If you were looking for a local service business like yours, what would you look for?
Lots of home service companies in the Hudson Valley say to trust them.
Do they deserve your trust?
Before you can stand out online, you need a way to grab the attention of local homeowners.
Then, show that you deliver the ultimate customer experience.
Does Your Home Service Business Show Up in the Google 3-Pack?
You’re probably asking, what the heck is the Google 3-Pack?
This one’s simple, and you’re already familiar with it…
What you might not know is how important the Google 3-Pack is to your local marketing.
The Google 3-Pack is the top three business listings that show up in the Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Google makes the search relevant to the location where the user ran it.
What does that mean?
For example, if a user searched “plumbers near me” the Google 3-Pack would display three plumbing companies near the user’s current location.
If you do only one thing as part of Building Your Digital Marketing Foundation, focus on this.
As I’m sure you know from your own search behavior, people typically look to one of these three businesses for what they need.
So, when’s the last time you took a look at how your Hudson Valley home services business is standing out in local search?
Think Like Your Potential Customers
Before you think about listing your local home services business online you have to answer two questions.
Who is Your Target Customer?
When you define your target customer, you know how to speak to them. That’s not to say you can’t sell your product or service to anybody.
However, taking a more targeted approach lets your small business stand out. When you know more about a specific audience, you can deliver a message they can relate to.
Think about some of your favorite customers. What are they like?
Where Would You, Find You?
It’s not a trick question. Pretend you just moved to Westchester County, NY from outside of New York, and needed to find a local business like yours.
What would you do? The Yellowbook?
Yellowbooks make great booster seats, are deadly against spiders, and if you have a really old one, you might even be able to sell it as a collectors item on Ebay.
But, chances are, there’s one thing you definitely are NOT going to do.
You’re never going to use your phone book to find a local business.
That leaves one question. If you’re not showing up in the 3-Pack, and you’re nobody’s looking in the phonebook, what then?
If you were in your customer’s shoes, where would you find you?
If you're like most people, you do 3 things.
So…why not start now…
…but first, choose a service business different than your own. Restaurants, mechanics, and residential contractors for example.
Where would you start?
If you’re like the 97% of people who learn more about local businesses online than anywhere else, chances are you opened up a search engine.Hubspot
Now, Run Your Search. Then, Study the Results.
So, go for it…
Maybe you’re hungry. Let’s pretend your hungry for pizza.
You just moved to town, and don’t know your favorite restaurants yet.
Study the Results
After you run the search, spend some time on the page. What do you see?
Learn from your observations and apply them to your Google My Business (GMB) Listing
Now you have a better understanding of how you think when searching for local businesses.
Next, let’s think like your customer…
By understanding how you think as a consumer, you can think like your customers.
Next, think about how you would search for your home service industry.
Search Your Own Industry
Now it’s time to see how you stand up to the local competition. What do you see now that you’re finally scoping things out.
Do you show up in Google’s top 3 business results (the Google 3-Pack)?
Do you show up in Google search results (Google SERP)?
Choose a Search Phrase
Think about what you would type into Google search if you were looking for a business like your own.
Local search accounts for over 40% of traffic on Google. Searches for local businesses with the phrase “near me” have been surging in recent years.
For example, one of our recent full-service marketing clients is a roofing company. When he did this exercise 3 months ago, he ran the search phrase, “roofer near me” and wasn’t happy.
His business did not show up in the Google 3-Pack results. However, he studied the results and began to see what it takes to show up in these coveted top 3 spots.
Results Before Optimizing on Google My Business
Our now client, MCAS Roofing & Contracting, Inc. ran their own search, and didn’t show up. However, they took it as a learning opportunity and studied what they saw.
They observed a few things.
How Does Your home services Business Measure Up in the Google 3-Pack?
What search did you run for your own industry? Did your business stand out? Take some time to understand the results.
You should also run some different variations of industry related search terms.
Now you see the power of listing your Hudson Valley, NY business on Google. Take some time to think about what you see.
Are you happy with how your business is showing up? The great thing about Google listings is that you always have time to start.
Google 3-Pack Presents a Unique Opportunity
There’s no better place on the internet to list your local business than Google. The best part is it’s free!
Google local listings let you connect with Hudson Valley homeowners by offering up to the minute contact information, offers, news, promotions, photos, videos, messaging and more.
You can manage it yourself, or have a marketing agency do it for you.
Is There a Current Local Leader in Your Industry?
What do the search results look like? Is there any business that stands out? If so, how good of a job are they doing?
If you did not notice an industry leader popping out to you on Google, then you have an once in a lifetime opportunity to increase your revenues now. You can always compete by starting to build a Google listing.
However, whoever starts first has the advantage.
When Can I Expect Results?
There’s no guarantee of exactly how well you will rank on Google My Business, or how long it will take to become the local leader.
It’s about providing consistent, quality information about your business and your industry.
However, if you give it at least 3 months your efforts will pay off.
MCAS Roofing & Contracting, Inc. - 1 Month Later
Every week after MCAS Roofing & Contracting, Inc. hired us for our GMB services, they ran that same search again.
After just five weeks, they started showing up as a top three “roofer near me” in and around their city, Croton-on-Hudson, NY. However, several factors play into the results you see and how quickly.
Finding Ways to Stand Out
What sets your home business apart from others in Westchester? For MCAS Roofing & Contracting, Inc., it’s the quality of the work they do. During our free inspection, we helped them to find a way to showcase their skills.
Photos and videos are recommended for local contractors to show your potential customers that you have done jobs like theirs before.
Proven Results that Jumpstart Sales
After optimizing your Google My Business profile, you immediately begin to set yourself apart from the competition.
One great way to showcase the skills of your business and what makes you special is by posting photos to Google My Business. MCAS Roofing & Contracting, Inc. immediately began taking advantage of photos.
Before optimizing their GMB profile, MCAS Roofing & Contracting, Inc. had very few website visitors. As you can see from the chart above, from the time they optimized their GMB profile in late February that all changed.
Now, their web traffic is surging and their getting new leads.
What Factors Impact My GMB Results?
The ways Google decides to prioritize businesses is kept internal to Google. They don’t tell us exactly how, but they do give best practices. By utilizing all of the features of GMB, and ensuring accurate, relevant information for the local community, you will see positive results.
There are a variety of factors that impact those results.
The best advice is to follow best practices, and build your profile over time. First, claim and completely fill in your profile.
Take advantage of all the features Google has to offer.
Then, steadily get new reviews, post new photos, and use the posting feature to keep your community up to date on the latest news, events, promotions and offers from your business.
Most of all, communicate your story, and what makes your small business special.
Don't Be Scared, Get Motivated
This exercise wasn’t meant to scare you.
The point is to get you thinking like your audience. Running a small business is hard.
It takes long hours, dedication and a lot of risk.
A digital marketing plan should evolve over time, as your business grows, but the first few steps are often the easiest and will deliver amazing results.
Best of all, listing on Google and Facebook is free, and that’s where most small businesses should start.
It’s a huge opportunity in any case. But if you didn’t notice one of your competitors crushing digital marketing when you ran your search, then you have the opportunity of a lifetime to make your business the leader in your local community.
Are you ready to get started?