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Maximize Your Unpaid Local Marketing - PODCAST TRANSCRIPT

Maximize Your Unpaid Local Marketing - PODCAST TRANSCRIPT
November 1, 2023 at 12:00 p.m.

Editor's note: The following is the transcript of a live interview with Danny Braught from LMH Agency. You can read the interview below, listen to the podcast, or watch the webinar.

Karen Edwards: Hello and welcome to this special RLW from RoofersCoffeeShop. This Read, Listen, Watch is going to be a great one today. My name is Karen Edwards and I'm really glad that you guys are all here. Today we are going to be diving deep into understanding your Google Business Profile and how you can maximize your presence to help your business grow. And this is being recorded.

It'll be available online within 24 hours, so you'll be able to share this with friends, colleagues or anyone else that you feel needs to see this or would benefit from this. So I'm going to kick things off by introducing our guest and getting the PowerPoint started. Today we have Danny Braught from LMH Agency. Danny, welcome.

Danny Braught: Thank you for having me.

Karen Edwards: Alrighty. So Danny, would you please introduce yourself and tell our guests a little bit about your background and who you are?

Danny Braught: My name is Danny Braught. I'm the CEO of LMH Agency. We're a digital marketing agency that specializes in working with home service contractors. We are based in Dallas, Texas and I'm originally actually from Oregon as well and moved to Texas about 17 years ago and love it down here. Love the sunshine and everything about Dallas. So looking forward to sharing some information.

I've had this business since 2014 helping local businesses to get more leads.

Karen Edwards: And we actually met Danny last year when the IRE was down in Dallas and spent a lot of time talking and Danny's been helping us at RoofersCoffeeShop to make sure we're doing everything right. So we're really excited to have you here and to talk about the Google Business Profile. So first of all, before we dive into a definition, I just did a real quick Google search before this started, just to see the number of people that use Google and what type of search engines they are using.

And a stat from last month from Statista said that 83.4% of people use Google as their search engine. So this is going to make your Google Business Profile even more important, but start by telling us what is a Google Business Profile.

Danny Braught: So Google Business Profile is a free listing on Google for your business. It tells pretty much everything that somebody would want to know upfront about your business in one section without them having to do another click into your website.

So it is essentially part of the face of your brand that Google has put together because Google wants to make it the easiest route for people to get to without having to go through multiple clicks from a user experience standpoint.

Karen Edwards: So where do I find it? How do I find my Google Business Profile and how do I access it?

Danny Braught: So depending on what browser you're on, if you're logged in and you're on Google Chrome, you can just search your name. And then if you're logged into that account, you're going to be able to get to it. Otherwise, you can go to admin.google.com and that's going to bring you to your Google Workspace, which you can get to it. There's a couple of different ways to get to your Google Business Profile just depending on the way that you have it set up.

You can also go to the top right-hand corner. So if you are on Google and in the top right-hand corner there's nine little dots, and then you can look for Business Profile Manager and that will also take you to your Google Business Profile.

Karen Edwards: So I know that I have done a Google search and a business will pop up on the right-hand side and it'll say, is this your business? And if so, claim it. If you have not gotten your Google Business Profile, would simply searching your business name present you possibly with the opportunity to claim it?

Danny Braught: Possibly if Google has already indexed it that you have a business at this location, you can go through and claim that listing as well.

Karen Edwards: And the claiming process, how do they verify that it's really you so that not just your competitor could go out there and say, "Oh, this is my business." Right?

Danny Braught: So there's a couple of different verifications when it comes to actually verifying your Google Business Profile. It used to be verify the location that it's actually also a legitimate business. They had to send a mail, a piece of mail through the USPS to you, then you had to get a code to put it in. Now that happens every once in a while. A lot of times now to actually verify your Google Business Profile, you're going to have to go through and do it through video.

But just claiming the business like you're talking about, anybody can do that. So you want to make sure that you go through as soon as possible and actually claim your business if there is a business profile out there because it can be more difficult if somebody else claims your business first and then you go through and you try and get that business from them.

Because then you've got to put in trademark information and there's a whole process that goes through to get your business profile back from somebody else who's already claimed it.

Karen Edwards: Don't let that happen. So be proactive and grab yours before someone else does. All right, so let's move into our next slide, which is how does Google Business Profile... And you may have heard Google just changed, it used to be called Google My Business up until probably within the last year, would you say Danny?

Danny Braught: It changed a little bit over a year ago from Google My Business to Google Business Profile. Before that it was Google Plus. So it's changed names a few times, just like most Google products do.

Karen Edwards: So that's what we're talking about. If you've ever heard Google My Business, it is now Google Business Profile. Can you explain how this can help a business build that trust and credibility through some of the things we've got up there on the screen?

Danny Braught: So as you'll see here on the screen, it says GBP used to say GMB. So Google Business Profile, you'll hear a lot of people call it just GBP just for short. And so through reviews, it's one of the best place to get reviews. And reviews are going to be one of the fastest ways to move yourself up in the rankings because that's what customers want to look at. They want to see what your reviews look like. They're going to go through and sort them as well.

