Local Competition Levels HVAC Contractor Playing Field
Incorrect information is not only a ranking killer, but it can also steer potential customers away from a business.
When your potential customers perform a search on Google for ‘AC repairs near me’ or ‘heater repair [your city]’, chances are Google will show them a list of Google My Business profiles. What’s great about GMB profiles is that they are free, easy to update, and show up based on location, reputation, and prominence. It’s one area where it’s easy to beat the national competitors and show up for related local searches.
First, make sure your GMB profile is claimed. It’s a simple process to claim your profile, and it allows you to make updates and add information. Second, you should check the information to ensure it is all correct.”
Incorrect information is not only a ranking killer, but it can also steer potential customers away from a business. If a business has moved, added a phone number or website, or changed its name, it is likely that the GMB profile has incorrect information.
Third, start asking for and responding to reviews from satisfied customers. According to a local study, 50 percent of HVAC companies have three or fewer reviews on their GMB profile, and the average HVAC company has 21 reviews — so a few positive reviews can help you stand out from your local competition.
Free Digital Marketing
When you choose your business categories, you will be prompted to choose from pre-determined categories, but you can also override them and choose your own. Don’t do that. Use the categories from Google, and use multiple categories if they apply. Choosing your own will not allow you to show up in as many searches as your business can.
Users have both primary and secondary categories to elect in their profiles. The most commonly used category for primary and secondary was ‘HVAC contractor’ at 45 and 57 percent, respectively. Once chosen, these categories can still be changed.
If you conduct very seasonal services, it may make sense to adjust your category based on the season. In winter months, make your primary category ‘heating contractors,’ and then update it in the spring for ‘air conditioning contractor.’
Once the categories are chosen, fill out every single area on the forms with information, leaving nothing blank.
Take the time to read and respond to the reviews that show up on their page.
Claiming your Google Local page and adding content will help your listing show up in more searches and higher in the map results listings on local or geo modified search queries.
Contractors working on their GMB account should not just set it up and then leave it. Take the time to read and respond to the reviews that show up on the page, as well as create posts that interact and share offers with their customers.
You will receive emails from Google letting you know which posts are getting attention. This can help your marketing people make choices when they see what works and what doesn’t.
GMB is the cheapest way to market an HVAC business, especially at the local level.
You can do this yourself for free or even hire a third party to help. It’s worth it and cost-effective. Add this piece of marketing to each quarter.
Those looking to spend some market dollars with Google can take advantage of ways to stand out amongst other services, like Google Ads.
If you run Google Ads, you can pay for Promoted Pins, which help your GMB listing appear for searches it may not normally appear. Also, while not directly connected to a GMB account, Local Service Ads are another type of localized ad that works great for HVAC contractors.
Ignorance Here Is Less Than Bliss
Contractors have ignored many of the free marketing tools made available to them in the past.
Ignoring this would be one of the worst mistakes you could make as a contractor. It basically costs nothing and helps you get found. There is no reason not to do this. GMB is one of the most cost-effective lead sources. The investment really comes from maintaining reviews and the revenue rolls in from there.
GMB does take time to set this up, but once you do, this is basically a goldmine lead generation tool, and there are so many things you can do with this listing.
There are some great GMB mastermind groups on Facebook that will walk users through the GMB process, and encouraged contractors to sign up for newsletters that will keep them on top of all the Google updates.
The fact that GMB is free does not detract from its legitimacy.
Google My Business is absolutely not a trend, it’s a need, in Google’s eyes.
It is in Google’s best interest to encourage businesses to keep up with their listings. Google could not possibly track down every new business, so when businesses have a Google My Business listing, it helps Google to stay ahead in the search business. That’s why Google is offering free tools for businesses to do this themselves.
This ensures that Google is delivering the best quality answers to users’ questions. If a business doesn’t keep up with a listing, then users tend to blame Google for giving bad answers to their searches.
Google recently made a custom field where HVAC contractors can state what their businesses are doing to protect their employees and customers from COVID-19.
While GMB may not always look the same over the coming years, the service is absolutely not going anywhere.
Almost 50 percent of Google searches are for local services and I don’t see Google ever ignoring that kind of volume. It will change often, which is why it is important to log in to your listing frequently and see what else you can say about your business and where. For instance, Google recently made a custom field where you can state what your business is doing to protect your employees and customers from COVID-19.
Other recent updates to GMB include Google Posts and Messaging.
Google has also been hinting at potential paid features for GMB, which could impact how businesses and homeowners use this service. All of this is proving that Google is investing in the growth of this platform.