Today, if a customer needs any plumbing services, he is most likely to search for a plumber on Google. Hence, it is important that your plumbing website rank on the first page of SERPs. One option to make this happen is through a PPC (Pay Per Click) marketing campaign. With a PPC campaign, you do not have to go through the long SEO process of ranking your website, although it is recommended that you keep working on optimizing your plumbing website. Moreover, it makes sense for a plumbing company to focus on a small geographic location or a local market. PPC allows you to select a specific location to target your audience. Thus, you can reach to potential clients in your local area. If you’ve been wondering what this PPC is all about, then continue reading this guide which talks about pay per click for plumbers.
PPC is like an auction where you need to bid for keywords and the ad that bids the highest for the keyword is shown. When you start a PPC campaign, you need to choose a specific keyword or keywords for which your ad will be listed on SERPs. Different keywords will have different rates. Keywords that are most searched by a user tend to be high priced. Therefore, if you are willing to pay or bid the most for each click, then your plumbing website tends to rank on top.
If your plumbing website is not optimized as per the search engine algorithms, then PPC is the best way to rank your website higher on SERPs. With PPC, you generate more traffic on your website. This is because of the increased exposure you get as a user is most often than not looking for information only on the first few pages of search results. Your PPC ads are usually served within a day or two. Thus, you can make yourself visible whenever you want to. Additionally, the timing of PPC ads is an important factor to get more traffic. For example, during winter there are problems related to frozen pipes or leakages. Therefore, it makes sense to carry out a PPC campaign, focusing on ‘pipe repairs during winter’ or ‘precautions for your piping system before winter begins’. A PPC campaign is applicable for mobile and tablets as well. The amount of time a user spends on mobile is ever-increasing and hence, it is a good option to have your plumbing ads run on these devices. In fact, users can directly contact your plumbing service when they click through your ad from mobile provided you have PPC enabled for these devices. They don’t have to browse through your website and research for information. The reason being a person using his mobile for any plumbing services may be in urgent need of it. Hence, they can contact your plumbing firm right after clicking the ad.
There are two main PPC networks for all major search engines. They are – Google AdWords and Bing Ads. Both have their separate networks. Bing has around 17.5% share of the Canadian search market. However, Google is the most preferred search engine and hence, it makes sense to use Google AdWords over Bing Ads. If you want to tap the 17.5% of your target audience as well, then Bing Ads becomes your secondary option.
The Ad Auction Process
The highest bidded ad is not necessarily the one that appears on top. Along with the bid price, there are other elements that are considered to decide your ad listing position. Google has something called as Quality Score which is based on some variables such as CTR (Click Through Rate), relevance and quality of landing page. CTR is the rate or the number of people to whom the ad has been served and they have clicked on your ad. If your ad has been served to 1000 customers and 10 clicked on the ad, then your CTR would be 1% (10/1000*100). Hence, if your ad has a high percentage of CTR, then it stands a chance to feature at the top of any relevant search results. This is because your ad has to be relevant to your audience or else they may not click on the ad and you won’t get any leads. So it’s a waste of your time and money as well. As a result, you may no longer carry out ad campaigns in future and hence, Google might lose out on a potential revenue client. This is why apart from paying highest bid, Google also considers the relevancy of your ad to the target audience. The same is with your landing page. A landing page is a page where users are directed upon clicking your plumbing ad. A poor landing page can put off your prospects and they may not sign or book for your plumbing services. Here again, you end up wasting your resources with poor returns.
The following is the formula used to rank your ad, also known as AdRank.
Maximum Bid Price X Quality Score (CTR, Relevance, Quality of Landing Page) = AdRank
Based on your AdRank, you will appear in Google’s listings. The following example shows that it is not always the one with the highest bid who gets the top rank or top listing.
AdRank (Bid Price x Quality Score)
Listing on Google Search
Plumbing Company 1
8 x 4 = 32
Plumbing Company 2
7 x 5 = 35
Plumbing Company 3
4 x 9 = 36
Plumbing Company 4
5 x 6 = 30
Your bid price is also influenced by the keywords you choose. The keywords can be anything such as plumber, plumbing service, commercial plumbing service, plumbing service in Alberta, Toronto plumbers, etc. The cost of these keywords can be known once you’ve created your account and ready to launch your campaign.
You may wonder if I pay $5 and the next bidder pays $2, then you are actually paying $3 more. This may not be beneficial for you since you pay $3 more to get one lead whereas, the immediate bidder who follows you gets a lead in $2. As a result, you end up paying more than 2 times despite having a higher bid. Thus, your ROI is lower compared to the one paying $2. To avoid this situation, Google ensures that you don’t have to pay $5 if the subsequent bid amount is $2. In this case, your CPC should be sufficient only to keep you ahead of your immediate bidder. This is calculated with the help of a formula written as P1 = b2q2/Q1.
Take a look at the following example.
AdRank (Bid Price x Quality Score)
Plumbing Company 1
8 x 6 = 48
AdRank of Plumbing Company 2 (5×5)/Quality Score (6) = $4.18
Plumbing Company 2
5 x 5 = 25
AdRank of Plumbing Company 3 (5×4)/Quality Score (5) = $4
Plumbing Company 3
5 x 4 = 20
In this case, despite the plumbing company 1 bidding at $8, it will only pay $4.18 per click. Thus, increasing your Quality Score reduces your CPC and enhances your listings.
How to Start your Plumbing PPC Campaign?
To begin with your PPC campaign on Google AdWords, you need to create a Google AdWords account for your plumbing company. To create your account, follow these steps:
Provide the necessary details regarding your plumbing business and services you’d like to promote.
Fill campaign details such as selecting your geographical location and service area. Click the “extensions link” and add your location based listing on Google Places Listing.
For “call extension”, provide your contact details. The contact details are shown along with the ad and your audience can immediately contact you.
The next step is to select your keywords for which you want your ads to feature. Your keywords can include all the plumbing services that you offer. Also, once Google writes your Ad, provide a call to action button. For example, “emergency service at xxxxx” or “call us now”.
Following this guide might’ve given you a brief understanding about pay per click for plumbers. If you are unsure of where to begin and how much money to invest, then consult a digital marketing expert. It’s best to take an expert opinion instead of making any costly mistakes. The expert firm will assist your plumbing service in pay per click management and ensure you get best results. The results may be in terms of increased traffic, generating quality leads and attracting clients for your business. Therefore, do not delay and begin with your PPC campaign to increase your profits by earning a higher return on your investment for your plumbing company.
Ali Salman is an online marketing strategist who have worked with Coca-Cola, Extreme Pita, Mucho Burrito, KIA, Honda and other Fortune 500 companies. Ali Salman now heads Rapid Boost Marketing - Canada's fastest growing search marketing agency. RBM clients include Fortune 500's and medium size businesses across North America. Ali as RBM CMO leads his team in building and managing quality, high-performing and cost-effective interactive campaigns and programs for our company's customers and partners. In his career, he has significantly improved campaign performance for large brands such as Government of Alberta, Liberal Party, Workopolis, Cathay Pacific, as well as medium to large retailers and high-tech B2B-enterprise niches.
Ali and his team develop online promotional concepts that spark viral growth through search and social media for RBM clients, devising strategies that use search engines and more to reach key demographic segments in the ways they're most likely to be receptive. Ali Salman also oversees corporate marketing initiatives for Rapid Boost Marketing, including strategic communications counsel, public and analyst relations and client education programming.