What are your newest reviews? What are your highest reviews? What are your lowest reviews? And then you also want to make sure that in the reviews, one way to get good reviews to show up at the top is you want people to add media. You want them to add photos and videos. You can now do that with reviews as well. So you want to make sure that you're adding videos and photos into those reviews.

And then you can also use those testimonials then to take them and put them on your website. Now another part on here is the accurate information. There's something called your NAP. Its name, address, phone number. You want to make sure that your name, address, phone number is the same across from your Google Business Profile to your website to all of your other citation directories. MapQuest is still out there.

You want to make sure that it has the same information because Google looks to see that you have the same name, address, phone number across all of your different platforms across the web. Now a lot of us are like, "Well, what about all the tracking numbers that we use for marketing stuff?" Well, you can still use marketing tracking numbers, but you want to make sure that anything that you need your NAP for, your name, address, phone number is the same across all of them.

And you can use dynamic tracking phone numbers on your website still because the hard-coded number that's actually on your website is your traditional number.

Karen Edwards: Got it.

Danny Braught: It's a lot of information really quickly.

Karen Edwards: It's a lot of information really quickly. When you say tracking phone numbers, I know there are services out there that will display a specific phone number on a specific site that allows the contractor to know they saw it over here and they called me from this ad, or they were on this page of my website when they called me. But by having the actual landline phone number in the coding of your website, Google knows that's really you.

Danny Braught: They're able to do it through that. So it's not actually in your coding. If you have your number hardcoded, you're not going to be able to use DNI. DNI is dynamic number insertion, and so it still has the same phone number on there. You want to make sure what's on your GBP. You can also put multiple phone numbers on there so you can have your actual phone numbers, your secondary listed phone numbers, so you can still track your Google phone calls as well.

And record and listen to those on different things like people have probably heard of CallRail, call tracking metrics. WhatConverts is what we use. We found it to have the best UI for us and for our customers.

Karen Edwards: So from the Google Business Profile, obviously customers can call you. I know more people are searching on their smartphones for businesses. Will that give them the opportunity to click to call depending on their phone?

Danny Braught: So it gives them the opportunity to get directions, click to call, and then they can also message you. And so you want to make sure that you're staying on top of those. You want to use the different tools that they're giving you because it's going to help you move up in the rankings if you are and make sure that you're getting back to those messages fast. Also, make sure that you're answering your phone calls.

It can tell how many phone calls are missed, and then they're going to push you down if you're not actually answering your phone calls because Google's primary objective is to give their customers the best experience possible. So if you're not answering your messages, you're not picking up your phone calls that are coming through from Google, they're going to push you down. So you want to make sure that you are answering those.

And then also, depending on what you use for your field software management, there's also appointments booking button that goes directly into a Google Business Profile as well. So you can have a direct booking link from Google Business Profile that links them to booking an appointment with you without ever even visiting your website.

Karen Edwards: Wow, that's convenient because I don't know. Nobody seems to want to make phone calls anymore. People don't always like answering the phone.

Danny Braught: Except for me, I'm a person who always wants to talk to somebody.

Karen Edwards: Well, you don't see it too much anymore. So offering that ability to book an appointment right there is certainly very convenient. Now, you mentioned a couple of times about if you're not answering your phone, if you're not engaging with your customers, Google's going to push you down. And I think what you meant, and correct me if I'm wrong, is this all ties into search engine optimization and getting your company seen and found on Google.

So if you're not doing this correctly, you're not going to rank as high in the results. Is that what you were talking about?

Danny Braught: So it's on the Map Pack, so it's something we'll go over a little bit later in this presentation is the Map Pack. And so it's where you're positioned at in the Map Pack.

Karen Edwards: So increasing visibility through Google Business Profile. What information, I mean we talked about accurate address, phone number, that information, but what other information should be on your profile?

Danny Braught: So I'll start from the top of what you see when you first go into Google Business Profile. Number one is the photos. You want to have photos in your Google Business Profile and you want to have them branded as well. You don't want to just go grab stock images of somebody putting a roof on or anything like that. The more images that you can have of your team wearing a uniform or a shirt that has your logo on the back of it, pictures of your trucks, pictures of your catchall system that has your logo on it.

All of that stuff uploaded into your Google Business Profile for photos is going to be good because the AI bots that they have now can actually read what's in a photo. So the text that you have on it, also the file name of what you're uploading your file to your Google Business Profile, you should make sure that your file name has information in it as well that talks about your company, the location and that information in the file name too.

So once you get down from there, you're going to have... Obviously, you want to make sure that you have reviews, and then you're going to have your phone number, your address, you want to have your hours of operation. You want to have your hours of operation on your Google Business Profile match the hours of operation to draw on your website as well. You're going to have your phone number, your website for booking.

