By Dave Mercer
How to make sure your drilling or consulting business shows up where customers are looking
By Dave Mercer
Last column we talked about knowing your customers to understand how they find you. For most businesses this starts with your Google presence.
Today people find you online. This article is a quick-start guide to get Google to drive customers to you.
Let’s start with how Google displays results of a search. Try it out for yourself – search for something like a plumber in your town or area. There are three sections to the results. At the top of the page are ads that companies have paid for, so you see them first (unless you’re using an effective ad blocker, in which case you don’t see any ads at all). Google ads can be effective, but in many cases people scroll past the ads to the second section, which is a map. The map shows locations of the results of your search in the area you defined, followed by a listing for each business.
It is absolutely essential that your business shows up here, and it’s how to be sure that happens that we will focus on in this article.
It’s not until after the map section that you see the typical Google results showing the “best matches” for your search. Being discoverable in this section is also important. However, since many people make up their minds before even getting to this section, it’s not as important as being discoverable in the map section.
So, the map section is where it’s at. People often make up their minds whether or not to buy your product or use your service based solely on what they find here, and they do so primarily because they have already built up trust in your business.
How does that work? It comes down to your Google rating and testimonials. If someone searches for a plumber and immediately finds one that serves their area, has a high Google rating (of say 4.7 out of 5), and has hundreds of positive testimonials, they probably won’t look any further. They trust Google results and they trust testimonials. They may do a quick comparison of a few other plumbers just to confirm they’re making a good decision, and they’ll likely see listings for plumbers with lower ratings and maybe only a handful of testimonials. They’ve done their research and they are going to contact the business they trust based on their research.
Being discoverable in the maps section is as easy as filling out your business profile (https://www.google.com/business/go/businessprofile/) and filling it with testimonials. When you first access your business profile at this link, you’ll probably find that Google already has a listing for your business so you don’t need to create one. Follow the instructions and populate the listing with accurate information. Your business description should be brief, free from spelling or grammatical errors, and describe exactly what you do (and how long you’ve been doing it).
If there’s one thing you take away from this article it’s that you need your customers to rate your business and leave testimonials. Get into the habit of asking customers to leave a rating for you. These are the primary factors customers use to decide if they trust you, which leads them to contact you. Trust is important. It means that when someone contacts you or visits your website based on a Google search, they have basically already decided to buy your product or service. Your response, or the quality of your website, is required for them to maintain that trust. Don’t give them a reason to change their mind!
Dave Mercer, P. Geo, is a geologist who specializes in marketing and communications for companies that work in the groundwater industry. Dave offers consulting services to companies looking to up their marketing presence and grow their business. He is also currently general manager of the British Columbia Ground Water Association. Dave can be reached at Dave@undergroundcommunications.ca.