I’ve spent a fair amount of time browsing through plumbers and electricians websites as part of detailed SEO marketing research related to starting a new SEO web design service for plumbers and electricians.
Based on research to date I’m tending towards a full local SEO web design service for plumbers/electricians where I take overall control of the electricians/plumbers website and almost start from scratch: almost everything new.
I would in effect treat an electricians/plumbers website like I owned it (of course I wouldn’t actually own it), where I’d add enough targeted content overtime to dominate a local market making sure everything is perfect SEO wise and the plumber/electrician would gain all the benefits without all the hassle of understanding SEO.
See my Pimlico Plumbers Website SEO Review for an example of what I’ve found whilst researching plumbers/electricians websites.
Pimlico isn’t one of the really bad ones, they have a reasonably well developed website, but it’s content targeting is very poor considering there’s over 6,000 webpages, so many missed opportunities.
Most Electrician/Plumbers Websites Aren’t Very Good
It’s been interesting marketing research from my perspective as an SEO expert, I’m used to looking at lots of business websites for SEO quotes and though ALL websites I’ve look at have SEO and design mistakes, most are recoverable.
In contrast a LOT of electricians/plumbers websites are terrible both from a web design and SEO perspective. With many plumbing and electricians websites it’s going to be much less work to start again (recovering useful content)!
I suspect the problem is plumbers and electricians see their business website as nothing more than a source of phone calls: a glorified online advert where potential customers in their local area magically find their websites with just the basic 5 webpages (Home, About, Contact and a couple for Services) to show they exist and from that tiny amount of information the potential customer picks up the phone and hires them. Some plumbers/electrician websites are so bad, they are single page websites: for the record single page websites are a terrible idea for plumbers, electricians and most trades people!
Fixed Price Boiler Repair Research
Unfortunately it’s not that simple, if you want a Google search phrase like “Fixed Price Boiler Repair”, your website needs content targeting the search phrase Fixed Price Boiler Repair. And this is just one example, I very much doubt there’s even one plumber on the planet which ONLY offers the one service of Fixed Price Boiler Repair, a plumber can’t cover ALL their services on a 5 page website AND expect Google to send free traffic to all the different services.
- Keyword – Search Volume – CPC
- Fixed Price Boiler Repair – 480 – $2.06
- British Gas Fixed Price Boiler Repair – 40 – $1.79
- British Gas Fixed Price Repair Boiler – 40 – $2.99
- Ariston Boiler Fixed Price Repair – 20 – $2.73
- NPower Boiler Repairs Fixed Price – 20 – $0
- NPower Fixed Price Boiler Repair – 20 – $0
- SSE Fixed Price Boiler Repair – 20 – $1.36
- Vokera Fixed Price Boiler Repair – 20 – $0
- Worcester Boiler Fixed Price Repair – 20 – $1.55
- Baxi Boiler Fixed Price Repair – 10 – $2.01
- British Gas Boiler Fixed Price Repair – 10 – $0
- British Gas Fixed Price Boiler Repair Review – 10 – $0
- Eon Boiler Repair Fixed Price – 10 – $0
- Fixed Price Boiler Repair and Cover – 10 – $0
- Fixed Price Boiler Repair Birmingham – 10 – $0
- Fixed Price Boiler Repair London – 10 – $5.55
- Fixed Price Boiler Repair Scottish Power – 10 – $0
- Fixed Price Gas Boiler Repairs – 10 – $1.22
- Homeserve Fixed Price Boiler Repair – 10 – $2.11
- Ideal Boiler Fixed Price Repair – 10 – $1.33
- Ideal Boiler Fixed Price Repair Cost – 10 – $1.26
- Ideal Boiler Repair Fixed Price – 10 – $1.36
- Ideal Fixed Price Boiler Repair – 10 – $0
- One Off Fixed Price Boiler Repair – 10 – $2.12
- Potterton Fixed Price Boiler Repair – 10 – $0
You can’t get by with a basic 5 page website, it might sound obvious, but so many businesses manage their websites content like Google knows ALL the plumbing/electrician services they offer without having to write about them or at best they provide a simple list of specific services at the bottom of a general article about services offered! this is not even close to enough for good Google rankings.
If you are a plumber which offers a Fixed Price Boiler Repair Service in London, you might need a dedicated webpage targeting the search phrase Fixed Price Boiler Repair London: London is a highly competitive market. You can target multiple search phrases on one webpage, but you can’t target ALL search phrases on one webpage. If I was a plumber/electrician I’d want a website with dozens of webpages describing my services.
