Author Archives: JD Parkman

Contractor leads
Contractor Leads | DIY Contractor Leads Generation Machine Part 1

Tired of dealing with internet marketers like me and want DIY your own contractor leads generation machine? In this article and subsequent series, I’m going to teach you exactly how I’ve built hundreds, if not thousands, of ass kicking lead generation funnels so that you can too and never have to rely on someone like me again.

Google Adwords for contractor leads

When building your own contractor leads generation machine, it’s generally viewed that Google Adwords Pay-Per-Click(PPC) advertising model converts better than any other search networks such as Bing or Yahoo.

I’ve ran over 200 ad networks in my career and have used every single type of traffic sources and ad types and can tell you now that Bing should be included, though it’ll be at a much lower rate than AdWords. I’d say that Bing Ads will have a budget 1/4th to 1/5th of what you’re spending on AdWords. So if you’re spending $100/days on Adwords, you’ll allocate $20-25/day for Bing paid ads.

Best damn part about running Bing is that we will only do so after dialing in our Adwords campaigns, and then simply import it to Bing and 5 minutes later, with no work or knowledge on how to use Bing required! Just make sure you dial your Adwords in first (keyword groupings, winning ad copy, and damn sure better have negative keywords in otherwise that’s how people get taken to the cleaners with no results).

Bing Ads for contractor leads

So what about the social channels, because using just Google Adwords and Bing does not translate it into being the only option you should only use when developing your own contractor leads generation sales funnel.

Three reasons why Google Adwords shouldn’t be the sole focus in our contractor leads generation campaigns are:

  • Cost-Per-Lead (CPL) are typically more costly than other inbound marketing methods, especially compared to SEO.
  • You’re missing out on social channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn which provides a different method of targeting fresh contractor leads sources for your sales pipeline.
  • Google Adwords PPC advertising isn’t the easiest to scale as other contractor leads marketing campaigns, which leads you to hitting the point of diminishing returns rather quickly during the scaling process because only around 3-4% of a users search results in an Adwords paid click, rest going to the top 3 organic results, as well as local 3 pack.

So as you can see with paid Google ads it does not generate a whole lot of contractor leads as compared to other methods such as SEO for contractors, given there’s generally 5-to-10 profitable contractor  niche-specific keywords that actually convert contractor leads to a sale.

Contractor leads sales funnel

The trick here is to refocus your attention from the bottom of the sales funnel back to the top of funnel, where we first discover who our ideal prospects are in the awareness stage.

Additionally, contractor leads at the awareness stage are going to cost a lot less and is another reason why your top of the funnel focus with generating leads is almost always more profitable than the bottom.

Or, think of it like this, garbage in equals garbage out.

If you’ve tried building your own lead generator before, I’m wiling to bet this is where you failed.

Contractor leads sales funnel

Scaling at the Bottom of the Funnel isn’t Long Term Viable

Adwords works well because it has user intent and it’s quick to produce leads, compared to SEO that easily takes 2-3 months before you see anything. What do I mean when I say AdWords has user intent is that people actively search for a specific need, click on the search engine results page (SERPs) that returns a the best answer to their search query, and finally they’ll possibly opt-in or buy a product of service.

When generating contractor leads, what matters most is the last touch point simply because it’s an easy way to track the lead generation campaigns return on investment (ROI).

Just like any self-fulfilling prophecy, the more attention placed on it, the more it just works! It’s a miracle! Which more than likely translates into a budget increase in generating contractor leads, because it simply works as planned.

But, as you’ve guessed correctly, there’s always a downside with such simplicity. The major issue here is in the longterm Scalability of this strategy.

Contractor Leads Generation: The Top of the Funnel is Where You Make Profits

Lead Generation Scalability

Scaling your contractor business is the critical issue especially when you are paying $30-to-$80+ per click on Google Adwords. Conversions might appear to be good, but there’s always a point of diminishing return that every Adwords campaign faces. In a lot of cases there’s simply not enough availability of buyers in your local area which will allow your business to grow beyond six figure revenues. In other cases, there’s not a large enough margin to be able to take those funds and repurpose (reinvest) in other areas of your business. Other times you could be up against the big boys that’ll just outspend you and force you out.

Trust me I’ve seen and done it all, so maybe I’ll write an article on how you can use some of my tactics to crowd out your competition and dominate the internet, even if they’re bigger and have more money than you.

Generating Bottom-of-the-funnel leads for contractors using Adwords works well because you can put down a few hundred dollars and see a couple come in not long afterward (given your Adwords account is setup and dialed in. If it’s a new account or one you’ve paused, it’ll take 30 days or so before Google lets you bid on the money keywords. Welcome to the sandbox).

It’s that important for every single dollar you put in you’re going to get two back. Have you ever heard what Vegas was built on? Haha, right, don’t we all wish, and as you guessed it, here’s where more problems enter the picture.

Contractor leads Generation: The Top of the Funnel is Where You Make Profits

High priced cost-per-click (CPC) search keyword terms will easily inflate your Cost Per Leads (CPL). A high CPC alone will exponentially increase your monthly leads generation advertising budget. It’s not uncommon to see a $20,000/monthly Google Adwords budgets in super competitive leads generation niches and that’s just at the low end of the ad budget range, not the high end!

The average person, startup, or small business simply doesn’t have this type of ad budget to even begin playing in these spaces.

That said, your business must have a cost effective leads generation strategy in place in order to turn those precious leads into paying customers, and profits for your company. Therefore, you will need to cast the net wide enough to convert the small percentage points and even then just hope and pray for profitability, one day..

Contractor Leads Generation: The Top of the Funnel is Where You Profit

As you guessed, there’s yet another additional pitfall in this lead generation strategy.

According to a Salesforce B2B leads generation benchmark report, it takes around 80 days for a lead to mature into an opportunity which only then leads to a potential sale.  You will need to be able to survive 80 incredibly long, hard days to transition a person from a cold contractor lead to an opportunity, and around 20 additional days in order to close it.

Throw in other factors like your payment terms which can easily be on net 15 or net 30, and you’re now having to wait around 4 months to generate revenue from this activity. And for those of us that have been in this line of work for any period of time knows that not all clients are going to pay you on time, or even ever.

Can your contracting business survive 4-5 months without any new revenue from this activity?

Doubtful.

You are now looking at not being able to recoup a single dollar from that $10k/month Google ad budget for the next 4-5 months,  and that’s if you’re lucky to even get it back at all!

Here’s the reality, you need four to five times the original starting budget for generating contractor leads than you think you do in order to simply sustain your business. It’s like working capital in finance. You need enough to keep the lights open until the cash eventually trickles back into your bottom line. As you can see, generating your own contractor leads is not an overnight cure to your cash flow woes.. Jim Beam, however, is.

Now that I’ve hurt your sensibilities are you ready for the good news? All hope isn’t lost in obtaining your dream. Not yet, at least until your ex wife’s lawyer comes for it.

Till then, there’s a remedy to a slow payoff, budget-hungry contractor leads generation sales funnel. This powerful remedy is affectionately called Brand Awareness.

I know, you’re thinking that Brand Awareness campaigns are reserved for Fortune 500 companies that have invested in it for years. One of the reasons most digital marketers might disagree with this strategy is because it’s not easy to quantify by just reading the conversion data.

Contractor leads brand awareness

Reduce upfront costs by using Brand Awareness as a Lead Generation Strategy

Brand awareness is typically the goal of any contractor leads campaign while engaged at the top-of-the-funnel in the awareness stage.

You want to start positioning your brand favorably within the minds and hearts of local consumers. Brand awareness as a contractor leads generation strategy is often overlooked which leads to the Great Brand vs. Performance Marketing debate amongst industry experts.

On one side of the coin, ‘branding’ is like an industry buzzword that’s basically lost all meaning. And on the side, it’s only viewed as being necessary for large name brand Fortune 500’s with the budget to execute. It’s considered a luxury rather than a necessity to growth and survival.

To make it worse, it’s just about impossible to directly correlate brand building campaigns to sales. Therefore, branding campaigns easily gets overlooked by a majority of digital marketers that are data driven focused.

