smashed computer after to much SEO spam

Revenge SEO For Plumbers: [Part 1] On-Page SEO

 

Plumber SEO: A Story Of Revenge

Catchy title, huh?

Well, if you’re like everybody else on this planet with a website, you get bombarded daily with annoying emails and phone calls from companies offering to provide you with plumbing SEO services for your website.

They often do this with impossible offers of “first page rankings tomorrow” or “get into the top three positions yesterday.”

Look at it this way…

You’re running a serious plumbing company….

You have customers that are depending on you….

And you don’t have time for marketers who take a shotgun approach to your email inbox hoping to “help” you get higher rankings.

Want to hear something funny?

We get the same emails and phone calls from people offering us “powerful” SEO services every day too. Well…if they had just took the time to read any page on our site, they would see that we don’t need what they’re offering.

This tells me they didn’t even bother to look at our website and see what our business is about. And we doubt they are taking the time to look at yours.

Yeah, we don’t think it’s funny either.

Not Funny SEO Dog

Ok…it’s a little funny

Nope! It’s time for revenge!

Today…it’s time for payback for all of those annoying emails and phone calls.

And to stick it to the spammers, we are going to spill the beans and show you how to do your own SEO!

Just tell’m “ContractorScope gives away the goodies for free” next time they call you. It will be like those lawyer commercials on TV were all the dopey attorneys get scared because someone hired the “A” league team to represent them in court.

And don’t get us wrong about the cold email approach. It’s not a bad strategy. It’s really not. It’s actually a very effective strategy…when done the right way. You have to do some prospecting research before hand and ALWAYS offer something of value first.

But that’s a subject for another time.

OK, state of the marketing industry rant is over.

It’s time to…

Get Started With On-Page SEO

On-Page SEO For Plumbers Guide

At one time, on-page SEO was just a matter of stuffing website pages with the relevant keywords. Webmasters would do all kinds of tricks to fool the all seeing eye of Google into ranking their websites in the top spots.

Tricks like flooding the content with the keywords (stuffing), often making the content unreadable to the viewer. Or hiding links or other elements from the reader but still visible to Google or other search engines.

And these tricks worked amazingly…for a while. Then Google, Bing, and Yahoo’s search algorithms got smarter.

Why Do Plumbers Need On-Page SEO?

It’s all about trust…and money. But mostly trust.

Search engines like Google and Bing are getting better everyday at eliminating bad or low quality content from the eye’s of website visitors.

This is a good thing for you and for visitors to your site.

It’s good because its forcing everybody to make website content and other assets like video, that…wait for it…actually benefits the consumer!

And when customers and clients feel they have benefited in some way with their interaction with you, they feel compelled to share that experience with others on social media like Facebook, Twitter, and reviews on Google and Yelp.

That’s right, you want the consumer to benefit from their interactions with your website. You want them to become educated and properly informed about your plumbing services. This builds trust with the your prospective customers by giving them something first, entertainment, education and value.

To put it bluntly, when people trust you and your brand they will give you money to solve their problems.

Googles sees it the same way. The more consumers and visitors trust Google’s search results to provide quality content, the more they will rely on the service.

And the more Google can see that your plumbing website and assets is providing quality content, the more likely it will move your site up in the search results.

But Google also has to be able to read and organize your website. And it has to be “optimized” for Google to organize it properly.

This is what on-page SEO is all about.

What Is The Difference Between On And Off Page SEO?

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, can be broken down into to parts, on and off page SEO.

On-page SEO covers everything that can be done on your plumbing contractor website like title tag formatting, meta descriptions, keyword usage, visual design and user experience…

Off-page SEO, on the other hand, deals with all of the variables that effect search engine rankings that take place off your website like social media shares and link-building.

On and off page SEO chart

On-Page and Off-Page SEO

For this article we are going to focus on on-page SEO.

Keep in mind both types of SEO are important and necessary because they simply don’t work without each other.

You can have the best content and visual experience for your visitors on your website but if nobody shares or links to your content Google will see your site as irrelevant to the searcher.

The inverse of that is also true. You can have the top ranked spot on the search results page but if your content is unreadable with blinding color scheme, visitors will not stick around long.

This effects what is called bounce rate. And if search engines like Google see that visitors are “bouncing” from your site seconds after clicking your link, your site will be seen as having low value and will drop your site ranking.

And to get started, we are going to talk about…

The Bad News

The bad news with sad dog

Dogs can smell bad SEO. It’s established science.

And the bad news is…out of site, out of mind.

That’s the best way to word it when your customers can’t see you when they need you, or worse, don’t even know your plumbing services exist.

