When you search for a service online, you’ll more often than not interact with something called Google My Business (or ‘GMB’, for short).
You won’t know you’re interacting with it, but this behind-the-scenes tools for businesses ensures Google serves up just the right solution providers for you at just the right time.
That’s great if you’re a customer looking for a service, but what if you’re the service provider in question?
For instance, what if you’re an electrician who wants to somehow make the most of Google by directing potential customers to your own website? The answer lies in a fully optimised GMB listing, and this is a lot easier than you might think.
Welcome to our ultimate Google My Business Guide for electricians.
What is Google My Business?
Google appreciates that if a user types in “electrician in my area”, they’re looking for a specific service, rather than browsing websites for fun.
This is why GMB exists. It identifies these searches and pushes real businesses providing the service in question up to the top of the search results.
If you have a website for your electrician services, GMB lets you control how and where it appears both in local Google searches and Google Maps listings. It enables you to add contact information, photos, your business hours, and even interact directly with potential customers.
There’s a review element, too, which is incredibly important to get a handle on if you’re to build an enviable reputation online.
Do I really need to worry about Google My Business as an electrician?
In short, yes.
You could ignore it, of course, but the fact remains that 81% of people start their search for a service or product online.
Your competitors may or may not be investing time in GMB, but that’s irrelevant; you absolutely need to invest your time in this vital source of new business.
If you’ve spent some money having a website created, that simply isn’t enough to bring digital customers to your door. Google is the tool that will ensure your website is found by the right people, but it won’t ‘notice’ your website without any effort on your part.
It needs something to draw from, and that’s why an up to date GMB listing is so important.
How to create a Google My Business listing
Assuming you’ve not done this yet, let’s look at the simple steps required to create a Google My Business listing for your electrician services.
This guide assumes you already have a Google business account, but if you don’t, you can create one here. Once created, Google will actually start the process of creating your first listing, therefore if you’ve previously set up a Google account for your business, it’s probably already there.
1. Start with Google Maps
Your business may already be on Google Maps, and not just for the reason explained above; your customers may have created it for you.
So, head over to Google (not Google Maps) and type in your business name and location to see if it exists. If it does, it’ll pop up on the map on the right-hand side. If there isn’t a listing, you can click the ‘Add your business to Google’ link at the bottom of the page.
So, if your business is there, you can select it and move on, or click the ‘Suggest an edit’ option to update the information.
2. Set your business name
Let’s head back to the process of creating (or updating) your GMB account.
This is the easy bit. If you have a business name (even if it’s just ‘your name + electrician’), enter it here.
3. Choose your category
This is vitally important. Google needs to know how to categorise you within its listings, therefore make sure you pick the most relevant category.
You should find ‘electrician’ easily, but if you provide a more specific service within that field, have a hunt around for that, too. Google adds to this list regularly.
4. Add the location
Don’t skip this step. If you do, you simply won’t appear within search results when people search in your area.
Select the option for having a physical address (even if you don’t trade from there) and enter your details. At this stage, Google may show you a list of businesses that might be your listing. If you spot yours there, click it and move on.
During this process, Google will also give you the chance to precisely drop a pin on a map of your exact location – use it.
5. Set your service area
This is another vitally important step if you’re to pick up customers within your area.
Google will ask if you serve people outside of the area you’ve entered in your business location. Choose ‘yes’ and start the process of adding areas beyond your immediate vicinity to which you’re willing to travel and provide your services.
6. Add your contact details
Add as many contact details as you can, and make sure they’re up to date. Your phone number and website address, obviously, need to be there.
Lastly, you can set up email notifications so that you’re prompted whenever something important happens to your listing, such as a customer leaving a review. We highly recommend turning this option on.
Don’t forget to verify your business listing
This is a step far too many people ignore either because they simply forget about it or because they’re not aware of how important it is.
All GMB listings need to be verified if they’re to display correctly (or at all) on Google.
The best way to do this is by postcard. Google will prompt you to do this right at the end of the account set up process, and it simply involves them mailing you a postcard (yep, via snail mail) so that you can confirm you do indeed operate from the address provided.
The cards arrive surprisingly quickly, so go ahead and choose that option.
In this guide, we’ve talked you through the basics of setting up a GMB listing, but that isn’t where it ends.
Google My Business is a service that needs regular management if it’s to provide a decent number of customers. That means keeping on top of incoming reviews (make sure you respond to them) and updating any contact details immediately.
It might feel like yet another thing to do but trust us – a well looked-after GMB listing will do your electrician business the world of good.