Get Found First: Pro-Level Local SEO Secrets Every HVAC Contractor Needs | Mighty Small HVAC Blog | RS Gonzales - HVAC Business and Marketing Solutions

Get Found First: Pro-Level Local SEO Secrets Every HVAC Contractor Needs

Get Found First: Pro-Level Local SEO Secrets Every HVAC Contractor Needs

Imagine a homeowner. Their heater breaks down on a chilly November evening and they need it fixed NOW. They head to a computer and type “HVAC near me” or “24 hour emergency heating repair.”

They’re ready to buy, no sales pitch necessary.

The question is: is it your name that they see? That’s the magic of local SEO for HVAC contractors. It’s like a beacon guiding people to your doorstep when they need your services most. And best of all, it’s free — no ad budget required.

Staying ahead of your HVAC competition is hard—and getting harder. New HVAC contractors with sharp elbows enter the market, and regional powerhouses outspend you by millions of dollars.

Fortunately, mastering local SEO for HVAC and implementing effective HVAC SEO strategies is your secret weapon for local domination.

But like all things free, local SEO isn’t easy. It’s technical. It takes time. And to get results, you must deploy a vast army of skills: website design, copywriting, attention to detail, and a sprawling network of HVAC-friendly websites and media sources.

More terrifying still, Google constantly updates its algorithm. That means local SEO tactics that boosted your HVAC business’s website rankings a few months ago could be obsolete today. Worse, those very strategies could put you in the penalty box.

Imagine all that hard work, and poof! You’re deindexed from Google’s organic search results and become invisible.

To address this, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of effective, Google-endorsed local SEO techniques designed to help your HVAC business surpass its competitors in organic search rankings.

The Basics: What is Local SEO and Why is it Important?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a critical component of any effective HVAC digital marketing strategy. But what exactly does it involve?

SEO is really an umbrella term that includes all the methods you can use to enhance the visibility of your HVAC business’s website on search engine results pages (SERPs) to attract unpaid traffic—essentially free HVAC leads.

For HVAC companies, leveraging local SEO can elevate your organic search rankings, increase your website traffic, and, most importantly, drive more HVAC leads without spending any money on ads.

Benefits of Local SEO for HVAC Businesses | Get Found First: Pro-Level Local SEO Secrets Every HVAC Contractor Needs | Mighty Small HVAC Blog | RS Gonzales - HVAC Business and Marketing Solutions

 

But why are high rankings so important?

SEO is a winner-take-all game. Dive half-heartedly into SEO, and watch your dreams (and your visibility) sink to the depths of page two oblivion.

Consider this: 75% of users don’t go past the first page of Google search results. Being on the second page might as well mean being invisible.

The top three search results get all the attention. One comprehensive SEO study found that these three SEO-savvy leaders earn a whopping 56.5% of all clicks for a given keyword:

  • 1st: 27.6%
  • 2nd: 18.7%
  • 3rd: 10.2%

So, if you’re currently ranking 8th or 10th for a keyword, you may garner a measly 1% of clicks. Hardly worth the investment of time, energy and money. And precisely why so many HVAC contractors throw up their hands and declare “SEO doesn’t work!”

Fortunately, with the right SEO strategies, you can sidestep the pain of spending months (or years) on a pricy, but ineffective local SEO campaign that never brings in a dime of new business.

But first, you need to get laser-focused on what local SEO actually looks like for HVAC contractors — and how it requires a unique set of SEO tactics very different from those pursued by a company with a national market.

What is the difference between SEO and Local SEO?

As an HVAC contractor, it’s crucial that you understand the difference between SEO and local SEO.

After all, if your HVAC business is based in Fresno, do you really care if a customer in Orlando finds you online? Understanding SEO vs local SEO helps you hone in on those customers in your neighborhood, city and county at the very moment they’re ready to buy.

Both traditional and local SEO aim to enhance your rankings in online search results, enabling more people to discover, connect with, and buy from your business.

Some tactics — like building a high-performing website or writing blogs — are common to both forms of SEO. However, local SEO incorporates specific tactics designed to help you engage with potential customers in your geographical area.

Here’s how they differ:

Programmable thermostat hvac google search | Get Found First: Pro-Level Local SEO Secrets Every HVAC Contractor Needs | Mighty Small HVAC Blog | RS Gonzales - HVAC Business and Marketing Solutions
Traditional SEO tactics may rank your business at the top of search engine results — but bring you to the attention of local HVAC customers ready to hire you.
  • National vs Local: Traditional SEO is geared towards boosting your website’s visibility on a national or international level, while local SEO enhances your presence in local search rankings.
  • Keyword Focus: Traditional SEO arms you with broad-sword keywords that swing at a vast audience, while local SEO equips you with a laser-guided missile. Consider the difference between “what is a programmable thermostat” and “programmable thermostat installation in Worcester.”
  • Local Map Magic: With traditional SEO, the aim is to appear at the top of the so-called SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages). With local SEO, you don’t need to compete with the likes of Home Depot or the Department of Energy. Your aim is to plant your flag in the top three of Google map results.
  • Time to Impact: Unsurprisingly, it takes longer to see results from a national SEO campaign. With traditional SEO, you might labor for a year before you see any real movement in your website traffic. But with the right local SEO tactics, you may start to enjoy more calls and new leads within three to six months.