Just look at all the different search phrases related to Fixed Price Boiler Repair above, you might need a handful of webpages to target the fixed price services YOUR plumbing business covers. If you are London based, you won’t be interested in the other areas like Birmingham, but you might want to cover all the specific boiler brands: Ariston, Vokera, Worcester, Baxi, Ideal… It might even make sense in some local markets to have a targeted webpage for each one. You might need a webpage targeting “Ideal Boiler Fixed Price Repair London” another webpage targeting “Ariston Boiler Fixed Price Repair London” etc…
I get it, electricians and plumbers tend to be self-employed and the last thing they want to bother with after a 10 hour workday of having their arm down a smelly toilet is the technical crap related to their business website or spending 8+ hours researching and writing ONE detailed article targeted at a low traffic local plumbing service search phrase: a well written webpage targeting low traffic search phrases can take a day to research and write, good SEO content takes effort.
I’m sure it doesn’t feel like it’s worth all the effort for a handful of website visitors a month for some of these search phrases, but let me show you how much value a well written article which ranks in Google for highly targeted money SERPs could be worth to a business.
Web Design for Plumbers, A Valuable Search Phrase
The “Web Design for Plumbers” Google search is a very low traffic search phrase, keyword research indicates just 10 people a month (120 a year) search Google.co.uk for Web Design for Plumbers! These are the sort of numbers available for some local Google search phrases a plumber or electrician might be interested in: see the earlier Fixed Price Boiler Repair search phrases above, they are low traffic, not a lot of people will search Google for those types of search phrases or for specific boilers like Vaillant Boiler Repair in a plumbers local area, BUT that traffic is very valuable to a plumber, it’s HIGHLY targeted traffic. See later for research related to Vaillant Boilers.
I wouldn’t normally target a full article at a phrase with so little traffic, but Web Design for Plumbers is a good example plumbers/electricians will understand.
The lack of people searching for the phrase “Web Design for Plumbers” also indicates how little plumbers care about their websites.
Dear plumbers, please care a little bit more about your websites, I’d like to work with some of you :-)
Despite it’s low traffic volume it’s not a cheap search phrase for Google AdWords users (that’s web designers paying for traffic via Google ads) with a Cost Per Click (CPC) approaching $5.
Let’s say a new search engine optimised webpage within 6 months of publication (most Google rankings aren’t gained overnight) could gain 1/3rd of the 120 visitors a year, that’s about 40 visitors a year which we know web designers are currently willing to pay close to $5 a visitor or $200 a year for.
Why are web design businesses willing to pay $5 for one visitor searching for a plumbers web design?
Simple, there’s money to made from that highly targeted traffic for products/services with £HIGH value, people searching for Web Design for Plumbers are VERY likely plumbers who are ready to buy a new website design.
Should I target this search phrase?
Considering a well written search engine optimised article about website design for plumbers will target other related search phrases I can see the potential value for someone like me in spending a full day (or even longer) researching and writing an article targeting that low traffic phrase. Even if it only generates 8 or 9 visitors a month, ~100 visitors a year, with a 1% conversion rate that’s 1 new SEO web design client a year.
Just one new SEO web design client a year might not sound like much, but even a simple website for a UK plumber could cost upwards of £500, this doesn’t include any local SEO services, web hosting, content creation etc… I haven’t set my prices for my new SEO web design service yet, but it’s unlikely to be less than a £1,000 a month. If I can keep a plumber as a client for just 3 months at £1,000 a month, my one day investment in researching and writing an article could result in £3,000 worth of business every year.
This is a new SEO web design service so I have no historical sales data, but I do have data from dealing with SEO clients as an SEO consultant on a monthly retainer (costing up to £1,500 per website per month) and my retention rate is high. Clients staying with me for 3+ years isn’t unusual, so one new SEO web design client a year could be worth over £36,000 in business over 3 years.
Even if the webpage generates just 50 targeted visitors (plumbers looking to buy a website) a year and a low conversion of just 0.5%, it could still generate £24,000 worth of business within 6 years: 4 years to get a client from 200 visitors, 2 years at £1,000 a month.
If like me you play the long business game, I think you’ll agree it could be worth my time to spend a full day to create an article targeting the low traffic search phrase Web Design for Plumbers.
Consider this is just for one targeted search phrase, when you understand how to generate search engine optimised content one webpage can target dozens of low traffic search phrases: SEO’s call them long-tail keyword phrases. This webpage for example has the potential to generate traffic from over 100 different low traffic long-tail keyword phrases, this article has the potential to generate 500+ visitors a month.
Keyword Research and Cost Analysis of Services Offered
Plumbers and electricians (every business owner) needs to make the same sort of cost analysis for their respective products/services, how much could the traffic be worth to them.
- How much money is fitting a new boiler worth in London to a plumber?
- How much money is repairing a Vaillant boiler worth in London to a plumber?
- How much is an emergency call out for a plumber in London worth?