And then if you sell any products, and even if you don't sell products and you offer services. Right now, you can still put services into the products' category on Google Business Profile. And then from there you have different categories. So let's say that you do roofing and you do gutters, and you also do fencing. You can create different categories for each different one as well. And then there's a Q and A section you can go through and ask, what are the normal questions that you get from your customers on a normal basis?

What are the top 10 questions? You can go through ask that question, and then you can go and answer that question as well. Now you're only able to do 25 of them, so make sure that you're understanding what you want to do as far as those questions at a time. You're only able to do 25, so you can't do them all at once. From there, you can also link in your Facebook, your HomeAdvisor if you're on HomeAdvisor, and then you're going to have a description about your company.

And those places as far as reviews from the web, that's what I'm talking about when it's your HomeAdvisor, your Facebook, you can have those pulling in with what your review statuses on those platforms, as well as other platforms. But then you have your description about your company. You want to make sure that this is decent and has good information as well as some of the areas that you do service in there.

And then you have Google post for events and up-to-date things that you're doing, that's something new that they released about a year and a half ago is Google Posts. And so you can put in different posts into there, which are for timely events, different things that are happening around, different promotions that you're running because those do expire. And then you have all of your profiles. So recently they allowed you to put in all of your social media profiles.

So you can put in your YouTube, your Facebook, Instagram, your TikTok, anything that you're on as far as social media. And those are the main things that you're going to have inside of your Google Business Profile. The other thing that you're going to have in there that is more in the backend is going to be talking about your categories. So what categories are you in, and then secondary categories.

So you want to make sure that you're choosing different categories. There's been some studies done, you want to have around five different categories if they're applicable to your business to have those in there. And then you want to make sure that those match what your business does.

Karen Edwards: So a category could be roofing contractor, could be exterior or siding installer. Those are categories that you're talking about?

Danny Braught: Yeah.

Karen Edwards: I also want to do a reminder because pictures are great, we love photos, but we always want to remind everyone to please make sure if you're putting photos of your team on a roof, that they are wearing proper safety gear. Because the last thing you want to do is put something out there that would be a red flag for OSHA to come and give you a hard time.

So always, always look at those photos that you put out there, not only from visually appealing and logos and beauty, but from safety as well. That's really important.

Danny Braught: So you have roofing contractor, general contractor, [inaudible 00:15:47] storm and damage repair. There's a bunch of different ones that you can do.

Karen Edwards: Excellent. So let's talk about the relationship between your Google Business Profile and search engine optimization. And boy, can you define search engine optimization in just a couple of minutes?

Danny Braught: So search engine optimization or SEO is optimizing your webpages and optimizing your digital assets so that you show up at the top of the search page. The SERP is what I'll call. It's a search engine rankings page. You want to show up in the top 10 spots, which is the first page of Google. And so what you're doing is optimizing those so that Google ranks you at the top so that people are clicking on you more often.

Because first, I'll go over this in a second about what a SERP looks like so that that way you can see each different part because the first thing that you're going to see as far as an organic piece of content is going to be the Map Pack. And before that, it's all ads.

Karen Edwards: And a SERP is a search engine results page.

Danny Braught: Rankings page.

Karen Edwards: Rankings page.

Danny Braught: Or results page.

Karen Edwards: All right. So do you have one that you want to show us now?

Danny Braught: I can show you one. I have one pulled up. This one's for HVAC, but it will show you exactly what it was like.

Karen Edwards: You are able to take over the share. If not, I'll stop and then you should be able to start. Let's see. Here we go.

Danny Braught: So you are able to see this?

Karen Edwards: Yes.

Danny Braught: So first one is, this is just HVAC repair near me. This one I put together a couple of months ago. And so first you have on here the LSAs. So this is local service ads. These are paid ads. Each one of these are pay per lead. You don't pay per click, you pay per lead. It has changed a little bit and now they have two of them and they're more in line with listings. And then you have pay per click ads.

These right here are pay per click, obviously, that's why they're called PPC. And so you pay per time that somebody clicks on here. Then you have the Map Pack. This is the first part, and this is where your Google Business Profile comes into play is on the Map Pack. And so each one of these are free listings that you can have on here. Now I do have another one that I was just making that is for roofing near me.

That I just started working on a second ago for roofing, but this is what LSAs look like now. So I put roofer near me. I'm in Dallas, Texas, so this is what LSAs look like. So you have two of them now, and then they can click more. And then you have here, which is sponsored PPC. Right here at the top, this is a new extension that they're doing and it's sponsored. And so the first Map Pack one is now paid as well. Google obviously is a business and wants to make money.

And then below that, all of these are organic. So you want to show up as the number one person in the Map Pack, and this is your Google Business Profile. After that, you have organic listings. And so this is SEO, all of these ones right here until you get here. They put mix in an add, mix and add, mix and add, and then you have all of these other ones which are organic listings. So there's a new piece here as well.

