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In 1890, the Standard Oil Company controlled 88 percent of all refined oil flows in the United States. This led to the company being labeled as a monopoly and the subsequent lawsuit in 1909 by the U.S. Department of Justice under the federal antitrust law, the Sherman Act. Beginning in 1911, the company was broken up into smaller (though still massive) businesses, all in an effort to protect American consumers.

In a striking coincidence, the search engine market share in the United States that is currently owned by Google is 88.6 percent, according to data from December 2017. Regardless of whether Google’s astonishing market share qualifies as a monopoly or not, one thing is very clear: when it comes to marketing a construction business, mastering Google is a very important step.

Take Advantage of Google’s Free Tools

Google My Business

When it comes to finding a business online, Google is where it happens. Therefore, it’s essential for any business to take advantage of the tools Google provides to facilitate being found on the internet.

Fortunately, many of the tools available to businesses to help them get found by potential customers are completely free. The best place for construction business owners to start when it comes to mastering Google is to claim their businesses’ free listing. Here’s how it’s done:

Step 1: Do a search for the business, including city and state.

Step 2: If the map shows the company but includes a link that says “Own this business?”, then there’s some work to do. Click the link to claim the business and follow the prompts.

Once a business is “claimed,” there’s still more work to do. Owners of construction companies should visit www.google.com/business and get prepared to do all of the following.

  • Make sure that the listing is verified. Business owners will need to verify the information they add. Usually it takes a few days, as Google will send a postcard with a code to enter to confirm the business information. If given the option to do it by phone, be sure the number Google will call is answered by a human and not an automated system. The person who answers the phone will be provided with the numeric code immediately to verify the account.
  • Carefully select categories. Select the primary category, which should the category that is the closest to the business’ core offering. Then, select as many subcategories as the system will allow with categories that are even vaguely related to what the business does.
  • Update hours of operation, add a link to the company’s website and links to any social channels set for the business, and make sure the phone number is correct.

If a construction company doesn’t have a website, the owner can create a one-page site within the Google listing. It’s a good first step if the business has nothing out there yet and provides a platform to show more about the company. It’s a simple design, but better than nothing.

When filling out the free business listing, be sure to add as much information as possible. The more information that’s provided, the more likely Google is to show the company’s website over its competitors’. If you don’t have a website, you’ll even be able to create a basic website here for free.

This is the first of a four-part series on marketing for construction companies. Stay tuned for part two on mastering marketing basics.

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