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GMB Optimization - 2021 Guide

February 15, 2021
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One of the biggest challenges faced by contractors and small business owners is finding and connecting with new customers.

How many years can you go without a paying customer? 1 year? 9 months? 6?

For most business owners the answer to this question is ‘not long’. 


So how do you avoid the no customer trap?


Most of you understand the importance of attracting new customers and understand that in today’s technological environment the most effective way of connecting with prospects is by using the power of the internet.

The hesitation for the majority of you is not knowing where to start or even who to trust with the process of acquiring loyal clients


The marketplace is saturated with wannabe marketers and SEO experts selling the exact same  list of generic services. The list looks something like this:


  • Skyrocket your business (insert all kinds of rocket emojis here because why not 😉)
  • Increase sales(bring out the charts trending upwards😉)
  • Get more customers
  • Outgrow your competitors
  • Get a free SEO audit
  • Fix all 10 thousand problems that you most certainly have and be well on your way to success
  • Oh and by the way, we do not provide any kind of guarantee for our work…·         


Does that sound about right?

Yes, I know, I run Digital Innos and I get those emails myself and see those ads all the time.

 

The problem is that these individuals are offering such a broad list of services that you feel distrust for them because there is nothing unique about their offer and the 47 offers you saw before. These “marketers” do not even take a few minutes to analyze your business to offer you something meaningful. Sometimes it almost feels like they’re all copying from each other (they probably are unfortunately). From your point of view these individuals simply want your money.

 

So what can you do instead of buying from these unworthy sellers?

The answer is simple: you begin your customer acquisition journey using free tools. 


Google My Business Profile: 

Today I want to introduce Google My Business - a powerful marketing channel that works incredibly well for contractors and small businesses serving a local area. National providers are also using this tool to help them compete with local businesses which should be a good indicator of its effectiveness. The best part about GMB is that it is completely free.

 

 


Google my business (GMB) allows you to create a business profile for your company and to use that profile to attract individuals to your offerings when they search on Google (The first result there for Excellence Janitorial Services is actually one of our local clients here in Pennsylvania) and the amount of sales they have seen from being in the map is incredible. They went from getting 1 or 2 calls per month to getting an average of 3 to 4 calls per week without spending a single dollar on advertising.

 

With GMB you can:


  • Add your phone number so prospects searching on mobile can quickly push the ‘call’ button.
  • Set your location so individuals on the go can click the ‘directions’ button.
  • Add your website so interested individuals can click the ‘website’ button and explore your offerings.
  • Include your service hours so prospects know when you are open.
  • Add images to help local consumers see your work in action right from the GMB profile.
  • Include a description of your offerings so Google can match you with interested consumers.
  • Add videos so you can showcase a service or product.
  • Include target phrases that customers use to find your offerings so you always show up at the right time.
  • Add all the areas you serve so Google can connect you with consumers in those areas.
  • Create special offers and promote them right from Google.

 

The unique thing about GMB is how soon after you create your profile your business can begin showing up in search results.

Of course, it’s not just a matter of creating a profile. Nothing works like that. You have to dedicate a small portion of your time to make this profile work for you and bring you an endless pool of interested prospects.

 

So how do you set your GMB up for success?

 

GMB Optimization Plan:

 

Making GMB a key part of your marketing efforts will really help you get a nice return on your invested time. Remember that this profile is free and the key thing to understand about it is that you get priority when it comes to showing up in search results. The local map gets placed above organic results and as such if you properly enhance your GMB profile you will be seen before any national competitor.

 

Take a look at what I mean right now. Go on Google and do a search for a cleaning company in your city. I guarantee there will be 3 primary results at the top prior to getting to the national cleaning companies (see the example above with one of our clients).

This top result is known as the Google local pack (AKA 3 local pack). Your goal when improving your GMB profile is to make it to the top of the local pack.

You get your business in the local pack for every important keyword in your industry and believe you me, you will have a great problem on your hands: a surplus of new customers.

 

So how do you improve your GMB profile?

