Is this the first you’re hearing about landing pages? Or this series? You should take a look at my “Intro to Landing Pages” article before getting into this one. This is the first critique in Wishpond’s new series where I’ll be dissecting a variety of landing pages.
Ready? Now it’s time to look at a few real-world examples of ads and landing pages out in the wild.
In this post I’ll show you exactly what you need to create a great ad and landing page combination for your plumbing services.
Let me give you some background – this all started with a leaky faucet.
Now I’m no handyman. So there I was, sitting on the edge of my bathtub browsing for an easy solution to my problem.
I quickly gave up on the idea of DIY, so I search for “Vancouver Plumber” on Google.
So I clicked on an ad, and forgot about my leaky faucet for a moment.
“Where is the form to fill out? My leaky faucet isn’t an emergency so I could wait a day or two to get it fixed. This isn’t even mobile-optimized. I should probably get on my computer.” I think to myself.
The point was, that it wasn’t as easy as it should have been for me to get a form filled out for my service request.
So I thought about it some more, and realized it would probably be a good idea to make a resource for plumbing professionals…something that can help make it easy to create effective ad campaigns and dedicated landing pages (because I know that online advertising for plumbing services can be a great way to get leads for your business).
Last year I created a landing page critique for plumbers to refer to, but I don’t think that was enough. I need to get more specific.
Let’s get started.
First I’ll go through a few best practices for creating an effective campaign for plumbing services.
Here are a few pointers for creating good ads on Google:
- Use the headline of the ad to describe what makes your plumbing services different than your competitors. Do you offer free estimates? 24/7 services? A limited time offer?
- Use ad extensions to increase the space your ad takes up on Google. It can also give users different options. Above, Mr.Swirl uses “Find your Local Plumber and a more specific option, “Drain Cleaning” which is either one of their most popular services or a service they want to focus on.
- Make sure the headline of the ad match the headline on your landing page (very important)!
Here are 6 landing page tips for plumbers:
- Don’t include a navigation bar. This can and will distract your visitors from converting.
- Use a bullet point list to outline the benefits of your services.
- Include a form with up to 5 form fields so people can request your services online.
- Use a video to briefly explain your services and what makes your business. Make it about 30 seconds long.
- Include a clickable phone number so people can call you easily if they’re on a mobile device. Make sure that the phone number is in an encapsulated button that contrasts with the page so it stands out.
- Use a discount to entice people to click.
Now, let’s get into the landing page critiques!
Note: All of these ads appeared with the search terms, “Vancouver Plumber.”
1. Mr. Rooter
Chances are, you’ve heard of Mr. Rooter. They’re a plumbing and drain-cleaning company with over 300 franchises worldwide.
When you enter search terms into Google, you’re likely searching for exactly what you’ve typed, right? Right.
So when someone searches for “Vancouver Plumber” they are likely going to click on something that uses those keywords (or at least a variation of the keywords).
So what Mr. Rooter is missing is the word, “Plumber.”
I would suggest using a headline that reads, “Mr. Rooter Vancouver Plumbers: Save $20 – Sept. Only!”
When it comes to the display URL, I would add the keywords of the search term to the end of the URL. It would be something like, “mrrooter.ca/PlumberVancouver.”
Although I do like that they have some pretty handy extensions on their ad (the links at the bottom).
Now let’s take a look at the landing page. The each critique will be grouped into a few sections: what I like, what I don’t like, what I’d test, and my overall consensus of the landing page.
What I like:
- The Mr. Rooter logo. Mr. Rooter is a well-known plumbing company – so their logo creates trust between the visitor and the page, therefore acting as a trust symbol on their landing page.
- The subheader mentions their unique selling proposition (USP). A USP is what differentiates your business from your competition. Their subheader says, “Emergency service 24 hours a day / 7 days a week / 52 weeks a year. Contact us now!” Being open literally 24/7 provides comfort for people who may be dealing with emergency situations.
- The form. The form has a decent amount of form fields and uses some urgency in their copy, “Book now!” I would suggest no more than the 5 form fields they have though (you don’t want to make visitors bounce with an intimidating form).
- The special offer. The special is $20 off in October only (in the blue hello bar at the top of the page). This is another good incentive for potential leads to choose Mr. Rooter over the competition. Although I would suggest making the special more obvious, such as using in the headline.
- The phone number. It’s large and obvious at the top of the page. It also confirms that you will call a Vancouver number, which is nice because sometimes with franchises you have to go through added steps to get a specific location. Bonus: the phone number is clickable on mobile.
