If you are not familiar with Google Business, it’s a free service from Google, and every plumbing company should be using it.
A Google Business Profile (GBP) enables you to share your business information with Google, which can help improve your visibility on Google. Ultimately, a Google Business profile can help generate more plumbing leads and customers at a very low cost.
A well optimized and properly managed Google Business Profile (GBP), can generate hundreds of plumbing leads each month. Don’t believe me? Here are some results from individual plumbermarketing.ca customers:
As you can see, Google Business is great for generating plumbing leads. If you are not using Google Business yet, you should be. If you are using Google Business but you’re not generating results like above, you can. In either case, I’ll now provide the insights you need to put your pluming business on the path to greater Google Business results.
When consumers need a plumber, many begin by performing a search on Google. Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of a consumer and pretend we need to find a plumber in Toronto, Ontario. We do a search on Google For “Toronto Plumbers”.
What we are presented with is called the search engine results page, or SERPs for short. The SERPs contain a few different types of results.
The first type of result you may see at the top of the SERPs are local service ads, or LSAs for short.
After the local service ads, you’ll typically find Google Ads.
After any Google Ads that are displayed on the search engine results page, you’ll find Maps listings. These are Google Business Profiles.
You might be questioning how effective Google Business Profiles can be, given they are third on the search engine results page. The short answer is very effective. While Google LSAs and Google Ads work well, a Google Business Profile can generate a lot more leads for a lot less money.
In addition to consumers finding plumbers in the maps section of a Google search results page, they can also find plumbers by performing a search in Google Maps.
Now that you have a basic understanding of how consumers use Google to find plumbers, let’s look at how you can use a free Google Business Profile to put your plumbing business in front these consumers.
The first step on the path to Google Business success, is claiming and verifying your profile. To get started visit business.google.com.
When you claim your Google Business Profile, Google will contact you to verify that the information you have submitted in your profile is accurate. There are a few different ways Google may contact you, but typically they will send you a verification code by postal mail, or by phone.
Once you’ve claimed and verified your profile, it’s time to move onto the following steps. Following these steps will help improve your visibility on Google, so you can out-compete the competition and win more plumbing leads and customers.
Google has made significant changes to how you manage your profile. Instead of managing your profile through a dedicated website, now all you have to do is search for your business name and you can manage your profile information right on the search results page. If you don’t see your profile at the top of the page, you may need to scroll further down the page.
You need to be logged into your Google account to be able to manage and edit your Google Business Profile.
Now that you know where to go to manage your profile, let’s look at what you need to do to properly optimize and use your profile.
The first thing you need to do after claiming and verifying your Google Business Profile, is optimize your business information. The Info section of your GBP allows you to share information about your plumbing business with Google, who in turn shares it publicly with consumers on Google Search, Maps, and other products.
Ensuring your profile information is complete, is critical to your Google Business success. To update your business information, go to your profile on Google and click the “Edit profile” link.
When you click the “Edit profile” link, a pop-up window will appear and you will be presented with a list of options to update or complete.
To properly optimize your Google Business Profile information, you need to complete all of the following fields:
Google is constantly updating Google Business, so things may change from the time I write this to when you view it. Regardless of how things change, the general takeaway is to complete all relevant options accurately.
Now that you have your business information optimized, it’s time to add your services to your profile. To add and manage your services, click the “Edit services” option in your profile.
When adding a service, you’ll have the option to provide the name of the service, the price, and a description up to 300 characters in length. Take your time to complete all fields, including an accurate description of the service. The description is a great opportunity to convey to consumers how your service can help them, and may help with your Google rankings.
Be sure to add all of your services. As a best practice, review your services on a monthly or quarterly basis and update appropriately.
Now that you have optimized your business information and added your services, it’s time to add photos to your profile.
There are three types of photos you can add to your Google Business Profile:
Photos are a great way to reach and engage consumers. While you may be familiar with Google search, you may not be familiar with Google image search. People search for images on Google all the time, and the more images you have, the more opportunities there are to be discovered online.
While there are a few different types of business photos you can publish, you should make sure you have photos of…
Optimizing your images is very important. While Google is getting better at understanding what an image is about, it’s still not perfect. The more you can help Google understand what an image is about, the better.
By properly optimizing your images, you improve your chances of consumers discovering your plumbing business on Google. To optimize your images, be sure to do the following:
When you claim and verify your Google Business Profile, you should initially upload a couple dozen photos. Ideally you should upload new photos every month, at a minimum.