And the worst thing that can happen to any business is obscurity. Plumbing contractors are no different.

One of the worst states to be in, is to be ignored. Obscurity like insecurity kills!

-Bernard Kelvin Clive

There is a saying around the digital marketing industry that you have probably heard, the best place to hide a dead body is on page 2 of the Google search results.

There’s a lot of truth in that statement when you consider that the first page Google search results for gets 95% of all search search traffic.

So if your business website is lingering on page two or three (or worse), 95% of your potential clients can’t find you and don’t bother looking.

Good SEO news dog

Science has proven that proper SEO helps dogs grow shiny coats.

Good News

The good news is that being on the second or third page (or worse) is a fixable problem…usually. There are times when it’s better just to scrap the website and start over fresh.

There are only a handful of reasons why a website doesn’t rank well:

  • No SEO
  • Bad SEO

Bad SEO can be just as, if not more, harmful than by doing no SEO.

You may have had previous work done by a less than ethical SEO company in the past and they provided poor on-site optimization or built spammed or toxic links to your site, drawing it down in the rankings.

We will show you how to fix some of these issues in this article.

Getting started With On-Page SEO

You cannot get to where your going if you don’t know where your at. And one of the first steps for getting started with on-page SEO for your plumbing website is to know your current position on the Search Engine Results Page’s (SERP’s).

Although limited with free accounts, you can get a small snapshot of current rankings using free services like Semrush and SERPs. Semrush is one of the industry standards for checking everything from SERP position to keyword analysis and checking backlinks to your site.

After submitting your plumbing contractor website URL, the results will show you the current top rankings in the SERPs along with the keyword the pages are ranking for and other data like search volume and cost-per-click (CPC).

Cost-Per-Click is the amount paid to Google for each time a visitor clicks on the advertisement link at the top and bottom of the search results page.

CPC SEO example

Cost-Per-Click (CPC) Advertisements

We used SEMrush to show how a Denver based plumber’s website pages ranked.

 

plumbing seo semrush serp

SEMrush organic ranking example

You can also do just a basic Google search for the keyword you want to rank for, say “Denver Plumber” for example. But Google has a tendency to “skew” the search results so they are tailored to the user. So this might not give an accurate picture of were your website pages are ranking.

Is Your Website Penalized?

If you know your rankings and noticed a sudden drop in rankings or visitor traffic, there is a possibility that your website may have been penalized.

There are many reasons why Google penalizes website.

Here is just a partial list:

google SEO penalties

Google de-indexing examples

And this list is nowhere near complete. This is just a partial list of what is known. Google likes to keep secrets to avoid “gaming” the system.

How Do You Know If Your Site Is Penalized?

One free test you can use is ismywebsitepenalized.com and enter your domain URL.

A another quick way to tell if your website has been penalized or removed from the index is to use the site:yourdomainname.com search function.

For this example we used our agency site to show a small snapshot of our pages indexed by Google.

site search example

Use the site:yourdomainname.com search to see Googles indexed pages for your website. If you don’t see your pages, they are not on Googles index.

This is a fun tool (at least for SEO geeks it is) to use. It can be a real eye opener at times when you see pages you thought were private or not indexed exposed to the public.

If all of the pages for your plumbing contractor website are showing up and indexed then you can rest easy because there is a good chance your site is not penalized.

What Do You Do If Your Site Is Penalized?

First, don’t panic. It happens to the best of them.

Second, depending on the severity of the penalty, you can make corrections like disavowing spam links to your site and ask for a review from Google.

Thankfully Google makes this easier for website owners to disavow spam or low-quality links with the Disavow Tool.

Just Start Over

Other times it’s just easier (and quicker) to start a new site from scratch. It can take a while to clean up the penalties on a site and for Google to forgive the infraction and re-index a site.

If all of your web traffic disappears over night, you could be looking at a catastrophic loss of income. You can’t afford to wait to get your website back onto papa Google’s good side.

In this scenario, it would be quicker to grab a new domain name and build up a basic website with content and start climbing back up the ranks with a clean slate.

On Page Basics

Google and other search engines look for certain criteria to determine if a webpage offers value to a visitor according to their search query.

While nobody knows for certain (besides Google engineers) what all the variables Google looks for when determining user relevance of a website, we do have a very good idea of what they are looking for.

Check out this article by industry expert Brian Dean of Backlinko showing a list of over 200 different ranking factors.

Title Tags

Title tags are the clickable headlines displayed on the search engine result page (SERP) and at the top of the of your web browser tab.

SEO title tag on the search engine results page

SEO title tag on the search engine results page

You can also find the title tag of a page at the top of the browser tab.

