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So there are a lot of threads that are on here about online marketing, SEO, and Adwords. I have spent a fortune over the years doing all of these and have what I consider a good working knowledge about what works best for the money. So here are the handful of things that I have tried and what i liked and did not like about each.

Google Adwords - Adwords works well because it provides an instant result. You pay a premium to come up at the top of online search for keywords that you are going after and in return for the money you spent the results are instant. Adwords is expensive and you really need to track the calls that you get from it so you know how much you are paying per lead. At one time when I looked at the number a year ago I figured out that I was paying about $75 per call on adwords.

Lead Companies - Service Magic has taken the time and spent the money on Adwords to rank for certain HVAC keywords. They get a good number of calls. The problem is that you pay a premium for those leads and you have to share them with other contractors. So one person calls for a service on their system and then you are in a race with two other contractors to call the customer back first. There are contractors that are set up to call customers back within seconds of a Service Magic request and if you are not one of them you are waisting money because 9 out of 10 times the first contractor to get the customer on the phone gets the job. Manufacturers like Trane sell leads from customer requests on their website. I pay about $50 - $56 per lead from Trane and they are usually solid leads having about one in every six or seven turn into a changeout.

SEO - You can pay an SEO company to get your website to rank for keywords that people are searching for. This is usually the cheapest way to receive leads but it can be expensive over time and the results are not instant. If you have the luxury of waiting to get your website ranking organically for relevant search terms then this is your best play. Most SEO companies can have you rank on page one for a keyword in three months to a year. You have to be careful because there are a lot of SEO companies out there that will scam you and take your money. You should look for an SEO company that specializes in just HVAC or in the service industry. I am now on my fourth SEO company and can finally say that I am getting my moneys worth. If you need a good, fairly priced, SEO company who are HVAC experts call these guys! Nerd Frat They will only work with one HVAC company in each city and they guaranty in writing getting your website on page one of google.

Lead Websites - This is the most recent form of online marketing and I myself have only been doing it for two months. There are SEO companies out there that build HVAC websites and get them on the first page of google for high volume local search terms. For example “Air Conditioning Repair Orlando.” Then when people start calling for service they lease the traffic from the websites to HVAC companies like mine. The difference between this and Service Magic or a manufacturer is you don’t have to share the leads with other companies. They literally forward the phone numbers on the website to my business and they put my companies information on the site. The SEO company that I deal with only works with one HVAC Company in each market and they will let me pay $30 per call or I can pay a flat rate per month if I sign up for a year. I payed per call in the first month but this past month I chose the flat rate billing and it worked in my favor with an average cost per call of about $24. I don’t like that I do not own the site but I also do not have to pay to SEO the site and keep it on page one. I did insist on having first right of refusal on the renewal of the agreement for leasing the site so it will in theory always be mine if it works well. I rank higher for some of the same terms as them for my own site and yet they get calls from customers that I don’t. So it is a great supplement to my own site.


If any of you have any questions or concerns about marketing your HVAC business online please don’t hesitate to reach out. As long as you are not competing with me in South Florida!
 

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Well there isn't much of an argument there except for what you really need. If you need to have more traffic, good rankings and high ROI... Do SEO or Adwords. Actually you can do it all with SEO. You should target the right keywords. By Right Keywords I meant, long term. If you are optimizing for local then it will be much better to connect the place in your keyword: eg. Washington Electrician Continuing Education
 

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hvac control panel
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sounds great.
how about my website? can you give me some advise here?
 

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Ben Landers | HVAC SEO
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On a side but related note...

I wouldn't spend a dime to attract more visitors to your website unless you're visit-to-lead conversion rate is >15%. I've been working with HVAC contractors for years and I can't tell you how many business owners spend boatloads of money to get web traffic - without first ensuring that their website can "close the deal."

Tracking your site's visit-to-lead conversion rate isn't too hard. You need Google Analytics (which is free; although, you'll have to customize it to track the leads you receive) and a call tracking platform (which has a cost, but it's completely worth it).

Again, just a thought. Best of luck!

Ben
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Conversion Rate

If any HVAC contractor has less than a 15% conversion rate they should not be an HVAC contractor...
 

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Ben Landers | HVAC SEO
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If any HVAC contractor has less than a 15% conversion rate they should not be an HVAC contractor...
I don't disagree, but most people don't track so they'll never even know (my post was a trick post :))!!

If the phone number on your website is the same one that's on your trucks, postcards, business cards, brochures, etc., you really can't tell your website's true visit-to-lead conversion rate.
 

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Dallas AC Repair
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I don't disagree, but most people don't track so they'll never even know (my post was a trick post :))!!

If the phone number on your website is the same one that's on your trucks, postcards, business cards, brochures, etc., you really can't tell your website's true visit-to-lead conversion rate.
Yes I agree with this statement we were doing adwords and it was working but we didn't really know how much it was working until we hired an hvac marketing company and they put a trace phone number on all our sites so they could tell where the call came from. Ended up getting our calls to $33 a call all summer.

