Google Business Profiles, most referred to as “GBP,” is something that every home service provider, let alone business owner, should take the time to create, verify, and optimize. As a free and easy way to manage your business online and potentially earn leads and conversions, GBP is something that you do not want to look over.
In this blog article, we’ll go over how to create a Local SEO strategy to work on optimizing your Google Business listing so that it not only looks great but helps you to reach more people and to rank better on search engine result pages (SERPs).
Implementing Local SEO Strategy by Claiming Your GBP Listing
To create or “claim” your Google Business listing, first go to https://www.google.com/business and click on “Add Business.” Type in your business name to find and manage your account. If your business has an account, it will ask you to input your details to request access to the business GBP from the account owner. If your business does not have a GBP, the listing will not appear, and Google will ask you to create a new listing.
According to WordStream, a study conducted by BrightLocal found that there are 167 BILLION search results performed on Google every MONTH. Think of all the opportunities for business that your home service company could receive simply by creating a GBP platform! Don’t wait to claim your listing; RUN, don’t walk to your computer, and do so right now.
A. Complete Each Section
Once you have created or found your GMB profile, you will be able to add the details to each section. Update EVERY section of the listing – this is crucial! Add in your contact information, check attributes, write a business description, upload logos and photos, make sure your Map pin is placed correctly, set up messaging, add your products and services, set categories, input offers, and sprinkle keywords and phrases throughout for an optimal profile.
Pro tip: Offer your company’s tracking number in the Phone Number section to understand where your leads are coming from! You can also add specific URLs to your website’s Home page, Appointment page, or another page that you want to earn traffic toward.
Once your listing is verified, signals are sent to Google, and the algorithm will rank you higher in local search results if your content is relevant enough to what you are trying to be found for and what online users are searching for online.
B. Verify Your Listing
After you claim your account, Google will ask for your business address to send you a postcard and verify your business address. Without verification, your GBP will not be visible on Google, so this is a critical step. COVID-19 has tended to slow this process down, but typically, the postcard should take 5-7 business days to reach you via direct mail.
On the postcard, you will be provided with a verification code that you will need to enter into GBP. Once the listing is verified, it should be listed on Google in a relatively quick turnaround time, but the exact amount of time varies from listing to listing. Manage your business profile accordingly and be on top of questions, messages, and updates.
C. Maintain Your Online Reputation
An optimized Google Business Profile is needed to earn visibility on Google’s search engine and utilize your overall Local SEO strategy for your small business. Think about how often you search for a business near you online on search engine platforms such as Google. How often do you look at the Reviews section? Do you take into account what the testimonials are saying before deciding on calling a business or not? Whether you receive a positive or negative review, answering ALL reviews and avoiding confrontation is necessary. We often talk about this with our clients about how they can best utilize GBP reviews to their advantage, even the bad ones.
Essentially, if you receive a positive review, it’s pretty typical to thank the reviewer for their kind words and tell them how appreciative you are for their business. If you have a negative review, still thank the reviewer for their testimonial, offer them your company’s contact information and a contact person to speak with to resolve the issue, and then thank them again for the review.
Again, you do not want to get into a confrontation online, but it is possible to turn a negative review into a positive review once the issue is resolved. Plus, other online users tend to take note of a business that tries to make a wrong, right.
Get Local SEO Strategy Help For Your Business Now
Not sure if you are up for the challenge? We’re here for you! Contact Local Impact to set up your free 30-minute strategy session with our digital marketing specialists and start getting your Local SEO Strategy in order now.