A simple guide for tradies on how to get started
For many years, Google My Business (GMB) has been one of the most under-used tools in a tradie’s marketing belt. Perhaps it’s because a Google business listing used to be like adding your phone number to the Yellow Pages – a set-and-forget scenario.
But over the last couple of years Google has invested heavily in the platform, and many trade businesses are discovering that the tool can do so much more. Google My Business is essential if you want people to find your business on Google, and crucial for driving new potential customers your way.
Here we take a deep dive into the world of Google My Business and explore how you can make the most of its features to help you win more business online.
Google My Business explained
Google My Business is a free tool that helps small businesses create and manage their Google listings. These listings appear when customers search for businesses using Google platforms like Search and Maps. Not only does it help customers find you, it’s also a great way to share basic information about your business to attract, engage and convert new customers.
Even if you get most of your new leads through word of mouth, setting yourself up on Google My Business is important – after all, those leads will have looked you up on Google before contacting you. Google has said that 82% of people turn to search engines to find local information and learn more about businesses in their area.
Here are eight ways to use Google My Business to your advantage in 2020:
1. Make it easy for customers to reach you
As a customer, there’s nothing more frustrating than being recommended a great trade business, and not being able to track them down. Google My Business removes that hassle. Add your website and phone number to your listing so it’s super-simple to reach you. If your contact details do change, it’s easy to edit your listing – you can just log in to your Google My Business account to make changes at any time.
2. Get discovered by local customers
In an emergency, people often find local tradies on Google Maps. Say someone is urgently looking for a plumber to fix a burst pipe. If you’re a plumber, and you have your business listed on Google My Business, Google will pull your business profile through to Maps when the potential customer searches ‘plumber’ or ‘plumber near me’. If your business location is listed in the customer’s immediate area, there’s a good chance you’ll be one of the first results to appear.3. Generate new leads
If you’re experiencing a shortage of enquiries, Google My Business is another channel to help fill your job pipeline. Add a link to your website enquiries form so you can keep track of new leads right in Tradify.
4. Give prospective customers a reason to hire you
Use the platform to tell new visitors what your business is all about and add a list of your services. This won’t affect your Google ranking, but it will help with customer experience.
5. Use photos to demonstrate your handiwork
Adding photos to your Google My Business listing brings your profile to life while showing potential customers the workmanship they can expect from you. Load as many images as you have for each service category, to maximise customer conversion and win more work. People can now search for local businesses through photos too, so make sure you add new photos regularly. Examples could include, photos of your business vehicle, your team and completed jobs. For quick tips on how you can take great photos, click here.
6. Answers questions before they’ve been asked
A Google My Business listing can help you answer frequently asked questions – which can both help and reduce the time it takes new prospects to decide whether they’d like to hire you. Take note of the questions you’re asked most by new leads, and load them, along with the answers, to the Q&A section of your listing. But make sure you monitor them regularly – other people can ask and answer questions about your business.
7. Publish reviews
Google My Business is one of the many ways you can generate customer reviews. Reviews are the biggest driver of clicks in local search engine results, so it makes sense to add them to your GMB listing. Make sure you respond to every review, good or bad – it’ll go a long way to giving your business credibility.
8. Charge what you’re worth
Lastly, having a Google My Business listing gives your trade business a certain level of credibility. You can use its many features to prove you provide a quality service – and are well worth the rate you charge. Not sure what you should be charging? Check out our Free Charge-Out Rate Calculator.
Getting started with Google My Business
Follow this step-by-step guide to set up your Google My Business listing:
Step 1: Create a Google account
Step 2: Check whether your business already exists in Google
- Even if you’ve never created a listing before, your business may already exist in Google. Search with your business address, name and location, or your phone number to check. If the business already exists you’ll need to claim access.
Step 3: Create your listing
- Go to business.google.com/create and follow the set-up prompts.
- Click ‘Finish’ and choose an option to verify your business.
Step 4: Download the Google My Business App
Tips and tricks for optimising your listing
Now that you’re all set up and ready to go, here are a few tips for optimising your GMB listing:
Your business name should be the same as your website. Don’t add in keywords thinking it’ll help you rank higher. Doing this goes against Google’s guidelines.
The category of your business is key to how well you’ll rank in Google Maps for your service. Review this regularly as Google often changes its categories.
Where your business is located – as a tradie you provide a service, and it’s a good idea to specify the areas or suburbs your business operates in.
Opening hours should be accurate, so when customers call, they don’t reach you out of hours.
Create a short link that sends visitors to your Google listing on Maps. This makes it easy to share your GMB profile with potential customers. You can add this link to your email signature or send it to customers to ask for a review.
Add messaging to help generate more leads. This functionality allows visitors to message you from your Google My Business profile.
Use Google Posts to stand out from the competition and extend the size of your listing. This lets you use news, events or offers with a short post and image. This will also appear in your local search and Google Maps listing. Google says 70% of local searchers look at multiple businesses before choosing which one to deal with – and these posts can help tip the balance in your favour.
Know another trick that we didn’t cover? Let us know.
Help people find your business online and win more work
Trade businesses should be using Google My Business to attract more leads and connect with local customers through Google Search and Google Maps. Even if your trade business runs well on word of mouth recommendations, you may be missing out on new leads.
Google My Business costs you nothing but your time. Make sure you optimise your listing so you can hit the ground running once your business has been verified and your listing is published on Google. Stay active to keep it up to date, add information and photos, and remember to ask for and respond to customer reviews.
Looking for some more quick ways to up your marketing game?
Download our free marketing toolkit and checklist, designed specifically for busy tradies on the go, with step-by-step instructions, tips, tricks and case studies, to help you market your business and drive more enquiries.