Welcome to Marketing Monday! This new series, courtesy of APC, will cover both basic and advanced marketing tools contractors can use to grow their business. Each week, we're picking the brains of industry experts, who will share their knowledge with you with the goal of helping you to apply some of these lessons in your own business and better market your services.
This week, we spoke with Martin Morgan of ProPainterWebsites.com about Google My Business and how vital it is to your lead gathering efforts. ProPainter Websites has been building and managing digital platforms for small business for over 15 years, and has years of experience managing Google My Business profiles.
Before jumping into the nitty-gritty, we should first discuss the average consumer’s journey. Whether they’re looking for painters or somewhere new to eat, a growing majority of consumers open Google for information. They then consider the options based on location, reviews and offerings. Of these local searches, 76% of them will result in a call. So how can we tap into this consumer journey for free? With Google My Business…
What Is Google My Business?
When you hear Google My Businesses (GMB), your first thought is likely, “what is that?” GMB is the section in a Google search that gives consumers information about a business (see image above). For consumers, it’s a business profile that gives them key information such as your website, phone number, reviews, photos and more. For businesses, it puts you near the top of Google searches and Google Maps, offers in-depth search metrics and increases conversion rates. For Google, they can better serve their users – as far as they’re concerned if you don’t have a GMB profile you’re not in business. Plus, they treat it as a significant indicator that your business is trustworthy, professional and worthy of being in their search results.
Why You Need A Profile
Martin finds that by having a well-managed Google My Business account among your local pack (local businesses with GMB profiles), your business can see a 30% click thru rate (CTR). Additionally, 46% of Google searches are for local products and services. Of those local searches, 33% of clicks go to local packs. Better yet, 76% of local searches result in a phone call! Ultimately, by having a GMB profile, you’ll take a larger cut of those phone calls.
What You Should Have Ready
Before you setup your GMB profile, it is extremely helpful to have a website, phone number, location and hours of operation (if applicable), a complete list of services you offer and photos of your work ready to go. The more information you provide, the more likely you’ll show up in searches. Plus, clients will become more familiar with your work and will ultimately be more trusting.
As important as it is to have a website, don’t let the lack of one stop you from creating a profile. Google will in some cases use Facebook and Yahoo pages as reference.
Setting Up A Profile
There’s no cost to setting up and managing a GMB profile aside from the time you put into it. Just visit the Google My Business page and either claim or setup your profile. If you serve a large area in your city or state, be sure to tag yourself as a service area business. Since location plays such a major role in search results, you’ll want to make sure Google knows exactly where you’re willing to work. Again, add as much information as possible so when a user searches for “exterior painting services” your company is likely to pop up.
Managing Your Profile
Your profile isn’t a static page; it’s designed for customer interaction. Customers will leave reviews, ask questions, upload their own photos and message you through your profile. You aren’t expected to post updates as regularly as you would on social media, but it is great practice to respond to every review, good and bad. Just make sure that when you respond to bad reviews, you take it on the chin and learn from any mistakes. The key is to be professional on this very public page.
Additional Benefits to Having A Profile
Having a Google My Business account is a great Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tool for your website. Because Google can link your profile back to your website and corroborate the shared information, they will place you higher in organic search results.
There’s also the option to promote specials you may be running. Say you’re offering 10% off exterior work, you can promote that on your profile and share that info with consumers during their search.
Are there questions you get all the time? You can ask questions and answer them on your profile. You shouldn’t ask 20 questions, but having 2-3 basic questions & answers that can guide consumers in their journey will go a long way.
Thanks again to Martin Morgan of ProPainterWebsites.com for sharing all of this knowledge. Learn more about Google My Business on their website…