5 Key Strategies for HVAC Contractors to Win at Local SEO

Google Map search Programmable Thermostat | Get Found First: Pro-Level Local SEO Secrets Every HVAC Contractor Needs | Mighty Small HVAC Blog | RS Gonzales - HVAC Business and Marketing Solutions
Local HVAC businesses should always aim to rank at the top of the so-called Google map pack.

Let’s return to our chilly homeowner. Maybe they type in “HVAC near me.” Maybe it’s “furnace repair in Silver Spring.” Or “all night emergency heating repair.”

Whatever the keywords, when the all-mighty Google map appears, how do you make sure YOUR HVAC company’s name vaults to the very top?

Google does not explicitly disclose its ranking factors, and its algorithms are constantly updated. But despite that black-box secrecy, when you work with one of the best HVAC marketing companies, you gain access to proven best practices that will enhance your HVAC website’s local SEO and your visibility in Google search results.

Let’s look at 5 bullet proof local SEO strategies for HVAC contractors that we implement to get your phones ringing and your trucks running.

1. Make Your HVAC Website Fast, Flawless and Mobile-Optimized

While map listings often serve as the initial point of contact for local searches, your website remains the number one factor in your visibility for “near me” searches.

It’s entirely possible that some customers might bypass your website altogether, choosing instead to call, text, or schedule an appointment directly through your Google Business Profile.

Su'Coy HVAC Website Screenshot | Get Found First: Pro-Level Local SEO Secrets Every HVAC Contractor Needs | Mighty Small HVAC Blog | RS Gonzales - HVAC Business and Marketing Solutions

Even so, the content, structure, and technical setup of your HVAC website are key factors that search engines use to determine whether your business appears prominently in local search results or remains out of sight in the 20th position.

Employ striking headlines, impactful visuals, and refined language to create an engaging user experience. Let your website be a testament to your extraordinary design abilities and a source of inspiration for your visitors!

  • Optimize Website Navigation: Make sure your website’s navigation is straightforward and user-friendly, with clearly labeled and easy-to-understand menu options.
  • Add Alt Text to Images: Think of Google as an inquisitive child, constantly asking detailed questions about seemingly obvious things. Alt Text provides a detailed description of an image, aiding Google in understanding its content and relevance. This ensures that the image can appear in search results for related queries.
  • Meta Tags: Assign meta tags to your website’s headings, paragraphs, and other text elements. This helps Google grasp your site’s structure.

2. Create an HVAC Google Business Profile

Establishing a Google Business Profile (GBP) is important for HVAC businesses aiming to enhance local visibility. Formerly referred to as Google My Business or a GMB listing, a GBP serves as the primary touchpoint for potential customers.

Given the adage “you never get a second chance to make a first impression,” you need to put as much care into your GBP as you do into your HVAC company homepage.

By optimizing and managing this listing effectively, local searches will prominently feature your contact information, website URL, address, operating hours, and services offered. The comprehensiveness and accuracy of your GBP directly influence your visibility in local Google search rankings for HVAC contractors.

Regularly updating and maintaining your profile is crucial, particularly through consistent posting. These posts serve to inform searchers about new products or events, ensuring they stay informed about your HVAC company’s developments.

Aim to post at least once weekly to demonstrate to Google that your profile remains active. This free business listing offers opportunities to link to key web pages, significantly amplifying your online presence.Book a free consultation cta | Get Found First: Pro-Level Local SEO Secrets Every HVAC Contractor Needs | Mighty Small HVAC Blog | RS Gonzales - HVAC Business and Marketing Solutions

 

For many small to medium-sized businesses with a single location or serving a regional area, the majority of organic traffic stems from appearing in either the local pack in Google Maps or native search results.

A robust GBP increases the likelihood of appearing in both local map results, maximizing your visibility to potential customers.

Google Search Results stats and facts | Get Found First: Pro-Level Local SEO Secrets Every HVAC Contractor Needs | Mighty Small HVAC Blog | RS Gonzales - HVAC Business and Marketing Solutions

3. Encourage Customer Reviews

Reviews are crucial for consumers searching for local products or services. In fact, 93% of consumers will read reviews about a product, service, or business before proceeding. For HVAC contractors competing in a crowded market, accumulating a consistent stream of high-quality reviews from past customers is vital.

