Growth Hacker Marketing

Dean’s Plumbing & Heating Case Study


In late 2017, Dean’s Plumbing & Heating came to us with a need for greater exposure. Dean had never had a website before, did zero social media, and hardly ever advertised otherwise. The majority of work came from word of mouth. But, after so many years of doing the same without innovating, Dean realized that it was not sustainable in such a saturated marketing as is the Winnipeg plumbing industry.

This was a case of a small Winnipeg business owner knowing their business, but not knowing how to market it. This was a classic case of “we’ve always done it that way”, which consisted of word of mouth and dependency on contractors.

Going online wasn’t a clear winner for this company. There were a lot of hesitations and fears. We dedicated time to thoroughly explain the process, the possible outcomes and the time it would take to see results.

One of Dean’s biggest fears was that his phone would be ringing off the hook once he was online. We assured him that it was a good problem to have, and that we would deal with that accordingly if or when it happened, as it was obviously not going to happen overnight.

The other challenge was Dean’s time. We all know that running your own business uses about 140% of your available time. He was concerned that it would be too much effort and wanted to do a very basic website with a few pictures, contact form and not much more.


The first step was to secure a domain name. Within a few minutes of looking, we discovered that winnipegplumbingheating(.ca) was the closest descriptive url available. Unfortunately, winnipegplumbers(.ca) was selling for $3500 USD at that time.

Before beginning anything, we went over a “way of working” and worked on his unique selling proposition (USP).

  • Timeliness & Prompt Service:
    • We encouraged Dean to set a respond time to inquiries, based on the priority and potential of the lead. To help determine which leads were better opportunities, we implemented a contact form that included fields to qualify leads and the ability to upload images.
  • 100% Guaranteed Work:
    •  Dean takes a lot of pride in his work and his reputation. Being a one-man show, he knows his quality of work and is solely accountable for it.
  • Reasonable Rates:
    •  As much as we didn’t want to use this as a USP, Dean wanted it as he is neither the cheapest or most expensive plumber out there. When it comes to USPs, we prefer they be something that no one else is doing or that our client is doing better.

Dean’s Plumbing had already done a logo a few years back, so we were off to the races. Knowing that the domain should become active as soon as possible in order to start getting Google to recognize it, we built a functioning, bare-bones site. The minimally viable site consisted of a front page, a plumbing page, a heating page, a contact page.

The next step saw us build out the plumbing and heating pages, so potential customers would know what services he offered. To start, we did the main ones. Then we added the About page. Next, we started on the Learning Center – after all, content is still king.

Over the course of the next few months, our main focus was building up the blog (Learning Center). We also built out a few other minor service pages and added weight to the home page.


Within a few short weeks of going live, we appeared on page 12 of Google results for our main keywords.

  • Main keywords:
    • Winnipeg Plumbers
    • Plumbers in Winnipeg
    • Best Winnipeg plumbers
  • Timeline
    • After three months, we were on page 5
    • A few weeks later, we arrived on page 2
    • By month five (of a brand new website that didn’t previously exist in a very saturated industry), we were on page 1!

Staying on top takes continuous work. We got to a point where we actually had to dial our efforts back a bit, as one of the parameters of our work was to not be too successful. There was only so much work the one-man company could handle.

With the website going live in December of 2017, a year later the website was averaging about two qualified leads a day, which is exactly what our client wanted.

Getting larger was not a major focus. Being consistently busy, without having ten phone calls a day, was the focus. So, getting to page 1 is something we have been directed not to do, albeit it being counter-intuitive.

At the time of updating this (May 2020) Dean’s website now ranks number one for many long tail keywords, with an average position on page 2 for short tail keywords. No new content has been created in at least 6 months.