HVAC Marketing: What Works, What Doesn’t, And What You Need
HVAC marketing is a tricky beast. For one, you’re dealing with a highly-specialized service that most people know nothing about, and two, there’s some pretty intense competition out there.
For instance, according to Yelp, there are about 240 HVAC companies in Los Angeles alone. With searchers only choosing from the first page of Google, only those with a strong online presence can stand out and get leads.
On top of that, many HVAC companies don’t know how to take their business online.
- Is having a website enough?
- What should the website even contain?
- SEO – what is that?
- PPC, SMM, SEM, Local SEO – no idea what these are!
These are just some things we hear from HVAC companies that come to us for marketing help.
It’s understandable – you run an HVAC business, so you specialize in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning – not a marketing company.
And that’s exactly what we want for you here at Digital Delane. We want you to focus on what you’re awesome at, while we use our digital marketing magic to make sure people know about you!
In this article, we’ll take you through the nitty-gritty of HVAC marketing. Learn what strategies work and which ones to throw out.
We’ll also give you practical tips on how to sell your HVAC services online while we answer common FAQs we receive from business owners like you.
Do you really need an HVAC marketing strategy?
Some HVAC pros, especially old hands, are resistant to creating an online marketing strategy. This is especially true for well-established companies who’ve already made a name in their area.
Calls are still coming in, right? So why fix something that isn’t broken?
Because like it or not, the internet will eventually render traditional HVAC marketing strategies obsolete.
Flyers? Done. Classified ads? No one’s looking at them anymore. The Yellow Pages? Many consumers have no idea what that is!
And that’s just the traditional marketing avenues. Digital marketing, on the other hand, gives your business its 24/7 information and accessibility.
You might be happily coasting along now, but sooner or later someone’s going to pull up at your curb in a shiny new website and all of your clients will flock to them.
We definitely don’t want that!
A good HVAC marketing strategy should do several things:
- Establish your company as THE authority in the area by dominating local keywords
- Showcase what makes you different from your competitors
- Constantly generate HVAC leads and turn them into customers
- Help with customer retention in order to build word-of-mouth advertising
- Make it easy for customers to find you
- Use data-driven marketing plans based on your and your competitors’ data
Putting together an HVAC marketing plan takes expertise and time, but get it right, and you’ll soon be the go-to choice for people who need help with their AC and heating.
So what does a good HVAC marketing strategy look like?
Before that, let’s look at how your customers are finding you online in the first place.
This is How Modern HVAC Consumers Find You (And How To Get Their Attention)
It’s no secret that most people use Google to find solutions to their problems, including AC and heating issues. They type their query into the search bar, and voila!
However, that doesn’t mean they’ll find YOU, specifically.
Several factors go into online visibility, some of which are:
The Magic of “Near Me”
If they’re worried about their house getting too hot during the summer, they’ll type “AC repair companies near me” into a search engine and take a look at who pops up.
If they want some advice on how to upgrade their central home heating system, they’ll Google “home heating systems” and see who comes up on the first page.
The magic phrase here is “near me.”
You’d be surprised at how many HVAC companies don’t even show up in the search results for that phrase!
To be clear, this isn’t just about ranking high for such keywords. Using near me on your website is not going to cut it – not at all!
Google has an algorithm that, when a searcher types “HVAC near me”, Google pulls up HVAC businesses according to proximity, relevance, and prominence.
If you’re not appearing in the search results, then you can bet your bottom dollar they’re going to the nearest competitor.
Put Your HVAC Company on the (Google) Map
Instead of just building your HVAC website and ticking it off your to-do list, take the time to learn another way that modern consumers find local businesses – through Google Maps.
It might sound like an irrelevant detail, but it can make or break your HVAC marketing efforts.
Google gives preference to websites that have geo-specific information, so creating a Google My Business page and filling out the address and contact details is crucial.
Yelp, Facebook, BBB, and TripAdvisor
And while we’re talking about maps… are you on any of the big three?
Yelp, Facebook, and TripAdvisor are other popular choices for people who want to find a reliable HVAC company.
Research has shown that as much as 90% of people will consult these sites when making business decisions.
If you’re not showing up on any of the three (or more if you like!) then you’re losing out on a huge number of HVAC leads.
Pro Tip: Don’t be that HVAC company that has no presence online whatsoever.
