Get your plumbing business found locally online in four easy steps

Get your plumbing business found online locallyFour Easy Steps to Getting your Plumbing Business Online

Are you starting out a small plumbing business but worried you are losing customers because you have no online visibility.  You may be worried about having to build a website, don’t understand how to get found online and other technology related concerns? Well this is the plumbing article for you. I will give you easy tips on getting your business online in a matter of hours and at little cost.

I don’t have the time, money or expertise to get my plumbing business online

You are probably starting out your plumbing business all by yourself. You are the company! Being the only employee will undoubtedly leave you worried you have too little time or money to start working on your local online presence.

Well I’m here to tell you that you can do this:

  • Without investing a lot of time
  • With little cost – close to free
  • With little tech ability

I have worked with a few small businesses lately including a small local plumbing business. This business started out only a couple of years ago with a truck, one employee (the owner) and no customers. Business started slowly but eventually start to build through word of mouth alone.

The business had a friend build a simple website as a favor, they started a Facebook page because everybody was doing it and started tweeting but they didn’t really have a plan or understand how customers find a plumber when they are looking for one. This is where I came into the picture.

I came in about a year and a half ago. By making some simple changes on the website and using a few other methods that I’ll explain below, I put this business literally on the map. I can’t take all the credit however because this business really did provide great service. Today they have 4 employees and continue to grow.

Where did the extra plumbing business and extra customers come from?

  • Google Maps
  • Google search
  • Mobile device searches (Poynt, Yelp, Maps etc.)
  • Local websites

With the tips I’m going to list you will also be able to elevate your business with not a lot of work, money or technical ability.

OK, lets get your small plumbing business on the map!

1. Build a Plumbing Website

I am assuming you have a website but if not you need to get one! Your website doesn’t have to be a work of art, it just needs to be functional. There are many cheap and easy online options you can use that won’t take much time.  Here is a blog post showing some free options I’ve reviewed:

Four Ways to Build your small business website

My favorite is Weebly. It is dead simple and cheap.

Here is an example of a plumbing website I just built for a customer using Weebly:

Weebly Plumbing Website Preview

You can build this type of website yourself using Weebly and it’s easy and won’t take a lot of time.  Here is a short video tutorial on how you can use Weebly to build your site.

To begin using Weebly – CLICK HERE to sign up for free.

If you create a paid account I would get a small commission (enough for a cup of coffee :-)) – full disclosure.

In addition, if you are looking for someone to just build your plumbing site and host it (such as the example site above) I can help you out.  Just Contact Us if interested.

2. Get on Google Plus and Google Maps

Google Maps and Google Plus for business is Google’s attempt to dominate local search  just like they dominate traditional search. If you have done any local searches on Google you may have already realized that Google map listings are prominently displayed.  For example, this search for “Chicago Plumbers” shows a map listing of top plumbers after a couple of organic searches:

 google Listings Chicago Plumber

 Taking advantage of your Google+ Local profile is how you can begin to influence your rankings on Google for local search, Google maps and any App that utilizes Google’s maps on mobile devices.

How do you get on Google+ Local and Google Maps?  

Well its actually pretty easy and free.  Click here to see how to get on Google+ local:

Here is a video on how to get on Google+ Local in 5 minutes or less:

Google plus is free from Google and will be one of the biggest boosts to your business if done right. Here is an example of a Google Plus business page I set up for FloPro.

https://plus.google.com/+FloProPlumbingMechanicalSolutionsWinnipeg/about?hl=en&gl=ca

Related Posts:

Three secrets to Optimize Google+ Local

 3. Add your business to local citation or directories

Citations from authoritative sites offer Google and other search engines official acknowledgement of the merit of your site. Not only do they provide that acknowledgement of merit these sites also provide a high degree of certainty of your business’s contact information (address and phone number) and categorization.

There are some key sites I recommend getting listed on for your plumbing business. This will vary by city so you need to do your homework (or email me and I can look into it for you).

  • Better Business Bureau – recommended for every business
  • Yellow pages
  • Yelp.com
  • Homestars.com
  • Ratetrades.com
  • Homeadvisors.com – in the US only
  • elocalplumber.com – in the US only

In addition I would look for opportunities on local directories in your city or even area of the city.  The more listings on these directories the better.

One word of caution is to be very careful about entering your information. You need to consistently and correctly enter your information on every website. Any errors could lead to you being drop from Google’s local search results.

Related Blog Post:

Why your business needs citations to rank higher for local search

4. Reviews

Look back up at the Google map listings in #2 above.  Notice that all 7 of the top listings have customer reviews? It is no coincidence that they are on the first page of search results and they have several positive reviews.  Google weights the Google reviews and reviews from other websites like Yelp.com and Homestars. com heavily in their search algorithm.

Along with providing great service you also need to make it easy for satisfied customers to leave a review. What I have found that works in the past is to follow-up your work with an email that states the following:

  • thanks the customer and tells them how valued they are as customers
  • offer the customer your services in the future at any time
  • explains how you value feedback so you can provide even better service
  • how you would prefer feedback through one of the following methods including links:
    • A review on your Google+ Business page
    • Yelp.com review (often people will have Yelp profiles already)
    • or finally through email ( you don’t want to push people too hard to sign up somewhere to leave a review)

If you don’t respectfully ask for reviews you won’t receive reviews, except from angry customers.  Angry customers always find a way to leave feedback.

But again be careful. Google and Yelp frown upon fake reviews.  They have ways to find you and you will be punished.  Not to mention it is illegal to post fake reviews based on some recent court cases in New York.

Related Blog Post:

Why your small business needs Google+ reviews
Google+ reviews – step by step instructions

Taking that next step

You are now ready to take that next step. With little time investment and little to no money you can take your plumbing business that next step by going online.

There is a lot of opportunity out there for small plumbing businesses to take command of local search in your service area and compete with the big guys. In some cities this is low hanging fruit!  No time like before has it been as easy to compete on a level playing field with your bigger competitors than through online local search marketing. Google plays no favorites and by taking the steps outlined above you are well on your way to getting ahead of your competitors.

Take the leap and start today by starting a website, getting on Google+ and ramping it up with citations and reviews.

Good luck


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