How To Set Up A Google Business Profile

Want to know the best free way to promote your business online?

Google Business Profile!

Google Business Profile (previously known as Google My Business) is a free and simple tool for companies to manage their online presence across all Google services, such as Search and Maps. 

You can connect with your clients using Google Business Profile, keep your company profile up to date, provide pictures of your office/staff and keep track of how Google users interact with your company.

Businesses can now directly claim their profiles from Search and Maps, which is a brand-new feature that comes with the new name.

Google announced a name change for the platform in November of 2021, something that didn’t come as a surprise to many because this is not the first time Google has changed the name.

Read on to learn about the new changes to Google Business Profile and how to set up your profile with some optimization tips for each section!

New Changes for 2022

Access Options

The decision to discontinue the GMB app in 2022 and urge company managers to view their accounts through “an enhanced experience” on Google Search or Google Maps is a significant step. This option has actually been accessible for some time; all you need to do is type in a search for your company name, or, if you’re signed in, the term “my business,” and then click on the profile that pops up. If you’re a business with only one location, this could be an easier way to access your profile.

Setting Up Your Google Business Profile

To get started, you need to sign in or create a Google account.

If you don’t have a Google account, head over to the create an account page. If you already have a Gmail address, then you can use that to sign in.

Claim Your Google Business Profile

A quick way to see if your business already has a GMB listing is to do a search on Google. If you see your business pop up, great! If not, don’t worry, you can easily create a new listing.

If you do have a listing, but it’s unclaimed, you’ll want to claim it as soon as possible. An unclaimed listing means anyone can edit your business name, address, and hours- which isn’t ideal.

To claim your listing, head to the Google Business Profile homepage and click on “manage now” in the top right-hand corner.

If you don’t have a listing, you’ll be prompted to create one.

Enter Your Business Name

When creating your GMB profile, you will be prompted to enter a company name. Ensure that this information is correct in order for clients to locate your business. Your profile name, as well as the name that appears on your signs and logo, need to be consistent with one another.

Phone Number

It is crucial to have a company phone number in order to receive business. If customers can’t reach you, they may go to a competitor.

Address

How will customers locate you if you don’t have an address? Make sure to enter your address as accurately as possible. All abbreviations on your website, social media presence, and elsewhere should be consistent. The difference between “street” and “ST” may not appear to be important, yet it might result in your account being marked for inconsistency.

Website

By linking your website to your Google Business Profile, you may generate more leads while giving potential clients access to your contact information and a detailed description of what you offer.

Hours

Simply specify your business’s open hours to complete the hours section. Customers will know when to call, when to visit, and when you may be reached for business inquiries.

Profile Images

Photos are an excellent way to show potential customers what they can expect when they visit your business. Showing photos of your business’ interior and exterior will give searchers a realistic idea of your business’ space.

Photos of the people involved with your business can also be uploaded to show potential customers the faces behind your business. These could be pictures of employees, team members, or even yourself!

Including high-quality images is essential to building trust with potential customers.

Here’s what to include:

  • Pictures of the inside of your business
  • Photos from outside of your business
  • Images of those who work there

Business Description

This is possibly the most significant component of your GMB profile is the description. You want this to be enlightening and SEO-friendly (search engine optimized). An effective strategy for this is to respond to frequently asked questions about your company and include keywords that your website targets.

For instance, describe what you do, where you are located, and the people you work with.

This area has a character limit of 750, therefore we advise using every last one of them.

Service Categories

Categories describe your business. They expose you to people that are looking for your products or services.

Google gives business owners the option to choose up to nine other categories in addition to a primary category that best describes their company.

For example, as a painting company, these categories may include:

  • Painter
  • Painting
  • Painting company
  • Painting contractor

Keep in mind that the categories you select will have an impact on your organic search results. Ensure that these are as accurate as possible and reflect your company’s interests.

Logo and Cover Image

The minimum size for your logo is 250 × 250 pixels; make sure it’s not too big or too little, and that it’s square. Your logo is how customers identify and relate to your company. 

