This article covers four plumber advertising ideas you can get started with right now.
1. Create a free business page on Yelp with information customers can trust
Of all the platforms plumbers can use for advertising, Yelp is one of the most powerful for finding customers and winning business:
- Over 80 million people visit Yelp each month looking for local businesses.
- 57% of Yelp users contact a business they found on Yelp within a day. 83% of users hire or buy from a business they found on Yelp, too.
- 8 out of 10 searches on Yelp don’t include a specific business name; they’re instead searching for a product or service—so with a complete and convincing Yelp Page, you can stand out from the competition and increase your chances of being hired.
If you’re looking for a plumber advertising idea that’s easy and effective, start with Yelp. Plus, it’s free to be listed on Yelp and requires minimal work or technical knowledge to maintain a business page.
How to claim your page on Yelp
To get started, visit Yelp for Business and search for your business name. If it’s already listed, you can go on to claim your plumbing business page. If it’s not, you can create a new page yourself for free.
From there, follow the prompts to fill out your business information and get verified.
That’s it. Now that you’re in control of your business page on Yelp, you can access 20+ page features to take actions like:
- Keep your contact information up to date so new customers can reach you
- Add specific details like your specialties, service area, photos of your work, and more
- Receive messages from prospects who need your services locally
- Respond to reviews to build trust among your customers
How to create a Yelp Business Page that wins new customers
Once you’ve claimed your Yelp Page, you can customize it to give your prospects all the info they need to know about you and your services. This includes adding a business website, uploading photos, and displaying your business hours.
Adding info like this is a huge help to the success of your Yelp Page. Businesses with a photo, website, phone number, and business hours listed on their Yelp Business Page averaged 7.6x more page views per month than businesses without that content. And the more page views you get, the more likely you are to get a new customer.
Here’s a plumber page example from Yelp. It includes a number of free features as well as paid features like Verified License and others from the Upgrade Package, such as a company logo, Business Highlights, and Call to Action.
Note: This is a real example of a Yelp Page that we found by searching for “plumbers” within the Chicago area.
At the top of this business’s Yelp Page, you can see a mixture of both free and paid features:
- The total number of reviews the business has and its average star rating
- Business categories: Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning/HVAC, and Water Heater Installation/Repair
- Business hours
- An option for users to Request a Quote and schedule a service; they can also click the business’s website or call the business directly
- Updates from the business (paid feature)
- A badge showing this business has a Verified License; in a recent survey, 82% of respondents said they’re more likely to choose a business with a Verified License badge on Yelp versus a business that does not (paid feature)
As you scroll down, you’ll see this plumber is using Portfolio, a paid Page Upgrade that shows your potential customers examples of the work your plumbing business has done.
As you scroll down further, you’ll see Business Highlights, photos (which are uploaded by both the business and its customers), and a comprehensive list of services the business offers.
As customers continue to scroll, they’ll see more helpful information, such as review highlights and the “About the Business” section, an area where you can describe yourself and your business in your own words.
Then there’s the location and business hours, along with amenities and more. For example, you can see that CJ Plumbing & Heating’s staff are fully vaccinated, wear masks, and the company offers a military discount.
Finally, near the bottom of the Yelp Page, you’ll see all the reviews the business has received.
Reviews are a helpful source of information for prospective clients because the online feedback helps them see what type of experience they can expect with your business. It’s also worth it to take the time to respond to those reviews so prospects can see how you interact with your customers. In a recent survey, 56% of respondents said an owner replying to customers’ reviews would make them trust the business more.* Plus, responding to critical reviews specifically is also impactful as 87% of review readers say they’re more likely to look past a critical review if they see that the business has responded and adequately addressed the issue.* Here are some tips on how to respond to your Yelp reviews.
A quick recap on setting up a successful Yelp Page
When you customize your own Yelp Page, you have the option of customizing over 20 free features, including your business categories, hours of operation, and so on. Learn more about setting up your free Yelp Page.
You can also upgrade your page, which helps you make a strong impression and quickly show customers you’re the right business for them. Add the Upgrade Package, which includes Page Upgrades like:
- Business Highlights: Business Highlights are eye-catching badges that showcase what makes your plumbing company unique. For example, you can add a badge for being “Locally Owned & Operated” and one that shows how long you’ve been in business.