Contractor leads sales funnel strategies

However, when done correctly, establishing brand awareness is an investment in your future sales. Brand awareness campaigns are still divided by a typical contractor leads sales funnel:

  • Traffic & Audience Reach = TOFU
  • Leads Generation = MOFU
  • Sales Conversions = BOFU

A study conducted by Nielsen on under what drives sales found that 60% of consumers purchase products and services from recognizable brands. Familiar faces are two-thirds more likely to get a purchase decision from an end user over a non-name brand company. But, as you might have guessed, that’s not all there is to it.

Studies from Search Engine Land found that around 70% of customers actively search for a brand name retailer when choosing which search result to click on. When you’re searching for “inbound marketing”, did you click on HubSpot or some random noname.io site? Exactly!

We’ve been well conditioned by Corporate America.

Even if noname.io were ranked in first place on SERPs, you’d probably still click HubSpot at #3.

This is easy to associate Brand awareness  with equaling trust. Brand recognition is powerful in the way it drives sales psychologically.

And once you build brand recognition within your local market, you end up being able to drive traffic without having to take the normal top funnel stage method, which mean you don’t have to pay to drive traffic anymore.

You don’t have to pay to generate contractor leads and lead magnets and all that fluffy stuff that burns money with almost seemingly little upfront results, kinda like your sugarbaby does.

When you’ve reached this point you just have to focus on closing the deals as they come along. This allows you to reduce your operating costs dramatically.

Now it’s time for some good news:

Building brand awareness contractor leads campaigns can be cheap if you take the right approach, aka my approach.

Now, I know what the data says here and I’m going to roll with teaching you Facebook ads, but in my opinion, YouTube Ads deserves mention for building brand awareness campaigns due to the CPV (cost per view) being ridiculously low with the audience reach being comparable to Facebook. The other argument why YouTube deserves to be acknowledged is that on Facebook people are basically wasting time doing things like snooping on other people and clowning around with no direction or purpose. In other words, Facebook users have little to no expressed commerical intent value, whereas on YouTube they are actively searching for answers to their problems, which means that they have expressed commercial intent.

Food for thought.

So let’s roll with learning Facebook ads. Except they “just don’t work,” right?

Maybe, maybe not.

And honestly, on Facebook, it comes down to your advertising approach.

Lots of finesse.

According to Moz, Facebook Ads have the cheapest CPM (cost per 1,000 impressions) of any online advertising platform, ever.

But try comparing that cost to channels like the newspaper, magazine, and radio CPMs then:

In contractor leads generation, it's generally viewed that AdWords converts better than most other ad channels. But. That doesn’t mean it’s the only option you can use when engaging in your lead generation activities.

Using this method, you’re only spending around $1 per day on Facebook advertisements. That translates into being able to reach and additional 4,000 new souls each day with Facebook ads using brand awareness campaign settings for $1! As a contractor leads generation tactic, it doesn’t get more cost-effective than this.

Given 4,000 targeted views per day, that gives us 120,000 brand impressions each and every month for around $30/month.That’s 120,000 new eyeballs seeing your brand than you had last month. For our contractor lead generation efforts, it’s about the most cost effective brand exposure you’re ever going to get.

Here’s how you will generate contractor leads with cheap branding on Facebook in order to keep your top of the funnel profitable and generating new qualified and exclusive leads each and every month!

Sales funnel for contractor leads

Develop a Top of the Funnel Campaign with Facebook Ads

Self-sustaining lead gen campaigns run continuously and without any additional effort. It’s a continuos looping cycle that keeps performing no matter what.

It can be completed in three steps which you can easily complete right now with me.

  • Develop a new, small/medium-sized target audience based on your ideal user (lawyers, doctors, etc).
  • Develop a remarketing audience focused on your engaged users.
  • Develop a new lookalike audience with these contractor leads.

This lead generation strategy will only cost you a few bucks per day while at the same time create a self-maintaing campaign in perpetual motion.

You just recycle each time the loop completes in order to replenish your target audience. Doing it this way, you will be generating thousands of new visits and impressions to build brand awareness each and every single month from now on.

This is easy to see that new brand awareness equals more recognition & trust which equals more sales, finally ending in less money coming out of your pocket.

Side note: if you want more in depth training of Facebook Ads you can check out my YouTube Channel where I’ve loaded 14 hours of content showing you every angle you could possibly want to take.

To set this up, open up the Facebook Business Manager and navigate to the audiences section:

Contractor Leads generation Why the Top of Your Funnel is Almost Always More Profitable than the Bottom

At this point, simply select the create option and new saved audience as seen below (note that I’m building my audience to target for my SEO services so just swap out seo with your business model):

Contractor Leads generation: Why the Top of Your Funnel is Almost Always More Profitable than the Bottom

Your new saved audience can be a great initial starting point for you to generate a large enough target audience list for our brand awareness campaign.

Start this process by entering some basic demographic data that you associate with your target audience or ideal customers. Here I would suggest your local neighborhoods you service, an age range of 35-55, and for now target both genders:

Contractor Leads generation Why the Top of Your Funnel is Almost Always More Profitable than the Bottom

Next, you need to narrow this list down some because you shouldn’t, nor can you target 134,312,399 people with brand awareness ads. Bluntly stated, there’s just not many folks who give a damn about your business, plus you couldn’t service them so please dial this part in.

Let’s start this by adding a couple interests that’s related to your company. Since I’m building out a campaign for myself while writing this post, I’ll use my audience as an example for SEO services. We would type this in the search box and then add it as an interest to target (now, for you it could be homeowner, parent, etc. I’m not going to give you specifics here so you can’t blame me for results I have no control managing, so this part is on you):

Contractor leads generation Why the Top of Your Funnel is Almost Always More Profitable than the Bottom

If your brands services are B2B, as in you service commercial accounts, you would narrow your target list down further:

Contractor leads generation Why the Top of Your Funnel is Almost Always More Profitable than the Bottom

Finally, put the finishing touches on your audience list off with a few exclusions so that you don’t end up targeting non-buyers who might not engage well to your brand (the tire kicking type that just waste your money with no intention to make a purchasing decision. Please do not use my example below as yours as it’s not applicable in all situations):

In contractor leads generation, it's generally viewed that AdWords converts better than most other ad channels. But. That doesn’t mean it’s the only option you can use when engaging in your lead generation activities.

Next, save the list by naming your audience something relative to this activity so that you can more easily recognize it later. Now, head over to the Facebook Ads Manager where you’re going to create a new campaign based on the brand awareness objective we just created:

In contractor leads generation, it's generally viewed that AdWords converts better than most other ad channels. But. That doesn’t mean it’s the only option you can use when engaging in your lead generation activities.

Scroll down to where you see the audience section and you will then select your saved audience that was just created:

Contractor leads generation Why the Top of Your Funnel is Almost Always More Profitable than the Bottom

Next, define your brand awareness ad budget to $1/day (you can always set it to a bigger budget if you have it and certainly do if you’re in a big market):

Contractor leads geneation Why the Top of Your Funnel is Almost Always More Profitable than the Bottom

Now we have to build the ad creative. When building creatives for our brand awareness advertisements, we aren’t focusing on converting someone into sales. Try and gun for that like an impatient little child and you’re gonna get your ass handed to you.

That’s not the point here, yet. Offers like that just won’t resonate particularly well with any target audience whom never heard of your brand.

At this stage we have to provide value which is associated with your brand without asking for any favors. Always give first before asking to receive.

Hard sales tactics and approach just doesn’t work anymore.

An example of generating contractor leads with this strategy would be taking your best blog post interest piece and using it as your ad creative.

Make sure it has some helpful and actionable information that say a homeowner can take to save some money and solve a common problem at home. That would build a lot of credibility.

In contractor leads generation, it's generally viewed that AdWords converts better than most other ad channels. But. That doesn’t mean it’s the only option you can use when engaging in your lead generation activities.

 

Now, you are finished with the first step of this process.

Next up for constructing an effective contracor leads generation machine is building our sales funnel by setting up a remarketing audience from the website visits stemming from your brand awareness blog post campaign.

Before you do all this, you absolutely must setup your Facebook Pixel. You can do this by navigating in your Facebook Business Manager to the Events Manager section and select the option with “Pixels”.

