This article is part of a series of SEO tests to determine the viability of starting a local SEO web design service for plumbers and/or electricians. Before starting any new business venture we need to test the market, here I’m SEO testing a derivative of a major Plumbing SERP: Plumbers Near Me.
With this article I want to know what sort of relevant traffic I can generate for:
- Plumbing SEO Search Phrases: to gain plumbers as SEO clients
- General Plumbing Search Phrases: see what traffic I can gain for plumbers to their sites
- Uncover Plumber SEO: plumbing is a new SEO niche for me
I’ll also supply some useful information for plumbers interested in SEO like lists of plumber keyphrases.
According to keyword research tools plumbers near me is an important search phrase. The HOTH Free Google Keyword Planner Alternative for example when searching for Plumbers lists plumbers near me as the top volume plumbers search phrase.
That’s why the title of this article is Plumbers Near Me SEO, let’s test one of the major keyphrases.
Top 25 Plumber Keyphrases for Google.com
Search phrase on the left, search volume on the right for Google US.
- Plumbers Near Me – 368,000
- Plumber – 301,000
- Emergency Plumber – 18,100
- Plumber Salary – 18,100
- local Plumbers – 14,800
- Plumbers Putty – 14,800
- 24 Hour Plumber – 12,100
- Plumbers Tape – 12,100
- How Much Do Plumbers Make – 8,100
- Emergency Plumber Near Me – 6,600
- Plumbers In My Area – 6,600
- Plumbers Wrench – 6,600
- 24 Hour Plumbers Near Me – 5,400
- Calgary Plumbers – 5,400
- Len the Plumber – 5,400
- Local Plumber Near Me – 5,400
- Master Plumber – 5,400
- Plumber Crack – 5,400
- Plumber Las Vegas – 5,400
- Plumbers Crack – 5,400
- Plumbers Union – 5,400
- Best Plumbers Near Me – 4,400
- Cheap Plumber Near Me – 4,400
- Plumber Porn – 4,400
- Plumber San Antonio – 4,400
Above is the Google US plumber SEO keywords list, a lot of these are valuable for local plumbers including Plumbers Near Me, Emergency Plumber, Local Plumber, 24 Hour Plumber etc… and others not particularly useful like Plumbers Crack and Plumber Porn: who knew so many search specifically for that!
The Near Me keyphrases are highlighted, you can see there are multiple derivatives of the main phrase. For a local plumber targeting this phrase there’s two general approaches.
- Optimise one article for all derivative SERPs
- Create multiple articles targeting one or two derivatives
This article uses technique 1. I’m attempting to target all Plumbers Near Me derivatives and other SERPs. Technique 2. is easier in principle, but takes a lot more time (you have to create a LOT of content) and more backlinks to power a websites SEO.
As a plumber looking to improve your SEO check your own countries Google results, there will be differences from the US list above.
Top 25 Plumber Keyphrases for Google.co.uk
Search phrase on the left, search volume on the right for Google UK.
- Plumber – 49,500
- Plumbers Near Me – 49,500
- Plumbers Merchants – 22,200
- Plumbers Merchants Near Me – 18,100
- Pimlico Plumbers – 14,800
- Emergency Plumber – 9,900
- Local Plumbers – 9,900
- Graham Plumbers Merchant – 4,400
- Plumber London – 4,400
- Plumbers Mate – 4,400
- Emergency Plumber Near Me – 3,600
- James Anderson Plumber Burnley – 2,900
- Plumber Manchester – 2,900
- Plumbers Glasgow – 2,900
- Plumbers In Manchester – 2,900
- Plumbers Tape – 2,900
- Plumber Salary – 2,400
- Plumbers Edinburgh – 2,400
- Checkatrade Plumber – 1,900
- Local Plumber Near Me – 1,900
- Pb Plumber – 1,900
- Plumber Bristol – 1,900
- Plumber Porn – 1,900
- Plumber Birmingham – 1,600
- Plumber Leeds – 1,600
Above is the Google UK plumber SEO keywords list, a lot of these are valuable for local plumbers including Plumbers Near Me, Emergency Plumber, Local Plumber etc… and others not particularly useful like Plumber Salary.
You will note there is a specific plumbing business in the list, Pimlico Plumbers. You might not be a Pimlico Plumber, but it doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from those types of brand SERPs.
If you compare your plumbing service to the competition you can rank in Google for their long-tail keywords.
Long-tail keywords are multiple keyword searches with a relatively small amount of traffic, they tend to be less competitive to rank for: a Pimlico Plumbers example might be “are Pimlico Plumbers expensive?” or “Pimlico Plumbers London”…
What do you do that’s better than Pimlico Plumbers or your other local competitors?
Why should a customer telephone you in an emergency rather than Pimlico or other competing plumbing businesses in your area?
Are you cheaper than Pimlico?
These are business opportunities.
Performing this sort keyword research can also show what’s important to your potential customers. Checkatrade Plumber for example suggests some customers care if as a plumber you have been checked by Checktrade.
Remember as I write this article I’m not a plumber, I’m an SEO marketing expert, I’m trying to learn how SEO marketing can work for plumbers (I knew little about this niche a few days ago).
