With Google constantly moving things around and rolling out Local Service Ads, you might have come to the conclusion that the Maps are no longer relevant...
Well, our tracking tells us that it's still the #1 place your customers are clicking & calling from when they need a plumbing or HVAC contractor in your area!
What You're Going to Learn
- Our Proven 4 Step Formula for Getting Plumbing & HVAC Businesses Ranked on The Google Map in even the most competitive markets.
- The #1 issue that could be preventing your company from ranking on the Map in your area.
- The key ingredient for a top 3 listing and how to leverage it for great long-term results.
- How to properly claim & optimize your Google My Business listing beyond just typing in your PIN.
- How to develop your authority through proactive citation development & the best tools to automate the process.
- How to identify inconsistency with your NAP profile across the web and how to clean it up for improved rankings.
All right, hello, and welcome. So excited for today’s session, we’re going to be talking all about Google Maps and how to get ranked on the Google map in your service area. For the most important keywords, we’re going to talk about kind of why that’s important. We’re going to talk about, you know, whether it’s still relevant in today’s market, we’re going to talk about some of the latest changes in the Google map that you need to be aware of. So if you could, if you’re on with me live type maps in the comments, just to let me know that you’re ready to rock and roll, you’re ready to get into this topic. This, you know, really getting ranked on the map is part of the the accelerated growth model where we talk about driving leads, maximizing conversion, and optimizing results and all of the little pieces and elements that go into that. But the fact is, if you want to accelerate your growth, and I really believe any contractor can triple their sales over a 12 to 24 month period by getting all of these elements in place. And if you haven’t already checked it out, you can check out how to triple your sales by getting your internet marketing, right, I’ve got a deep dive training on that as well as my book. But it really falls into these three pillars, right, driving leads, maximizing conversion, optimizing results, when it comes to driving leads, we’ve got organic paid, and database marketing marketing back to your existing customer base. Today, we’re going to be focused right here on the organic side of the equation. In a previous webinar, I went deep with what to do with your website, and the website sells to get ranked organically today is going to be all around the Google Map and how to get ranked in the Google map in your in your service area. Of course, it’s part of our digital dominance method. So kind of as we kick things off, I love it. If you could kind of play by these ground rules and kind of participate in this way. Turn off your cell phones, turn off Facebook, close the other tabs, if you’re serious about generating better results with Google Maps in your service area, generate more leads generate more sales getting better positioned. Let’s let’s give this or undivided attention, I promise. If you focus here, you’re gonna get some great insights and more likely to implement on the agenda for today, I just got to hit keynotes here, we’re gonna talk about the latest updates with Google Maps, right? The algorithm is constantly changing. As a matter of fact, what was working a year ago could actually be bringing your Google map listing down. So we’ll talk about some of those changes and what you need to be aware of, we’ll talk about what the five biggest issues are, that could be bringing your rankings down or preventing you from ranking in the top three results. This is really important, I’ll spend a little bit of time there. And then we’re gonna get right into our proven model for getting ranked in the three pack and kind of the specific things you can do on your website, off your website with your reviews to move your rankings up higher and quicker. And then I’ll share some of our favorite tools for systematizing. And automating this so that it can do a lot of the heavy lifting for you. So if that sounds good, give me a one of the comments. Again, I love to see live engagement, I love to make sure that this is going to be a good use of you guys’s time. So if you can hit one in the comments, Amber, thank you appreciate it. Rick, Susan, Dave. Fantastic. Awesome. So in case you don’t know, my name is Josh Nelson. I’m the founder of plumbing and HVAC SEO. We’re a full service digital marketing agency for plumbing HVAC, electrical contractors. I’m the author of How to triple your sales by getting your internet marketing right, available on Amazon and our website. I’m actively involved in phc QFC service roundtable, next door CEO warrior. And I’m really a student of this of this information. I love teaching it. I love researching it. I love understanding that kind of what’s working and what’s not working. But I’d say more important than any of that stuff that at this point, our company me personally, I’ve had the opportunity to work with hundreds of some of the top plumbing HVAC and electrical contractors in the country and been able to help them dominate the local market, many of them seeing millions of dollars of increase in revenue by really dialing in their online marketing. So what I’m going to be sharing with you today isn’t hypothetical, it’s not like Hey, I read a book on this somewhere like this is real world what’s working in Google Maps for some of the top contractors and some of the most competitive markets across the country. And I will say this is what we do as an as an organization at plumbing H MC SEO, we’re on a mission to help triple the sales of 1000 Plumbing HVAC and electrical contractors. And so if you’re interested in having us implement these ideas for you and kind of be your digital marketing agency, we would love the opportunity to chat and it starts with just a lead flow acceleration session where we would look at your website we would look at your rankings we would look specifically at your Google Maps and show you where there’s room for improvement. it. And if there’s an opportunity to do business great, if there’s not, we still appreciate the opportunity to connect. And so if at any point during this session, you would like to do that, you go to plumber, SEO dotnet slash schedule, pick a time that works for you, I promise it will not be a high pressure sales pitch. It’ll be a good business conversation, you’ll walk away with insights. And if it makes sense, we can we can talk about doing business together. So as we get into this conversation around Google Maps, and really what it takes to get ranked on the Google Maps, we should start with why like, does Google Maps even matter? Right? If you think about it, and you kind of are studying this, the the dynamic has shifted, it used to be the map was the first thing you saw when you looked for a plumber, or HVAC contractor or an electrician on Google. And the results page has changed. Right now. They’ve got Google guaranteed, or local service ads at the top, and then they’ve got paid ads. And it’s moving further and further down the page. And so you may be wondering, shouldn’t I just just do LSA? Or shouldn’t I just do pay per click and focus all my attention there? What I can say, based on the latest trends, and I’m going to share lots of data on this, because we’ve got lots of information with with all of our clients here. But what we do know is that still 44% of the clicks when someone searches go to the map listing. So you know, that’s where a lot of people are clicking, that’s where a lot of people are calling from, they’re bypassing the paid listings. They’re bypassing Google guaranteed, and they’re still clicking and calling directly from the map listing. So I would say, yes, absolutely, Google Maps matter. And kind of to, to kind of explain that further. You know, one of the clients, we work with a shamrock plumbing. And if you if you search, Orlando plumbers, you, they come up right there on the Google Map, and just looking at the data for them, they spend about $3,000, a month with us all predominantly organic. And you can see about 819 leads tracked. But really, what I want to call your attention to here is almost 880 leads, 405 of them come directly from