It’s standard practice to look up a local business online before calling for their services. In fact, 35% of consumers search online multiple times per week to find local products and services, including plumbing. An estimated 21% of consumers report using an internet search for this purpose on a daily basis.
This makes it important for plumbing companies to rank higher in their local search results.
But isn’t top-quality service more important than search engine optimization (SEO)? Well, yes, but guess which company a consumer would check out first, regardless of service quality:
You can achieve that top spot by optimizing for local SEO.
To help you reach that spot and make your business more attractive to potential customers, we’ve put together a detailed plumber SEO guide that will teach you how to:
- Create a more effective Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business)
- Optimize your website for local search
- Rank higher in search results
Let’s jump right in.
What is plumber SEO? [An overview]
Plumber SEO is a set of search engine optimization rules for local plumbers, although these principles apply to many local businesses.
It’s an aspect of local SEO that caters specifically to plumbing businesses like yours.
Implementing effective plumber SEO will make your business show up at or near the top of the search results when someone searches for “plumbers near me.”
What’s great about local plumber SEO is that it lets you feature your business profile much closer to competitors who are running ads.
This lets you grow your rankings organically, without paying Google recurring amounts to position your ad higher.
Local SEO Fundamentals
Google decides how it ranks search results based on a variety of factors.
When we’re talking about search queries with local search intent, it all boils down to SEO.
Let’s focus on organic local results, since those are what matter for plumbing businesses.
For plumbers, local SEO means knowing and capitalizing on Google’s ranking factors that apply specifically to businesses like theirs.
Also important is the Google Local Pack, also called the Google Map Pack or Google 3-Pack.
This pack is where Google shows a group of three Google Maps listings in regular search results.
The results that appear underneath the map pack are still important, but let’s face it — a potential customer is more likely to click on an actual business profile.
How to get better search rankings with plumber SEO
Here’s a step-by-step guide to implementing better SEO for plumbing professionals.
1. Optimize your Google Business Profile
Your Google Business Profile is the face of your business on search results.
It’s where people rate your business and write reviews, and it’s what potential clients will most likely judge you by.If you don’t already have a business profile, start by claiming it via Google’s registry.
From there, complete the details sections of your business profile account. Toward the end, you’ll be asked to pinpoint where you serve your customers.
In order to get the best visibility and most relevant customer inquiries, be as precise as you can when pinpointing your location.
This will help you narrow down your area of plumbing operation to the right radius.
If you offer plumbing services in multiple areas, list down all the relevant areas for more targeted reach.
Business naming and category tips
It’s a good idea to optimize your business’s name on your business profile for SEO.
First off, once you choose a name for the profile, it will become your official name in terms of your online presence.
That’s why you need to make sure it’s catchy enough to easily grab attention yet SEO-friendly enough for Google to rank it well.
To do this, choose a name that includes your primary business keyword, as well as the location you serve.
For example, your business name could be “Harbor Plumbing – Long Island Plumbers.” Notice how this name includes the primary keyword (plumbing), a variation of the keyword that searchers are likely to type in (plumbers), as well as the location (Long Island).
Even with all that, this business name still looks natural — rather than something that was intentionally worded to rank higher. Not only would a keyword-stuffed name seem awkward and potentially untrustworthy to potential clients, but also Google is good at identifying and penalizing deliberate keyword-stuffing in business names. So if you try it your efforts may backfire.
Regarding the categories, only choose your primary service, and maybe one secondary service, as your main category.
This means if you provide plumbing services, choose that and only that. You may be tempted to list “sanitation” as well, since that’s close to plumbing, but don’t.
A bad review from a misguided customer could result in your business profile getting penalized for false information.
Business profile description tips
If someone clicks on your Google Business Profile, the description is where they’ll look for information about what you offer.
Make sure to optimize the description as well, so it gives all the relevant information and doesn’t sound like you’re desperate for rankings only.
For this, you should:
- Highlight the primary business category. Although you’ve already mentioned it while setting up the earlier parts of the profile, it’s best to add it again to make it clear exactly what services you offer.
- Include your biggest unique selling point (USP). If there’s anything you do better than your competitors, mention it.
- Add the service coverage area. Make sure you mention the limits of service coverage as well, so you receive calls and emails from people within reach only.
- Mention your successful projects and the number of projects completed if the number is significant. Numbers look good when showing achievements.
- Use very few keywords. Use only the most relevant keywords to your business. For plumbing, choose some variation of “plumber(s)” or “plumbing,” with only the location as an addition to the keyword. Plumbing is not a very niche business, so the keywords should not be very long. However, if you offer a niche service within the realm of plumbing, create longer keywords that include main business specifics.
