Google is the most expensive type of marketing, except for all the rest.

I get it, we all get it.  Google is expensive.  But it doesn’t have to be.  We (the Home Services Industry) have been trained that spending money on Google is the best way to ensure your capacity is full.  This is still true, but with the massive adoption of Google’s Machine Learning, who’s monitoring the automated bids in the market?  If we solely rely on Google’s Artificial Intelligence to “place my ad first on Google” then it’s only a matter of time before all your competitors (and you) are allowing Google’s AI to dictate the CPCs (cost per click) for your keywords. How are we ever going to know if we could have bid lower on Google to get the same click?  If your competitor also sets Google to automate their bids, who is going to stop the algorithm from increasing everyone’s bid?

We just need to ensure we’re smart with our bidding strategies.  Google is the platform homeowners have come to trust and use (like a utility).  We can’t shy away from spending money with Google, we need to learn how to harness the potential of your ad program.  This blog is hopefully going to help you see the potential your Google Ad program could have as opposed to kidding yourself when thinking there is any better option than Google.

How much should you bid on Google Ads to get clicks on HVAC Keywords?

The answer - exactly what you need to book the job and not a penny more.  Okay, easier said than done.  But here’s how it’s done.

Knowing your target marketing cost as a percentage of gross revenue is a good place for us to start.  Let’s say you want to end the year at a 6% overall marketing cost.  We need to determine how we can get you jobs that only cost us 6% of the revenue invoiced to that customer.

What is your average revenue per job?  Okay, let’s multiply that by 6% to give us our target acquisition cost per job. From there we essentially need to determine all conversion rates along the way.

If 25% of your Website Visits turn into a Call, then your website conversion rate is 25%.  If 50% of the calls that come in get booked in as a job, that’s a 50% booking rate.  If 40% of those repair jobs turn into an equipment sale, you need to consider that in the equation as well.  

This math allows us to determine the maximum bid you’re able to spend on certain keywords for Google Ads.  If you know in advance what your target cost should be, it’s easy to determine your maximum bid and set limits on Google to never bid higher.  This means, however, that you need to be willing to not always show first in the ads section.  Increasing bids on keywords just based on position is not a good strategy, even if your competitor is showing above your ad.  Let them pay too much for those clicks and we can spend the budget more efficiently.

How do I know the number of clicks I need to buy from Google Ads?

First, think about how many jobs you need to get. 

(# of jobs you need) x (number of clicks it takes to get a job) =  the number of clicks you need to get all the jobs you want.

If it’s that simple, why do I need you to run my Google Ads?

Because when we get to know your business and your goals, we get to act on your behalf to make these decisions.  Within the first meeting and using a few dialled-in metrics, we can enable your business with the knowledge and tools you’ve always needed to help you grow profitably.  Our job as the agency is to ensure you never pay too much for leads and that we are always trying to get you better jobs.  We just need to first determine the type of customers that are best for your business and then we figure out how to bring them in.

It’s all about the Data. 

The HVAC and Plumbing industry has been able to grow and adopt technology better than most.  Largely because of the tech giants in the industry creating amazing CRM’s that are company-wide connected, like Service Titan. What this means ladies and gentlemen, is that you have better data accessible through your CRM than most industries could dream of. You know so much about your customers and honestly, most of you aren’t utilizing your database effectively. Actually, most of your employees aren’t collecting data correctly, to begin with. If you have a disconnect in numbers between departments, it’s most likely a human entering error. But I digress.

What kind of data can you gather from your CRM that will help you target ads to the right person on Google?

First Step

Pull a list of average revenue per job in each of your Zip Codes (‘Postal Codes’ for us Canadians) that you service in your market.  This will help you see the areas in the city that you sell well in. I would look at close rates here and determine which sales guys sell best in each zone as well, but that’s more of a dispatch discussion.

Second Step

Put together a list of characteristics your best customers all have in common.  This could be age, gender, race, area of the city, income level, interests, square footage of their home etc. 

Third Step

Repeat the second step for each business unit in your schedule.  (service + market).  This will allow you to create target personas for each sector of your business and your marketing agency would go crazy (should go crazy) over receiving this level of data.

What can the Agency do with this level of Data?