- How much money is fitting a new boiler worth in Skegness to a plumber?
- How much money is repairing a Vaillant boiler worth in Skegness to a plumber?
- How much is an emergency call out for a plumber in Skegness worth?
- Will there be repeat business?
Every business will have different questions and different answers, this sort of basic business analysis needs to be made for each service a plumber/electrician offers, so they can target relevant traffic. When you know how much a customer is worth in your local market, you can look to see if targeting those customers are a high priority or not. If it’s worth it, spend the time researching and creating the article and promoting it, if not spend your time on more worthwhile Google search phrases.
A very good example of where this isn’t happening effectively is on the Pimlico Plumbers website. The Pimlico domain has over 6,000 webpages, BUT most of it is poorly targeted Blog Posts by the owner Charlie Mullins. On March 2nd, 2020 the Blog section had 5,934 Blog Posts covering a LOT of subjects.
Charlie Mullins is clearly a prolific writer, (which is awesome for any online business) but it’s poorly targeted content. Today he shared https://www.pimlicoplumbers.com/blog/pimlicos-control-centre-at-the-ready-for-customers which has a 26 second video clip with annoying music which auto plays: users HATE music which auto plays!!!
When I opened it and heard the music I said out loud “what the fuck!“
At the time I was listening to Iain Dale on LBC Radio discussing the Coronavirus (COVID-19) impact on the UK economy and business while writing this article: that’s my day working on SEO stuff while listening to the news and politics on the radio/TV. I was annoyed I had to quickly look for the music disable option which meant pausing the video. NEVER auto play music on a website, it’s ANNOYING!.
Anyway, back to the point. The Blog Post https://www.pimlicoplumbers.com/blog/pimlicos-control-centre-at-the-ready-for-customers with title “Pimlico’s Control Centre at the Ready for Customers” might seem targeted, but who is it really aimed at, who is likely to search for this webpage via Google?
The main message is Pimlico Plumbers call centre is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and when a potential customer calls Pimlico it’s a person living in London who is going to be on the phone with you. The message is Pimlico don’t use a call centre in say India who will pass the job back to Pimlico in London.
This is a VERY important marketing message, but it would be better served on a dedicated webpage (not the Blog). Next question would be are there any relevant Google search phrases related to this (at this point I don’t know, I haven’t checked). Could Pimlico create a webpage around a search phrase(s) which are about Plumbers call centres being open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and which are UK based? Without doing the research my first thought would be a general article about call centres being moved abroad to save money, but Pimlico are bucking the trend by keeping their call centre in expensive London: the customer experience comes first.
IF there’s Google traffic to be gained AND it’s useful to a Plumbing business or more generally to support the Pimlico brand, then it might be worthwhile creating an article like this. It might even be the sort of content which could go viral: Pimlico is a well known plumbing brand and newspapers like this sort of content. Might be worth spending serious money on a quality content writer who will put in the detailed research and create a high quality piece of content.
Instead Pimlico have a short Blog Post with just 114 words which a week or two from now will be lost in amongst the other almost 6,000 Blog Posts. I’d be surprised if a month from now that Blog Post will generate any Google traffic.
What I’m hoping you are getting from this is an electricians/plumbers website needs more than Home, About, Contact and a page or two describing basic services AND the content needs to be targeted at Google search phrases which convert to customers or at least support the brand.
Every major service you offer at a bare minimum needs it’s own webpage, it might also require a webpage for each area covered, it depends on how competitive your area is and based on research how much those customers might be worth: you might need half a dozen articles to cover one service and all your local areas.
Vaillant Boiler Repair
Let’s look at a search phrase of interest to plumbers, let’s look at the available Google local traffic for Vaillant Boiler Repair.
- Keyword – Search Volume – CPC
- Vaillant Boiler Repair – 720 – $3.55
- Vaillant Boiler Repair Near Me – 110 – $3.13
- Vaillant Boiler PCB Repair – 90 – $2.99
- Vaillant Boiler Repairs Harrow – 40 – $0
- Vaillant One Off Boiler Repair – 30 – $1.78
- Vaillant Boiler Repair East London – 20 – $0
- Repair Vaillant Boiler – 10 – $1.86
- Vaillant Boiler Diverter Valve Repair – 10 – $1.94
- Vaillant Boiler F75 Repair Kit – 10 – $0
- Vaillant Boiler Fixed Price Repair – 10 – $1.89
- Vaillant Boiler Repair Bristol – 10 – $2.27
- Vaillant Boiler Repair London – 10 – $4.58
- Vaillant Boiler Repair Manchester – 10 – $2.65
- Vaillant Boiler Repair North London – 10 – $7.63
- Vaillant Boiler Repair Service – 10 – $3.17
- Vaillant Boiler Repair South London – 10 – $7.52
- Vaillant Boiler Repair Under Warranty – 10 – $3.25
- Vaillant Boiler Repair West London – 10 – $5.72
- Vaillant Boiler Repairs Coventry – 10 – $1.78
- Vaillant Boiler Repairs Manchester – 10 – $3.51
- Vaillant Boiler Repairs Putney – 10 – $0
- Vaillant Boiler Repairs Watford – 10 – $0
- Vaillant Boiler Warranty Repair – 10 – $2.67
- Average Cost For A Vaillant Boiler Repair – 0 – $0
- Boiler Repair Vaillant Essex – 0 – $0
In some local areas like Harrow, East London, Bristol, London, Manchester, North London, South London, West London, Coventry, Putney, Watford there’s similar traffic to my earlier Web Design for Plumbers example, so a plumber from Bristol or Manchester could make a similar analysis to what I did earlier to determine if it’s worth targeting the phrase Vaillant Boiler Repair Bristol or Vaillant Boiler Repairs Manchester.