 

Now click on this to create the Facebook Pixel and make it easily recognizable with the name of your website:

Contractor leads generation Why the Top of Your Funnel is Almost Always More Profitable than the Bottom

To install the Pixel code, copy it and now go to your website to add it to the header file:

Contractor leads generation Why the Top of Your Funnel is Almost Always More Profitable than the Bottom

Once installed and verified on your site, head over to the audience section and develop another new custom audience based on website traffic:

Contractor leads generation Why the Top of Your Funnel is Almost Always More Profitable than the Bottom

Don’t just select “People who visited specific web pages” as your main criteria, then add your web post to drive traffic for your contractor leads brand awareness ads:

Contractor leads generation Why the Top of Your Funnel is Almost Always More Profitable than the Bottom

Getting more granular, we can perry down the traffic by defining the frequency to 2 or more visits:

In contractor leads generation, it's generally viewed that AdWords converts better than most other ad channels. But. That doesn’t mean it’s the only option you can use when engaging in your lead generation activities.

Tracking? Good, now hit save, and you have generated your second audience!

With your second audience, we can bring back our website visitors and narrow our list down even more to our brand-aware website visitors.

Last and most importantly, you should take your newly created custom audience and flip it into a lookalike audience.

That will signal to Facebook to wrangle up more users for you to target who have similar interests and tendencies as your best performers in these campaigns.

This is where the power of Facebook plays a roll in leads generation: Lookalike Audience Targeting

Now, make your way to the audiences section and develop another new lookalike audience. Select the 2nd remarketing audience you previously saved as the “Source:”

Contractor leads generation Why the Top of Your Funnel is Almost Always More Profitable than the Bottom

Next up, choose the 1% audience size to keep it narrowly targeted and costs down. Later on, you should test the 1% audience against 3%, 5%, 8% in order to find where you get the most value for your money.

Now save this, and you have created your first self-sustaining top-of-the-funnel contractor leads generation campaign in order to generate lots of brand awareness for your business.

Conclusion: Brand Awareness Campaigns Can Lead to Successful Contractor Leads for your Business

Though Google Adwords is still a solid advertising channel that you should use to generate contractor leads funnels, however, you should never dump all your eggs in 1 basket.

Instead of following the same cookie cutter typical contractor leads systems and guru’s mold, step out of your comfort zone and change it up. Like my former boss used to say: “get creative!”

Invest your time and resources in different, off-the-wall contractor leads generation techniques that’s going to make all of your future sales a lot easier and less expensive by qualifying contractor leads upfront at a less of a cost.

You must invest in branding activities, one’s that you have no way of tracking today, in pursuit of an easier tomorrow. This is super difficult for most people and where I see clients stray from the path all the time. Everyone wants the quick and easy buck. Resist that urge!

Brand awareness has the power to drive quicker sales, at a reduced upfront cost, at scale. And when you do this correctly, it can even be a cheaper investment that will pay off dividends for many, many years to come.

Contractor ppc Agency
Contractor PPC Agency Advice: 8 Costly Mistakes to Avoid

The right contractor PPC agency can help you grow your business exponentially. If you happen to be a business owner who is in need of a contractor PPC Agency, then make sure you check out some of these recommendations before making a final decision.

As you may know, managing PPC (pay per click) Advertisements on platforms like Google Adwords, Bing Ads, or Facebook Ads isn’t as easy as you may have thought at first. You may have tried doing it yourself and put in weeks of study and hard work learning everything you could from blogs and YouTube tutorials. You might have even bought a course on Udemy that guaranteed your success in as little as 7 minutes, only come to find out that the 7 minute success was on their end with the time it would take you to get your credit card and purchase their winning system that made no sense to you.

Don’t beat yourself up. We’ve all been there and honestly it took me years to really master and hone my skills on Adwords before I ever saw consistency out of it. That is one reason why I started this contractor PPC agency and continue to use what I’ve learned to help business owners like you get the leads and business you need to grow your home Improvement contracting business.

So let’s jumo into the top 12 costly mistakes that you must avoid when choosing a contractor PPC agency:

Google AdWords certified contractor ppc Agency

Is The Contractor PPC Agency Certified?

You should make sure that the contractor PPC agency you are considering for is certified with Bing Ads and Google AdWords. This is important to see if they’ve passed the badics that Google and Bing have for them to become a certified partner. This means that the contractor PPC agency has taken written tests and passed them with scores that are sufficient for demonstrating knowledge of their various products like search ads, display ads, Google Analytics, etc.

If a contractor PPC Agency doesn’t have their Google AdWords certification for you to easily see on their website then perhaps you should be wary of working with them because to get one requires more than demonstrated knowledge with tests, it also requires that the contractor PPC agency to meet certain qualifications such as amount of ad spend managed, improving client success rates, length of time, and so on. It’s not as easy to get as you might think and it takes probably 6 months or so of managing over $5,000 a month in ad spend to be considered.

Now, by no means am I saying that being certified means that the contractor PPC agency is going to be the best fit and that alone qualifies them, it’s simply one of many things to consider in order to avoid costly mistakes.

Contractor ppc Agency Avoid long term contracts

Does The Agency Only Offer Long Term Contracts?

The customer should be free to discontinue the services provided by the contractor PPC Agency at any stage and time. PPC agencies that force you into long term contracts before providing you with value isn’t the best idea. A reason for this could be that they lack long-term customer satisfaction or may even doubt their ability to show positive results.

Such a contractor PPC Agency could be highly unreliable and engaging in a long term contract with them before you know how the relationship will go isn’t the best of ideas. But, let’s say you’ve worked with them for a few months and you like their communication and results, and if they have a contract that allows you to save money then at that point I’d say it’s fine to have a long term contract put in place with a contractor PPC agency.

Contractor ppc Agency Tips

Do They Have Multiple Certified Account Representatives

You should ensure that the contractor PPC agency which is going to provide you its services has multiple people within the agency certified on the platforms that they’re going to do work on for you.

Think of this as just a formality and another professional approach measure that can be indicative of good contractor PPC Agency.

Nonetheless, it’s a good idea to ask who will be working on your account and for you to also develop a relationship with them so that you’re able to contact them directly and get answers from the source that’s handling your account in order to avoid going through an account manager and others that don’t have real time access which would delay your ability in getting fast and actionable information.

Contractor ppc Agency Transparency

Is The Contractor PPC Agency Transparent?

When choosing a PPC agency for contractors you need to be aware of their level of transparency they offer on their methods of growing and managing your AdWords or Facebook paid advertising accounts.

A contractor PPC agency should have a way for you to get results and information on your account in real-time. Some have client portals that you can login and view on a daily basis, while others will have set weekly or monthly meetings with you to go over the progress of your account and answer any questions you have on it.

One thing you should pay attention to is if a contractor PPC agency provides transparent pricing. Offering pricing tables to potential contractors is important, because it allows you to determine if a PPC agency for contractors is within your budget to begin with.

Getting pricing in the beginning takes out the guess work of deciding if you can afford their services, and you will know if they are overpriced for your needs.

When a contractor marketing agency does not provide transparent pricing, it could be because there are hidden fees they hope you don’t notice until after you’re under contract.

Like anything, it’s just best to be cautious and get all the information you can before signing on the line.

But most importantly, the contractor pay per click agency should be able to provide you with transparency on any mistakes they’ve made and what they’re doing to fix it. Mistakes happen, and that’s to be expected. What’s important is how they handle them. Does the contractor PPC Agency try and cover them up by hiding them or do they play the blame game?

Neither are acceptable in my opinion. Reason being is that we all make mistakes. We’re human after all, not robots. What’s important is the integrity they either demonstrate or lack thereof. I dont know about you, but I don’t want to work with someone who’s unable to take responsibility and lies.  That simply spells disaster, sooner or later.

Results driven contractor ppc Agency

Are They Results Or Money Driven?

Your concerned PPC agency should be conscious about your success rate. It should feel “responsible” in bringing about some positive changes in your business. Moreover, the Agency should not only be “metrics-oriented” and must be capable of delivering real results in terms of financial gains for your business.   

