When you have a gushing faucet on your hands, chances are you’ll be reaching for your phone to search “plumber near me” to solve the problem.
Mobile search has become the go-to method for finding the services people need in a flash, which makes local SEO for plumbers essential for the businesses that want to be on the other end of that call.
But with stiff competition for plumbers, it takes a lot of work to rank high enough in Google’s local pack (also known as the “map pack” or “Google 3-pack”) to get noticed against those that are really putting in the work with their local SEO.
Think about it: why would a user bother calling a plumber with an average rating of below 4.5 when the search engine can quickly show them the best-reviewed options in their area?
No plumbing business needs to be languishing below position three in the pack, it's really just a case of knowing which actions to take and how to get it done efficiently.
If you’re not sure where to start to get your plumbing business ranking, you’re in the right place. Semrush is an expert in rooting out the causes of your local SEO woes—and we have just the tool for the job!
People will always need plumbers. As long as pipes keep bursting and boilers continue to break down, plumbing businesses can rest assured that there’s plenty of work out there.
But with more and more people turning to search engines, local SEO for plumbers is the only way to rank high enough to get noticed.
A typical Google search for plumbers pulls up a SERP (search engine results page) that shows directories like Yelp, map apps like MapQuest, and Facebook pages.
But the largest area of SERP real estate is dedicated to Google’s local pack, which shows the three highest-ranking results.
In the example above, a user is unlikely to look beyond this shortlist. Each result has a decent number of reviews and average ratings of above 4.5.
This is bad news for the New Jersey plumber that ranks at number four in this search, because even though they may have a similar rating, their online visibility here is essentially zero.
Fortunately, Google has made it quite clear which local SEO ranking factors are most important, so with the right tools, fourth place plumbers can start moving up and claim their share of the traffic.
Take the pressure off: Local SEO for plumbers doesn’t require too much outside-the-box thinking, but there is a fair bit of manual labor involved that most busy pipe fitters don’t have time for. Claim back your work hours with Semrush’s Listing Management, which simplifies citation building, review management and position tracking—all in one handy tool!
Before you can get to work on the leaks that are harming your rankings, good local SEO for plumbers begins with a thorough inspection.
Start with a free audit from Listing Management Listing Management to quickly understand your current listings distribution, errors in your citations and review progress (all you have to do is enter your business name).
This simple task, which would take a painstakingly long time if you were to trawl through every major directory one-by-one, will show you where to prioritize your attention to get the biggest local SEO wins.
For example, if you have listings out there with an old phone number attached, you’re not only leading potential customers down a frustrating dead end, you’re also telling Google that your data is unreliable, and you’re negatively impacting your SEO.
Your Google Business Profile is probably the most important citation for boosting local SEO for plumbers, so you want to address anything that can affect that as a priority. Your NAP data (name, address, phone number) on your GBP must match all your other citations and your website, otherwise you risk confusing both new customers and Google itself.
Make the most of all the opportunities Google Business Profile offers to promote your business. Fill in as much detail as possible in the description, being sure to include local keywords, and choose the most relevant category. For example, while “Plumber” is likely the best primary category for your business, if you mostly install boilers, “Heating equipment supplier” might be a better choice, with “Plumber” as a secondary category (you can choose up to 10). Just make sure your categories are as consistent as possible across all your business listings.
No job too small: As well as identifying major local SEO problems in your business listings, Semrush’s Listing Management can fix them for you too. All you have to do is click to update incorrect phone numbers, poorly stylized business names or confusing address structures and your details will become consistent across the web.
With so many rogue traders out there, reviews from your peers can go a long way to building the trust necessary to invite a plumber into your home.
There are two factors to consider when looking at your plumbing business’ reviews on Google: the average rating and number of reviews.
But many plumbers don’t realize that there’s actually a lot you can do to increase your average rating score and review quantity.
Review generation plays a key role in successful local SEO for plumbers, and requires both reaching out to ask for reviews and replying to say thanks or address any concerns.
SMS is one of the best ways to ask satisfied clients if they would be willing to leave you a review, because the open rate is close to 100%. Send users a simple link to your Google reviews so it’s as easy as possible for them to give you a star rating and write up their experience.
This phase can often be automated and is usually quite effective (happy clients are generally happy to help out small businesses).
But the real work is getting back to everyone that leaves you a review.
Responding to client testimonials shows that you value their opinions and are prepared to take responsibility for anything that might not have been to their liking.
This is a lot more work than you might think, especially when you have done the important work of creating profiles on dozens of prominent directories that allow users to leave reviews, but it’s well worthwhile. In fact, a Harvard Business Review found that businesses might see a 12% increase in reviews simply by replying.
And don’t ignore the negative reviews! The best plumbing businesses in the world occasionally get a dissatisfied client. Take the time to think about their concerns and decide whether or not they can be resolved. At the very least, it’s a learning experience, and at best, you could turn a client’s negative experience into a positive customer care story.
Quick review: Instead of logging into each platform and replying to reviews one at a time, leverage Semrush’s Listing Management for a super-efficient timesaver. The tool pulls in reviews from multiple platforms to streamline the process of getting back to everyone.
Polishing up your business listings and online reviews makes a big difference to local SEO for plumbers, but you mustn’t ignore your website.
Writing quality plumbing content that demonstrates expertise, authority and trustworthiness positions you as a true professional in your field and sets you apart from the competition.
Not only does well-optimized content rank organically in Google and bring in fresh business that way, but it can also help boost your local SEO rankings.
If you serve multiple areas, it might make sense to start with dedicated landing pages for each location and link to them from the relevant listings. Include your plumbing business’ NAP data on these pages and mark them up with schema code to help search engines find it.
Creating quality local SEO content for plumbers starts with thorough keyword research. You might want to hire an expert if you’re not experienced, but there are plenty of intuitive tools like Semrush that make recommendations for similar keywords and common questions.
Once you know which keywords you're going to focus on, get to work on writing content that solves typical client problems. This makes it clear that you know your stuff as a plumber, paints you as a helpful resource and puts you at the top of potential clients’ minds when they find themselves in need of plumbing services in the future.
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