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December 2020 Google Updates What it means for your home service business in 2021

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Google Updates - Relentless Digital LLC

Google has been very busy at the tail end of 2020.  In particular, GMB updates have been coming fast and furious.  I’m here to break it all down for you. I got some screenshots and some other things ready for you.

I’m going to break down what it means for your business as we head into 2021. BrightLocal sent out a very nice update with this for marketers. And I’m going go through, weed through, what’s important for you and what doesn’t really matter. 

Google launches Small Business Advisors Program

Google has been testing a lot of stuff, and I’ve shared a lot of this stuff on my Facebook page , but this kind of sums up what’s been going on.
Google actually has a small business advisors program that looks like it just launched, it’s 40 bucks per session. You get 50 minutes from it looks like someone from Google, one of Google’s personnel, and you’ll actually be able to ask them direct questions and stuff like that.
Marketers and agencies cannot do this on your behalf. So this is something you would have to do yourself, but this is available for you.

Google continues their testing of Google Guaranteed Badge placement in Maps 

This is something that I put out there several months ago on Facebook , but they’ve been testing, google’s been testing the Google guaranteed badge and where to put it. If we go back, we can actually see, and this was done looks like a couple of weeks ago, I saw this in the map pack. As you can see, two out of the top four listings have this, the other ones do not.

Here’s another one. This one I actually saw in the three pack, and this was in our market. It’s no longer there. So as you can see, Google is testing this. Pay close attention to this in 2021. They’re testing it to see what the click through rates are and where the biggest bang for the buck is, so pay attention to this. I would check this once a month, just search whatever the main keyword is for you. If you’re a plumber, type plumber and your city.  See what the results look like and stay on top of them.

Google Guaranteed Badge - Relentless Digital LLC
Google Guaranteed Badge - Relentless Digital LLC

Google Local Pack shows “X number of years in business” 

I caught this test a couple of weeks ago that I saw this. I was doing a search and noticed one of these is actually my clients. They were showing less than 1 year in business, same as these other companies, because we did not have the year that they started in business listed in their GMB profile.
Google is pulling this data from your Google my Business Dashboard -> Info and down at the very bottom, you can enter when your business started. from. So when they originally had this up, they were showing less than one year in business, which is not the case, obviously.
Now you look at this, who do you think most people are going to click on? Even though he’s not number one, he’s number two, but he has more reviews, and his listing shows the trust factor of being in business for 5 years vs the other two that shows less than 1 year. Plus if you call after hours, his business shows he’s open 24 hours.

A small change in Google’s map pack results could mean extra service calls, extra opportunities for your business.

Year in Business Update - Relentless Digital LLC

Google expands their GMB messaging feature

Something that I’ve also sent out some information about. If you’re a client of Relentless Digital, I have turned on all of your messaging capabilities. If you’re not, make sure you go into your Google My Business app.  If you don’t have this, search for it on the app store or play store.  This is VERY important as you will only see messages through the app.
It comes through a mobile device. I’m not sure why they don’t have the message where you can read them on desktop. I do believe that they are going to expand this in 2021, where you’ll actually be able to see the messages from your dashboard, but just keep in mind that this is something that is coming.

Prospects don’t want to call as much as they used to in the past. They’d rather chat or text or message or direct message your business. So this is very important because again, I’ve seen an uptake of this in our HVAC business.
People want to get ahold of you, and they don’t necessarily want to call.

Google adds label to NEW reviews 

In the home service industry, reviews are super important. Google has started testing and labeling reviews as “new”. And the reason they did this, there’s a survey that came out right here, and it was through BrightLocal this year , that shows a lot of consumers only pay attention to reviews within the last couple of weeks, to the last three months.

Everything is about relevancy to the person searching. If your business is not relevant today, but was relevant six months ago, that does not help Google searchers or the people that are putting in search queries. So you have to make sure that you are getting reviews, you’re getting them regularly, and those reviews are of good quality. If they’re just leaving five stars with no comments at all, that doesn’t help the next person that’s doing a search. So make sure that you guys are doing fantastic service.

You have to really go above and beyond. Make sure you have a good process for capturing reviews regularly. This means every single day you should be asking for reviews. Stop worrying if you’re going to have one customer that’s going to be angry about something, and you’re trying to gate that review. Don’t worry about that because if you’re getting reviews regularly, you’re going to drown that review out. And if your service is really good and your team is well-trained, you have nothing to worry about. Get the reviews, get them as often as you can, because this plays a very important role in your business showing up on local results, and also, on converting that traffic to leads.

For more information on how to rank your business higher on Google Maps, email us at info@relentless-digital.com.