- Optimize your Google Business Profile
- Create an explainer/service video
- Launch a review campaign
- Become Google Guaranteed
- Run Google Guaranteed Ads
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Welcome back, plumbers. This is the second podcast in this series dedicated to you specifically in the plumbing trade. Today, we’re covering your 2024 marketing plan and five things you should definitely include. Welcome to Trade Secrets, where we demystify digital marketing to help contractors get the most bang for their marketing bucks.
This is for you if you’re a contractor looking for actionable marketing insights.
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Let’s dive into today’s trade secret. All right, so we’re going to keep this concise. We’re going to try not to get in the weeds. This first one is just absolute no/brainer. Plenty of you have probably already done it, but if you haven’t, it’s time. You need to optimize your Google Business profile. Chances are, even if you’re like, “I did that,” you can actually probably go take a peek under the hood and realize that there’s probably some more opportunity in there for you to optimize it. For those of you that aren’t familiar with your Google Business profile, it is your listing with Google, it’s the backbone of your local SEO strategy, it’s how you show up in that really critical local three pack right below the ads when you search for a service provider in your area. Inside your profile, there’s opportunities to upload photos of your work, of your team, of your job sites, of your equipment. You definitely have to make sure your business hours are correct in there, your contact information, all that,, and you can also post to it regularly.
It’s really important to make sure that that’s part of your mix when you are scheduling social posts, make sure that you’re posting to that Google Business profile regularly, but we assure you that if that is part of your plan in 2024, it’s going to have a positive impact on your visibility in your core market. There’s a million other aspects, so Devon, please fill in where I missed.
There are, there’s so many nooks and crannies in the backend of the Google Business profile, but forward-facing for plumbers, make sure that you fill out your products, and when you think of products, think of your actual services. You can create a product that is for blocked drains, you can create a product that is for broken pipes, and that really is forward-facing and it’s for the benefit of the users, they can quickly scroll and see what you offer. If you are a reseller for certain faucets, or anything like that, you can certainly put those in there as well, but that is something specifically that you can do to highlight your plumbing services, but also any products that you’re reselling, or products that you like to use. It just gives the customer a good experience when they are looking at that profile and Google loves an optimized, fully filled out profiles.
That is, I think, first and foremost, and reviews tie into that, but anything with that profile, start there. You don’t even need an agency to do it, you can do that all yourself. Make sure you take some good photos. All right, number two, something you definitely need to invest in 2024 is, I would say, a series of three videos. Really just invest in having them well produced and having that content resized and repurposed for video shorts. You can have a three-minute video talking about your company, the owners, who you are, walk around the space, talk about what makes you unique and different, and why people should trust and love you. That video, though, that can be turned into a video short that you can upload to YouTube shorts or to Instagram reels or TikTok.
There’s a million other places you can put it, but that’s really going to help with your online visibility. The three videos that I would recommend investing in making and having produced would be one video about the company, about yourself and the owners, as I just discussed. Number two, the process of what it’s like to work with you. How quickly do your technicians get out there? What’s the average turnaround time? Is there a call-out fee? Do you have warranty on your work? Things like that. Just talk about the process, what the customer can expect. Do they get a text before the tech arrives? Really talk through the process. That gives comfort, but it can be used for SEO, it can be used in 100 different ways with your marketing. Can be used as a sales tool, all kinds of things. The third video I would recommend is doing a video dedicated to maybe your primary service.
Amanda, I was torn on this. I was like, “Primary service or an overview of all the services?” I think, from my SEO lens, I would say to go all in on your bread and butter. What’s that number one service? Why do you do it better? Why do you do it different? Really, a video that illustrates and showcases the guys at work and why your experience is better or your warranty is better, or those things.
Yeah, I like that, too, because it can also be a test case. If it really does work for you and starts ranking, then maybe your 2025 plan includes a few more videos for a few more of those core services, but it’s a really great way to see what impact you can have with a video like that. Then I would also just note that, off of all three of those, if you could have your video editor give you a condensed down 15 second version, which sounds crazy, but you can do it. Those can be used for YouTube ads. The work’s already been done, have it make you a really tiny short one and you can, for a very small investment, put some ad dollars behind it and get eyeballs on those videos as well.
You can use that content everywhere over and over again. On your website, YouTube channel, newsletters, link to it in your email marketing, all kinds of stuff.
Yeah, here’s a good one. Launch a reviews campaign. Whether you are going to do it grassroots and start emailing it and really managing it, having an admin follow up after every single completed job, have your guys in the field as they’re taking payment, ask for that review, whatever that process is going to look like, or do something like go with a bird eye that’s more automated, I will say that sometimes those a automations are just a better option, because it might hurt a little bit as a business owner, to spend 200 bucks a month on the automations, but we find, nine times out of 10, it worked, you’re going to get a lot more reviews if you do something automated, but no matter what it is, make reviews a huge focus this year.
Google is putting so much weight on it in terms of how they’re showing your Google Business profile in the search results, and it’s only going to become more important. I guarantee you some of your competitors in the space are doing this, so if you want to make sure that you either maintain that top spot or gain it, reviews all day long, make it a huge focus in 2024.
