Rank Your Website On the First Page of Google Search Results
Did you know that 80% of your local audience might be missing you every month? 4 out of every 5 consumers use local searches before purchasing, so if you’re not optimized for local SEO, that’s a lot of potential customers to miss! Google’s “local pack” (aka “maps listings” or “3-pack”) is at the heart of local SEO and a key part of your plumber digital marketing.
So, how do you get your plumbing business to rank at the top of Google’s local pack? Let’s dive in.
What Is Google’s Local Pack?
Google’s local pack is a list of three (or more, if an ad is present) plumbing companies located in close physical proximity to the person searching.
If you’ve ever searched Google for keywords like “plumber near me,” chances are you’ve seen the local pack before:
The results you see here for plumbing businesses in Google’s local pack and are the results of plumber SEO and local SEO campaigns working in tandem.
What Does Google Look At When Determining Who Ranks In the Local Pack?
Don’t be intimidated by the names of some of these factors. We’re going to unpack them for you. Here are some of the straightforward ones, like proximity:
- Proximity of address to the point of search – How close is your business to the person searching?
- Physical address in the city of search – Does your company’s business address match the city of the person searching?
Google wants to give its users results from local businesses…meaning as close to the user as possible. The closer your plumbing company’s office is to Google users, the higher your chances of ranking in Google’s local pack.
These are a little less obvious ranking factors, too, and we’ll come back to them later:
- Quality/authority of inbound links to the domain
- Consistency of citations on primary data sources
These unique factors all relate to the three primary local pack ranking factors, as stated by Google.
- Relevance – Does your business offer products and services that are relevant to the users search? For example, your chances of ranking in Google’s local pack for the keyword “drain cleaning services near me” when your website and Google My Business profile advertise drain cleaning services are much higher than if you didn’t.
- Distance – The closer you are to the user, the greater your chances of solidifying a local pack ranking. Similarly, the further your business is located from searchers, the less likely it is you rank in the local pack.
- Prominence – Is your business well known in the communities you serve? Does your online authority (domain authority, page authority, backlink profile, etc.) reflect your real-world expertise?
Google My Business Feeds Information to Google’s Local Pack…So Optimize It!
The first step to getting your plumbing business to the top of Google’s local pack is to claim and optimize your Google My Business profile.
Without it, you’ve severely limited your chances of getting your plumbing business listed in the local pack.
Tips to Optimize Your Google My Business Profile
- Create a Google My Business page – Google provides a guide here, or your digital marketing partner can do this for you. Simply login, enter your business’ information when prompted, and you’re well on your way.
- Verify your address with Google – Most businesses are verified via snail mail. Google will send a postcard and a corresponding verification code to the address listed on your Google My Business profile. Occasionally, a business can be verified by phone, text, or email through the Google Search Console, but we recommend the tried and true method of verification by mail.
If you’ve already claimed and verified your Google My Business page, then it’s time to optimize your listing.
- Make sure your business categories are correct – Your company’s primary and secondary business categories, as listed on Google My Business, are used to describe your business to Google. If your primary category is “plumber” then Google will show your business in local search results to those who search for “plumbers,” “plumbing services,” or “emergency plumbing” in your area. You can add additional categories like “hot water system supplier” or “drainage service” as you see fit. The more specific you get with your services, the better.
- Make sure your name, address, and phone number (NAP) are correct – Google wants to know who you are (company name), where your business is located (address), and how customers can contact you (phone number) at all times. Make sure your NAP is correct across Google My Business and other online directories.
- Ask for reviews from your customers* – Generate as many five-star reviews as possible. Not only that, respond to your customers’ reviews no matter if it’s a glowing review or a 1-star. Doing so sends positive local SEO signals to Google and can help get your plumbing business to the top of local pack results.
- Pictures – Add photos of your team, your office (make sure to include company signage), and recently completed projects to round out your Google My Business profile.
*Your Google My Business reviews will also populate across your Local Services ads profile. Click the link to learn more about Local Services ads for plumbers.
Optimize Your Plumbing Website To Get To the Top of Google’s Local Pack
Not all plumber websites are optimized for local SEO. Here are things you need to do if you want to move to the top of Google’s local pack:
- Standardize Your Footer – Make sure your name, address, and phone number (NAP) is consistent in the footer element of your website. No matter what page they are on, you want your customers (and Google) to be able to quickly find your NAP information.
- Make your website secure (HTTPS) – SSL stands for “secure sockets layer” and ensures greater security for your website. An SSL certificate sits on your website’s origin server and enables devices to verify the identity of your server, making it HTTPS, not HTTP. By going secure you also get a local SEO ranking boost from Google and other search engines.
- Optimize the loading speed of your site – You only have three seconds before you lose a potential customer. Don’t make them wait.
- Create a dedicated contact page – This page should include your NAP information and a contact form for users to get in touch. Add a link to your contact page in the “Appointments” section of your Google My Business profile.
- Add customer testimonials – This will make you and your team look and feel good, but it also sends a trust signal to Google.
- Be mobile-friendly – More than half of all web traffic now comes from mobile devices, and Google’s index (their memory bank of search results) gives local pack ranking priority to plumbing websites that are mobile-friendly.
- Add Schema – These are specific HTML tags that help the search engines find you and can improve your plumbing company’s local SEO rankings.
- Submit a sitemap to the search engines – If you submit to Google Search Console first, Bing will allow you to import from Google.
Optimize Your Online Directory Listings (Business Citations)
If you’ve optimized your website and Google My Business profile, you’ve done really well. But there are still a few more items to cover before you’ve done everything possible to rank your plumbing business in Google’s local pack.
Remember that one of the factors referred to as “Primary Data Sources?” These are places on the web that potential customers go to look for businesses like yours. Apart from Google My Business, these include sites like:
- Angie’s List
- Better Business Bureau (BBB)
Being consistently cited in these primary data sources helps your ranking in the local pack. Within these listings, there will often be a “company description.” This is one of the best places to add a brief business description packed with SEO value, like plumbing keywords and any promotions you’re currently running.
For Plumbers, Local Pack Rankings Matter
It’s easy to see how important it is for your plumbing business to be at the top of Google’s local pack. If you simply imitate what a potential customer does, by doing a search for “plumbers near me,” and you see your competitors come up instead of you, you understand the power of ranking as high as possible.
Customized Local SEO Services & Strategies for Plumbers
If you struggle to get your plumbing business to rank in Google’s local pack, or simply don’t generate enough leads to keep your team and trucks on the road, Blue Corona can help.
Blue Corona is a full-service digital marketing company that specializes in growing plumbers’ businesses. Since we first opened our doors, our award-winning home services marketing team has helped hundreds of plumbers across the United States increase leads and sales and differentiate their brands online.
Contact us online or give us a call to learn more about our local SEO services for plumbers and to get a free marketing consultation today!