Reviews not only influence potential customers but also significantly impact how search engines rank websites in the local search engine results pages for specific keywords.

For instance, Google tends to favor a business with 500 high-quality reviews on its Google Business Profile over one with only 100, viewing the former as more credible. Therefore, as part of your HVAC SEO strategy, actively seek to gather as many reviews as possible.

After servicing a customer, offer incentives for leaving a review. Even a simple offer, like a 5% discount on their next service call or installation, can motivate customers to provide feedback. This not only boosts your Google Business Profile but also distinguishes your business from others in the local pack.

Keyword Research: Identify Your Customer’s Search Terms

One of the most important onsite SEO factors for HVAC businesses in 2024 is the quality of content on your website. Your content should not only be informative but also closely aligned with what your customers are actively searching for.

To ensure relevance, consider using tools like Google Trends to identify and incorporate current and emerging search queries related to the HVAC industry into your content strategy.

Keyword Research | Get Found First: Pro-Level Local SEO Secrets Every HVAC Contractor Needs | Mighty Small HVAC Blog | RS Gonzales - HVAC Business and Marketing Solutions

Consider this analogy: You wouldn’t put up a billboard on a deserted road. Similarly, before you begin optimizing your HVAC website, it’s important to devise a comprehensive SEO strategy, starting with keyword research.

Just as a billboard is ineffective on an unused road, you want to ensure the keywords you target have sufficient search volume—a metric indicating how many people are searching for a specific term in a particular area over a certain period.

Pro Tip: Typically, the higher the search volume of a term, the more competitive it is to rank for.

Choosing the right keywords involves creativity and a deep understanding of the HVAC industry. The best HVAC marketing companies understand that successful keyword selection requires not just industry knowledge but also an analysis of customer behavior and search intent.

Key factors to consider in your HVAC SEO strategy include:

  • Terms with high search volume
  • Terms with low keyword difficulty
  • Short-tail keywords (1-3 words)
  • Terms that signal a readiness to buy – think from the perspective of your ideal customer

Once you’ve identified high-value short-tail keywords, expand your strategy to include long-tail search phrases with five or more words.

For example:

  • Broad questions: “How to improve HVAC efficiency?”
  • Specific questions: “Best thermostat settings for winter.”
  • Localized keywords: “HVAC services near me” or “HVAC repair in [City, State].”

Specific Keyword Search for HVAC | Get Found First: Pro-Level Local SEO Secrets Every HVAC Contractor Needs | Mighty Small HVAC Blog | RS Gonzales - HVAC Business and Marketing SolutionsSource: Search volume data from Ahrefs

 

Embrace the power of SEO for HVAC companies by leveraging long-tail keywords, which constitute more than half of all Google searches. Long search queries mean less competition for the top spot and more targeted consumer content.

Especially for HVAC contractors just starting out with local SEO, long-tail keywords can boost your visibility and serve up customers looking for exactly what you are offering.

4. Content is King: Format Your Content to Rank

If you’re familiar with SEO, you’ve likely encountered the phrase “Content is King.” This adage holds true because Google’s algorithm depends heavily on identifying a page’s purpose and ranking it accordingly in search results.

Remember Google isn’t a human and it doesn’t “read” like one. That means your content — whether it’s your homepage, a service page or a blog — needs to appeal to both human readers AND search engines scanning your site for clues.

How does Google “read” your HVAC website?

Google uses bots that continuously crawl your website. Generally, the more focused and relevant your content is, the higher your chances of surpassing your competitors in the search rankings.

While SEO is much more complex, there are a few basics every HVAC contractor should know.

Here are some strategies for optimizing a webpage on your HVAC site through effective content formatting:

  • Break up content using shorter paragraphs.
  • Use H1, H2, and H3 header tags appropriately, ensuring there is only one H1 tag per page.
  • Naturally incorporate valuable keywords into your titles, content, and image meta tags.
  • Produce videos, upload them to YouTube, and then embed them on your website to include rich media.

Local SEO tactics adhere to general SEO best practices but with an emphasis on local search intent. That is, instead of writing about techniques for cleaning a dryer vent, you should be writing about how specific local pollutants or air quality in [Your City or Neighborhood] could cause a homeowner’s dryer vent to be full of allergy-causing germs.

In short, always sprinkle location information throughout your content and headings, and offer relevant solutions to the pain points customers in your local market experience.

Can I Write all my Content using ChatGPT?

While ChatGPT isn’t primarily a content writing tool, it can be a valuable asset in the content creation process. It excels in conducting research and sparking new ideas and outlines, offering quick responses and suggestions.

However, ChatGPT does not inherently produce content that is optimized for search engines. To enhance your content’s visibility, you’ll need to conduct keyword research and apply the SEO techniques we have discussed in this guide.

