13 Ways To Improve Your Roofing Business Traffic In 2020 Using Google My Business
Learn exactly how to improve your businesses online reputation and internet presence with Google My Business.
In fact, these 13 techniques have helped other roofers just like you grow their online presence and make more money.
The best part?
Everything here is working great right now.
- Get More Traffic by Claiming Your “Google My Business”
- Improve Local Visibility By Fully Optimizing Your GMB
- How To Use The Main GMB Menu
- Get More Leads and Prospects With “Weekly Posts”
- Grab Google and Your Client’s Attention With Compelling Photos
- Need A New Website? Google Can Help With That Too
- Get Help Working Your GMB And Add Users
- Use Google Messaging To Connect To Your Leads And Prospects
- The #1 Ranking Factor With Google Is “Reviews” How To Get More
- Want More Leads? Start Using Google Paid Ads
- Know What Business Google Is Driving With Google “My Business Insights”
- A Few Pro Tips
- Know Who Calls You With Call Tracking
Bonus: Major Google My Business “Updates”
This is the most complete list of Google My Business best practices for 2019 and beyond, period.
In fact, you’ll find all my tips and tactics from how to set up your Google My Business to advanced technics on this page.
So, if you’re looking to build a powerful Google My Business for local leads, you’ll really enjoy this list.
This post on Google My Business will be about everything from the very basics all the way through advanced tactics and will be in order from set up to Google’s new features, so if you are past a certain stage say set up, just scroll down the page and find where you are in your knowledge. You can also click in the items list above and jump right to the section you are looking for.
If you are already advanced and looking for hidden gems, then scroll all the way to the bottom and work your way up. This is a comprehensive guide and is going step by step in order from claiming your business to new features.
I have Pro Tips just above my conclusion in a list, so, if you already have a good knowledge of GMB skip down and check out what I have, and if I missed something please leave me a comment. It would not be the first time I forgot something.
Get More Traffic By Claiming Your “Google My Business”
In my opinion your companies Google My Business is the most powerful local SEO tool and tactic that can be implemented for 2019 and beyond.
If you have a limited budget, you can still work your GMB hard and if done right you can truly crush your market with GMB.
Even as powerful as Google My Business is, a full 44% of businesses have not even claimed their Google My Business listing.
Improve Local Visibility By Fully Optimizing Your GMB
The first thing you must do is claim your Google My Business listing. So, go to business.google.com and click sign in, you will need a Google account to do this.
Pro tip: always use the same Google account for everything you do at your company using a Google property.
You can also claim your Google Business listing from Google maps. If you have not claimed your listing, Google your company and you will see a link that says Own this business?
Click the link and you can get started this way, again it will ask you for a Google account to get you logged in.
If you already have more than one Google account be sure you are not logged into the wrong account when you set up your business listing or you will have to change it and again this is a problem to do, Google does not make changing anything about ownership easy.
The reason Google makes it hard for making these changes is security. You do not want someone gaining access to your Google My Business.
Remember, everything is fresh on your mind today, but you must plan for the future. Over the years you may move, add more Google accounts for various reasons and there are many reasons you may add more Google accounts, like another business venture. Or, a personal Gmail and a business Gmail account.
Make sure you keep all your login credentials are in one place. If you lose your password and can’t get back in, it is a complete nightmare to get with Google and gain access to your account. I will have a complete section just on how to gain access to your Google My Business if you lose access. A password is OK to forget or lose it is full access that is the problem.
OK, now that you have your Google account and you are logged in let’s start setting up your business profile.
When getting started you may see a page like this. Type in the name of your business and click next, this is accepting Google’s terms of service.
If your company is new or you have been working from your home and Google has no real address on file you will most likely see this type of startup page.
Next you will see a where are you located page. Fill this page out and click next. If you do not deliver goods and services to your clients, then do not click the button asking this.