This has been out for probably a year, year and a half, two years, something like that. Where it says, people also ask. This is what's called a SERP feature. And so these are other places that you can get featured on and people will click down on these and then it will give them a little section, a little feature of a piece that's on your website, and then they can click through it to your website as well.

So this is what a search engine rankings page looks like. You have all the different pieces up here, free estimates, handyman, top 10, residential, all these different pieces of people can click on. So what we're talking about today is the Google Business Profile, which gets you into this Map Pack, which is the first piece of search engine rankings that you're able to get access to and that people see when they're scrolling down a SERP page.

Karen Edwards: Excellent. And the Map Pack and you showing up here is really going to be driven by what's on your Google Business Profile, right?

Danny Braught: Sorry, I was looking at one of the questions. What'd you say?

Karen Edwards: That's okay. I just said you showing up here on this Map Pack and where you show up is going to be driven a lot by what's on your Google Business Profile.

Danny Braught: Yes. It's going to be driven mainly by what's on your Google Business Profile and then what categories and everything that you have in there, plus how many reviews that you have. Reviews play a huge part in where you're at.

Karen Edwards: And that's one thing that I think contractors are becoming more aware of, the importance and value of reviews and having a good Google Business Profile is another way to be able to ask for reviews and ask people to leave your reviews and include pictures since you said pictures are important. All right. I don't know if I can just take over from you, Danny. Let's see. We're back to the PowerPoint. Can you see that?

Danny Braught: They say that the chat is disabled right now.

Karen Edwards: Darn. The chat is disabled.

Danny Braught: I can just stop sharing mine for a second and then now I'll go back over

Karen Edwards: I thought I turned it on. Let's see.

Danny Braught: And then somebody said they don't see a lot of the categories that I'm talking about in GBP. So the categories, you're going to have to go into the backend of your GBP and inside of there. I can go to one real quick and... There's a roofing company that's just launching that I'm working with, and I can show you where these categories are.

Karen Edwards: Excellent. Well you can go ahead and I'll stop sharing and you share, and I'll see if I can get the chat turned on. Guys, sorry about this.

Danny Braught: See if I'm on the right one. I think that this will share the [inaudible 00:21:51] Nope, it's for something else. I'm sharing the wrong screen. Let me see if I can do this. Put this one in here. So in here you go into edit your profile, and then in here you go to business categories, roofing contractors one, general contractor. And then for secondary ones, storm damage is not one anymore. They change these sometimes too. [inaudible 00:22:22] Repair.

So you have roofing contractor, waterproofing services, just depending on what you're doing, they have a ton of different ones. So it's figuring out which ones are going to be the ones that work best for you. So that's why for this one, they do GC and then they do roofing as well. So some of them. And then this is where you're able to change your description about the company, opening date, your website, Instagram or social profiles, what your service area is.

You also want to make sure that you're putting in your service area of what areas that you're servicing your business hours. And you could put in any other information in here that you want to, because you could put in that you're Asian owned or Black owned or disabled or any of these. As well as if you have wheelchair accessibility, because this also works for stores too. So that's where you add some of that information into the back.

And then you can see your performance here. This one is not publicly visible right now. You can also edit your services, so you can add in all the services here that you do. This is one we're building out currently. And then edit products. So this is what I was talking about, how you could edit products and you can put in here tile, roof, tile roofing. You can create a new category. Let's call it roofing, and you can put in a price if you wanted to.

You can put in a description up to a thousand, and then you can put a landing page that it goes directly to on your website so that you can go to the tile roofing page on your website. And then you can also upload a photo. So each one of these are different things that you can do to add more information into the backend of your Google Business Profile.

Bookings here, you can get... Well, if this one was verified right now, you'd be able to let customers make booking reservations through Google. So there's all these different tools in the backend here that you're able to do.

Karen Edwards: Wow, that's great. I think I have the chat open everybody, hopefully. And one of the questions was will we be sharing the slides? The recording of this will be available on RoofersCoffeeShop within 24 hours under our Read, Listen and Watch category so that anyone will be able to access this, and you can speed through or grab nuggets of information.

Danny Braught: So one of the questions that someone had just put in is also about the book online. So, this is a plumbing company that we work with, and this is what it looks like with the booking or scheduling an appointment. This is through ServiceTitan, is who they use for their field management system. And so you're able to click directly on here and then it loads and goes directly into their ServiceTitan.

And then they can go into service calls or install and replacement, and then it takes them through the whole customer journey to scheduling their appointment and confirming their appointment. And that was all based off of the one click on the book online button, which they've made very prevalent across here in blue. And then I have a different tool in here as well that shows me what their listing details are. That is an SEO tool.

So if I click on that, it shows me what they have as their categories and what all their different profiles are. And then this one I'm talking about where they have different products on here from leak detection to tankless, to repiping. And then if I wanted to look at just water heaters, I can click just water heaters and this is going to show me the two water heaters here. So this is pretty built out right here.

