If you happen to be an HVAC business owner, SEO can be extremely frustrating. So why is HVAC so hard to do SEO for? Well, there are a few reasons. The first is that the industry has begun a massive growth spurt. The HVAC industry is forecasted to grow almost 10% year over year from 2019-2030. This means there is a lot more competition fighting for the same or similar keywords.
So why else is HAVC SEO so tough? It depends on who’s doing the SEO! Here at Austin Bryant Consulting, we love doing SEO for HVAC contractors!
For HVAC business owners this can be a different story. Since there is a LOT that goes into SEO, business owners in general have a difficult time crossing all the t’s and dotting all the i’s. How can an HVAC business owner compete with an SEO company?! They can’t possibly put forth the same efforts, which is why more small businesses are looking to invest in SEO services.
Check out the report on Google trends for the search term “SEO”:
The interest has quadrupled in the last 7 years. More and more businesses are ramping up their digital marketing efforts to remain competitive. That’s why we do what we do, and our clients that love us for it. If you want to find out what we can do for you, we’re just a phone call away.Schedule your first free 1-hour consultation
The 3 major areas for lead generation on Google are becoming more difficult
The #1 place to find, contact, and request service from an HVAC company is Google. To be more specific, the first place most people look for information is on their phones. Has your furnace ever needed repair?
These pieces of the puzzle should be fitting in perfectly. You need to be visible on search engines to ensure the growth of your company. So why is HVAC SEO so difficult? Let’s get into the specifics.
More SEO companies are flooding the market
Google holds the highest ROI in the digital marketing arena for local businesses. There are a few ways that people are making money from Google. Each of them is becoming more competitive to rank highly on and generate leads.
Why is this the case? The SEO industry is one of the few industries growing faster than the HVAC industry at a rate of 16.7% since 2015
More demand means more supply. While SEO services aren’t cheap, they are more affordable with more and more companies springing up out of the woodwork. SEO becomes extremely affordable when you get a huge return on your investment. When you play the long game, it pays you in dividends.
Here’s what we did for one of our HVAC clients:
More HVAC companies are hiring SEO specialists
If HVAC companies can find a reputable and trustworthy SEO company (uh…hello!?!), they make more money with their digital marketing by improving lead generation and sales.
The unfortunate reality is that there are so many “SEO professionals” out there that poorly represent the industry. You might be one of the companies that have worked with an SEO and received minimal to no results. This is unfortunate because it should never be that way. BEWARE of cheap SEO or foreign companies that promise #1 rankings. We get these emails every day (HUGE red flag if it’s from a GMAIL account!!).
If it’s too good to be true, well… you get what you pay for in most circumstances.
The good news is that SEO is transparent. If you’re reading this, you’ll never work with a lousy company again. Your SEO provider should be able to propose an SEO strategy that makes perfect sense and is measurable, so they are accountable.
The following alludes to a clear and concise outline of how you generate more leads for your HVAC company. After reading you will have the answer to your question “Why is HVAC so hard to do SEO for?” You should also have a good idea of what your SEO agency should be doing for you when it comes to lead generation for an HVAC company.
Local search is becoming more competitive
Local SEO is the most important aspect of HVAC SEO. Local search results are crucial to companies dominating the clicks received from the monthly search volume. To put it more simply, it’s one of the first things a potential customer sees when they search for “ac repair Plano”
The lion’s share of traffic from a keyword goes to the Local 3-pack
The reason this area is so crucial to lead generation is that most people will click on the Local 3-pack. In fact, 44% of users will click on the local pack listings, 29% will click on the organic traffic and 19% will click on the paid results.
Why is HVAC so hard to do for SEO? Well, if you don’t rank in those top 3 results, you’re missing the big money. Only 8% of people will click on “more businesses” to see the rest of the Google Maps results.
Most business owners don’t optimize their profiles correctly
While Google My Business is quickly becoming a no-brainer for small business owners, many profiles are not optimized properly and therefore don’t perform well.
Think about it.
What’s going to make your profile stand out from your competition? You need your profile to have some teeth so when the Google spider crawls your profile it pops out and gets sent to the top of the search results.
There’s an entire list of “to-do’s” that we go through for every client to make sure they’re getting the most from their profile. And that’s just on-page optimization. There’s more which we’ll touch on later.
Google has evened the playing field for businesses with physical addresses
If you’ve been doing SEO long enough, you would know that it was easier to rank in the local pack a few years ago. Even over the last few years, local SEO had changed. The updates have reduced the effects of keyword stuffing and put more relevance on proximity.
