There is now a huge demand for skilled plumbers in Britain, particularly in major cities like London. This demand is partially being driven by the acute shortage of skilled plumbers, as fewer young people are entering the profession and completing their apprenticeships. Facing a shortage of skilled plumbers inside the M25, major firms like London-based Pimlico Plumbers, have launched national recruitment drives in an attempt to attract new talent from outside Greater London.
On the other hand, with demand outstripping supply, there has never been a better time to enter the plumbing industry. Wages are higher than ever, and the media is replete with stories of “millionaire plumbers” like Charlie Mullins, owner of Pimlico Plumbers, creating empires out of fitting, servicing, and repairing hot and cold water systems, as well as heating systems.
Marketing Your Plumbing Business In A Competitive Environment
Despite the favourable economic climate, starting a successful plumbing business poses numerous challenges. Entering the plumbing industry is by no means a “get rich quick” scheme, and all successful plumbers and owners of plumbing businesses have credited their success to hard work, excellent customer service, expertise, as well as a great marketing strategy.
Many plumbers prefer to market their services the traditional way — they make a minimum number of sales calls per week, hand out an X number of business cards each day, and knock on doors to introduce themselves to prospective clients. Many also ask existing clients for referrals and go back to them periodically with new offerings.
While these marketing tactics are obviously important, this “hands-on” approach won’t suffice.
Why is that?
It’s because the vast majority of your prospective clients are turning to the Internet when they’re looking for a plumber in their area. Gone are the days when prospective clients used the yellow pages or asked the neighbours next door for the number of a reputable plumber.
In fact, 81% of consumers conduct online research before purchasing a product or service, and an overwhelming 89% of consumers use search engines to acquire services. Furthermore, your prospective clients aren’t just conducting online research on their desktop computers, as many are also using their mobile devices, tablets, and other gadgets to conduct online research.
You Need to Complement Your Traditional Marketing with a Dynamic Digital Marketing Plan
While traditional marketing can help plumbers establish a strong client base and funnel more leads and prospects into their pipelines, this should be complemented with a dynamic digital marketing plan.
You need to establish a well-designed and well-optimised website for your business. This website should contain accurate and up-to-date information about you and your business, as well as relevant and informative content. As for technical requirements, your website should be navigable and mobile-friendly, and should make proper use of keywords and links.
Why is mobile-friendliness important? It’s vital because a growing number of consumers perform online searches on their mobile devices. According to comScore, 56% of digital consumers in the U.K. use their mobile devices and tablets to consume digital media.
Meanwhile, according to a recent report from eMarketer, 50.3% of the U.K. population will use a tablet at least once a month in 2015 — a figure that is expected to rise to almost 60% (or 40.2 million tablet users) by 2019.
Unless you possess a mobile-friendly website that adjusts and displays seamlessly across an array of devices, you won’t be able to target prospective clients who’re looking for reputable plumbers in their area using multiple devices.
Your website and other web properties should show up prominently in the search engine results pages (SERPs) when your prospective clients perform local searches. It needs to be a good match for SEO in London. But aside from organic traffic, you also need to ensure that your business website is getting quality traffic from referral, paid, direct, and social sources.
Even if your prospective clients do find you, will they find solid reviews about you from your past clients? Do you have active social media accounts that enable prospective clients to learn more about your plumbing services? Do you offer relevant and informative content on your blog and other publishing platforms?
As plumbing services target a specific geographical area, you need to maximise the full potential of online local searches. According to recent studies, consumers who conducted local searches increased from 70% in 2010 to 80% in 2014. In addition, 54% of searchers include a local modifier (such as a city or postal code) in their searches.
Aside from search results, does your plumbing business have a strong presence in local listings, maps, and directories? If your answer is no, then you could be losing out on a significant number of leads and prospects, as well as conversions and sales.
Busy plumbers like you don’t have time to create and implement a digital marketing plan. You need to focus on your plumbing business.
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