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Over the last two weeks we have had dozens of plumbers ask us for SEO advice on growing their business through their website. Plumbing is a highly competitive business, particularly online. The top plumbing business, for the search “Sydney Plumbers”, on Google has a PR of 6, over 4500 indexed links, and has a domain authority of 63.

If you like this post, see the other things we have written to help plumbers.

What SEO methods do plumbers use increase their traffic and increase their sales leads? It is the same as any other highly competitive industry.First you need to know you should be focussing on quality traffic. That means you are looking to attract visitors that are looking to hire you right now.

SEO is about getting people to spend money with you, NOT your competitors. To that end, chasing after people looking for “Sydney Plumbers” may not be the best way to go. Your primary goal should be to drive people to search for you, find you and then spend money with you.

You need to know your tools. We use the following;

Google Keyword Tool – You will use this to find low-competition/high traffic keywords.

OpenSite Explorer – You will use this to find the highest ranked AND most relevany pages linking to your competitors

Directory Critic -This is where you will find the most relevant quality directories for articles and links.

Yahoo – This is a much better search engine for finding links, who is linking to you and your competitors. Google Webmaster tools are ok, but for some reason they don’t list all of the links.

  1. Use Google Analytics. If you outsource your SEO functions, make sure they give you a full detailed report, or at least access to your analytics data. This will allow you to see where you are getting the most traffic from, what is working for you, and what keywords most people are using. If anything it will open your eyes to the volume of traffic that can come from the most random places.
  2. Spread your keywords/look for the long tail. Everyone is competing for “sydney plumbers”. I am not saying abandon this completely, but start thinking outside the box. There are more people searching locally for “Hot Water Service” (12000+) than for “Sydney Plumbers” (~9000). Also there will be people who are more likely to buy when they are searching for “Emergency Hot Water Plumber”. Also would you rather do business with people looking for a “Cheap Plumber” or “luxury home plumber” or “best quality plumber sydney“?
  3. Build Content. This means you have to look at building up your quality content around lots of related keywords. I would suggest building a blog. You could write a few “how to” articles. Once you have written them, wait 2 weeks, and then submit them to the article directories listed in Directory Critic.
  4. Follow these rules; Use unique interesting title tags for each page. Do the same for the meta description.
  5. Use Video. Firstly, few plumbing businesses do use video, so you will stand out. Secondly, it is a great way to bridge the gap between those that do and don’t trust your business.
  6. Don’t look for high PR links only – Use the Open Site Explorer and Yahoo to find out where the most authoritative links are coming into your competitors. Try to get links in relevant directories. You don’t have to chase the top PR websites on the web, because not only is that unrealistic, but you will probably miss out on a lot of other places that could give you quality traffic.
  7. Strive for publicity. Sponsor a local soccer team, donate to the local hospital, hold a “How to change your water heater” event for old people. Write information that can be used by the press and local media. The bottom line is, by doing all of this a) you will get a lot of people linking to your website and b) it will raise your profile in the local area.
  8. Get links in sparingly. Only initiate link exchanges and directory submissions from website that are highly relevant and have been indexed for a long time. If you do use a reciprocal link exchange read this first. Avoid buying or selling links. Pretty much the only place you should buy a link from is the Yahoo directory. After that you might want to get a premium placement in a plumbing directory online. Everything else is a waste, until you know where your traffic is coming from.
  9. Control the number of outbound links on your pages and on pages where you place your links, avoid link-farms, links to gambling, pills, etc. If you want a rule, never link to other plumbers in your country, only overseas. Only link to websites related to home improvement or plumbing. Only link to websites that are ranked on the firsst 3 pages of the search engines.
  10. Spend money on other things, like Facebook/Twitter, before Yellow Pages. The yellow pages rarely rank top for any of the keywords you would want. Few people actually read the books any more, and there are better ways to spend your money. If you want a cheap alternative to PPC, look at social media, or having a Facebook page, and spending some money on PPC. Also think about using Twitter actively to find clients.

  11. Get a Google Places listing, and focus on improving that. Firstly your location matters in Google places, and that can’t be faked. Secondly it relies on a lot of data sources to see where your address is, so every time you place a link back to your website, make sure you put your telephone number and physical address down.

Want some more great reading about SEO for Plumbers? Here is some great information about the SEO Success pyramid, which has a great, in depth, breakdown of the things you should be looking for.

If you like this post, see the other things we have written to help plumbers.


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Comments (2)

Thanks for the excellent article. Good advice and a nice collection of tools.

We’ve recently picked up a plumbing customer, so great timing!

I would suggest building a blog. You could write good articles.

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