HVAC Lead Generation:  Tips, Ideas, & Marketing Strategies
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HVAC Lead Generation: Tips, Ideas, & Marketing Strategies

– Hi, everybody! I’m Scott, this is Bobby. We’re with Marketing360 and we’re gonna talk a little bit today about HVAC marketing and how
do you generate more leads for HVAC companies with your website and online marketing assets. So I’ll get right into it. Bobby here works with a
lot of HVAC companies, he’s got a lot of expertise at this, and we wanna share that. – Yeah, so with a paid ad component, you can pay and immediately
have your ad showing that day if you have a live domain on the web. There’s two ways you can approach it: either on desktop or on mobile devices. And with the mobile device component, you’re actually able to
build mobile-only ads, so you don’t have to place
yourself in both areas. And with the call-only ads, specifically with HVAQ businesses, it’s very effective because
then when the AC goes out or the heater goes out, the person at their home
or their business wants to make a quick call and
immediately get service. On desktop, I’ve seen sometimes
where you’re paying twice as much for the business because people are more hunting around, not needing to make a
quick, immediate call, where the call is the conversion. And then we can quantify and
see if we have 100 conversions, how many of those turned into actual leads for your business? Where on the SEO side of things, say you’re late in the game
and you just built a domain, you wanna put out effort there and actually otpimize your website so you can build ranking, but it’s much quicker to get
up with the paid ad component. – Okay, so, we talk about paid advertising, I tend to think of that,
myself, as advertising, meaning you’ve got an offer,
here’s our special deal, you’re trying to get quick action. You got a call to action,
obviously, on the webpage. With the SEO stuff, it seems
like it’s kind of heading more towards you can rank
kind of more informational or useful content. Do you find that to be the case? – Definitely, yeah. Whenever a customer search
and they may be searching for a way to fix it theirselves, and they, you may wanna
provide little tips on how to troubleshoot your AC for different brands of air conditioners or for heating, and then allow people to be
educated through your business, which I think is something
to build brand equity and build some trust with customers, and then if that doesn’t work, then they’ll call you and
have some trust in you ’cause you’ve kind of
helped them along the way. Yeah. – So you might do that
as like a blog article that you would write that
could explain a little bit of this or maybe a YouTube video? – Yeah, YouTube videos
– that shows it? – They’re incredibly effective, I know. Like we’re creating some of these videos for the exact same reason. We’ve staretd to see the
videos that we’re making sometimes get a little
more traction than blogs or versa visa. And then you can get them
working together as well, so say you do create some
content that’s helpful for the user, you could have a video to back it up as well so
people can experience both ends of the token. – When you’re doing
PPC, how do you approach setting a budget so that you know that it’s gonna be competitive? – Yeah, so from our experience in the data we have from our marketing agency,
we know which key words will perform best based on our experience over the last six years, but also maybe for your business,
you want to focus strictly on commercial or on
residential or a certain brand of air conditioner, heater, and
then you can tailor your ads that way. Really just what’s been successful for me is working those call-only
campaigns to find a way to drive costs tremendously down for that for some of our guys, and
we’re working on a case study with Google right now on that. And then also, the SEO compontent’s huge. Everyone’s searching on mobile now, so what’s great about utilizing paid ads on the mobile phone is you can
see how people are searching on their mobile phone and then utlize that data and information on what’s worknig there to
optimize your website as well for your SEO. – Is there ever a time you really do tend to look at, you run different ads, you can kind of test those different ads on both desktop and mobile, and you can figure out hey, this is what really works better. This ad copy is getting
more click throughs, this call to action is getting
more conversions ultimately, and then as you test that, you
get better results over time. – Yeah. – Okay. Also, in setting budget,
initially you gotta look at what the competition’s doing, right? You kind of bid on these systems. – Yeah, Google will tell you
exactly what everyone’s bidding and they’ll recommend keywords you to use. Google will naturally try
to get you to bid more and they’ll recommend
keywords that may be, or not, the best converters. But what is good is you
can use certain scripts that you add you to your campaign Those scripts may not be
100% readily available just to someone who’s starting working on Google Adwords tomorrow, but you can find these scripts online and develop them and tell
Google to intuitively bid just higher than other
competitors that way – Okay. – Say Google says bid $40, but really you only needed to bid $28, you could save yourself 12 bucks, almost 50% of that total
bid and multiply your budget just through setting your ad campaign up in an intuitive way. – Okay, so the goal of what we do with our system called top placement ads is we wanna get you the
highest possible ranking that you can get at the lowest
possible cost per click. Correct?