- Logo: You can upload your plumbing business’s logo to your Yelp Page, which supports your branding and helps your page look more professional.
- Slideshow: Your Yelp Page has both photos uploaded by you and your customers. When you upgrade your Yelp Page, you can use the Slideshow feature to choose which photos are featured first on your page and in the search results.
- And more
It’s easy to get started. Claim your free Yelp Business Page today.
Get 2.5x more leads with Yelp Ads
When you invest in Yelp Ads, your business page is placed in a number of key areas on both the Yelp website and app, such as above search results for people looking for plumbing services in your area and on your competitors’ pages. You can also target your ad by both location and keyword to reach the potential customers you want most.
Other benefits include:
- You can cancel at any time. Using Yelp Ads is flexible and risk-free as you’re able to pause or cancel whenever it makes sense for your business and your budget.
- There are no upfront costs to Yelp Ads. You only pay for your ad when someone clicks on your ad and you won’t be charged over the monthly max budget you set.
- Set a budget that works for you. You can spend as little as $5/day on average, adjusting your spend accordingly based on your own schedule, seasonality, and preference.
- Yelp Ads are easy to set up and manage. We share a step-by-step guide below. You won’t need any technical knowledge or digital marketing training.
And because your ad is essentially a preview of your business page, it’s full of information that helps potential customers decide if they should consider your services. Here’s an example of an ad:
The ad includes details based on a number of free and paid features from the business page (in order):
- The business’s name
- The business’s star rating and number of customer reviews
- The main business categories the business falls under; in this example, CJ Plumbing & Heating’s categories are Heating & Air Conditioning/HVAC, Water Heater Installation/Repair, and Plumbing
- A Verified License badge (paid feature)
- Business Highlights; in this example, CJ Plumbing & Heating’s Business Highlights are “Established in 1991” and “Emergency services” (paid feature)
- A preview of a customer review
- Portfolio featuring images uploaded by the business (paid feature)
- A clear CTA for customers to request a quote plus the business’s response time, letting potential customers know how quickly they can expect a response
Customers can click on the ad to be taken straight to your Yelp Page, or they can click on the Request-a-Quote button to send their project details directly to your Yelp inbox.
Either way, you know that whoever visits your business page or requests a quote is very likely a lead in your local area that’s in need of your services.
How to get started with Yelp Ads
Setting up Yelp Ads is simple and straightforward.
- Log in to your Yelp for Business account and select a goal for your campaign.
You have three options:
- Let Yelp optimize (recommended)
- Get more phone calls
- Yelp Ads
If you choose to let Yelp optimize, it will test the various CTA options (to your Yelp Page, to your website, to a phone call, or to Request a Quote) and will choose the one that is most likely to get your business the most clicks—giving you the best chance at the most leads. Of course, though, if you have your own marketing plan goals, you can choose what works best for your business.
- Choose your ad photo. Again you’ll have options here. You can let Yelp choose which photo is used for your ad—in this scenario, Yelp can determine which photo is likely to get the best results and then automatically displays the photo that received the most clicks. You can also handpick the photo you want displayed on your ad.
- Choose your ad copy. You can create unique ad copy that shares what’s special about your business by writing something specific and compelling about you. You can also choose to feature one of your reviews instead, or let Yelp test and choose the text that works best for your business.
- Choose which keywords to boost. Yelp will automatically suggest keywords for your ad based on your business type, and you can choose which keywords to boost for your specific business.
After purchasing Yelp Ads, you can exclude keywords that you don’t want your ad to show up for. We only recommend you do this if there are adjacent keywords in your business that you don’t offer. For example, you may want to show up for searches for heater repair but not heater installation.
- Choose your location. Select what distance from your business you want your plumbing advertisement to be shown (maximum range varies by geographic location).
- Set your daily budget. Choose how much you’d like to spend daily which will set you up for a monthly max. There is no upfront cost to start, and you’ll only pay for the number of times people actually click on your ad. The monthly budget is the maximum that you’ll ever be charged on ads per day, and you’ll never spend more than that.
