If you are a plumber, you may have wondered why other plumbers seem to be getting all the business, or at least the lion’s share of it. Of course there are several contributing factors, the most obvious ones being the size of the organization and difference in revenue. Bigger plumbing companies will have more money for marketing. But if you are losing out to a competitor who is in the same lane you are from a size and revenue standpoint, here are a few reasons why this is happening…
I spend several hours a week researching plumber businesses online, and I see many plumbers that are using Facebook in place of a dedicated website. This is not a bad idea, unless these two things are happening…
- You don’t update your Facebook page. We get it, plumbers are super busy! It’s hard to remember to take the time to update your Facebook (or other social media) page. A neglected Facebook page is a problem because a plumber’s number one job online is to build trust with a potential customer. If your social media presence is outdated, and your competitor’s isn’t, you will lose potential customers to your competitor.
- Your competitor has a Facebook page AND a website. When people are looking to have a contractor in their home, believe me when I say they are going to try to find you in as many places as they can online – they will be looking for you in search engine results, social media, and local listings. There is a perception that contractors, such as plumbers, with a focused online presence, are more professional and therefore more trustworthy.
Another trend I see when researching plumbers is missing local listings. This is a real opportunity for plumbers! Be sure you have claimed your Google My Business listing at a minimum. From there, you can also list with Yelp, Bing, Yahoo, the Better Business Bureau – and industry-specific listings like Angie’s List, Home Advisor, and Porch.com.
Look into these listings and see what your competitors are doing. Whatever they are doing, do it better…better images, better information, more reviews.
Not having a strategic web presence may be the key area that your competitor is winning. Regardless of what the exact buyer’s journey is for a plumbing customer, you can be assured of one thing – the journey begins on a Smartphone.
It may begin with “plumber near me,” or “best plumbers near me.” Google will kick out the best matches but you have to have a website to show in this search. You also have to have an optimized website to show in search results. A claimed Google My Business listing will give the potential customer your website, phone number to call, and location. It will also give the reviews they are going to want to read when weighing you against your competitor.
We’ve all seen Facebook friends post things like, “Looking for an affordable, trustworthy plumber in our area,” in our Facebook feeds. As friends start to share their plumber recommendations, what do you think the first thing the potential customer is going to do? That’s right. Check the plumber’s web presence, check their reviews, and compare all that against the other recommendations made by friends.
Having a dedicated website, laid out specifically to meet the search demands of your future clients, can give you a more competitive edge.
Remember those search terms, “plumber near me,” and “best plumbers near me” that we talked about? You can bid on those keywords through Google Ads. Your ads for your plumbing company show when people search for certain words and phrases related to your services. Since the buyer’s journey for a plumber starts on a Smartphone, Google Ads can be extremely helpful in distinguishing you from your competitor.
Time to beat the competition
If you can pick just two things on this list, execute them successfully, and maintain them over time, you will be more competitive. If you are able to do all the things on the list, you will become the plumber that the other plumbers have to watch out for. You will be going from studying the competition to being the competition.
Kat Hobza is First Call Web’s Marketing and Sales Manager. She holds certificates in HubSpot Inbound Marketing, Social Media, and HubSpot Software, as well as Google Ads. She helps First Call Web clients build their online presence through strategic web development, copywriting, and pay-per-click advertising, as well as meets with small business leaders regularly to determine if First Call Web is a fit for their online marketing goals. When Kat is not weaving her online magic, she likes to write, fly-fish, golf, goof around with her family, play in the sun, stare mindlessly at the Bitterroot mountains from her deck, and binge watch Netflix.