In addition to providing your company logo, you must also submit a cover photo. This has a minimum size of 480 x 280 pixels and a maximum size of 2120 x 1192 pixels. When submitting your cover image, make sure it’s in JPEG or PNG format to ensure the maximum quality resolution for your profile.

Ask and Answer a Question

As a business owner, you may use Google to ask and answer common questions. For example, as a painting company, you may ask, “Do you offer power washing?” “Can you paint my deck?” or “How do I contact you?” These questions and answers give users hassle-free responses without the need to contact your company ahead of time.

Reviews

Reviews on Google provide valuable information about your business to both you and your customers. Business reviews appear next to your listing in Maps and Search, and can help your business stand out on Google.

To get reviews on Google, encourage your customers to spread the word about your business by following these best practices:

  • Encourage your consumers to post reviews. Inform them that leaving business reviews on mobile devices or desktop computers is quick and simple.
  • Respond to reviews to gain the trust of your customers. Customers will see that your company appreciates their feedback and will be more willing to post additional reviews in the future.
  • Verify your business so that it can exist on Maps, Search, and other Google services. Only companies that have been verified may respond to reviews.

As previously stated, clients may post reviews based on their interactions with your business. You will be able to respond to these reviews after your account has been verified. Keep it short and courteous, and thank your reviewers regardless of their feedback.

Check out this article for further information on how to deal with both positive and negative reviews.

Verify Your Business

Verifying your business allows it to appear in search results and maps for customers. This will also enable you to reply to reviews, as well as provide other management benefits. Visit this page for more information about business verification.

Get Started Today!

You can help your customers find you, interact with your business, and learn more about what you have to offer by creating a Google Business Profile. Additionally, your Business Profile makes it easy for customers to reach you and creates a lasting impression after they’ve viewed your website or interacted with your business on Google.

Have questions about setting up or improving your Google Business profile? Contact IFTS today at 412-715-6266 and we will get you started with a free 13-point profile assessment.

10 Of Our Favorite Marketing Hacks For House Painting Companies In 2022

Would you like to know about our 10 favorite super sneaky marketing hacks that you can implement today?

We use these marketing secrets to help our painter clients rank their website #1 for their favorite keywords, get more organic traffic and ultimately, get more leads to grow their business.

In this article, we are going to cover ten actionable strategies that you can use RIGHT NOW.

The best part?

You don’t have to be super tech savvy or Elon Musk to get them implemented.

Let’s start this section with our favorite Google Business Profile hacks.

Hack #1 - Social Proof Will Get You More Leads

The best two platforms to get reviews on are:

  • Google
  • Meta (Formerly Facebook)

Google reviews are the best type of reviews that you can receive because not only do they talk you up and show people how great you are, they also help your website with its SEO.  As an added bonus, once you have 100 reviews, your star rating will be shown when you run Google ads.

Meta reviews are great to have as well because of the platform’s popularity in a house painting company’s target market.  Most house painters that we work with have a target audience of women that are between the ages of 35 to 64.  Consequently, that is the majority of Meta users.  By using this platform, you are more likely to get in front of your ideal client than any other social media option.

If you can get a video testimonial from a client, that can go a long way as well.  A lot of people get stuck on the logistics of creating the video, but it shouldn’t be that hard.  You can interview them via Zoom and record that call or just have them use their phone to record a quick video. 

The more authentic the video looks, the better.  This is for two reasons.  One – if the video is over-produced, it will seem scripted and less credible.  Two – if people see that someone took time out of their day to create a quick video for you, it shows that they really liked you and your work.

Once you have these videos, be sure to put them everywhere a potential audience may look.  This could include:

  • YouTube
  • Your website
  • Social Media
  • Your Google Business Profile
  • and more!

Reviews are a great way to show how great you are without you ever having to say a word.

Want some help getting more reviews?  Check out our article on implementing a review system.

 

Hack #2 - Get Your Listing On Google Maps

Getting your business listed in the Google Maps results is based on many factors.  A few big ones are:

  • how close the searcher is to your business location 
  • your review ranking and volume (which we discussed above in Hack #1)
  • profile completeness
  • local signals

To start, make sure that your profile is completely filled out with correct information.  Your name in the Google Business Profile should match exactly the name on your website.  This goes for your address, website, and phone number as well.  Then, be sure that your business categories and services are filled in completely.  