A results-driven contractor PPC agency will want to see your success grow along with their success and view your success as one of their benchmarks for their own success. Of course not every company is going to be successful and that’s unfortunate, but I know that it’s always best for us when our clients succeed along with us. Makes it worth doing what we do every day.

A results driven contractor marketing agency will track the metrics that actually drive your business such as:

  • Revenue
  • Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)
  • Cost Per Lead (CPL)
  • Return On Advertising Spend (ROAS)
  • Conversion Rate
  • Average Order Value (AOV)
  • and more

These are the important metrics that translates to more business and revenue for you. Above all else, don’t be fooled by vanity KPIs, that have no bearing on your success.

Contractor ppc Agency market trends

How Well Do They Know The Current Market Trends 

Staying up to date about the latest market trends is not only important but really required for not just a home services marketing agency but any professional in any industry. If a contractor PPC agency is knowledgeable as well as skillful enough to understand and capitalize on newer methods and tricks that will greatly benefit your contracting business and help you stay ahead of your competition.

Having an edge is everything in life, and it’s no different here. There’s always little tricks that can be applied, even if they only give you a 1% advantage that’s actually huge in the long run.

After you speak with them and find yourself questioning yourself on whether or not they’re in line with the latest market trends it’s probably best then to move on to another contractor PPC agency.

Contractor ppc agency pricing

What Is The Contractor PPC Agency Pricing Model

A contractor PPC agency  with straight forward and fair pricing policies should  be your first consideration while shopping around. Some PPC agencies for contractors  have “hidden charges” that would create problems for you later down the road (when you are already too deeply involved and not in a position to leave).

Its probably this way with any business out there. If there’s hidden costs and penalties associated with it, then that should scream scam or Something being off and avoiding it.

Most solid and dependable contractor PPc agencies want to produce the best results for their clients. It’s how we grow and stay in business over the long term.

Simply put, churn and burn style of agency growth is not profitable long term because a current client is more valuable and less costly than acquiring the next one. In fact, the acquisition costs for some clients in this industry can reach thousands of dollars and can take many months if not years to recoup that investment and generate a profit.

Contractor ppc Agency other services

Does The Contractor PPC Agency Offer Additional Services 

You must fully understand the charging policies of a PPC company for additional contractor internet marketing services. How will they charge you for the services? Choosing a contractor PPC agency that can provide you with additional services like home services SEO, email marketing for better lead nurturing, and contractor leads and being able to tie all  these activities together is important for a robust marketing strategy online.

Your pay per click agency for contractors will let you know if they offer these and if any of them are recommended to enhance your current digital marketing initiatives.

Its definately a good idea to have other traffic sources other than just PPC advertising going in order to reduce the costs of getting new customers and sales for your business.

Results driven contractor ppc Agency

Conclusion

Before hiring a contractor digital marketing agency, it would be best to talk with them on the phone or over Skype first. This allows you to ask questions and get an immediate response to them.

You should also pay attention to the questions that they ask you as well.

What you’re looking for here is if they’re interested in your business goals. If they don’t show any interest in your business or care about what you’re looking to achieve with them, this is a pretty big red flag that they’re not interested at all about the results they provide you.

Interest is a two way street. If all I cared about was myself, then my actions will show it, and you will suffer sooner or later from it. However, if I’m just as interested in your business as I am mine then that means I’m vested in your success and see your success as being mine.

The two aren’t mutual exclusive.

Also, see if they ask about your current marketing campaigns and even if they ask about your current marketig ad budget.

Local seo for contractors
Local SEO For Contractors: How To Get Listed In Google 3 Pack

There’s a whole lot of confusion about what local SEO for contractors is and why local SEO is critical to your contracting business rankings. I frequently see people freeze like a deer in the headlights when I say “local citation”.

So let’s clear up any confusion upfront so we can get to the juicy stuff.

There are lots of directory websites that let you submit a free business listing to be displayed on their site. This business listing within the directory website is referred to as a citation.

If you’re not searching for citation building opportunities in directory websites, then you are probably not doing local SEO for contractors properly.

Local seo for contractors online

Normally, these business directories will link back to your website and we recommend that you submit your website url of a particular location page, if you have multiple locations, and have location specific pages already created. If you don’t have individual landing pages for multiple locations, I’d suggest having those made prior to building citations, otherwise linking multiple locations to your home page is going to cause issues down the road that’s going to cost you a whole lot more to fix.

Some directory websites do not link back to your site. And that is ok. They may or may not have additional info, also, like geo-coordinates, client testimonials, business hours, and many more.

Like it or not, Google’s local SEO for contractors ranking factors, and other search engines such as Bing and Yahoo, use these NAP (NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number. It is important that your business information needs to be the same across all listings for NAP) references to rate the online credibility of your home improvement business.

The amount of these citations on directory websites that mention you will contribute to the local SEO ecosystem that directly influences your local SEO for contractors ranking on Google 3-pack and whether or not your home services business will be displayed on Google’s local three-pack.

In addition, these citations verifies to Google the NAP they have on file for you, if it matches, is probably accurate and they’re more confident in promoting this info to their searchers.

Before getting started you’ll want a comprehensive guide to local SEO for contractors.

This local SEO for contractors strategy works best when you’ve got location specific landing pages which are optimized for local geo-specific keywords. This is referred to as the on-page local SEO for contractors strategy that ties into your citation building.

Google and Ipsos did research that showed conversions were more than two times as likely after customers did a local search.

What it really comes down to is this: Just how many times your local business is listed on a local directory. A citation for contractor local SEO is just like having a listing on a home Improvement business directory.

So, let’s dive into getting the citation work done to improve your local SEO for contractors ranking.

Citations on directories local seo for contractors

How To Do Local Citation Building For Contractors

The first and most obvious place to begin with is directories that are online. Consider three distinct directory types: locally-based, review websites, trade or industry-specific, and even broader if you need more.

If you do not have the time to manually build out all of the listing yourself you’ll want to check into hiring experts for local SEO for contractors to deal with your contracor local SEO services. If you’re wanting to be found online and get new business, this is vital to literally get on the map!

Locally, check out your community and neighborhood hubs for directories you can add citations on.

Review websites to get citations include Yelp, Angie’s List, Judy’s Book, and TripAdvisor.

Trade business directories, for companies like roofing contractors,  should certainly include the local chapter of trade and professional association sites.

Authoritative, niche specific websites help search engines to confidently categorize your contracting business.

Most directories offer a free listing, and others will want you to pay a fee.

With a lot of free directory listings the kicker is that you can not link back to your site. This still provides value and is important to be included in Googles local 3-pack, so don’t dismiss it just because you’re not getting a link back.

Besides, citation building is not link building, we honestly don’t care if we get links from these sites because that’s not the objective here. The objective is to get your NAP listed in enough places, consistently, so Google feels confident listing you in the local 3-pack.

Broader options for citation building opportunity include local business platforms such as Google My Business (absolutely your most important platform to be on the local 3-pack), Apple Maps, Superpages, Factual, Bing, CityGrid, Acxiom, Localeze, Facebook, Yelp, and much more.

Tricks of the trade:

  • Set up a special email address for this citation building only, as they will spam you to death from here on.
  • If asked to select a business category, make certain to keep yours constant on all directories.
  • Confirm your listing, if that is an option given to you. Confirming a listing means they might send a postcard for you to confirm the address. Thats exactly what Google does. This builds more credibility for you.
  • Overshare! –give them what they ask for (and more if they do not, if it’s applicable). Email addresses, business description, store hours, pictures, your name, anything you can add that gives more information on your business and the services you offer.

local seo for contreactor using business directories

If this is your first time, start with these local citation directory websites:

  1. Google My Business
  2. Facebook
  3. Yelp
  4. Bing Places
  5. Apple Maps
  6. FourSquare
  7. Yellow Pages
  8. Citysearch
  9. DexKnows
  10. Better Business Bureau

Afterward, size up your local competition. Do some digging. Find out where your competitors are also listed so you can get your business on there as well. This helps to level the playing field in your local SEO for contractors strategy.

Doing this is simple. By using the search operator below, add your competitor’s business name and zip code to Google in the following format:

“Competitor’s business name” AND “zip code”

Yes, the quotes are necessary.

