In 2021, plumbing businesses not listed on Google My Business miss out on a ton of pivotal digital exposure.
Google My Business is all about making your company more visible in 2021. To that end, we thought we’d provide an updated guide for plumbers who want to get the most out of Google My Business. Read on to learn about the essentials of Google My Business for plumbers.
What is Google My Business for Plumbers?
Google My Business is a free tool for plumbers and other businesses that promotes your business listing and website on Google Search and Maps results. By claiming a GMB listing, plumbing companies can post updates, showcase customer reviews, and rank in the Local Map 3-Pack for relevant keywords.
Why is Google My Business Important for Plumbers?
First things first: why do you need to even bother with Google My Business as a plumber in the first place? The macro answer to this question is that Google is visited upwards of 62 billion times per year – far and away more than any other website.
The micro answer is that of all those 62 billion annual visits, almost half of them are from people who are looking for information on local businesses. Google is a goldmine for local businesses because it’s how people choose to find them.
Still, how does Google My Business specifically factor into this equation? The answer is that Google My Business listings are more often than not the top search results when people conduct local searches.
When someone is frantically searching for an emergency plumber online while their kitchen gets flooded, they are not likely to scroll down to the bottom of a Google search page. That’s why Google My Business is so important to your plumbing company.
Getting Started with Google My Business
Getting started is relatively simple. The setup process doesn’t take very long. All you have to do is go to the Google My Business homepage, claim your business, and provide the requested information. You’ll be happy to know that Google My Business is a free platform.
There is no paid version, and as soon as you sign up and confirm your business, you have full access to all tools and features. While getting set up is relatively straightforward, here are a few tips to ensure the process goes off without a hitch the first time. Be aware that you can go in and make changes to your account at any time, but ideally, you’ll want to nail it in the first go-round to save time.
Adding a Location
The first step in GMB is to add a location. Adding a public address is entirely up to you, but it does help with transparency if you publicize your business address. If you are operating a small plumbing business out of your home, you may want to omit an address listing. If, however, you also offer plumbing supplies to the public, be sure to list your storefront’s address.
A service area is where you’ll have to carefully consider how far you’re willing to go to service a customer. You can set your service area to a wide perimeter around your central location, or you can select your service area to be relatively small. Remember, the larger your service area is, the more your listing will show up to people outside your central location. Don’t list places that you have no intention of actually serving.
Add Correct Contact Info
We can’t stress this one enough. Your GMB setup will ask for your phone number and your website. Make sure that you enter this information correctly or, simply put, you will lose out on business.
Getting the Most from Google My Business
Now that we have covered some of the basics of setting up your GMB page, now is the time in our Google My Business for plumbers guide where we help you optimize your listing and usage.
Phone Call Verification
It would be best if you verified your business for your listing to go live. You can choose to be contacted by mail or by phone call. A phone call is instant and will help you reap the benefits of GMB quicker.
Questions & Answers
GMB allows users to answer questions about your business. It’s best to answer these questions yourself preemptively. Head over to the “Knowledge” tab of your GMB dashboard, and you will see an option for “Questions & Answers.” Fill it in with questions that customers usually have about your business and answer them yourself to ensure that people see the most accurate information possible.
Highlights allow you to tell the world about the particular services or attributes of your business. Adding them can help you stand out from the competition. To see what highlights you can add to your GMB listing, click the “Info” tab in the dashboard of your GMB account. By clicking the pencil icon, you will see what highlights you can add to your plumbing business.
In 2021, GMB is offering the opportunity to add posts to your GMB profile. These work similarly to social media posts. They add character, provide information, and again, can help your listing stand out. To add a post, navigate to your GMB dashboard’s left side menu. You will see an option for “Posts.” Click it. Here, you can add updates on your service, special events you will be sponsoring/attending, special promotions, messages to your customers, or portions of your website’s blog posts, as well as links.
Did you know that having 100+ photos on your GMB profile will increase your likelihood of being found by customers by 713%? It’s true but it doesn’t go stuffing your GMB page with pictures just yet. The image must be high-definition and relevant to your business. You may not have 100 such photos just yet but start working on it by taking well-focused, HD photos of job sites, the equipment you use, your fleet, your staff, or any other subjects that will help customers see what your business is all about.
Add Customer Reviews
Customer reviews are a great form of social proof. They make it easier for new customers to trust you. You can and should add as many customer reviews as possible to your GMB page. To make it easier for people to review your business, get a short link that leads to the review submission page and add the link to your website, social media posts and any emails you send to customers. Also, it never hurts to ask your customers for reviews in-person or over the phone.
Google loves fresh content. Think about it, if a GMB listing stays unattended for two years, you think Google will index it over one that is updated or altered constructively every week? No chance. That’s why it’s essential to stay active on your GMB listing—updating your services, updating your service areas, adding new Google posts to your listing, adding more reviews, adding more pictures, or listing more locations, etc.
Be Careful with Keywords
While it’s a good idea to add specific keywords to your Google My Business listing content, it’s more important not to stuff keywords in unnaturally. Keywords can help you get indexed, but only if used in a relevant context. Also, don’t overuse them. In general, keyword usage in your GMB listing won’t help with your SEO rankings, so be sure to keep it natural above all else.