After your ad is set up and running, you can monitor its performance over time via your Yelp Ads dashboard (within the Yelp Ads tab) where you’ll see details like how many impressions, page visits, and leads you’ve gotten from your ad; what keywords helped people find your ad; and a heat map showing where your ad is reaching. Just remember, as with any marketing strategy, it will take time for your ad to show results, so be patient and keep an eye on any tweaks you can make to improve performance. If you’re looking for help optimizing your ad, contact Yelp Customer Success. You can find contact information on the Billing section of your Yelp for Business account.
Ready to try Yelp Ads?
Put your business in front of more customers.Start advertising
Now, let’s explore some other plumber advertising ideas to win you new customers.
2. Build a plumbing website that turns prospects into customers
You may have a website for your plumbing business already, but it’s what you do with your website that really matters for bringing in new customers.
For example, a website can be really useful for:
- Building trust and credibility for your plumbing business
- Presenting your most important information all in one place
- Converting leads into customers
To take advantage of these benefits—i.e., to ensure your website pulls its weight as a lead-generation tool—you’ll need to do two things:
- Design it in a way that makes people want to become your customer.
- Make it discoverable to people looking for plumbers through search engines. One way of doing this is through ads; another way is through search engines.
If you already have an effective website, you can skip to the next section below. Otherwise, continue reading to learn about the essentials of a well-built website.
Ideas to help your plumber website win you customers
When customers land on your website—whether through a search engine, an advertisement, or through Yelp—your job is to convert them from prospects into customers. That means you need to convince them that you can solve their plumbing issues.
There’s no single way to do this, but there are some things your website should definitely include. Let’s look at an example to help illustrate this.
Scott Findlay is a local Scottish plumbing company and the first result on Google when you search “plumber Edinburgh.” Its website contains some of the key features you’ll need to use to build trust, show your expertise and experience, and get your prospective customers over the line.
With a few quick scrolls and easy clicks through the website’s homepage, you can see some key things your plumbing website should include:
- A call to action. In the top right corner, users can request an “Instant Boiler Quote.” The phrasing suggests efficiency and ability to respond in emergencies.
- Reviews and testimonials. Prospects don’t have to just take Scott Findlay at its word for being trustworthy and reliable. Instead, they can scroll down to read reviews on the website’s homepage or are invited to visit the plumber’s linked Trustpilot or Google pages to read more reviews.
- Contact details. Interested people can easily get in touch in whichever way suits them—whether that’s by email, phone, or through the website itself.
- A full list of services. This helps potential customers know in advance that Scott Findlay would be able to help.
- A list of certifications. Certifications can help establish trust and credibility. Plus, brand-specific certifications can highlight which brands your business has experiencing servicing.
Collectively, these features ensure your website is putting your plumbing business’s best foot forward.
3. Optimize your website for search engines
Now that you have a strong website and are using it to showcase your plumbing business, you need to get your site found by customers who need your services. One of the best ways to do that is to make changes on your website that will help it rank high on search engine result pages—known as search engine optimization (SEO). SEO means optimizing your website to give it the best chance to appear prominently in search engines for keywords that are valuable and related to your business.
But showing up prominently on search engine results pages (SERPs) doesn’t happen overnight, and it isn’t ever guaranteed. Search engines recommend sites based on a lot of proprietary criteria that you don’t necessarily have access to, though there are general guidelines provided by search engines like Google (like this one on creating valuable content).
But there are methods you can use to try to increase the chances that your website shows up higher up in the search results for your target audience.
Earlier we looked at Scott Findlay’s website. Its site is the second highest-ranked website when you search “plumbers Edinburgh” on Google. (While there are plumber advertisements listed above them, its website is among the first organic results, i.e., websites that haven’t paid to be there.)
Again, there’s no guarantee in your site ranking this high in Google as there are many things search engines look at when deciding which sites to rank.
But if you look at Scott Findlay’s website, you can see it includes that specific keyword, “plumbers Edinburgh,” in key areas. This is called on-page SEO—editing your page to think of how search engines will register it. For example, they have included the term in their headings and as the first thing in the text on their homepage.
