Visibility and access to customers are crucial to niche businesses, like heating, ventilation, and air conditioning services. Your HVAC business doesn’t have a broad market as grocery stores or medical clinics, but it’ll still come up against competition. More than 100,000 HVAC businesses are in the US. So it’s critical to reach as many people as possible and get your business right in front of your target market.
SEO allows you to get ahead of the competition without the big cost. Through optimization strategies, your HVAC company can appear in online searches for “HVAC service near me,” “HVAC technician,” or “HVAC maintenance cost.” When you secure a good spot on the search engine results page (SERP), customers find you. Expect traffic to your website, qualified leads, and a potential increase in business.
But how do you guarantee such lucrative results?
1. Switch to a Mobile-Friendly Web Design
Yes, your website needs to look attractive and appealing. Research shows that an average of 97% of users will make their decision on whether they’ll buy based on how a website looks. But aesthetics aren’t the only factor in retaining potential customers. Your well-designed website should also function on mobile devices.
We’ve found that 64 per cent of consumers use their mobile devices to find an HVAC contractor. If your business website doesn’t appear and function well on smartphones and tablets, you’re losing out on opportunities. A mobile-friendly site invites traffic and engages users to explore and interact with pages, signing up or inquiring about your services.
2. Outperform Local Competition with Local SEO
What separates local SEO from regular SEO is that it has “local intent.” People are specifically looking for services in a specific location.
When a user enters “heating repair Los Angeles,” the search engine will automatically show results that prioritize services offered in L.A., and provide as much information as needed. If a person in Mesa types “ductwork cleaning near me,” Google will automatically pinpoint the location of the user and show all results located in Mesa or surrounding areas.
As a local business, you’re mostly targeting users in your own area, or the location where your business is operating in. Unlike e-commerce shops that aim for users across the country or the world because their products (like clothes, shoes, etc.) can be sent through a shipping service or carrier, HVAC businesses offer in-person services, which means the customers they target need to be accessible to them.
Local competition can be fierce, and it’s for this reason that you have to rank in two separate places when it comes to search engines: Google Search and Google My Business.
Google My Business listings, also known as Local Listings or Local Pack Listings, is a Google feature that’s made specifically for local businesses (ex. restaurants, clinics, shopping centres, etc.). This is shown in a boxed format, before the Google Search results. It shows the top three local establishments for a specific industry, complete with contact information, hours of operation, address, photos, reviews, and website address.
How to Optimize for Google My Business (GMB):
- Be sure to claim your GMB profile. If you haven’t padded your GMB profile yet, follow these instructions by Google to help you properly manage your listings.
- Fill out your name, address, and phone number properly. Consistency is key here. If you have multiple online listings, make sure that they are all the same and that there are no errors. This will make sure that Google will not think that a listing with a spelling error is another company or separate company from yours.
- Complete the necessary details. Don’t skip providing the operating hours, photos, or images, as well as the main services you provide.
- Encourage reviews because user reviews have the power to multiply business. So ask your happy customers to leave reviews about your company and their experience. Google takes reviews and ratings into consideration when ranking your listing. Keep in mind to always monitor feedback that comes in. Always reply to any negative reviews in a professional and proper manner.
Google Search results are the traditional organic listing that you want to rank for. This will mostly target customers who are looking for specific information about a key phrase or question they entered on the search bar. Users may be located nearly or could be in a city outside of your main location.
Both are organic listings, which means you don’t pay the search engines for advertising fees to appear on top of these results. Your ability to rank for these spots will depend on how you optimize your website and online information for search engines.
How to Optimize for Local Search
- Target Local Keywords
With SEO for HVAC, you want to target both low-hanging fruit keywords (keywords that have low to medium search volume) and local keywords. These will work best in attracting traffic because low-hanging fruit keywords will be easy to rank for, which will help boost your site ranking and establish authority. Once you’ve improved your site’s authority, move on to keywords with higher search volume or difficulty. Some tools you can use for keyword research are SpyFu and Ahrefs.
- Create Content that Answers Clients’ Queries
Homeowners will have a lot of questions before they even begin to look for an HVAC company, and even after these questions are answered, they will need more information about choosing the right company.So create content that targets your customers’ pain points. Start with creating content about commonly asked questions pertaining to your services. Use keyword research tools to look for long-tail keywords or keywords that contain three or more words that your customers commonly enter on Google.Collect all the long-tail keywords that are popular in your location, and decide which ones deserve to be made into a blog.
- Delete Duplicate Content
Google prioritizes unique content. Duplicate content is content that appears in more than one place on your website. The rule of thumb here is to never use content you’ve already published on another page or another website. This not only confuses Google since it will not know which page to prioritize and rank, but views and traffic volume will also be divided among all these live pages.
3. Dominate Local Search with High-Quality Backlinks
Google sees backlinks as one of the main factors when it comes to ranking a website. Backlinks are links from a third-party website coming into yours. An example would be if your website is sponsoring a local school event, then the school’s website creates a page about it and mentions your site. When they include a hyperlink to your website anywhere on their page, you automatically gain a backlink.
Backlinks can be gained if your website is mentioned on another site and they link back to your page. This can be done through guest blogs, sponsoring events, and getting mentioned on their website, or offering scholarships.
Not all backlinks are scored the same. Google puts more value on links coming from high-quality websites. Examples of these sites are news sites, industry-specific sites, and authoritative blogs. Then, there are websites that you should avoid being associated with because they lower your rankings or keep you from appearing on search results altogether. Examples of these sites are adult sites, gambling sites, and those selling firearms.
Choose websites that are relevant to HVAC. It doesn’t have to be HVAC-specific websites, but at least websites that target the same audience as you.
Although highly effective, link-building can be laborious. To focus more on your customers, delegate the task to professionals to ensure positive results.
4. Engage Potential Customers with High-Quality Content
High-value content is not only beneficial for your potential clients, but it could also build your expertise and credibility in the field. Both will earn your business consumer trust.
5.Optimize for Google’s Page Experience Update
Google updated its algorithm with Page Experience, a set of ranking signals that scores how users interact with your website. Part of this is the Core Web Vitals metrics which measure your website performance in terms of loading speed, visual stability, and interactivity, among other existing ranking signals.
Here are the main metrics that make up the Core Web Vitals:
FID or the First Input Delay measures the interactivity of the page. This determines who engaging or interactive a page is. To provide a good experience, your pages should have a CLS of less than 100 milliseconds.
CLS or the Cumulative Layout Shift measures the stability of the page. No elements should move unnecessarily after they are loaded on the page. To provide a good experience, you need to have a CLS of 0.1 or less.
You can find the full Core Web Vital (CWV) Guidelines as well as its scoring system on Google’s web dev page, as well as refer to CWV optimization checklist online, so you know which tasks to prioritize.
Dominate Search Engines with SEO
In today’s “attention economy,” businesses need to do more than just the average digital marketing initiatives. It’s more than just a pretty website and active blogging. It’s about having the right SEO strategy and optimizing your website in alignment with your business goals.
The HVAC business is a competitive industry, but one thing that’s certain is potential clients are searching online for your kind of business.
Make sure you’re prepared when that happens:
- Optimize your website for both mobile and desktop devices
- Optimize for Local SEO so that local users can easily find and contact you
- Collect high-quality backlinks to increase your website authority
- Create high-value content that will engage your customers and earn their trust
- Optimize your website for Google Page Experience update to enhance user experience
Dominate search engine results pages with effective SEO. Done right, this digital marketing strategy can help your HVAC company attract and acquire customers.