Yep. You got to really invest in that social proof, and people are letting you into their homes, so they really want to trust you, they really want to make sure they feel safe and comfortable with you. The more reviews, the better the reviews where they call out your technicians specifically is great. You can tie that into a whole video campaign where you do have videos on each technician that comes out who introduces themselves and gives the homeowner that warm, fuzzy feeling. You can go down that whole entire rabbit hole, but those ones don’t have to be well-produced, which is why I mentioned three well-produced videos for sure.
Have a nice video with a technician and, who’s going to be coming to their house? Yeah, knowing who’s coming, tying that into that social proof and getting that review, having the reviews consistently requested, it’s going to be so impactful to your business. Don’t be afraid to ask for reviews even if you just go out and do a bid on the work and you don’t land it, don’t be afraid. You went out, you performed a service, you assessed their hot water heater and you told them, “Yeah, you probably need a new one. It’s rusted here, you got some holes here, it’s going to start to leak and give out,” whatever it might be. Don’t be afraid to ask for reviews, even if you don’t land the complete job.
Absolutely. Make sure you’re closing the loop on the review responses, that’s another critical component of this. You’re working so hard to get those reviews, make sure you are consistently in a timely manner replying to all of the reviews that you are getting inside of your Google Business profile, or if they were giving you those reviews on Facebook, just make sure you’re replying very quickly and make sure you include the service that was provided and the city name where you provided the service. This is a great way to increase your local signals and your local rankings for those service terms you want to rank for, but rather than just saying, “Thanks for the quick five-star review,” make sure you add a little bit of personality and mention the service provided.
One quick tip that you can use is you can lean on ChatGPT or other AI tools to help you write some of those. You definitely want to go through and tweak them and make sure they don’t sound too robotic, but that can be a good way. If reviews are a huge focus for you in 2024 and you’re getting a ton of reviews, and it’s kind of overwhelming to reply to all of them, it’s a problem. I hope you all have, then you can lean on some AI to help you reply to those and make sure that you have some really good media responses.
Absolutely. Last, but certainly not least, we know that GLSA is not available everywhere, Google Local Service Ads or Google Guarantee, as we’ve seen. They’re not available everywhere and not all trades are available everywhere, but we do know in Canada and the US that you can apply and use Google Local Service Ads. That’s the fifth one. Amanda, this is your wheelhouse here, but just talk about the benefits, what it can do, short-term, long-term expectations, why we love it, all the things.
All the things, okay. It’s really great, no matter what, to just go through the process. Even if you don’t have the ad dollars right now to put behind the ads, get that Google Guarantee badge, so that… Some social proof you can put on your website. To become Google Guaranteed, depending on your market, there’s different laws with different municipalities, and Google’s up to speed on all of those. If you require a certain amount of licensure in your area, they will have you upload it. They will definitely make you upload proof of insurance, you have to run a background check on one of the business owners, so they really are doing some homework there for the homeowner, the property owner, to make sure that you are, in fact, a trustworthy service provider. Step one, just get the guarantee. Step two, we would say invest in some ads if you’ve got the marketing dollars to put behind them.
They are, bar none, the least expensive ad medium on the market today that is really going to get you some of those direct leads. Google Ads have been around forever, many of you have probably run them and, in a lot of markets, you’re probably seeing clicks from 30 to $70 a click. We’re seeing phone calls, actual phone calls, that fall in that same range. With traditional Google Ads, you’d run it maybe every… You’d get three contacts for every 10 to 15 clicks that you drove to your website, which would be a healthy conversion rate. With these, you’re only paying for it if it’s an actual lead. You can dispute it if it’s not. If it’s someone calling to try to sell you something or they’re looking for work, you can dispute it, so you’re really only paying if they’re showing interest in your service. It can be a really good way to just fill that pipeline real quickly if you’re trying to keep your guys busy.
One thing to note is sometimes they will be smaller jobs that someone calling out with something. It can be pretty minimal, but it’s a great way to get your name out there, hopefully. Maybe you go out and help someone with a very small problem and then you are their go-to plumber six months from now when they have a pipe burst, or something along those lines. It’s a very cost-effective ad buy that can have a really positive impact on your bottom line, and you can turn it on and off. You can really ratchet up to spend, if it’s a slow time of year, you can turn it further down. I never recommend turning it totally off, because sometimes Google will slap your hand for that and it’s hard to get the calls again when you turn it back on. I know that was a very long-winded answer, but it’s something that I get really excited about and animated about when I talk to plumbers specifically about it, because it’s just a really great opportunity and it’s as far… Like I said, it’s just really cost-effective.
I love what you said. Even if you don’t plan on turning the ads on, you don’t have the ad spend right now, go through the process and get Google guaranteed. Do the background check, upload your licensure proof, you are who you say you are, that whole thing, that you’re licensed and insured. Then you don’t even have to turn the ads on, but that process alone, that’s brilliant, because then when you need to, you can just, in a second, set a budget, turn it on, and run with it. I think that’s really, really, really strong advice and it’s forward-thinking. Holidays are coming up, so take that downtime and just do the legwork, go through the process, so going into 2024, you’re ready to go. I love what you said, too. You are approved, so you can start using that logo even before you start running the ads.
That’s some really, really good advice right there. That’s it, that’s our five. That’s our top five. We could talk marketing all day, but I think those are the top five that are going to really be effective and make a difference for you in 2024. Thank you for listening, and if you found this helpful, please share it your favorite way to share things on the old internet, and we will see you next time. Thank you.
Thanks, guys. That was today’s trade secret. Thanks for listening.
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