Top 5 Marketing Tips Every Heating Service Should Know
Contractors, if you’re ready to take your heating service business to the next level, then we’ve got some hot tips! Click here for five key marketing tools.
Would it surprise you to learn that there are over 105,000 companies offering cooling and heating service in the US? That’s a lot of competition.
What can you do to make your business stand out in the crowd?
A well-designed marketing plan is a first and most crucial step. Keep reading to find out what you need to take your marketing to the next level.
1) Engaging Website
By engaging we mean one that is dynamic, changing, always adding fresh content. There’s that word: content. And yes, it is still king! Which brings us to the one marketing tactic you can use to get ahead of your competition.
If you wonder why there’s so much talk about having a blog on your website, here’s the quick answer. Google wants you to.
Of course, they don’t come out and say, “all sites must have a blog,” but one of the biggest ranking factors is high-quality content.
According to their webmaster guidelines, your goal should be to “Create a useful, information-rich site, and write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content.” They even go as far as saying that it’s the “single most important thing to do.”
Keep in mind that it’s not enough to simply have a blog with a couple of HVAC posts from 2 years ago. Part of the ranking criteria Google uses is the indexing of fresh content. Every time you add a new piece of content the google-bots index that article, which gives your site a boost.
The last advice regarding a blog is a warning. In the past, it was common for companies to try and increase their rankings in Google searches through less-than-scrupulous methods.
Google is much smarter now, and those types of tactics are hit with serious penalties. As in, can’t be found on the internet anymore type penalties. Here’s a list from Google of the black-hat SEO tactics they frown upon:
- Filling blog posts with keywords — called keyword stuffing — that don’t pertain to your industry
- Purchasing content from content mills or content that is automatically generated by AI programs
- Participating in buying or selling links
- Filling blog pages with content that is not original or irrelevant to your target audience
- Hiding links or text within tricky HTML code
- Copying content from another site and publishing as if it’s yours
Stick to creating helpful, relevant, exciting content, and you’ll never have to worry about Google taking your website down.
Any company involved in home improvement, construction, or home repair industries needs to consider crafting “how-to” articles for their website.
Not only is an excellent way to create longer pieces of content, but it shows your customers that you’re not just interested in selling them something.
Visual content serves two purposes.
First, it makes your site more user-friendly. Explain things with photos. Give visual examples of your products and services.
Adding pictures to break up blocks of text works wonders not only on your home and product pages but in blog posts too. It’s more pleasing to the eye, and it helps visual learners get more from your site.
The second reason to include photos on your heating service site is for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes.
The first step in image SEO is to name the file correctly. This is the first place you’ll want to use a keyword you’re trying to rank for. Google reads these names and indexes them as relevant to the webpage. If the image is something randomly chosen, that doesn’t really add to the words around it; this is a check in the negative column for SEO.
The second step is to make sure any image used is responsive. This is a huge factor in achieving better SEO. Sites that cannot be easily accessed on a mobile device increase the bounce rate, which is another negative check.
2) Focus Local
Maybe you’ve heard of this internet company called Google?
Good. So have your potential customers.
Right now, many of them are online searching for a “heating service near me.” Are you there to be found? Can a customer get details about your business? Can they easily find your contact information?
If not, it’s time to claim your business on Google. This is an excellent way to expand your local reach online without spending a dime of your advertising dollars. Because it’s free.
The steps are simple. Here’s a quick guide on how to claim your heating service.
- Go to the Google My Business homepage and click “Start Now”
- Follow the steps to either claim or add your business
- Before submitting your business, it’s important to verify that all the information about your business is correct. Double check phone number, address, and hours of operation. Add an email address.
- Click submit
Once your listing goes live on Google’s Search and Maps platforms you’ll want to connect it to your website. Check out this post for simple directions on how to link your site to your listing.
3) Make Use of User Reviews
This statistic gets thrown around in blog posts all the time, but it’s worth repeating. When asked if they read user reviews to find out if a company runs a quality operation, 88% of people surveyed said “yes.”
That same percentage of online users report that they trust reviews from former customers as much as they would a personal recommendation from a friend or family member.
That’s why it’s so important for a cooling and heating service (or any other small business) to take advantage of customer reviews. Did we mention that this one is free as well?
The issue with reviews — one that often causes a business owner to avoid them — is that not every review is guaranteed to be glowing. Successful businesses have found ways to deal with a review that’s bad and come out looking good.
Here are some tips on how to handle every type of review: the good, the meh, and the negative.
4- or 5-Star Reviews
One mistake that local business owners make is thinking there’s no reason to respond to a review that is positive. Those who take the time to respond reap the rewards.
The customer who gave you that great review took time out of their day to write it. By adding a short, simple comment, you’re telling them they are appreciated and noticed.
With this small gesture, you’ve now strengthened the client-business relationship. And you increase the chances they’ll use your services again.
Middle of the Road Reviews
If a customer doesn’t give a company 4 or 5 stars, there is usually a reason.
Although it may be tempting, it’s crucial that you don’t make excuses. Respond to these reviews by offering solutions to the issue that caused the mediocre review.
Offer another appointment at no charge. Offer a discount for their next heating service. Even if they decline your attempt at making things right is there for every customer that follows.
The Dreaded 1-Star Review
Let’s be honest. Not every critical review is undeserved. Some customers experiences go badly. It may have been something out of your control, but we all know who ends up getting the blame.
For those type of reviews, the best tactic is honesty and sincerity. Acknowledge that there was an issue, that it was unfortunate, and then apologize. Yes, apologize! Even if it had nothing to do with your quality of service. And whatever you do, do not make excuses or place any blame on the customer.
Remember that huge percentage of people reading reviews mentioned earlier? Guess which ones they tend to read first? You got it — the bad ones. What’s key to remember is that they’ll also read your response to the review.
Handling a negative review in a calm, professional manner goes a long way to reducing the negative impact the review may have had. Potential customers will see that you attempted to rectify the situation.
This can be some of the most effective marketing you’ll ever do.
4) Every Heating Service Needs Email
Email is your friend (and best lead generator).
You’ve heard the adage that it costs 5x more to get a new client than to keep an existing customer. Still, many cooling and heating service contractors spend a substantial amount of their advertising on attracting new customers.
It’s surprising how many customers use a multi-service company for only one job. They don’t realize that full-service cooling and heating specialists provide a variety of services.
A well-planned email campaign mentions the different services in a separate, seasonally timed email. Here are some examples of seasonally timed emails:
- “Is Your Furnace Ready for Winter?” is sent in early fall
- Send emails offering a 15% discount on A/C tune-ups starting in March
- Time your duct cleaning messages around allergy season
Perhaps your company contracts for specialized projects. Services that are beyond the typical jobs a cooling and heating service is known for.
Do you install upgrades like tankless water heaters (a big seller among the eco-friendly crowd)? What about underfloor heating, or air purifiers and humidifiers?
The simplest, most cost-effective way to make customers aware of these services is through email. Utilize it to maximize your exposure to your current customer database.
5) Mix in Some Old School Marketing
Postcards, mailers, direct mail pieces. Don’t let anyone tell you they are going the way of the dinosaurs. When used correctly, these old-school marketing tactics are very effective.
Direct mail is that added reminder to your customers that says “hey, don’t forget about us.” It keeps you top of mind. And the direct mail response rate is on the rise.
For an excellent breakdown of why direct mail is still effective read Neil Patel’s article “13 Reasons Why Direct Mail Isn’t Dead.”
Stay Ahead of the Game
The cooling and heating service industry is competitive. One of the best ways to stay a step ahead is to be aware of the latest marketing strategies.
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