Google: A Useful Tool For Growing a Home Service Business
There are lots of tools available out there to assist you in growing a home service business. Some solutions cost a lot of money, are difficult to learn and difficult to use. Other systems are more affordable, easy to learn and easy to use. Which is the best system for growing a home service business?
However, regardless of which automation system you finally decide on to automate and grow your home service business, there are still many other tools available that you can and must use to make sure that people find you on the Internet when they type in their search query at Google.
The first tool you must look at when you’re thinking about growing a home service business is Google itself. Google has a host of tools – most of them free – for you to use to get your business into the Information Age. Before you look at any other automation tool, make sure you have looked at what Google offers you and what you want to use.
These are the main tools that Google offers users to help them start growing a home service business.
Google My Business
As soon as any website is completed, you must register it with Google My Business. This is the first prerequisite before Google will recognize your home service business in its local context. Google will then recognize the company name, address, email address and phone number that you provide them, and will then soon recognize your business with even one of these items. Register your site with the top 50 directories so you have the right citations for correct backlinks.
A very important part of registering your business with Google is your sitemap. every website must have a sitemap. Google prefers an XML sitemap to an html sitemap. When you submit your sitemap to Google, Google will
then use your sitemap to spider all the other links on your website. If you create your work in WordPress, WordPress will automatically create your XML sitemap for you while you create your site, and it will also submit your XML sitemap to Google.
Note: if you change or move any published URLs after Google has spidered your site, you must give those moved pages a “Redirect”, otherwise Google users may click on a listing for an old page, and get an Error message. Google does not like to send their users to dead links, so be careful here and make sure all your links work. You can use Google’s Crawl Error tool to detect and repair any broken links on your site — before Google finds them and penalizes you.
Google Keyword Research
Then start doing research to find what the best keywords you should use in your marketing. Google gives you wonderful keyword tools to analyze your keywords and it even lets you analyze your competitor’s keywords. Use this tool to decide which keywords you will promote in your content, your social media and in your tags.
Publishing good content, optimizing it for search engines, and getting backlinks all need to be done. But to see results takes time. The very fastest way to get onto Page One of Google right away is through Google AdWords. Set up an AdWords account, and you can then test which keywords will be the right ones for you. Different keywords have different costs: you can bid on any keyword to get a higher position. You must also write relevant ads, and Google will also make sure that your ad is sending their user to a relevant page for the search query.
If you can afford to do Google Adwords advertising, you definitely should. But the cost per click and the resultant cost per acquisition is going to be the determining factor as to whether you succeed at pay-per-click advertising. If you sell a lower-priced product (like a $79 drain cleaning service) you probably won’t be able to generate business cost-effectively through Adwords. But f you provide $15,000 sewer repair work, you might very well attract new customers at a price competitive to advertising on cable television.
And then there’s probably the most useful tool, free or otherwise, in the world, and that’s Google Analytics. Set up Google Analytics on your site — it involves inserting a line of code from Google into each page you want to be tracked by Google Analytics. Once you have set this up, you now have access to an incredible amount of data about your site and the visitors to your site. You can tell where they came from, how long they were on each page, what search words they used to find you, what countries/cities they are from, and even what browser they are using on what kind of computer. Study your Google Analytics very carefully. There’s no other tool that can tell you what’s going on your website like Google Analytics. And again, it’s totally free.
Google Local Search
If you have a service business, you need to do local promotion in your service area — and only in your service area. If you are a Beverly Hills locksmith, you must register your business with Google Local in Beverly Hills. If you are a plumber in West Hollywood, you must tell Google that you are a plumber in West Hollywood. When you register a local business with Google, they will send you a postcard to the address you are claiming as the current business address. The postcard contains a code which you will then use to show Google that you are who you say you are and your business is located where you say it is located.
There have recently been some major changes in the way Google handles local listings. Until now, listing your business with Google as a local business was simple. And was also free. Not any longer. From now on, if you want your Beverly Hills plumbing business to appear in Google’s local search when a Google user types in “Beverly Hills Plumber”, you are going to have to pay for the privilege. You will pay for every call Google sends you through local search — and you will have to pay for each call whether you sell the caller or not. You can pay up to $20 for each call Google sends you. So, if you’re selling a $79 drain cleaning special, you will never be able to advertise a service like this on Google Local. But if you provide major construction or installation of plumbing, heating or electrical systems that might cost thousands of dollars, you might attract customers very well through Google Local’s new thing.
There are other tools for growing a local home service business: Linkedin and MozLocal are just two systems that you can use for growing a home service business. We will be looking at those in the coming weeks. Then there’s Salesforce. And then, of course, there’s field service management software.