– Yeah. – Yeah, exactly.
– And that’s kind of the ultimate goal. – Yeah, on Marketing360 it’ll
show what the average bid is that the other competitors are bidding, but it’ll also show you what we’re bidding and what dollar amount’s
actually being saved from having that optimized campaign, so you can tangibly see
what savings you’re getting. – Cool! And that’s a good reason
to have professionals do this for you, huh? – Yeah. – Because obviously, we
do this all day every day, so you got a lot of experience on how to get that perfect range of lower cost per click
and the best exposure. – Yeah, and we’ve
audited a lot of accounts and they’re performing well. They’re actually profitable, but certain customers
come to us and they say we wanna perform better,
we wanna weed out some of the bad things we’re doing, and just by making some
of these adjustments we’re talking about can save
a tremendous amount of money without even making some incredibe tweaks. You can do a lot just
with some simple changes. – Are HVAC keywords
pretty straight-forward? Is there usually a set HVAC in Denver or something like that? HVAC contractors, pretty kind
of straight-forward keywords or they’re kind of different
things people’ll look for? – Yeah. So there are common keywords
like HVAC in a certain area or HVAC near me, like for the mobile users when they’re on the go searching. People searching HVAC and then maybe the certain brand they have. – Do they always use HVAC
or do they look for like my air conditioner’s broken or my heater or my water heater, that kind of thing?
– It can be heating or cooling, air
conditioner repair, replacement. No, we have some clients
who work particularly in just replacement, getting new installs because maybe some of the
partnerships they have, some folks love repair, just
working on the repair component and not having to fully replace things. And it all depends on your margin and we have some folks
who’ll do yearly tune-ups which helps them build a
rapport and a relationship with people over the season and year. – Oh, yeah! So recurring work, then. – Yeah. – And you optimize for all
those different things. Those are all kind of different campaigns that you try to focus in on. – Yeah. – Good, that’s perfect. Let’s talk a little bit about the website. Obviously, kind of the
website is the backbone. It’s the landing area
for all this marketing. What are some of the keys to good design, and what’re some things that
you really wanna communicate? I know I talk a lot with people about having a unique sales proposition and really working on that call to action to persuade people to take action, that is an action that you want. – Yeah. – What’s your experience
with that with HVAC? – Yeah, well, one of the things I’ve
noticed is there’s a lot of, everyone’ll give out a free quote or they’ll say, you know, X
dollars for your consultation, like that initial let us
come out and scope the job before we tax you, you
know, X amount of dollars for the whole project. And a lot of times,
there’s just a loss leader that will try to do the tune-ups. That’s a great way to get people to open the door to the relationship, like $80 tune-up, $69 tune-up, that’s been a great way
for us to build engagement and then get the customer on the phone, actually diagnose their
issue, and maybe help them take preventative measures now, maybe it’s actually a $500 job this year rather than a $2,000 job next year. But a lot of it does come down
to what we were mentioning, like talking about brand equity, trying to do things a little different and build more trust with the brand because we know for a
fact, like data shows, that people are gonna
call two to four sources, sometimes more, and the
first thing they look at is their design, their professionalism, or do they look trustworthy? And then after that start
getting into price point and there’s the customer
service, what I expect. So any way we can help on the front end, just getting them on the
phone so that our clients can give them the customer
service the customer expects is gonna build that trust up for them. – Okay, good. You mentioned how everybody
offers a free estimate. It’s like you go out every HVAC, every contractor will
give you a free estimate. What can you do to make that more unique? We talk a lot about having
a unique sales proposition. Something that distinguishes
you from the competition, really kind of piques people’s interest. Do you have some suggestions
about how that can be better achieved with
the website content? – Yeah! Through Facebook, we’ve
found a couple cool ways to target there. People are not necessarily
hunting out an HVAC or an air conditioning
company on Facebook, but through there, you can
actually engage with customers in different ways like maybe
with a certain promotion through your targeting list on Facebook, and maybe that campaign only lasts a week, you give it a shorter window of time. But really, just some
of those loss leaders like I was discussing, allowing people the opportunity, giving them a hard number like
just free estimate could mean that’s a $500 job, they
don’t wanna waste their time calling six people to get the same answer, so maybe like a cheap loss
leader to get them in the door like the tune-up or just simply there’s some other things
you could really do but it’s hard to really say. It depends on the customers, excuse me, the clients. What they can actually
offer, so that’s usually one of the up-front things we
try to discuss with them because what you’re
asking is very important. – Yeah.
