Whether you’re a plumber, electrician, window fitter or Jack of all trades, finding work in the 21st century requires a degree of understanding of how Google and search engines work. Before you panic and run away with your fingers in your eyes, be reassured that the following tips are deigned to make it as easy as possible for you. If in doubt, ask a teenager!
Step 1 – register your business with google
Google has made it much easier for non-techy users to register their businesses on the search engine. The very first step you need to take is to register your business with Google, and then verify it. When you verify it Google does a very old fashioned thing of sending out a postcard by mail to your business address containing a verification code.
Once you have received this card, go back onto Google, enter the code and you’re now ready to start populating your personal Google business page.
Step 2 – fill in your business details
The Google Business profile is a godsend for local tradespeople because it is so focused on area. Not only does it establish a strong Google presence which establishes your credibility, but as you work your way up the listings you can get highlighted in the local 3-pack, which obviously sets you apart from your competitors – however, be prepared to do some work and be consistent to get to this stage.
So filling in your business details is not just a case of putting in your name, address, and contact details. You also have the opportunity to build your presence with additional information. You can load photographs, post information, make announcements, declare your opening times, showcase completed jobs.
For example, if your business is Diamond Windows Droitwich and potential customers are searching for ‘windows in Droitwich’, your business profile will come up as one of the options. The more eye catching, informative and attractive you can make it, the more people will click on your business to have a further look.
Step 3 – upload new information on a regular, consistent basis
Google likes to see that businesses are proactive in loading new information and photos on a regular basis. If you include photos of your premises (where relevant), key staff members (with their permission), any products, it will help drive that familiarity and encourage searchers to come back to you and click through as a potential lead.
Also, make sure that your business details are consistent with all your other online profiles. If there are inconsistencies this will be marked against you and may cause you to move down in the rankings.
Step 4 – gather customer testimonials
The more positive testimonials that are added to your profile, the better. Within your business profile you can send a link to existing clients are ask for them to supply a testimonial. Google does not like anonymous reviews, and this may put off some of your clients. But on the whole, if you have provided a first class service, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t receive a first class review as a result.
You can build this request into your CRM Customer Relationship Management software so that it doesn’t get forgotten. So once you have completed a job, as part of the follow up email include a paragraph which gives out the link and asks for a review.
Step 5 – activate all calls to action
Google My Business includes a direct message button as well as a direct to call button for those who are searching on a smartphone. Encouraging engagement means removing as many barriers to communication as possible.
And the wonderful thing about all this? It’s completely free of charge.