If a user searches for something your company offers one of the largest ranking factors is proximity. Luckily for our clients (who like to show up in multiple cities), we have ways to tip the scale in your favor!
As a business owner, however, these are very difficult obstacles to hurdle. Let’s move on to the next best area to generate leads.
Reasons organic traffic generation is becoming more difficult
Local 3-pack and the organic search results operate on slightly different algorithms. Most SEO ranking factors remain constant but one of the factors that change is the authority of the website and the links that point to the page you’re trying to rank. The reason you ask, “Why is HVAC so hard to do SEO for?” is primarily because of the difficulty link building presents.
If you’re new to SEO or you have a new website, you may be already 10 or 15 years behind another company. During that time, your competition has had the opportunity to build links to their website, year after year.
Authority and trust are top-ranking factors and take time to build
The age of a domain is a strong trust factor. When you don’t have time on your side, links are the solution. Backlinks are a major aspect of building authority.
Let’s run through a hypothetical example. If your HVAC company invents a breakthrough technology, it’s going to get a lot of attention. It won’t matter if your website is brand new because Forbes, Inc. magazine, news websites, and HVAC websites are ALL going to be talking about you and linking to your website!
Your credibility and trust factor will go through the roof. Your authority will go through the roof and you will outrank most websites-even in other cities. It’s just the nature of the beast.
Come back to reality. You didn’t invent a breakthrough technology. No one knows you or what you do (online). You’re just you in Plano and you’re doing things the way most people are doing them. Your website needs to catch up with your competition who have been working on their website for years. You need an SEO strategy to beat them-no way around it.
And that’s the main reason organic SEO is hard for HVAC business owners. It’s hard to execute a successful SEO campaign from A-Z. So what do you do when you can’t rank in local or organic? You pay for traffic!
Why PPC using Google Ads is getting harder
When you need traffic fast and don’t mind paying for it, Google Ads can save the day. Or can they? The competition is also rising in Google Ads. You can see this from the rise in cost per click as well as the fact that you’ll see the usual suspects ranking ahead of the pack on the first page.
In most industries, you can pretty much guarantee some hits and some conversions from just getting some ads up. If you’re running an HVAC company, a few leads aren’t going to cut it.
As we alluded to before, the top of the search engine results page is where the bulk of the clicks are made. Since paid ads only get about 19% of the total search volume, you’re going to need to be at the top ALL THE TIME.
Let’s look at the search results for “AC repair Plano”
The ads pretty much cover the first screen and the first scroll down!
If you’re not familiar with Google Ads, here is the long and short of it; to be at the top of the first page, you need a higher Quality Ad Score than the ads at the top of the page.
What is Google Ads Quality Score?
So what goes into the quality score for ads? It’s a rating that Google gives you from 1-10. The total score you receive is used to determine your cost per click and multiples by your maximum bid to determine your Ad Rank.
The components that make up the score are:
- Expected click-through rate: the likelihood your ad will be clicked when shown.
- Ad relevance: How closely your ad matches the user’s intent of the search.
- Landing page experience: How useful and relevant your landing page is to people who click on your ad.
Each component is evaluated with a score of “below average”, “average” and, “above average” so you can see where you need to make improvements.
You can research this further in Google’s Ads Help and get more details. If you’re not an SEO who understands what works to improve these scores, you can see why even PPC ads are becoming more difficult for HVAC company owners.
The secret to HVAC SEO is no longer a secret
Take a breath. After reading this article your shoulders and neck are probably tight with anxiety and there’s no need for that! We have a solution that has worked dozens of times over. The secrets to ranking highly on Google are not secrets at all. We can tell you every step that has to be made.
The question is where is your time best spent?
As a lightning summary, we would say that successful HVAC SEO campaigns come down to three major areas:
- Building authority
- On-page optimization
- Local optimization
Each of these areas is loaded with pages of checklists and “to-do’s” that when combined will lift your website to the top of the search results. If you’re looking to improve the leads your website generates, we have the solution for you. We’ve done time and time again.
If you’re looking for someone to take this load off of your shoulders, contact us today. We’ll answer every question you have even if you don’t work with us. We love seeing business owners do well. It’s what we’re here for.Schedule your first 1-hour free consultation when you’re ready to make more money with your website.
Christian Carere heads the SEO team here at Austin Bryant Consulting. After building an SEO agency in Toronto (Digital Ducats Inc.) Christian was hired by founder Keith Hunn who has created a full-service digital marketing agency in Plano, TX. Christian has been published on Search Engine Watch, Venngage, Small Biz Daily, Grasshopper, Data Box, Socialnomics, and Mention.