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Friday, July 31, 2009

Plumbing and plumber marketing: The accidental discovery

A search of Google keywords "Plumbing Marketing" leads you to, not Adam Hudson's, which I discovered yesterday. Why?

Yesterday, I reported on my discovery of some really useful resources at Adams Hudson's site (one of a network of sites he operates from Alabama.) But what do you find when you key in "Plumbing marketing" without quotes on Google?

Another site, has first ranking (at least from my Canadian base, but using the global Google search engine, not its "Canadian" version. That takes us to this site, whose domain is owned by Torske & Sterling Pty Ltd. in Sydney, Australia. When you search into Torske & Sterling, you find some stuff relating to "legal marketing" which of course makes this even more confusing.

Nevertheless, yesterday evening, in searching for the ownership of I inadvertently used the tool to research "" and discovered Adams Hudson's site, truly accidentally. His site ranks fourth on the first page for "plumbing marketing", but the "" site is nowhere to be found. In any case, as I reported a few weeks ago, there are big differences in search site visits and time spent between first and fourth place on the Google rankings.

I have calls out to both Hudson and someone named Grant, who provides phone numbers serving the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the U.K., and provides audio testimonial clips focusing on U.S. clients. I sense has a cleaner, simpler, and less stereotypical Internet interface, but the real key to its success may be the mysterious Torske & Sterling in Australia.

The research continues, but I had one other question to solve: How important and valuable are the search terms "plumbing marketing" and "plumber marketing"?

Here I used the Google Keyword Analysis tool to discover that the local search volume in June was 590 inquiries, with the monthly global search inquiries at 720. "Plumber Marketing" meanwhile had 110 and 170 searches respectively.

For comparison sake, I tried "Construction Marketing" and discovered 12,100 local searches and 9,900 global searches.

This doesn't necessarily mean this blog has a better "place" in the actual keyword value because more people who are really interested in -- and willing to pay for -- plumbing marketing services may go to the appropriate plumbing site(s) than here. But I'm not complaining!

Can we learn anything from this research?

First, most readers here are seeking to serve local rather than international markets. If you are a contractor in Chicago, you don't really want inquiries from people seeking services in New York -- though you might want potential customers based in New York but with a job in Chicago to find you!

Second, a great search engine ranking does little for you if you cannot convert the initial inquiries into real clients. This is easier said than done, and is a key element of my current research project (one I wish to solve, because of truly enlightened self interest.)

But I am going to take a stab on explaining why I think Google may like so much more than

Back-end SEO sophistication
Torske & Sterling appears to know something about SEO. I'll call them to see if I can learn more about what they are doing and how (assuming they will share things with me).

Simple design using video and audio tools
Note the audio clip and video image

Multi-national contact information
This may not be helpful if you are purely local, but if you have a worldwide service, Google probably loves it.

There are some puzzling gaps on the successful site. For example, you can't easily find who "Grant" really is, and I can't determine on the surface exactly where the site owner is located! These would seem to be essential in building real trust (but, then again, the top Google ranking may trump these qualities.)

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