Google is generally receptive to AI-generated content, provided it maintains high quality. The search engine penalizes low-quality content designed to manipulate rankings.

Google has stated many times that it is not against AI content but against low-quality content. Therefore, it’s crucial to review and refine AI-generated content to ensure it reflects a human touch and meets quality standards.

Check out our blog on how to use ChatGPT to accelerate your HVAC blogging and copywriting —without finding yourself in the Google penalty box.

If content is not your thing, hiring an SEO copywriting agency can ensure you have high-quality, SEO-optimized content that aligns with your business goals.

5. Backlinks: Relevance & Authority

A backlink is a citation from another website to content on your website. It could be a link to a particularly useful blog, or a connection to your homepage from a local organization you partner with.

Whatever the source, think of a backlink as a “vote” in favor of your website. Google sees backlinks and interprets them as signals that your website offers expert, relevant content that other people value. As a result, websites with a greater quantity and quality of backlinks will rank higher in search engine results.

In terms of SEO, there are three primary types of links:

  • Internal Links: These are links that connect one page of your website to another page within the same domain.Internal linking is important for SEO as it helps establish a website’s information hierarchy and spreads link equity or ranking power around the site. Proper use of internal links can enhance user navigation and improve search engines’ indexing of your pages.
  • Outbound Links (External Links): These links direct visitors from your website to a different domain.While outbound links do not directly improve your site’s rank, they can provide contextual value by linking to reputable and relevant sources. This can boost the credibility of your content and can be beneficial for user experience.
  • Backlinks: These are links from other websites that lead to your website. Backlinks are among the most significant factors in SEO because they demonstrate to search engines that other websites consider your content valuable enough to link to. The authority and relevance of the linking sites are crucial; links from high-quality, related websites can significantly enhance your site’s authority and ranking in search results.Pro Tip: Remember, the quality of the backlink is important. One high-quality backlink can outperform 100 low-quality backlinks.

Choosing Effective Backlinks

Backlinks are not only capable of generating referral traffic to your website, but more importantly, they contribute to the authority of your site. To assess the potential impact of a backlink on your website, you should consider these key factors:

  • Relevance: How closely related is the link to the subject matter of your content?
  • Authority: How credible is the source of the link?
  • Placement: Where is the link situated within the content?
  • Traffic: What is the volume of traffic that the source website attracts?

Understanding these elements can help you determine the value of a backlink and its influence on your website’s SEO performance.

hvac local seo stats | Get Found First: Pro-Level Local SEO Secrets Every HVAC Contractor Needs | Mighty Small HVAC Blog | RS Gonzales - HVAC Business and Marketing Solutions

Bonus Tips: Local SEO Tips for HVAC Contractors

Enhancing your local SEO can significantly boost your online visibility and contribute to the growth of your contracting business. Here are some steps to intensify your HVAC local SEO efforts:

Optimize Your Technical SEO

The structure and coding of your website are important for local SEO, especially for HVAC contractors. Utilize tools like Semrush, Ahrefs or Google’s Pagespeed Insights to ensure your site is performing optimally. Investing in a web developer may be necessary, but it’s a worthwhile expenditure for achieving better local rankings. If technical SEO is outside your wheelhouse, consider outsourcing this to an HVAC marketing agency.

Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly

Given that many users searching for HVAC services may have urgent needs, they’re likely to use their mobile devices for searching. A responsive website not only enhances user experience but also improves rankings on mobile-first search engines like Google.

Implement Local Schema Markup

Using structured data on your website helps search engines understand essential business details, such as your location, services offered, and customer reviews.

Apply local schema markup to your NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) data to ensure search engines accurately capture and utilize your business information.

Maintain an Active Social Media Presence

While the direct impact of social media signals on local SEO is debatable, social media remains a vital tool for cultivating your local online presence. Regularly share updates, promote your HVAC services or products, and interact with your community to enhance visibility.

Regularly Audit Your Local SEO Campaign

Use tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Semrush or Ahrefs to monitor local traffic, track your rankings, and pinpoint areas for enhancement. The more comprehensive your data, the better equipped you are to make informed adjustments and improve your position in local search rankings.

Ready to Unlock Local SEO Success for Your HVAC Business?

Adapting to the ever-changing landscape of SEO is essential for maintaining and enhancing your HVAC business’s online visibility.

By implementing the latest Google-approved SEO strategies, you can not only avoid penalties but also gain a significant edge over the competition.

But there’s no doubt about it. Running a local SEO campaign takes time, expertise and lots of patience. If the DIY approach isn’t for you, contact RS Gonzales to learn about how we can implement a local SEO strategy that helps you attract more leads and close more customers.

Implement these practices to ensure your HVAC business remains competitive and continues to thrive in the digital marketplace.

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