Then get your pencil and paper ready for action.

Write down each local listing you see your competitor on that you are not. Do this for the first ten pages on Google that shows your competition listed on. You could end up with as many as 100, or they may only have a couple pages, which in that case you need to pick another stronger competitor to research.

What’s next? You guessed it! Get busy putting yourself into every one of them.

Some citations on these directory websites can be as simple as a fast form, others might require extra steps like a telephone call, or submitting a site or post to them. Each one has their own little ways of making sure that this process isn’t being done by automation software.

local seo for contractors best practices for citation creation

Now let’s boost your local SEO for contractors initiative!

To boost your local SEO for contractors campaign consider coordinating citations, websites that are not business listing directories, in other words. Press releases, profiles, post quotes, forums, and a whole slew of different resources can carry your NAP. Pitch to sites as a feature article or make a splash on social networking.

Get news-worthy!

These unstructured citations are the most powerful for boosting your local SEO for contractors campaign. If they are on respectable websites, it is the best form of PR. If they are on platforms you do not readily acquire customers from, it opens you to a new pool of possible clients.

Value quality over quantity.

A mention about your business from a University, government organization, or prestigious news publisher will go a long ways to boosting your credibility.

Once your citations are built out, know that you are not done. In actuality, you have only just begun the continuous process.

Now, you’ve got three choices when it comes to local SEO for contractors citation management: do it yourself; outsource it, or automate it.

If you decide to manage it yourself, plan to reevaluate your citation listings (and your competitor’s) every six months.

Better to go ahead and pencil that into your calendar today because if you forget to check up on your citations you could slip in local SEO rankings and wont know it or why until it costs you in lost business opportunities and revenue.

Citations tips for local seo for contractors

How To Do A Local Citation Audit

There lots of reasons you want to run an audit on your contracting business citations.

Have you ever failed to keep up with your citations? Perhaps you have changed one of your business details: telephone number, title, business hours? Have you got a business that works in multiple cities, or even neighborhoods, and if so, are you keeping tabs on all these citations to ensure that there’s no changes made that will affect each locations local ranking?

Perhaps you have been procrastinating having to build or check up on your citations?

Regardless of the reason, citation audits are significant and necessary for making sure your rankings for contractor local SEO are in good order.

Inaccurate or duplicate citations is bad business. It hurts your local SEO for contractors rankings, not to mention it provides the wrong information to prospective clients who might get frustrated and go to your competitor instead.

If you’re planning to do this by yourself, you will have to comb the net with a fine-toothed comb, theoretically speaking,

You will want to find every listing of your NAP, make sure it consistently and accurality displays your information, and make corrections as needed to those that don’t. A discrepancy as seemingly minor as”Road” vs.”Rd.” can penalize your contractor business and lead to loss in local SEO rankings.

We won’t lie: it is time-consuming. It is a big huge pain in the ass to manually do this. But it must be done if you want more business.

There are services which can do this for you for a few hundred to a few thousand bucks. The turnaround time is generally between 6 to 10 weeks.

But if you would like to do it yourself, you can find free tools, such as Moz Local, which will show you how your business appears across a few big search engines: such as Google, Bing, and a dozen or so others.

Yext also provides a similar service and will scan the big directories so you know if there’s any discrepancies to fix or even directories you’re not yet listed on.

Synup includes a free scan feature that shows your business’s NAP across major citation directories and will also identify incorrect listings.

Check government sources also. They are viewed as credible resources by search engines. Some of these types of directory sites include the Better Business Bureau and the Secretary of State’s Filing for Business.

Are you listed as a “DBA”?

Now comes the fun part: tidying up.

New tips local seo for contractors

How to Do Local Citation Cleanup

Let’s face it, your business NAP will get screwed up somewhere along the way. Some will get superimposed, or your previous address maybe recorded instead, or your business phone number listed is actually Sammy’s Gentlemen’s club.

Using a consistent name, address and phone number across all directories is vital to your contractor local SEO rankings.

Therefore, after you have scanned all your citation listings in an audit, it is decision time. Decide how you would like your NAP to look (best way would be the way you have it on your website) and stick to the same exact format every single time.

Another thing to keep in mind to watch for is how employees writing about your business is making sure the NAP is consistently done in the exact same way.

I will repeat this because it is important:

To get a citation to earn you points toward your local SEO for contractors rankings, it has to match exactly with the name, address, and phone number (NAP) on your site, in addition to your own Google My Business page.

That means the difference between leaving out the suite number inside your address or “Inc.” in your business name will hurt your local SEO for contractors rankings.

A partial citation (such as your business name and address, but no phone number) will still earn you a couple of points, but you’re going for the big 3-pack and half asking anything isn’t gojng to work here.

Fix your data in important data aggregators first (such as Acxiom). The bright side is that a large part of these large directories are interconnected with one another. When you fix one, often times, it is going to fix others automatically.

These large data aggregators will usually confirm your changes throughout your listed business phone number, so be ready to take that call and confirm it so it’s updated quickly.

local seo for contractors best practices

 

Then, focus on your own local or industry-specific sources.

Delete any duplicate citation listings.

Know that some websites will be more challenging than others to correct your citations on the website. Some directories will let you manage your citation on the website; others will want to verify with a phone call or email a verification code.

For those that need email verification in order to change your business citation listing information, use the template below which can easily be copied and pasted to save you time.

Synup suggests using something like this:

Hi,

State the Problem — replicate listing, incorrect NAP etc

Supply Link for reference

Provide the connection of this replicate citation (if you want a copy citation to be eliminated )

Give a time period and Request a notification mail when the problem is fixed

Thanks,

Name & Business Name

Now, keep in mind this is not likely to happen overnight. Google, for instance, may take you up to three times contacting them before they make any changes to your business information. Don’t give up and stay persistent. It’s worth it.

Going forward, it’s a good idea to create a strategy and nail down the specifics for the inevitable: mergers/acquisitions, transfers, rebranding, new business phone numbers, or email address changes. You may not think these events will ever occur, but if or when they do, you’ll be glad that you have a plan to clean up behind yourself.

It’s a good idea to document all of this on something like a Google document to monitor all of your live citations and have your username, email, and password on it for easy access by you or a designated employee.

Finally, your freshly built local citation work can be used to aid in the marketing of your contractor business.

Log in frequently to check stats, etc. Encourage reviews from clients. Respond to complaints, feedback, and pics.

Keep the door of communication open and your information up to date with fresh content.

Make a splash in local headlines and generally give local news outlets something positive to discuss in regards to your contracting business.

local seo for contractors tips

Conclusion

A solid presence with local SEO for contractors may be accomplished by building the right amount of citations in many different top-tier local directories.

My advice would be to clean up what is out there, audit your presence, then put some elbow grease into getting your citations consistent across every location they’re listed on.

Once all your ducks are in a row, then work on beefing up your citations to improve your contractor local SEO rankings on Googles local 3-pack.

By doing this, you will be reaping the benefits of fresh and consistent local citations boosting your local rankings.

link building
Link Building: What It Is And Why You Need It for Better SEO

Link building is basically the practice of procuring links to your site on other websites.

Link building is an significant part a SEO effort because search engines use links to spot the significance of web pages and also to ascertain where pages must rank in search results.

There are a whole lot of different techniques which you may utilize to construct backlinks and we’re going to cover several in the following guide, but let us take a peek at some basic concepts first.

And, while it is a fact that links are not the sole element in the pages rank from search engines, they continue to be extremely important.

From the view of search engine optimization, links demonstrate that the content on your site is valuable. This is the most important reason constructing premium quality links back to your own website is a big facet of the majority of effective search engine optimization campaigns.

Furthermore, links create traffic obviously from clickthroughs. As an example, if a site article on a different site is covering the subject of using SEO within a advertising strategy for a restaurant, they may have a paragraph regarding link building that hyperlinks into the blog article you are reading today. Obviously, people reading this article might follow on the hyperlink and property on the page to find out more.

Therefore, it’s simple to realize that the more quality links you’ve put on reputable sites, the more targeted visitors you’re most likely to access to your website.

