Search Marketing Strategies for The Terms Relevant To Your HVAC and Home Performance Business
While all of us live and breathe comfort, efficiency, AC, healthy home, etc on a daily basis, it probably won’t come as a giant shock that the broader homeowner audience...doesn’t. We enter people’s minds when they’re uncomfortable, something breaks or a child is sick. It’s occasional and episodic.
How this irregular attention impacts internet marketing strategy is critical to online success. Compared to some internet search volumes, HVAC and home performance terms are considered generally “low to medium volume.” Of the roughly 60 billion Google searches every month, only a relatively small portion of them are for queries like “attic insulation” and “energy audit.” When compared to terms like “March Madness” or “Nintendo Switch,” that’s low volume. But it doesn’t mean a good strategy for winning these searches won’t produce strong ROI. This article outlines strategies for ranking and driving traffic to your site for relevant terms.
When we refer to low/medium search volume terms it is important to remember the concept of the long tail of search--the obscure, low volume keywords make up 70% of overall volume. Every variant of a term like attic insulation (insulate my attic, attic cellulose insulation, etc) has its own number of monthly searches. The graph below explains how even though home performance terms are not among the most popular, there are still plenty of searches in the long tail. The majority of searches, or head, come from keywords that are outside the top 10,000 searched.
When you take into account the volume of these searches, local competition and the limited space for online ads, it’s clear that doing everything you can to get searchers to see (and click on) your website is seriously important. It’s crucial to take advantage of every opportunity to increase your visibility in this low volume niche.
Here are some strategies:
SEO: Search engine optimization
SEO is somewhat like building a home. A website can be full of fancy features and flashy bells and whistles (just like a home can have curtains and flower boxes), but if the site isn’t built on a solid foundation, then it’s probably not worth the money. The solid “foundation” of a site is its technical structure. Some important components here include:
Number and quality of links coming to (and going from) your site
User interface and friendliness
Consistent and strategic keyword use throughout the content
Page indexing -- can Google find all the pages on your website?
Site history -- has the site ever been hacked?
Metadata, calls to action and other crucial SEO components
In a world of low search volume, keeping your site structure as sound as possible can put you ahead of the competition.
Targeting two key types of search queries: purchase-related and top-level
Purchase-related search queries
Search queries represent a user's intent. Terms like “furnace installation,” “AC repair,” “insulate my attic” and the like are all terms indicating that a searcher is ready to make a purchase or sign up for a service (versus doing general research or information gathering). These are all keywords that should be targeted on your site’s landing pages as well as via paid advertising. Queries that show intent to buy or take action are worth spending money on to get clicks, since searchers are at the stage of the process that is most likely to turn into a phone call, form completion and new job for you.
Top-level & educational search queries
Generally speaking, searchers need some education in the home performance and HVAC industries before they understand what services they may need. It is not common knowledge, for example, to know about the full benefits of solar energy or spray foam insulation. When people want to learn more, they search terms such as “will solar power save me money?” or “is spray foam insulation safe?”
These queries are higher-level than purchase queries and indicate the user is trying to learn more. While these terms do not indicate the user is close to making a purchase, they are valuable--by drawing people to your site based on these terms, you create the opportunity to build trust, educate them and, over time, turn them into customers with buying intentions.
The Magic of Remarketing Ads
Just like your customers, website visitors are valuable, so it’s important to do what you can to retain them and bring them back. When making a large purchase, such as home insulation or a tankless water heater, it will most likely take customers multiple site visits to reach a buying decision. To make sure that they don’t visit your site and then instantly forget about you when they leave, use remarketing ads!
Paid remarketing ads collect information on visitors to your site and continue to display to your past site users as they visit other websites on the internet. It is very common for home performance customers to go to multiple sites before making a decision, so having your brand constantly on their screen can make the difference.
Blog for long-tail keywords
Customers ask a lot of questions, and that’s a good thing! One great strategy for optimizing for low volume search is to take customer questions that you hear every day and turn them into blogs for you site. There’s a good chance that if someone is asking it in person, there are 100 other people who are Googling the same question. Plus, Google claims that 20% of all mobile searches are voice searches, which means that people are searching similar to how they speak. These questions often take the form of longer queries (like “why is my AC making a weird noise?” or “what happens during an energy audit?”), and these types of queries are generally lower competition, meaning you have a better shot at ranking for them. By blogging with long-tail keyword topics, you’ll greatly increase the chances of ranking for these low competition terms.
Get your tracking right!
Do not miss this step. If you are putting any money towards SEO initiatives, paid advertising campaigns or the like, it’s crucial to understand what is working and what isn’t. Without setting up analytics tracking properly, it will be impossible to link new leads and customer acquisition to your marketing campaigns. Setting up proper tracking (like call tracking and Google Analytics) allows you to have insight into the successes and shortcoming of your campaigns so you can make adjustments as needed.
Final thought: Align paid ads & SEO
Consistency is key when trying to successfully market for low volume queries. The main benefit of aligning pay-per-click (PPC) ads and SEO efforts is congruity. Aligning marketing messages, sharing data between paid and unpaid campaigns and keeping a consistent user experience makes for a unified marketing campaign. PPC and SEO can have a synergistic effect to get you maximum mileage for certain search queries, and keyword data from each type of campaign can help inform the other so you can continually optimize for search marketing visibility.
Looking for more tips for making your website show up in Google? We work with hundreds of performance home services companies across 49 states to get them more visibility online. Contact us to schedule a no-obligation marketing evaluation.