Regardless of the size or age of your home inspection business, there are certain things that you and your team must prioritize to be successful. Some of these tasks include high-quality work, stellar customer service, and an intelligent digital marketing strategy. By consistently applying the highest standards to these tasks, you can certainly build a great home inspection business.
We at Inspector Media are specialists at this final task. We enjoy helping home inspector leverage the latest marketing tools to grow their businesses. A comprehensive digital marketing strategy not only introduces your home inspection company to potential customers, but it allows you to tap into the wealth of opportunities provided by the internet. The internet can make or break businesses, so you want to ensure that you are properly utilizing its power.
One key component of an effective digital marketing strategy is being present on Google. The world’s most visited website (and predominant search engine) can be your best friend in terms of finding new customers. To do this, we tell our clients to take full advantage of Google My Business, a free tool offered by Google that can help your business more easily connect with customers. Google My Business not only lets you establish a presence on Google Search and Google Maps, but it provides you with granular data to see how customers are engaging with your profile.
Whether or not you have a Google My Business profile, we have gathered a collection of best practices so that you can get the most out of this wonderful tool. Following the tips and strategies below will help you capitalize on this opportunity and generate more business.
Google My Business: Best Practices
Once you access Google My Business’s website and set up a profile, you will first want to verify your listing. Similar to verifying a profile on Facebook or Twitter, this verification process enhances your credibility. It tells prospective customers that, yes, this is your actual home inspection business, and that it is located in their community. Not only that, but verifying your listing helps improve its performance and visibility. Verification usually takes less than one week.
To verify your Google My Business profile, you can select from several options. Many business owners verify by mail. If you select this option, Google will send a postcard to your business address, and that postcard will contain a verification code. Once you receive the postcard, you will input the verification code on Google My Business. Besides mail, you can also verify by phone, email, or Google Search Console. You can find further instructions here.
The bottom line? Take the time to verify your business. It will make it easier for prospective customers to discover your home inspection business.
Next, make sure to include your preferred keywords in your business listing. Whenever you are working with Google, you should always think about search engine optimization (“SEO”). Therefore, when completing your business listing on Google My Business, include your targeted keywords, whether they are “home inspection,” “home inspection business,” or something else.
If you aren’t sure which keywords to target, you can use other Google products to complete your research. Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends can help you generate some ideas. While you may have many different keywords that you want to target, ensure that you are only including your most important in your business listing. You don’t want to engage in “keyword stuffing,” so use your keywords sparingly here.
From including your preferred keywords, you next should encourage, monitor and respond to customer reviews. This is an ongoing task, but one which will help increase the visibility of your Google My Business Profile. Ultimately, we live in a world where we rely heavily on customer reviews when searching for businesses online. We use prior customers’ experience as a proxy for our own. Because of this, you want to encourage your customers to write reviews—preferably positive ones—on your profile page. Not only do positive reviews provide social proof for your business, but they help your profile page rank higher in search results.
Whether or not a review is positive, you should also interact with reviewers. It can be extremely simple. If they left a positive review, you can thank them for their support. If a review is not so positive, you can thank the reviewer for their feedback and incorporate that feedback into your future work. While it does take time to respond to your reviews, it is an investment which will pay off in the long run.
Next, ensure that your profile page contains photos and images. Just like your business’s Facebook or Instagram profile page, you want your images to be professional and to represent your brand. Your profile photo is the most important on your page, so think about selecting a photo that is not your logo. Doing so will separate you from your competitors. Also, you will want to select an appealing cover photo, logo image, and additional photos that can show off features of your home inspection business.
Ultimately, the last thing you want is a profile page containing few (if any) pictures, as this will quickly cause a prospective customer to find another home inspector. When uploading your photos, make sure that they are in a JPG or PNG format, are at least 720 pixels tall and 720 pixels wide, and that they are well-lit with no alterations.
Finally, we highly encourage you to take advantage of Insights, which is Google My Business’s analytics tool. The beauty of any digital marketing tool is that it can provide you with a wealth of data about your audience. With Insights, you can understand how your customers find your listing, how they find your business on Google Search or Google Maps, how customers acted once they found your Google listing, where people are requesting directions to your business, and how often customers called your business via your listing on Google.
With all of this data in hand, you can gain a better understanding of how your customers are discovering your business. If, for instance, you see many members of your audience requesting directions from a nearby city, you can use those insights to further target potential customers in that city. If you see that members of your audience are visiting your website from your Google My Business listing but that your website has an extremely high bounce rate, you can investigate further.
You can obtain as few or as many insights as you like. That said, it is in your best interest to look at these analytics to better understanding your Google listing and how your audience is interacting with your business.
An Extremely Effective Tool
Google My Business can be an extremely effective tool to find new customers on the world’s largest search engine. While it does take some time to set up, this tool can be a driving force for future business—especially if you follow the best practices above.
As you can likely tell, we at Inspector Media love studying these tools. If you would like to use Google My Business but feel too pressed for time, we are happy to offer Google My Business postings for home inspectors. To learn more about this opportunity, feel free to click here.