Someone mentioned lead generation sites...does anyone have any recommendations that work?
 

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Just a suggestion, you should shy away from those free website builders. When it comes to SEO, those are the worst to use. Use something like Wordpress to build your website with. It is a free platform to use, and you just need to pay someone to build a template for your site.

Hello, I am working in San Francisco Bay Area, Do you some lead websites that are good to look into?

Thanks for your help!

Christian
 

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I don't disagree, but most people don't track so they'll never even know (my post was a trick post :))!!

If the phone number on your website is the same one that's on your trucks, postcards, business cards, brochures, etc., you really can't tell your website's true visit-to-lead conversion rate.
I think you can still track it down. If you can ask your customers who or what refers them to the company.

Yes I agree with this statement we were doing adwords and it was working but we didn't really know how much it was working until we hired an hvac marketing company and they put a trace phone number on all our sites so they could tell where the call came from. Ended up getting our calls to $33 a call all summer.

Someone mentioned lead generation sites...does anyone have any recommendations that work?
I don't know much of the good lead generation sites. But you may check out Google about that.

Just a suggestion, you should shy away from those free website builders. When it comes to SEO, those are the worst to use. Use something like Wordpress to build your website with. It is a free platform to use, and you just need to pay someone to build a template for your site.
I don't think there is no such thing as free website builders even free SEO services. I don't know if you are really following the discussion.
 

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Ben Landers | HVAC SEO
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I think you can still track it down. If you can ask your customers who or what refers them to the company.
Not accurately. What percentage of your customers know what a PPC ad is (hell, what percentage of business owners know what a PPC ad is???)?

Accurately tracking AdWords and SEO requires two things:

- Google Analytics (or something similar) customized for your business and
- A Call Tracking Platform or Service (again, customized for your business)

You should track things down to the keyword. It's the only way to quantify whether it's worth paying $X,XXX for an SEO company's services or $10 per click on PPC for the keyword phrase "furnace replacement in YOUR CITY".

Ben
 

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I was talking to HVACsanfrancisco.

Yes, there is such a thing as a free website builder: http://www.wix.com/

I didn't say anything about free seo services.....
Thanks for sharing that link. Have you tried using it? Actually it is a free platform that's why you can really have your own domain unless you paid for it. It will be something like http://www.wix.com/your-websites-name/

Not accurately. What percentage of your customers know what a PPC ad is (hell, what percentage of business owners know what a PPC ad is???)?

Accurately tracking AdWords and SEO requires two things:

- Google Analytics (or something similar) customized for your business and
- A Call Tracking Platform or Service (again, customized for your business)

You should track things down to the keyword. It's the only way to quantify whether it's worth paying $X,XXX for an SEO company's services or $10 per click on PPC for the keyword phrase "furnace replacement in YOUR CITY".

Ben
Yeah Google Adwords can be track in Analytics. Analytics can give you pretty much what keywords are converting and can give you quantity and how much is the revenue.
 

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if you have a website, SEO should be done no matter what. why have a website if you don't have visibility in search engines? as far as the others go, i say give them a try and see what works best for your business. adwords can be good, but can also get expensive real quick
 

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if you have a website, SEO should be done no matter what. why have a website if you don't have visibility in search engines? as far as the others go, i say give them a try and see what works best for your business. adwords can be good, but can also get expensive real quick
Agreed - having a website that no one ever sees is like hiding a billboard in the forest! If you're going to invest in a new website, first make sure it's got at least some content on it - doesn't have to be complete, but at least have a page for each of main services so when someone searches for you online you're at least on Page 2 - preferably (obviously) Page 1.

From there, it depends what you need. If you're in trouble and need booked jobs ASAP, Adwords is the way to go - you'll start getting calls the day of. If you've got some wiggle room, SEO (or a combination SEO and Adwords) is the answer - the instant gratification of Adwords combined with the lasting web presence of SEO will set the foundation for your short and long term online marketing strategy.
 

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I was talking to HVACsanfrancisco.

Yes, there is such a thing as a free website builder: http://www.wix.com/

I didn't say anything about free seo services.....
be careful with free website builders, they generally don't get very good natural visibility in search engines no matter what you do. it's fine for starting out in the digital world, but upgrade to a professionally built site ASAP
 

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Dallas AC Repair
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From what I understand (and please correct me if I'm wrong), your actual web site and how it looks or whether it's built with a free template builder or not does not really matter when it comes to ranking. From everything I've seen/read/been told by my SEO is that getting quality links is the most important thing.
 

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well the issue with them is that a lot of spammers use those free hosts to build sites so if a host is contaminated with too many spammers, google can/will actually de-index everything from that host. it's part of their newest update to counter the spammers
 
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