Question, answer, shows their reviews on the web and then their description, different posts that they have of different things that they've been doing, and then their profiles.

Karen Edwards: So your Google Business Profile essentially is a mini website on the search results page of Google. So it's pretty important.

Danny Braught: So it is very important because Google prioritizes it because it's their own product, and so they want to make it as easy as possible for people to use. So they're constantly looking at how people are using the tool too, so that way they can optimize it to make it the easiest for people to use so that way they can garner more of the search traffic so they get more eyeballs, get more advertising dollars.

Karen Edwards: Makes sense. So one of the things that you mentioned when you were going through really quickly, the one you showed with the plumber. They use a software called ServiceTitan, but if you are a contractor that does not use a service like that, you can use Google itself to book appointments.

Danny Braught: You can still use the Google appointment. I wasn't able to show it on that one company because it hasn't been verified yet because they haven't launched. So it's one that we're building out right now that will be getting verified. But you can go through and you can set it up with Google appointment calendar as well.

Karen Edwards: Excellent. So we talked about how important Google Business Profile is to SEO. And I want to just move into the next area, which is going to be talking about some common management mistakes and how to avoid making mistakes. Because this is great, you get this beautiful Google Business Profile set up and then what happens? How do you make sure you don't screw it up?

Danny Braught: So as far as when responding to messages, you want to make sure that you're always responding to messages quickly. Because it does say on their how frequently or how often you actually respond to messages. It says normally takes a few hours, answers within an hour. So it'll say all of that information on there. Same thing on Yelp too. And then inaccurate hours and information. You want to make sure, like I said, that it's accurate across all of them.

If your business is not truly 24/7 and you're going to be answering the phone call 24/7, don't put that it's 24/7. Put an emergency line and say that you have an emergency line if you're not 24/7. So make sure that all that information is correct and then making regular updates let's Google know that you are open for business and you are working as well. So you want to make sure that you're making regular updates, continuing to update your photos.

It's very easy. All of us have, not everybody, but majority of people have a 4K phone in their pocket. Now it is very easy while you're on a job site to get content to put up on your Google Business Profile. It's also easy to ask your customers when they're done, "Hey, let's take a video of this and can you say a little bit about the job that we did for you? And then can you post it on your Google account?"

It really helps us as a small business and more than likely, if you ask somebody for help, they're going to want to help you.

Karen Edwards: Excellent. What about holidays and if you're going to be closed for a holiday or if you have different hours for a holiday, does it let you make temporary updates like that?

Danny Braught: Yes, and it'll actually prompt you to do that. In your email, it'll ask you, are you open for Thanksgiving? Are you open on Halloween? And so make sure that you are updating those because it does let them know that you are paying attention and you're wanting to give the best experience to your customer.

Karen Edwards: Excellent. So now I want to talk a little bit about analytics. You mentioned you had a tool installed that you could see certain words and phrases, but what kind of analytics can a contractor get from their Google Business Profile and how do they interpret them and make changes based on that?

Danny Braught: So on Google Business Profile, they took away a lot of the tools actually not too long ago as far as what you could see from within there. But what you can do is you can go into your Google Business Profile and then you're able to see how many calls... First, how many impressions you're getting, how many calls, how many website visits and how much interactions that you're getting on your Google Business Profile.

So let me see. I'm going to try and pull up one real quick. I'll pull up the same one just so that it's on.

Karen Edwards: Sure. I'll stop my screen so you can share yours.

Danny Braught: This company, they have three different ones. So it'll show you your profile strength. Let me go ahead and share this real quick. So this is showing full months of what they have. So first, when you come in here, you're going to be here, you'll have your profile strength of what they're doing, and then you're going to go to this performance here. Right here on performance, when you click this, it's going to pull up what they have now.

So you have overview, this is how many interactions that they've had per month, how many calls that they've had per month. Messages, they don't have messaging on because they don't want to get back to them through there. And then how many bookings that they're getting through a Google Business Profile, how many people ask for directions and how many website clicks. And now if you were to go to just one month, it's going to show you year over year as well.

So you're able to see, they were flat on calls here, but website clicks, they were up 28%. And those are going to be the main two things that you're going to want to look at is website clicks and calls. And they're up 3% here and it was down on website clicks. So then you're able to make different changes from here on. All right, so what's happening? What should I be doing for Google Business Profile to get these up?

A lot of times it's going to be reviews, it's going to be adding new photos. This listing itself has been less of a priority for them because they launched another one here. And so we've been building out a whole nother profile for them over here. And so we've been focused on building out this one. It looks almost identical to their other listing except for just with a different front page and it's a totally different area.

And they also have a different amount of reviews. So if you want to get outside of one area and you rent another office space, you can get another Google Business Profile and then be able to direct the reviews there. So they've been building into a different area. So that's how you look at the performance is you just click on the performance tab and then it's going to show you each one of these different pieces of what you're looking at as far as performance.