Next you will need to select your business category. Just add one, you can always add or change later. Just make sure you get your main business type correct and in the first position. Google puts more emphasis on the first business type listed. This will be your main function like roofing and a sub category like skylight contractor always helps.
Next add your contact information.
Now click finish and your new Google My Business will be active.
Congratulations, you now have your new Google My Business listing. Now you may or may not have to request a post card from Google for verification of the address. I have seen it both ways, where you get right in and have full ownership with a text to verify and where you will have to request a postcard with a verification number on it.
Don’t worry Google will normally have the postcard to you in a week or less.
Pro Tip: while you wait for your postcard, do not fill out any company information, wait for the verification number or you are likely to lose all the information you add and will have to start all over once your account is verified.
This is what your homepage will look like.
You want to get started by filling out your business info, click the info link in the left-hand menu bar.
Now it is time to get detailed.
This is where you tell Google and your customers and clients not only where you are but who you are and what you do.
Depending on what type of business you are, you could see different features in your GMB. A service business like roofers will not see the same things a restaurant will see. I will only show general features that roofers will see here. I will add a section at the end of this post for more advanced tactics.
Some of the advanced tactics I will show will require additional tools like CallRail and Google Analytics and if you do not have knowledge of or use these you will not be able to add these at this time.
When filling out your business information be specific and detailed. Do not get in a hurry with this, don’t let yourself get bored, this is very important. Make sure you have all your hours set then look at the section of additional hours. Stay ahead of this one, Google likes for things to stay updated so make sure your special hours like Christmas and New Years are set and correct.
Make sure your address is correct, this is also very important.
I will explain later but even make sure, if you have a coma and LLC in your business name on your website be sure it is exactly the same way in your GMB.
The next section after your address is a new section Google just added a few weeks ago. This is for service businesses that handle many areas.
This is huge for service businesses for a couple reasons.
In the past many businesses tried to game the GMB system by getting a UPS box and having a Google My Business address with it. Did I just give you up? If so you may want to rethink it and get rid of it before Google body slams you for GMB spam.
Pro tip: if you have one of these or many, my advice is permanently close them the gig is up.
There are two schools of thought here, one says delete and the other permanently close. If you delete it then everything is gone forever but if you just close it then it is still hanging out there and in my opinion after ready many top blogs and reading everything Google has on the subject, I say just permanently close them. This is for real locations you have had not UPS boxes.
All but one of these were physical addresses but again in my opinion if you try to run more than one location other than a location that is truly in another city or state you will confuse Google.
How does Google know which address to show a client if you have locations too close to each other?
Also, later in this post I will go deeper on why you do not want more than one location unless it truly is staffed and is real. It all relates to how hard it has become to properly work your GMB and that will be a full section.
Make sure your URL, website address is in correctly, it is always better to copy and paste to keep down on any potential errors.
Appointment URL is going to be in the advanced section. Unless your website is set up for this you will need a calendar link like Acuity or Calendly so I will cover this later.
Attributes will be different from business to business. Many businesses will only see veteran or women led. If this applies to you then add this. At this time the only other attribute I have seen for roofers is online scheduling and Google has it named in the menu as amenities.
If you happen to be a restaurant owner or hair salon then you may have a much longer list like handicap seating, restrooms and payment types.
Now your business section. This is very important even if Google does not add much to its algorithm for keywords in this section. Back in the day when Google My Business was still Google Maps businesses would keyword stuff this area.
As a matter of fact, many and I mean many would keyword stuff everything and back then you could get away with it.
Google even did away with business description for awhile than brought it back not that long ago.
Google has put an end to keyword stuffing so watch how you word your services section. Write it like you would tell a client what you do. It is important to talk to Google, but you must convey your message to your clients as well. So, be a good writer and have a nice description. You have up to 750 words for this. Use as much of this as you can.
Make sure you add your opening date after your company description. Even if you are a fairly new company do not let that scare you away from having a fully optimized GMB.