When you don’t appear in search results, people are likely to assume the worst (e.g. your business doesn’t exist) – which means you could lose out on business without even realizing it!
Mobile Search Results
Did you know that mobile search now accounts for 54.8 percent of all web traffic in the world?
In other words, people are using their phones to look up what they need online, and that includes HVAC companies.
If your website looks good on a desktop computer but not so great on a mobile phone, you might be losing clients, and you may not even know it. So is your website mobile-friendly?
While Google hasn’t revealed how much of an impact “mobilegeddon” had on the search rankings, it’s safe to say that if your site doesn’t function properly on mobile devices, then there are probably scores of other websites (and other HVAC companies) out there that will be more appealing to consumers.
Is HVAC marketing starting to sound complicated?
That’s because it is!
And that’s just a quick look at how people find you.
Now, let’s talk about the elements of HVAC marketing, which is what will turn those visitors to actual paying customers.
HVAC Marketing Strategies (AKA How to Sell Your HVAC Services Online)
Your Website: The Foundation of an HVAC Advertising Plan
Again, it’s not enough to just have a website.
In fact, a bad website can pull you down Google rankings and turn off potential HVAC leads.
For your website to be a foundation for HVAC marketing, it needs:
Incredibly Fast Loading Times
The fastest way to lose customers is to have a slow website.
Think about it.
When you’re looking for something online, do you wait for a page to load? Of course not! You click the back button and try again with another option.
Even if your website isn’t slow, it may be bogged down by ads or video content that’s trying to auto-play on every page load.
To have a fast website, your web host needs to have good servers. In addition, you need to balance ad and video content with straight-up content on the page.
Professional Design and Layout
A well-designed HVAC marketing website is going to pull in more customers than a low-budget ‘under construction’ style site.
At the minimum, you should invest in a custom domain name and professional email address.
The website itself should have some minimal design elements which are compatible with your branding goals. For example, if you’re trying to look more tech-savvy then stick to grayscale backgrounds with colorful borders. If you want to feel more traditional, go with a white background and bright colors.
Hiring HVAC marketing strategy professionals is the most fool-proof way to do this. For instance, our website designers don’t just design websites.
We also make sure it’s as zippy as possible. That means working on the back-end of things: optimizing images and videos, polishing the site structure, making sure it’s getting indexed by Google, and a million other things that set great websites apart from the rest.
Content, AKA the Secret Weapon of HVAC Marketing Strategies
Think about your favorite restaurant. Have you ever noticed how they don’t just serve you delicious food? They actually show you pictures of the dishes on their menu, describe the ingredients in rich detail, and even give recommendations for what side dishes to order with it.
The same is true with HVAC companies that are serious about digital marketing. Not only are they going to have a well-designed website, but there’s also going to be tons of great content.
So, what do you even write about?
Create content that helps your customers.
For example, maybe you offer HVAC services in Los Angeles. What usual problems do LA residents have with their heating and cooling units?
Maybe it’s related to air quality, climate change, dry skin, sudden temperature changes… The list goes on and on, and so do your potential topics.
The more useful your website is, the more your customers will see you as a trustworthy HVAC expert in the field. The result? More customers, more upsells, and more referrals!
BUT, don’t start typing that blog post just yet! Because no matter how many articles you post on your website, it won’t matter without the next element of successful HVAC marketing: SEO.
Rise Through the Ranks with HVAC SEO
SEO is the biggest factor in digital marketing for HVAC companies.
Most people only click on the first page of Google search results.
So if your competitor is on page one, and you’re on page two, guess who they’re calling to fix their busted AC?
Because that’s the name of the game.
SEO, or search engine optimization, is what helps you rank higher than your competitors.
The thing is, Google’s search algorithm changes around 500 to 600 times a year.
And when you realize that Google examines 200+ SEO ranking factors to see whether your website deserves to rank on page one, things can quickly get overwhelming.
But wait, what does HVAC SEO do in the first place?
HVAC SEO is basically a way to tell Google, “Hey, this is a high-quality webpage that deserves to show up at the top of search results.”
For Google to recognize that your site needs the right keywords. Keywords are words that people type in when they’re looking for something.
For example, if someone is trying to find an HVAC company in Long Beach, LA, they might type in something like “HVAC Long Beach” or “HVAC near me.”
