Image in modal.

A majority of discussions about search engine optimization are centered around the concept of keywords and link building. In the simplest of terms, good search marketing companies help you build links so your HVAC company comes up in search engine results for the keywords you want to rank for. Getting links from authoritative and relevant websites is how you rank better on search engines, but how do you build links?

One of the most valuable tools in link-building is a PR plan. A strong PR plan is an underutilized tool to improve your SEO. Here are a few ways this tool can help your HVAC company and some tips to get started.


Links Search Engines Trust

Years of manipulation by the search marketing industry have caused search engines to stop trusting many of the link-building methods SEOs have used in the past. Many websites can link to your HVAC company, but many of these links are not trusted by search engines. Search engines are evolving to look for more than just links. This means your HVAC company needs trust signals from sites that search engines trust and they still seem to trust media sites.

Obtaining editorial links from media sites is one of the safer ways to build links. Search engines trust local media so they are not going to penalize you for obtaining organic links you earned by being a valued resource and contributing expertise to these sites.

Some media outlets have policies against linking to other websites and will only mention your HVAC company in the article. You should still pitch these publications. We have seen these kinds of articles improve rankings for our clients. A mention in your local paper will benefit your SEO so don’t ignore an outlet because of their linking policy.

Most SEO companies don’t want to take a PR-based approach because it is laborious. You have to find relevant publications, build relationships with editors, and collaborate on content ideas. It takes time to get stories published and PR is a different skill set than traditional link building. A PR-based approach is not the easiest path, but it is one of the best ways to consistently improve rankings and set yourself apart from your competition.


Customers Trust a Featured Brand

Customers are more likely to work with HVAC companies that are associated with well-known media brands. Share any articles that feature you on your social media channels. Once your company has been featured in several traditional media or industry publications you should create an “as seen in” banner on your website to showcase where your HVAC company has been featured.

Showcasing the publications you were featured in on your website will keep customers on your site longer but, most importantly, it will lead to more phone calls. We have seen 30-100% increases in conversion rates of websites after adding this imagery. It is a small change to your website that leads to big results.

Do not create a media banner until you have been featured in at least four publications. Media banners with only one logo tend to get ignored. The publications you feature must be well-known by your prospective customers or showcase your HVAC expertise. Your company being featured in ACHR NEWS is banner-worthy. Your HVAC company being featured in a men’s health magazine is not.


An Article to a Phone Call

The most direct way PR can help your business is when someone reads your published article and picks up the phone. This is not something that you should rely on and it is not the main reason for utilizing PR-based SEO, but it is a traditional benefit you can get from media outreach.

Published articles can have some other unexpected benefits. They will put you on other HVAC professionals' radars. Someone may read your article and want to work for you. Or a vendor might want to work with you.

Utilizing PR to improve your SEO means you don’t need a lot of eyes on an article you write for it to succeed. A link or mention in a relevant publication will help improve SEO rankings for your HVAC company. But when a story does get a lot of attention, you enjoy the traditional benefits of PR without having to rely on them.


Tips to Start Pitching

Most HVAC company owners want to show up in the local maps section of Google. Local media is key. It has the infrastructure that Google trusts and is the best way for your HVAC company to rank locally. A Denver, Colorado HVAC company that wants to rank for keywords in Denver should make local Denver paper outreach a part of its marketing mix.

You don’t need to hire a digital marketing firm to do your PR outreach, you can do it yourself. Local media and HVAC publications love to hear from experts in the industry. Doing it yourself means taking the time to pitch and sometimes contribute original articles for relevant publications.

Before you reach out to editors, take the time to get to know your media landscape. Look them up and follow them on social media so you can learn what each publication writes about. Search for online news stories about HVAC companies to learn what the industry is writing about. Come up with ideas that aren’t being talked about but are important for people to know.

Instead of relying on traditional Google search, focus on the actual news option, which is found right under the search bar.

Google Screenshot for HVAC Contractor.

A BETTER SEARCH OPTION: When searching for potential collaboration opportunities, it pays to do research before reaching out to a media outlet. (Courtesy of Split One Technologies)

Give local media a reason to write about you. Share an insight that can help other businesses in your community. Tell them about ways your HVAC company is trying to help people in the community. Reach out to editors and share an interesting story about the founding of your company. Local media covers local businesses and they love to cover businesses that benefit the community.

Pitches to industry publications should showcase your HVAC expertise. Editors want column ideas offering professional and helpful advice on managing an HVAC company. You could also pitch a column looking to solve a well-known issue HVAC pros face. Don’t be afraid to showcase your expertise.

Lastly, the coverage you receive must be organic, unique, and consistent. Sponsored content can have benefits to your business but search engines will ignore sponsored content. For best results, focus your efforts on organic articles. You can’t just do one story and call it a day. Your HVAC company must be featured in multiple relevant publications. Be consistent in your effort.

Utilizing a good PR strategy in your SEO is a great way to trust signals from sites that search engines trust. It will help build your HVAC brand by showcasing your expertise while getting in front of people searching for your services. Let PR-based SEO be a boon to your HVAC company.