And they’ve also included it in their page’s “metadata,” the information that every page has that summarizes its content. This is the snippet of text that shows up on SERPs to inform users what they can expect from that site.
As a local plumbing business, there are some initial steps to take to help you win new customers through SEO:
- Consider which search terms you want to appear in. “Plumbers [your local city]” is a great one to choose, but people who need your service might be searching for something else or more specific.
For example, with our Scott Findlay example, they might search for “help with broken boiler Edinburgh” or “radiator installation Edinburgh.” In both these search cases, the first results are Scott Findlay again.
- Create different website pages for each search term or service you offer. It’s not likely that a single page will rank for every phrase that prospective customers are searching. To make SEO work, you’ll likely need an optimized page for each service.
For example, Scott Findlay has a specific page for each service they offer:
- Get your website noticed by showing your expertise. The impact of your SEO will take some time, and many companies with optimized websites won’t always be first on Google search.
To improve your performance, it’s recommended to complement your SEO efforts by writing blogs or creating videos that share information about topics people commonly search for—also known as content marketing. Create content that answers the questions people might have about plumbing issues, like “How do I unclog my garbage disposal?” or “Why does the toilet keep running?”
Not only will your content build your credibility, but if people visit, share, and/or link to your page, Google will see that you have a valuable website and will rank you higher.
Now that you know the SEO basics, there’s one more search engine-related plumbing advertising idea to consider. That’s local SEO.
How to get started with local SEO
Local SEO is trying to get your business or website appear on search engines when prospective customers search for the services you offer locally. If you’ve ever searched for a local service on Google, you’ll likely have used this already.
If you simply search for “plumber Edinburgh” in Google, you’ll see a map of the city that features many plumbers. These are local plumbers that Google is recommending because they fulfill the user’s search intent.
There’s no guarantee that your business will appear in these local search results; for example, you’ll see that while Scott Findlay’s website is well-optimized, it doesn’t necessarily appear in the local results. What you can do though is improve the odds of your business showing up.
To do that, you want to create a free Google My Business Account. When you do that, you can add your contact details, upload photos, choose your business categories, and receive and respond to online reviews. This will help Google determine if your business is the right fit for the user searching.
4. Use online ads to target your customers
Aside from search engine optimization, the most common way to get potential customers to your website is through paid online advertising, which you read about in the Yelp Ads example above.
Online ads are a reliable way to get in front of people looking for your services—from Yahoo to Facebook—and you can bet that many of your competitors are doing it already.
We’ll take Google as an example of how to get started with online ads and share some different platforms you can advertise on too.
How to advertise your plumbing business on Google
We’ve already looked at free ways to rank your website on Google, through SEO and local SEO. But you may have noticed that both of these are placed below Google Ads.
You’ll see there are two different types of advertisements here:
- Local Services Ads are in three boxes at the very top of the results page, where it says “Choose plumbers”.
- Google Ads are the pay-per-click ads (PPC) that appear below the boxes and above the organic search results with the word “Ad” at the top left of the placement.
These two types of ads work slightly differently.
Google’s Local Services Ads are used by businesses like plumbers to advertise locally. You need to be a local service to use this.
When someone clicks on your Local Services Ad, they’ll be taken to your Google listing. There, they’ll find your contact information, the services you offer, as well as reviews and some photos.
The benefit of this approach is that you only pay when someone uses your listing to get in touch with you—such as calling, messaging, or booking an appointment with you through your ad. You’re not charged when they just click on your ad. In other words, you’ll only pay when you get a new lead.
There are four steps to setting up your Local Services Ad:
- Check your eligibility. Not everyone can run Local Services Ads. It’s just for local businesses, and Google will have to verify that.
- Sign up. Make an account and enter your information.
- Add insurance. You can only use this service if you’re protected by insurance.
- Set your ad budget. You will pay for a lead when someone messages you, calls you, or books an appointment with you through your ad.
The second way of advertising on Google is through Google Ads, which are “pay-per-click” or PPC ads. As the name suggests, you’ll pay every time someone clicks on your ad, but these ads have more room for you to add extra information about your business.