– Depending on what that customer can supply. – So it’s always something
for your HVAC company. What can you do a little bit differently than your competition? How can you kind of stand out? How can you get people’s attention? That’s one of the things that’s really gonna work well for you
with your website content. We talk a lot about reviews, and contractors are generally aware now that online reviews and
their reputation online has a pretty big role in how
leads decide who to contact. What are some things that
HVAC companies can do to get more positive reviews to use things like Yelp,
Angie’s List, Top Rated Local, to their advantage? – Yeah. Reviews is a very interesting topic, just having a testimonials
page on the site doesn’t cut it anymore, so
if you’re listening right now and you have a testimonials page and someone emails you a testimonial and you copy and paste it on your page, you’re doing nothing but hurting yourself, and if you have questions
– Well, why? Why is that? – Comment below if you have questions why, but the reason is customers now, there’s so many third party sources in which you can actually go to and get verified reviews
rather than this copy and pasted stuff, is that’s how
these third parties actually foster that community of
qualified, real reviews. One of the platforms we
utilize that we leverage is Top Rated Local, Top Rated National. And with that, it actually sends a customer an email, then they leave a review and then gives you the opportunity
to follow up with them within thirty days, and
it’s on a third party source rather than the testimonials page, and if you have questions
about the testimonials page, we won’t get into that,
there’s ways to do that better than just copying and pasting, but you can send us questions below. Reviews are everything. If you do have reviews,
you’re 60-80% more likely to close that customer,
so that’s everything that testimonials-
– Positive reviews. – Yeah. – So what it comes down to is that in today’s world, consumers
trust what other people have said about a company more than what the
company says about itself. (laughs)
– Yeah. – That’s kind of the
world that we live in now. – Yeah. – What do you do when someone hits you with a negative review? – Yeah.
– Maybe, maybe you screwed up a little bit or maybe it was really unfair? – Yeah. We all understand, like
were at a restaurant, you had a bad experience,
you’re gonna let ’em know. People are more likely to
come to you with the negative than the actual praise, so it does take effort to gather reviews from a customer whenever
you do a great job. It’s not a problem to ask for that, hey you had a great experience with us, we’d appreciate a review from you just to share how your experience went. But whenever you do have a bad review, the first thing you’d wanna do is follow-up with the customer and try to earn that trust back, maybe
give them a bigger deal, like a better deal to come
back, just fix it at no cost, or maybe the next time
they need servicing, you can take care of them. And you can respond, like
on Yelp, you can respond to and maybe even describe
how you rectified it. – Yeah, on Yelp you can
describe what you did, Better Business Bureau, you can follow up and leave comments. With Top Rated Local in particular, due to the amount of spam
that we’re seeing on Yelp that’s been reported on the news, 25% of the reviews are robots, they’re spam, it’s not real, so Top Rated Local gives
customers the opportunity, like say you’re the business
and I’m the customer, I gave you a bad review just because I didn’t like the way- – Or maybe you’re a
competitor who went on there and tried to sneak one in to try and hurt my marketing.
– Yeah. Like you killed it, my AC works, but maybe you didn’t
pet my dog or something and then I’m bitter because
I’m love with my puppy, right? And then I leave you a bad
review and you’re like wow! We did a great job for that guy, let’s follow up with him,
and then maybe you could make amends with me. And then Top Rated
Local actually gives you a 30-day opportunity to do something to prove to that customer
what they mean to you, and then they can edit that review. There’s some power in having that freedom of the follow-up. Because we know, like the
customer interaction never stops with when they call and
then when it’s over with. There’s always a follow-up, there’s a way to foster that relationship,
which is important. – Mm-hmm.
