How to leverage your disaster restoration Google My Business to rank #1 in maps
If you want your restoration business to own the map you'll want to check this out
Your disaster restoration company's Google My Business page needs to be absolutely perfect if you expect to rank at the top of the maps.
We're talking about ranking at the top of the maps for searches like "Water Damage Company Near Me" or "Mold Remediation Nearby."
Whenever someone experiences an emergency they'll turn to search engines for help.
Google will show them local results.
A solid Google My Business page is vital. Without it, you don't have a chance.
So if you're interested in getting more calls from folks that need your help, interested in more revenue for you business, and interested in getting your brand out there...
Read this entire page:
What are you going to learn?
We're going to show you EXACTLY how to set your Google My Business page to give you the best chance of showing up at the top.
These are the exact same tactics we use for our clients.
No tricks. We're not leaving anything out.
You can literally take everything we're sharing with you and go do the work people pay us to do.
Ready to dive right in? Let's do it.
Our Disaster Restoration Google My Business Framework:
1) What is Google My Business?
In short, Google My Business is a tool that allows business owners to promote their business on Google Search and Google Maps.
Google provides this tool at absolutely no cost.
Which means there's absolutely no reason to not take advantage of it.
What does Google My Business do?
When people see your Business Profile, they're able to see basic information about your business like location and business hours.
They're able to read reviews and view photos.
They're even able to ask questions.
What's great about Google My Business is that you can see how many people are viewing the page, looking at photos, calling your business, and much much more.
How does it work?
Google My Business relies on a "Business Profile" that we'll set up in just a few minutes.
2) Does My Restoration Company Need Google My Business?
If you want more customers then yes, your restoration company needs a Google My Business profile.
If you want to be found in your area, you need it.
If you want to struggle to get new business, rely entirely on referrals, and hope that your website does all the work go ahead and close out the browser. This isn't for you.
This tool that Google has given business owners is incredibly powerful.
Not only does it allow you to attract new customers but it also allows you to interact with them.
With Google My Business:
- You post the photos you want the public to see.
- You're able to collect reviews.
- You're able to respond to reviews.
- You can update your hours during holidays.
- And there's much much more.
Again, Google is giving you the keys to the local search kingdom at no cost.
They even have a free mobile app for owners who are always on the go.
Even if you already have a website, this is added visibility. And you can link to your website. It's not like Google is stealing business from you.
Every restoration business should have a Google My Business profile.
3) How To Set Up Google My Business for your disaster restoration company
4) Verify Your Google My Business Profile
This next step is a short read but it's so important that we wanted to make sure no one missed it.
For your Google My Business profile to provide any benefit YOU MUST VERIFY YOUR BUSINESS.
Google implemented this step to cut down on spammy profiles.
Google will mail you a postcard that has a code on it. That postcard will arrive in about 5-10 days. So make sure that whoever receives the mail doesn't throw it in the trash. It could easily be mistaken for junk mail if the receiver is unaware.
Once you get the postcard just follow the instructions on the postcard and you're good to go!
5) Optimize Your Disaster Restoration GMB Categories
Earlier we helped you pick the primary category for your business. That is a critical component. Again, it provides Google with the info it needs to understand what your business is about. Again, check out what the competitors are doing.
Now you'll also have the option to add additional categories. You'll do this inside Google My Business in the Info Tab. As of when this page was published it is the third tab on the left hand sidebar, just under "Posts."
Here you can put in the other categories that are relevant to your business. Don't stray too far off. Don't call yourself something your not. Just choose the categories from the dropdown.
Picking too many categories. Or picking irrelevant categories will just confuse Google. Better to be succinct than broad.
6) Optimizing Your Disaster Restoration Company's Photos
Google gives you the amazing opportunity to showcase your business visually. You want these pictures to be representative of your business. Think of it as Google's online brochure of your business. People will flip through it. They'll look at the pictures.
Stock photos are a killer. The photos should be specific to your business and no one else's. Photo's will show up in one of 5 categories.
- Overview - This is a general, catch all category
- Video - Pretty straightforward. If you have videos of your team or of your work, post them!
- At Work - This is a chance for your work to shine. Before and afters work great here!
- Team - Let your team be seen. From the owner to the field specialists. Let everyone be seen. Smiling faces everyone.
- Identity - This will most likely be your logo. Whenever you post a photo or reply to a review this image is used.
People love photos. This study by Search Engine Journal gets into the geeky details of how photos are tied to search performance. In summary, they found that:
- Businesses with more than 100 images get 520% more calls than the average business, while those with just one image get 71% fewer.
- Businesses with more than 100 images get 2,717% more direction requests than the average business, while those with just one get 75% fewer.
- Businesses with more than 100 images get 1,065% more website clicks than the average business, while those with just one get 65% fewer.
The takeaway is to post as many high quality, well representative photos as you possibly can. Remember that Google will show you exactly how big of an impact your photos make.
