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12 Reasons Why Your Plumbing Business Needs a Blog

A social media-savvy plumber

One might argue that blogging for plumbers is a waste of time. “Just look at those bounce rates! Half the traffic is from overseas! And they’re all DIYers!”

I myself was skeptical — until I looked at the numbers.

Blogs will never convert as well as service pages. They don’t have to.

Their bounce rates are high. That’s okay.

For plumbers, appliance repair technicians, and many local service businesses, blogs are an indispensable marketing tool.

Here’s why.

1. Blogs generate more traffic than service pages.

It seems counterintuitive that a blog about leaking dual-flush toilets can drive ten times the organic traffic of a top-level plumbing menu page.

Yet that’s precisely what we see across multiple sites we manage at Culture Cube.

Blogs drive huge traffic numbers compared to service pages — sometimes three-fourths of the total organic traffic to a site.

We’ll dig into the details later, but generally speaking, blog pages:

  • Target less competitive long-tail keywords.
  • Don’t compete as much against big category-killer brands, Wikipedia, and YouTube.
  • Are unaffected by the Google Map Pack, which displays above organic search results and discourages click-through.
  • Can rank for many long-tail keywords, which, in aggregate, drive a healthy volume of organic traffic.

2. The local 3-pack dominates service keywords but not blog keywords.

What do I mean by “service keywords?” Plumbing. Leak detection. Sewer pipe repair. Every plumber has a page for those services.

“Blog keywords” tend to be long-tail and varied. Smaller search volume. More specific. My dual-flush toilet is leaking. Why is my hot water yellow?

Plumbers include long-tail keywords in their service copy, either by intention or accident, but they can’t effectively target those keywords on a service page or go into the excruciating detail Google loves. Only a blog can.

 Search intent: service vs. blog

Most service searches show local intent. If you’re looking for sewer pipe repair, you want someone local, not 500 miles away.

But if you’re troubleshooting a dual-flush toilet, you don’t care where the information comes from as long as it answers your questions.

A blog will draw traffic from all over the USA and the English-speaking world. Oodles of it.

But service searches have a small radius, and searchers seldom move beyond the results page. That’s because of the Map Pack, Google’s answer to local search queries.

It occupies prime real estate above the organic results. Number 1 rank just ain’t what it used to be.

In a compact view, it gives most searchers precisely what they need: three top local plumbers, their business names, phone numbers, addresses, business hours, and average customer rating on Google. And oh — there’s a tiny link to their business website, which most people ignore.

 The local pack curtails organic traffic to your site

I remember when Google launched the Map Pack, a dart aimed at the heart of organic search.

Organic traffic on the e-commerce website I managed dropped drop by 40%. Executives were fit to be tied.

The business still ranked, but not always in a text link inviting a click. Searches with local intent now featured the Map Pack, which:

  • Pushed text links further down the page.
  • Gave searchers all the information they needed.

Signals for the Map pack come from Google Business Profiles, not websites. Your finely-tuned website won’t do much for local visibility because Google values quality and proximity for local search, not search-optimized web copy.

“So what’s the point of the story?” you may wonder.

There will never be a Map Pack for “leaky dual flush toilet.” Only blogs, articles, wiki pages, and videos will rank because Google deems them most relevant for information searches.

Your blog is also safe from algorithm updates as long as you produce quality, original content, not spam.

3. Some blog traffic will convert to calls and sales.

We’ve already established that blog traffic isn’t localized. It can’t be. Does that render it worthless?

Not at all, because some visits to your blog will be local and lead to a call.

Blogs convert poorly compared to service pages, but because their traffic volume is so high, they can outsell low-traffic service pages or direct prospects to service pages if you design them right.

Just be sure to offer a polite call to action to grease the skids. A contact button will do.

4. Blog keywords are less competitive than service keywords.

Most blogs target long-tail keywords with much smaller search volumes than head terms. That’s bad news and good news.

Wait — how can it be good?


  • Long-tail keywords vastly outnumber head terms. The supply is unlimited. Google has yet to discover them all.
  • There’s much less competition for long-tail keywords.
  • A blog can rank for multiple long-tail keywords, which, in aggregate, will drive surprising levels of traffic.

Keep your blog focused. Answer potential questions clearly and thoroughly. Include lots of headings, bulleted and numbered lists, and white space, all of which Google loves.

5. Blogs invite backlinks more than service pages.

Service pages are the sales engine of your website. But they don’t attract backlinks like a blog. (Backlinks are links from other sites to your site.)

Most citations — listings of your business on the internet — will point to your home page. That’s great for your home page but not for your leak detection service.

On the other hand, a good blog gets link love from other blogs, news articles, social media, social shares, and just about anywhere else.

Those deep links help establish your authority and distribute link equity throughout your site.