The final part of your profile that should be completed is the “Photos” section. Be sure to add as many photos as you can as this is a feature that not many painters take advantage of.

For a complete walkthrough of filling out a Google Business Profile, check out our article here: https://blog.iftsdesign.com/introducing-google-my-business/

“Local Signals” are another big factor for showing up early on Google Maps.  These are website links to your website from other local businesses or services.  A few examples of this would be:

  • a back link from the local chamber of commerce
  • a back link from a local scholarship that you sponsored
  • a mention or link to your business from a local paper

Anything that you can do to get your business associated with your area is a great “local signal” to Google.

Hack #3 - Ask and Answer Questions Via Your Profile

An easy way to get keywords and locations associated with your Google Business Profile is through the question and answer section.

Previously, you were not able to add questions to your profile yourself,  You had to wait for someone to ask and then you could answer them.  This has now changed.

The Q&A section of your Google Business Profile is a great way to show all of your most frequently asked questions up front to prospective customers.

Write down the 10 questions that you receive all of the time from prospects and then answer them in 3-5 sentences.  While you are answering them, be sure to use common keywords/phrases as well as locations that you want associated with your house painting business.

Once you have accomplished this task, copy and paste them to your Google Business Profile.

Now, we’ll move to our favorite Paid Ad Hacks.

Hack #4 - Solve Your Prospects’ Small Problems For Free In an Ad

What are the questions you most commonly get asked? If you’ve already implemented Hack #3 from this article, you should have this list already.

Side Note – Need some inspiration?  Check out https://answerthepublic.com/ or https://neilpatel.com/ubersuggest/ for commonly asked or searched questions in your field.

Make videos answering these questions and position yourself as the expert in your area.  Again, just like the testimonials, the videos do not have to be fancy or highly edited.  They should be authentic and can be filmed with your cell phone.  Some painters will even film on the job site.

Sample Common House Painter Questions To Get You Started:

How often should I paint the exterior of my house in this area?

  • What is the best time of the year to stain a deck?
  • How many coats of paint should be used on the exterior of your house?
  • How many coats of paint should be used on the interior of your house?
  • What does it mean for a painting company to be bonded and insured?
  • Should I paint my kitchen cabinets or should I replace them?

Once you have your videos, post them to your social media, YouTube channel and on your website.

You should also run them as Meta ads to your local audience.  You don’t have to spend a lot of money, just one to five dollars per day.  This helps you get in front of a fairly large group of people in a small amount of time.

These videos will help you create an audience that already knows/likes/trusts you when it comes to painting topics.  When they have a painting project come up, you will be the one that they know they can trust.

Hack #5 - Make Your Ad Stand Out

When creating your video, you want to be sure to stand out amongst the crowded marketplace.

The first way to do this is to use contrasting colors to the platform that you are running the ad on.  If you are going to run the ad on Meta (Facebook), we recommend having a red or yellow bar at the top of the video because it helps you stand out from the Meta blue color scheme.  An easy way to do some small edits to your video is through Canva.  

Don’t want to take the time to do any edits to the video?  Try wearing a brightly colored red or yellow shirt.

The second way to stand out is to immediately call out your audience or target market.  So, if you were advertising kitchen cabinet painting to the residents of Dallas, you could start your video with the sentence: 

“Are you living in the Dallas area and thinking about redoing your kitchen?”

Or, you could do some video editing and add that sentence as text to the beginning of the video.

A final way to stand out is to start your video with a big action or a memorable prop at the beginning.  You want to grab someone’s attention – movement or something unexpected will typically draw the eye.

A few big actions you could try:

  • come in through a door
  • big wave and a smile
  • use a paint sprayer or other tool of the trade
  • jump into the frame

A few memorable props you could try:

  • Comically large-sized paintbrush
  • Wall of stacked of paint cans
  • stand halfway up a ladder

The important thing to remember is you want to get their attention within the first 3 seconds of the video and keep them watching.  These tactics all use “pattern interrupt”.  This basically means – do something to get a person to stop scrolling through their feed and watch your video/read your ad.

