Pay per click advertising, lovingly referred to as PPC by your HVAC marketing team, is one of the best ways to grow your sales pipeline.
And, if done correctly, your HVAC PPC efforts can be an essential portion of your overall success. In fact, Google reports that for every dollar spent in AdWords, businesses bring in two dollars of revenue.
While PPC requires a budget, it is an extremely measurable and targeted way to reach online consumers where you want to and when it makes the most sense.
Whether your HVAC business has a fully-functioning pay per click advertising initiative currently underway or planning to launch one in the near future, this guide can help you get the results you desire.
Don’t Miss These Six Keystone Strategies To Optimize Your HVAC PPC
#1: Choose broad match keywords over exact match.
Let’s start by defining the difference between exact match and broad match keywords for your pay per click advertising.
Broad match keywords are general in nature and allow Google the room to interpret them broadly.
Setting up an exact match for your PPC campaign means that you are in the driver’s seat only allowing for exact matches to your search terms.
Every industry varies in which option brings the most success.
Within the HVAC space, I have found that broad match strategy performs better than exact match.
Broad match allows your service-oriented company to cast a wider net and bring in more opportunities to acquire new customers than exact match paid search strategies.
#2: Focus on non-branded keywords over branded.
The top brands in the world like Apple, Amazon and Disney rely on branded keywords when crafting successful PPC campaigns, but not all brands have that level of cache to draw from.
Most HVAC companies are hyper-local covering a small region of customers without a large amount of branded traffic flowing to their website on any average day.
Your success-oriented HVAC PPC play should be centered around non-branded keywords with a small piece of the budget allocated for branded search terms.
Let’s drill down on these two types of keywords that can be incorporated into your pay per click advertising campaigns.
- What Is a branded keyword? These are keywords that are related to your company, brand, or proprietary product. HVAC marketers (or any marketer) will love the high click-through rates (CTRs) and high quality scores that are associated with these types of keywords, but there is a caveat…they don’t always translate into new customers for your HVAC business. The traffic volume for branded keywords is typically substantially lower in the HVAC industry when compared to non-branded keywords. Branded keywords should be used to protect your brand with a limited amount of spend.
- What are non-branded keywords? Non-branded keywords are generic in nature but related to your HVAC business, such as air conditioners, indoor air quality or heat pumps. Your non-branded keywords are more competitive and can come with click-through rates that are lower than the branded counterpart, but the good news is they bring in the new business your HVAC needs to thrive. If someone searches “heating contractor near me” you want to appear in the results, right? This is an example of a non-branded keyword campaign phrase.
#3: Stop focusing on competition.
It’s long been common practice to bid on your top competitor’s name as a core part of your PPC advertising campaign.
If you take another read of step two of this guide, it should be clear that if it doesn’t make sense to spend effort (and budget dollars) on your competitors brand keywords.
In fact, it’s even harder to get those users because a large percentage of them are already locked down with your competitor’s services.
So, in other words, please stop bidding on the competition’s name (double please).
Your pay per click advertising efforts are much better spend focusing on cultivating a steady flow of quality paid traffic of consumers undecided on and unaffiliated with any company or brand.
Competitive brand results typically convert at a much lower rate due to customer confusion.
#4: Don’t limit yourself.
In many areas of HVAC marketing, targeting is encouraged and helps to generate better results.
In the HVAC pay per click advertising arena, however, you need to cast of a wide net.
It might seem scary or counterintuitive to remove the very targeted coverage area parameters you may have in place for traditional marketing efforts, but extremely limited coverage areas in your PPC campaigns can lead to diluted results.
Cast that wide net across your entire coverage area. Don’t limit your reach to specific zip codes or communities.
#5: Stay positive (always good advice) but don’t ignore the negative keywords.
Building a strategy around negative keywords is a quintessential sliver of your PPC marketing.
Negative keywords, simply put, are keywords that create irrelevant search queries.
Many HVAC advertisers fall short in this area, never adding negative keyword to their accounts or paying too little attention to this area of their PPC initiatives.
If you don’t spend some time dabbling in the negative, you’ll be missing out your opportunities maximize your PPC spend.
In other words, getting rid of the negative keywords that will ensure that you drive quality traffic into your lead gen funnel.
An easy (no-brainer) first step in your negative keyword strategy is to input your competitor’s names as negative keywords, so you do not appear in their paid search results. (Refer to step number three in this guide for more information about bidding on your competitor’s brand names.)
#6: Follow through on your PPC effort.
There’s an old cliche about putting the cart before the horse.
Kicking off your pay per click advertising campaign without a landing page is a perfect example!
Many novice (or time-strapped) HVAC PPC Managers make the common misstep of linking their pay per click ads back to a home page or product page of their website.
Here are a few important reasons why you should never launch a PPC campaign without a landing page specifically created for conversions:
- Landing pages offer targeted information.
- Landing pages push traffic toward a desired action.
- Landing pages allow you to test what works and run experiments.
- Landing pages increase conversion rates by 65 percent (as reported by Unbounce).
- Landing pages with consistent messaging result in a higher AdWords quality score which will boost your ad rank and your search impression share which is the fancy way of saying your PPC ads will appear more often.
Pay per click is an excellent way to feed your sales pipeline and, ultimately, keep your HVAC growing with a continuous influx of new customers that find you online.
If you’re already aware of the power of PPC, you’ve likely picked up on the fact that it’s getting more costly to tap into this marketing channel.
It’s a correct assessment, on average a cost-per-click (in AdWords) has nearly tripled since 2012, rising from $0.84 up to $2.14.
While this may seem like a significant marketing spend for an initiative that offers no guarantee of a qualified lead or a new customer, this doesn’t mean PPC doesn’t work.
Like anything you spend your hard-earned budget dollars on, however, it should not be taken lightly.
Follow these six steps to ensure that your ad spend is utilized to its fullest potential.