 

One thing you need to understand about marketing is that marketing is a process, a routine almost. There is no big secret to how everything works or a super cool trick that will make you rich overnight. Connecting with your customers requires time, a bit of creativeness, and passion for what you do.

 

The way you improve your GMB profile is by having a conversation with your intended customer every week.

You read that right. That’s the big secret.

 

The plan goes something like this:


  1. Put together a brief but meaningful post for your intended audience – I normally use these types of posts to share new articles from my blog, to bring attention to new deals I might have going on and to remind business owners that I offer no-obligation free consultations.
  2. When creating the post make sure you add 1 or 2 phrases your prospects might use to search for your services. If you are a construction contractor what terms might your prospects use to find your services? If you are a cleaning contractor, what would your ideal customer be typing on Google to find your offerings? Whatever your industry is just think in terms of ‘what would a prospect type on Google to find me?’ You can also check out our keyword research method (phase 2 of the article) to know how to find good target keywords. Include 1 or 2 different target keywords for every post you create.
  3. Find an eye-catching image that complements your new post – You can also include impactful images of your work or a video.
  4. Decide which page the post is bringing attention to on your website. You can also bring attention to your ‘call’ button so customers can call you from your Google profile. Even if you decide to use a call button I would recommend including a link to one of your pages as most prospects prefer to research before doing business.
  5. Add this freshly created post to your Google my business profile, Facebook, and twitter if you have it.
  6. Do this every week when your prospect is most active. I personally like to get my message out on Mondays but if you know your prospects are more active on Wednesdays you can use that day for your weekly updates.
  7. You can post more than once per week – I personally like to do 1 main update and 2 posts bringing attention to my services. You should do this as often as possible.


That’s the big secret and the game-changing local SEO strategy. Summarized in 7 points.

You see, all you are doing is keeping your GMB profile active by producing regular updates and at the same time you are making your profile more targeted because you are providing relevant information to your intended consumer using the same terminology they might type to find you.

 

If you make this simple plan a part of your weekly routine within 3 to 4 weeks your business will have a much stronger presence across the Google local pack.

As your week develops begin to think about what updates you can share with your prospects. Did you deliver spectacular results for an existing client and can you show that with a powerful image? Did you kill it with a new service and can you showcase that with an engaging video?

 

The client I referenced above  added a beautiful before and after image for a strip and wax they did for a client of theirs, that image alone has gotten over 10 thousand views on GMB and I guarantee that it has brought them many customers because the image is really impactful. I mean I was personally impressed with the quality of their work and I don’t even need a cleaner for my office.

 

My point is that with an image or video you can convert a prospect into a paying customer and with text you help Google match you with those interested prospects in your service area.

No top-level clearance needed – just engaging with your target consumer.

 

Does your business have a Google my business profile?

 

Is your company on Google my business?

The answer most of you will give is ‘I’m not sure’ and that’s ok.

I’ll teach you how to find out if you already have an existing profile on Google, how to verify your profile if it hasn’t been verified, and how to create one from scratch if you do not have one yet.

 

Note: if you already have ownership of your GMB profile you can jump to the fine-tuning section to double check your profile setup and you can begin following the outlined plan right away.


  1. Open a browser window and go to business.google.com
  2. Click either sign-in or manage now and login using your preferred email.
  3. After logging in, enter your business name. If your business is on GMB a list of suggestions will come up and you should see it listed. Click it to begin the verification process and to take ownership of the profile (Google will ask you to enter your business info and will send you a card in the mail containing a verification code – no personal info will be asked other than your address and name). If you hired a company to create this profile for you earlier you can expedite this process by contacting the company you worked with and asking them to give you owner level access.
  4. If you do not see your business listed you can click the ‘add your business to Google’ button. Follow the prompts and provide all relevant info. It will work the same way here. Google will ask for your address and other business details and send you a verification code in the mail – no other personal information will be necessary.       

Interested in a local marketing consultation for your business?

 

We offer no-obligation free consultations for contractors, entrepreneurs,  and small business owners. We can talk about your business goals and the best approach to reaching those goals.