- They used their own photos. Most people can tell the difference between a stock photo and a real photo. Stock photos are usually ignored, whereas “real photos” are acknowledged, usually in positive light (especially if executed correctly).
- The asterisks beside the necessary form fields. Forms appear less intimidating to visitors when they know that not all of the form fields are mandatory.
- The method of payments. These are featured at the bottom of the landing page. This might be appealing to potential leads without cash handy – as it would be more convenient to hire Mr. Rooter as opposed to an independent contractor who doesn’t have a debit/credit machine.
What I don’t like:
- The headline of the ad doesn’t match the landing page’s headline. It’s important to mimic your ad’s headline on your landing page. Since the ad says, “Mr. Rooter Vancouver, BC – September Special: Save $20” the landing page should read the same. This will help decrease the bounce rate, as people are quick to navigate away when they think they may have clicked something irrelevant to what they’re interested in.
- The positioning of the headline. I would put the headline at the top of the page, instead of the middle on top of the image. It should be one of the first things a visitor sees on your page.
- The form size. This landing page is too busy. If you remove some of the elements, you can direction attention to more important aspects of the page (such as the form).
- The directional cue does nothing for the page. In this case, the photo they used is acting as a directional cue. The client and the employee are looking at a binder that’s also in the photo. Naturally, our eyes follow theirs. This is doing nothing but leading visitor’s eyes to the middle of the photo. Ideally, you want landing page visitors being directed towards the call-to-action (in this case it would be the form).
- The CTA button copy. “Submit” on CTA buttons generally converts terribly. I would try something more specific to the form they’re filling out. “book my service request now” would be better I’m sure.
- The navigation bar. Navigation bars are great for websites, but distract from the purpose of a landing page, which is having visitors convert on your call-to-action (CTA). You don’t want to draw visitors away from your page, so don’t use navigation bars on your landing pages.
- The CTA button on the form. The color should contrast better with the page. Grey was a poor choice for the CTA button. It completely blends in with the page instead of standing out. I would suggest using a color that contrasts with the page.
- Lack of white space. There’s too much going on with this landing page. By getting rid of certain elements of the page, like the “learn more” images below the form and the navigation bar it will clean it up substantially and leave space to focus on what’s important on the page.
- The color scheme. Mr. Rooter is trying to brand their landing page like their business. The photo has blue and red, the landing page elements are both blue and red, etc. This in theory is a great idea, but on this landing page they’ve used the color in all the wrong places. I would use just one color mostly (the blue, it’s a trustworthy color) and make only the important elements red to contrast with the blue (such as the CTA button on the form and the phone number).
What I would test:
- Move the form. Usually, forms do better on the right hand side of the page. I would test moving it to the other side to see if it’s better for conversions.
- Test the form without the “postal code” form field. I would also make sure the ad is more specific to Vancouver in general. You can use merge tags to change the number and city that appears on each city’s version of the landing page so that it’s a more personalized experience for visitors.
- Test a customer review. This might not not be necessary since they are pretty well-known, but I would definitely test it out.
- Test a 30-second video. They have a 30-second video on their homepage that nicely explains the benefits of using their services. I would test using that on their landing page to highlight the benefits of choosing Mr. Rooter.
Consensus: Although there are definitely some things I would change, it’s still a satisfactory campaign. It could use a little tweaking to optimize conversions but Mr. Rooter is probably satisfied with the results.
Milani is a local, family-owned and operated plumbing business that’s been around for 60 years.
Here’s their advertisement on Google:
It’s a pretty decent ad, has both keywords I searched and again the keywords in the display URL. I would suggest that they include a special offer in their ad, though.
Note the ad extensions and the location at the bottom. The ad extensions are good. But I wouldn’t suggest putting the location – it could deter click-throughs since Burnaby isn’t Vancouver and people might be deterred that it’s too far or the ad is irrelevant.
The review extension by BBB is great. Haven’t seen a lot of the review extensions on plumber’s ads, and they’ve been known to increase click-through rates by up to 66%.
Now check out the associated landing page:
What I like:
- The page layout The general formatting and layout is pretty spot-on. The video top left, the form top right, the benefit list below the video, a trust symbol slightly visible above the fold, etc.
- No clutter. Usually when I see a landing page, I want to remove half of the elements on the page. This landing page isn’t cluttered and 95% of the elements and copy are necessary.
- The conversion goal. They don’t have a navigation bar, links or distractions from the conversion goal: people can call or fill out the form. Nice!
- The video. It’s less than a minute long, features the president (who seems like a nice guy), mentions there’s no hidden fees and a special offer. This video is good!
- The trust factors. The most notable trust factor on their page is “The Consumer Choice Award and the other trust symbols at the bottom of the page.