This is the last thing to add here. Skip the add photos for now, we will get into that later. Photos are more important than you think so hold tight and I’ll explain later.
The store code, labels and Google Ads extension phone number are also advanced, and I’ll get to those later.
How To Use The Main GMB Menu
As I walk you through this part of your Google My Business, I will dive deeper for each of these sections. If there are pro tips and advanced features, you can take advantage of I will show them to you and walk you through how to maximize each one.
Look to the left-hand side menu, this will be your main menu and where you will start working from most of the time.
Get More Leads and Prospects With “Weekly Posts”
Many of the next Google My Business feature are overlooked, or the vast majority just don’t get how powerful they are and what they mean to Google.
Post are one of these hidden gems.
Many businesses make a post and never do another one. Big mistake, why? Google has always liked new and fresh, new what? New everything from content to images.
Google more than any creature I have ever seen in my life loves content and they like fresh content as well as good content.
When Google first started letting you do posts they were good for nearly a month.
Now a post only lasts for one week.
So, you need to stay diligent and do a post every week.
Do your post on what is going on in your business, don’t just throw junk at your visitors, remember this is where you are trying to make a lead/prospect a client. So, add some value to their journey. Remember, most people will only replace one roof in their life, so talk to that person and help them through their roofing journey.
A well done GMB with weekly post will put you way ahead of your competition. Most just are not going to do it, like I said 44% of your competition have not even claimed their GMB.
The way you should look at your weekly GMB post is the same way you should look at content for your website. You should add value to your client with every post and page or why write it.
Ask yourself, is this post going to help this visitor make a decision to make a purchase? Does it answer the questions someone would ask looking to spend anywhere between $8,000.00 to $30,000.00 on a new roof.
You did not hear me say make a purchase with you. The goal here is to help every one of your Google My Business visitors make a decision whether it is you or someone else.
Remember every client is not for you, informing your client properly will let them know if you are a good fit for each other.
If you are not a good match, then how are you going to get the Google review and a referral?
Ultimately your goal is building a long-term business or there is no need in reading this post.
You have 1,500 characters available for a post which will give you approximately 300 words max.
Your post does not have to be 300 words but between 100 and 300 will make a good post.
At the end of your post do not forget the CTA, call to action button.
You can add a call now button or a link to your website. If your post is on skylights and you have information about skylights on your website, then add a link to that skylight page. I prefer a call now CTA but that is just me.
You can do posts on products, events, offers or what’s new. Use what is current and of interest in your company on that particular week.
Last thing on posts, make sure you add a picture. Adding a good compelling image will help grab your potential client’s attention. Make sure you add an alt text and alt tags to at least some pictures you put in your GMB, whether you post pictures or pictures and video in the photos section.
I will explain alt text and alt tags in the photo section next.
Grab Google And Your Client’s Attention With Compelling Photos
I am going to jump out of order as far as the down the page order in your left-hand menu. I have talked about pictures in the post section and mentioned alt text and alt tags and need to show and explain what these are.
What is an alt text and an alt tag & what is it used for?
Pro Tip: most people incorrectly think these are one in the same, they are not.
The yellow highlighted section is the alt text of the above image.
Alt text or alternative text is also known as an alt attribute and not only helps search engines know what an image is but also helps visually impaired individuals better understand the image and the meaning of a web page.
The way you add an alt text to an image is either click the image and add to the bottom of the image and be sure to add a hyphen between words.
Now to really give this image and post some power add an alt tag after your alt text. There is a difference between an alt text and alt tag.
After you add your alt text, right click the imaged and add your alt tag. It may look a little different on a Mac than on a PC just look down at your options it will be there.
A good alt text and tag will be relatively short, remember your describing a picture not writing a book. Most screen readers are going to cut off after 125 characters anyway so the objective is a good description so the search engine and a visually impaired person can see the image in their mind.
Google will read these alt texts and tags and it will help find your pictures, posts and pages in Google search.