No commitments, just a conversation to get some ideas flowing. We do promise you a 20% discount on any purchase you make though 😊

 

Get Started:






 

You can also click the chat widget to schedule your free consultation with our virtual concierge.

Finally, you can check out our powerful local SEO services which include building local citations – to jumpstart your Google rankings 😊

 

Fine-tuning your GMB profile after verification is complete.

 

There are just a few more items to take care of once the verification process has been completed.

Mainly the process of adding your business info including hours, phone number, website address, business description, the industry you serve, and you can also add individual products and services.

 

Your business description:

 

Needs to include a few target phrases that prospects might use to find you. The way I personally write descriptions is by answering the question of ‘what problem is my business solving?’ and to pepper the answer with a few of my main key phrases. The goal is to make your description meaningful for both: prospects and search engines. Write a very natural description that represents what you do. Do not stuff your description with target keywords – doing that guarantees you a fast-pass to the bottom of search results.

 

For your business hours:

 

make sure you add the correct hours of operation. This profile is visible to local consumers and has a strong presence across google maps so adding accurate info is key. If you have a Facebook page for your business make sure your hours and description for GMB and Facebook match.

 

Represent your brand:

 

Add a few eye-catching images and your company logo. Complement your recently added images with a meaningful description to help your intended consumer better find the image they need using words – same deal when uploading photos – add a key phrase or 2 to have google match you with searching prospects.

 

Add the industry you serve:

 

your industry might be represented in multiple ways so make sure you search for multiple terms to capture all applicable industries.

 

Add your services:

 

A powerful way of bringing attention to your offerings is by adding them to your GMB using the services or products sections. When you begin adding your products or services make sure you include 1 or 2 target terms that your prospects might use to find those offerings – again, no stuffing, make your additions look natural for your prospects.

 

Always get reviews:

 

Finally, make it a habit to ask your customers for a review every single time. Reviews really add value for other prospects and are a powerful way of convincing others to trust your expertise. Don’t be shy about it, it’s a very normal thing to ask for. You can do something as simple as

“hey John, I hope your experience with our company has been remarkable. We honestly can’t wait to have you back! It would mean a great deal to me if you gave me some honest feedback in the form of a review. Here is the link for my Google my business profile.Whatever is in your mind, we’re happy to hear it! thanks again John and see you soon”.

 

Once all relevant info has been added you are good to go. All you’ll need to do going forward is follow the above plan and stay connected with your intended prospect.

 

In closing:

 

Doing marketing is not necessarily simple but it’s not impossible either.

The big secret to success is having a strong online presence and you accomplish that by maintaining communication with your target audience and by producing premium content that helps solve a problem.

 

You don’t need to run $5000 advertising campaigns and you don’t need to have a master’s degree (although that does help 😉). Make GMB updates a part of your weekly routine, provide meaningful updates using industry-specific keywords, and use your website as a resource where prospects can find answers to common problems in your particular industry.

 

Using free resources is perfect for kickstarting visibility but the reality is that it’s not sustainable. Eventually you’ll need to allocate a reasonable budget to pursue either online ads or SEO services to  fuel your continued growth.

Begin your customer acquisition journey using a free resource such as GMB and once you see how many customers those efforts bring you can explore other avenues such as search engine ads and social media ads.

 

Keep in mind that the strategy outlined above is intended for contractors and small business owners. eCommerce and online stores may experience better success using YouTube and social media. all depends on what you are selling and the personality of your brand.

 

Interested in a local marketing consultation for your business?

 

We offer no-obligation free consultations for contractors, entrepreneurs, and small business owners. We can talk about your business goals and the best approach to reaching those goals.

No commitments, just a conversation to get some ideas flowing. We do promise you a 20% discount on any purchase you make though 😊

 

Get Started:






 

You can also click the chat widget to schedule your free consultation with our virtual concierge.

Finally, you can check out our powerful local SEO services which include building local citations – to jumpstart your Google rankings 😊

 

Did I miss anything?

Feel free to ask any questions using the comments section.


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