If your website has those words, and a lot of other SEO ranking factors (like optimized images, videos, backlinks from reputable sources), then Google will see that you’re a high-quality site and bump you up Google search results.
Here’s the thing: HVAC SEO is not a “set it and forget it” type of thing.
You need to constantly update and re-optimize your site to keep it relevant to what people are searching for. You should keep an eye on your competitors’ SEO strategy as well, to make sure you’re always several steps ahead of them.
Because there are so many things that go into an SEO strategy, a savvy HVAC company will delegate their SEO to an expert in the field who can handle all of these factors behind the scenes.
After all, you’re busy enough already!
So, SEO is key if you want a bigger pipeline of customers.
But did you know that there’s another element in the HVAC advertising powerhouse? And without this element, even SEO and HVAC content marketing won’t really make a difference?
You might be thinking, “Wait… Isn’t social media like Facebook and Instagram? I don’t even use those!”
But did you know that HVAC companies are actually seeing major results with social media marketing?
Because social media is about reaching the right people, at the right time.
As a matter of fact, nearly 60% of Facebook users say that they have chosen to do business with a brand after “liking” their page.
Almost 20% of US adults purchase products and services through Facebook.
How does this apply to you?
For example, let’s say that there are 5 HVAC companies in your service area who offer similar services as you.
But one of them has a strong social media presence with multiple posts per day on their brand’s Facebook business page, relevant hashtags, glowing reviews, and tons of followers.
The rest (including you) don’t have any social media presence whatsoever.
Again, guess who your customers are calling?
Just like all HVAC marketing strategies, however, there’s an art to winning social media.
You can’t just bombard your followers’ feeds with a ton of sales-y posts and expect them to stick around.
Instead, you’ll need a solid social media marketing plan that drives engagement, gives value to your followers, and builds trust over time.
This plan should include:
- Creating a specific goal for each social media account you set up (such as “get more people to like our page,” or “increase our followers by 10% in 30 days”) and creating a strategy to get there.
- Determining the optimal frequency of posts for your target audience, and sticking with it.
- Carefully selecting which hashtags you will use to increase the reach of your posts.
- Creating social media profiles on various platforms that fit certain goals, including:
- Facebook Business – ads, content promotion.
- Facebook Personal – relationship building with customers.
- Instagram – visual branding, general engagement.
- LinkedIn – business credibility, sales-oriented content marketing.
- Twitter – real-time updates, customer service, professional news.
- Pinterest – visual inspiration boards for home renovations and new construction projects.
It’s also important to go from broadcast mode (sharing information about your company) to engagement mode (asking questions, filling out surveys, giving customer feedback).
All of these create a strong social media presence that will have local HVAC customers lining outside your digital door.
Speaking of local…
Fire Up Your HVAC Local SEO Strategy
So you’ve got your HVAC website and social media accounts all set up.
But did you know that 89% of customers prefer to go to a local business when they’re in the market for something?
And did you know that 70% of people who use search engines do so because they’re looking for a locally-owned company?
Specifically, local SEO is the process of making your HVAC website rank higher in search engines like Google, Bing, etc. when someone enters a local or geo-specific keyword (like “HVAC company in Beverly Hills” vs. just “HVAC company“).
Local SEO tactics include:
Creating a Google My Business (GMB) page
Creating business listings on local directories
Filling out local social media profiles
Picking the right local SEO keywords for your HVAC services, and embedding those keywords into your website’s content.
Creating rich, local content (like geo-targeted blog posts) that link directly back to your site and show up in search results.
To illustrate, if you’re an HVAC company in Pasadena that performs air conditioner repair, your services might be useful to people in Altadena or San Marino.
Which keywords should you use?
“HVAC services” is too generic, so it probably won’t work well.
But “air conditioning service providers near me,” “HVAC contractor in Pasadena,” and “24-hour emergency AC repair in Pasadena” will work well.
The more specific your keywords (and the more frequently you use them), the better.
A local SEO strategy like this one is a surefire way to get ahead of your competitors and become known as the best HVAC company in your city.
It’s how you beat a competing HVAC company in your own city or neighborhood.
PPC: The Missing Piece of HVAC Marketing
Most digital marketing strategies, including SEO and social media, take time.
Say you start ranking #1 for “HVAC” in your city three months from now.
By that time, your competitors probably already have all their customers locked up.
So how can you gain new business right away?
Enter pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.
It’s the most hands-on part of any HVAC digital strategy.
