Contractors, think about the last time you had to find a local business, a place for Thai food, perhaps. I’m willing to bet that your reflex was to search on Google—after all, Google knows everything, right?

Well, what do you think locals do when they need to find a contractor for a project? That’s right—they type in “contractors near me” into Google.

Try it yourself. You’ll see that you’re immediately presented with a hierarchy of listings. At the top are the contractors who have paid to have a Google Ad. Below those listings, you’ll find listings for three contractors who have been chosen from among all the possible local contractors, shown next to a map. This is known as the 3 Pack. At the bottom of the 3 Pack, you have the option to see more businesses. According to Forbes, 75 percent of internet users never scroll past the 3 Pack.

How do you get a piece of this action? That’s what this post is about—learning how to use local search on Google to grow your business, both ads, and the so-called Google Business Profile. We’ll look at Google ads first. Then we’ll consider the Google Business Profile. When you’re done with the piece, you should have a better idea how to use Google to grow your construction business.

Google ads for contractors

Google ads are the text-only ads that show up at the top and bottom of Google search results. You’ve seen them. Go to Google and type in “remodeler near me” or “general contractor near me” or whatever. The ads, each with a little identifier as an advertisement, will be the first thing you see.

Visit to set up your account. You’ll need to provide some basic business information and supply a credit card to pay for your ads.

With Google Ads you pay every time someone clicks on your ad. It’s known as cost-per-click or CPC. The costs can range from a penny per click to $10 per click—or more. Your final CPC will depend on things such as your maximum bid, your relevancy to the search terms used by the person on Google (known as “keywords”) and how many other contractors are bidding on those same keywords. Google Ads give contractors a lot of control over how much they spend. Your daily budget can be as low as $1 and up to $10,000—or more.

The keywords you use are crucial. Usually, these are phrases—something like “general contractor near me” or “Grand Rapids building painting contractor.” Think about what you would type into Google if you wanted to hire a professional in your area. That’s your keyword.

You can target your ads in many different ways—by age, gender, household income, and location. That way, your ad will only show up on the computer screens of people who match those terms.

Google will assign a “relevancy score” to your ad. It’s a measure of how much Google thinks your ad matches the keywords. Your quality score, along with the amount you bid, determines whether your ad will show up and much a click will cost you.

Google will prompt you to set up a “bid” for your ad. The bid is the most you’re willing to pay when someone clicks on your ad. The more you bid for each click, the higher your ad shows up in the search results.

Think of each keyword as an auction item, going up against a host of other local contractors bidding for the traffic. Google awards traffic to the highest bidder on each keyword.

Your ad will direct the searcher to a “landing page” on your website. Ideally, you should create a landing page for each of the services you want to advertise for. Your landing page should have a Call to Action (CTA). The trick is to get people to click on your CTA. That way, you turn site visitors into leads, leads into meetings, and meetings into sales.

Getting a free estimate is the most common CTA. Also, you can use “contact us,” “get started” or “call now.”

See: 7 ways to write super-effective Google ads (with real examples)

With Google Ads, you can use a search network campaign or a display network campaign. Use search campaigns. They show your ads on Google search results. Display campaigns show your ads alongside YouTube videos, product blogs, online shopping carts, and such.

What about Google Business Profile?

The Google Business Profile is a free platform for local businesses to get found on Google. Here is how to set up your Google Business Profile:

Go to Google Business Profile Manager Click on “Add your business to Google.”  Google will prompt you to choose a category for your business and enter your physical location. And then enter your contact information.

Make sure your profile has this basic information:

  • The correct spelling of your business name
  • The correct physical address
  • The business hours
  • Your service areas
  • Your phone number
  • Your website

Google will then have you verify your business. You won’t be able to manage your Google Business Profile until it has been verified. So, make it happen. You can verify through phone/text, email, video recording, live video call or snail mail.

Once you’re verified you can get about optimizing your profile so that you’ll be listed in the 3-Pack! Here’s how:

  • Respond to questions submitted to your Google account—and make sure you ask every satisfied customer to leave a review of your work on Google. Respond to all reviews—good and bad. Homeowners are drawn toward contractors/remodelers who have four or five stars and they’re going to gloss over the contractors/remodelers who have no reviews.
  • Add photos. In the contracting/remodeling space, photos are crucial to converting visitors into customers. People want to see your work. Here are the bare minimum images you should have on your profile: your company logo, a photo of you and your team, a photo of one of your trucks, your best projects, and an “evergreen” offer—like a free consultation.
  • Give Google more to work with in assigning your profile to searches by keeping your information up to date.
  • You can select from many different attributes to give customers further information about your business. Depending on your type of business you may find attributes for payment options or, say, women-owned businesses.

Wrapping up

Your ideal prospects are using Google to find local businesses. It’s the way things work nowadays. So why not use Google to grow your construction business? If you’re uneasy about spending money on ads, at least complete your Google Business Profile. Then you can leverage the power of local search and drive more customers to your business.


Did you like this post? Try How contractors can network at professional organizations

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