Roofers can benefit from ranking on Google Maps, especially in the Local 3 Pack, which is the top 3 Maps results and are displayed prominently on a Google SERP. Members of Roofing Webmasters recently attended an SEO conference where someone in the audience asked why their clients’ Maps ranking was low despite having the highest quantity of reviews in their market and industry. The conference speaker was unable to provide an explanation, so today, we will. Reviews are only one part of a Google’s Maps grading system. Although there is no official list, this is what Roofing Webmasters considers as the factors based on our years of marketing:
- Program / Widget
- Ongoing Work
Maps rankings are relative to market and industry. Roofing contractors understand their industry quite well, but less are aware of how competitive their market is online. For cities with fewer than 50,000 people, ranking on Maps is far easier than it is with cities of higher populations. The double edge sword is that placement on the Local 3 Pack is far less valuable for low populated areas. Regardless of your particular scenario, these components will factor into your ultimate placement. Roofing Webmasters can help influence some of the factors, to boost your Google Maps ranking, and hopefully solidify your business on the Local 3 Pack for relevant Keywords.
6 Local Mapping Factors for Roofers
The longer you’ve had your Google My Business profile up, the more likely you are to rank on Google Maps. For brand new profiles, implementing best practice strategies can get you listed on Maps in 12 months or less. 1 year might seem like a long time to rank, but keep in mind that many roofing markets are highly competitive. For less populated cities, you might rank in closer to 6 months. Another variable is the keyword you hope to rank for. Higher volume keywords work similarly on Maps to how they work on organic. The highest volume keywords are the most competitive and require the most work to achieve rankings for. Some terms have so little volume, that no Local 3 Pack will even exist for the corresponding query.
The most obvious factor is reviews, which entails both the quantity and the quality of the feedback. The person who posed the question at the aforementioned conference was referring to a client that had a high quantity of reviews along with high quality. While that particular company was unable to show up on Maps, they did achieve one of the most important steps which is review generation. The reason they didn’t rank is rooted in the other factors on this list. Reviews alone are not enough to establish a secure ranking in the Local 3 Pack. Still, you should always be trying to get as many reviews as possible in an ethical manner, and respond to customers who leave testimonials.
Sites with low Domain Authority struggle to rank on Maps listings in the same way they struggle with organic. If your website has zero inbound links pointing to it, there’s very little incentive for Google to trust it at all. They are taking a big risk in funneling consumers to a company that is virtually unknown, and has no votes of confidence from other sites on the web (inbound links). This doesn’t mean you should try to get any old link, since many of them are pure spam and can actually have the opposite effect to what you were hoping for. The best way to build links is content creation, distribution, and syndication. Of course the higher quality content is more likely to be linked to, and the trust and authority of your domain should increase accordingly.
Program / Widget
Generating reviews is not easy. So when a marketer tells you something simple like; you need more reviews, it doesn’t help much. To actually get more reviews you need to implement a reviews program and ideally, a website widget. Both work collaboratively when properly integrated. The program is set of steps that every employee should follow when dealing with clients. First, you ask the satisfied customer for a review in person. Second, you hand them a business card with your review platform links (or ideally your review widget link). Third, you automate a reminder text and email. Finally, you make a final reminder phone call. If after the phone call reminder, they don’t budget, just leave them alone, as continuing to bother them might prompt them to leave bad feedback.
Every part of your digital marketing campaign should be ongoing. From blog posts on your website to Google posts on your Google My Business page. The latter can actually make your Maps listing more relevant and encourage Google to prioritize it. Regular work should expand beyond your Google profile alone however. You also want to continue to work on your main website, blog posts, social media channels, and every other avenue for lead generation. Google tends to grade roofing companies as a full picture, rather than based on individual or isolated snippets of branding. That’s why when skeptics suggest that SEO for roofing companies doesn’t work, they are misleading listeners. Maps, like SEO, is something that requires consistency and commitment.
A major misnomer about Maps rankings is that Google understand the services you offer based on relevance to your industry. You might assume as a roofer that residential roof repair is implied as one of your services. But if you don’t have a page specifically for residential roof repair on your website, Google is going to opt to prioritize a website that does in fact have that page published. It’s not that Google’s algorithm is unintelligent, it’s just that there’s more reason to trust websites that actually have service pages for each of these specific categories. The solution to this whole “problem” is simple, and it is to make new pages for every category you wish to rank for on both Maps and organic.
Roofers Who Need Help Ranking on Maps
Sometimes Google’s algorithm can seem like a rubix cube and frustrate business owners (including roofers) across the country. Even when it seems like everything is being done right (like you have 100 five star reviews) you still might lack the true local presence you are hoping for. With Roofing Webmasters’ list of ranking factors, you can take your local roofing company to the next level in 2019. We provide local mapping services which includes everything mentioned in this blog post and on the embedded podcast. We’ve been working with roofing clients for over a decade, and have over 200 clients. We understand what it takes to maximize local reach.
At Roofing Webmasters we strongly believe in a full digital marketing presence. Maps rankings are not truly attainable unless you have an infrastructure in place to proceed it. For instance, a strong, custom-designed website, with clean code, URL structure, and optimized content, sets the foundation for an optimal Maps listing. Every component of a marketing strategy should work cohesively with the others to maximize the aggregate value. We are happy t o discuss our services in further detail, and explain all of the intricacies of ranking on Google Maps as a local roofing contractor. Call (800) 353-5758 for more information and a free consultation.