the Google Map. And so that’s huge, right? If they weren’t ranking well on the map, they’d be missing out on a lot of those leads, and a lot of those calls. And another example here, looking at this over on a long period of time, is next go plumbing, we type Mason, Ohio plumber, you see they come up right there on the Google Map listings. And I kind of charted this back from 2019. So if you think back then the map was the place like it was just that’s where people clicked. And there really wasn’t any other options. And so if we look back, then they were spending about two grand a month with us 412 leads tracked 183 directly from Google Maps. Fast forward a another year as their ranking still really strongly on the Google Map, spend 4573 leads now 176, directly from Google Maps, fast forward to most recent 352 leads directly from Google Maps. And so that number has increased, that number is trending up, regardless of I’m going to mute Fred there, regardless of the fact that things have moved down. And so yes, it’s still important to play in this place, right? I think organic is still critical. And that’s why this is good that you’re spending this time learning what’s going on with Google Maps, figuring out how to optimize your listing and how to move up the results for the most important keywords on your map listings. Steve and George, I’ll be kind of unpacking some of the specific things that we do in order to get these these types of rankings. Here’s another company we’re with Fargo, North Dakota, this is Lenny’s 835, leads directly from the Google Map, jump forward 1408 directly from the Google map now to 1640. So there’s there’s a lot to be said, for ranking well, on the Google Map, if you look at the number of leads, you can generate proportionately to your you know, to your overall marketing strategy. What we do find is the average cost per lead is going to be less when we rank on Google Maps. And it’s going to be the lowest cost highest quality lead, because they’re basically choosing you and they’re selecting your organization in that way. So did not want to beat a dead horse. I did put a lot of slides here in about this. But yes, emphatically give me a yes in the comments, if that makes sense. You know, there’s a lot of people clicking, there’s lots of leads, and there’s lots of sales to be made by making sure we’re ranking well in the map listings. So some of the biggest changes just to be aware, kind of you know, the ball is constantly moving. The algorithm is constantly kind of being modified.
Over time, the map listings were reduced from a seven results that showed up on the map to just three right and this has been for a couple of years now. There’s just three. Google is also serving paid ads in the map. So If you serve your Google ads correctly, you can also be ranking in Maps usually only just one listing that comes up with a paid result. But there’s a paid component coming into it, I believe there’s going to be more and more of that down the track, right, as Google looks to monetize the search results, they’re monetizing local service ads are monetizing, monetizing, pay per click, eventually, they they’re probably going to start to monetize the Google Map listings. At this point, it’s still not hyper monetized like you can’t buy the number one spot, you can’t even pay on a per click basis, other than through your your standard Google Ads rotation. Local Service ads is available in all of the markets. I’m gonna talk a little bit about local service ads, but you know, it’s it’s showing up in all the search results for plumbing HVAC, and electrical, and you pay on our on a per click basis. So basically, what was shifted from was this Google ads and Google My Business to now Google Local Service ads, one or two paid results you see differently in different places, and, and the kind of the organic map listing there. So that’s some of the changes and kind of how the how the search results have evolved. Over time, I do want to put a footnote for those of you that are it’s all about organic, and I want to make sure I’m ranking in the in the in the organic listings, don’t slip on local service ads, like this is absolutely a great lead source, we’re finding the quality of your lead from local service ads is still going to be lower. And it’s going to be lower cost per lead, and higher quality than just Google ads directly. I say you want to do all three. But if you haven’t gone through the vetting process to get added to local service ads, this is this is a, an exercise worth doing. And it’s an exercise doing worth well. And so I did a really long webinar on local service ads last last month. So if you want to link to that, where I walk you through exactly how to play the local service ads game and how to really set it up correctly and how to manage manage it. Let me know in the comments, and we’ll make sure to get you the link to that. But really, I mean, this is this is kind of how the search result page looks today. Like you know, we’ve got local service ads, we’ve got Google ads, we’ve got the map, and we’ve got the organic, really what I suggest is we want to be playing, if we’re really focused on accelerated growth in our plumbing, HVAC, electrical business, we want to be playing this game, like we want to show up as often as possible where our customers are looking, right. So we want to be a local service ads rotation, we want to be in the paid results, we want to be on maps, and we want to be coming up organically and and even at some level, we want to show up organically for our company website. But maybe we also want to come up for our Yelp listing and our NG listing, which there’s a there’s an angle for that. And so really the the ideal outcome with your organic and paid strategy is we want to show up all the places where customers are looking. And really, if we can have a couple of placeholders, that’s going to give us a doubling or tripling impact in terms of the amount of leads we can generate for the same span. So hopefully that makes sense. The the place to sign up for local service ads is google.com/local services dash sign up. If you’re a client, we can help you set up this process. If you’re interested in having this managed because there’s lots of steps to managing local service ads, outside of just setting it up and putting money in, we do have a local service ads service. So feel free to schedule a time and learn more about how we can help you with that if that’s something you’re interested in. But again, this is the outcome that we’re after, right, we want to have, you know, the number one map listing the number one, you know, local service ad listing, we want to help on a couple of times organically and it absolutely can be done when you get your content strategy and some of the things I’m gonna be sharing with you on today’s session. So some of you maybe have been at this game with locals with Google and Google Maps for a six 710 years. And maybe at one point you were ranking well on the map and you fell off. Or maybe you’ve been trying, you just haven’t been able to get there because there’s so many fake listings. Google has really, really, really put an emphasis on spammy fake listings, fake locations, companies that don’t actually have a plumbing company in the area they’re claiming to serve and that they’ve pinned themselves on on Google. And you the latest stat here is they’ve reduced fake listings by almost 70%. And so that comes with good and it comes with bad. The good part is if you’re a legitimate contractor and you have a real location, that’s gonna take some of the junk off of the results page, giving you a better probability of coming up in those results. But the bad part of it is if you played that game, and if you set up a bunch of fake listings that might have harmed your rankings, maybe even for your true location, as well. So some good and some bad with this change over the last couple of years. But there’s been a lot of misinformation about how to get ranked on the Google Map about what’s acceptable about what actually works with getting ranked in the map in your, in your area. And most, most of you plumbing, HVAC, electrical contractors hire out services like ours, like, um, you know, other companies to do it. And a lot of bad actors have come into this industry where they said, hey, you know, we’ll get you ranked in nine different markets. And we’re going