So that's how you get your analytics from there. And then also what you can do is everything should be tagged. So if you click on something, you're going to go to a website and this one takes you directly to a landing page that they have built out for this. So depending on each one, it's going to take you to different places.

And then you can also set up what's called UTM tags, which is another Google profile or another Google piece that you can use to track how many clicks are coming from different areas.

Karen Edwards: So that was interesting. I did not know you could have multiple Google Business Profiles based on location. So if you do open a branch in another city that you want to expand your services. It used to be back in the day, and this may still be, a PO Box wasn't good enough. Is that still the case?

Danny Braught: A PO Box is not good enough still. You need to have a physical address that has all of your information there as well. Because what happens is Google Business Profile, a lot of it is based on your geographical circumference of how far away somebody is from where you're searching at. And so you can run different scans with different tools that'll show you... Normally an agency will have these sorts of tools because they're kind of spend-y.

And so I can see exactly what it looks like for... Like I said, we work with a lot of service area ones. So this is somebody in Indiana I'll show real quick. So I can put in... So plumber is their search term, plumbing and heating company. They rank number one, number two, number five here. These are all one mile apart. And I'm able to see how they rank based on the keyword that somebody has put in if they were searching in this area.

So I'm able to see exactly where they would rank. This company does really well. They get a bunch of Google reviews and they've done a great job and now we're working on continuing to spread up this way from their office, which is down here. So that's another thing is it shows that farther away that you get from the location, the harder it is to rank as number one because it's based on location.

Karen Edwards: Got it. So how would you work on making those other numbers a little bit better?

Danny Braught: So we work on making those numbers better by creating more content on the website so that the website talks about these different areas and has good content that is usable for customers in those areas and making sure that it is linking to the Google Business Profile as well.

Karen Edwards: So sometimes if you're working with your web content folks and they want to put the name of a certain city on that page two or three times and you think that might be overkill, it's actually really not because that's going to help the search engines rank you better in that area.

Danny Braught: But you don't want to do keyword stuffing to where it's like on there 30 times. That's too much.

Karen Edwards: Because they're getting smart, getting smart about that. More important to respond to Google messages on your business profile or Facebook messages? And the person wants to know if they should switch to Google messaging.

Danny Braught: They're both important. You can get different platforms that allow you to bring everything all into one platform. Depending on how many leads you're getting from Facebook, Google does base their rankings off of it. Facebook doesn't base rankings because it's not a rankings page, but you can get different platforms that'll allow you to bring everything all into one platform to respond on multiple different platforms, if that makes sense. It's a lot of platforms in one sentence.

Karen Edwards: It is. But if you can consolidate so your messages are all coming into one place, it makes it a lot easier to respond. All right, let's get back to sharing the screen here. We talked about analytics. All right, managing Google reviews. We talked about several times how important these reviews are, how they affect where you rank. Can you go into how do we get them? How do we feature them on our website?

Danny Braught: So featuring them on your website, that can be done through widgets. It can also be done by just copying and pasting it onto your website as well. So there's different widgets where you can pull through an API and pull the reviews onto your website. Depending on what your experience is with technical stuff, you might just want to copy and paste them or talk with your web developer about that or ask us and we can help you too.

So securing reviews, we use a platform that we partner with called TrueView that allows you to reach out. You can also do surveys through them as well. There's also different platforms like Podium where you can reach out for reviews or feedback. Yelp will have it so that you can't have reviews. If you're trying to advertise through Yelp, you can't say that you're reaching out for reviews.

You want to make sure that you're reaching out for feedback from your customers. And so you can also have it on business cards. So we build business cards for a lot of our customers that they hand as well after the job is done. That says, "Please leave us a review." It has a QR code that takes them directly to their Google Business Profile page to leave a review.

You can also do it through emails and sending out emails to your customers as well after a job is complete, asking them to leave you feedback on your Google Business Profile as well or your Yelp page or any other page that you might want to get a review on. So there's a lot of different ways to get feedback from your customers and get reviews. And so making sure that you're reaching out and asking for them is the number one thing that you should be doing is you've got to ask.

Otherwise, a lot of times people, unless there's somebody who likes to leave a lot of reviews aren't going to leave reviews unless you're asking for it.

Karen Edwards: So let's talk about the dreaded negative reviews because there's almost always going to be one person who for some reason isn't happy. And one, how do you handle them? And two, is it possible to get rid of them if it was from eight or nine years ago? How's that work?

Danny Braught: No, it is not possible to get rid of them. If they are somebody who's fake and didn't actually use your service, there is a possibility to get rid of those. But when it comes to responding to negative reviews, you want to make sure that you are doing it in a respectful way and you might've had something completely, just absolutely a horrible customer. Something might've happened with your team.

Make sure that you respond in a negative way, give contact information for them to reach out to you so that you can resolve it and make it look the best it possibly can out there because people do look at those reviews as well. And they're going to look at the way that you respond as a business owner or as a marketing professional as well. So make sure that you respond in a very respectful way. You don't even have to spell out exactly what happened.