Link Building: What It Is And Why You Need It for Better SEO

Which Does High Quality Links Mean?

There are several distinct aspects that determine the worth or quality of a connection and there are likely some facets that we are not even conscious of. Here are

The domain jurisdiction of those sites which relate to yours is among the most crucial aspects in determining connection quality.

If you would like to improve the ranking of your website in search engines, then you have to procure links on reputable, high-authority sites. In reality, too many hyperlinks from the erroneous sites can lead to a website being penalized by Google.

Relevancy

Are the websites which link to yours related to your website and niche? As an instance, if you operate a web site about soccer stats, earning hyperlinks from an attorney’s site probably will not help you a lot.

It is important to see that you’re not only building links to the interest of raising the amount of hyperlinks. An excellent connection adds value to this page its on by connecting the consumer to useful and relevant content.

Content

The information on the webpage that is linking to yours is equally vital. Is it 200 words of crap that nobody will read?

Google is solely focused on customers’ experiences so comprehensive articles containing special content are considerably more likely to bring in high ranking positions in search results. Thus, getting your hyperlinks put inside great content is vital.

If the content that is linking to you personally shows up in search results afterward there is a fantastic chance you will receive traffic out of it.

Position On The Page

It is quite obvious that if your site is buried deep within an guide or if it is not highly visible, it may not be viewed or receive clicks. Consequently, place on the page is really important.

Link Building: What It Is And Why You Need It for Better SEO

Starting Your Link Building Campaign

Ok, in order to know that links are important, but just how can you get other sites to link to your website? We are going to offer you a few hints, but we will need to cover only one more subject initially and it is really significant. So, listen!

In the majority of instances anchor text is used to allow users know what is on the page the link will require them to.

Before you venture off in your very first link building effort, it is extremely important to comprehend that using the incorrect anchor texts CAN SEVERELY DAMAGE YOUR search engine optimization EFFORTS. Why?

Google has implemented many algorithm upgrades which have penalized sites for utilizing exact match key words also often in the anchor text of the backlinks. As an example, in case you’ve got an e-commerce site which sells tennis shoes, then you wish to be somewhat careful about connecting back to your own website with the anchor text”tennis shoes” too often.

There are a Whole Lot of different theories about this and Nobody knows for sure, but let us look at the different options :

  • Exact Match — If your webpage is all about”link building” then an specific match link could be link constructing .
  • Common or Naturalized Links — those hyperlinks are usually calls to act like”proceed here””this site ” or”click here”
  • Naked Links — this is the real site URL such as http://marketingmediawizard.com or http://marketingmediawizard.com/orlando-seo-company/
  • Picture Anchors — if you join a picture to your site or internet page
  • Branded + Keyword — your own name with a key word that resembles that: Marketing Media Wizard SEO Company
  • No Text — that is when you add a connection, but without a anchor text. You are going to find exactly the exact same effect from connecting an picture with no ALT tag.

There are a couple different kinds of anchors, but the primary thing you want to realize is that using precise fit too much will hurt your rank in search results. Consequently, if you should not use exact game then what do you need to use?

Many SEO experts concur that focusing largely on branded hyperlinks is best. But you can confirm it by analyzing the key words profiles of important brands or your opponents who rank well in search.

Nearly all their anchor text is that their name”nordstrom” accompanied by generic hyperlinks and then nude links.

Now that you know the fundamentals, let us start building some hyperlinks.

Link Building: What It Is And Why You Need It for Better SEO

Building links is not as difficult as you may think. There are a whole lot of alternatives!

There are a couple of distinct kinds of hyperlinks which you need to know about before beginning your link building effort.

When you run into a link on a different website which goes to yours, then it’s a natural connection. These links are just the consequence of somebody else wanting to connect to a website because they enjoy your own content. In cases like this the web site owner places the connection by themselves without you having to make a petition.

You might even decide to pay for listings, which could occasionally be a rewarding undertaking. This may be quite time consuming, however it’s worth the effort if you consider the possible advantages.

There are several distinct websites throughout the net that will allow you to create links by registering a guest book or even at the remarks section. It’s necessary to remember that these are usually considered low-quality hyperlinks by many search engines, however they are not entirely without their worth. You do not need to place too much focus on producing these kinds of links.

Although it’s very important to your hyperlinks to be applicable, you need to think about targeting a smaller market. This can allow you to get the ideal sorts of people visiting your website. The more you boost your hyperlinks this manner, the more you’ll benefit. A targeted market strategy reduces a great deal of the contest too.

Follow a strategy

As soon as you’ve produced a particular link building program, you’ll have to stay with it. It’s crucial to admit if one of your aims is not functioning, but you will need to give it time.

Establish goals

You do not need to target too high, since you’ll only dissuade yourself.

Examine the outcomes

You’ll have to keep a close watch on the traffic moving to your site and other data to find out whether your link building effort in making a difference. You should not expect a massive shift in visitors but the results will come if you’re doing everything right.

As soon as you’ve got a simple plan for your own link building campaign, you’ll have to identify precisely who your target market is. This normally just entails considering topics which are linked to the character of the content onto your own site.

Consider the sorts of individuals who’d be interested in your site depending on the content. If you operate a web site that’s about food, then you will likely wish to target food bloggers, recipe websites and even parents that blog.

The following step in connection building entails finding the proper places to contact for putting links to your website. You may begin with taking a look at lists of bloggers that you locate using Google. You will obviously need to narrow down this list to sites that relate to your content.

You should use social websites to locate the ideal areas to your hyperlinks, since it can be exceedingly helpful. Twitter is among the very best social networking platforms which may assist you as soon as you’re going through this phase of the link building procedure.

Whenever you’re taking a look at bloggers on interpersonal networking websites like Twitter, pay careful attention to just how many followers they have. The more followers that a blogger gets, the more exposure your hyperlinks will get. The very last thing you need to do is goal bloggers with just a few followers, since they will not do you some good.

Link Building: What It Is And Why You Need It for Better SEO

Link Building Outreach

You’ll have to begin reaching out for the connection targets so that you can start getting out your links to the world. Begin with your own higher-up goals, as they may give you the best outcomes for you. There’s not anything wrong with calling smaller websites, but they ought to be farther down your listing.

There are a number of items to keep in mind with connection construction outreach, including the simple fact that you’re calling actual individuals. Be certain you remember this whenever you’re sending messages to individuals about putting links to your website on theirs. You need to personalize each message in line with the goal to produce your correspondence really strong and effective.

Prepare yourself to be rejected by many objectives, since it’s likely to occur. Do not permit yourself to get frustrated, but instead keep marching on. Finally you’ll find some positive answers to your queries.

Be certain you market your self or your articles once you contact each goal. The majority of the folks you’ve likely never heard of you before, which means you will want to earn a fantastic first impression. You may naturally wish to supply each individual with a URL to your site so that they can look on it at their own leisure.

Link Building: What It Is And Why You Need It for Better SEO

Get Straight to the Point

It’s crucial that you are as concise and clear as you can if contacting bloggers. You do not need to roam on, since they will quickly eliminate interest and proceed. When there’s something really unique about your articles, do not forget to inform each blogger just what it is. You’re basically telling these folks why they ought to care for you.

Do not be scared to specifically incorporate the term”connection” on your email, since there’s just no point in being coy. A good deal of individuals avoid this kind of wording because they are fearful of getting their mails flagged for junk, but it is an essential risk. The only means you will receive superior connection targets is if you’re clear with them about what you would like.

Link Building: What It Is And Why You Need It for Better SEO

Move Out of Your Way to Never Seem as a Spammer

You are able to do things like use their title and compose an authentic subject line. Additionally, it is a fantastic idea to utilize a real email address in addition to your place. These particulars will make you look like the legitimate person who you are to the writers you’re contacting.

The truth is that the majority of people today lead busy lives, so those you message may not react to your initial email. There’s not anything wrong with following up with another email after a decent period of time has passed. You do not need to encounter as being bothersome, but instead persistent.

Managing Rejection

It’s crucial to keep your professionalism in any way times, and it will not always be simple. It may look as if you’re only wasting your own time, but should at least behave thankful that the individual even reacted to a message.

