10 Steps Toward Making the Most of Google My Business

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By Martin Morgan

The many options for digital marketing are enough to make a marketing professional feel like they are running around in circles. How can a business owner who has to worry about every aspect of the business possibly stay on top of all of the developments?

The short answer is you shouldn’t. As a painting contractor, the best thing for you to do is to pick two to three specific things to invest your time and/or money into and focus on maximizing those initiatives. Your best options will depend on your target audience. Where do they spend time online and how do they find providers of home-based services?

For most painting contractors, investments of time and/or money in a website, Facebook and completing your profile in review platforms are likely to provide a good return on investment. For others, investments in web-based lead providers, pay-per-click advertising and alternative social media like Pinterest and Instagram, can be money well spent.

However, there is one thing that all painting contractors should make sure to invest their time into maximizing, and that is your Google My Business (GMB) profile. If that is the one thing that you spent time on from a digital marketing standpoint, it would provide you the biggest bang for your buck. That’s because whenever somebody searches for painting contractors or house painters or your specialty online, they almost always conduct a Google Search and one of the key factors Google uses when it returns the results to the searcher is GMB listings.

Try it now. Search for painting contractors on your mobile device or computer. Those listings you see directly underneath the map are GMB listings. The group of three, or maybe four or five if somebody in your area is paying for advertising, is called the Local Pack. While the number one factor for appearing in the Local Pack is proximity to the search, there are things that you can do to increase the likelihood you appear in the Local Pack and improve your chances that a potential customer will contact you.

Here’s a step-by-step approach, with the understanding that these things change rather quickly, so depending on when you read this, some things may be different than described.

  1. Go to www.google.com/business and claim your business.
  2. Complete as many of the fields as possible on your profile. Phone number, hours and website (if you have one) are especially important. Be sure that what you put in the fields matches any other listings you have online. If they don’t, go to the other listing source and update the information to match your GMB.
  3. Address listing can be tricky for painting contractors. If you have an officially listed office address then use that. If you don’t, you should list it as a service-area business. The benefit of doing this is that you can include your entire service area.
  4. Under category, your best bet will likely be Painter. However, if you provide significantly more services than painting, you may want to choose General Contractor. The good news is that Google recently created a Description field where you can provide more specific information.
  5. Speaking of the description – be sure to complete it. This gives you the opportunity to add more information about all the services you provide and any specialization you offer.
  6. Photos are important to Google and to potential customers. Add as many photos of your work as you can. Keep adding them as you complete projects.
  7. The most important aspect of GMB is probably reviews. Encourage your happy customers to provide reviews. If you are just launching your GMB, go back to your best customers and ask them if they’d be willing to review your business. As you complete projects, ask those customers to provide a Google review. You may be starting from a low number or zero, but if you consistently ask happy customers, you’ll likely hit the double digits before you realize it. Respond to your reviews by thanking the positive reviewers, and maybe even more importantly, be sure to respond to negative reviews professionally. Remember, all of your future potential customers may see the review. They’ll think much more highly of you if you take the high road and apologize than if you blast somebody and dive into the dirt.
  8. If you utilize software that enables customers to pick a time to have an estimator go to their house, be sure to include a link to it under the Appointment URL section. This is something Google just added to GMB a year ago.
  9. There are two opportunities for you to post content beyond photos – Posts and Video. You can use Posts to highlight any specials you may be offering, details on new projects, or your support of the local community through sponsorships or in-kind donations. The videos are limited to 30 seconds (for now) but you could certainly take a video of a recent project and include that.
  10. If you prefer to utilize texting or messaging for communication there is a messaging function built into GMB. By providing your mobile phone number and turning messaging on you will allow potential customers to communicate to you through your GMB.

Your GMB profile is the foundation of your online presence. By optimizing it, keeping it updated, and interacting with customers and potential customers who post on your profile you will increase the likelihood that additional potential customers find you and that you make a strong positive impression on them when they do. Your GMB will also help to improve your results from any other online investments you make of time and/or money, including your website, review platforms and social media. And of course, one of the best things about GMB is that it is totally free.

Martin Morgan is marketing director for ProPainter Websites.

This article originally appeared on the ProPainter Websites blog. To see additional informational articles, visit www.propainterwebsites.com/resource-center.

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Google My Business, search engine, search rankings,

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