Most people do not know what this is much less why it is important. Always remember, go the extra mile and it will pay off. There is a 95% chance your competitor is not doing this, so this is just one more way for you to beat them.
Some people in SEO say Google puts no emphasis on Alt Text and Tags, but what if they do? If they don’t it will still help with finding an image and could still ultimately help direct prospects to your GMB or website.
Check out this roofing company in the Baton Rouge and Northshore market of Louisiana.
Yes, you are seeing this correctly, 18,400% more views than other businesses like them.
Why? Because no one else is doing alt texts and tags or even adding images to their GMB. Just one more reason this company is crushing it with their GMB.
You can’t be lazy with this one it takes a little effort but that is all, no coding or special knowledge needed, just the want to own your competition.
You need to add ten good meaningful photos a week with good alt texts and tags to at least a few and one video. Why ten? This will help build up your photo library with Google over the course of a year and years and will not be too much to try and maintain as far as work load doing it.
What pictures should you add. Always tell a story. Tell a story with your pictures and inside your pictures tell a story about that one image with Alt Text.
If you are a roofer, add ten pictures in order of a roofing project. Start from set up, to stripping off the roofing shingles, cleaning the deck, adding felt and then the shingles going on and finally completion pictures.
You have just told a story with pictures of what you do, you also told Google and any visually impaired person with your descriptive alt text and tags the same story.
Unless you are up against someone else that read this post, you will own it with a little time.
Need A Website? Google Can Help With That Too
All I am going to do is mention what the website button is. I must assume anyone reading this article will have at least a descent website. The website button is for someone who does not have a website nor much of a budget to build one.
You can build a website right in your GMB. I did one for a friend playing around in less than fifteen minutes so pretty easy and since it was free for him it looked pretty good.
It will at least give someone without a website some internet presence and it actually looked good. It is only one page but better than not having one at all.
Get Help Working Your GMB And Add Users
The user’s button is exactly what it sounds like, to manage users. If you have someone helping you inside or outside your company, you can add them here.
You must add their information and Google will send them an invitation. The additional user must log in and then they can get going to help you.
Use Google Messaging To Connect To Your Leads and Prospects
If you are new or fairly new to Google My Business you may not know what messaging is.
Google allows you to set up what is basically SMS or texting with a client directly form your Google My Business in Google maps.
The first thing you must do is click messaging in your left-hand menu bar and set it up.
Start by setting the message button to on.
Then you can get a Google number or use a company number here. Then you will need to download the Google My Business App from either the APP store or Google Play.
This message will also email to your email on file and you can message through email if you like.
Last thing is to set your message, I would keep it short and simple like Hi this is NAME with Roofing Company XYZ how may I help you.
Make sure you click save before leaving this page or you will have to do it all again.
Now you should be all set for messaging with clients that do not like picking up the phone and calling.
The #1 Ranking Factor With Google Is “Reviews” How To Get More
Alright, I have been waiting for reviews. This is one of my favorites to teach and talk about. Google reviews, you may not know how much power is in those two words.
At this point unless you are a total caveman or woman you know Google reviews help you out. Buy why?
The obvious reason is your leads/prospects can read real reviews about you and see how you handled business with other clients in the past.
But this is just scratching the surface. It means so much more to Google. Why? The first reason is they are not easy to get.
I’m sure by now you have been pitched by numerous companies saying use our service and we will get you hundreds of Google reviews. Yea that’s crap.
Google knows that a Google review is not easy to get so the sheer number you have is important.
It is very important that you have the most and they need to be good, so you do need to be using an automated service.
We have a Google review service; we automate ours through our CRM for ease of use. The automated system makes multiple attempts with your client, we try twice by text message and twice by email. Even with this system your salesmen and production team need to be setting your clients up for the review for a much better success rate. I promise you, you will get out of it what effort you put into it. This is real life experience talking.
Ok, I’m just getting warmed up here. You thought that was it. No, no it is not.