When I search the Checktrade website for Plumbers Skegness it lists 2 local plumbers. Searching for Plumbers PE25 (1st part of my post code) it lists 4 plumbers. For Plumbers DN32 (I used to live in Grimsby) it lists 10 plumbers.
From the Checktrade website:
Checkatrade membership costs between £69.99 +VAT and £119.99 +VAT a month, depending on your trade category and contract type.
Additional trade categories can be added for an additional monthly fee. Members in some Trading Standards areas will need to pay an additional fee of £70 +VAT per year.
If I were a Skegness plumber I’d look into Checktrade to see if it’s worthwhile.
Plumbers Near Me Google Results
Plumbers Near Me is a general search where the user is looking for a website like Yelp, Angie’s List, Yell etc… where they can visit a directory on plumbers to make a further search for a plumber near them. In fact some of the longer-tail plumbers near me keyphrases include the directory name like “plumbers near me Yelp” and “Yelp reviews for plumbers near me”.
If a Google users device (mobile phone, Desktop PC etc…) is logged into Google and/or they’ve allowed Google access to their location, the searcher will get local plumbers near me Google results instead of general plumbers near me results.
As a plumber learning SEO it’s very important to understand Google can generate local search results, what you see when searching “Plumbers Near Me” isn’t what a potential customer 10 miles down the road sees.
For example when searching Google for “Plumbers Near Me” from Skegness in Lincolnshire, Google doesn’t list the plumbing directories (Rated People, MyBuilder, Yell etc…) MAIN pages for Plumbers, but the area that’s close to my area which tends to be Boston in Lincolnshire (~20 miles away).
If a user visits those listings they instantly see plumbers from their area (or reasonably close to it).
Below are plumbers near me Google screenshots for different locations. The Google ads and Google Maps Listings are specific to the areas I selected as where I’m logging in from as are the Google organic search results.
Let’s start with where I actually live, Skegness concentrating on the Google Map Listings: generated from Google My Business Listings.
Plumbers Near Me Skegness
I live in the centre of Skegness, don’t think I could be more central if I tried, but because ISP IP addressees aren’t always to the actual address you live at (where you are connecting to the Internet) the centre of the Google Map Listing can be way off.
In the Screenshot above the IP address is considered to be in New Leake, Boston, about 12 miles from where I was accessing the Internet: I connected from my home office on a Desktop PC via a landline broadband connection.
At times I’ve seen my location as listed in Peterborough (about 30 miles away) and even Cambridgeshire (over 90 miles away). My ISP IP address changes every time the router is turned off/on because I have a dynamic IP address (changes every time the router turns off/on) from my ISP: this isn’t unusual.
I wrote this article over a 24h hour period and turned the router off/on a few times, the second time I received perfect Skegness results: the centre point of the map was about 3 mins walk from my property.
There’s nothing a local plumber can do about this geolocation IP issue, a Google user looking for a “Plumber near me” who gets the wrong area will realise and will modify their search accordingly.
They might search for “Plumber Skegness” or “Plumber in Skegness” or “Skegness Plumbers” or “Emergency Skegness Plumbers” etc… This is something local plumbers can plan for by targeting their websites SEO at both the Plumbers Near Me results to gain Google local traffic and the many more relevant local plumbing search phrases specifically searching for cities/towns/villages where you offer plumbing services.
If you want those customers, you have to cover them all SEO wise.
Plumbers Near Me London
A plumber or other contractor can easily check what a Google search result looks like for a potential customer in London by overriding Google Chrome’s default Geolocation settings via Chrome’s Dev Tools. Google Chrome has 9 built in Geolocation settings (9 locations around the world) including: Berlin (Germany), London (UK), Moscow (Russia), Mountain View (California in the US, Google’s home city), Mumbai (India), San Francisco (US), Shanghai (China), São Paulo (Brazil) and Tokyo (Japan).
The screenshot above for example shows a Google search for “Plumbers Near Me” using the Google Chrome Browser after setting the Geolocation to London. To set a browser window to London search for “Plumbers Near Me” with Google and it will list your current real location (based on IP address).
Right Click on the webpage and select Inspect (or use Ctrl Shift I).
When the Google Console opens look for the three dots … near the top right, hovering over it, it says “Customize and control Dev Tools”.
Left Click the three …‘s.
In the pop-up menu go to “More tools” >> “Sensors“.
This opens a further console window, under Geolocation open the menu and select “London“.
Reload the Google search for “Plumbers Near Me” result until at the bottom it says United Kingdom SW1A, London – From your device.
This only works if you allow Google to know your Location. This feature can be a tad sticky/flaky, if it won’t change to London go to the Google search page and near the top click “Search” >> “Search Settings”, under “Region Settings” select “Current Region” and click “Save”. Click “Save” even if you made no changes. Reload the Google search again and it should use the London settings.
Now you can see what your potential customer see when searching Google from London SW1A. Note: the above technique only works for the Google Chrome Browser window which you did the Google search with, doing a Google search in another browser window or opening another tab will use your actual location (based on IP).
You can use this technique for testing multiple locations one by one, it’s time consuming, you have to work out the longitude and latitude of a location (possible via looking at a Google Maps Page) but useful as it doesn’t rely on finding a proxy or Geolocation tool to check local search results.