– Yeah. – Very good, so there are ways
to manage your reputation. Try to get it to work for your advantage as best as possible. – Yeah. – That’s good, that’s one of the things we definitely work on here. Talk a little bit here also about when it comes to online marketing and the whole scope of it, what are some of the time
frames that are involved? A lot of times, people
start out and they’re like well I know I need to get this going, but how long before I really
start getting significant leads out of this? What can a newer HVAC company expect when they’re trying to get
going with digital marketing? – Yeah. With HVAC in AC, talking about heating companies, you can get pretty quick results, almost immediately on
the paid ad compontent. Because like we said, there’s
only two positions on mobile. If you structure a campaign, then you can keep yourself visible
there and then, intuitively and in a smart way, set your
bids so you’re not overpaying. You can make your budget sretch further. Now, with the SEO component,
trying to optimize, it can take longer because there’s people that have been doing this for a long time, but there’s also some
of these best practices we’ve talked about. You can do creating
videos, educating customers because nowadays, there’s so
much information out there, not all HVAC companies are
actually taking an effort to educate the customer up front, so there’s ways you can get a
competitive advantage there. We actually have a couple
of HVAC and plumber guys where their competitors
made videos in 2007 and they’re on page one
of Google right now. So who knows what they’re
getting from that? We don’t have their analytics, but it’s ranking. Google sees value in it, it
must be leading the leads, so that’s why we’re
making this little shift in the marketing strategy where that’s become more important. People are doing research
to fix it on their own, they’re finding there’s better sources, maybe your company, and then if we can actually, you can actually be the person who helps foster that
relationship and educate them, you might be able to close them or just get them coming back, maybe sharing that with their friends. – So you earn that trust,
which takes time of course, and then eventually, you can get that opportunity to, maybe when there’s that big job, to kind of present your sales pitch and you’ve kind of earned
the permission to do that. Which is
– Yeah! – a much better position to be in than trying to force it on people, right? – Yeah, and the reality of SEO and our natural listing ad program is there’s some sites, like I’m talking about people
that’ve never had a site, they maybe work in a new domain putting that online, a new website, or you’ve had one you’ve
worked on forever. There’s a lot of variables like what have you done in the
past that’s gotten you to where you are or
what is the competition that’s currently ranking done that’s helped them sustain this position? With that being said,
we’ve seen some sites, whenever they get put on Google, they’re on the web for two
or three weeks straight, they may be on page four within two weeks. I’ve had some folks,
like I’ve said, with SEO where it’s a struggle, maybe
they’ve done some things in the past that weren’t good, buying some shady SEO practices, or due to the competition in their area, it can literally take six to
eighteen months to get there. Most of the time, majority of the time, you can get it done in six months. So that’s why we’ve created a system for minimum that. But there’s a lot of these best
practice we’re talking about that need to be done
that do impact our SEO, like how do we decide what
our SEO strategy is gonna be based on paid ads, and reviews, building that retention, building trust, which keeps people on your site longer, which is something that
impacts your ranking. So there’s a lot of new
things impacting that. – And we talked about the content, like the call to action,
the valued proposition, it’s not like you always
hit that out of the ballpark on the first one. You have to refine that stuff, you learn more about your customers and the leads that you’re
trying to communicate to, and every time you tweak
that to where you get it to where it really works. – Yeah. – That doesn’t happen oft- that’s one of the things you do early on, and as you get data and
you learn more about what you’re trying to do, you get that nailed down, you modify it. – Yeah, absolutely. We’ve had some specials that just flopped that some of the guys I
work with have recommended and others have just killed it for us and been our bread and butter. So there’s definitely
– You gotta learn from mistakes sometimes, as well, too. – Yes. Big discvorey phase. – Yeah, yeah that’s important. There’s a lot that can be done to really help build your
business, obviously, with digital. That’s really where it’s at now. All you gotta do is see
people walking around with their phones to know
that’s where you need to try and reach ’em. That’s what we do here at Marketing360. Check out the site, check out some of the solutions that we have, and give us a call. We hope that we can help you out some day. Thanks!
– Thank you.

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