Whether you’re an HVAC professional, remodeling contractor, roofer, or any other home services provider—having a strong online presence is a must if you want to have a leg up on the competition. And when you think about it, the majority of your potential customers are probably located within a relatively small geographical area. With this in mind, focusing your marketing efforts locally will yield you the best results, yielding you new leads and helping you get the best ROI on your marketing budget.
Fortunately, platforms like Google My Business make it possible for home services professionals (and other business owners) to create and maintain a profile for their business on Google, making it easier for potential customers to find them.
Even if you’ve never heard of Google My Business, there’s a good chance you’ve seen these listings in action anytime you’ve done a Google search for a business or service provider in your area. And by having a better understanding of how Google My Business works and how you can use your listing to your advantage as a home services contractor, you can better promote your business and improve your local reach.
Understanding How Google My Business Impacts Your Digital Footprint & Online Visibility
When a person does a Google search for something like “roof repair near me,” Google’s search engine algorithm kicks in and delivers tailored results. Specifically, a person searching for this query will receive a mix of sponsored results (ads), a Local Map Pack, and a list of organic results. All of these results will be for local roofing companies. Have you ever wondered how some roofing companies end up at the top of these results or how you can get one of these coveted positions for your own home services business?
While there are many potential marketing strategies at work here, there’s a good chance those businesses are using Google My Business to their full advantage.
What is Google My Business and How Does It Work?
Specifically, Google My Business is a platform that helps people find local businesses to provide the services they need. On your end as a home services contractor, Google My Business is a platform that allows you to fill out a profile with detailed information about your company. This may include anything from your business name to your service area, services offered, contact information, and business hours.
Based on the information you include in your Google My Business listing (and other factors that we’ll get into later), web users may stumble across your listing when they search for a service you offer and are located in your area.
If your Google My Business profile is thoroughly filled out, you have excellent reviews, and you’ve been verified by Google, you might even land a spot on that coveted Local Map Pack, which is the top three Google My Business listings that show up directly below the map when a local search is performed. Businesses listed in the Local Map Pack, as you can imagine, have an increased click-through and conversion rate compared to businesses not featured in the Local Map Pack.
Google My Business: Your Digital Footprint and Online Presence
One of the best things you can do as a home services contractor to boost your online presence and improve your local reach is to complete and optimize a Google My Business profile, if you haven’t done so already. Not only is using Google My Business 100% free on your end (it only costs your time), but it can provide potential customers with the information they need to choose you for their next home improvement project.
Furthermore, if you don’t create your own Google My Business listing, there’s a good chance one could be auto-generated for your business. This could actually work against you—especially if inaccurate information ends up on your profile. By creating or claiming an existing listing as your own, you have total control over what’s posted on your listing and can make sure that the information is accurate and up-to-date
Using Google My Business to Increase Your Local Reach on Google Search & Maps
So, what are some steps you can take to use Google My Business to increase your local reach on Google Search & Maps? You’ll need to start by actually creating your listing or claiming an existing one. Just keep in mind that this can take a few weeks, as you’ll need to undergo a formal “verification” process via snail mail, email, or telephone to ensure that your business is legitimate.
Once your Google My Business listing is created, you can optimize it by filling out as much information as possible and keeping it updated. Not sure what to include? Below are some of the most important aspects of your Google My Business listing that you won’t want to neglect as a home services contractor.
It might seem obvious to you, but you’d be surprised at how many businesses out there have a Google My Business listing that hasn’t even been filled out with the most basic information about the company itself. So, what exactly should you include here? Aside from the name of your business, you’ll also want to make sure that you’ve added:
- your contact information (including a phone number with a local area code)
- your business address
- your current business hours (and holiday hours, where applicable)
- your service area
- relevant photos of your business and/or services
- your business category
In addition to including as much practical information about your business as possible, it’s helpful to have plenty of real customer reviews on your Google My Business listing as well. Unfortunately, dozens or hundreds of excellent reviews aren’t something you can cultivate overnight. You’ll probably need to reach out to some of your past customers and ask them to leave a review on your Google My Business page.
Why are reviews important? Because people who are looking to hire a home services contractor will find your business more reputable and trustworthy if your business has plenty of legitimate and positive reviews.
Simply having reviews may not be enough, though. To really optimize your listing, you’ll want to also take the time to respond to your reviews. This should be the case not just for negative or neutral reviews, but for five-star ratings as well. Your potential clients want to see you interact with your clients—and so does Google’s search algorithm.
Google Question & Answer
Google My Business also has a “Question & Answer” feature that allows potential customers to ask questions directly to your business about its services, products, or just about anything else. Unfortunately, this Q&A is a feature that many business owners are not aware of. As a result, important questions remain unanswered—and these unanswered questions are displayed on the company’s Google My Business profile. As you can probably imagine, this is not a good look for any business.
When filling out and updating your Google My Business listing, then, be sure to check regularly for questions that have been submitted to you. Take the time to answer them thoroughly. This will not only help out your potential customers (and others who may have the same questions), but will demonstrate to your potential clients that you care enough to address their concerns.
Google My Business also allows home service providers to publish special offers, events, and other postings directly through their listings. This is another feature that, unfortunately, many business owners are not familiar with.
By taking the time to post on your Google My Business profile regularly, you’ll be keeping your potential customers up-to-date on all the exciting things going on at your business. This could be anything from a special financing offer on new roofing materials to the completion of a job you’re particularly proud of. Posting on Google My Business is an excellent way to engage and interact with your customers. And of course, you can also include keywords that will help your SEO and links to your website.
Attend a Surefire Local Marketing Platform Demo!
Google My Business is one of the most underrated and under-utilized tools among home services contractors. The good news is that it’s extremely easy to use and can yield some excellent results from a local marketing standpoint. On the other hand, you may already have a lot on your plate as a home services contractor. How will you make the time to create and update a Google My Business listing on top of everything else?
This is where a local marketing platform like Surefire Local can make all the difference. Our local marketing software can help you boost your digital marketing presence not just through Google My Business, but through SEO, social media, and other avenues.
Schedule your free demo of Surefire Local or find out more about what we can do for your home services business by contacting our team at (703) 884-8442 today!