If you’re an HVAC company, you know how important it is to keep your schedule full. Unfilled appointments mean your techs may be sitting around the shop instead of out in the field generating revenue. And the worst case, you could start to lose your workforce to other businesses that promise to keep them busy and thus earn more money.
Evaluate your website. Is your website helping you win business? Your website should let visitors know right away what problems you solve. And not just at a high level, that your company fixes their HVAC issues… they assumed that much. What are the real pain points that you address? Speak to their high power bills due to equipment issues. Those unpleasant nights when equipment fails. The cost of repeated improper repairs. Your website should offer them a path to a greener pasture, a resolution to their problems.
But don’t stop there. Your website should also offer evidence that you are trustworthy. Why should they stop their search with you? Have you won awards? Do you hold prestigious certifications? Have you been in business for a substantial number of years?
Now that they know how you can make their life better, and that you are qualified to do the job, make it easy for them to take the next step. Do you offer online scheduling? If so, make sure the scheduler button is easy to find on any part of any page on your website. Do you prefer phone calls? Great, about 75% of your traffic will be on their phones, clicking to call is the easiest thing they can do. Whatever your desired action is, it should be easy for visitors to do.
Now that your website is ready, let’s get people to it. The fastest way to make the phone ring is through a paid search campaign (also referred to as PPC or SEM). This is your paid campaign that serves up your ad to people searching for your services. However, there’s more to managing PPC than just turning it on. You will want to build specific campaigns for different keywords associated with your services.
There are many factors at play here. Do you bid on branded terms (your own company name)? Do you bid on competitors’ names? Should you include negative keywords to avoid bad leads? A solid PPC campaign will take all of this and more into consideration. There will be a lot of testing and nearly constant management.
The goal is to only spend what you need to in order to keep your schedule full. More spending means you have to turn down jobs. Underspending means your teams still don’t have work. As your team grows, so will the number of leads you need each week.
While PPC provides leads right away, SEO provides leads over time at a much lower cost. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is how your website ranks organically. There are many factors that affect SEO. The first that you should check is your website’s performance. Google wants to provide its users with the best experience possible. That means fast, mobile-optimized sites that provide the information users need.
You should consider your site’s speed, both on mobile and desktop. There are free tools to audit this yourself or contact an agency like Hughes Media for a free audit. Other parts of your website tell Google what your content is about and when to show your site to searchers. These include H1 tags, meta descriptions, and in-line content. If this information is missing, duplicated, or simply not formatted correctly Google may not be showing your website in search results.
Once you’ve got the basics in good shape, you can focus on content. Google wants to see informative, original content. Things like supporting images, tables, or graphics will help push your content to the top. You also have to keep it coming! The latest research indicates that search algorithms may reward those sites that are adding more than 5,000 new words of content each month with better organic search results.
Do you have a content strategy? Who’s job is it to create new articles or blogs? Your marketing agency can provide you with advice on what topics and search terms are trending in your industry. You’ll want to ride the wave and cater to those search trends when possible.
Rember this… the more leads that you generate through lower-cost SEO, the fewer leads you’ll have to ‘buy’ through higher-cost PPC.
Great! You’ve made it this far. Let’s assume you’re doing everything right so far. Are you on track for growth? It’s important to set lead goals that align with your personal and business goals. Aggressive companies may be looking at 15-20% year-over-year growth while established companies in a mature market may only target 5% growth in order to maintain market share and replace lost accounts.
If you are tracking leads on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, then you can better predict how many more leads you will need to keep your schedule full. Knowing how many leads you need each week can save you thousands of dollars in wasted PPC spending. Knowing your numbers will also help you set realistic growth goals for your business. You’ll understand how much you’ll need to spend on marketing to reach those growth goals.
Our last tip is on email marketing. You’re likely already collecting an email as part of your scheduling process. If so, it’s a great opportunity to have them opt into receiving your emails. It’s all in how you phrase it. You should also tag some key data points like the date of service and what product or services you performed.
You now have everything you need to set up automated follow-ups. Send service reminders every 6 months or year to remind them it’s time for a checkup (or whatever is relevant to the service). Are you cross-selling them on your other services? Are you reminding them of your referral program?
Email is a great way to establish yourself as an authority in your industry. Provide the customer with tips and information on how to maintain their HVAC system. (No, this doesn’t take money out of your pocket!) Email marketing is a great way to stay top of mind. Don’t expect customers to make ‘impulse’ buys like you’re selling retail products. But do stay top of mind so that when they do have a need, you’re the first company they think of.
The trick to keeping customers subscribed and actually reading your emails is to provide value to them. Ask yourself before every send, “does this help my customers or am I just promoting our company?” Your customers don’t want to hear about your company, but they do like things that help them save money or avoid problems. Be the hero! Lead by giving your subscribers valuable information, and lightly sprinkle in your offers and promotions. You’ll see your open rates go up and un-subscribes go down.
These 5 tips will grow your business if you have the discipline and team in place to follow through on them. But let’s be honest, you’re in the HVAC business, not marketing. If you can’t devote team members to focus on these items, then you fit in with 95% of the HVAC companies operating today. And that’s a good thing… Because you can make the choice to pass 95% of your competition by making marketing a priority. Hire a marketing team or find a marketing agency that knows your industry, like Hughes Media. We are experts in HVAC and home services marketing. We are happy to provide you with a FREE discovery call and free website audit using the form below.