On this video Josh Nelson of HVAC SEO explains How To Optimize your HVAC / AC Repair Business website for page one placement in the Organic (non-paid) section of the search engines.
Let's talk about search engine optimization. The process of getting your company to show up in the non-paid, organic section on the search engines. In this case, there are three critical components to getting ranked in the organic section.
First, you need to have more placeholders. I'll talk about that in more depth in a minute. You need to be optimized. Each of the pages on your website, or each of those placeholders, needs to be optimized to the specific keywords that you want to rank for. Then you need more inbound links. You need to create authority for your domain, and you need links from true websites, relevant websites, to your website.
I'm going to break that down in more depth, but those are the critical components for getting ranked more often in the search engines. As you think about needing more placeholders, you might say, well what do I need placeholders for? It all comes down to keyword research, and understanding what your customer's typing into the search engines when they are looking for your services.
I promised I would share with you the most commonly searched keywords within the HVAC industry. We've got air conditioner, air conditioning, furnace, air conditioners, HVAC, air conditioning repair, duct cleaning, and the list goes on and on. You want to have that list of keywords, so that you can figure out what your placeholders, or pages, should be.
If you want to download this list of keywords, it's based on historical research, looking at what the most commonly searched keywords are, you can go to hvacseo.net/free, and there we've got a list of all of those most commonly searched HVAC specific keywords.
Let's talk about what I mean when I say you need more pages. A typical HVAC website has between five and six pages: home, about us, our services, coupons, contact us. We know that in order to rank for all of the different keywords that we want to rank for, we just went to our list, we know that we need to have a page on the website that's optimized for each one of those, because each page on your website can only, really, typically, be ranked for between one and two main keywords.
We think you need to expand that out, so that you have pages for each one of the services that you provide, and then subpages for each one of the little cities in and around your core market that you operate in. Obviously, you still want your home, about us, coupons, and contact us pages. Those are core, informational pages that you need on your websites.
When it comes to your services page, rather than just listing all the things you do, you want to make a specific page for those services that talk about that specific topic. AC repair, heater repair, duct cleaning, AC installation, geothermal, filtration systems, humidifiers, and the list goes on and on. You want to make sure that you've got a page that comes out beneath your services page for each one of those services.
Then, you want to make sure that you've got sub-city pages. If you operate in, and I'll just use Miami as an example, if you operate in Miami, Miami's your main city.
You want to rank for Miami AC repair, and Miami AC technician, and Miami AC contractor, and all of those different words, but the typical HVAC contractor services between a 25 and 50 mile radius. Outside of Miami, there's a lot of little sub-cities, and sub-markets that you probably want, and need, to rank for as well.
In order to do that, you need to have pages for those sub-cities. In the case of Miami, you might want a page for Kendall, Doral, Homestead, Hialeah, Miami Beach. By doing that, creating those sub-pages, you can really improve the probability of showing up for the people that might type in, "Kendall AC repair, Kendall AC technician, or Kendall air conditioning services." You get the idea.
You need to have pages for each one of the services that you provide and each one of the little sub-cities and markets that you operate in. From there, once you've got you pages and you know which things you want to rank for, you need to make sure that each one of those pages is properly optimized so Google knows what those specific pages are supposed to be ranked for, what they should rank for.
There's a lot of different things you can do to optimize your website. I'm going to talk about, if we look at the 80/20 rule, the 20 percent of the things that will drive 80 percent of the results. Right now I'm going to talk about, specifically, on your site, we know we want to have pages for each one of our services, and each one of our cities. Each one of those pages, now, needs to be optimized the correct way.
The first thing you want to look at on a page for optimization is your title tag. If we just think about your home page, the typical HVAC home page is something like the company name.
If it's Joe's Heating and Air Service, the title tag, which you'll the area that I'm pointing to, says, "Joe's Heating and Air Service." In order to get that page to rank for the right keyword, which would probably their city AC repair or their city air conditioning repair, you want to put that keyword at the very top, far left. As far to the left as possible.
Maybe it's Miami AC Repair Service, followed by the company name plus the city and state, and then maybe some other secondary keyword. That's the better way. You don't want to just do that on your home page, you want to do it on the home page. If you got the air filtration systems page, then you want the title tag on that page to be Miami Air Filtration Systems. You want to put the G-O modifier on that title tag, as well.