The first thing you have to do is Sign In to your Google Account. You can either use an existing account or set up a new one entirely for your business.
Once you have an account you'll be able to get started creating your Google My Business profile.
You'll start by seeing a page that allows you to search for your business name. If your business name does not appear click Add your business to Google.
Again you'll be asked to fill in the name of your restoration company.
Next you have to pick a category for your business. This is critical.
These categories will tell Google what kind of business you have.
Remember, Google already has a database of businesses that it shows to searchers.
You want Google to make the connection that your business is like these other businesses so that it will show your restoration company to the same searchers. Don't mess this part up.
Be specific rather than general.
Don't say that you're a general contractor. Don't say that you're a remodeler.
Unless that's truly your main business and restoration services are just a part of that.
If you type in restoration you'll get a dropdown of potential fits. "Water damage restoration service", "Building restoration service", or "Fire damage restoration service" are the most likely option for you. There is not a "Disaster restoration" category.
As we've recommended before, have a look at what the competitors are doing and follow suit.
If you have a physical location for your business, such as your office, click Yes. If you select No, all is not lost.
There's a provision for businesses that don't have a location. This would apply to the smaller mom and pop operations out there. Maybe you only have a couple of trucks and you work out of your home for example.
If you have a location plug in your address. On the next page you'll be able to choose additional service areas that look like what's below.
If you don't have a location, and selected "No", you'll see a page that looks like this. Here you'll put in the neighborhoods that you serve. Choose as many as our relevant.
After that you'll put in your basic information. Phone number and website. There is an option to build a free Google Website if you don't have one. The next page asks if they can give you updates. That's up to you.
That's all you have to do to set it up! You're well on your way to local SEO dominance.
7) Optimizing Your Disaster Restoration Company's Description
Google has gone back and forth on these descriptions. They took it away for a while but as of right now, it's back!
Google now give you 750 characters to describe your business and tell the world what it's about. The key here is not to keyword stuff your description.
So, what's it for?
Honestly, the description has very little to do with the ranking factors.
This is your opportunity to advertise yourself and get people to click on your profile. Get people to interact. Google loves interaction. In Google's FAQ documents they explain exactly what they want you to do. Here's a screenshot.
Notice what Google is telling you they want and what they don't want. It's a great little SEO tip.
Pay attention to what Google is saying.
- What YOU offer - Not what your industry offers, not what your competitors offer. What YOU offer.
- What sets YOU apart - Again, what makes your business unique. They want to know about YOU.
- Your history - You're getting the point.
- Don't focus on promotions or prices - "But wait! You said to use this to advertise." Yes, we did. Advertising does not mean throwing your latest sale out there. People like local connection. They want to become familiar.
- Don't include your website or HTML code - This is thanks to advanced marketers trying to be cute and rig the game. Google already gives you a place to put your website. Best to listen to them.
Check out the example they give and how many things are unique to that business. That short description tells people who the business is, where they are in the town, what customers like about them, when they are open, what they do, and more. All in a nice little brief paragraph.
Model that description and you'll be just fine.
8) Using The Q&A To Your Benefit
Here's a little secret:
So many companies are not taking advantage of this feature right now. To find it, look at any business listing on Google Maps. Y
ou'll see the section just above the photos. It's easy to miss.
Knowing our little secret means if you're able to do the work, you'll have a leg up on the competition.
Who doesn't want that?!
The questions and answers part of Google My Business allows anyone to ask a question about your business.
And what's crazy is that anyone can answer that question. Not just the business.
These questions and answers will show up to the world on your Google My Business profile. It can certainly help your rankings if someone is searching for a company that offers water removal and you happen to have a question about that in your Q&A section.
Instead of waiting for random internet users to start asking questions, you can start asking and answering these questions yourself.
Maybe you want to answer the ten most popular questions that you get from customers. Having these questions preemptively answered will make an awesome impression and drive more engagement.
Remember, Google loves engagement.
It's a best practice to answer any and all questions. You certainly don't want the answer coming from a random source.
Own that section. If you're worried about it, downloading the app and turning on notifications is a great way to stay up to date.
Any time a question is asked, you get a notification.
And by the way:
There is also a provision to report questions to Google for removal if the question is derogatory or inflammatory. Some people may use this section to leave a review rather than ask a question.
If competing businesses are jerks, they could also use this section maliciously.
What Can You Expect From This?
If you're able to implement our disaster restoration Google My Business framework you'll be light years ahead of everyone else.
Most businesses are simply not doing all of these things.
That could be because they don't know they're supposed to do it.
They don't know how to do it.
Or, more likely, they just don't have the time.
By the way, it doesn't matter what your specialty is. Water damage restoration, fire damage restoration, mold remediation, etc. Using this framework works for you. Each and every time.
This framework is exactly what you need to kickstart your local SEO dominance.
If you have any questions or are interested in Restoration Rocket implementing this for your business, please reach out to us. We'd love to help your restoration business own the market!