to claim these map listings. And we’re going to do this thing for you. And what we found is, oftentimes, what has been done in the last 235 years could actually be hurting the way that you rank on the map today. And so I want to talk about the key things that could be hurting you so that you can be aware of it. So that you can, you can make the necessary corrections, to get back to where you want to be. And to kind of get to the place where you where you shouldn’t be ranking over time. So the number one thing that could be hurting your rankings on the Google Google map right now is that you actually need an office in the city that you’re targeting. So if you’re in, I use this as an example, if you’re in Little Rock, Arkansas, and you want to rank in a little rock market, but your office happens to be in North Little Rock or it happens to be one of the surrounding towns, it’s going to be very hard for you to rank, especially if there’s lots of other contractors already with real locations in that area. And so this is one of those things, you have to jump through hoops. There’s a verification process. But really, you’re in the best place possible if you have a physical location, a true commercial location in the city that you’re trying to rank for. And if you’re getting promised, hey, don’t worry about it, you know, I know you’re not in that city, we’re going to get you ranked on the map anyways, they’re probably going to try and do something fishy. Or they’re going to potentially harm your ability to rank in a city that your actual location happens to be in. So you need to city. Number two is, if you tried to spam the listings over the years, you or the company that happened to be doing this for you in the past. Let’s say you set up nine different GMB or Google My Business profiles, and you got pins for those and you tried to rank in nine different markets. Even if you have a true location in the main city that you’re trying to target, Google may have filtered your company and said, Okay, this company is full of it. And now your even your main location isn’t going to come up the way that it should. We’ve seen a lot of this over the years, there’s ways to remedy it right? The best thing to do is to kind of close those locations, keep the main location active and do some of the things I’m going to be showing you here on today’s session to bolster the authority of your of your main location. Number three is inconsistency of your name, address phone number. So when it comes down to ranking, Google’s looking for expertise, authority and trust, they’re looking for true companies and the true service area. And so it’s really important that the way that you list your company’s name doesn’t have a lot of extra keywords in it. And then it’s being referenced the same way on Google as it is on Yelp as it is on anchez. It is on all of these different places. And so this is one of those gotchas, where if you’ve got three or four different variations of your company name showing up in a bunch of different places, you’re not getting the authority that you should, and that can potentially bring your map listings down. The other the other thing we see, and this is actually kind of, it’s a gray area, but adding keywords like plumber, Dallas to your if you’re in Dallas to your company name on Google Map, that’s against the terms of service, right. And so somebody might have thought they were clever and gone in and changed your Google profile listing to add a bunch of different key words.
And what I’m seeing when I say this is a little bit of a gray area is that there are companies that are actually benefiting from that right there. They’ve added their city and their keywords, their company name on Google and you see them ranking, you’re like, well, if they’re getting away with it, why can I? Well, maybe you could for a short period, but over time that can and will probably catch up with you unless you go change your name. So if your bills plumbing, and then you change it to Bill’s plumbing, you know, best plumber in Dallas, you could probably benefit from that. But there’s a lot of extra hoops and it does seem pretty spammy. But that’s one way to get around this particular thing with spamming the categories and spamming your your company name. And then number five thing that could be preventing you from ranking well in maps, if you don’t have enough reviews, right? All other things being equal. And we’ll talk about the three step formula that we found works best, all other things being equal. If you’ve got to Real city a real location in the city you’re trying to rank, you got a properly, like optimized listing. But you’ve got 12 reviews, and the next competitor, the top competitor has 1900 reviews, they’re probably going to have a lot more authority than you, right. And so you’re going to have to really bolster your reviews. And we’ll talk about some strategies to do that kind of out of the gates and then on an ongoing basis. But if you don’t have enough reviews, you’re going to be you’re going to be struggling to keep up with with the competition. So those are some of the things that could be preventing you all of them can be remedied all of them, Can you can you could there certain things you could do in each of these areas. So if you’re struggling with any of those five, let us know, right, and we can kind of help brainstorm with you how to get around some of these issues and how to move things forward. So the street three step formula that we found, what works best for getting ranked on the Google Map in the right way, in a sustainable way, is really simple. Number one, is we got to claim our Google My Business listing or a Google Profile Manager, we want to claim it and we want to optimize it, there are very specific things you can do on the listing in terms of the way you upload the pictures, the way you write your description, the categories you select, that can really give you a good good, good foundation to build from. So first, we got to claim and optimize it. Second is we’ve got to have lots of references or citations of our company’s name, address, and phone number, right? There’s links in there citations citations are actually like your company name, address, phone number referenced in a lot of different places. And then you got to have online reviews. And so we need a strategy to get reviews from your past customers and to get reviews on an ongoing basis from your real customers in a true service area. And then you got to have proper on page optimization, right, we got to make sure the site is set up in a very specific way. I’m going to talk about the basics of this. There’s another webinar that I did, I think it was last month, where I went deep on exactly what to do with your website, how to structure your content, and how to build the links and the authority to move up organically. But when you get this done, right, we’ve got lots of citations, consistency of the name, address, phone number, we’ve got lots of reviews and new reviews coming in on a consistent basis. And we’ve got a great optimization on the website itself, we can really rank quite well over time in the Google Map. And so I want to talk a little bit about expertise, authority and trust. Right, what Google wants to do with their search engine, when someone’s looking for a plumber or HVAC contractor or, or an electrician is they want to list the companies in Google maps that are the most authoritative, the most trustworthy, because they want their customer that’s looking to get a good experience to have their problem solved. Because if they do, they’re going to go back again. And so the latest information from Google tells us that it’s really about your trust signals, can Google trust that you’re a legitimate company, that you are who you say you are, that you’re going to do a good job for the customer. And so your brand authority is important, right? If you think about like a really nice logo and a nice truck and doing advertising your local market, your brand authority, and that’s not just your website, but it’s the authority that you have in the local market space has a big impact the way that you’re verified, right? There’s, there’s been a lot of changes to the way that you verify your Google My Business listing in the past, it was just they would send you a postcard, you’d get that in the mail, and you key that in on the back end. Well, now