With the sweltering weather in the Northern parts of the U.S. this past week, many HVAC companies have seen an uptick in business. Since homeowners are turning on their air conditioning units for the first time in months, there are generally issues, leading to repair services. Some homeowners are calling to get central air installed in their homes as the temperatures rise too. With a large number of people seeking services, many HVAC companies are using Google AdWords to generate leads and lock-down business.
We have executed several HVAC campaigns over the years. It is common for it to be an expensive keyword category with bid levels ranging from $18 to $25. For Google AdWords, this is a traditionally expensive keyword category. While closing on these leads can make this marketing spend viable, it is important to maximize the return on keyword investment. Here are a few tips to think about implementing:
The Condition of Your Site
As with any AdWords campaign, make sure your website is in good enough shape to receive this traffic. Consider the following before setting up your AdWords campaign.
- Are phone numbers easy to find? Make sure your phone number can be found. For repair services, customers still want to call, not fill out a form and hope someone contacts them back, particularly in an emergency break or fix situations such as furnace or central air repair.
- Do you have organized content? Are your furnace repair and central air repair service offerings on the same page? Separate them to eliminate any confusion or scrolling.
- Is your contact form easy to click to? For those that want to fill out a form to be contacted, make sure they can easily get to your form and fill out their name, address, phone and email.
Most HVAC firms cater to a geographical radius that they serve. Be sure to make the right selections in your campaign settings for what areas you want to appear in paid search ads. Don’t advertise in areas your repair techs don’t drive to.
Also, be sure to evaluate whether to choose the advanced location option for those searching for services in your area. If you serve a community that has a high commuter population, then you may want to have that option chosen. This will enable someone who works in downtown in an urban environment to see your ad if they search “central air installers Naperville IL” even if they are in downtown Chicago.
Keyword Selection and Matching
Be sure to organize your ad groups in very concise keyword lists. Additionally, be smart about using keyword match types. Remember, the goal is to have your ad show and match the search query as tightly as possible. Don’t just lump your HVAC and heating and cooling keywords into one ad group. Yes, they mean the same thing but keeping them separate will allow you to write specific ads to match the query as well as manage bids.
The same rule applies for repair and installation. Have separate ad groups for furnace and air conditioning, and then also separate those out into repair and new installation. You will see improved click-through rates, higher quality scores and a lower average cost per click. Most importantly, you will receive more qualified leads and calls.
Make sure your ad stands out in the search engine results. Remember, all of you competitors are going to be saying the same things: “Trusted, Reliable Service, Serving the [location] area, In Business for 30 Years…” These are all good things to say to reinforce credibility, but you need to differentiate your ad copy to stand out in search results. If you are running seasonal specials, such as repairs or tune-ups, be sure to include it in your ad copy. If you carry or service a specific popular brand like Trane, state it!
Managing Bids and Budget
Like I previously mentioned, we’ve managed Central Air and A/C service campaigns and it can get very competitive, even at the small business level. In most markets, bidding $2.00 is not going to get you many impressions; you will need to be more aggressive. Most average cost per click levels I have seen range between $10.00 and $16.00 meaning you will need to have a decent daily budget. However, keep in mind that you can allocate this spend out over the calendar year and turn budget up or down as the weather turns in the fall for furnace and late spring for air conditioning. If you are very budget savvy, watch the weather closely and increase your daily budget or bidding as extremely hot or cold weather approaches.
To give your HVAC company every chance possible to get a click, ad copy is important. However, paid search is also becoming a real estate game. Make sure you utilize all of the ad extensions possible so that you take up as much of a footprint within the eye share of the searcher. With HVAC service being a locally-oriented search result, they are several tactics you can use that your competition may not.
Sitelink extensions allow your business to showcase the various pages on your site that can be aligned with your services. For example, have a page that highlights the specials your business is currently offering as a site extension to attract more visitors.
Call extensions are critical they allow those to immediately call your dispatch office directly from your search ad. This extension is extremely important due to the number of people searching on their cell phone as they stand next to a broke A/C unit in their basement.
While you may not need to get foot traffic to your shop, having your address show in a search ad is still very helpful in building credibility with searchers who will see that you have a local presence and want to support a local business.
Callout Extensions are quick lines of text at the bottom of your ad to provide additional attributes to your company such as: “24 Hour Emergency Service,” “Certified Experts,” “Quick Response Time,” or “Financing On New Units.” These callout extensions can help add more credibility to your business or help you reach those that are in need of repair late at night.