I’ve been thinking a lot about “plumbers” lately.
Actually, that’s not quite right. “Plumbers” isn’t even on my Google search radar. I’ve actually been searching for things like “water heater pilot light” or “DIY solutions to restart my water heater pilot light” or “WTH is wrong with my water heater”.
My wife is probably searching for “how to find a new husband”.
The pressure is definitely on, but I’m not a plumber, can’t do plumbing and searching “plumber” doesn’t get me the right results. Big national brands crowd out the first page for “plumber”, but when I call, they don’t seem interested in my little problem: restarting my pilot light. They just want the big jobs.
That’s why I search for dependable, local people, but many local providers are hard to find online.
Find a niche audience
If a local business wants to find me, they have to find the right keyword or phrase.
Let’s go back to “plumbing”. It’s too broad and has too much competition.
Locally, “Plumbing” is probably in every plumber’s business name. Of course there’s going to be competition. But, national brands pump big money into ads for general keywords too, so the little guys I want always get bumped to page two. And no one goes to page two on Google!
Instead, I would (in my humble, friendly voice) suggest to my local plumber that they find niche services that are similar to “plumbing” where the competition isn’t as fierce.
Find the keywords that strike the interest of a niche audience and you’ll find your business.
The Sweet Stop is in Google Trends
Google Trends is a perfect place to start.
Go to Trends and you’ll see that “plumber” is off-the-charts higher than “water heater repair”. So, throw money into AdWords for “plumber” and call it a day, right?
If you can afford the $5 to $20 a click, sure. Throw money into AdWords blindly.
In my humble opinion, though, the smarter money is figuring out keywords that have customers but little competition.
So, while still in Trends, scroll down to the “related queries” section for that keyword.
There, you’ll find big national interest in searches for the word “plumbing”. But remember that Google Analytics may not tell the whole story when you choose just a single word or broad subject keywords. There could be interest in that keyword that has nothing to do with plumbing, and that’s not helpful.
Change the “Top” search tool on Google Trends to “Rising” for that keyword, and walla! The term “Plumber” is driving a lot of search traffic that has nothing to do with local plumbing services.
So, not only can I not find a local plumber thro
ugh all the national competition, but I’m also getting side tracked to look at Youtube for butt crack videos, the diet choices of plumbers and a truck on a toilet. The distraction machine just ate my local plumbing search.
Finding more specific keywords
The solution to find my local plumber really does go back to supporting niche keywords.
If my local plumber had a page devoted to “water heater repair”, then I might be able to find them and give them work for a service that’s important to me right now. They could be confident that any ad investment on this phrase would still drive traffic that is related to what customers want.
Notice that both “Top” and “Rising” keywords are still concerned about the business of water tank repair. No “butt cracks” in the bunch.
An added feature in Google Trends is that it shows the geographic location where a target keyword has the most interest. From the screen shot above, Google is showing some serious interest in water heaters in Kansas. That’s an opportunity for marketing.
Google Trends is an awesome tool to find the right keyword. It can also help local businesses find a niche that the national guys haven’t exploited.
Low competition with good traffic: That’s a good marketing opportunity that doesn’t cost a lot.
Now, if I can just find my “plumbing savior”, then this story will have a real happy ending.