumbers to rank in Google Maps. Google will only show the top 3 (letters A, B, and C) in the Google Maps search results. And that’s not just unique to plumbers, that’s across all industries. So with the top 3 Google Maps search results, in essence being the new #1 position, and knowing you have hundreds or thousands of plumbers competing for attention, you better believe the market for local SEO for plumbers is tough!
Here at Bipper Media, we provide local SEO services to many plumbing companies covering a wide range of geographic markets. And along the way, we’ve learned some local SEO strategies that have given our plumbing clients a definitive edge in their markets and in the local search results in Google Maps.
So I want to quickly give you 3 local SEO tips for plumbers that can hopefully put you on the right path to getting more traffic, leads, and customers for your plumbing business as the result of your rankings in Google Maps.
Local SEO Tips for Plumbers
1) Mobile Search Results Is Key for Local SEO for Plumbers
The first step in any local SEO strategy for plumbers is to understand that mobile is key to your success. With our plumbing clients, the majority of new customers are simply picking up their phones and typing in, or even just speaking, their search for a plumber in their area.
In the Google Maps search results for plumbers on mobile phones, people don’t even have to tap through to your website because the local search results already display a “Call” button. Here’s a screenshot:
As you can see, the Google Maps search results for plumbers from a mobile phone focuses your attention on the call button only. In fact, there’s not even a button available to tap through to a website. But again, remember that only the top 3 Google Maps search results are presented initially in the search results.
This is why it’s so important for the plumbing company to implement effective local SEO. Because the mobile search results are only going to show the top 3 search results, and the main feature of those features is the call button. So in one tap, someone can place a call directly to the plumbing company from the Google Maps search results.
2) Mobile Websites for Plumbers
Because Google only shows the top 3 local search results on mobile phones (and on desktop computers), this puts a strong emphasis on the plumbing companies that are ranking in the organic search results. As you see in the screenshot above, Google Maps search results do not present an option to click thru to a website. But directly below the Google Maps search results are the organic search results. And this is where the importance of having a mobile site comes in.
Someone who clicks thru from the organic search results, on a mobile phone, are going to see the mobile version of your website. So having a website that customized for mobile devices is critically important.
Equally important is that your website knows when it’s being accessed from a mobile devices. The mobile sites we build for plumbing companies are what I call “smart sites”, meaning there’s a script we add to the website so it knows when it’s being accessed from a mobile device. And instead of loading the full desktop version of their website, it loads the mobile instead. This gives the user a far better experience on their mobile device, and presents your plumbing business in a more favorable fashion with the visitor.
Mobile Tap To Call Button for Plumbers
The main feature on all mobile sites for plumbers is the “tap to call” button, which is predominantly displayed at the top of the mobile site, above the fold. This means, the tap to call button is seen as soon as the mobile site loads.
The tap to call button for plumbers is critically important because, again, someone who needs a plumber is more than likely looking to call someone right now. As such, your plumbing company wants to make it easy as possible for your customers to make the call.
Here’s some screenshots of plumber’s mobile sites that we’ve built for clients, and that are highly productive for the plumbing companies:
Notice the common denominator in all of these mobile sites, which is the ‘tap to call’ button. As soon as these mobile sites load, the customer is staring directly at the “Call Now” button and with one tap, the plumber’s phone is ringing.
3) Setting Up Your Location in Google My Business Page
The final tip I wanted to share is the importance of setting up your location in your Google My Business page. Properly targeting your business to the right location is critically important when it comes to Google Maps and local search results. There are several different strategies that can be implemented in this section of your Google business page, but I want to cover one where I see most plumbing companies making mistakes.
Specifying Your City / Location
In your Google My Business page, there’s a section where you can enter your address and state whether you serve customers at your location, or also serve customers at their location. In this particular section, you are able to specify the location by city name, zip code, and even by a mile radius around a certain city.
The best practice, and the most success, I’ve had in local SEO for plumbers is specify the city in the address section, which will then populate the city and county.
Here’s a screenshot of the section I’m referring to:
In the section call “My business delivers goods & services to customers within this area:”, I recommend adding your city and state in the first field – the one that has ‘City or ZIP code’ pre-populated. After you enter your city and state and hit “Add”, the city will popular above the field along with your county name. So by entering your city and state, Google Maps grabs your city, county, and state name.
This technique helps to define your business location to the exact city you are wanting to target. The alternative is to use the other option where you add your city name, and then define a certain radius around that city, and I believe this dilutes your relevance and authority for the specific city you are wanting to target.
What are some other techniques you’ve found that helps local SEO for plumbers?