they’re doing a lot of other things. And so you can be double verified, which means you get the pin and you do it through some other channel. You can do video verification. And this often is getting triggered if somebody looks at your listing and says, Ah, they’re fake, they’re not really where they say they are that gets flagged inside of Google. And the Google wants to do what they called video verification, where they see is there a really location here? Is there some signage is this look like a real company, being video verified, is one of the higher quality ways that you can get to to validate the true legitimate location. So while it’s a little bit of an annoying process, it is useful sometimes even getting triggered and having video verification validated now gives you double verification, which is the highest level that you can have in terms of the way that your Google My Business or Google business profile is is verified. Live video recorded that you know the postcard that’s what most of you guys have. Like if you think about how you were verified in the past by yourself or with your contractor. If you’ve been on maps for 17 years or five years or however long it’s been somebody sent, requested a postcard you hit in the postcard and that was as far as it went. You can get some extra juice in terms of your effort. already by getting the video verification, email phone. So the verification methods important, right. And I know most of you guys have been doing this for a long time you already are on Google Maps. But if you’re not ranking in the top three, there may be a place to say, hey, let’s, let’s trigger a verification here and get double verified, so that we can have more authority, expertise and trust. So brand authority verification method. The third is the number of reviews, right? If you look, in most markets, the companies that have the top three spots are usually the number one has the most reviews, or the second most reviews. So it’s not just reviews, but reviews is one of the strongest ranking factors in play here in terms of getting ranked on the map. So we want to have more reviews than the competition. And that should be a target, right? If you’re trying to rank in whatever your city is, for whatever the service is, look at who the top three are. And then gamify that like literally say, Okay, if the top three have an average of 726 reviews, and we’ve only got 312. That’s the Delta, right, let’s go get the team on board. Let’s get everybody excited. Let’s all shoot towards getting at least 725 Google reviews to really move the needle in terms of your ranking on maps. But the second one is also important is review velocity, which means how many new reviews are you getting on a ongoing basis, if all you did was send an email to your customer base, he got a bunch of reviews one month, and then didn’t get any new for the rest of the year. That’s going to show an impact, right. So review velocity means if you’re a trusted provider, that’s coming up in Maps, you would be getting new reviews on a consistent basis from real people with real Google accounts that had been verified over time. So review velocity is an important factor.
Recently unsuspended because this happens, sometimes your your account gets suspended. And like I was saying, it’s because Google tried to update something and they didn’t hear back or somebody said you were fake. And so that flag the system and you got suspended, or you move from one location to another. If you are suspended, that’s a pain in the neck, that means you’re not coming up in maps. But if you go through the process of updating the profile, and then re verify verifying either through, you know video verification or some other process, that usually moves the needle relatively quickly. And in terms of you getting ranked now assuming you’ve got good enough reviews to be in the in the game. So recently on recently unsuspended is useful. And then back in engagement. And this is where having somebody that didn’t just set it and forget it for you has a really big impact. Yes, we want to claim and optimize the Google listing. And there’s lots of little things I’m gonna share with you on how to do that and get the most from it. But somebody should be logging into your Google profile a couple of times per month, uploading videos, uploading pictures, updating Office Hours replying to reviews requiring to q&a is there, I’m not going to say this is the number one driver, right? Because you could be in there every day. But if you don’t have enough reviews, and you don’t have enough citations, you’re not going to be relevant. But all other things being equal. If you get almost as many reviews as the competition, you’ve got a legitimate location, you’ve got as many citations, this back end engagement is going to be a driver that can move you forward in terms of how you how you rank, and you know, easy thing is upload a couple pictures of your team, upload a couple pictures of your guys out on the job, update a picture of the lady at the office answering the phone, that’s simple stuff of getting the office hours, you know, updating some additional information posting to Google posts. But the most important is replying to reviews. Right? Making sure if somebody posts is a good review or a negative review, taking the time to think that hey, we really appreciate your business. So excited to continue to work with you. Or hey, I’m really sorry, you had a bad experience. Let’s you know, we’d love to talk with you about how we can make it right, make sure that all of your reviews are getting responded to on a timely basis, that’s going to give you a notch in the right direction. Completely profile like we’re complicated at Chase. Somebody chimed in thanks for jumping on that whoever muted it. Completely profile, I’m gonna talk about some specific things. You want to have a store code, your logo, your cover image, images of your work, then there’s like a profile completion score a Google profile, and you want to complete that to the farthest extent possible, right? Obviously, we want to, we want to go on Google and give them all of the information they could possibly need or want to look at us as a trusted profile as a trusted company on Google. Hopefully that hopefully that helps guys, there’s some specific things we could do to bolster our authority and and this trust factor is huge. Give me a one if that makes sense. And if you’re still tracking along with me on this stuff, I know I’m kind of hitting lots of ball Let’s but I want to make this practical and useful as possible. Awesome. Thanks, guys. Okay, so then the next is is local link strategies. And I’m kind of a leading with this information because it’s some of the new information. And you know, we always hear claimed the Google My Business, get some citations, but local links and not national links, but really local relevant links can be super impactful for how we rank on the map in our in our true service area. And so some of the strategies you might want to look at, that we found worked pretty well is local sponsorships, like sports teams, and clubs and things like that. Think about the local baseball club, the local, you know, local YMCA, they usually have sponsorship opportunities where you can usually they’re letting you put a banner on the outside of their, you know, their fans or something like that. What we like to do is negotiate with them to say, Hey, let us sponsor somewhere on your website link back to us. And then maybe we can do a press release about this, maybe we can get the news involved with the fact that our plumbing company is sponsoring this team or sponsoring this organization. This is true local authority. So we’re not just gaming the system at this point, like posting stuff out, we’re finding a local organization we can align with and we’re going to help invest into with our financial resources. But it doesn’t have to be a lot. Usually, they’re just asking for a couple 100 bucks, and fully leverage it right. Because if all you did was by the by the opportunity to put your your name on the t shirt, that’s all going to go so far, it’s only going to have so many eyeballs. But if you can get them to link back to you, and you can tap into the news. And then you try to figure out how to get that link to point back, you know, not just to your homepage, but also to your your local listing on Google, this