6. You can write as many blog posts as you like.

There’s no limit to long-tail keywords. There’s always something to blog about.

So jot down your ideas, create a few outlines, and start filling in the blanks. Take longer to develop a complex blog, shorter to post a “thought of the day,” or try juggling several blogs simultaneously (as I’m doing now).

There’s no magical character count or blog length. A blog should be long enough to communicate and no longer.

7. Blogs establish you as an expert in your category.

Every service page aims to make a sale. You’re pitching a service to the reader.

A blog is more philosopher than salesperson, or maybe Mr-Know-It-All.

It discusses, pontificates, informs, describes, amuses, admonishes, rants, and more. It can do all these things in fantastic detail. Any sales it encourages are soft sales.

So when you blog about toilet brands and features, list the benefits of each, and wax poetic about the latest low-flush technology, you’re cementing your reputation as a toilet guru. A go-to source for commode conversation. Google will take notice. Your blog will be *ahem!* flush with traffic.

That level of detail would bore readers to death on a service page and kill any hope of a sale.

But among site visitors entering via long-tail search, your devotion to the porcelain throne will find a receptive and grateful audience — and possible speaking engagement on Toilet Day.

8. Blogs help your site attain “critical mass” to rank.

Most local sites limp along with barely enough traffic to keep a business alive.

Culture Cube clients with established blogs average hundreds of daily visits. 80% of their leads come from organic traffic and their Google Business Profile.

Small sites with fewer than 30 pages generate little traffic, no matter how well-optimized they are for search. Google tends to ignore them.

Experience tells us that most local sites need 30 or more quality pages to begin climbing the rankings.

Your business may offer a handful of services, limiting the service information it provides. But you can blog ad nauseam about those services, giving your site the “critical mass” to rank.

9. Blogs are more engaging than service pages.

Service pages are formal by their very nature. Factual. To the point.

Blogs are more flexible. More human. Sometimes a reflection of your personality.

They can be anything you want them to be. Any tone. Any length. They can even indulge in toilet humor, as long as it’s cute and not crude.

A blog’s conversational and personal tone draws in the reader and invites interaction.

10. Blogs are more likely to be shared.

God bless ’em — dry service pages have a purpose. But no one shares them.

Blogs were put on this earth to be shared.

They engage the reader, offer useful information, make you laugh, dispense controversial viewpoints, discuss topics of topical interest, and so on. It all encourages social sharing.

When was the last time you shared a service page?

I rest my case.

11. Blogs are easier to write than service content.

Every blog starts with an idea and goes where your imagination takes it.

Service pages are topic-restricted, like a term paper. Bo-o-oring! Teacher loves them, if she happens to be cruising the internet for “heated toilet seat.”

Experienced bloggers write off the top of their heads, almost stream of consciousness. The paragraphs come in waves and floods. Write first, and clean it up later.

Blogging can be cathartic: “Good to get that off my chest!”

You’d never say that about a service page. “Good to have that off my plate!”

12. Blogs are more fun to write!

Finally, because there are no hard and fast rules for blogging, it’s far more enjoyable than standard web copy with its endless revisions and rounds of review.

There are millions of blogger hobbyists across the internet.

How many hobbyists write service copy for fun? Exactly.

With a blog, you can:

  • Inject humor
  • Write in iambic pentameter (one of my goals)!
  • Cater to a niche audience
  • Cater to a broad audience
  • Cater to an audience of one (yourself)!
  • Do anything you please, as long as the blog is effective

You never know when a blog will hit gold — the mother lode of traffic. So keep blogging, establish your reputation, connect with an audience, and enjoy your time doing it.

“But I don’t have the time..”

No time to blog? Too busy laying pipe? Then hire a marketing agency to handle the blogging for you!

Call us at Culture Cube. We’ll blog about anything: plumbing, appliance repair, HVAC installation, gardening in SoCal, and even the art of blogging!

We’ve got too much to say and not enough places to say it.

Help us out. “Help us help you.”

By Peter Losh

Peter Losh is the SEO Director of Culture Cube Marketing in Upland, California. He's also a de facto UX designer, site builder, and content creator. Unlike most folks in the SEO biz, he works directly on the sites he optimizes, having witnessed the effects of recommendations that go ignored or misunderstood (in previous gigs).

Peter has worked on websites since the salad days of the internet, first as a graphic artist and web designer at the Centers for Disease Control. Then came several years of freelance web development, SEO and e-commerce management for business sites of various sizes, and ultimately a 10-year stint as the sole SEO Manager of PartyCity.com.

In his spare time, he enjoys classic film, classical music, and classic comebacks. And cats.

Professional Work Experience

  • Search engine optimization
  • Ecommerce management
  • Conversion rate optimization
  • UX design and analysis
  • Copywriting and training
  • E-mail campaign design
  • Web design and development
  • Graphic design

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