These are a little more complex to set up. You’ll need to think through some of the following:
- Keywords you want to target with your plumber ad. For example, as we saw above, it could be “radiator installation Edinburgh” or just simply “plumber Edinburgh.” It’s best to target a few.
- The goals of your plumber advertising campaign. It will most likely be to win new leads, but it could be something simpler like getting clicks or traffic to your website.
- What your ad will say. You want your ad to get clicked by consumers in need of your plumbing services, so it should have compelling text. Think about what your customers are looking for and what could appeal to them. Play around with the copy to see what gets you the best results.
For example, one of the ads above displays this text:
- Where your ad will take your customer if they click on it. For example, will it be to a contact page or to a specific page of your website?
When it comes to Google’s PPC ads, there’s a lot to think about, but it can be very lucrative in the long run.
The best plumber advertising ideas to get you qualified leads
Ultimately, when you’re looking for advertising channels as a plumber, you need to find the platforms that can win you leads who are:
- Local to you
- In need of your services
- Ready to buy
The four marketing ideas we shared above do just that, and there’s no harm in trying more than one. But based on its targeted local audience with high buying intent, Yelp is one of your best options for reaching qualified leads.
Get started with Yelp by claiming your business for free.
For more information on advertising and growing your business:
- 6 steps for effective email marketing
- How to use referral marketing to strengthen your brand
- 8 social media marketing tips for small businesses
- How to increase business with seasonal marketing campaigns
*MATERIAL SURVEY 2022. THIS SURVEY WAS FIELDED BY MATERIAL AMONG 2,000 PEOPLE AGED 18+ IN THE UNITED STATES. THE SURVEY WAS CONDUCTED ONLINE DURING THE PERIOD OF AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER 2022 AND HAS A MARGIN OF ERROR OF +/- 2%. RESULTS OF ANY SAMPLE ARE SUBJECT TO SAMPLING VARIATION. THE MAGNITUDE OF THE VARIATION IS MEASURABLE AND IS AFFECTED BY THE NUMBER OF INTERVIEWS AND THE LEVEL OF THE PERCENTAGES EXPRESSING THE RESULTS.
How do I advertise my plumbing services?
When paying for advertising for your plumbing business, you’ll want to be sure that the people seeing your ads are actually likely to buy from you.
As a plumber, your best leads will be people who have a plumbing need, who are local to you, and who are ready to buy. It pays off to focus your advertising strategy on them.
For example, by listing your business on Yelp, you’ll put yourself in front of people who are searching for plumbers in your area right now. Advertising on Google is a good idea too because it’s where many people search for local services.
What is the best platform to advertise a plumbing business?
When considering which platform is best to advertise your plumbing business, you’ll want to heavily consider your own specific business goals.
Because most plumbing businesses want to get leads or new customers who use their plumbing services, they’ll want to focus on platforms with a strong local component.
This includes platforms like Yelp, which lets people search for services like plumbers within a specific geographic area.
Do Facebook Ads work for plumbers?
Facebook Ads can be a good way for plumbers to expand their audience. You can run an ad campaign, monitor results, and see if there’s good return for your ads. You’re also able to target specific demographics and types of users. But there are some nuances to consider.
Facebook is a popular social media platform that has several use cases, such as keeping up with friends and family and even getting news updates. That means there are all kinds of audiences on Facebook, not necessarily people who are actively looking for a plumber.
Can you use YouTube to advertise your plumbing services?
YouTube is a popular search engine and video platform, and you can use YouTube to reach a new audience by running ads or creating a YouTube channel for your plumbing service.
When thinking about your video strategy, consider these two things:
- YouTube isn’t designed to help local businesses to find customers within a specific area. Instead, it’s more for connecting people with a common interest, regardless of where they’re searching from.
- Creating video content (whether an ad or an entire channel) is a relatively new endeavor for most plumbing companies. And it’s not something that’s as easy to start doing, as say running ads on social media, search engines, or websites like Yelp.
The information above is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and may not be suitable for your circumstances. Unless stated otherwise, references to third-party links, services, or products do not constitute endorsement by Yelp.