is going to build your authority. And this is a relatively simple thing that you can implement that will actually move the needle in terms of how you rank on the Google Maps, I’m hosting community events. So this could be at your facility, if you have one, it could be renting a small location, and just doing a mixture. And you’re bringing together other contractors, you’re bringing together homeowners. And you could do this at Christmas, you could do this at the Fourth of July, you could do this at any of the major holidays. And what we’re trying to do with an event like this is you can put it on the local meetup sites that’s going to build authority, obviously, it’s going to have a true marketing viral effect, because you’re going to actually be spending time with your, your colleagues as well as your potential customers. But you could also use this as a news story, hey, we’re doing this local meet up with the local contractors in the San Francisco area. And if you can get the news media involved, like with a legitimate release, the citation authority and the link authority that you get from those types of local events can be super powerful. So just an idea to think about there. Create a local resources page on your site. So this is where you would list other resources your clients could benefit from, like the local, hey, if you have roofing problems, here’s a local roofing company, we recommend, here’s a local place we recommend for you know, you know, buying your home, you know, stuff, think about the people you refer every single day, if you set up a local resources page on your website, and you start to recommend them that you know, you’re linking out at that point, but that builds some authority, but then you can reach out to those organizations to hey, we just listed you on our you know, our recommended providers page here, or recommended damage restoration company or recommended roofing company and say, Hey, would you be interested in setting up a page like this as well. And then you know, you can get that backwards link authority from a very local organization that might have some authority as well, we find it you know, if you do this, right, and there’s a spammy way to do it, but there’s also like an authoritative way to do it, it can have a huge impact on not just your Google Map rankings, but your organic rankings and your kind of your relationships in the industry and in the local market, which is going to build organic traffic and word of mouth as well. Sponsored scholarships, so we find this a lot, you know, in the you could do this for the local school, hey, you know, XYZ is going to sponsor this child to go through this training. It could also be you’re going to sponsor someone that just came out of high school, and you’re gonna put them through trade school, right? So they can start to become an apprentice and start to come through your organization. Maybe you’re doing that already, but I find a lot of you guys aren’t because it’s a great recruitment play. When you do things like that. That is newsworthy, right? So hey, you know, Paul, the plumber, just sponsored this student in this particular market, and then you reach out to the local news and said, Hey, look, we’re doing this sponsorship. You know, maybe you’re not doing it just for this reason, but it can also build authority can build links Find the local sites in your market. There’s local news, there’s local entertainment, there’s local, other providers, and they all have websites, they’re all looking for content. And so if you can share some piece of content about indoor air quality, or something you’re doing with plumbing, or some innovative idea that would benefit their site, you know, those local sites carry lots of weight. The other thing you could do, it would be to host interviews with local celebrities and promote those interviews. So you know, there’s there’s national celebrities, which are very hard to access, but there’s, there’s people local to your market, like, but maybe the, the radio host, or the TV news anchor, if you interview them, again, will all I’m trying to do is share examples of how you can build local proximity, local trust,
it takes a little bit of time takes a little bit of energy. But you know, if you if you were to do even two of these, and you get it picked up, and you get it linked around, it’s going to build your authority, and it’s going to build your awareness in the industry. So hopefully, that’s helpful, I wanted to lead with some very specific things that I think can really, really drive, drive the needle in terms of building your trust and authority, which is where it’s at, in terms of getting rank for your most important keywords. So I don’t like going to the Google profile, the bit Google business profile, if you’ve got access to this. And you should, I think even if you’ve subcontracted this to someone on your team, but you’ve still contracted this to a third party provider, you should have access to your Google My Business or your Google business profile, and should be able to look at it and see like, are these things done? Have we checked these boxes, or are there more things that can be done that kind of move the needle, make sure you get the login, you want to update the company name to read what your company name is. So I talked about consistency of your name, address and phone number, you want to make sure if you’re, you know, Paul, the plumber, have, it should say the actual name just like it is on your your corporate records, that would be on the on the state site, you want that consistency, obviously, you want to have your website address, you want to use a local number as the main number on your website. Even if you’ve got an 800 number, you can add that as a secondary number, that’s fine. But if we’re talking about Google Map rankings, Google wants to serve the local person in the local city. And so logically, a local area code number is going to be important. So you want to have your local phone number there, not an 800 Number. Use a local address, not a peel box, not a UPS Store. Sometimes if you have a fake location, and you’re using like Regis, you can get away with that, potentially, or some of these other virtual locations. But in the perfect world, you’re using a real company address in a real location where you happen to be based. Now in terms of like secondary things you can do to kind of build even more authority around your listing, you want to upload as many photos as possible. So you can add lots of pictures, just try and make them as authentic as possible. Just like I always say, on your website, people want to do business with people they know like and trust. So on your website, and on your Google My Business, have real pictures of your team, like your big team shot would be the primary thing I would want you to have as the main photo that’s pinned on Google Maps, picture your team, with the trucks, and everybody standing there smiling, that that’s powerful. That’s what we want to see. But you’re gonna have individual pictures of your trucks, you’re gonna have individual pictures of your equipment, you’re gonna have individual pictures of your technicians, you’re gonna have pictures of your technicians at the home, you’re gonna have your pictures of your technicians doing specific things, be creative, and load really lots of good content, you can load pictures of your of your coupons and your special offers. That’s the kind of stuff you want, obviously, update your hours of operations and the services offered. This isn’t another Gotcha. Like, if you’re only available to answer the phone live between 9am and 5pm. And you list your hours as nine to five. Just like with the local service ads. During those hours, you’re gonna fall off the map listings, in a lot of cases, not every case. But I think as long as you can get someone to answer the phone, even if it’s an off on a phone service, mark your hours as probably more extended than your actual office hours if that makes any sense. If you’re 24/7, you can answer the phone 24/7 You might as well show yourself as available on maps at least 24/7 So you know, this is just a screenshot of Google Maps right? So if you were to log in and see over here, like your posts, your info, your insights, your reviews, messages, up here and photos, that’s where you’re going to want to put the photos and be be strategic with us