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Components of a great SEO solution for HVAC contractors
Regardless of your industry, good SEO should be focused on a few core areas. These include proper keyword research, technical optimization, content, and link acquisition. For HVAC contractors looking to compete in local markets, they will also need to pay close attention to local factors and signals in order to associate themselves with the local market.
Let’s visit each of the core components to see how it applies to the HVAC industry and your business.
Keyword research for the HVAC industry
Depending on what services you specialize in, this area of research may vary. There are a few categories of keywords we like to look at for the HVAC industry which is generally high volume keywords, local geo-modified keywords, and supporting long-tail keywords.
1. General keywords
This group of keywords are the higher volume more general keywords that you will target that will likely include the types of services you specialize in. Some examples might be:
Air conditioning repair
Air conditioning installation
While at first glance these keywords may feel very competitive, understand that Google knows that there is a local intent to these keywords – meaning the results that are displayed for someone in Salt Lake City will be much different than for someone searching in Dallas.
2. Local geo-modified keywords
This group of keywords are similar to the above general keywords but includes a geo-modifier that could be the local city or suburb you’re competing in.
Similar to the above, this could be:
[city] air conditioning repair
furnace repair [city]
[city] HVAC contractors
While your rankings will likely be very correlated between these two groups (if you rank locally for the general terms chances are you’ll also rank for the geo-modified search terms), understanding that there are some differences is important.
3. Supporting long-tail keywords
These keywords can form an excellent local content strategy and a basis to help educate your potential clients. Think of these keywords as very early in the buying decision usually during the research phase. Getting in front of potential clients during this stage can help increase your brand awareness and trust during their buying journey.
Some of these keywords might include:
How much does a furnace cost?
When should I clean my chimney?
Do I need to service my furnace?
What is the best air conditioner for a bungalow?
Can I finance a new furnace purchase?
Someone who searches for one of these might not be immediately ready to call you or make a purchase, but they are actively looking for information in the HVAC industry. Identifying these opportunities and building out content will establish you as an authority in your industry while helping to improve overall visibility for other keywords.
After you’ve gone through proper keyword research, be sure to follow our advice for mapping those keywords and prepare a master document to follow that will help both on-page optimization and content creation.
Technical and Website Optimizations for HVAC Contractors
While the above keyword research will help dictate some of the optimizations we do to the website, identifying technical issues and limitations to the site may uncover some low hanging fruit that can be quick wins for visibility.
There are literally dozens of tools that you can use to do this type of analysis. We love using the tool Sitebulb as it allows us to dig deep into the data while visualizing it nicely so that it’s actionable.
Based on the technical audit and your keyword research, you should now have a fairly robust keyword mapping document that you can use to add page-level optimization information in addition to some of the technical optimizations that can be done on the website-level to help improve visibility.
Don’t devalue or skip this step in the process. Having good SEO audit information and optimizing the technical aspects of your site can significantly improve your visibility and set you apart from your competitors in the HVAC space.
Adding and Optimizing Website Content to Support SEO
This is likely one of the biggest problem areas we see when working with HVAC SEO. Having good product and service content with good keyword placement is necessary for increasing your visibility.
Taking this a step further and building out a content strategy that includes writing on the topics identified in your keyword research will differentiate you from your competitors.
We don’t mean just writing for writing sake. It’s important to note that if your piece of content doesn’t add value to the website visitor then get it off your website. Make sure your content is top-notch, answers the questions your clients have, and is engaging in a way that will make them take action.
Don’t feel stressed about content. Start by chipping away at the optimization or mapping document and optimizing your existing content, fixing and optimizing titles and metadata, adding relevant internal links, and including keywords when natural and relevant. You’ll be surprised how well you can do by just optimizing existing content before ever writing more.
Link Acquisition, Citations, and Website Promotion for HVAC Contractors
Let’s be honest. Everyone has either been burned or knows someone who has been burned by outdated SEO tactics and short-term thinking. There are a lot of different ways to acquire links within the HVAC industry. When it comes to ranking for local search terms here is how you should start your approach:
1. Get local, national, and if possible industry-specific citations. Citations are basically instances of your business’ name, address, and phone number that appear across the web. Getting your business into the top national, local, and industry-focused directories and citation websites is basically the ante for local SEO. It’s not going to move the needle considerably if the competition is stiff, but it’s a must-do for local optimization.
I’m not sure what else to say about this one. If your business isn’t already on Google My Business, Bing Maps, Apple Maps, etc. then you need to do this before considering other aspects of link building.
2. Leverage your existing partnerships. After you feel comfortable with where you are sitting in terms of citations and brand visibility, it’s time to move to obtain the low-hanging fruit links. These are usually links from partner companies within your industry. Know a roofer that you refer business to? Have a friend who’s a realtor? Connect with these people and ask for a link to your website – it could be as simple as a link from a resource page on their site. You’ll be surprised just how many links you can acquire through this method.
3. Resources for industry partners. Continuing on the partnership theme, we’ve seen a lot of success in creating valuable local and sharable resources that you can give away to your industry partners.
This could be something like the ultimate furnace checklist when purchasing a new home that you offer to realtors in the area and have them feature it on their website with a link back.
4. Industry associations. Your national, state, or local level Air Conditioning Contractor Associations are a great source for links. Whether it’s as simple as a member listing, or as robust as arranging guest posting opportunities, these associations are often looking for great high-quality content to feature on their website or for their members – trading this content for links and visibility can often be well worth the effort.
5. Broken link building. This is likely one of the most popular methods of link acquisition in the SEO space today and for good reason – it’s about as safe as it gets and it’s effective in getting results.
There’s a lot that goes into a good broken link building process that we won’t cover in this post, but at a high level, you crawl through high authority industry websites to identify any broken links they may have. Then create resources for these sites and present them as an alternative link than the broken one – resulting in great authority with often very minimal work.
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