Our Blog: Bright Ideas & Strategies for Improving Business Websites
Land Your Propane Business on the Map with a Google My Business Listing
If local customers are your bread and butter, your business needs to appear at the top of Google’s search results in your service area. Local search is key to driving qualified traffic and leads to your website.
Fortunately, Google has a solution that won’t break the bank.
Google My Business is a free Google listing that helps you show up in search results when customers search for your business or businesses like yours. This easy to use tool should be the first step you take to increase your propane company’s visibility in local searches.
Google processes 3.5 billion total searches a day, half of which have local intent.
It’s clearly the most popular search engine, so it helps to play by Google’s rules and use its features to your advantage. Other Google tools you should consider:
- Google Analytics - set custom conversion and traffic goals, and then track your website’s effectiveness
- Google Adwords - pay-per-click advertising, learn more here.
How Google My Business Helps Your Propane Business Be Found
Show Up On the Map
Google has a feature called ‘The Local Map Three Pack’ that lists three relevant search results, near you.
Winning a spot in the Local 3 Pack depends on several factors including your business’ physical distance from the searcher (hard to control), and how well your listing is optimized relevant keywords, reviews, and complete listing details (easy to control).
Being featured in this box is important because it raises your chances of winning a visit to your website. In fact, Local Three Pack results are clicked 44% of the time they appear on a search engine results page! More visits to your site mean more opportunities to convert a lead!
Drive Traffic and Compliment Your Results Listings
Your Google My Business listing is an extension of your search result listing in that it provides more information about your business.
It’s no longer enough to be the first organic listing in the Google search results. Showing up in eye-catching featured searches is key to driving more clicks. As you can see from the picture, Kauffman has a large, enticing side column.
So the next question is: how can you optimize your Google My Business Listing to show up in search and drive more traffic to your site?
6 Best Practices to Improve Your
Google My Business Listing
Start by Claiming Your Business
Claiming your business is proving to Google that you are the owner.
Claiming your listing proves to Google and to your customers that you are open for business and willing to put in the small amount of effort required to prove it.
Once you’ve done this, your propane company will be a ‘Google Verified Business’ and have an informational box like the one shown above that you can edit and customize with your business information.
Provide Accurate Business Information Online
If you’ve been in business for a while, information about your business is already floating around on the internet. Don’t you want that information to be correct?
Your Google My Business listing gives you the opportunity to set the record straight. Provide accurate information including service hours, location, and phone number, as well as provide a link your website (we’ve seen people forget to put their website link - don’t forget!).
The more accurate and useful information you include, the more relevant you become in Google’s eyes, which means you’ll show up higher in the search results.
Make Edits on the Spot When Life Happens
No one can control the weather, but you can control how you communicate to your local customers about your services.
Tell propane customers you are with them 24/7 including through the storm, adjust holiday hours, or feature new extended hours all on Google My Business.
Your delivery service clients who are new or not on a set schedule want to be able to trust that your hours are accurate when they need gas or help with appliances. Keep the listing current, so your customers are not disgruntled because they were unaware of changes when they run out of gas.
Grab attention with Pictures
Google My Business listings with pictures have 42% more clicks on ‘directions,’ and 35% more clicks thru to their site than listings without pictures.
If you already have a website including pictures, it is easy to add pictures in return for one third more clicks. If not, it is crucial to take the time to take a few quality photos and include them in your My Business listing.
Include lots of pictures of your staff as well as products and services. Customers want to see the real people that they will allow into their home to service appliances, not stock models.
This is also an opportunity to feature your best work and it encourages your customers to share and show you off too!
Prove Reputation with Good Reviews
As every local business owner knows, word of mouth can make or break your reputation.
85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
As a propane company, your services are about the same as other propane suppliers, but the service you provide sets apart you apart!
5-star reviews not only make you look good, they affects whether you show up higher in the search results. The number of Google reviews and the overall rating are factored into your local search ranking.
Make it an active effort to drive more happy customers to review you on Google with a online reputation management plan.
A reputation management plan will:
- Drive more reviews online
- Generate more high quality reviews
- Plan a response strategy for bad (and good!) reviews
In short: more reviews and higher scores will improve a business's local ranking, less or low reviews that are not addressed, will hurt you (and your spot in the Local Three Pack).
Tell Google What You Do With Keywords
Add in search terms to your Google My Business that to help customers find you online.
The right keywords can help you achieve a higher ranking and provide users with an accurate summary of your business. If you don’t have the word ‘propane’ in your listing description at all, for example, Google will have a hard time matching you to customer’s searches.
Play by Google’s Rules; They’ll Reward You
If the largest search engine in the world also has a platform to showcase your business for free, why not take advantage of it?
Use Google’s system to give yourself the best chance of ranking highly and provide the search engine everything it needs to easily find you.
Put Your Propane Business on the Map
Google My Business is a simple way for local businesses to drive more traffic to their websites using a tool that the search engine has in place.
Maximize your internet presence, and your marketing budget, by claiming your business listing and using these best practices to optimize your profile.
Marketing your propane company is about doing a lot of little things right. Optimizing your Google My Business page is one little thing that can help you drive more traffic to your site to win more local propane business.
If you aren’t using Google My Business - you should be. Ask us how we can help set up and maintain you’re My Business account.
Get More Bright Ideas
Improve your website & online marketing strategy with resources, tips, and insights delivered to your inbox every 2 weeks.
Subscribe to the Bright Orange Thread Content Library today for instant access to these resources!
Sign up today!