You see that every review in the screenshot above and below was replied to. Here is another spot that most drop the ball.
You need to make sure you have notification turned on for your GMB APP so you will know when you get a new review and, in most cases, you will know within minutes that you have a new Google review.
Why is this important?
Because Google can see that you did reply, but Google doesn’t stop there, Google measures how long it takes you to reply. Studies also show that most people expect a response after a review.
Google is after the best and if you want to be king in your market you have to be the best.
Being the best on the ground and on the internet is hard but if you want it, you have to earn it.
Pro Tip read the review and the reply. You can see that this client was prompted with questions upfront and the salesman’s name is in the review.
But you can also see other things like my roof, problems, these things are also seen by Google.
Now look at the reply, you will see this area is not just for thanking your client but also talking to Google and your next prospect. Many SEOs say Google has nothing in their algorithm for keywords in response but once again, nobody truly knows what is in Google’s algorithm so I say add them but only in a manner that makes sense talking to a client.
Check it out, Google review, Michael the salesman, roofing clients, roofing needs, and then one more shot with your company name, The Roof Crafters Team.
You can change this up a little on every reply, add the city your client lives in, the type roofing shingles and much more. Be creative and put keywords in the reply for Google. Who knows it might matter and if not your client and prospect will like the response anyway.
Just make sure you don’t look spammy, make sure you read it back to yourself and it sounds good. Too many keywords in there and it will look keyword stuffed.
Having your salesman’s name in the review will help that individual when the next lead he runs reads the reviews.
How do I know my next lead will read your Google reviews? I’ll tell you why you need to be serving your clients with this information.
How do you do this? Lead nurturing is how but that is another story, lead nurturing is something you need to be doing it.
Think this will be too hard to do. Nope, you can manage all your reviews right off your phone through the GMB APP.
The GMB APP will make it easy to view and immediately respond to all your clients Google reviews.
Now you know how to maximize your valuable Google reviews and believe me they are all valuable.
Pro Tip: get your client to upload their own pictures of their roofing project to your GMB, this is also important to Google. Just one last tidbit on reviews.
I will touch quickly on setting. Not much going on with this one.
Click on the setting link and check off which one of the notifications you want on. I would just turn them all on and be sure you get notice of everything.
Want More Leads? Start Using Google Paid Ads
Another short one here. This is if you do not have a Google Pay Per Click campaign going. You can start a Google Ads campaign from your GMB dashboard. This one is way too deep to even talk about here. I have plenty of information about Google paid ads. If you would like information on Google PPC just message me and I will be glad to send you some content on the subject.
If you don’t have a Google PPC campaign running, I would certainly advise starting one but if you are not capable of managing it yourself this is one you should get help with.
You will most certainly spend money with Google, but you can control everything about it, when it runs, how much you spend, what keywords you go after and the list is endless.
Know What Business Google Is Driving With “Google My Business Insights”
This is another feature in your GMB that is exactly what it sounds like. Your Google insights are where you will go to find out how your GMB is performing.
Your Google My Business Insights will show you many things from how clients searched for your business, what keywords were used, where clients viewed your business on Google, what action they took after they found you, track your phone calls, and photo views.
Look at the chart above, this will be the first thing you will see when you click on Insights from your left-hand-menu bar.
You will see here how clients found you. The branded section is fairly new. This is where a client finds you searching for a brand related to your business.
Next, you will see what queries were made to find your business. You can view them all. At the bottom of this section, you can click the next icon to run through them all.
You will also have all this information in your Google Analytics account, but your GMB dashboard is a nice place to take a look at your GMB stats.
Pro Tip: if you really want to drill down with your Google Analytics you need to add a tracking tag or UTM to the end of your URL, it will look like this,
The section in blue is the added tracking tag or also called a UTM.
With the tracking tag added to your URL it will be easier to see what is going on in your GMB from your Google Analytics dashboard. Just makes it faster to get to the results.