Now that you’ve optimized your business information, added your services and uploaded photos, it’s time to start publishing updates (formally known as posts).
Google Business Updates are similar to social media posts such as a Facebook post, with a few exceptions. Google Business Updates are limited to 1,500 characters per post and may include an image and call to action button.
Google Business Updates are displayed on your Google Business Profile for consumers to view. Publishing updates is a great way to differentiate your profile from competitors, as many plumbing companies do not publish posts regularly. Posting updates regularly may also help improve your visibility on Google.
There are three types of Google Business Updates you can publish…
At plumbermarketing.ca, we’ve found that posting on a regular and consistent basis is critical to Google Business success. Because many plumbing companies do not post on a regular basis, this is a great way to differentiate your business and help improve your visibility on Google.
At a minimum you should post once per week. While you can post more often, we’ve found that once per week works well for most plumbing businesses. If you’re having trouble improving your visibility on Google, you may want to try posting more regularly, but, most plumbing companies should find posting once per week works well.
Now that you’ve optimized your business information, added your services, shared photos, and are publishing updates once per week, it’s time to get reviews.
Getting reviews on your Google Business Profile is one of the most important things you can do to outcompete the competition and boost your visibility on Google. With that said, reviews alone won’t work on their own. You need to ensure you properly manage all aspects of your profile.
Every time you complete a job you should ask your customer for a review. Not everyone will provide a review, but if you ask every customer, you’ll get a steady flow of reviews on your profile over time.
It’s important that you solicit legitimate reviews. Do not ask employees or friends, or family to leave reviews in the hopes of boosting your profile. Google is getting better at detecting fake reviews and can suspend your profile if you do not follow their rules.
The number of reviews you have will influence your visibility on Google. While there is no set number of reviews you need, you should aim to have more reviews than your competitors.
Do a Google search for plumbers in your geographic area. Look at the top listings in the maps section and see how many reviews each business has. The number of reviews on their own won’t determine the ranking order. However, the more reviews you have, the better. So check how many reviews your competitors have and try to double it.
If you think getting reviews is hard work, it can be.
A plumbing company we work with has gone from less than 100 reviews to nearly 800 reviews in less than two years. Want to know how they did it? The owner called every single customer to ensure they had a great experience and asked them to provide them a review. This was a lot of work, but it is paying off. This particular plumbing company has more reviews than most of their competitors, follows the strategy you’re learning here, and is consistently ranked in the maps listings for dozens of keywords related to their business.
One of the keys to getting reviews is making the process as simple as possible. One way you can do this is by providing customers with a link to leave a review on your Google Business Profile.
To get your Google Business Review link, click the “Ask for reviews” link in your profile.
When you click the “Ask for reviews” link, a popup window will open with your link, which you can copy and share with customers.
Now, when you share your review link with a customer, and they click it, they will be taken directly to a review popup window in your Google Business Profile, where they can rate your business and leave a review.
TIP: Include your review link in your email signature, electronic invoices and statements, and on your website.
Your Google Business Profile may be free, but it still requires an investment of marketing resources to get the most from it. As such, you need a way to measure the results you get from Google Business.
While Google Business offers Insights, within the platform, to help you measure your results, the information they provide is limited and typically siloed from your other tracking efforts. To provide you with a simple and easy way to track all of your marketing results including Google Business, I suggest you use a lead tracking platform such as WhatConverts.
The advantage of using a platform like WhatConverts is that it enables you to track your leads from all sources - both online and offline - such as phone calls, emails, chats, even printed materials.
Most leads from your Google Business Profile will come from phone calls. As such, it is critical that you track phone calls from your Google Business Profile. While Google has a way for you to track phone calls within the platform, I recommend you setup call tracking through a third-party such as WhatConverts.
To setup call tracking on your Google Business Profile, you’ll need to register a phone number through your call tracking app. You’ll then need to set the call tracking number as the primary phone number in your Google Business Profile. You can list your regular phone number as a secondary phone number in your profile.
While we didn’t cover every available Google Business feature, we covered all of the features most plumbing companies will ever need. Here’s a recap of what you need to do to generate plumbing leads with your free Google Business Profile.
If you would like help managing your Google Business Profile(s) for your plumbing business, contact plumbermarketing.ca. Our Advisors can provide you with the resources and insights you need to succeed with Google My Business.