You’ll also need to have as much feedback as you can from people who don’t need to connect to your website. As a result you’ll have the ability to learn about a few of the things which it is possible to improve on. There’s a really great probability you have a great deal to learn from the others, particularly the people who reject you.

Occasionally a blogger will not have any difficulties with your articles, and it is only a matter of them not getting the opportunity to compose a post. If the individual has commented about a issue with your content, then find out exactly what it is. You won’t ever have the ability to boost your search engine optimization efforts if you do not understand what you’re doing wrong. You do not need to modify your strategy for each criticism you get, but you ought to keep an open mind.

The simple fact is that link building is a remarkably significant part any bigger SEO effort. If you would like to create your site as visible as you can to individuals on the world wide web, you will need lots of quality links going to your website. People that are eager to spend the difficult job ought to be able to finally achieve the results they’re searching for. You’ve got to be patient though, since it’s a procedure. In the long run you’ll be happy you took the opportunity to do those things. A great deal of quality links to a website usually means a significant and longterm increase in visitors.

google my business local seo
Google My Business Best Practices for Small Business Local SEO

Learn how to use Google My Business to easily manage your business listing, reviews, photos and location on Google search, Google Maps and local search

Google My Business is one of the most powerful tools available to help you rank higher in local search results and reach more customers. But to take full advantage of this opportunity, you must claim and complete your profile and make sure it’s optimized to be found by customers who are searching for businesses like yours. This article provides all the answers you need to build a solid Google My Business profile, boost your local SEO, add your location to Google Maps and rank higher in local search results pages (SERPs).

1. What is Google My Business?

What is Google My Business

 

Google My Business is Google’s listing platform for companies. Millions of small, medium and large businesses have Google My Business profiles that help them boost Google search rankings and get in front of local customers.

 

 

2. Why Should Your Business Use Its Google My Business Profile?

 

Setting up a Google My Business profile for your company will help your company show up in Google search engine results, Google local search results and Google Maps results. Use this automatic business listing tool to see how your company appears on Google My Business other online business listing sites.

Listing your company on Google My Business will:

  • Help you show up in search results
  • Help you show up on map results
  • Use your location and potential customers’ locations to help you rank in local searches
  • Provide a place where customers can review your business

“Google My Business is a really important tool that more local businesses should take advantage of. It’s critical for helping customers find you easily,” said Brandon Schroth, an SEO strategist for seoWorksWhy Should Your Business Use Its Google My Business Profile. “The best part? When optimized correctly, the page shows up above normal organic search results.”

3. What Do Google My Business Listings Look Like?

This Google My Business listing for Marketing Media Wizard shows what a small business listing looks like:

What Do Google My Business Listings Look Like

4. How Much Does Google My Business Cost?

Nothing!

There’s no charge to add your company information to Google My Business. “It’s free to use, and it gives local businesses a way to manage their online presence by verifying and updating important information,” Schroth said.

5. How Does Google My Business Work?

How Does Google My Business Work

 

Listing your company on Google ensures that your small business name, address, phone number, hours and description are listed correctly and consistently across all Google internet platforms, including:

  • Google search results
  • Google’s Local Pack
  • Google Maps
  • Google reviews

Google My Business allows you to manage your entire Google business profile—including for multiple locations—from one dashboard.

6. What Does Google My Business Do?

Google My Business allows you to control the way your business shows up on Google. Using Google My Business you can correct or adjust your company’s:

  • Name, address and phone number (your NAP info)
  • Your current business hours
  • Geographic information for each of your locations

On top of these basic features, you can add photos to your Google My Business profile and encourage positive customer reviews.

7. Do You Still Need Google+ or Google Places for Business Pages?

Do You Still Need Google+ or Google Places for Business Pages with google my business

No.

You can manage everything you need to right from your small business’ Google My Business dashboard.

The NAP info, photos and any other information you upload to Google My Business will automatically populate across all of Google’s platforms. You can even manage your small business AdWords account from your Google My Business dashboard.

These are Google’s basic guidelines for representing your company on Google My Business:

  • Represent your business as it’s consistently represented and recognized in the real world across signage, stationery and other branding.
  • Make sure your address is accurate and precise.
  • Choose the fewest number of categories it takes to describe your overall core business.

8. Do You Need to Create a Separate Small Business Listing for Google Maps?

Google My Business Best Practices for Small Business Local SEO

No.

Your location information is automatically integrated onto Google Maps from your Google My Business dashboard.

9. How Much Can You Manage From the Google My Business Dashboard?

Everything you need to manage for your small business’ appearance on Google you can manage from the Google My Business dashboard.

Here’s what the Google My Business dashboard looks like:

How Much Can You Manage From the Google My Business Dashboard

From this dashboard you can:

  • Update your business information and have it automatically update in Google search and Google Maps
  • Get alerts for and respond to new reviews from customer
  • Use Google “insights” feature to see who’s interacting with your business online and learn how they found you
  • See how many users click to your website from your Google My Business profile
  • See how often users click-to-call your business from your Google My Business profile
  • See how often users request driving directions from your Google My Business profile
  • See how regularly users see your business in their Google search results over time
  • Use AdWords Express to administer AdWords from your Google My Business profile

10. Is My Company Already Listed on Google My Business or Google Maps?

Begin by searching for your business in the Google My Business search bar.

If your company information is already in Google’s system, it will appear on your screen. Google will ask you to verify the contact email on file for the account.

11. How to Add Your Company to Google My Business

If Google has no information on your business, it will lead you through a series of steps. Follow these prompts to add your business information to the site. You’ll be required to verify your business with Google, which we’ll get to in the next section.

As you wait for the verification process to be completed, you can begin uploading photos, videos and logo into your Google My Business dashboard immediately. These won’t publish online until you’ve completed the verification process.

12. How to Verify Your Google My Business Listing

There are two main ways to verify your Google My Business listing: by postcard or by telephone.

“Google would like to realize that you are the confirmed representative from the business. That’s the reason why they send a postcard to the address that provides a code to enter,” explained Nathan Barber, electronic analyst to your Digital Advertising Works agency. “Using the code confirmed, you’re ready to have complete control over the list. The affirmation boosts your chances of rank for neighborhood services you provide on your business ”

Follow Google’s prompts to determine the method of verification that’s right for you. Verification by postcard will take between seven and 10 business days.

13. What if Someone Already Claimed My Business on Google?

What if Someone Already Claimed My Business on Google my business

An additional step in the process of listing your company will arise if someone has already claimed your listing.

To lock down ownership of your listing, you’ll need to request a transfer of listing ownership or request that person—maybe an employee in charge of managing your digital marketing—add you to the account as a listing manager.

14. What Should You Include on Your Google My Business Page?

The information you include on your Google My Business profile seems self-explanatory. But there are best practices every business owner should follow in the way their information is presented on Google My Business. 

Barber offered the following guidelines on what to include on your Google My Business profile, and how to get it right:

  1. Consistent Business Name, Address & Phone Number
    “You want to make sure that all your business details are consistent with other online listings. Google pulls your NAP from all different sources, but if you can tell them the correct information through a consistent business citation, you will increase your online visibility on search engines on local search,” said Barber.
  2. Unique Business Description
    “Google wants to see that your ‘about’ section is completely unique, and not pasted from your own website. By having a unique description, your targeted keywords and business focus will be more in-tune to become more visible on the search engines. Don’t forget to include a hyperlink right in the description for maximum GMB return,” he said.
  3. Correct Business Category
    “Choosing the correct business category is vital to get found for the correct user’s searcher intent. By pinpointing your correct category (less the better), you will show up for the right types of search traffic. If you are having difficult deciding which category, look at all your competitors and scout out the winning listings and copy their category,” he said.

15. Google My Business for Multiple Locations

Google My Business for Multiple Locations

You can manage up to 10 business locations from a single Google My Business profile. For more than 10 locations, you’ll need to use the Google My Business Locations dashboard. 

16. Are Duplicate Google My Business Listings a Problem?

Are Duplicate Google My Business Listings a Problem

Yes.

Duplicate listings for a single business location can undermine the value of your Google My Business listing, said Alicia Glaser, the local search lead for digital marketing agency Pure Visibility.