The basic idea is that you create ads to be shown on search engines like Google and Bing, or social media sites like Facebook and Instagram.
People who click on your ads are taken to a specific landing page (usually somewhere on your website) and their activity is tracked via Google Ads.
As part of your bigger HVAC marketing strategy, PPC offers several benefits:
It’s cost-effective because you only pay per click.
It’s easy to track because you can see how many clicks and conversions your ads are generating.
And it works very well for direct advertising — getting the right customers to come to you with specific HVAC search terms.
PPC is also great for time-sensitive campaigns like seasonal promotions (e.g. special rates on air conditioning repair during the summer months.
“If PPC can do all that, why do I still need the others?”
Because PPC is just another piece of the puzzle. Without SEO, a great website, engaging content, or social media presence, few people will see your PPC ads or know why they should even choose you in the first place.
By combining all these digital elements into a smart, cohesive marketing strategy, you can begin to grow your HVAC business more efficiently than ever before.
HVAC Digital Marketing FAQs
How can I promote my HVAC business?
We can promote your HVAC business by creating and maintaining a website that easily presents the HVAC expertise you offer to potential customers.
With a professionally-designed, friendly, and simple-to-navigate site, your HVAC business will be able to impress potential customers immediately.
We’ll make sure search engines find it as well with SEO strategies like keyword research and content creation, link building to boost its ranking in search results, video production, social media integration, and more.
We can also increase your online presence by creating original content that you can share across all your social media accounts.
How do I increase my HVAC sales?
There’s no silver bullet to instantly increasing HVAC sales.
But without an HVAC advertising strategy at all, you’ll never see any real increase in sales whatsoever.
To boost your sales, we use best practices from tools like search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click advertising strategies such as Google ads.
You’ll receive a customized strategy drawn from these disciplines, complete with monthly reports that show you exactly what’s working and what’s not.
What is the target market for HVAC?
The HVAC industry has a nearly universal appeal. Everyone has to control their building temperatures and pay energy bills—they just might not think of it as the “HVAC industry.”
You can target both commercial and residential customers if that’s what your business goals look like.
What platforms should I use for HVAC advertising?
It depends. The most popular social media platforms today include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram—but your business could benefit from a strategy on any of the big ones.
YouTube is also useful for video marketing. Additionally, you should have a presence on Google My Business and Bing Places for Business to take advantage of local search opportunities that can put your company in front of people who are looking for an HVAC service provider in their area.
What is the first step toward HVAC digital marketing?
The first step toward HVAC advertising is a discussion about your needs and goals as an HVAC company.
If you’re just getting started, we can help you identify the opportunities that are best for reaching your target market.
Or, if you’ve already established a website or social media presence, our team can conduct an audit to see if there are any areas where you can improve.
If you are not currently active online, we’ll help you create a strategy to set yourself up for future success.
How much does a digital marketing campaign cost?
As stated above, we start with a custom strategy that can vary depending on your unique needs and goals as an HVAC company.
We base our rates around this process rather than just slapping a price tag on the final product. Every project is different, so it’s hard to give a price without first understanding what you need and where you want to get it.
Our team can give you more information on our pricing and suggest some options for how we might be able to work together based on your budget and strategy after we talk.
How do I get more HVAC clients?
If you want more HVAC clients, it’s important to have a strong digital marketing strategy in place. This includes things like your website, social media presence, and reviews.
These aspects of your business will shape how people view your company as a whole – from the products they buy to the services they receive – before any kind of face-to-face engagement or contact begins.
The good news is that HVAC digital marketing is just one piece of what we do at Digital Delane.
We can also help you with other tactics like e-mail marketing, influencer marketing, and more.
How can I make money with HVAC?
The best way to make money with HVAC is to create a diverse strategy for marketing both your company and the products you offer.
A digital marketing campaign for an HVAC company needs to focus on building brand awareness, establishing online reviews, and becoming an authority on your specialization.
Digital Delane: HVAC Digital Marketing in Los Angeles
Digital Delane has been helping HVAC companies thrive in a digital-first world for years.
We offer solutions crafted for the HVAC industry, which is massively competitive but also offers tremendous profit opportunities.
We want you to be 100% confident before you move forward with your digital marketing investment, so we’re standing by to answer any questions you may have.
Let’s hop on a call or send us your contact information through this form!