Increase your HVAC Clients and Outperform Your Competitors in North Carolina
Marketing is the lifeblood of your business. Without marketing there can be no prospects, no appointments and no projects. Marketing is what makes the register ring. In order to be truly successful in the HVAC business in North Carolina , you must be a marketing expert. You can be average at everything else, but if you use marketing, you will make a ton of money.
The sad truth is that 90% of heating and air conditioning contractors do not understand basic HVAC marketing concepts. The average HVAC contractor in North Carolina looks at what others in the industry are doing, and copies it. That would work if the items copied were successful. But often times, the HVAC marketing tools copied do not work.
HVAC Marketing With Proven Results
If you're one of those rare holdouts whose HVAC business doesn't yet have an Internet presence, let's take a look at why it's important. The Internet today serves as the most popular platform for news, information and media sharing, and for businesses it's the number-one tool for marketing information and customer interaction. While traditional advertising still has its place, the Internet is where new and exciting technology reaches out to your customers in ways other marketing efforts can't.
In short, you need a website. A good one.
So what makes a good website? You'll want to display the appropriate content, promote your products and services, and find ways to attract online traffic through search engine optimization and banner ads on other sites. You should also find a website developer who can add a tracking tool to your site. There are several free website tracking tools such as Google Analytics that you can find online. This tool-essentially a way to count visitors-can tell you a lot about the efficiency of your marketing techniques. By examining visitor data, for instance, you can find out which pages have been visited most often, which pages visitors are spending the most time on, and which HVAC keywords are being searched most frequently. And that's just the beginning.
Your Internet presence will also involve information that appears on other websites. Informative articles that appear on industry-specific sites can boost your online presence and increase the number of hits on your website.
The most important element of your website will be user-friendliness. If visitors click on links that go nowhere, or have to wade through pages of text, or just can't find what they're looking for, the chances are good that they aren't going to become-or remain-customers. For this reason, you should consult with a company that specializes in online marketing. That way, you can launch your site with confidence, knowing it's going to enhance your business.
Importance of Marketing for HVAC Business
In the 1990's, the cost to contractors of Yellow Pages ads was growing outrageous and, at the same time, the Yellow Pages were no longer generating large numbers of customer calls. In fact, customers were migrating steadily away from print Yellow Pages and onto the Internet.
I'm a contractor in Los Angeles, and in 1996, seeing what was going on, I built a website for my company. I soon learned that a website does little good if customers don't see it. So I began looking into how to get my contractor website to the top of Page 1 of search engines like Google. That's how I discovered Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
What Is SEO?
The purpose of SEO is to get your website listed on the first page of the major search engines: Google, Yahoo, and Bing. (Around 70% of searches are on Google, so I'll focus on Google in this article.) Making modifications to your website to improve your rankings on Google is "optimizing" your website. It's a way to tell search engines what's on your website and how helpful it is to people looking for local contracting businesses.
Google doesn't use humans to determine which websites are the most relevant for a certain subject. Instead, they rely on math formulas (called "algorithms"). If a searcher is looking for a "plumber in Boston," Google will, among other things, count the times a website says "plumber" and "Boston." It also counts how many links there are to that website -- how popular it is. Based on these bits of math and many others, it lists the websites most relevant to "Boston plumbers" in the order most likely to satisfy the searcher.
The Advantage of Being at the Top of Page 1
If Joe's Electric in Tacoma wants more customer calls, his website better be on Page 1 -- and preferably at the top. If you think about your own experience in searching, you'll know why. How often have you clicked on a website at the bottom? How often do you look further than the first page? In fact, statistics show that 90% of those who click on a website never get past Page 1 of the search engine. Over 60% of their visits are to websites in the top three ranks of Page 1.
If Joe's Electric were in a small town, Joe probably wouldn't face much competition. With a good website, Joe's Electric could soon be right at the top of Google. But as his electrical contracting company is in Tacoma, an urban area, he'll need SEO to get his website to the top.
Steps of Search Engine Optimization
The first step is to make sure that your website is search engine-friendly. This is "On-Site SEO."
- Include "keywords" and related words on your site. Keywords are the words and phrases a searcher types into a search engine when looking for your trade. For example, if you're an HVAC contractor, your site needs to include keywords like "HVAC" "contractor" "heating" and so on. These tell the search engines that your site is relevant to searches for HVAC contractors.
- Add informative articles about your trade.
- Make specific programming changes, for example, to include "Metatags" and "Site Maps." These are techie-talk for labels that help search engines better understand your website content.
The next steps, "Off-Site SEO" show Google that your website is trusted and popular. This is done by getting other websites to link to yours. Google counts each link as a vote of confidence.
Off-Site SEO -- Get Links to Your Website from:
- Local Business directory websites
- Social Networking Sites
- Article sites
- Websites relevant to contracting
How Contractors Can Do Internet Marketing
While SEO is no more complicated than a construction trade, it is a different trade from contracting, and it can become time-consuming. Most contractors don't build their own websites nor work on pushing them to the top of Google with SEO. Internet marketing professionals are available who can focus on getting you more customers while you focus on what you know best -- your trade.
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