Ok, I’m going to stop real quick and let you know that I am aware of the power we hold as Marketing Agencies.  We know how to specifically target ads directly down to someone’s home address based on the likelihood they will spend money with you.  This power, when used for good (to help your business grow profitably), can allow you to spend a heck of a lot less than blanket-targeting your city, and allow you to hyper focus on neighborhoods that you know have 20 year old A/C units and your guys sell really well into that area.

You end up spending more (per household) to advertise with that level of specificity,  but it’s worth it, because you end up saving so much of your ineffective marketing dollars.

ADHOME has decided to create an alliance with one of the industry data powerhouses Stochastics Marketing.  HVAC guys, if Stochastic is not sold out in your market, you need to hire Erik or at least take a demo with him. He uses information from your database and external market data to create really hyper-targeted direct mail pieces that systematically increase new customer acquisition. Our data alliance allows us to agree on which new customers we want to target and create a strategy that encompasses both digital and traditional marketing. 

We are not an agency that will ever tell you to replace traditional marketing with digital, we have always worked well with media companies like direct response, tv, radio, and billboard to ensure a common brand and message is sent out through all mediums in your market.

What working with Erik has taught me was that we are both trying to find who the best customers are to target for HVAC Businesses all across the US (and Canada).  Our method to help you reach new customers is very different, but essentially, we should and can at least agree on who the ideal customer is, and then both marketing tactics (digital and direct mail) are more effective. All marketing efforts are contributing to getting the right customer into your schedule.


We don’t like to call ourselves “Googley” but essentially, we’ve learned how Google works inside and out for HVAC businesses (and plumbing companies) because that’s who we work with. We know and have developed the most effective strategies that help you stay competitive in your market. We have even built a CRM extension (ProfitFill) that will connect directly to your schedules and know exactly how many clicks you need to have full capacity, and then it shuts your ads off when each schedule is full. It’s cool, but essentially, if you’re not seeing profit using Google Ads and you own a residential HVAC business in either Canada or the US, you need to book a call with me.

I’m not going to promise I’ll convince you to work with me and my team at ADHOME, but I am going to present an appealing argument.

Book a Call.

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click is a 196-page manifesto of digital marketing knowledge. It’s a resource full of practical advice and my own learnings. Through my career as a marketer and as the president of AdHome Marketing, I’ve come to deeply understand the marketing challenges many home care professionals face. 

In fact, one of the stories in the book is how we transformed a local furnace company through digital marketing and grew the business to $20 million in annual sales. I believe every business can benefit from digital marketing and I want to teach you how to do the same. 

Why I Wrote click

I know what you’re probably thinking; isn’t it a little ironic to write a paper book about digital marketing? Yes, it might be, but it was my goal to create a comprehensive digital marketing guide and I thought a book was the best way to do that. 

click Is not a marketing textbook and it’s not a topical compilation of marketing trends. It’s not full of compelling stats to try and sway you. Instead, it’s a toolkit that will help you truly understand how to use digital marketing to transform your business. The techniques in the book aren’t flashy and they’ll be just as effective 5 years from now as they are today. 

What click Can Do for You

click Is a toolkit that will help you navigate the digital marketing landscape and grow your business. Whether you’re a lawn care company that’s just starting out or an HVAC company that's been in business for decades, click can help you transform your business.

Turning through the pages of the book is like having a digital marketer right there beside you. It’s my goal to get readers to better understand digital marketing overall, including how to measure your success and how to make a unique marketing plan for your business. 

Once you’ve read click, you’ll have the skills to grow your business quickly, efficiently, and profitably. I help you skip the learning curve and wasted marketing dollars so you can go straight to an effective, well-planned marketing strategy. 

Who Can Benefit from click 

I didn’t write this book for the big businesses that have infinite marketing resources. I wrote this book for you, the small to medium-sized business and entrepreneur. I want to change your perception of marketing and how successful your business can be. Because once you start reaching the right customers, your business has the potential to grow to a degree you never thought was possible. 

I’ve been helping home care professionals for many years and it’s become my passion and my career’s work. I want to help you grow your business by taking control of your marketing. click will help you do exactly that by showing you how to reach homeowners more effectively. 

click is a resource that can benefit both marketers and non-marketers. It’s simple to understand while going into enough detail that people who already understanding marketing can benefit as well. For those who already work in marketing, this book will give you a better understanding of digital marketing. For those learning about marketing, it will set you on the right path.  

