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 a soft place for your customers to land. The next challenge is how to get them to land there. So much to learn, right? We’re going to give you a shortcut this week, and we’re going to show you how Google My Business is like a fish wheel.
That’s right, a fish wheel!
Stick with us and this will all start to make sense. More importantly, it will show why GMB makes great sense for your maid service business.
Fish wheels have been used for centuries all over the world and first came to the US in the 1800s. While no one knows the origin of these devices, there’s no mystery about their effectiveness. So effective that they’ve been banned at different times and places.
But they’re still around. If you watch those reality shows about people braving the Alaskan wilderness, you’ll see a fish wheel pop up now and then.
The concept is simple. What looks like a partially submerged Ferris wheel, is fitted with wooden or metal mesh baskets, driven by the current. The unwary fish are picked up by the baskets and dropped into a submerged container to preserve the catch.
There are only two conditions necessary for a fish wheel to work: a river with a current and the presence of fish. If either is missing, you just have a partially submerged, stationary Ferris wheel. Or one that keeps turning without turning up any fish.
So, here’s the analogy: Google is like a river of information, and the current is all those searches. Your GMB page is like a fish wheel.
The current is constant – 24/7. Google is the biggest river of information online, and hosts about 3.8M searches a minute across the planet. Among all those darting and weaving searches are potential customers for you, but only if you have the proper digital fish wheels in place.
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.
The maid service business is very geo-centric. That is, in order to be efficient and spend cleaning rather than driving, you’ll want to focus on a specific geographic area. And here are the two mindblowing reasons why GMB is so important:
Half of all Google searches are local. And….
Over 90% of local searches feature a GMB listing. For example, when you search “Maid Service” + “your town” on a mobile device, you’ll see a result like this:
Those top two results are actually free GMB sites, and they are at the top because the search triggers geo-specific results.
Similarly, when someone uses google maps to do a search for something close by, all of the results displayed below the map are for GMB sites.
The big pieces of your Google My Business profile:
Here are the elements to give primary 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.
Create posts on Google My Business the same way you do on your other social sites. Always keep in mind your customer and your promise. Fresh 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.
Tip: happy customers and/or clean homes make for great pics.
See what we mean?
Info about your business and the area you serve –
You probably won’t be serving customers at your business address, so just complete 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 similar to link building in that it 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”:
It’s local, as in neighborhood local. You can claim a free business page and begin building your following by posting regularly. The strength of the NextDoor model is that we trust our neighbors, so we feel we can trust their recommendations. People often pop into NextDoor to ask their neighbors for recommendations.
There have been challenges in the past with the way results are filtered by this company in order to prevent phony ratings, but it’s a great gathering place for leads. We’d recommend you set up an account and monitor it regularly.
The biggest social media platform of them all. And it also offers free business pages. The Facebook ecosystem is very ad-driven but they do offer the ability to drill down on your customer base demographics.
There are plenty of other platforms out there to consider, but you’re in launch & learn mode so you cannot afford to get bogged down in research. GMB is a solid choice to start with so we suggest focusing the bulk of your effort there for now.
Be willing to experiment with the four options we’ve shared. Remember, you’re building version 1.0 of your maid service business.
Set up your GMB this week. Google is very interested in you doing this without a lot of effort, so they make it simple and provide plenty of instruction. GMB is their way of competing with the other platforms by having their own location-based social media outlet. It’s important to them that it works and that you get on board with minimal hassle.
Most of the established maid service companies have set up all four of the platforms listed above. You’ll benefit from doing the same – piece by piece.
Focus on accumulating ratings as quickly as you can. If you’re using a cleaning service software like Launch27, you can automatically solicit ratings when you finish a job. Those will supplement these other platforms nicely.
If you’re following along here, you’re making progress. Even if it just helps you get clearer about what to do next. In those moments when you’re feeling stuck, we hope to be a resource you can turn to.
Remember, you’re not alone in your launch & learn journey.