While there are still some people out there who turn to the Yellow Pages when they need a plumber, they are becoming few and far between. Instead, people are searching on their computer or smartphone or other device when they have a plumbing issue which means that it’s essential to have a plumber website today. When people search for a local plumber in the search engines (Google, Yahoo!, Bing, etc.), are they finding you? If not, it’s time to invest in search engine marketing. Search engine marketing is comprised of search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click advertising (PPC). Here’s an overview of each:
Search engine optimization
An SEO campaign is comprised of activities aimed towards improving the presence of a website in the organic (non-paid) section of a search engine results page in order to increase traffic. The first step of an SEO campaign is to optimize the site by inserting important keywords and phrases into the title tags, meta description, and on page content. This text is what’s crawled by the search engines and if the keywords you want to rank for are missing, you’re not going to appear in the search results! For example, for a plumbing company named Fred’s Plumbing located in Boston, Massachusetts, the title tag of the homepage should be “Boston, MA Plumber – Fred’s Plumbing.” The targeted keyword, “Boston, MA plumber” is the first thing the search engine crawlers see. Every page of the site should be optimized following a similar methodology, however it’s important to avoid keyword stuffing, or adding too many keywords, which is a spammy approach. Once a site is optimized, the next step is to earn the trust of the search engines. In addition to the age of a domain, trust is conveyed by having quality inbound links to the site. While “old-school” link building methods, such as directory submissions, are now frowned upon, links can be earned by creating informative content in the form of blog posts and sharing those posts on social media to generate attention and links.
Pay per click
While SEO is considered a long term process and it can take time to start to see results (especially in a competitive market), pay per click is a much more immediate way to generate traffic to your website. SEO certainly isn’t free (it requires time and resources to execute a campaign) but you don’t pay anything to the search engines to improve an organic search presence. PPC on the other hand involves making payments directly to the search engines in exchange for a prominent spot on the search engine results page. PPC listings are shown in the “Sponsored” section of the page.
Some website and business owners make the mistake of thinking one of these approaches is better than the other. The truth is, the best approach is often utilizing a combination of the two. SEO work will improve an organic search engine presence over time, which is important because that section of a search engine results page is viewed as more “trusted” by some search engine users. PPC will generate clicks while you’re working to improve your organic listing and can be good for targeting very specific search engine users. The key is to consider your budget and determine what the best approach is for your business.Back To Top