I will not show how to do this one here. I will have a video on how to make this one happen, if you mess this one up it could screw up your data collection and I really don’t want anyone blaming me for that.
You can always leave me a comment that you would like me to help you with this, I read every comment and I will be happy to help.
Next you can see if clients viewed you on Google maps or in the search listings. It is always important to know where your clients find you.
Here is another really good one. You can see client actions here. The number of calls, requests for directions to you, visits to your website and how many people took advantage of the Google messaging feature.
I will list out all Pro Tips before my conclusion so you can run back through them all and so more advanced users do not have to read this entire post just to get the Pro Tips.
Know Who Calls You With “Call Tracking”
Pro Tip: add a CallRail number in the info section of your GMB above your office number, so it is the number a prospect will call. Do not take your office phone number out of your GMB. Keep your true office number in the second number field.
Why? It is very important that your NAP, name address phone number is exactly the same across the entire web.
I will add more on your NAP in the final Pro Tip section but here is a brief description.
The reason you want to keep your office number in your GMB is for Google to see it. Google will score you higher if all your NAP information is consistent across the web. If your office number is on your website, you need it in your GMB.
When you add a CallRail number to your website you will want to set it to what is called dynamic insertion. When you do this, CallRail will display your CallRail number anywhere you have it in your website. Header, footer or in the content of your pages.
You will see the duration of the call, even what webpage they visited, and you can even record the call for training.
CallRail is not expensive and is not hard to implement. I will show you here What best practice is for your GMB.
A Few Pro Tips
These Pro Tips are in no special order But All Add Value
Pro Tip #1: Make a post each and every week. Never skip a week. If it is Thanksgiving or Christmas, make a post thanking your clients but make a post and always make a good post. Remember, in your posts, you are talking to your leads/prospects and trying to convert them into a client. Keep this in mind and it will help you stay diligent and focused. Always add value for anyone reading your posts. Don’t just say it’s a great day for a new roof and add a picture of a completed house. Who cares, get deep with why you should get a true hip & ridge shingle and not a three-tab on your hips. This is value and could even help with some upgrades.
Pro Tip #2: Make sure you have everything in your info section filled out. Take advantage of the business description and use as much of the 750 words allowed as you can. Be sure to stay ahead of your special hours and make sure the hours listed on your website are the same in your GMB this important to keep your NAP clean.
Pro Tip #3: Make sure you use the new service areas. If you are a roofer or remodeler you most likely service many areas, not just the city you live in. Be sure to add every city you serve no matter how small the city may be. Don’t get crazy and add 40 but list where you truly do go. If your GMB is strong enough and all the others are poorly worked maybe you can even get in the Google local pack in a nearby city, maybe?
Pro Tip #4: Additional tracking for your website stats. Again, I will only explain what and how to do this one. I will not show how to obtain the tracking tag. If you know how to obtain the tracking tag I will be happy to help you implement it, just contact me. You just add the tracking code to the end of your site URL. Then when you go to your Google Analytics you can have your GMB separated out and not have to dig for it.
Pro Tip #5: Add an appointment URL. You will need a third-party service like Acuity or Calendly. I use and like Acuity for all my calendar needs. Just go to Acuity.com and set up an account. You can use this account for your web visitors to set an appointment and Acuity will notify you. This is just one more service most others will not have, and Google will see you are maximizing your GMB. You can even use Google’s service, Google uses Appointy. It does not matter which one you use, just that you use one. Online booking even in roofing will grow over time and you will be the front runner.
Pro Tip #6: Make sure you add all the service you handle in the service sections. Add your services and then add a good description. Be sure to group your services and not just list without a heading. Be sure that your main service is at the top. So, start with roofing and add a good description then under roofing do roof repair and others like commercial roofing and so on.