Just saying that, "I'm sorry that you had this sort of service from us. That is not what our normal business practice is. We would love to make it right to you. Here's an email to reach out to us. We want to make sure that we can make this right." All right. What they can't do is they cannot comment back.

So what you say to them and allowing them to have another form to reach out to you and that you want to make it right, now every other customer is going to see that because it's not a comment thread. It is one comment back from the manager or owner of the business.

Karen Edwards: I'm glad because I thought, "Oh no. Do we get in a back and forth war here?" But we can't, they can't respond to your comment, but it shows other people that you were nice. That you gave them another way to try to resolve the issues that they may have experienced.

Danny Braught: And you can go back through and you can talk with the customer offline, and then you can get the customer to go back and change their review as well. It is possible for them to go back in and update and change their review. The customer is the one that can also delete their review as well.

Karen Edwards: So we want to handle, respond to negative reviews, but should we be responding to every review, even positive?

Danny Braught: You should respond to every review. You want to respond just saying thank you so much for leaving us feedback. You can make it very brief, make it to the point. You can also make it a longer one, like, "Thank you. It was so awesome working with you, Karen. We enjoyed working on your house and installing new gutters and installing the new metal roof that you wanted.

I hope that you love it over the next 30 years or next 50, a hundred years it's going to last you." And so make sure that you're saying that sort of stuff as well, because what's said in the comments are also keywords that Google is reading because they read every single thing. So it's not just that it's keywords that they're reading, it's also giving context about what the review and what you did for them as well.

Karen Edwards: The last point on the page is pay attention for repeat criticism. If there is a certain service that you're performing that people aren't happy with or a team member who is mentioned more than once, then that may be a bigger issue that you need to look at internally within your business to address.

Danny Braught: Because this is real feedback, sometimes you might not like it, but it's just like anything. If you're starting to see a pattern, well there's probably something real there. It's not something that somebody is just saying. So you want to make sure that you're paying attention to the repeat criticism because it means that there is a real issue, and so it means that you might have something to work on.

Karen Edwards: Excellent. So let's talk for a little bit about other features that Google Business Profile offers and what may be coming.

Danny Braught: So you can add people to your Google Business Profile. There's three little dots when you're on the backend of your system, when you're on your listing that you click on. And on those three little dots, you'll be able to go into business profile settings. And then from there you can go into add users. That's how we have people add us to their account to be able to help manage it and help them out.

And then you can actually create a full business.google... I don't remember the exact website, but you can create an entire website on your Google Business Profile. If you're just starting out and needing a very minimal website, it's not going to do very well as far as ranking and search or anything like that, but it does help you to have an actual website. Then custom Gmail for your business.

So this is called Google Workspace. Google Workspace, as you can see in the image here on the left-hand side, there's the nine dots there. What Google Workspace allows you to do is actually list your company@url.com. So if it's at roofersrs.com, you can take that URL, put it in and use Gmail. So you can use all the Gmail features, but everything comes from your business URL, and so you have your Gmail in there.

I use this, this is what we use for our business is Google Workspace, and it's essentially everything that you would get with Microsoft Outlook, but much easier to use. The user interface is very easy. You can add users, it's either $7 or $12 a month per user as well. So you can have multiple different emails. You can create aliases that forward inside of there. So that's the email side.

Then you have your calendar and you can have your calendar through there as well where you can set up all your calendar events and have it synced to anything because everybody goes to Google's API. And then you can also have Google Slides, Google Sheets, Google Docs, which is everything that you use on Microsoft as well. So docs is like Word, Sheets is like Excel, Slides is PowerPoint. And so you can use all of those for $7 to $12 a month per person.

And then you also get Google Drive, which is like Dropbox as well. And so all of that can be built into one platform for your business through Google Workspaces. So that's one piece that just links everything together and then you can have it all on Google Chrome and it makes it very easy to use.

Karen Edwards: There are some companies that use Gmail addresses for their business. It might be roofersrs@gmail.com, but if they just buy...

Danny Braught: They should definitely not do that.

Karen Edwards: Don't do that. If you bought that URL, roofersrs.com and for $7 a month per user or $12 a month per user, then you can have that real email, which just adds credibility and professionalism to your business overall.

Danny Braught: That's a ton of credibility and professionalism, having it at your actual URL instead of using a Gmail address. So you want to make sure that you do that because it makes you seem like such a more credible business by having it at your actual URL and it's very inexpensive.

Karen Edwards: Absolutely. Absolutely. I want to talk a little bit about some contractor success stories. You showed us a little bit in terms of Google Business Profiles, but you and I looked at one the other day that was really impressive. It was similar to the map you showed with where they rank and then how a few changes changed that.

