Building a strong foundation is key to long term success…
It doesn’t matter whether you’re building a house or a marketing campaign, if your foundation is weak, chances are you won’t succeed.
When your business’s online foundation is set up properly, you will achieve the following 5 objectives:
- You will establish a professional online image that best represents your business values
- You will build instant trust, visibility and credibility with your target audience
- You will increase your chances of converting cold leads to actual sales for your business
- You will decrease your cost per lead while increasing business lead flow
- You will increase your chances of attracting repeat buyers and referrals
In order to achieve the objectives listed above, there are several components that must be in place to position your HVAC business as the authentic, credible expert within your niche market online.
The first, most important step, is deep market research.
Let’s get to it.
Discovering Gold With Market Research
It’s very important to start your campaign off on the right foot or you may take your business down a rabbit hole that you don’t want to go down.
Costly mistakes can occur if you don’t correctly perform the necessary market research and analysis.
Improper methods, implemented during the market research phase, can lead to costly errors and poor results, ultimately resulting in a huge waste of time and money.
This critical market research phase is instrumental in helping you understand how your company currently stacks up in your business’s specific local market.
The following list is what you will need to focus on in your market research:
- Trend and keyword research
- Identifying key niche opportunities online to help your company become the ACE (Authentic Credible Expert) that you need it to be for your target audience to trust you and your business
- Identifying and understanding your competition online and what’s actually involved in their online marketing campaigns (Important: there’s a good chance your competition offline is different from your online competition)
- Completing a marketing audit on your business website and your business’s overall online marketing campaign, will help you to understand exactly what the best next steps online are for your company
- Creating a clear marketing plan to implement on behalf of your company for the next 6 – 12 month time period
The first step is what’s called trend and keyword research.
Let’s break those up and first explore trend research.
Trend research is the act of exploring niches on the Internet using different tools such as Google Trends, popular question and answer websites, industry specific websites, social media sites, and even Google.com.
Through these tools you will be able to find out exactly what the hot topics and trends are in the heating and air conditioning niches online and which topics are most important for you to target in your campaign.
As I mentioned previously, a great tool for you to use for your trend research is Google Trends.
On Google Trends, you can see what is trending in the heating and air conditioning niche just by typing in broad keywords such as heating or air conditioning or air conditioner.
This shows you what’s actually being searched in the United States as a whole. You also have the opportunity to ‘drill down’ on the specific state or city where your business is located in, to see what people are actually typing into the Google search engine that live in those states and cities.
The next thing you want to do for your trend research, is take a look at some popular question and answer websites.
One in particular would be Yahoo! Answers, which is where people ask and answer questions on any topic.
Yahoo! Answers and similar question and answer sites can provide great insight about your specific niche market and what your target customer is really looking for in regards to HVAC search terms online.
A diamond in the rough resource when it comes to trend research is Twitter Search.
By entering keyword phrases into Twitter Search, you can see what’s trending on Twitter.
Let me show you why this is important and how to use this critical marketing information.
For instance, if you go to Twitter search and enter ‘air conditioning,’ all of the tweets that contain the phrase ‘air conditioning’ will populate in the results.
With this data you’ll see exactly what real people are talking about on Twitter with specific regards to air conditioning, air conditioning comments, complaints and fixes.
You’ll be surprised to see what people are talking about and you will instantly get ideas on how to use this for your business marketing plan.
Once you’ve gathered a general idea of what trending topics are present on Google Trends, and the popular question and answer websites and Twitter, the next place to go study and explore are industry specific organization and association websites associated with the HVAC niche.
These industry websites are looking to educate heating and air conditioning professionals, like yourself, on trending HVAC topics, recent updates in the niche, new products or technologies and related topics.
See if there are any angles you can leverage in your business marketing plan, based on information being published on these websites.
Because of the high volume of websites and traffic, one of the best tools to use to see what’s trending in the HVAC niche online is to just go to Google.com.
Google For Research
Google has an ‘auto-suggest’ tool which provides tons of ‘golden nuggets’ as to what people are searching for and are most concerned about in regards to the HVAC niche.
How this tool works for research is when you start typing in words and phrases into the Google search bar, the most popular searched phrases, according to Google, appear in a dropdown fashion.
Another way to use Google is to pay close attention to the search results on the Google search engine when you type in a keyword of interest into the search box.
Simply read the headlines of the different search results to see what Google displays. Pay close attention to the highest positioned topics.
Remember, Google’s goal as a search engine is to provide relevant, accurate and interesting content for its users.
They take what they display very seriously and you should too.
It is important to pay attention to what other HVAC experts and professionals are talking about online, and what’s of major interest to your target audience.
Once you’ve gathered all of your trend research, it’s time to perform some in-depth keyword research.
Keyword research is important because it allows you to understand how often certain keyword phrases are being searched online on Google and the other search engines.
Using the Google’s keyword research tool called the Google Keyword Planner (you do need a Google Ads account), you can type in specific keyword phrases and get a list of suggested related keyword phrases along with their associated search volume.