Pro Tip #7: Google Ads extensions phone number. I will elaborate on a statement I made earlier in this post; you need to be running Google Pay Per Click Ads. If you’re in the roofing business you can make a lot of money by using Google Ads. It will cost you but watch your Google Analytics and see where you need to put your money. The Google Ads extensions phone number is a phone number your leads or clients can call straight out of your Google PPC Ads. If you can’t do this one yourself and most can’t get help, but this is one you need to get on top of. If not, you are losing money that could be in your pocket.
Pro Tip #8: You must connect your GMB account with your Google Ads account if you want to rotate an ad in the Google local pack. Yes, Google even runs an ad and I mean only one at the top of the local pack. The only way to get into this very important section is to connect your GMB and your Google Ads account. If you would like help, message me or leave a comment and I will be happy to help. It is too much to get into in this post, but this is one that can be huge for you. Even in other cities you can be at the top of the local pack, as of right now there is no way to be there other than be connected. Google has no special bidding at this time to stay at the top and may never, no way to know with Google.
I just wrote this in spring 2019 and now, in July 2019 I have seen as many as two paid ads in the Google local pack or what many call the snack pack. Also, in most metropolitan areas the Google Local Service Ads are up and running and Google is even putting these ads above the local pack. This is pushing the normally number one guy all the way to number three. You just have to be everywhere to win.
Pro Tip #9: Reviews. Reviews are huge, get you a service like our Review Us, BirdEye or any others that help gather more reviews through automation. A side note, just getting a service, ours or anybody else’s alone is not enough. You must as an owner or sales team leader push getting more reviews with your sales team and in your lead nurturing campaign. You need numbers and need to be at least a 4.4 star or higher. You can get and maintain a steady flow of Google reviews with some effort. Whatever you do, do not let some agency talk you into buying Google reviews. Google will eventually discover you did this and give you what I call the Google body slam, you could go into oblivion and quite possibly never recover from it.
Pro Tip #10: Add messaging to your GMB. This is one anyone can do without help. Some of your clients will really like this one- and over-time texting with businesses will get bigger and bigger and you will be ahead of your competition.
Pro Tip #11: Add ten good well thought out photos every week. What I mean by well thought out is, before, during and after photos of say a pipe jack repair. Tell a story through images and you will connect better with a prospect than just throwing random pictures in your GMB. Also, really try to get your clients to upload pictures of their own, Google really likes this one. Add one video every week. Your video can be a team member spotlight, video review from a client which is very powerful or even a short video during an install showing your leads and clients things about roofing only a roofer would know. Tell a story with your images and make sure you add good alt text and alt tags to every picture. I can just about guarantee you your competition is not going to do this. Most set up their Google My Business and never go back. That is a good thing for you because after reading this post, you are going to just crush your market with your GMB. You can also contact me for more on how to add Alt text and tags and what is a good Alt text.
Pro Tip #12: Always use the same Google account for all your companies Google products. Every tool Google has is called a product like Google Ads, Google Analytics or Google Console. If you set up our GMB and just leave it like so many do and forget the login credentials or say you had an agency set it up for you and you never got your login credentials you will not be able to take ownership of your GMB. If you have read this post it is most likely will never happen to you in the first place but if you find yourself in this very difficult spot now you will need help getting out of it. I had to go to Twitter once to get the Google My Business team to message me back. This is not a Google tool with an abundance of staff yet so you can just about forget getting someone on the phone unless you apply pressure like with Twitter. I did recover ownership of the account in question but there were lingering problems from losing ownership. Losing ownership and regaining it is a special post I am still working on and is quite deep. It can be very difficult to gain ownership of your GMB if someone else set it up and you have no login information. It can be done but is very hard. This is the main reason I say keep one account for each of your businesses. It is good to have different passwords just one Google account. If you have more than one, make sure you keep it saved in the cloud so you can always get back to it. I will have a future post and video just on how to accomplish this.
Pro Tip #13: If you are waiting on a postcard verification of your business do not fill out any business info, you could lose it all. Wait until you verify your account and then start working on it. If you start working your account prior to verification you could lose everything you do, so just wait it should only take a week to verify.
