We’re up and rolling in a new direction this week with Google My Business (GMB) and fish wheels!
Last week we talked about the importance of your website and how to make it as welcoming as possible for your customers.
The next challenge is to help them find their way there in the first place. So much to learn, right? So we’re going to give you a shortcut this week, and we’re going to show you how Google My Business (GMB) is like a fish wheel.
That’s right, a fish wheel!
Please stick with us, and this will all start to make sense. But, more importantly, it will show why GMB makes excellent sense for your maid service business.
A fish wheel looks like a partially submerged Ferris wheel, but it’s fitted with mesh baskets instead of passenger cars. The wheel rotates with the push of the river current. As it turns, it scoops up fish in those mesh baskets and drops them into a holding pen underwater so they can’t get away.
Fish wheels have been around for centuries, and they’re incredibly effective—provided you put them somewhere with a strong current and a lot of fish. If you like reality shows about people braving the Alaska wilderness, you’ve probably seen one on TV.
Think of Google like a river of information, propelled forward by all those searches. Google handles around 3.8 million searches per minute.
Your Google My Business page is a fish wheel.
Drop it in the right part of that river of searches, and you’ll scoop up fresh leads.
Here’s the real trick: Google plays favorites, especially with their own products. Google My Business will always get a boost in anyone’s search results, which is why we’re talking about it this week.
And Google plays favorites, especially with their own products. That’s where GMB comes in. And that’s our focus in this week’s post. We’ll mention a few other fish wheels along the way. Here are a few comments about GMB from folks over at the Launch27 Domination Facebook group. (You have joined the Launch27 Facebook page and Launch27 Domination group, haven’t you?)
The maid service business is very geo-centric. That is, to be efficient and spend maximum time cleaning rather than driving from job to job, you’ll want to focus on a specific geographic area.
Here’s the real kicker: Half of all Google searches are local, and over 90% of local searches feature a GMB listing. If you search “maid service” + “(your town),” you’ll almost always see a result like this:
Those top two results are free GMB sites, and they are at the top because the search triggers geo-specific results.
Similarly, when someone uses google maps to search for something close by, all of the results displayed below the map are for GMB sites.
Click here to access the Launch & Learn Intro with links to all posts.
The most critical elements of your Google My Business profile:
Here are the features to give immediate attention to:
Ratings offer compelling social proof, which means we tend to do what we see others doing. It’s a form of validation or safety in numbers. Notice how we took advantage of that fact when we slipped in the screenshot of Facebook comments a few paragraphs above? The best salespeople for your business are your customers.
Ratings also provide a high-impact opportunity to demonstrate how you respond to less than stellar reviews. Of course, stay in business long enough, and you’re bound to get a few complaints. But, if you post a public response that’s humble, honest, and apologetic and pledge to make it right, people will notice.
Create posts on Google My Business the same way you do on your other social sites. However, keep in mind your customer and your promise—new content signals active involvement to the reader.
Don’t forget to upload photos. Google states that those who add photos get 42% more requests for directions on Google maps and 35% more clicks through to their websites.
Also, you can’t go wrong with photos of happy customers and clean homes.
See what we mean?
Info about your business and the area you serve –
It’s not a requirement that you provide a business address. So if you’re working remotely or don’t care to share your physical address, you have the option of completing the fields for the area you serve.
Unless your business is a powerhouse and you’re an SEO whiz, GMB could well be your single most powerful tool when it comes to getting found online.
One last point on GMB: Take a minute and Google the term “citation building.” It’s an SEO practice that gives credibility to your company online. You can even pay companies a small fee to build these citations for you. An important detail here: When adding yourself to any directory, make sure you list your address with the same exact content and format across the board.
Consider citation building as a way of steering more searches toward your GMB site.
A few more recommended “fish wheels”:
NextDoor is hyperlocal to neighborhoods. The strength of the NextDoor model comes from the fact that we trust our neighbors, so we feel we can trust their recommendations. People often pop into NextDoor to ask their neighbors for recommendations. You can claim a free business page and begin building your following by posting regularly.
Yelp is an excellent place to gather leads. We recommend setting up an account and monitoring it regularly. There have been some issues with how Yelp filters search results to prevent phony ratings, but it’s still a great tool.
FacebookFacebook is the biggest social media platform of them all, and it also offers free business pages. In addition, the Facebook ecosystem is very ad-driven, which means you can drill down to the specific demographics of your customer base.
There are plenty of other platforms out there to consider, but you’re in launch & learn mode, so you don’t want to get bogged down in research. Nevertheless, GMB is an excellent starting point, and we suggest focusing the bulk of your effort there for now.
Experiment with the four options we’ve shared as time allows. Remember, you’re building version 1.0 of your maid service business.
Set up your GMB this week. Google is very interested in making this as easy as possible for you, so they make it simple and provide plenty of instruction. GMB is Google’s way of competing with other platforms by having their own location-based social media outlet. So it’s important to them that it works and that you get on board with minimal hassle.
Most established maid service companies have a presence on all four platforms listed above. You’ll benefit from doing the same – piece by piece.
Focus on accumulating ratings as quickly as you can. For example, if you’re using a cleaning service software like Launch27, you can automatically ask for ratings when you finish a job. Those will supplement these other platforms nicely.
If you’re following along here, you’re making progress. Even just gaining clarity on your next step counts as progress! So in those moments when you’re feeling stuck, we hope to be a resource you can rely on.
Remember, you’re not alone in your launch & learn journey.