Danny Braught: So actually just one of them just emailed me today about it. So a couple small changes can make a big difference in your Google Business Profile. So I'm trying to pull one up. This is an AC repair company that I was working with. So by changing a couple of different things in their categories, this is one of the tools that we use. So by changing a couple of different things in their categories, this is where they were on September 26th, when this was created.

And then this is around their area, they're just south of Austin, Texas. And so they were at an average of 7.6 around their area. Their office is right in this area here. And by making a couple changes to their profile, we were able to get them down to 4.79 on average. So over a 3% jump. And that went from September 26, I want to say it was, to October 4th. Now they're ranking a lot higher in the top three, which are the three that show in this area.

And then even getting farther away, they were able to go from number 14 in those areas to number five and number seven. And when I talked with them a week later after we had made the changes, you can see all the red out here as well, that they were number 11, 13, 15, all of those, and now they're number 3, 8, 9, 10. So just by making a couple different changes to their website or to their Google Business Profile, we were able to get them to rank more.

And they're like, "We have noticed a ton more calls." Because people are always looking on Google Business Profile all the time, constantly getting directions looking for services around them. So just by making a few changes, you can have a significant jump in your rankings, which allows you to get more calls because it's where people are looking for the services already.

Karen Edwards: That's really impressive. That just shows you the strength and the power of your Google Business Profile and how important it is to your business. So what should we know? Google, for those of you that do track your analytics and follow, they're making changes a lot. So you have to make sure that you're ready for them and what's coming up in the future that we should know about?

Danny Braught: So in terms of algorithm changes, I never know what's actually coming up. They don't tell you before they do it. They would let you know when they're doing... From Universal Analytics to GA 4, which is Google Analytics 4. They let you know a year in advance and a lot of people still didn't change over their analytics and tracking. We changed ours over the minute that it happened. So that way we started the minute that we got it a year before.

So that way we had all of the data to look at. And so you want to make sure that you're paying attention to different stuff. Just like there is RoofersCoffeeShop for roofing. There's also things for search engine optimization like Search Engine Journal that you can read and get a ton of information from. There's also a company called BrightLocal that is all about local advertising, that has a ton of good information as well that you can look at.

They also do citations, listings and a bunch of other stuff. And then there's always new features launching. There's always something changing every month in GBP. And so constantly paying attention to what those new features are and then reading some of those journals that are always putting out the information about it will help you to stay on top of it. Or if you work with an agency like ours, we're constantly staying on top of that stuff to be able to make sure that we're making those changes for you.

Because the new features when they come out, the more people that use them, just like on social media. When there's new features that come out, these platforms are going to prioritize people that use their new features because they want adoption of the new features. And so by using the new features, they're going to allow you to be pushed up higher in the rankings.

Karen Edwards: Excellent, excellent. And I just want to give a plug for Danny to LMH Agency, they have a free seven-day Google Business Profile course. Sign up for it. It sends you one email a day that's not overwhelming. It's just some really good information with four or five key points each day over a seven-day period.

I know this is a lot of information and it can really be a little bit overwhelming, but that's a great way to get started in learning a little bit more about Google Business Profile and some of the tricks and tips for success there. We've got a couple of minutes left. If anybody has any more questions, please feel free to put them in the chat. And I think we covered all of the questions that we got.

It looks pretty good. And like I said, this is going to be available online within 24 hours, so feel free to share it with those that you feel might benefit from this. And I'm going to put Danny's email address up here for you all. Feel free to email Danny directly, or you can of course visit their directory on RoofersCoffeeShop, which we'll have links to the seven-day course that I mentioned, as well as their contact information and how to get in touch with them.

Danny, thank you so much for being here. This was so helpful and informative for me and I'm sure the folks on and watching this, hopefully we're able to take away some nuggets from it. So thank you very much.

Danny Braught: You're welcome. If there's any other questions that anybody has last minute questions, I've got a couple more minutes still on my calendar that I can go ahead and answer questions. So if you have any specific questions, feel free to put them in there and I can answer them. I can show you how to do different things as well. And like she said, my email's right there, that's my direct email.

So you're welcome to email me anytime with any questions, more than happy to help you out. If you also have any questions in regards to any other SEO or paid ads as well, I'm more than happy to help you out with that too, or website questions. We also build custom websites and can answer any questions that you have too.

Karen Edwards: Excellent, good stuff today. I want to thank everybody for being here and watching this RLW. Please join us in a few weeks for our next RLW. We invite you to follow us on social media, subscribe to our content, set your notifications so that you don't miss a thing, and we'll see you next time.

Danny Braught: And I was going to say, if anybody's going to be at RoofCON starting tomorrow, I leave tomorrow and I'm heading to RoofCON. I'll be there until Saturday. So come stop by our booth and talk with me. I'd love to meet you in person.

Karen Edwards: Excellent. Sounds good. Go see him at RoofCON and then IRE, of course, most of us will be there in February. So thanks again everyone. We'll see you next time.

Danny Braught: Thank you.

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