Local SEO Guide for HVAC Companies: 5 Easy Ways to Boost Your Google Rankings

/Local SEO Guide for HVAC Companies: 5 Easy Ways to Boost Your Google Rankings
Local SEO Guide for HVAC Companies: 5 Easy Ways to Boost Your Google Rankings 2017-11-12T10:14:21+00:00

HVAC companies face some unique challenges when trying to draw in new customers. One of the biggest hurdles is that when someone needs HVAC services, he will likely run a Google search and simply call the first couple of companies on the list. To build your customer list, you need to find a way into that crucial top spot.

We will walk you step by step through our proven process to rocket your company to the head of the search results. But first, let’s look at why local SEO is essential for all HVAC companies.

3 Reasons HVAC Companies Should Invest in Local SEO

1. Google Is the New Yellow Pages:

Not so long ago, HVAC companies could find new customers by placing a Yellow Pages ad and waiting for calls to come in. Today, though, fully 97% of people look for local businesses online, and Google dominates the search market.

2. Free Traffic:

Although its nature is changing, advertising remains one of the biggest expenses for many small businesses. Boosting your Google rankings provides a constant stream of free traffic that you can convert into paying customers.

3. Speedy Results:

National and international companies wait an average of 6 to 12 months to see a significant change in their Google rankings. As an HVAC company, though, you have a tremendous advantage. You are competing only against other HVAC companies in your area, not those across the country. And many of your competitors are not yet using local SEO. This means that with a targeted campaign, you could jump to the first page of Google local rankings in as few as 30 days!

Step 1: Pick Your Keywords

The first step is to simply make a list of keywords that describe your services. For example, you might choose “hvac services”, “air conditioning”, and “heating”. Once you have a reasonably long list, create a free account with Google AdWords.

You do not need to develop or pay for an ad campaign, but the AdWords account gives you access to the free Google Keyword Planner. You can input your selected keywords into this helpful tool to learn how much traffic they drive, and to get suggestions for related keywords that might not yet be on your list.

Now it is time to decide on your final keyword list. All keywords can be loosely grouped into 2 categories:

  • Buying Intent: Prospects who search for buying intent keywords are in imminent need of your services. For example, someone who searches for “air conditioner repair Miami” probably has a broken air conditioner that needs to be fixed right away.

    Your local SEO campaign should focus primarily on buying intent keywords, because they produce the quickest results. Feature them on your homepage, and develop service pages around them.

  • Research Intent: Research intent keywords are a signal that the prospect is just shopping around. She might need HVAC services at some point, but not right now. For example, someone searching for “best air conditioner” might be thinking of upgrading but is trying to figure out what to buy.

    Research intent keywords should be of lower priority, since they take a bit of time to drive conversions. Don’t discount them altogether, though, since they are perfect for FAQs and blogs. These posts introduce you to prospects who might contact you later, when they are ready for your services.

Step 2: Optimize Your Keywords

When you have narrowed down your keywords, it is time to optimize for them in 2 places—your Google My Business page and your website. Here are the secrets:

Google My Business

Think of your Google My Business page as a miniature website that will appear in the “Map” section of Google local listings. It provides a short overview of your company, boosts your overall online presence, and even gives you a speedy rankings boost. It is much easier to get highly ranked with a Google My Business page than with a traditional website.

Fill out the page accurately and completely, following these steps:

  • Verification: First, claim your page and submit it for Google’s verification process. When you see a checkmark and the word “Verified” next to your company name, you will know this was successful.
  • NAP: Your business NAP (name, address, and phone number) must be both accurate and identical across all of your internet listings. Let Google know that yours is a local business by choosing a local phone number rather than an 800 number.
  • Categories: Under Google requirements, your categories must focus on services instead of results. For example, in addition to HVAC Contractor, you might try Air Conditioning Contractor and Heating Contractor. List any ancillary services as well, for a total of 3 to 5 categories.
  • Description: Your description is a brief summary of your company that ends with a call to action. Keep it between 100 and 200 words, and format it similarly to: {Name of Company} offers professional {heating and air conditioning services, or similar} in {Your City}. {Provide some information about your background and/or why customers love you.} Call {Phone Number} today for your free estimate!
  • Hours: Be sure that your office hours are correct and consistent across all of your web listings. If you offer after-hours emergency repair, share that information in a separate paragraph.
  • Images: Images can drive customer engagement, and show your prospects that you do a great job. Add a few photos of your office, your staff, or your team at work (with permission!). Your images must have a sharp focus, be sized between 10KB and 5MB, and have a minimum resolution of 720px x 720px. We also recommend replacing the generic Google My Business background image with a branded image.

