Should I Decrease My HVAC PPC Ad Spend During Shoulder Seasons?

Do you have a consistent budget year-round for paid advertising on Google, Bing, and Facebook, or rather, does your paid ad spend correlate with your revenue earned? If it’s the latter, kudos to you!

You may be thinking “If my business is slow, shouldn’t I be spending and advertising more to fill my schedule?” In most industries, yes. For the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) industry however, you are up against something you have little to no control over—seasonality.

Line Chart 1

Line Chart 1 above shows the interest for heating, cooling, and other HVAC-related services over the last five years on Google in the entire United States.

What you can infer from this data is there is a significant drop in interest and search volume during the time many of HVAC companies endure the slow season.

Since there are fewer people looking for your services and offerings during these times, the pool of quality leads is also much smaller. This means, on average, these leads will be far and few between and cost significantly higher than those in the busier season when leads are not as scarce.

What can I do to make my paid ads work better in the shoulder season?

Seasonal decreases in search volume can also lead to budget spend problems. Say, for example, you’re allotted a $3,000 monthly budget with the goal of keeping your cost-per-call below $50. This is easy enough to maintain until a seasonal decrease in search volume leaves you underspending by $1,500 on your budget.

To fix this, many companies who manage PPC campaigns would include more, ultimately less relevant, keywords in your campaign targeting. This could end up attracting less qualified traffic, increasing your cost-per-lead in the process. This is not what we do at BxB.

Instead, what we at BxB do is factor seasonality into your annual campaign forecast in the beginning—$3,000 a month means a $36,000 annual budget. So, you could allocate more budget for high-volume months and less budget for low-volume months, averaging out to your $3,000 goal.

Saving budget during slow periods and reallocating to busier times throughout the year can be beneficial to companies in industries that rely heavily on seasonal sales, such as heating and cooling.

This allows HVAC contractors to maximize their sales during busy periods and spend less when the chance of converting a lead is less likely.

We have seen that most companies offering Google paid ads (PPC) services don’t adjust their clients’ spend during shoulder seasons. At BxB, we have found for the HVAC industry in particular, this makes sense and will save you a boat load of money and improve your overall return on investment (ROI) on paid ads.

Your BxB Marketing Coach and our paid ads team can assist you in creating a strategy that best fits your budget and goals.

Do the holidays impact the effectiveness of my HVAC paid ad campaign on Google?

During the holiday season, impressions (a metric used to quantify the number of digital views of an ad) can increase by as much as 350 percent for most ad campaigns.

However, as an HVAC and home services contractor, you are unable to enjoy these same benefits. Rather, you find a significant decrease in total impressions and increase in your overall CPA (cost per action) on an industry-wide basis. Why?

Many families during the holiday season are budgeting for holiday gifts, holiday traveling, and are more likely to push back upgrading their existing system until the new year.

It is important, however, that you do not stop advertising completely during this time. Potential customers in need of repairs during this time are more willing to book with the first available company and take on the additional cost of emergency service rates during the holidays, especially if they are hosting family and friends.

The holiday effect on paid ads is real and you should consider what your paid ad strategy should be at these times.

Should I run my HVAC Google PPC Ads on the weekends?

No, on weekdays. Compiling data from all BxB clients and other data collected in the heating and cooling industry, we can see on average of 80 percent decrease in total conversions (meaning when a potential customer completes a desired goal from your ad) on Saturdays and Sundays in direct comparison to normal weekdays in the same time frame. See Line Chart 2 below.

Line Chart 2

It all boils down to responsiveness.

Are you 100 percent confident in your weekend or after-hours call service? Can your weekend and after-hours call service dispatch technicians to service/repair calls that come in on the weekends? Do you have the staff readily available to take on multiple emergency calls over the weekend?

If you answered no to any of the above questions, running your ads on the weekend may not be the best choice for your business. You are paying for these calls and leads after all!

At BxB, since our roots are in HVAC and home services, we understand the ins and outs of weekend and after-hours service. Some companies may recommend you push through with your ads, saying it can pay off in the long run for you. But we’ve lived it firsthand and recognize the questions to ask and decisions to make.

How can I strategize the best ROI for my Google Ads Spend?

If you do not work with BxB, reach out to your PPC manager and make a plan! If you are working with BxB, your dedicated Marketing Coach can ensure your paid ads spend is on track for the entire year—including during shoulder and holiday seasons.

BxB Media works with hundreds of HVAC companies around the United States and Canada, giving us the experience and expertise to help you plot a strategy and budget to achieving the results you want and maximizing your PPC spend.

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