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Sales & Marketing

Heat Up Your Marketing Strategy:

The Essential Tools & Tactics for HVAC Business Growth

Originally published
Originally published: 7/1/2024

Marketing is the linchpin that separates your business from the rest. It is not something you should only do when you have the money, and it’s not just a “nice to have” — it is an essential part of every business. 

When you think about marketing — especially digitally — it is necessary to think about it in three ways: 

1.    How are you being found? Is it organically, paid ads on Google or social media, or a referral?
2.    What happens when they get to you? Are they being brought to your website? Are you sending them to a landing page? Is there a Call to Action? What do you want the user to do?
3.    What are you doing to track the data and nurture the lead? Do you have Urchin Tracking Module(UTM) tracking set up? Call tracking? Form tracking? Is your Google Analytics tracking properly?

All of these elements contribute to an excellent digital marketing strategy.

Understanding the Need for Digital Marketing in 2024

Let’s face it: Anyone can build a website. AI could write your copy and now even build your site. Someone across the globe can handle your social media. Online software with templates can service all your graphic design needs. …  And you could do this all for free or really cheap. But is that really the best and most beneficial to your business?

Take a step back right now. Do you actually understand your Google Analytics data and interpret it properly? The thing about marketing is … it can be very subjective. So, we need to take our opinions out of marketing, focus purely on the data, and make decisions based on that.

When done correctly, SEO is a long-term strategy; it is not one-and-done, it is not just blogs, and it is not just a simple website update. Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which is where you rank on Google and other search engines, is crucial to the long-term growth of your business online.  

We need to make sure that your business is coming up on page one of Google as high as possible, above your competitors, for keywords that people are searching. 

That means we don’t want you coming up first for keywords that have zero search volume. We need to make sure that you’re coming up with relevant keywords. People (and potential leads) are out there searching for “air conditioning service in Tampa” or “heating service on Long Island” — but are you capitalizing on that?

The Importance of Paid Ads

A short-term/semi-long-term strategy, when done effectively, is paid advertising online. This is typically through Google Search ads, social media ads, or Google LSA (Local Service Ads).  

Paid ads online are not something you just do for a few weeks. With your setup, the algorithm at play, and countless other intangibles, paid ads are a strategy that will take several months to see dividends. Moreover, it should not be your only form of marketing, as SEO will pay more significant dividends long-term.

A great strategy I recommend, depending on the campaign, is sending users from paid ads to landing pages that have a call tracking number and a form on them. That’s one destination. The other destination is sending them to your website and using UTM Tracking. 

Setting Your Website Up for Success

Upon visiting your website, there are several core tenets to abide by: 

    Make sure that what you do is clear - establish your business’s intent clearly and demonstrably.
    More importantly, make sure there’s a clear Call-to-Action - note what you want the user to do, whether it’s to schedule service, sign up for a maintenance program, or schedule an estimate.
    Make sure your website doesn’t have fluff.
    Don’t use stock photos.
    Make sure your website has useful and relevant information with a content strategy behind it. 

Always make sure that you’re able to track your leads throughout your entire website and that you follow technical SEO guidelines. Google wants a site that loads quickly and has relevant content. 

Your website should provide a user experience that is superior to your competitors, is natural and easy for your customers, and achieves a given goal. This means giving or providing the user with value and receiving their contact info in return. This can be through a form fill out, a landing page, an e-book download, or something that will engage the user, hook them, and make them feel accomplished — ultimately establishing trust and desire to work with you, while you now collect a lead.

Now that you’ve figured out a plan on how to be found (organic or paid) and you’ve set up your website, ensure that you are tracking leads and nurturing them.  This is the moment you’ve been waiting for. You have leads, but when you don’t track them, it can cause a problem.

When done properly, your website and overall marketing should not be a cost center or an expense. It should be very profitable for you and a big part of where your customers are coming from.

You Have Leads, But Are You Lead Nurturing?