Website Optimization

Start by optimizing your “core” pages (your homepage and service pages) for your buying intent keywords. Later, you can optimize your “content” pages (FAQs and blog posts) for your research intent keywords. Here’s how:

  • Homepage: The most important element on your homepage is the title tag, which is 50 to 65 characters long and is roughly equivalent to a chapter title in a book. Try this format: HVAC Services in {Your City} | {Name of Your Company}.

    The meta description briefly mentions your primary services and ends with a call to action. At 100 to 150 characters in length, it should approximate this format: {Name of Company} offers quality {air condition and heating services, or similar} in {Your City}. Call {Phone Number} today for your free estimate!

    Also known as the H1, the visible headline should be both descriptive and concise, and should include your primary category. This format works well: {HVAC Contractor} in {City, State}..

    The final element is your page copy. It should be roughly 500 to 1000 words in length, strongly written and edited, and use your primary keyword in a natural manner. Give some company background, briefly explain your core services, and end with a strong call to action.

  • Service Pages: Build a separate service page for each of your core services, and optimize it for a buying intent keyword following the same steps as for your homepage.

Step 3: Develop Citations and Links

Now that your campaign’s basic format is in place, you can develop citations and links. Both increase your online reach while boosting your Google rankings.

  • Citations: A citation is an online directory listing of your business name, address, and phone number (NAP). Possible locations include general national directories (yellowpages.com and Facebook), general local directories (Chamber of Commerce website), and targeted directories for HVAC companies. Your NAP must be identical across all listings.

    Many directories are free, but some accept only paid citations. Before investing, check out Google Analytics. Do not pay for a site that is not driving traffic and conversions.

  • Links: A key component in your Google rankings is a collection of inbound links from credible, authoritative websites. Build relationships in person and online with companies that offer services that complement yours, such as general contractors. Then ask to trade web links. A tool such as the Moz Open Site Explorer will show you where other local HVAC companies find their links.

Step 4: Ask for Reviews

Online reviews play 2 important roles: they help to convince prospects to try your services, and they let Google know that your business is legitimate. Although all reviews are helpful, you will get the quickest boost to your rankings from Google My Business page reviews. Send an email to your satisfied customers with a link to your Google My Business profile, and ask them directly to write a review. If you do this regularly, you will soon have a steady flow of reviews.

Step 5: Track Your Results

The only way to learn if your local SEO campaign is successful, and to identify those areas that are under-performing, is to track your results. There are many different ways to analyze your data, but these 3 metrics are the most essential:

  • Rankings: Google customizes its search results based on the user’s past browsing history. In order to see your true rankings, you must use a tool. Ask your webmaster to install the free Google Search Console (previously Google Webmaster Tools), and monitor your results at least once per month.

    For more in-depth data, consider switching to a paid tool. We especially like the one offered by RankRanger. It will track both your Google My Business page and your webpages, and will provide automatically updated ranking data from all of your SEO campaigns.

  • Traffic: To track your web visitors, or traffic, install Google Analytics. You can view your overall traffic, the traffic for each webpage, and even what percentage of visitors come through Google search. Check your reports at least once each month, and keep an eye out for long-term trends.
  • Conversions: A conversion is any specific behavior that you want your prospects to perform. As an HVAC company, you might want prospects to contact you for a free estimate. In Google Analytics, you can track both web and phone conversions, learn which of your services drives the most conversions, and discover which of your webpages have the lowest and highest conversion rates.

Ready to Start?

Now you understand why a local SEO campaign is an essential strategy for bringing more prospects to your HVAC company. Make your way through the steps in order, fully completing each one before beginning the next. Here is a recap of the 5 steps:

  1.    Keyword research
  2.    Keyword optimization
  3.    Citations and Links
  4.    Reviews
  5.    Tracking

Want Help with SEO?

At Main Street ROI, we specialize in helping HVAC companies attract more local customers through Google. If you’d like help with your SEO, contact us for a free quote.

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