It was 12 AM when I woke up hearing a noise. It was my AC. The AC had stopped working and there was smoke coming from it. Going with my reflex, I immediately disconnected it from power. The next thing I did was take my phone and Google “AC services open now near me”.
This is a common situation in almost every household. Maybe not the AC malfunctioning but Googling ad hoc about a service request certainly is. It has become a standard practice for most of us and by most of us, I mean a significant percentage. In fact, the ‘near me tonight/today’ searches have grown by 900% in two years.
Setting aside the advancements of this Googling-Era, this platform also gives way to many great marketing opportunities. One such opportunity that is highly effective for the field service industry is the “Google My Business” profile listing.
What is Google Business Profile?
Google Business Profile is a free business listing forum which allows you to list your business details such as location, photos, services, products, business hours and more. This is made visible to the users across different Google services.
Formerly known as Google My Business (GMB), it is one of the most efficient channels that almost every business can use to increase their search engine page ranking (SERP) which results in or helps in adding new local customers. Google holds about 92% of the total search engine market share and therefore it is critical for businesses to have a visible presence with this search engine giant.
Google Business Profile enables businesses to attract more customers through Google searches and Google Maps. The latest Statista report states that about 21% of users turn to the internet to find a local business on a daily basis. GMB also helps your business gather reviews from your customers which can help increase your credibility and name recognition.
Most things come at a cost, but not in this case. You can get your business listed on Google for free; making it almost irresistible for any business wanting to maximize its exposure.
Why should field service businesses care about Google My Business?
Online presence is vital for any form of field service business. Out of the total searches for services online, about 46% of them look for services specific to a particular region and about 85% of the customers use Google Maps to find services near their desired location.
Google Business Profile is vital for businesses that visit or deliver services directly at the customers’ location such as HVAC services and repairs, plumbing, landscaping, roofing, solar installation etc. GMB helps these service-based businesses, optimize their service location by enabling them to set up ‘Service Areas’.
GMB allows businesses to list up to 20 service areas which can span up to a travel distance of 2 hours from the location where the business is based. Adding business hours and other key information helps streamline the response funnel. It narrows down potential customers from the total number of users searching online for a particular service.
Is listing a field service business in Google enough?
Having a business account on Google is just the beginning. This is a highly competitive medium and optimizing the account is key to attaining the higher visibility that you want. Higher visibility ratings translate to increased traffic, which leads to a more relevant audience contacting you.
How to optimize your Google Business Profile?
When you are listing yourself on Google My Business there are a couple of things to keep in mind. Google algorithms for the local search ranking take mainly into consideration – the relevance, the distance, and the prominence of the listing.
Here are some pointers that help deploy these criteria in your listing:
- Make sure your profile is professional and meaningful. Make sure all the necessary information about your business is mentioned and accurate.
- Adding the correct set of keywords can help significantly in getting a high search ranking. But make sure they are relevant; do not simply “stuff” keywords—Google is very good at sniffing this out, and will penalize you for it by not ranking you as highly. Working your target keywords organically works best; speak conversationally and try not to use keywords in contrived or unnaturally ways.
- Add high-definition photos and videos illustrating your services to your promotional content; showing how your company meets the audience’s immediate need is a great way to not only get their attention but to earn their business.
- Make sure the location details are accurate and mapped correctly.
- Make sure to keep the business information updated in real-time.
- Engage with customers by responding to reviews and encouraging them to review the service on Google. Make sure to take proactive steps in handling negative reviews.
Business profile listing in Google is a key requirement when planning a great growth strategy for field service businesses. You want to make sure you get a good SERP (Search Engine Results Page) for your listing to maximise your reach and staying power compared to your competitors.
The field service industry has benefited from many advancements to automation in all areas of its operations, not just marketing and sales. Smart work order management, field service management solutions, and enhancements to customer experience have all improved in recent years. It is essential for any business in this industry to keep pace with such advancements if they are to sustain themselves in the long run.