To properly nurture a lead, I recommend implementing a nonsales email drip campaign, text campaign, personal phone call —  all of the above. With the right touch, it will make a huge difference. Remember, we are still possibly trying to build authority, trust, and a relationship.

Social media will be helpful overall from a brand awareness and lead generation perspective, but tracking and really gaining new customers from this will not be easy. Instead, focus on your organic search rankings, your website, and your tracking. Making sure you have a positive ROI is important. 

I want you to listen closely: I recommend sticking with any content or paid campaigns for at least 60 to 90 days to see meaningful results. Within those 60 to 90 days, make minimal changes and learn to pivot (gently). Making too many changes too quickly will result in failed campaigns. Not reading or understanding your data will also fail.

I want you to WIN!!!

Essential HVAC Marketing Tools in 2024

Try the following tools and techniques and make sure they are set up on your website and in your marketing: 

    Call Tracking - Call tracking is going to allow you to see the source, the keywords searched, and what page(s) a caller viewed. I recommend CallRail as it’s straightforward and easy to use.
    Website Chatbot - By implementing chatbots on your website, your business is able to offer 24/7 support to customers and new leads. Here, users can input any questions and receive instantaneous support — and not to mention, chatbots can handle multiple requests at once, thus allowing your business to service a plethora of clients concurrently. It’s an excellent tool that assists in lead generation, marketing, and sales.
    Google PageSpeed - You may think your site loads quickly, but a big part of Google’s search algorithm is mobile-first ranking. Even if the majority of your visitors are coming from desktops, the responsive mobile version of your site needs to load quickly. Google has this down to milliseconds. You can test this using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool.
    Google Analytics - You need a streamlined platform that combines all crucial statistics for your website so you can make informed decisions regarding content and ad strategy. With Google Analytics, you will see elements including users, tracked events (sign-ups, phone calls), average engagement times, Google ad campaign performance, and other pertinent and informative data.
    Google Search Console - This is a platform that advertisers use to optimize search performance on Google. As previously mentioned, your business needs to be ranked on the first page of Google. Search Console will agglomerate Search traffic and help marketers fix glaring issues — such as indexing issues, redirect errors, server errors, security issues, and more — so that you optimize your website as effectively as possible.
    Google Search Ads - An essential for any HVAC service company, Google Ads will help you reach the audience that you are catering to — whether it’s commercial, residential, or both. Not only will this provide your company with leads, but it will also help you define the customer profile that ultimately brings you the most business. This, of course, depends on how you optimize your campaigns.
    Google Local Service Ads (LSA) - Similar to Google Ads, Google LSA offers you local leads — only this is charged through a Pay-Per-Lead model (meaning you’re charged when a lead reaches out to your business); whereas Google Ads charges you through Pay-Per-Click (meaning they charge you when a user clicks your ad).
    A Clear Call-to-Action – A call-to-action (CTA) is the bow on the gift of value that you provide your leads and customers. Wrapping up your content, CTAs should be powerful, impactful and inspire consumers to reach out to your business for inquiries. Effective CTAs should emphasize pain points rather than promote your business; remember that clients have needs that you must meet, and it’s your responsibility to instill the trust that your company is capable of delivering.
    Keyword Research and Content Marketing - It is vital that HVAC professionals take the time to learn what keywords their prospective clients are searching for. You can achieve this with a tool like Semrush. Whether it is “commercial hvac maintenance nyc” or “residential ac unit orlando,” hammering down your niche to the keyword is imperative — and with platforms like Semrush, you can see crucial analytics like keyword variations, when/where keywords are clicking best (essential for ad scheduling!), CPC, and overall competitive density. 

AJ Sonnick is a digital marketing consultant and strategist and the founder of ONE18MEDIA. With previous experience in HVAC marketing and more than 10 years of digital marketing success, AJ has consistently grown businesses by delivering clients with leads, sales, and boosted revenue across a multitude of verticals. With an ability to adapt to client needs and shifting trends, AJ and the ONE18MEDIA team have been proving their versatility daily by cementing their powerhouse status in the New York digital marketing space.

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