The Newbie’s Guide to SEO for HVAC Contractors
With most businesses going digital and online these days, HVAC contractors would do well to follow suit. But with so many HVAC companies doing the same, it can be quite hard to survive on the internet, let alone thrive. That’s where SEO comes in! Through this online marketing process, you’ll be able to stand out among your competitors, allowing you to enjoy a good online presence and rake in those clients. Find out how SEO for HVAC contractors works by reading the simple guide below.
Understanding Basic SEO
So first things first, let’s discuss some SEO basics. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Basically, it’s a series of techniques used to improve a website’s visibility on search engines. That is, it will help your website appear on the top results pages whenever people search for your products or services online.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, the internet runs mostly on search engines these days, most notably, Google and Bing. People from all walks of life rely on these platforms to get any information they want, from the nearest restaurants to the best golf club for high handicappers. Through SEO, you’ll be able to position your website on the prime locations of these search engines (i.e., the top spots of the first page). This will lead to more people viewing and trusting your HVAC business, potentially increasing your clients and profits.
The 3 SEO “Hats”
Despite advancements in recent years, the SEO industry is still pretty much unregulated. That means it’s prones to scammers, fake marketing gurus, and unethical strategies. Thus, the SEO we know today is categorized based on how ethical their practices are. These include:
White Hat SEO
This involves techniques and strategies that boost your website’s rankings on search engines while still adhering to the engines’ terms of services. Basically the good guy among the three hats, you should only rely on white hat SEO to improve your HVAC brand’s online presence and visibility. All the tactics discussed below will focus on white hat SEO.
Black Hat SEO
This involves increasing a website’s rankings on search engines through a set of practices that violate the search engines’ terms of services. These include things like hacking websites to insert links and spamming competitors with low-quality links. Overall, black hat SEO is a terrible practice, and you must avoid it at all costs. Otherwise, your website could be permanently banned from search engines, and you could end up with a damaged reputation and legal troubles.
Gray Hat SEO
As the name suggests, this SEO hat falls in the gray area. It involves any practices that haven't been properly defined by search engines yet. That means experts are still disagreeing whether or not these techniques or strategies follow or violate the engines’ terms of services.
How SEO Can Benefit HVAC Contractors
So now that you know what SEO is and how it basically works, let’s explore how it can help your HVAC business.
Increased Online Visibility
Chances are, whenever you ask someone why you need digital marketing or SEO for HVAC contractors, they’ll say to “improve your online visibility”. But what does it really mean to increase a website’s online visibility? How can SEO help with that?
Well, for starters, most people now-a-days look for and buy products or services online. In the US alone, there are around 307.2 million people surfing the internet (as of January 2022). This is quite a sizable market to tap into, so making sure your HVAC brand is up there is not only vital, but sensible as well.
Through SEO, your website will be able to appear on prime spots in the first SERP (search engine results page). As most internet users only skim through this first page, it will increase your chances of converting those people into loyal, paying clients.
While traditional advertising methods deliver ads to people whether they want it or not, SEO only gives your website targeted traffic. In other words, your website will only appear in SERPs where people are interested in your products or services.
For example, let’s say you’re looking for the best HVAC system expert. You decided to search for the best contractors online, visiting Google and typing “best HVAC system contractor” or something similar. Google will then show you a list of all websites run by HVAC contractors or companies on its SERPs, excluding every other result along the way. Like any other users, you’ll probably click on the website appearing on top of this list, moving on to the next website only if the first doesn’t have what you need.
This illustration only shows how SEO can help match a consumer’s search intent with a relevant result. Your search intent (to find a good HVAC contractor) is answered by Google with the relevant result (list of websites belonging to HVAC experts). If you’re an HVAC contractor yourself, then you’d definitely want your website to enjoy similar attention.
Once Google and other search engines deem your website worthy of taking the top spots in their SERPs, you can stay there indefinitely. Of course, this will require considerable time and effort. At the very least, you need to continually create quality content, as well as introduce newer SEO techniques, to get to the top.
But unlike Google Ads or Facebook Ads, you won’t need to pay money regularly just so search engines will show your ads to consumers. Once you’ve made it to the top, there are little to no ongoing costs to stay there. Granted, other HVAC contractors will pop up every now and then to challenge you. But through employing better SEO practices, you’ll be able to keep your position.
