Your Online Presence Makes A Difference
Is your inspection business ready for 21st Century clients? Clients now like to discover things for themselves. They use the internet to check before they make a commitment. Your online presence is critical to convincing clients to choose your inspection business.
Your online presence is everywhere you appear on the internet. From your website, to a Yelp listing, to a Facebook page, to articles you’ve published, to the Better Business Bureau, to Google search results.
Consider anything you post on the web, as part of your online presence. You want your message to be the same wherever a client finds you.
Augment your business with the digital space. It’s where clients go to get information and make a decision.
As an independent business you want to be stand out and be memorable to compete with the giants.
Search Engines Favor The Prepared
Word of mouth is powerful, but these days it’s not enough. Even when a family member or real estate agent suggests your inspection business, it’s most likely that your potential client will search for you online.
It’s in your best interest to create a clear and consistent message because you don’t know how search engines like Google will present results. Your real estate agent may have mentioned your name and forgot to mention the name of your business.
Stop right now, open an incognito search engine, and type in the name of your business. At the top of the list of search results, you want your website to show. If it doesn’t, you need to work on your website.
Social media like Facebook or Instagram or market listings like Yelp or Inspect.com are like rental property. The landlord is someone else. But you own your website. It’s your home on the internet. Your website is the online place that tells the world about your business. Your website needs to be complete naming your business, displaying the owners, and listing your services in detail.
We feel strongly about the power of a business website. That’s where you have the power to say exactly what you want people to know about your business. If you don’t have a website and are relying on social media or a marketplace listing you have the cart before the horse. Read more about the basics of your website in our article Make Your Website Shine. We cover the important basics.
Google My Business
Google is the largest search engine in the world. Google provides website owners with a free listing on Google: Google My Business. Create a business profile here so Google can display your business to connect with clients across Google search and Google Maps.
After you create your listing, you must verify it. Google will send you a postcard with a code to the address listed for your business. Once you receive the code, confirm your listing by entering the code.
Once your listing is verified, you can add images, articles, videos and a link to your website to engage customers. They’ll offer you a free website which you can use as a backup for the listing. But don’t make the mistake of using that free website as your business website. Think of it as a one-page flyer. Concentrate your website focus on your own business website.
The benefit of using Google My Business is that it improves your search visibility. With a verified listing it’s quite likely you will come up first when people search for your business online. You’ll eliminate the businesses that have name’s similar to yours, especially if they are at a nearby location.
Social media like Facebook or Instagram allows you to connect and have conversations with clients and potential prospects. Your inspector life keeps you busy, so limit your spread on social media to one or two places where you want to spend time.
Social media is social, so be prepared to respond to anyone who comments on a post. That’s the whole idea of being “social” on the internet. Engagement on one or two social media platforms is better than spreading yourself thin with multiple social media accounts and then not engaging. That’s the way social media works best.
Marketplace listings like Yelp and HomeAdvisor are lead generation sources. But they can end up costing money. For instance, HomeAdvisor charges for your listing and then charges for each lead, whether they do business with you or not.
Although a Yelp listing is free, you need to pay for upgrades, like $1 a day for any upgrades like a call to action button or removing competitors from your page.
Transparency and Consistency are the Keys to a Strong Online Presence
A sound online presence gives you exposure for little money. When your message is consistent across all your online platforms you reinforce your business message. Make sure you logo, business colors, and any tagline are the same wherever you have an online presence. Aim to echo the sound message of your website.
Transparency is the ability for clients to know the basic details of your business.
- Your location
- Your phone number
- Who owns the business
- Your services
Make sure this information is accurate and up to date wherever you are on the web.
Accurate, detailed, and consistent information assure your clients understand your inspection business and can connect with you wherever they find you.