like get a lot of photos in there. You might as well fill the listing as much as possible. Make sure that your listing is verified, again, we want to have double verified that might require us to get on a zoom or video based session with Google and show them. Yeah, look, here’s the office. here’s the here’s the signage. And it’s worth going through that, that hoop. That’s where you upload more and more photos over time. There are some cool insights inside Google profile where you can see on insights, how many people look look like looked on your Google Maps, directions to get to you. One of my favorites is how many calls right. And because most people search on their mobile phones today, they’ll they’ll search a company name they’ll get and they’ll click the click to call button, you can see how many people actually called your office directly from Google business. Some other best practices, update photos on a consistent basis, try to have somebody that’s remembering to go in and add new photos, like I said, back end activity on your Google, my business profile makes a difference. So whether that’s us, if we’re your service provider, or somebody on your team, have somebody logging in and doing things you should be posting, at least once every 90 days, Google posts live for 90 days, I suggest at least once a month, some type of posts like something going on in the organization, some new special that you’re running, doing that on a consistent basis can can be can be very useful, responding to reviews. 100% respond to every single review that you get good, bad or indifferent, respond in a meaningful way, you can add key words to the to the response. So if they if they wrote wrote a review, hey, you guys were fantastic. I highly recommend you, you might want to look up and see what did we do? Well, we did a water heater installation here. Oh, thank you so much for allowing us to install that new water heater in your in your home in I’m sure it’s going to provide great hot water for the next 20 years. And we’re really excited to continue to serve any of your plumbing needs. So you can be creative with the way that you respond. And I’m not saying that having that keyword is going to make you rank, you know, for water heaters. But it couldn’t hurt, right having those keywords on your profile and associated with your profile, and then answer questions to get posted. What I find is in home services there. I mean, in Google Maps, there’s a place where you can ask, ask questions and get answers. What I find in reality here and in plumbing and HVAC. You guys don’t get a lot of questions. People aren’t like logging in and say, hey, you know, when are you available to come out to my house? Or even technical questions like what’s the difference between a tankless and tank water heater? Or, you know, is it wise to use a, you know, a digital thermostat, you know, versus an analog? They don’t ask it, they might be thinking it. And so what I would recommend is think about what those common questions are, you probably have created blog content on your website about it anyways, and see those questions in your own Google Google business profile? Right? There’s no reason you can’t go in and ask a question, and then answer it. And if you have a couple of questions that have been answered, I absolutely believe that’s going to drive more authority for your rankings, more authority for your and more authority for your listing. There’s a great book called they ask you answer, I highly recommend it. Even if you’re not doing this stuff yourself. It will help you think more creatively about, you know, what are people thinking? How can I make sure I’m thinking about the questions my customers asked and answering them on my website, in my blog, on my social profiles. And on my Google listing. Again, this is a powerful play to move up your authority. So that’s the first thing, right, we talked a
lot about, you know, properly claiming and optimizing your Google listing. Number one takeaway ideally for you guys would be get access to it right even if you’re the owner, even if you’re not going to log in, ever get access to the login. So you know what’s what, and you could see it this is one of the most powerful properties that you control. And I think your your location where your offices is powerful property, right? Think your trucks are a powerful property that you own within your business. Your website is a powerful property that you own, that you want to be able to know that you’ve got access to. And I think your Google listing is another extremely powerful property that you need to know how to get into so that you or somebody on your team, even if you subcontract can look at and kind of know what’s going on. So that’s, that’s the first piece. The second piece is we need to build trust, we got to have consistency of your name, address phone number across the web. And so that means on Google, on Yelp on Angie on all of these different sites, if Google’s trying to find a profile for your organization, right, and they want to serve the real companies in the real service area that are legit. We need to have lots of web references. We need to be consistent with the name, address phone number, we’re using the same, the same number of the same information across the lab. And we need to eliminate duplicate listings and inaccurate data and inaccurate information across the web. And so this is just a little visual, right? Like, there’s probably 500 Plus relevant directories that you could be listed in. And you know, being in them is helpful, more challenging is having consistent information in all of them. And so, one thing that we suggest that we do with all of our clients is make sure that you’re in the major data aggregators. And the top four are factual axiom, Infogroup, and Newstar. And ultimately, all of those directories pull from these main sources to say who the company is, what their address is, what their phone number is. And what we find is out of the gates, this can be useful to distribute lots of new information across the web, if you’re starting a new location, right, adding to the Dagara data aggregators. First, it’s a great place to start. But the other place this really helps is, if you’ve got your listing already, and you’ve been doing this for 20 years, and there’s lots of inaccurate information. And let’s say maybe you go into Yelp and you update it, and then you go into Angie, and you update it, but they’re still wrong information that keeps spawning. Usually, you got to go back to the source of these top three aggregators and update it here. And then give it a little time to matriculate, and then go back into those listings and flush them out, right and update the right address, add pictures, add offers and things along those lines. So this is something to pay close attention to. And then there’s great citation tools to help you find relevant citations that you might want to add yourself to. I’m a big fan of bright local, we use this extensively in our agency, white Spark has a citation finder, advice, local, Moz, local, and then the one that we all know is kind of the category killer is Yext. And so Yext basically has a feed to the top, I think it’s like top 75 directories, like Yelp and like Mapquest and four squared and all these different sites. It’s, it’s a little bit expensive. As an agency, we get a very discounted rate in order to handle it. But what it does is you update your listing, and your description, and your photos and your coupons inside of Yext and then it pushes out to those top directories. There’s other tools like it, but in terms of speed, and in terms of like eliminating duplicate listings, in terms of being able to update to multiple profiles simultaneously. Yext is a is a great tool, it’s a great place to start, again, as a service business owner, I would never recommend signing up for extra record, because it’s extremely expensive. But if you’re working with an agency like ours, we get volume discounts, because we’ve got hundreds of clients. And we can just roll it into our service. And it works really, really well in conjunction with the data aggregators. And, you know, by plugging into these tools, you can get very consistent data, you can be in all of the different places, and you can have lots of relevancy as it relates specifically to the citations that you have. I’ve got a great free resource for