Owning a home services company is no walk in the park. You have to manage your staff, keep an eye on the financials, provide great customer service, plan and strategize for the future of your company, etc.
Not to mention, a large majority of the business owners we work with are also out there in the field with their technicians.
You started your home services company as a means to do what you love and are good at it. It doesn’t make sense to continue to add responsibilities that take up your time and prevent you from doing just that.
You need to know the most efficient use of your time when it comes to helping your company’s digital marketing…we get it.
One of the easiest and most effective things that you can do on your own as a business owner for the good of your online presence is to establish your Google My Business listing. This is a free service offered by Google which allows you to display your business information all in one convenient location that is accessible by your potential customers.
Let’s learn a little more about Google My Business for Home Services Companies.
Remember when it seemed like every home services company’s name started with A in some fashion? Such as All-Star Plumbing or AAA Electrical Services or A1 Heating and Cooling? That’s because it used to be a way to “hack” the phone books since they listed companies in alphabetical order.
The fact that companies were willing to base their names off of this simple rule means that there was a TON of value in being listed near the top of the page in those phone books.
Now people don’t use phone books and those dummies are stuck with those business names! 🤣
Google is the modern-day version of the old-school Yellow Pages with one distinct difference. They don’t list businesses in alphabetical order. They list them by relevance and distance.
The first step to getting on that list of businesses when someone searches “Roof Installation near me” is having a properly optimized Google My Business listing.
The listing is free to create and manage, yet it is shocking to see just how many home services companies don’t take advantage of this.
When you sign up with Google, it allows you to search for your business – if you have a physical location chances are that Google already knows about you. If you don’t have a physical location or Google doesn’t know about you, they allow you to submit your business information just the same.
Once you give them your business name, address, phone number, and website address (assuming you have one), it will create the listing.
But don’t stop there…
You will be able to access your Google My Business (GMB) listing through the admin dashboard.
The quickest way to access this is by going to https://business.google.com/ and signing in with your account information if you aren’t already.
From the dashboard, you are able to manage things such as your business information, reviews, informative posts, photos, messages, and more.
The first thing you want to do is click on the “Info” tab on the left-hand side of the dashboard. This page will give you the ability to change some important information such as;
All of these items are equally important. And here is why…
By properly defining your primary and additional categories, you will help ensure that your business shows up for the right customers when they are searching for your services.
Google has some predetermined categories that you can choose from and it is always best to use those as they are more optimized to show up in search results.
Adding additional service areas that may not be in the immediate vicinity of your business location lets Google know that you are willing to travel for customers and increases your chances of showing up in Google Maps results further from your physical location.
Business hours are extremely important. Google is less likely to show your GMB listing to someone if they are searching for your services outside of your normal business hours.
That being said, this doesn’t mean that you should list your business as 24-hours unless you are TRULY open and running calls 24 hours each day.
The reason for this is if Google shows your listing to a user, they interact with it, and then move on to the next listing because when they called you, you didn’t answer – you will be penalized for that behavior and it can affect how your listing is displayed in the future.
The same goes for Holiday hours.
If you know you are going to be closed on all major holidays, go ahead and put those hours in your GMB profile so that customers know before calling that you are closed.
While products won’t apply to most home services companies, it does to some. This is a place for you to list and describe the different products that you offer.
By doing this correctly, your chances increase for that product along with your GMB listing showing up for a relevant Google search.
The same applies to defining your services. This is a space where you should add a service category for everything that you offer such as AC Condenser Installation for an HVAC company or Weekly Pool Maintenance for a Pool Services company.
Lastly, your business description is important because it tells the story of your business and gives you an opportunity to use relevant keywords in your description which aids in the goal of getting your listing to show up on Google Maps when someone searches for your service.
This is crucial.
You want to drive as many of your customers as possible to leave a review on your GMB listing.
Companies with more positive reviews have a much better chance of showing up higher on the list than companies without!
Basically, everybody in modern society has a Gmail account of some kind – which is all they will need to leave you a verified Google review.
We have discussed the importance of Google Reviews a few times already so we won’t do that here but feel free to read more about it in our blog Home Services Marketing Trends You’d Be a Dumbass to Ignore in 2021.
As equally as important as getting reviews is actually replying to those reviews.
It is best practice to, at the bare minimum, thank each of the reviewers for sharing their experience by replying directly to their review.
If you can personalize it with their name and even a comment about your experience with them as well, feel free!
In a perfect world, that would be it…but we live in a far from perfect world.
You will occasionally get poor reviews – even if you run the tightest ship in town. It’s natural, there are just some people in this world that can’t be happy about anything.
It is just as important to reply to negative reviews as well. Never ever argue with a client in the reviews section of your GMB listing.
Simply state that you are sorry they had a less than perfect experience and to please call the office so you can resolve the issue as soon as possible.
That’s it – they will most likely never call.
The point is that now you look like a company that handles its shit when other potential customers are reading your reviews before calling you.
Once upon a time, Google tried its hand at a social media platform known as Google+ and it failed miserably.
As time goes on, Google My Business is starting to operate similarly to a social media platform.
They now offer the ability to make posts on your GMB listing. This is useful because it allows you to put out fresh content on a consistent basis directly on the Google platform.
By posting “How-To” articles, or about specials and promotions, or even an article about the new technician you hired, it shows Google that you are an active business in your community.
The more frequently you post, the more likely Google is to show your GMB listing on relevant searches.
The only problem is that these posts expire after 1 week.
Another thing to note is that they have a maximum character limit of 1,500.
The GMB Dashboard also offers a tab called Insights.
This is where you would go to learn more about how your listing is performing, when it’s showing up, and how people are finding you.
Google does a really good job of stripping this information down to the essentials in an effort not to overwhelm the everyday user.
You are able to see how many interactions you had with your listing in a given time. This is when people either call you from the listing (on a mobile device) or send you a message.
You can also see how many people saw your listing and from what platforms, such as Google Maps on a Mobile device or Google Search on a Desktop Computer.
Lastly, you are able to see what search terms triggered your GMB listing to show up. It breaks down the top 5 terms that people searched when your listing was displayed in the search results.
This is useful because it lets you know whether or not your profile is optimized and showing up for the searches that you want it to.
There are hundreds of other directories and listings online that are just like Google My Business which your home services company can register on. Albeit – Google My Business is by far the most used and most popular of them all.
It is important to have a better understanding of where your business information exists online and that it is current and accurate.
The last thing you want is a listing to exist with an old phone number only to have a potential customer call it and get a dial tone.
Visibly Connected has been providing Award-Winning Marketing to Home Services companies for over 10 years. The bottom line is, we get results.
Feel free to contact us today to learn how we can help manage your Google My Business listing and more by calling us at (281) 940-7463.
If you’re still in the process of researching your home services marketing options, feel free to check out the useful articles in our blog.