Search volume means how often people are searching for specific phrases on a monthly basis through the Google search engine.
A word of caution here: the Google Keyword Planner is not an end-all-be-all tool.
You must take the suggested keywords from Google with a grain of salt and use your common sense when evaluating different keyword phrases and whether or not they are the right keywords to target in your campaign.
You must ask yourself if someone would actually type in a specific keyword phrase that is suggested to you by Google in order to find your product or service?
If you believe a phrase does not make sense to you, then chances are it’s not a keyword phrase you should target and should be discarded from your list.
Next, in order to verify if keyword phrases are worth targeting, you want to check how many times relevant keyword phrases are being searched for on a monthly basis.
Another element that is displayed in the Google Keyword Planner tool that you’ll want to pay close attention to when doing keyword research is called ‘cost-per-click’ or ‘CPC.’
This ad metric is the cost-per-click for the individual keyword phrase when purchased by an advertiser the Google Ads auction platform.
Advertisers buy ad “clicks” to get targeted traffic to their website and to their offers.
They are paying Google to get those clicks (from visitors) on individual keyword phrases that are searched.
The result is Google will send those targeted visitors to the advertiser’s desired landing page.
If you see a high dollar cost-per-click on a keyword, this means there is value associated with that keyword.
The thought is that if someone is willing to pay $10 dollars for a click (essentially a website visit) this is a strong indication advertisers are profiting from these keywords.
Why would someone pay $10 dollars for a targeted keyword to get a click if it was not turning into profit?
IMPORTANT: If there are no ads displaying on a keyword search that you make on Google in the pay-per-click ads section, then this is a strong indication that there is no money to be made with this keyword phrase and you should discard it and move onto the next.
Pay Close Attention To Your Competitors
The last area you want to focus on when it comes to keyword research is what keyword phrases your competition is showing up for on the search engines like Google and Bing.
You want to study exactly where your competitor’s websites are positioned on each search engine and understand how effective their SEO campaigns are working for them.
This will show you how competitive your local HVAC market is and what keyword phrases each competitor is targeting.
Paying attention to your competition is sort of a given, but maybe it’s not so obvious how important it is to pay close attention what your competition is doing ineffectively and what keyword phrases they are not showing up for.
Your competitors’ weaknesses pose great opportunities for you to edge out the competition and rise in the ranking and visibility for profitable keyword phrases.
This specific strategy, to go after lesser competitive keyword terms, will give you and your company a huge opportunity to become more visible to your target market.
You quickly position yourself ahead of your competition at a far lower cost, since it takes less ‘SEO juice’ at a lower expense to secure a keyword phrase that is seen as less competitive.
These are the true golden nuggets that will help you set up a solid relationship with Google and the other major search engines for your business.
In addition to knowing which keywords your competitors are showing up for and what they’re not showing up for, be sure to review their marketing strategies and their overall presence online.
Pay close attention to how their websites look and what their specific marketing goals are.
Observe the marketing methods and strategies they employ on their social media pages and what the customer usability and experience is on each social website (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram & YouTube).
When our team does a competitive review of the competition for a new client, we dive deep into each competitor and their online marketing campaigns.
We do this so we can engineer a plan based on the strengths and weakness of the websites we know we will be competing against.
We are an ethical company and we use proven marketing strategies that we’ve tested, to build a rock solid plan that has the potential to create the greatest results.
You’re going to want to do the same for your business.
To boost Google’s positioning and promote the visibility of our clients’ websites, we review and analyze the keyword phrases where the competition is currently visible in an organic search.
We use our analysis to find, target and boost the visibility on the highest quality (and most profitable keyword phrases).
These hidden gems are nitro boosters allowing our marketing firm to quickly, and cost effectively, boost our clients’ business visibility for targeted Google searches.
By paying close attention to competitive activity, you can easily discover authoritative websites that your competitors have backlinks on and look to acquire similar backlinks for your own website.
One of the last things you want to pay attention to is the success the competition has on other sites outside of Google.
Important Sites Other Than Google
I’m, specifically referring to the major social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
Are your competitors having success on these sites, or is there an open market that exists that you can claim?
Are there opportunities to position your company as the go-to business on these major social media websites, ahead of your competition?
In addition, you are going to want to visit the major review websites where your competitors have business listings and customer reviews such as: Yelp, Superpages, Angie’s List, BBB.com, YP.com, Home Advisor, Porch, etc.
These are extremely important local business review sites that allow customers to leave real reviews of companies.
Having a good number of high-quality customer reviews can have an incredibly strong influence on the reputation a business has online and on the major search engines like Google and Bing.
You are now able to help your business capitalize on your competitor’s weaknesses.
Important Question For You…
Do you want to be the ONE HVAC company we partner with in your specific location that our team will go to work for to produce as many exclusive leads as we can for you and your budget?
Have other questions for our team? Setup a call right here.