Who doesn’t want more traffic from Google? Most HVAC companies hire an SEO agency to perform work to handle their local SEO. But the truth is not all SEO agencies are equal. Below I provide actionable tips you can handle yourself, or you can hold your SEO company accountable for these.
What is HVAC local SEO?
Whenever you perform a search on Google that has a local intent, the Google search results will trigger a local 3-pack. These are the three listings that appear above the organic search results.
Why is ranking here so important? Because when someone does a local search, the majority of clicks and phone calls are from this section of the search results. For any HVAC business, it is imperative you rank well in this section. Below are five tips to rank better in those local search results.
Google My Business
If you haven’t already done so, claim your business on Google My Business. There, you can add your business’ name, address, phone number, service categories, and pictures.
It is critical that you use the actual business name in this spot. Do not try and add keywords to your listing as it will eventually get suspended for keyword spam. If your HVAC business is called “Larry’s HVAC Service” use that. Don’t get caught up using other keywords or a city location.
When you add your address, be sure to add your business office location. If your office is your house, Google has strict guidelines on how to deal with that too.
According to the official guidelines: “Service-area businesses—businesses that serve customers at their locations—should have one page for the central office or location and a designated service area. Service-area businesses can't list a "virtual" office unless that office is staffed during business hours. If you don't serve customers at your business address, leave the address field blank, and only enter your service area.”
If this section of Google My Business is completed incorrectly, you risk having your listing suspended.
There are only a few categories for HVAC companies. The first category is the most important because this gets more weight from Google in their algorithm.
Next to setting up your listing correctly, getting reviews from actual customers is the next big step. Reviews are a powerful signal that tells Google’s algorithm whether or not people like and use your business. Ideally, you will want as many 5-star reviews as possible. However, don’t get down if you get a few 1-star or 2-star reviews. Even the best businesses in the world end up with a few bad reviews now and again. The important thing is that you generate enough 5-star reviews to outweigh the lower ones.
There are several critical aspects of having a great website. Google is big on user experience, and most are surrounding that. The most important thing is having a mobile-friendly website. Up to 75 percent of all local searches are done from a mobile device.
Once you have a mobile-friendly website, you will need to ensure it loads fast. When someone is already having a problem with their heating or cooling system, they are already in an upset mood. If the customer has to wait more than four to five seconds for a webpage to load, they will usually click the back button and look for another HVAC company. You can run a test on your website speed via Google Page Speed Insight Tool.
One of the best ways to grow your HVAC business is to offer your services in neighboring cities. Although it is hard to rank in the Google local 3-pack for a city you aren’t physically in, it’s possible. However, it usually works best when you are near that city and competition is low.
The next best thing is ranking in the Google organic search results. Most HVAC companies have a small website that describes what they do and mentions their location. If you want to rank for a nearby city or a neighborhood, you need a dedicated page for that. If your HVAC company offers more than just HVAC service (like plumbing or solar), then you may want dedicated pages for those services as well.
Whether you know it or not, your business probably has several local citations. Local citations are mentions of your business name, phone number, and address online. These citations are usually in directory-type sites like SuperPages, Yelp, Manta, BBB, and Yellowbook.
The key to local citations is to ensure that your NAP (name, address, and phone) are consistent across the internet. Often, one directory has an old address or phone number for your business. You will want to contact them and correct that.
It is also essential to get a good number of these local citations as possible. When you have these citations in great numbers across trusted websites, it helps boost your local ranking factors.