you guys, if you want to just kind of get a sense like, how does your citation footprint look today? Like if you were to look up? And what does Google see when they look at your organization across all of the major profiles, if you go to plumber, SEO, dotnet slash scan, that’s plumber, SEO dotnet slash scan, it’ll take you to a place that asks you to enter your company name, your address, and your phone number. And it will scan for you and usually only takes a couple of seconds, and it will spit out a report that shows Okay, you’ve got this amount of inaccuracy in terms of your name, address, phone number, you got these listings that you’re not in yet. And sometimes it’s just good to do a quick scan and see do we have this under control is there are lots of inaccuracy because you can have a great relocation but if you don’t have consistency, it’s going to negatively impact your ability to rank. So I’ll give you guys a quick sec to drop yourself into plumber SEO dotnet slash scan. It’s just a free resource to see kind of where you sit with that with that consistency. How are we doing? So we talked about claiming your Google listing and we talked about citations? Give me a two in the comments. If if that was helpful, you kind of have some new insights here on the the importance of citations and the importance of consistency of those citations. Fantastic. And again, if you’re watching this after just take a couple seconds, put yourself into plumber SEO dotnet slash scan and get that listing report to see how Google will see you across the web. Some best practices on this particular point manually claimed Google your Google profile. Don’t use YECs to claim that you want to have an individual login for your Google account. Again I can I can save 100 times I really wanted to hammer home, I know that you don’t do Google listings in your business, you still want access to your Google profile, I would suggest using a tool like Yext that can push you out to the most important directories. But really, there’s somewhere between the top 7050 to 75. It’s somewhere in that range today. That doesn’t give you access to everything. I think there’s 500, relevant citations that you want to be in in your plumbing, HVAC, electrical business. So don’t stop with Yext get yourself added to the data aggregators, most new directories kind of leech from those profiles in order to add you so you can get like secondary listings. And then I would use a tool like bright local or white Spark, or Logan X to find even more citation opportunities. Right. And, you know, I’m not suggesting you as the, as the plumbing HVAC business owner, do this, right, even if you were the director of marketing, but it’s good to know that that’s kind of the level that you want to go through to build your citations and build your authority. And then a company like ours could come in and execute that for you to make sure you get the consistency and you get the type of citations that you need in order to rank really, really well in your in your service area. And I do have a resource in case you’re, you know, you geeking out on this. And you want to kind of know, I want to know what citations, he said there was 500 or so if you got a plumber, SEO dotnet slash citations. There, I’ve got a list of what I find to be the most relevant citations. And there’s something to be said, for going into the most important ones like Angie, like thumbtack, like, you know, Yelp and actually building out your profile manually in those listings and kind of making sure you get all of the boxes checked inside those directory listings and things along those lines. Okay, so moving on, we talked about, we talked about the gleam, claiming the profile and optimizing it, we talked about building citations. The next thing is we’ve got to have lots of reviews, right. And really what we want is lots of reviews from our existing customers in our true service area. Some best practices for this that we found work best, let’s face it reviews, don’t just make your Google rankings better. Right, they’re gonna they’re gonna bolster your conversion your customer, your potential customer wants to see that your legitimate company, and that you’ve got real reviews. And, you know, really what I want to suggest is that you have a tool where after every service call, an email and a text message goes out, hey, thanks so much for your business, we’d love the opportunity, we appreciate the opportunity to review if you could take a minute and write us a review, right, you want to have that review request gone after every single service called good, bad or indifferent, right, because you’re going to get the velocity of reviews in that way. You want to leave a printed review card, we have these little cards, then we train the technician to say, hey, we really appreciate your business. You know, I’d love it. If you’d write us a review here. You know, here’s a card with a QR code that you can scan that will take you right to our Google listing where you can post review. And then you also want to you want to train the technicians to plant that seed. Because if they leave the card, and they plan to see that look, my performance in this organization is judged on the number of reviews that I get actually get spiffed based on reviews. So it would mean a lot to me if you take a minute to write a review, if you train them to set that expectation to leave a card. And then you’ve got the automation running in the background where an email text message goes out saying, hey, thanks so much for your business, you have a higher probability of getting the review.
But I’d say the biggest thing if I look at all of our our clients that have the most reviews and the most consistent new reviews, it’s about having a culture of getting reviews, right? If if you don’t have the culture that your team’s happy to work with your company, they’re excited about serving the customers, they want to create a world class experience. And they know that you as the owner, are going to recognize a little bit, okay, because I know you’re thirsty girl, that you’re going to recognize that that behavior, then you’re not going to get tons of reviews, the companies that are getting like two reviews for every five service calls. They’re providing a great experience. They’re meeting with our team on a weekly basis and training them and they they’ve kind of told the team and the team knows they want reviews and they’re they’re like calling out Hey Billy got this review this week, it was five stars and this is what the customer said. And they’re spiffing either per review or they’re spiffing like on a contest basis, based on those reviews on a consistent basis. If you’re not doing that, it’s going to be hard for you to compete, even if you’ve got great automation tools. So you have to bake it into the culture of the organization. The one thing I found that has accelerated reviews for clients than anything else we’ve done is eliminating any manual interaction. Right. So in the past, if you want to request review, you had to send an email and like somebody in the office would copy and paste that use a template. And then some automation started to exist like we use nearby. Now this is a great tool where the technician checks in in the field. And when they close the job, a review request goes out. But both of those require somebody to manually go to a task. If we can remove that manual part, the number of review requests, and ultimately the number of reviews, skyrockets. And so what I’m gonna suggest is, let’s say you service heightened our house called Pro, make sure that you’ve got automation in place where once the job closes, it triggers whatever review automation platform you use, whether it’s nearby now review baz Paulsen Paulsson conversion app, which was our tool, make sure that you’re eliminating that manual process, we find that when we trigger automatically, once a job is closed, just the review count skyrockets, hopefully, that’s That’s it can be done, regardless of what system you use, you can automate it to request the review after every service call. So be sure that you’ve got the culture of reviews, and that you’re doing it on a consistent basis. five star reviews are important. Occasionally, you’re gonna get bad reviews, right? Let’s just face it, you’re gonna get the three, you’re gonna get the two, you’re gonna get the one. And that’s par for