How To Optimize Your Google My Business Page as a Plumber
Google has completely shifted the way that consumers search online by making it easier for businesses to be discovered. Your website is still the main component of your marketing but Google has now made it easier for consumers to find your services directly from the search results.
When people search online for their plumbing needs, this collection of businesses, also known as the local 3-pack, is of the first to show up.
This is a collection of the top 3 business listings for the service being searched which in our case are plumbers. It shows exactly where these businesses are located and gives instant access to the name, phone number, review rating, address, hours of operation, and the website of each business being displayed.
These business listings are being promoted by Google because of the optimization done to each Google My Business page.
What is Google My Business?
Formerly known as Google Places, Google My Business is a free platform that gives you the ability to list your business on Google Maps and control what information is displayed in search results. More importantly, Google My Business is a way for new customers to find your business when searching online for plumbing services and can provide a free way for you to gain new customers. The platform allows you to display valuable information for your business and services like hours of operation, address, phone number, website, frequently asked questions, photos, reviews and more.
Why is Google My Business important?
Google My Business is important for many reasons. The main objective for the listing is to increase the discoverability of your services so customers searching online know to do business with you. A properly optimized page helps Google to better understand your business which helps to boost your overall rankings. The more information Google has on your business, the more searches your business can show up for.
If you want your business to be displayed when customers are looking for your services, you need to properly optimize your Google My Business page.
7 Steps to Optimizing Your Google My Business Listing
1) Claim Your Listing
The first step in optimizing your business listing is to ensure it has been claimed so you have control over it. Anyone can list your business on Google but only you as the owner can actually claim the business which gives you ability to edit and update the information listed. It is possible that your business is already listed even if you’ve never before listed your business. To begin managing your business listing, you need to claim your listing.
2) Complete Each Section
The most important thing for you to do is to completely fill out every section available on the listing so that Google understands your business and knows what is correct to show across the web. This information includes:
- Business Name
- Business Category
- Phone Number
- Hours of Operation
- Questions & Answers
It is important that the information being displayed for your business is accurate and matches the information being displayed on other platforms. Be very thorough with every detail as Google will favor the listings with more information when determining how to rank your listing amongst other plumbers.
Make sure your listing is verified
To better utilize the power of Google My Business and ensure you maintain full control over its details you’ll want to verify your listing. This process ensures that you are in fact the owner of the business and that your business is actually located at the address being displayed.
3) Optimize Your Description
The description on your listing is one of the most important fields because of your ability to add important keywords which will help you rank. The description gives you 750 characters to highlight your business and give the public an understanding of what separates you from the other plumbers. You should utilize all 750 characters in this listing to better help Google place you higher in rankings. Each sentence gives you more opportunity to be discovered by customers searching for plumbers in your area.
What keywords to include in your description:
It’s important that you include the areas being served inside of your description to better be discovered when customers are searching for services in that area. If you service multiple towns or neighborhoods inside of a city, it is good to list out those areas so that each becomes a keyword discoverable with search.
Services that you specialize in
It is vital that you list all of the services that you specialize in the most. With the characters being limited in the description you may not be able to list every service that you offer, so be sure to list the most valuable services that provide the most for your business. Each service that is listed gives you a better chance to show up when a customer is searching directly for that service.
4) Upload More Images
Google has previously announced that “Businesses with photos receive 35% more clicks through to their website than businesses that don’t have photos.” Having photos on your listing will help Google decide to rank you higher and gives customers more ways to learn about your business and become comfortable with you as a service provider. Make sure you have each section of photos added to your listing including a profile photo (logo), cover photo, and most importantly general photos.
One of the most effective photos on your listing are those provided by customers. Google My Business allows for others to add photos of your business which can be a powerful benefit when managed properly. You should encourage your happy customers to add photos of your recently completed jobs. Customer added photos helps other customers feel comfortable with hiring you and be confident in your service. You should also encourage your technicians to take photos of jobs that have been completed for you to add on your own.
5) Use Posts To Promote Content
Google recently added the ability to post to your My Business listing which makes it easier to connect searching customers to the content you are already producing. Like other social media platforms, Google My Business now lets you post information directly to your listing page to better reach your customers. Use posts to do things like make announcements, plan events, show off new equipment, or provide special promotion details.
Use videos as a post
Videos are some of the best marketing to date because of how engaging they can be and how much information they can share. Posting videos on your listing is an amazing way for you to separate yourself from other plumbers and educate your customers on what great service you provide. Some ideas of good videos could be things like showing off a tough job that your technicians recently completed, showing off the premium supplies you use, an interview with a happy customer, or anything else that helps customers understand the service you provide and the problems you solve.
6) Ask & Answer Questions
A very important part of your listing is the questions and answers section. This becomes a guide that new customers can follow to gain valuable information about your services. The best part about the questions and answers is that you have the ability to ask questions which provides an extra layer of keywords that your listing can show up for. For example, if you post a question about “water heater repair”, your listing is more likely to show up when someone is searching for “water heater repair” in your area.
You should populate the questions and answers section with topics that your customers are most worried about. Think about questions you often get when customers call in, or questions your customers usually have when on the job. Having a list of questions posted to this section will help your listing show up if customers in your area search for that specific topic. It also helps customers to trust your expertise in each of those specific topics to better separate you from other plumbing providers.
7) Get More Reviews
In today’s digital age of doing business, online reviews can make or break your business. Online reviews are like word of mouth recommendations to new visitors considering you for hire and most consumers are willing to do business with you after seeing positive reviews. Besides reviews just helping you make a good first impression, reviews also help you rank higher on search engines because of the relevant keywords that are used in each review. The more reviews you have, the more people that will want to do business with you. With that being said, it is vital to be generating positive reviews each day to keep your business on top.
Here are some tips to get more reviews:
1. Ask for them
Simply asking for reviews is probably the easiest way to get better reviews consistently. When you or a technician is on the job site with a happy customer, go ahead and ask if the customer can leave a good review for you. Most likely, the customer will be willing to do so on the spot, however would have forgotten once you left the house. If the customer is willing to leave a review, go the extra mile and ask about even shooting a short 30-60 second video with the customer, sharing their great experience.
2. Send follow-up emails
A follow-up email is a very easy way to generate more reviews without taking up much of your time. An automated email campaign can easily be set up to automatically send your customer a follow-up email asking about their experience with your company and making it easy for them to leave a review.
3. Make follow-up calls
Although follow-up emails are good, a follow-up phone call is truly the action that will set you apart from your competition. Having someone from your company give each customer a call after service is a great way to let customers know how much you care, and an effective way to generate more reviews.
8) Respond To Every Review
The reviews on your listing can easily influence whether a customer wants to do business with you or not. Here are some important statistics about reviews:
- 82% of consumers read online reviews for businesses
- The average consumer reads 10 reviews before feeling able to trust the business
- 30% of consumers say they’ve judged a business based on its response to reviews
Reviews are great for your business listing for many reasons. They give social proof to consumers that are uncertain about trusting you, they give feedback to you and customers about what to expect from your service, but most importantly they provide more keywords that help your listing to rank above competitors.
It is important to respond to every review you get to further introduce powerful keywords that will help your listing rank. Responding to each review also shows off your professionalism and let’s customers know that you care.