The market for home services businesses has grown rapidly in recent months, with a record-breaking 32% year-over-year growth in new work scheduled in 2021 as compared to 2020 (Business Wire). DSG has witnessed this firsthand, as we work with numerous clients in the space including plumbers, pest control companies, and kitchen/bath remodeling contractors.
It will come as no surprise that this spike in activity was characterized by huge increases in online engagement and lead flow. Anyone reading our blog knows we are constantly pounding the table regarding the importance of having a rock solid online presence as the foundation of any digital marketing effort. It has been gratifying to see our clients benefit from these best practices. .
Still, home services businesses often underestimate the impact of incorrect or incomplete online listings. Claiming and maintaining your listings allows you to take full control of your business, eliminates the possibility of misinformation spreading to your customer base, and increases lead potential.
Today, we wanted to share DSG’s 5 essential tips to start effectively managing your home services business’ listings.
1. Audit your Online Presence
The first step in taking control of your online listings is to take a good look at what you’re working with. Audit your business by performing searches for it on various platforms like Google, Yelp, Bing, Facebook, and Apple Maps. Take note of the results you find; is the information accurate, and is it consistent from platform to platform? Do you see multiple listings for your business on a single platform?
This process can be laborious and time consuming. Many businesses prefer to partner with an experienced agency to perform a thorough audit of their business’ presence across the web. This can give you an in-depth look into which areas of your online strategy need improvement.
2. Claim your Listings
If you find that your listings are unclaimed, don’t delay – begin the process of claiming them as soon as possible. If an unknown party were to claim your listing before you do, it could cause complications down the road. You can also begin requesting the removal of duplicates, by reporting duplicate listings or by directly contacting the platform’s support team.
It is a good idea to start out with claiming your business on some of the larger platforms mentioned earlier – Google, Yelp, Bing, Facebook, and Apple Maps. One important note – many home services businesses such as plumbers, HVAC technicians, cleaners, landscapers, and more, do not have a physical location which can make it challenging to claim certain online listings. However, Google My Business has an easy-to-follow process for claiming businesses with no physical location.
As a home services business, it is additionally crucial to claim your business listing on Yelp. Yelp is a high-traffic platform that has seen exceptional growth in the home services industry.
Establishing your business’ presence on Yelp opens the doors to a high-intent user base of over 178 million unique visitors per month.
3. Optimize your Listings
Once you’ve secured your online listings, it’s time to optimize them by making your listings as information-rich and efficient as they can possibly be. This is where we encourage our home services clients to dig deep. Of course, you want to ensure that your name, address, phone and website info are correct.
However, this is also an opportunity to highlight the features, achievements and experience that make your business unique. These all contribute to creating a comprehensive perception of your brand, building trust with consumers and importantly this information is often picked up in search results.
Below is a list of some of the information to consider adding to your profile:
- Complete list of services
- Photos of your work
- Years In Business
- Links to “Request A Quote” or “Book Appointment” Forms
- Safety/Cleanliness Protocols
4. Strategize for Maintenance and Long-Term Goals
For home services businesses, it can be difficult to decide who should take control of your ongoing listing management tasks. If your team is not fully aware of everyone’s responsibilities, it can lead to incorrect listing updates or even duplicate listing creation. It’s important to be transparent regarding your team’s responsibilities and ensure active communication.
It is also crucial to monitor your home services business’ reputation. Customers are leaving more business reviews than ever (and reading more reviews, too) and a business with negative reviews or even no reviews can be a turn off for prospects. Therefore, vigilant review monitoring has become an important practice for all businesses.
Managing your reputation comes with more benefits than you might expect. Here are just a few of them:
- Competitive Advantage. People trust a brand or business with a good reputation.
- Search Results. Acquiring good reviews increases Google search ranking.
- Increased Sales. Companies with high star-ratings and reviews get more business.
- Business Intelligence. Strengths and weaknesses can be identified, impacting customer service needs, marketing campaign targeting and potential new streams of revenue.
Make a plan for monitoring and responding to all current and future reviews so that your home services business can see these benefits.
5. Monitor and Continue Regular Upkeep
Online listing management is not a “set it and forget it” deal. It’s important to update your online listings each and every time your business information changes – whether it’s your hours, contact information, services, safety protocols or any other information that customers need to see.
You may consider investing in a listing management software to facilitate keeping your business information updated. Or, partnering with an agency that can keep your listings updated and optimized as well as track performance, spend and ROI. Let DSG show you what we can do.
As a home services business, your priority is to keep your customers happy. Managing your online listings is a crucial step towards gaining your customers’ trust and continued patronage.