- The last CTA button. I like the phone number CTA button at the bottom of the page, it stands out well against the white background and conveys urgency with the copy, “call now” and “24-hour emergency service.”
- The checklist. It’s nice to see such minimal copy on a plumbing landing page. Usually they contain an essay’s worth of information. Although the points they choose to include should ideally be benefits (as opposed to a random list of why you should choose them).
- The number of form fields. They’ve kept their form fields down to a minimum which is great. Nothing is worse than an intimidating form with too many fields.
What I don’t like:
- The headline doesn’t stand out. All I really see is the video. It’s great to have a noticeable video, but I would make sure the headline isn’t hidden as it’s important that the ad and landing page headlines match so visitors know they’re on the right page.
- The form blending in with the page. Sure, this page looks pretty sleek. But you want the form to be pretty obvious so that people can fill it out ASAP.
- The CTA button on the form. The CTA button color is the same as the other landing page elements. Instead, it should contrast with the page. Blue or green would suffice.
- The copy below the video. “You can count of Milani” isn’t specific. You know they can do better than that because they have a bunch of different trust elements on their landing page.
- The checklist copy. I like that they have a list, but I would change what appears in it. For example, they say they were voted “#1 Plumbing and Heating Company.” I don’t trust it since it doesn’t mention who gave them that award. The “Consumer Choice Award” does a much better job at communicating trust. I would get rid of that and focus on the benefit of their plumbing services, “will fix any plumbing problem – big or small”
- The phone number at the top The size is good, but it should stick out on the page more. I would put it in a button and choose a contrasting color for the background.
The page doesn’t mention the $20 off special. In the video, they are competing with Mr. Rooter by offering $20 off their plumbing services. But it doesn’t say anything about the $20 offer on the page, so they’re assuming that everyone is going to press “play” on their video.
- There is no clear USP. Sure, they mention a few things on their page and throughout the video that could work as USPs. But they need to stick with one main offer or statement and communicate it more firmly throughout the page.
What I would test:
- A directional cue. You want to lead visitors towards the whole reason they’re on the page. I would place an arrow on the page – pointing from the checklist to the form on the right.
- Using asterisks to indicate the necessary form fields Asterisks indicate which form fields are mandatory, and when a visitor sees that they don’t have to fill out a certain field they will feel better about filling out the form.
- Customizing the landing page for Vancouver. It personalizes the page for the visitor. And this way you could also remove one of the form fields, making the lead’s job easier (which is always encouraged).
Consensus: Good. There’s definitely room for improvement, but there usually is with landing pages. Plus, there are a lot of good aspects of the page as well.
Tri-M Plumbing is a family-owned plumbing service in Vancouver with multiple locations in the Lower Mainland. They have been in business for over 30 years.
The first thing I notice is that this ad is pretty simplistic. It has the two keywords in the headline, but that’s about it.
In the description of the ad, I see a grammatical error, “Save $50 Off.” Automatically I take a point off as I see these errors as carelessness.
Check out the page it links to:
What I like:
- “Fixed right or it’s free.” This could potentially be the USP for the landing page, but they have to make sure they mention their business first. Something along the lines of “Your trusted Vancouver plumbers. Fixed right or it’s free!” Wouldn’t be a decent fix for their headline.
- “Satisfaction Guaranteed.” This ties in with the “trusted Vancouver plumbers” copy. Would be better if they had a customer review on the page to support this, though.
- The big call button on the top right-hand side. Plumbers seem to really have this aspect of landing pages covered. The call button is clickable via mobile for easy contact.
- Their website is mobile-optimized. I was pleasantly surprised to see that this website is mobile-optimized, making it a lot easier to navigate on my phone.
What I don’t like:
- The fact that this is actually their homepage. You should always have a dedicated landing page for your advertisements. This campaign will not result in any conversions, it doesn’t appear that they’re tracking anything anyway.
- The ad’s headline doesn’t match the landing page. The ad reads, “Vancouver Plumber” and the landing page’s headline is, “Fixed right or it’s free.” This would confuse visitors initially, wondering if they’re even on a plumber’s landing page at all. At least the subheadline mentions their business.
- The six slide images. These six images don’t add to the page, as they’re all stock photos of various objects (a clock, bathtub,etc.), stock photos of people, etc.
- Chunky text. There is a lot of unnecessary information on this page. They should cut out the descriptions of each benefit of their business, and make a bullet-point list of up to 5 of the benefits.
- The navigation bar. Navigation bars subtract from the purpose of a landing page, so it should be removed.
