Google My Business (GMB) is a tool offered by Google that helps businesses manage their online presence on Google. So what? Well… a GMB listing is a crucial part of local search success. It might seem obvious, but Google is the largest search engine by volume (approximately 90% of organic searches) and is a bit biased towards it’s on products. Wouldn’t you be too? So it stands to reason that an optimized GMB listing will boost your ranking as people search for your services using Google. GMB is primarily a local marketing tool making it ideal for home inspectors because home inspection businesses are mostly localized, usually servicing a few counties adjacent to your home base. You probably don’t want inspections 5 hours away. (Unless you can charge $500/hr for travel!) The goal of your GMB listing is to provide prospective clients with basic information about your business. Let’s walk through setting up and optimizing your GMB profile.
If you’re like most small businesses, expending cash for more marketing seems like an unnecessary gamble, but the great news is that Google My Business is totally FREE! Nice! It doesn’t replace your website, but it will complement your existing website. So let’s get your business booming!
- Before you can do anything in the Google-verse you’ll need a Google account. If you don’t have one you can create one for free. It only takes a few minutes.
- Next, you’ll need to find out if your business already has a GMB profile. Do a quick search for your business using Google. If there’s already a profile for your business, you should see a “Claim this business link” Click it and follow the prompts to set up your profile.
- If you have a physical address to which clients can visit, you can enter that information, but if you’re like most home inspection businesses you probably don’t have or don’t want clients showing up at your office. So, you’ll just skip that step and instead enter your Service Areas on the next screen.
- In order to verify your ownership of the business, Google will mail you a postcard at the mailing address you provide with a verification code that you’ll need to enter.
- Until your business is verified, Google won’t display your business or the edits you’ve made. Patience.
Time to Optimize Your Listing
Now that you’ve gotten your GMB listing created and verified, it’s time to check all the boxes so that your business will get the most out of Google My Business. These tips will help you ensure that your GMB profile is ready to rock and roll.
- Ensure you complete all the data for your listing.
- Google likes details so businesses with the most detailed and accurate information will show better in search.
- Take all the guess work out for clients
- What does you business do? Where is it located or what areas do you service? How can clients acquire your services?
- Include Keywords
- This is the same principle that applies to your website. Google will use the content in your GMB listing as cues for who they should show your listing to.
- Use your keywords in your description and also in your posts.
- Operating Hours
- Be sure to include your operating hours and keep them accurate.
- Add Photos
- Adding photos to your GMB listing is a great way to boost your visibility and conversions
- Businesses with photos on their listing receive 35% more click-throughs to their website than businesses without photos.
- An easy win for home inspectors is to post a photo of the neighborhood entrance for the home you’re inspecting or post an informative photo of a defect you see often.
- Your logo is the most important photo that you can add. It will get the most exposure and have the most impact. You’ll need a square version of your logo though.
- The photos you upload should be JPG or PNG, between 10KB and 5MB with a minimum resolution of 720px x 720 px
- Your business’s cover photo is also important and should showcase your brand’s personality. Use a photo with a 16:9 ratio, since that’s how it will be cropped when shown.
- Manage & Respond to Customer Reviews
- Reviews allow you to interact with your clients, showing that you’re a real person and that you care about your clients.
- Positive reviews are going to have a positive impact on search ranking and conversion.
- Negative reviews, if you get any, shouldn’t be ignored. Engage with that client and work to resolve the issue. It’s usually best if you can take the conversation offline after the first response.
- Make it easy for clients to leave you a review by giving them a link.
- Get Messages from Clients
- Nothing is worse than reaching out to a business only to have your inquiry ignored, forgotten, or lost. So make it simple for clients to message you by enabling Messages for your business.
- In order to do so, you’ll need to use the Google My Business app on your phone. Once your business is connected to the app, head over to Customers, then Messages, and then Turn On Messaging.
- You’ll be able to set up custom responses and welcome messages as well.
- Setting up messaging will make your business more responsive to clients needs and help set you apart from your competitors who may be slower to respond to inquiries. Faster is better.
- Local Posts
- When it comes to food, fresh is better. The same goes for your business and local posts allow you a way to keep your brand looking fresh and spiffy.
- You can use posts to announce new services, events, or offers.
- But make sure each post is high-quality, spell checked, doesn’t include useless information, and is respectful.
- Include visuals (photos) and a call to action (link).
Now that you have a better understanding of what Google My Business can do for your home inspection business, get out there and claim yours. It may seem like a lot at first, but after you get the hang of it, you’ll be boosting your ranking in no time. If you need help or would like to put your GMB listing on autopilot, reach out to us, we’d love to help.