Builders, plumbers, gas engineers, electricians - there is a simple way to improve your Google visibility, it's free and will take you all of five minutes!
You don't need to have a website, and you don't need to pay any money. The one thing you will need is a Google account - so if you don't have one, just quickly set one up! Will help with that later on.
So what's the secret - it is of course - Google My Business. If you're already using it, that's fantastic, but be sure to check all of your details are correct, and up to date, no one is going to be calling if you're old phone number is on there. Or, if you have a new website - make sure it's listed! Also, read on to see how reviews and opening hours affect how people will interact with your listing.
Now, you may ask why Google My Business is such a winner? Let me demonstrate...
Say I am looking for a builder to help me with my kitchen extension (I wish!!) The first thing I am likely to do is to search 'Builders in SE3' or perhaps 'Builders near me'. Let's see what happens...
Ok, so you see that the first three listings are adverts - these are the big guys, you won't be able to compete on their spend, and you would be crazy to try!
However, the good news is, people are increasingly wise to what is an 'Ad' on Google, and skip straight to the next listings.... So shall we take a look?
Now that's more like it! I can see where the builders are, whether they have website, are they open, and also reviews.
Now, with the one's above (and if you happen to be any of them - get in touch - I've got some help for you!), I think number 1 is OK, but there's no website where I can take a look at their previous extensions, so will maybe come back to them.
Number 3 does have a website, but is closed today, and has 3/5 star reviews, so not too sure (though I would take a look at the reviews and then decide, but that's for another blog)
So let's put number 2 on my shortlist.
However, what I really wanted was to get around 3 quotes so maybe I'll try the 'More Places' button.
Now I have a great range of builders to choose from, and if you notice at the top, I can sort by reviews or opening hours! That's why it's vital, once set up, to keep your listing up to date!
Again the top two are sponsored (adverts), and you could benefit from placing something like this - contact me for help in this area but none the less, even without a sponsored listng, you will now be visible to so many more potential customers who are looking for a builder/electrician/plumber/gas engineer, or to be honest, whatever your business does!
One thing to really note - take a look at the map to the left. I can't quite believe that there are only around 8 builders around my part of South East London - can you? That means that sooooo many of you are no listed, and by not being listed, you are really missing out an essential element of marketing your business.
So, I hopefully have demonstrated why you really need to add your listing, now I will show you how - it's easier than changing a light bulb!
How to set up a Google My Business Account
Firstly, you are going to need a Google account just a simple Gmail address will mean you have one, but don't worry if you don't, will take five minutes...
Just go to Google, and well, 'Google - Gmail. You will then be taken to this page - then just create account (circled in red below)
All done? Great! Don't worry the email address will have nothing to do with the listing - so if you're still using your first ever email address that happened to be 'firstname.lastname@example.org' it doesn't matter, it won't show up on your listing!
Make sure you stayed signed in (you should be using Google Chrome to do this), and search 'Google My Business' . I'm not even going to use a picture here, as the massive green button on the page saying 'Start Now' speakers for it'self.
So, when you are started, this is the page you will see
Fill your details on the form - remember, Google will use street maps to show your address, so do a double check to make sure that what Google shows when you type in your address is what you want your customers seeing (am looking at you with the half built extension)! If it's not, then move the pin slightly.
When finished, click continue.
You will be asked to confirm that it's your account, and then to verify. Depending on your type of business, the most likely way to verify will be via the post to your business address.
However, in some cases, you will be able to do so via phone or email - Google will let you know!
Once your verification code comes through, follow the instructions, and 'TaDa' your listing is up, verified, and helping you to win more business!
Now, you are set up, you can add some great options - photos, virtual tours, and much more - get in touch with me to help maximise your listing, set up a great looking website, or any help you need!