“It’s important to search for any duplicate pages that might have been created in the past
with old addresses or different versions of your business’ name. Merge or close these locations,” advised Glaser.

“Having multiple Google My Business pages for the same location can harm your chances for ranking locally,” she explained. “Providing old, inaccurate information can also be an issue for the user’s experience.”

17. How to Remove Duplicate Listings

Businesses can contact Google My Business support by phone, by email, by chat, or through Facebook or Twitter to get rid of duplicate listings.

  1. First, delete the Google+ page of the old listing (if there isone).
  2. Next, send a message to Google My Business support staff on Facebook or Twitter, or start a chat, request a callor send an email.
  3. Lund recommends sending the following message:

“Hello, can you please move this old listing [insert Google Maps listing URL of old listing] to the current listing [insert Google Maps listing URL of current listing]? And can you also please transfer the reviews of the old listing to the current listing?”

 

18. How Do You Edit or Change the Information in Your Google My Business Profile?

You can edit or change information on your profile directly from your Google My Business dashboard.

If you have any difficulty making changes to hours, location or other information, send a message to Google My Business support staff on Facebook or Twitter, or start a chat, request a call, or send an email.

19. Optimize Your Google My Business Listing for Best Results

Optimize Your Google My Business Listing for Best Results

One of the most important things to keep in mind when optimizing your Google My Business listing is consistency, said David Mulqueen, project manager for digital marketing agency Odd Dog Media.

“You want to make sure that things like your name, imaging, messaging, general info like hours of operation, business category and how people can find you is consistent,” he advised. “If your Google My Business page isn’t consistent, how is Google supposed to trust your business as a credible source of information for its users?”

Nicholas Kinports, executive vice president of strategy for Notice digital advertising agency offered the following tips for optimizing your GMB profile:

  • Add Content, Content, Content!
    “Add high-resolution images of your business including the interior, along with 360-degree photos and videos if applicable. The more great content you add, the better Google will position your business relative to the competition,” Kinports said. When writing descriptions, “Write in a natural, helpful, and easy to read prose. Google loves a great user experience!”
  • Choose Keywords Wisely
    Choose the same keywords and phrases you know your customers are looking
    for and populating your profile where appropriate. Watch this two-minute video for basic keyword strategies:

20. Adding Photos to Google Maps and Google Search From Google My Business

Adding Photos to Google Maps and Google Search From Google My Business

Adding photos to your Google My Business profile will also add those photos to Google Maps and search results. Remember, customers are visually motivated, and photos of your location and products or services will go a long way towards attracting new business.

“You want to add relevant photos of your company,” recommended Barber of Digital Advertising Works. “This includes the interior, exterior of the building location, employees, past work, logos and other miscellaneous photos. The images supplied will send strong signals to Google that you are indeed a real business. The photos supplied will be more easily found on the ‘image’ section of the Google search engine portion.”

Watch this Google demo for step-by-step instructions on adding photos to your Google My Business profile:

21. What are Google Reviews and Do They Show Up on Your Google My Business Listing?

What are Google Reviews and Do They Show Up on Your Google My Business Listing

Customer reviews show up on your Google My Business profile. The one- to five-star rating at the top of your Google My Business listing as it appears in search results and on Google Maps is determined by the number of positive ratings you receive from customer reviews.

Google reviews are important for potential customers who are still in the “research phase” of making a purchase, said Mulqueen of Odd Dog Media. People who see great reviews are more likely to try your company instead of your competitors. And those Google star ratings are “the most crucial ones,” he said.

Begin by requesting reviews from “existing happy customers who have been so thrilled with their services in the past that they’d be more than willing to leave a review,” recommended Mulqueen. “These are a guaranteed way to build some momentum in getting more and more reviews on Google.”

22. How Can You Get Good Reviews on Google?

“The way to get good reviews on Google is to simply ask for them,” said John Nesler, lead writer and researcher forPost Modern Marketing. Customers don’t think about leaving an online reviews, even when they have really good experiences.

“In fact, they’re usually most inspired to go to the bother of writing a review when they have a bad experience,” he said. That makes it doubly important to ask happy customers to leave a review.

“When you have an interaction with a customer that just feels really solid and good, and they strike you as someone who is well-spoken, simply ask them, ‘Hey, would you be willing to take a couple minutes to review us on Google?’” More often than not they’ll be happy to help you out, said Nesler.

You might also consider handing out a flyer with a link to your Google My Business page and a request for a review, recommended Jim Lastinger, CEO of digital marketing firm Deep Field.

“However, you only want to give the flyer to customers that are clearly satisfied and most likely to leave a positive review,” Lastinger cautioned.

 

23. Should You Pay People to Leave Positive Google Reviews?

No. Never, not under any circumstances, should you pay someone to leave good reviews on Google.

“It’s a violation of Google’s terms of service with regard to reviews (as is the case with Yelp),” said Nesler.

If a happy customer is reluctant to leave a positive review out of the kindness of their own heart, you might “offer them a small discount on their next purchase,” he advised.

“Don’t publicize this offer or make it part of your marketing approach,” said Nesler. “But you’re asking a customer to spend their time on your behalf, so sometimes it’s appropriate to do
something nice for them.”

24. How to Respond to Good Google Reviews

Be sure to respond to all of your good reviews through your Google My Business profile, recommends Nesler. And don’t just write “Thank you!”

“Write a detailed, thoughtful response in which you address the person by their first name, thank them for being a customer and writing the review, and adding any salient points about your interaction with the customer that you think might put you in a good light,” said Nesler.

 

25. How to Respond to Bad Reviews on Google My Business

The downside to positive Google reviews from your happy customers are the occasional bad review every business is likely to receive.

“Never leave a bad review unanswered,” said Nesler. “It’s easy to do more harm than good if you aren’t careful in your response.”

Here are the rules of thumb that Nesler follows—and that he gives to clients—when it comes to responding to a bad review:

  1. Be calm and courteous. Don’t write a response when you’re frustrated and angry. You need to be firmly in control of your emotions. Find your happy place.
  2. Don’t debate the person in public. A he-said she-said situation is Get the interaction away from prying eyes. Lead off with a courteous, “I’m very sorry that you had an unsatisfactory experience with our business.” Then provide contact details where they can get a hold of you directly.
  3. You need to be in full-blown A+ customer-service mode. That doesn’t mean that you should be self-deprecating orapologize a million times. Rather, make it clear how your customers’ experiences should play out. What they should experience. What will happen when they walk through your door.

26. How to Use Google My Business to Place Better in Local Search Results

How to Use Google My Business to Place Better in Local Search ResultsGoogle My Business’ really important function is that is uses your small business’ location (or locations) to determine your placement in local search rankings. Local search results show businesses in the vicinity of the customer doing the Google search based on your physical location and theirs.

The top three businesses returned in local search results show up in Google’s Local Three Pack. The local pack is a box that appears at the top of location-based Google search results.

Google’s location-based local search results are “critical for helping customers find you easily,” said Schroth of prWorks. Competition for Google’s Local Three Pack is heavy, he said, and it gets harder every day for small businesses to earn that special place at the top of local Google searches.

“Invest the time into creating and maintaining a Google My Business listing as well as the supporting local elements, and you’ll reap the benefits of higher placement and greater visibility” for your small business, said Schroth.

27. How Can You Compete for a Place in Google’s Local Three Pack?

How Can You Compete for a Place in Google’s Local Three Pack?

You can see how your company measures up on Google My Business by conducting a “near me” search. Near me searches use an internet user’s location to suggest businesses nearby.

“To understand the local competitive landscape for your business,  search for your business’ category with the phrase ‘near me’ in Google to see what type of accounts are showing up in Google Maps and the Knowledge Graph,” recommended Glaser of Pure Visibility.

“You will more than likely see that listings with reviews show up first organically,” added Glaser. She suggested clicking on those top businesses to see what they’re doing differently and what you might do to improve your own near-me ranking.

28. Can You Manage Your Google My Business Profile from a Smartphone?

Manage Your Google My Business Profile from an android Smartphone app

Download the Google My Business app for Android.Manage Your Google My Business Profile from an apple Smartphone appDownload the Google My Business app for iPhone.