Google recently made a huge change to how they show local businesses online. Before August 7th Google would display seven local business listings, usually A through G. Below the business listing was the rest of the organic results. Starting today Google will now show the top 3 business listings.
Here is an example of the current local business listings for “Portland appliance repair“:
This new way of showing local businesses may have a huge negative affect on the business listings that used to sit on Google’s first page. This change has now caused every business from the 4th result and down, to have to pay for advertising or face closing up shop.
Many local appliance repair business owners probably have no idea that this change even happened. We asked Noel with Robinsons Appliance Repair what he thought of the change and he had this to say.
I have been working as an appliance repair tech for many years and it seems like these changes are pushing us to paying more and more. Its almost like healthcare, you think your bill is high now.. just wait until next year. I haven’t seen the new results and frankly I don’t have time as I’m pretty busy with referrals and the phone calls I do receive.
Just like most appliance repair owners, they probably have no idea this change within Google even happened. They might find out in a few days if their phones stop ringing and decide to go investigate the reasons.
Just because the local business listings have changed, doesn’t mean business stops. Nothing else has really changed except that local markets are now going to get much more competitive. In order to grow your business you’ll have to start paying to play. What we mean by that is you will have to either hire a professional marketer or figure our how to get pay-per-click ads up for your business. We suggest you hire someone to get your ads online. Someone who can manage the account for you.
Here is a quick break down of the top 3 things appliance repair owners should be doing to grow their business:
- Get reviews! One of the biggest things we see are business owners not asking for reviews. Just look at the screenshot above, 1 of the 3 listings actually has more than 5 reviews, the minimum number needed for the stars to show up.
- Fill out local profile! Make sure you have all of your major profiles filled out. Whether you believe it or not, people will find you from Yelp, YellowPages, Facebook, and even websites like Porch. Make sure your profiles are completely filled out with your business name, phone number, website address, business description and even pictures/videos if you have any. These few things will help you stick out from the competition as many business owners don’t take the time to fill out their profiles.
- Network! There are times where you may be too busy and can send some leads to another appliance repair technician. Instead of telling the customer you are too busy, give them the phone number of someone you have networked with. Word will get around that you have referred business and you will likely get the favor returned. Just think, if you didn’t refer that potential customer to another appliance repair business, they would have found someone anyways, so why not get credit for helping.
Even with all of the changes in Google, local appliance repair owners should be focused on getting their business online. Hire a company like Appliance Repair Partners who can manage all of your marketing needs, while you take care of your customers. Don’t try to do everything yourself, otherwise you will hit burnout and frustrations, especially since Google is always changing.