3 Key Points from the Book

Hopefully I’ve made a compelling case for growing your business by now, but if not, here are 3 key points you’ll learn from the book:

  1. How to ask the right questions to your marketing team or agency
  2. How to build an effective marketing plan
  3. How to understand when to reinvest or walk away

When you’re done reading click, you’ll be able to make marketing decisions with confidence. And with that confidence comes the power to transform and grow your business. If that sounds like what you and your business needs, my bestselling book click is available on Amazon.

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For most HVAC businesses, shoulder season falls between the frigid weather of the winter and the smoking hot temperatures in the summer. Most people only think about their HVAC systems when the weather lives in the extremes. So businesses generally see a slow period in the spring from March-May and again in the fall from September-November. 

We often see clients who want to stop their advertising during slow periods altogether. But this isn’t the best approach, not by a long shot. 

We’re here to show you that marketing in the off-season can boost sales and profits for the next busy season. Plus, bring in some additional revenue in maintenance jobs. So, if that sounds good to you, keep reading. 

Why Market During Slow Season?

We get where you’re coming from. Why spend ad budget when your customers don’t have an immediate need for your services? But there are many reasons why running ads in the spring and fall will get you ahead.

Build Your Brand

Building your brand isn’t achieved overnight. Or in one season! You need to establish a name for yourself in the HVAC industry continually. And once you’ve established some brand recognition, it’s essential to maintain and grow your audience for future success. If you want continued success during your next peak season, implementing a shoulder season marketing strategy is key. 

Good marketing never sleeps.

Become Memorable

If someone’s furnace fails when it’s freezing cold or their air conditioner stops working when it is sweltering out, they don’t have time to compare quotes and price shop. They will contact someone they trust and someone they have heard of. Someone they remember. 

Creating that type of memorability requires consistency in your marketing efforts. Therefore, your brand can’t entirely fall off the map because it’s off-season. The work you put into your marketing in the spring and fall will build your brand so that when someone’s furnace fails in the dead of winter, your company’s name is top of mind.

Get Ahead of The Competition

By marketing in shoulder season, you give yourself enough time to engage with your future customers. You can educate people on what your HVAC company offers and why you’re better than your competition. 

Once peak season hits, you will have created a relationship with your potential customers. They will be familiar with the services you offer and have seen your brand. Your business will be strides ahead of the competition, which will be just waking up from slow-season hibernation.

What Should You Be Spending

We recommend staying consistent with your marketing spend across all seasons to get the best results. Yes, even during the off-season. 

As we mentioned earlier, shift away from lead generation campaigns and more towards creating brand awareness. Focusing on brand awareness will likely change the medium you are spending on (more on that later).  

Depending on whether you want to maintain or grow your business, a healthy marketing budget will vary between 5%-15% of your revenue.

Best Tactics for Shoulder Season

The major differentiating factor between on and off-season marketing will be the type of campaigns you will be running. As noted above, your slow season efforts should gear towards brand awareness. There are many ways to create customer recognition for your brand.

Get Social

Shoulder season is a great time to focus on growing your social media accounts. You can focus on creating engaging content and growing your following so that you will have a larger audience to speak to when peak season hits.

Run Brand Awareness Ads

You should still be running ads during shoulder season! These ads will shift to a branding campaign that will keep your company top of mind with your audience. See below for examples of a branding campaign.

Focus On Maintenance Campaigns

To create revenue during shoulder season, you can also run maintenance campaigns. Focus on the money consumers will save by tuning up their HVAC systems before they cause problems in the winter or summer.

Customer Reviews

Shoulder season is the perfect time to focus on your customer reviews. You likely received many during peak-season you haven’t had time to promote. We recommend blasting positive reviews EVERYWHERE! From your social media to your website, make sure you don’t waste the potential of a good review. 

Reviews build trust with your potential customers and provide social proof that your company does a good job. Take the time to highlight them whenever you can. Responding to reviews is also very important. Especially the negative ones. Learn how to best manage your reviews here. 

Tend To Your Backlog

The off-season is the perfect time to tackle things you’ve been putting off, including cleaning up your database, revamping your website, boosting your social media profiles, and creating promotional emails.  
We recommend spending the time to set yourself up for success during peak season.

To Sum It Up

Marketing your HVAC business is a year-round gig. You will see much better results by simply shifting your spending to branding campaigns rather than turning off your ads altogether. We recommend putting the same budget into both efforts for maximum growth. 

If you want to talk to an expert on leveraging your marketing during shoulder season, reach out to us. We’re always here to help, no matter what season

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