Easy SEO Practices for HVAC Contractors
Successfully introducing SEO for HVAC contractors is no mean feat, especially if you’re new at it. So to make your life easier, here are five great SEO practices you can start with:
Choose the Best Keywords
Keywords are something you’ll have to constantly deal with when introducing SEO practices to your HVAC business. To put it simply, keywords are a specific set of words ( a lot of keywords only have one word, though) you need to insert in your website’s pages and content. Their main purpose is to tell search engines what the page or content is all about. This will make it easier for the search engines’ algorithms to rank them (i.e., decide where to put them on SERPs).
The keywords you pick can spell success or ruin for your SEO campaigns, so better make smart keyword decisions at all times. Learn how to do proper keyword research, as well as invest in tools like Ahrefs and SEMRush.
Create Quality Content
Content is king, whether you’re implementing an SEO strategy or an HVAC marketing gameplan or a Facebook ad campaign. Through it, you’ll be able to increase your website’s CTR, incorporate keywords seamlessly, and generate quality backlinks. Plus, it’s a great way to deliver positive user experiences.
Always strive to create fresh, relevant, useful content for your HVAC website. The best part is, you don’t have to stick with written content. There are other forms of content, including videos and infographics.
Earn High-Authority Backlinks
Backlinks are similarly important for SEO for numerous reasons. Chief among these is the fact that they serve as a sort of “vote of confidence” from one website to another. In short, it helps search engines determine whether your website is trustworthy or not. Obviously, if you have a backlink from an authoritative website, then their clout will rub off on your HVAC brand, too.
So while you create quality content, don’t forget to earn high-authority backlinks, too. Some of the best link building techniques you can try out include guest blogging, broken link strategy, and blogger outreach.
Make Good Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
Title tags and meta descriptions are two of the most important elements to look out for when doing SEO. The title tag is the first thing analyzed by search engines when ranking your web pages. Meanwhile meta descriptions act as a sort of organic ad text; whenever your ad ranks for a keyword, search engines like Google show it as a summary of your pages’ content.
In short, to boost your SEO campaign, you need to give special attention to both your title tags and meta descriptions. That means inserting HVAC-related keywords on them as seamlessly as you can, as well as making sure they’re compelling without being too long.
Optimize Your Images
Complementing your content with images will make it more attractive, engaging, and accessible. But more importantly, they can provide search engines with contextual information to help them rank your content or page. To top it off, optimized pages can make your page speed faster, allowing it to load more quickly and increasing user engagement along the way.
So if you want to increase your HVAC brand’s chances of succeeding in SEO, you should strive to optimize the images in your content and pages. This means resizing the images, inserting keywords inside the alt tags, and using sitemaps, among other things.
Steps to Find and Hire Great SEO Professionals
The SEO practices above are ideal for beginners, and you can do it on your own. Still, if you truly want to make sure the best techniques and tools are used when exploring SEO for HVAC contractors, better hire SEO specialists instead. Below are four steps to help you find the best person or agency for the job.
Make a List of Candidates
First, you need to go to google (or whatever your preferred search engine is) and look for the best SEO specialists or agencies. If you can, try to find someone within your area; that way, it will be easier for you to work with them. If there are none, then consider hiring from beyond your area. SEO specialists or agencies from overseas will also do, as long as they have a good background (more on this in a bit). Then pick up to five of the best SEO professionals or companies you can find, and put them in a list alongside their contact details.
Do Background Checks
Next, you need to do background checks on the five SEO experts or agencies you put on your list. For starters, check if they have a portfolio and a blog section on their website. Not having either or both is obviously a red flag, and you should avoid working with them at all costs. At the same time, check if they rely too much on Facebook Likes. While not always a warning sign, having too many Facebook Likes doesn’t objectively mean the company is good (for all you know, they just have many fans).
Interview Each of Them
Once you’ve filtered out the bad candidates, proceed with interviewing the good ones that are left on your list. Set appointments with them via the contact details you collected earlier. If possible, arrange a face-to-face meeting with them. Doing so will help you have a better grasp of how they work, how skilled they are at SEO, and how they treat potential clients. Some of the questions you need to include on the interview are:
- What sets you apart from other SEO specialists?
- Can you walk me through your SEO process?
- What tools do you use for SEO campaigns?
- How do you measure progress?
- How long will it take to see ranking results?
Pick the Best Among the Bunch
Finally, after all is said and done, pick the best SEO specialist or agency on your list. This part is entirely up to you, so better be ready to make a judgment call. Through the data you gathered on them, as well as the observations you made during the interview, you’ll be able to make an objective decision.
Employ SEO to Put Your HVAC Brand on the Map
Introducing SEO for HVAC contractors can definitely help you enjoy a better presence online. But more importantly, it will help you gain more clients for your business, leading to more profits and prestige. So better employ SEO to your company if you haven’t yet.