In addition to the above, be honest, direct, and don’t include anything that you could be questioned or penalized for by either customers or Google.
Want to learn more about how to create the ultimate Google Business Profile? Check out this in-depth Google Business Profile Playbook we created for all your small business listing needs.
2. Optimize your website for local SEO
Your Google Business Profile is your face in Google, but your business website is your home on the internet.
It doesn’t make sense for your business profile to be listed high in search results while your actual website is a mess.
Plus, it’s terrible in terms of local SEO to have a less than ideal website, as user frustration will lead to higher bounce rates.
Here’s what matters when it comes to website performance:
- User experience
- Page loading speed
- Website structure
In light of the above, here’s what you need to do to optimize your website.
Speed up your website
Google’s Core Web Vitals set the standards on which website performance is measured.
Speed is an important part of those vitals. In fact, page loading speeds have a major impact on how visitors respond to your website content.You can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights feature to get a thorough analysis of how your website is doing in terms of speed and what’s slowing it down.
The Diagnostics section will show what issues are causing slower loading.
You can simply hire a developer to fix those issues once the system pinpoints them.
3. Get your Google Business Profile cited
Profile citations are mentions of your plumbing business on other pages and online sources where there’s a discussion about plumbing services.
The majority of citations appear on data and review aggregator sites, social media, and industry-specific platforms.
The mentions are often in the form of your plumbing service name, your phone number, or your web address.
The benefits of citations are twofold. First, they help Google better represent your business online. Second, they help people find accurate information about your business.
If you want to control what information is out there about your services, make sure to keep an eye on your business citations on various platforms.
Here are some of the main places where you can add and maintain business citations.
The most relevant business directories for plumbers would be:
- Better Business Bureau
Of these, Yelp is the most important since it also serves as a review aggregator site.
Make sure that the listing is unique and doesn’t resemble that of a competitor.
General citations aside, you can also have your business cited in several industry-specific places.
Porch and Home Advisor are both relevant to plumbing businesses and may help with bringing clients.
Keep in mind that adding a citation to Home Advisor isn’t free. Also, Porch offers a free registry but you have to pay for value added services.
If you feel like both sites get enough traffic, consider paying to get those benefits (on any citation site that offers lead-gen or visibility boosts).
These are citations that show up as random mentions, instead of a properly set-up profile or business listing.
These would include entries in “Top 10” lists or referrals on discussion forums.
Ideally, unstructured citations should contain a link back to your business.
You can start building unstructured citations by contributing to plumbing blogs, participating in relevant business events in your area, and generally making your service presence known in your local area.
The best way to create and manage citations for your business is to hire an expert agency to do the heavy lifting for you.
4. Set up a review management service
Business reviews are among the top factors for local SEO.
They’re also what customers see first before contacting a business such as yours.
Just like with citations, you can hire review management experts to do it for you.
Alternatively, here are two basic steps to gain more reviews:
Ask customers for reviews
Make it easy for customers to leave reviews and actively ask for them whenever you conclude a business transaction.
If you did a great job, your customer would likely want to help your reputation. The best response is to ask for a review and explain the Google review process.
The process is:
- Search for the business on Google Maps
- Click on it to open your business profile
- Scroll down and write a review in the “Reviews” section
If you have a customer support team, make sure to train them to always ask for a review in response to a satisfied customer.
Reach out to already-served customers
Another way to garner reviews is to reach out to customers you’ve already served but didn’t ask for a review.
Since good plumbing lasts a long time, past customers are likely still satisfied with your service quality. It wouldn’t hurt to try your luck with them.
You can approach previous customers via a custom email, phone call, or text. Make sure to reach out to them on the same medium where they reached out to you.
Don’t be too pushy when asking for a review. Simply explain how a review would mean a lot in terms of helping you reach more customers. Also don’t offer a reward or perk in exchange for positive reviews. However, it’s fine to offer a reward for reviews as long as the reviewer is free to be honest.
5. Get backlinks from other local businesses
Find local blogs and home improvement forums that cater to your local area and ask them to mention and link to your business on their website.
You can even ask similar businesses for a mention and link, granted that you don’t approach direct competitors.
Quite often, businesses are happy to give a mention in return for a mention.
Plus, you can get your business listed in various online Top 10 lists on aggregator websites. Just make sure you have decent online visibility and stellar reviews before you start doing backlink outreach.
For better results overall, you can hire a link building agency to make sure you get relevant and valuable backlinks.
As mentioned toward the start of the article, plumber SEO is an important aspect of local SEO with a focus on your plumbing business.Make sure to stick to the updated rules of local SEO and you’ll be on the right path in terms of visibility, reviews, mentions, and hopefully sales. Or you can hire us to do it for you.