If you did nothing else but go back to your website after this presentation and say, "OK, I am going to change my title tag so it has got my keywords more prominently in the title at the far left," you'll notice a huge impact.
And if you did nothing else and did just that and claimed your Google Places listing from this presentation you'll notice a pretty significant improvement in your positioning on the search engines for the things you should be ranking for.
The other real important considerations from an on-page SEO perspective is you need a unique title tag for each one of your pages. You want to leverage your keyword in your H1 tag, which is the big bold block of text that typically shows up after your title tag, which is in the blue bar at the very top.
Your images that you have on your website, the picture of your van, the pictures of your team, the picture of that AC unit. You want to name it. You want to name it something specific, like your city plus AC repair or your city plus air conditioning contractor. And then you want to have all tags associated with those images. You want to leverage anchor text throughout the website so that the links carry you from one page to the next.
And then what you want to do is you want to create a site map, an XML sitemap which helps Google understand. So now you took your website from five pages to like 35 pages, you've got pages for each one of your cities and each one of the services that you operate in. In order for Google to get all those pages in the index, or to make it easy for them to get all those pages in the index, you want to submit a site map.
And so a site map can be submitted to Google webmaster tools or the Bing webmaster tools and it really just makes it easier for Google to now know all those pages that are now on your website.
Once you've got your pages built and they're properly optimized, you've probably completed maybe 10 or 20 percent of the battle. Unfortunately, just having a properly optimized page, all that really does is put you in the index, or put you on the list somewhere for that specific word.
So let's just use, as the example, air conditioning repair. So you've got a page that's really well optimized for air conditioning repair, Google knows it, and it might put you down on page eight, which unfortunately, as we all know, no one's going to get to you on page eight.
So what's the gap? What would you have to do to go from page eight to page one in the top five listings? Well ultimately, it all comes down to the authority of your domain, and the authority of that specific page on the search engines.
It really comes down to getting more quality links, links from other websites online, back to your website. If you've got more quality inbound links than your competition, you can outrank your competition. He who has the most quality inbound links, wins. Where do you get those links? How can you get those links pointed back to your website?
Again, it's not really just about having other websites pointing you, and you're getting a bunch of garbage. It's really more about getting quality, authoritative links back to your website. The best place to start, is by looking at associations and organizations that you're involved in. If you're a member of the local Chamber of Commerce, if you're involved in the local plumbing association or local AC association, the ACCA, it's your local chapter. Make sure that you're on that website, with a link back to your website. Make sure you get a link from the Chamber of Commerce. These are great links, that are very authoritative, that will add a lot of credibility to your website.
They should also give you a relatively quality citation for your directory list. You should be getting listed on the Google map. From there, you want to make sure you're listed in those directories, for citation development, also for creating the authority for your domain. Going into Bing Local, and Citysearch, in Angie's List, and Judy's Book. Making sure you're listed in there with a link back to the website. That creates more authority, which will help you rank better.
There are two critical link building strategies that will help you significantly.
The first is content creation. You need to be creating fresh relevant interesting information, and uploading it to your website, preferably on a blog. If you've got your website in a blog format like WordPress, you can create new articles on a ongoing basis, which creates fresh content, but also helps get more information, and more links back to your website.
The other thing you can do to get inbound links, is competitive link acquisition. Competitive link acquisition is running a search for you city/air conditioning repair. Seeing who's got the top position. Obviously you probably know who the big players are in your market. Once you've got that, you know the five guys that happen to rank in page one for my most important keywords. You can reverse engineer their links. You can start to see where www.competitornumber1.com has 75 inbound links to his website. You can see those links. You can put together a plan for getting those same or similar links back to your website. That's called competitive link acquisition.
One way to do that is to go to yahoo.com. Type in link:yourcompetition.com. That's how you can start to get a feel for some of the links pointing back to your competitor's site. There's also a tool called majesticseo.com, which will help you figure out who's linking to your competition and get those same or similar links back to your site.
From an SEO organic perspective, having the right website pages, with the right on page optimization, combined with fresh content, and inbound links, that's what it takes to get your company or your website to outrank the competition.