Danny Star, CEO and Founder of Website Depot Digital Marketing Agency, has helped hundreds of small businesses grow and expand.
Are you a remodeler, general contractor, plumber, HVAC professional or someone else in the home improvement industry who wants to rank higher on Google? Or, alternatively, are you a digital marketer who wants to expand your business into the home improvement field? Then you’re going to want to get everything out of your Google My Business (GMB) profile.
The better you do with GMB, the more likely you are to rank higher in local searches as well as show up in Google’s “local pack” at the top of the screen. You probably already know how to claim your Google My Business listing, not to unnaturally “stuff” the description with keywords and basic information of that nature. Below are some things you may not know.
Make sure your business info is the same everywhere.
Across GMB (as well as the rest of the internet) your information needs to be written in the exact same way. Your company’s name, address, phone number—things of that nature—have to be exactly the same. You’ll note I did not say “kind of the same,” “similar” or anything like that; it must be exactly the same.
That way, Google can place your business at one location. If Google finds conflicting information somewhere (an old phone number on your website that you haven’t updated, for example) then Google is not going to rank you as highly. Do not let this happen. There are factors online that you may not be able to control, thus it’s all the more imperative to control the ones you can.
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Make sure to utilize categories (and update them when necessary).
One of the most common mistakes I see home improvement companies make on their GMB profiles is not being as specific as possible when it comes to choosing their category. Not only do you want to be as specific as you can possibly be, but you also want to choose all of the secondary options that fit you, too.
Why? Because most people who find home improvement pros do so through so-called “indirect searches.” That means they aren’t searching for “American Cool & Heat” but rather “air conditioning near me.” So you want to do everything possible to show up in as many searches as you can that fit you. This is especially important if the name of your business doesn’t include your business type. A business with a name like “John L. Smith and Co.” that offers heating repair needs to be even more careful that it includes every secondary category.
You want to include as many secondary categories as possible that fit you, yes, but don’t be shy about changing your prime category when the time comes. When summer turns to winter, for example, your main category of “AC repair” can be turned to “heating repair,” and vice versa. You can always go back and change it later.
There’s no such thing as being ‘too specific’ or offering ‘too much.’
My digital marketing agency has many home improvement company clients as well as clients in other fields, such as lawyers, plastic surgeons, rehabs and more. In terms of digital marketing, home improvement companies have different needs. Perhaps the most significant (and the most important to keep in mind if you’re a digital marketer) is that anyone searching for home improvement pros is looking to buy right now.
For lawyers, rehabs, plastic surgeons and others, you have to create content for people who want to know more, who are deciding if this is right for them. If someone’s searching for “plumbers near me,” the searchers aren’t deciding whether or not plumbing repair is right for them and/or their loved ones; they need help right now. Your content and SEO strategy should reflect that.
So, when filling out the “Services” section of your GMB page, you want to list all of your services. Every single one. This increases the likelihood that Google will give you as many qualified leads as possible. If you’re like so many of our HVAC clients, you can repair, replace and install heaters, AC units and more. You can even possibly offer plumbing and so forth. List every service you can provide, even if it’s a small thing and even if it’s not your “main” service. This makes it more likely that you’ll get more leads from people in your geographic area who need help right now and will reach out to you.
This should be reflected in your content, too. Be sure to update your GMB listing with content often, just as you would your regular website. You can reuse some ideas between the two, but always provide real value in anything you post. That means someone can walk away from your content having gained something, not just read how you are “the best.”
In terms of your content, no one ever looked at a home improvement company’s GMB page and thought: “Well, I’m not going to go with them because they posted too many pictures.” Post plenty of pictures. The work you’ve done, the before and after—post plenty. The work you’ve done is your portfolio. Showcasing it can only help.
Yes, you should utilize the Q&A section of your GMB profile, but you need to do more than just turn it on. You need to answer the questions that come in, too.
Having an FAQ is a great idea. It answers many of the questions you might be asked, and Google rewards that. You want to answer the Q&A questions as they come in, too. That shows, in real time, that you can provide value, have real authority and can help someone in need. Upvoting important questions is a great idea, as is flagging any inappropriate/spammy questions, too.
Utilizing these tips can take you a few steps closer to taking over the local home improvement searches in your area.
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Author: Danny Star, Forbes Councils Member