the course, right? You know, and you want to respond to those reviews, you want to address those reviews, that makes it seem real, that makes it seem authentic. But what we found is if you’re not an average of four stars or higher, if your average rating on Google slips to like 3.9, or 3.2, that’s an issue. That’s an issue with your ranking, it’s also an issue with your your thought, like, like, people aren’t gonna want to do business, because it’s like, wow, they get lots of bad reviews as well. So try and do everything you can to make sure you maintain at least a four star or higher review average, we find it really makes a difference in terms of your your conversion rates, and your rankings. And so what I would suggest, if you find yourself lower than four, and it happens from time to time, even if you provide great services, if you slip it below four, I would do some type of review activation campaign, which would be to go back to your past customer list of people that you know, you know, wouldn’t say something good about you, and do a blast. Hey, we really appreciate your business. We’re looking to build up our authority online, would you be willing to post us a review and wait for them to write back? Yes. And we got some cool animations on conversion app, where when they write back, yes, we’re sure or I’d be glad to, it automatically says, awesome, I really appreciate here’s the link to our Google profile, I think you could do that, you know, on a quarterly basis, just look back to the entire database and send that review request manually, again, because if you go through a three and a half average, and you get five or six, five star reviews, now you’re back above four, that’s going to impact a lot of different things in your marketing strategy. So I just wanted to make a point to talk a little bit about that, for minimum average being super important to pay attention to I know you guys all provide great service for most of it’s not an issue, but it’s worth it’s worth paying attention to. I had in my slides here some information about on page optimization, I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this, because we’re already an hour in. And I just did a webinar on SEO. So if you want more ideas on how to optimize your website itself, how to build your content, please let me know we’ll get you the link to that. And you’ll have about as long as we spend here just on how to optimize your website for the search engines. I’m not even I’m not going to talk about it right, go back and watch that training. It gives you all the details. I want to be respectful of you guys his time on here today. Um, you’ve got examples of kind of what we do with our clients and how we get them ranked and kind of what you could do on that particular front. I don’t know if Christian if you can grab the recording of that session, because it’s good stuff. And if you’re really serious about this topic, you’re gonna want to go check it out. The way that you optimize your website, the way that you build your links, the way that you build your authority matters in terms of your Google Maps as well. So what you do on the website is important. The one thing I do want to talk about, though, in terms of link building and citation development, and I talked about some local strategies to get news media pickup, which is super important, is what I call blog and content syndication. A lot of a lot of you guys maybe have bought into this idea. We need to be blogging on a consistent basis, you know, like, Okay, we do a blog every week when we do a blog every month, and we posted on our site that doesn’t have much reach. That’s not building your authority. And so what we suggest and what we do for our clients is syndicated blog content creation. And really that’s a function of we’ll write a blog post answering a question or creating some valuable information in the industry. And then when we when we publish it, it gets picked up by local news sources. And so what we’re able to do is every time we post to the blog. Also build citations because those, those new sites will have an embed of your map and in your name, address, phone number, the way that we need it to be across the web. Those don’t even count towards like a blog towards directory listing, that’s a whole nother level of citation. And then it also builds links back to your homepage back to your service page. So if you’re just doing blogging in a vacuum, that’s not going to carry as much weight as syndicated content, strategies. And so it’s just something I want to talk about and something that we’ve rolled out that has a huge impact on the on the way that we can get you ranked in the most important search search results. This is a checklist, you guys will have access to this checklist. If you go to plumber, SEO dotnet slash SEO dash checklist, the key things you want to think about on your website off your website. What I want to offer you guys today is a free visibility scan I talked about if you go to plumber, SEO dotnet slash scan, we will run a report that shows you where there’s inconsistencies with your name, address and phone number. And if you’re interested in having us sit down with you, you know, this is what we do all day every day with plumbing HVAC, electrical contractors, we will look at your current online visibility, we’ll run a list of the most important keywords you want to pay attention to will show you exactly where you’re ranking today. Here’s where you’re ranking here’s where you’re not ranking, we’ll do an analysis of your directory listings, we’ll do an analysis of your reputation. And we’ll we’ll be able to show you like here’s what’s going on with your website today and your online strategy. Here’s where we think there’s room for improvement. That will be useful insights, I promise you, there’s no hard pitch on this. And then if you’re like No, you’re right, let’s let’s talk about how you can help us implement this, let’s how you can help us generate better results. We’ll talk about our services and how much it costs. So if that sounds interesting, you can call us anytime 866-610-4647. But if you’re on the session right now, you can just go to plumber SEO dotnet slash schedule, you go to that page, it will ask you some questions about your company. So we can actually do some analysis going into the meeting. And then you’ll be able to pick a day at a time that works for you. And then we’ll kind of show you the schedule, you get to pick what works for you. And then we’ll we’ll show up. And we’ll give you some great insights. And if we can help awesome if we can’t, we’ll appreciate the opportunity to kind of show you where we think there’s room for improvement. As a as an additional resource for those of you that really just want to get your hand as many resources as possible. I do have a Google Maps guide that walks you through some of the key things you need to know about Google Maps, you can get that by going to plumber, SEO dotnet slash maps. And that’s specifically for the Google Maps. There’s also the SEO checklist, which was already linked here earlier, plumber SEO dotnet slash SEO dash checklist. Hopefully this has been helpful in I always try to come to these these sessions and give information for those of you that are very technical, I’m really wanting to know the latest and also insights ideally, even if you’re just the owner, and you just want to know what’s going on and what you should be paying attention to. Hopefully you got some ideas and insights and some next actions. If you’d like to talk about how we can implement this for you. We’d love the opportunity to chat again. You could do that by going to plumber SEO dotnet slash schedule. That’s it for today. Give me some feedback on a scale from one to 10.
How do we do is today uh, one not useful. 10 very useful five kind of in between, you know, awesome, I’m seeing some 10 So that makes me that makes me feel good. Thank you guys so much for the feedback. Thanks for being here. If you want to chat, plumber SEO dotnet slash schedule. Thank you so much, everybody. Have an amazing afternoon and we’ll talk to you soon
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
Ready to Level Up Your Marketing?
There’s a lot that you can do to position yourself well in the online world, which has become the very foundation of long-term success.
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