Pro Tip #14: Spamming Google My Business. Using a UPS Box or a rental house for an address is considered spam by Google. There are many other forms of Google My Business spamming that Google does not allow. This is my opinion, but I suggest if you are still doing this, stop. Google could and probably will suspend your account if they catch you. Even adding the city name in your business name is not allowed and many try this little trick. Be warned, your competitors can give you up to Google and probably will.
If I missed one please leave me a comment and let me know, I will be happy to add it in if I get one. I have tried not to get too technical here but for you guys that are really advanced and would like a deeper dive, shoot me a message I would love to chat with you.
Google My Business Updates
There has been a handful of GMB updates in 2019. I will do a quick listing and short description of each one.
- Google has gone to more phone verification. In some cases, you may have the option for phone verification rather than the postcard. This is not every time, but I am seeing it more than ever. I am also seeing Google asking for photo verification of your address which is new. If you are trying to verify your address, be prepared to give photos of your signage and the exterior and interior of your office. Google wants to know you have a real office. If not you should be using what is called a SAB, or service area business.
- Spam updates. Google is starting to take spamming in Google My Business more seriously. I say it is far past time for this. Spammers pollute the entire GMB eco system and I am only about white hat tactics in Google My Business and SEO. It takes a little time to do it right. Doing it the right way will future proof your company with Google. If you are adding the city name to your company name to game the system or using rental houses, be warned Google will catch you or your competition will report you. It is just a matter of time. In my experience shady agencies tell a business owner we can make you rank fast and this is some of the shady tactics they use to make this happen. Works great until you get caught and Google suspends your account and you can’t get it back. In 2019 Google added more reporting tools. Some in SEO like it better the old way I personally think this will lead to more tools for reporting in the future and ultimately be good for all legitimate businesses.
- New products section. Google has added a new products section that is still in beta right now. They have bounced it around from the info button to the left side menu and now it is back in both the info section and left side menu or at least in my account it is back on both. I have a few clients that products still have not been added in their dashboard, but most have it so it is still getting played with by Google. If you look at where Google has placed the products in the business knowledge panel you will see that Google is putting a lot of emphasis on this one. They have it really high up in the knowledge panel or commonly called your business profile. If you see products take advantage of it and fill it out as best, you can. Again, for help just contact us and we will be glad to get specific details. This page is already very long but so important.
- It looks like to me Google is pushing the online booking a little harder now than in the past. Google is looking to answer a user’s question on their page, not yours. I do not ever see a roofing website not being useful but, in some industries, it is already a thing. Think about it, when is the last time you went to a restaurant’s website? You don’t have to, the menu, pictures of food, hours are all right in the Google My Business profile.
- Be careful of the new short name. This one in particular is still buggy. I have not seen this happen but have heard by people in my industry I trust, and I know that they know what they are talking about have said. Sometimes claiming your short name can suspend your entire account. Yes, crazy so be warned claim this at your own risk right now. I claimed it for all my clients before I ever heard of a bug and I saw no issues at all. I also heard it could take months to get these accounts back as backed up as the Google My Business Team is. If I were you I would wait until I heard the bugs are all cleared.
I know some of the technics I mentioned above seem simple, but they work. And if I had to bet you a dollar, you don’t do many of these “simple” technics.
No matter what market your company is in, huge like Dallas or even a smaller city, it’s at least somewhat competitive. You aren’t going to find one technic that’ll drastically moves the needle. You’ll find you need to take advantage of every tip and technic I have mentioned.
But don’t take them for granted because all of these little things add up to a massive amount of new leads and business over time. Google My Business is a very powerful tool, make sure you are getting all you can from it.
This was a very long page and if you made it to this point pat yourself on the back because not many will. You are probably also the one making money, or you are the guy that just needs a little direction to do so. Good luck with your Google My Business journey and let us know if you need any help.