- The missing call-to-action. As you should always have a dedicated landing page, you should also always have a conversion goal for your landing page. The closest thing they have to a CTA is the call button.
- Spelling and grammatical errors in the copy. There are a few grammatical errors in the copy of the page that need to be adjusted.
- Lack of contrast. Nothing really grabs my attention on the page. A contrasting color (like green or yellow) would help add some “pop” to important elements of the page.
- Missing social proof. Although the “satisfaction guaranteed” graphic would make visitors feel a little more at ease, it’s not enough. They should have a supporting customer review, some customer logos, etc.
- FaceTime. Well, this is awkward. I first heard about this “technique” from my colleague James, I didn’t think I would come across it a second time. When you click on the link to call the company (on desktop), it gives you the option to Facetime them. Has anyone ever Facetimed their plumber? If you have, I’d love to hear about it.
What I’d test:
It’s hard to say what I’d test when there are so many things I would change. But here are a few ideas:
- A customer testimonial/review. They say they have thousands of customers, so it shouldn’t be hard to find just one review. This would help back up their statement about being “trusted for over 30 years.”
- A form. They need something for their visitors to convert on. A service request form with a few fields such as “Full Name, Email, Phone Number and Service Request” would suffice. Place it on the right hand side of the page, preferably with a photo on the left.
- A larger image w/out the slideshow. Choose a photo that helps represent the aspect of your plumbing service that’s special. You can check out a great example of a stock photo working for a landing page in the critique below.
Consensus: It’s not even a dedicated landing page… but I’ll give them one point for having their phone number!
4. Lillie Family Heating & Plumbing
Lillie Family Heating & Plumbing is another local, family-owned plumbing service. The difference with their business is that they’ve communicated and focused on that aspect with both their ad and landing page.
Even though the ad’s headline doesn’t reflect the landing page’s, it’s a passable ad. The keywords that they used match the search terms I used. As for the display URL, I would add “Vancouver” to the end.
Let’s just stop and take a look at the landing page, though.
This is potentially the best plumbing landing page I’ve come across. Much more simplistic in design and less cluttered with unnecessary paragraphs about the history of their service.
What I like:
- The simplicity and overall layout. Lillie Family Heating & Plumbing utilizes the use of whitespace well on this landing page. They leave room on the page to make sure visitors aren’t overwhelmed with options and they split up each section of the page well.
- The colors. They’ve kept the page colors simple, you don’t want too many colors on your page, as it can appear tacky and outdated. The CTA buttons contrast well with the green form.
- The image they use. I did a little search and found out that this is actually a stock photo, and this is the way stock photography should be used. It fits well because the name of the company is called, “The Lillie Family Heating & Plumbing” which seems to be a family-run business. So this very well could be the father and son of the family.
- The customer reviews. They fit with the vibe of the landing page which communicates that they’re a local, well-respected family business. I especially like the one on the left.
- The form. This form is great! The amount of form fields is reasonable, the color stands out from that part of the page, the CTA button contrasts, and they even have a privacy statement to communicate that they won’t share your email with anyone.
- The copy on the form. “Book an appointment today!” This tells you exactly what you will get from filling out the form and also has a touch of urgency with the use of “today.”
What I don’t like:
- The length. Although I mentioned the design of the page is less cluttered, it is still a little bit too long. I would cut out the “Drain Services” section as it’s more specific and I just searched for a plumber. Not everyone looking for a plumber needs drain servicing.
- The copy about the different services. Specific copy about property management and drain services is unnecessary as I searched for “Vancouver plumber,” Information about these two different services aren’t necessary to everyone that visit this page. If people specify search terms similar to those services then go for it.
What I would test:
- A clear benefit list. Instead of listing the various services they offer below the image, I would detail what makes their business better than the competition.
- Different CTA button copy. “Book now,” is fine, but I would get a little more specific and try, “Book my appointment now” to make it more personal and to add urgency.
- Encapsulating the phone number. As some potential clients would rather call than fill out a form, I would suggest making the phone number more prominent. It is already a good size but I would suggest making it more of a button and making the background of the button the same color as the CTA button on the form.
Consensus: Great landing page! I would love to know how well it’s converting.
These are my recommendations, but it’s always important to test the changes you implement on your landing pages.
Do you want me to review your landing page? It doesn’t matter if you’re in the business of plumbing or lion taming. Let me know by leaving a comment below.
- 3 Plumber Landing Pages Critiqued with Optimization Tips
- 30 Landing Page Terms You Need to Know
- 17 Landing Page Examples Reviewed with A/B Testing Ideas
- The Data-Driven Guide to Landing Page Design
- 6 Advanced Tricks to Optimize Landing Page Conversions