Hack #6 - Use Retargeting Ads In Multiple Ways

The average consumer is only prepared to make a purchase about 3% of the time

So, how do you attract the other 97% of people?

Retargeting Ads

Retargeting allows you to stay in front of someone that is interested in your services until they are ready to make a purchasing decision.  If you are advertising on Meta (Facebook), you can do this in 2 ways:

  • Meta Pixel
  • Video Viewers

The Meta Pixel is a small piece of code that you install on your website.  It then tracks who has visited the site and allows you to show them ads on Meta.  

One caveat – The usefulness of the Pixel has diminished over time as Apple now requires users to opt in to being tracked.  Only about 10% of people opt in (not surprising).  Advertisers now have a much harder time reaching Apple users via this method.

The other way you can retarget someone is through their video views.  Meta tracks who watches your videos and for how long.  So, you can advertise to people that have watched at least a certain percentage of a video.  

We recommend retargeting people who have watched at least 25% – 50% of a video.

Sample Retargeting Strategy For House Painters

A good video strategy for painters is to run 3-5 FAQ ads to women 35-64 in your local area.  Then, retarget the women who have watched at least 25% of one of the videos with an ad that has a special offer or a more direct call to action.

Finally, let’s cover our favorite psychological marketing tricks.

Hack #7 - Get an Awesome Business Card With Your Picture

One strategy that isn’t commonly used by painters is to get a really nice business card with your picture on it.

Why use your picture?

First of all, people want to do business with people, not a faceless business.  Secondly, it will help them remember who you are.

Now, how nice is nice, you may ask…

Stand out from the crowd of people that are handing out the white, one sided business cards that they ordered by the thousands from VistaPrint for under $50 and get a card that is plastic, like a credit card.  Check out plasticprinters.com for decent pricing.

Not only that, make the card graphically pleasing and “cool looking” by having it designed professionally.  Look on fiverr.com for a great deal on the design aspect.

Because the card is so nice, people feel bad about throwing it away.  So, you’ve got a tangible remarketing tool that they will keep, unlike other painting companies.  This will set you apart from the cheap lookalike cards that are thrown away easily.

[On an aside] We do recommend having 2 sets of cards created.  One set should be plastic and lux for giving away to potential customers.  The other set can be on paper.  These paper ones should be given away to people that may not necessarily hire you, but you may use as a contact or meet at a networking event.

Hack #8 - Make Your Voicemail Work For You

Your clients should never reach your voicemail.  Preferably, you’d have a call center in place to make sure that they never had to talk to a machine.

However, if the perfect set of circumstances happen and they do manage to reach your voicemail, there is one phrase you should add to the end of the message:

Add “I will call you in the next 15 minutes”

When people hear this, they will be much more likely to leave a message because they have that expectation of receiving a call back soon.  Even if you aren’t able to call back in that amount of time, you still get a chance at that lead.

Hack #9 - Give a Compliment At the Beginning

People want to be liked and this plays into that psychology.

Before you start an estimate, give a compliment to the prospect.  It could be about the house, the neighborhood, a family picture, furniture, their pet etc.  People like people who like them.  People also HIRE people who they like.

Most of the time, people don’t remember what you say, but they do remember how you make them feel.  This applies to most human interaction.  So, if you make them feel good about themselves at the beginning, the feeling should carry through the whole experience.  

By making a prospect feel good about themselves, it puts you in a better position for you to get their business.

Hack #10 - Go Get Started

Getting started is half the battle.  Choose one thing from this list that you want to accomplish in the next 24 hours and GO DO IT!  You’ll be ahead of 95% of your competition.

Want Some Help?

Is there something on this list that you would like to implement, but aren’t quite sure how or don’t have the time to do?

This is where IFTS comes in.  We have been working with house painters (and other businesses) for over 5 years on all aspects of their marketing.  Give us a call at 412-715-6266 or send us an email (si@iftsdesign.com).  We’d love to help you grow your painting company.