If you're a roofer and your company doesn't have a business listing on Google when you type your company name into that search bar, well, these days we'd probably say that you don't exist.
Except, this is more common that you realize in the roofing industry.
Google's business listings, or what's called "Google My Business" or "GMB" for short, are the lifeblood of any online marketing campaign. And they're also CRUCIAL for reputation management and visibility on the internet.
Getting your Google My Business listing verified and optimized properly is a necessary step for proving to homeowners that you exist. And if you do it right, it can also lead to bigger and better things, like ranking in Google maps for such search queries as "roofing company + your city".
Here's how to setup your Google My Business listing the right way plus a few bonuses that you might not be aware of!
First things first, if you don't already have a GMB listing for your company, you need to create one and get verified. Head to https://www.google.com/business/ to signup and claim your listing. You'll need to input your company name, address, and phone and submit for verification.
Google will then send you a postcard to your office address with a pin number on it. We've typically seen this arrive in as quick as 3 days and sometimes up to a week. As soon as you do this you'll have access to your Google My Business dashboard.
Once you're logged into your Google My Business dashboard and your business is verified, take a look around. Head to the "Info" tab on the left and let's begin editing our Business information. You probably already did this when you verified your GMB listing, but make sure that your business name is the same as what is used across the internet.
For SEO purposes, you want your business name to match what's across the internet on all of the othe rwebsites out there, e.g. BBB, HomeAdvisor, directory sites, local chamber of commerce, and all of those other sites where business names are displayed. If it doesn't match, it can cause issues for both customers who will be confused as well as search engine rankings down the road.
This is probably the MOST important part of your GMB. If you don't have the proper primary category, you'll never be able to rank locally in Google Maps for any of the roofing terms. It's that simple.
Make sure that if your primary service is roofing that your primary business category is "Roofing Contrator". There is no other selection for that!
If you do siding, gutters, windows, or any other contracting work, list those services in the "Additional Categories" spaces.
This is another crucial area of the Google My Business dashboard that should be filled out properly.
Make sure your office address is exactly as it should be across the internet. Or otherwise, use that address on all of your other internet profiles like Facebook, Yelp, HomeAdvisor or whereever your company is listed.
Make sure to list accurate hours for when you are open. This can be a headache for customers if it says you operate 24/7 and you actually close at 5pm. Make sure you get these right.
Your phone number should be your main office line - this is going to be your number that gets syndicated across the internet again on all of your company profiles so make sure that you get it right!
Make sure to put the homepage of your company website in the website box. Use www or don't use www depending on how your website is setup. We'd also recommend putting your contact us page or "Free Estimate" page in the appointment URL box so leads can easily reach you.
This is new to GMB, but it's an important one. You should be detailed on this. Separate your services into categories and subcategories. For example "Roof Installation" could be the category. Subcategories could include the types of roofs that you install.
Include a description if possible.
The business description is your opportunity to tell prospective customers as well as Google what it is that you do. What are you known for? Why do customers prefer your services?
Sell your company, but don't be spammy in the description. Trying to stuff keywords in because you think it will help you rank better with SEO doesn't help, guaranteed.
People who are researching your company also will see this at the bottom of the knowledge panel, so it's a good opportunity to let them know who you are.
Photos are crucial to your GMB listing. First of all, make sure your Logo, Profile Photos, and Cover Photos are filled in. This is the lifeblood of what shows up on your listing, so make sure this matches your branding.
From there, you should upload as many photos as possible for interior/exterior of office, photos of jobs that you've done, team members, and more.
Special Bonus: Name your photo file names before uploading about what they are. If you did a roofing project in Chicago, use the file name as "roof in chicago", etc. Does this help with Local Maps SEO? We've seen ups and downs, but it definitely can't hurt.
Although this step takes time to do, it is crucial that you build up a collection of Google reviews from customers that you've completed work for.
Not only does it allow customers to trust you more, but Google will also display "Gold Stars" in search results for your company when people come across you in Google's search results.
You can use Whitespark's Google Review Generator to get a link that you can send to customers via email. This link will take them directly to the leave a review page. Here's that link:
Once you start getting reviews, make sure to reply to all of them. Yes, ALL of them! Even negative reviews. This shows prospects that you're active and that you care about all of your customers as well as shows Google you are active within your GMB dashboard.
Again, another new feature from Google My Business.
We've been using this with great success. It's an opportunity to stand out from the pack in search results. You should be using some sort of "Special Offer" to gain traction and get people to click over to your site.
Create a new post with an Image or Video describing the offer (Videos work better). In the headline, describe the offer. In our example we used "Up to $2,500 off New Roofs!" as a summer special.
Rotate offers and news in Google posts. When people find you in Google maps, those offers will stand out upon clicking, giving you a better chance of getting that call to learn about your services.
If you're running Google AdWords, you can use your optimized Google My Business listing to crush your competitors and get more leads very easily.
We'll show you how One Roofer Got 47 Extra Leads with Google AdWords Using this One Simple Trick.
Case Study: How this Roofer Got 44 Extra Phone Leads This Month with this One Simple AdWords Trick.
Brian has been working in the digital marketing industry for the last 7 years. Seeing success working and generating leads with roofing companies online, Brian co-founded Roofer Marketers to help implement a custom system to help roofers 5x their businesses.