Digital marketing can sometimes be a bit of a mystery to HVAC contractors. Sure, online marketing is great for the entertainment and retail industries, but heating and cooling? It’s probably enough to just have an informational website, right? Not exactly. Having a website is definitely a necessary first step, but it’s important that you create onsite and offsite marketing strategies to ensure that people who are searching for your services will find you online.
This is the first article in a three-part series that will provide actionable tips to market your HVAC business online. Today we will look at a few of the ways you can optimize your existing website to increase visibility on search engines and create a positive user experience.
Optimize Title Tags
Every page on your company’s website should have a unique title tag in its HTML. Title tags are displayed in search engine results pages (SERPS) to provide users with a preview snippet of the information they will find on your page.
The title element of a page should accurately and concisely describe the page’s content. Properly constructed title tags will help search engines understand what keywords your pages should be ranking for and can increase the number of users that click through to your website after conducting a search. It’s fairly simple to update title tags using your site’s content management system (CMS). You may want to check in with your Webmaster if you’re unfamiliar with your CMS.
Optimal Title Tag Format
- Primary Keyword— Secondary Keyword or Category I Brand Name
- Under 55 characters
- Unique to the page, do not use duplicate title tags
Example Title Tags
1.Furnace Repair - Heating Services | Example HVAC Co.
2. AC Repair – HVAC Services | Example HVAC Co.
3.Customer Testimonials – About Us | Example HVAC Co.
Write Compelling Meta Descriptions
Similar to title tags, meta descriptions are HTML attributes that are displayed in SERPS. They briefly describe what a given page is about and should not be duplicated.
Meta descriptions should compel a user to click through to your website. So try to include important keywords in your descriptions without going overboard. Putting too many keywords in a meta description, or using language that is overly “salesy,” can look bad and actually deter users from visiting your website. Search engines do not take kindly to overly promotional meta descriptions either; they will often generate their own descriptions if yours do not meet best practice standards. Again, updating your site’s meta descriptions using your CMS is fairly easy. Your Webmaster should be able to assist you in this process if you have any trouble.
Optimal Meta Description Format
- Use important keywords intelligently
- Create copy that is compelling
- Under 160 characters
- Unique to the page, do not use duplicate meta descriptions
Example Meta Descriptions
- Leasing heating and AC products can preserve cash and improve your business. Contact Example Co. to find out how our commercial leasing program can help you.
- Do you need a new furnace installation or replacement in Make-Believe County? Contact Example HVAC Co. today for a free estimate! 877-555-5430.
Maintain an HVAC Blog
One of the most important steps in an online marketing strategy is to create brand awareness. If your target audience has no idea you exist, how can you expect them to contact you? In order to grow your business, people need to know it’s there. We will dig into this a lot more in the coming articles, but for now, I hope you will consider maintaining a blog on your website to help target audience members find you and become familiar with what you do. The goal of your blog should not be shameless self-promotion, but rather, it should aim to provide readers with helpful information that meets a particular need. It’s basic marketing: find out what people want, and give it to them.
So what would this look like in practice? Let’s take a look at a real-world example: there are approximately 1900 searches per month for “water heater maintenance.” The number one search result for this query is an article that walks readers through the basic steps of—you guessed it—water heater maintenance. It’s received almost 400,000 views! Wouldn’t you like to get your brand in front of 400,000 people who are already looking for HVAC information?
Some basic keyword research online can help you identify popularly searched phrases relating to your company’s HVAC services. Once you know what people are looking for, create high quality content that helps them solve the problems they are facing. This presents a win-win scenario for your company. If the user is able to fix his or her problem with the information on your blog, you’ve created a positive user experience and increased brand awareness. If the user is not able to fix his or her problem with your company’s information, then the issue is likely too complex for a DIY solution and will require the help of a trained professional. And when it comes time to hire a HVAC pro, one of the first service providers that will come to mind for the user will be your company. Of course, you won’t always be in the appropriate geographical area for your blog readers, but the increased traffic to your website will offer search ranking benefits that will assist in your overall marketing goals.
That’s all for now. Be sure to check back for parts two and three of our “Digital Marketing for HVAC Professionals” series. If you have any questions regarding these marketing tips, please feel free to leave a comment below.
Joe Dowd is the owner of Dowd’s Mechanical, Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. located in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He has nearly 20 years of experience as a residential and commercial HVAC professional, and he’s proud to work with a team that is dedicated to quality service.