SEO title tag on the top of the browser tab

SEO title tag on the top of the browser tab

Title tags are used by Google and a potential visitor to determine what your page is about.

A well written title tag will determine if your page ranks highly on the search results page and will catch the eye of the viewer, compelling them to click on your link.

This is another area you want to avoid keyword stuffing.

Remember, all of your content should be created for humans, not machines. After all, you may be able to trick Google and get your page ranked highly (for now), but human readers are the ones that make the choice to click on the link.

When creating title tags, try to keep the keyword you want to rank for as close to the beginning of the title as possible. This will help avoid getting the keyword cut off, which Google does sometimes depending on the screen size of the user.

It’s not uncommon to find title tags cut short with ellipsis (“…”)

Meta Descriptions

Meta Description SEO

Meta Description SEO

While Google claims they no longer use Meta descriptions as a ranking factor, they still play a vital role to getting clicks to your site.

Meta descriptions are what is going to help tell the visitor what your site is about and if it what they are looking for. This is where the use of powerful sales copywriting earns its keep.

But just because Google claims not to us meta descriptions, it doesn’t mean social media platforms do not. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, will often use them when creating links back to your site.

Twitter Meta Description

 

Pages

Besides your home page filled with images, video, and relevant content, you will also need an “About Us” and a “Contact” page.

“About Us” Page

About pages are necessary both in the eyes of search engines like Google and for the reader. Google sees your “About Us” page as that your serious about business and willingness to provide value to the visitor.

For the visitor to your “About Us” page, it relieves anxiety and builds trust with the customer. Unless you have an amazing origin story on how your plumbing company formed yesterday, your going to want to tell the history of your company and the years (or decades) of trustworthy services your company has provided.

“Contact Us” Page

SEO Contact Page Mobile

Your contact page on your site is another great opportunity to build trust and confidence in your brand. And when done the right way, your contact page can be a direct pipeline for prospects to speak and interact with your sales team.

With searches on mobile phones outpacing desktop search, many contractors have gone as far as adding “Call Now” buttons with 24-hour availability of someone being there to answer the call.

Local Search Results

Local search results have exploded over the last couple of years with the introduction of Google Maps. Today, when you do a search for a local service like “emergency plumber” or “drain cleaning”, you will often see the top search results for your local area.

Usually, you will not only see a map with location indicators, you will also see three search results with the option to expand for more.

Local search holds the top spot on our list of favorite SEO subjects. Page optimization and link building is fun (it really is for us…yes we are nerds) but the potential for what it can do for a plumbing contractor is HUGE!

 

Google Maps Seattle Emergency Plumber Search SEO

A search for “emergency plumber’ in Seattle

This is known as the “Map Pack” or “Local 3-Pack” in SEO circles. To be in the top three listings is a HUGE DEAL!

To be in the top three map pack means basically free advertising and promotion, a map pointing to your location, directions to get there, and a graphic encouraging you to visit the website.

And to get into the map pack you need an amazingly optimized website and reviews…lots of reviews…as many as you can get.

In a 2016 survey by BrightLocal, they found that reviews are one of the major reasons for customers or clients choosing a business. If you want to have a real impact on your online marketing efforts, we highly recommend reading the survey. It’s truly an eye opener.

A few important facts your should know from the survey:

  • 7 out of 10 consumers will leave a review for a business if they are asked to
  • 84% of people will trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation
  • 74% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more
  • 90% of consumers read less than 10 reviews before forming an opinion about a business

Local search is where the action is if your a plumbing contractor servicing a certain city or regional area. And being able to focus your online marketing efforts and SEO to a local region is much more cost effective than trying to rank a website nationally for a certain keyword.

This comes down more to keyword selection and on-page optimization more than anything else. It would be very, very….very expensive to rank your website on the first page nationally for the term “emergency plumber” for example. You are competing with nation wide outfits at that level.

You will more than likely want to rank your website for local keyword terms like “emergency plumber Seattle” or “drain cleaning Peoria.” As well as focusing on collecting getting positive reviews

Conclusion

We can’t guarantee that our On-Page SEO guide will stop the emails and phone calls from marketers offering little value up front. But it will give you the tools you need to get started in your own or the basics of what you want your chosen SEO company to be able to handle for you.

SEO plays an important role in digital marketing. It helps search engines and more importantly, prospective clients, find your website and valuable content.

While this article only covers the very basics of On-Page SEO, it should be enough to give you an idea of what to look for and how to get started optimizing your own plumbing contractor website to increase sales and lead generation efforts.

P.S. No dogs were injured or denied belly scratches in the creation of this article.