I don’t know how much plumbers charge for boiler repairs, so I’ll guess between £150 and £400 per job.
If a targeted article only generates 8 or 9 visitors a month, ~100 visitors a year, with a 1% conversion rate that’s 1 new Vaillant Boiler Repair Bristol or Vaillant Boiler Repairs Manchester job a year.
If you are a Manchester based plumber and can create your own content, how many hours could you afford to invest in writing an article about Vaillant Boiler Repairs Manchester if it generates you one £150-£400 job a year? Remember the article won’t vanish after year one, you could be generating leads from what you create today for a decade plus, personally I work on a 3 year basis.
You also have to take into account how Google Local Searches work, search Google for Vaillant Boiler Repair London, Google shows a local London map of businesses covering that service, on the main search page Google shows 3 local businesses. A London plumber is highly unlikely to be listed in that top 3 if they don’t have Vaillant Boiler Repair referenced as a service offered on their website.
London based Pimlico Plumbers for example mentions fitting new Vaillant Boilers and Repairing Boilers in general (including Vaillant Boilers), BUT out of their 6,000 page website not a single article about the specific service of “Vaillant Boiler Repair” let alone “Vaillant Boiler Repair London” exists:
site:https://www.pimlicoplumbers.com "Vaillant Boiler Repair"
Pop the above line of text in a Google search and it searches the entire pimlicoplumbers.com domain for the exact phrase “Vaillant Boiler Repair”, you can see as of March 2020, No results found for site:https://www.pimlicoplumbers.com “Vaillant Boiler Repair”, but lists 33 general results where the three words are present on a Pimlico Plumbers webpage (these aren’t specific enough). The webpage you are on now is more targeted at that service than any Pimlico Plumber article is, if I was a London Plumber my business site would stand a good chance of being shown in the Google Maps business listings when potential customers search in London for “Vaillant Boiler Repair”.
I live in Skegness, my SEO business is located in Skegness, so even if I was a plumber my Google Business Listing won’t be found for the “Vaillant Boiler Repair” map listings when people in London are looking for a plumber.
Pimlico aren’t even listed in the top 50 in Google for the more general search Vaillant Boiler Repair London, in fact a few weeks after publishing this article my website ranks higher in Google for Vaillant Boiler Repair London than Pimlico Plumbers. If Pimlico had a webpage targeted at Vaillant Boiler Repair it would be ranked much higher than my site: a website can’t rank for a Google search phrase if the website doesn’t target that search phrase.
London Plumbing is Competitive
London plumbing SERPs are highly competitive, a London plumber has to compete with hundreds of other London plumbers including major businesses like Pimlico Plumbers with their significant marketing budget: in 2018 Pimlico had a turnover of over £40M.
If you are a London plumber you can’t expect to rank for local London plumbing Google searches from a website with a webpage or two describing your services as a list. The more competitive an area, more content you require to generate Google traffic.
Pimlico Plumbers for example have over 6,000 webpages indexed in Google, but over 5,000 of the webpages are poorly targeted Blog posts: the founder Charlie Mullins uses the Pimlico Blog https://www.pimlicoplumbers.com/blog to talk about almost everything, Brexit, apprenticeships, general business thoughts and occasionally plumbing. Still it means they have hundreds of webpages targeting London area plumbing and similar services.
Conversely, where I live (Skegness) a Skegness plumber or electrician could dominate the local Google listings with a modest amount of content: I’m only testing Skegness plumber SERPs and this website is generating relevant Skegness plumbing traffic just weeks into SEO testing.
I can see to be a valuable SEO web design service for plumbers/electricians I’m going to have to take control of the website and it’s content, I’ll have to treat the domain like I own it and it’s the only domain I care about.