Google’s lackluster attempts to beat back the locksmith scam are misfiring and hitting honest locksmith companies instead.
Don’t you feel frustrated when you play by the rules but still get targeted by Google? The unfortunate reality is, due to how widespread the scam is, Google automatically puts locksmiths under the microscope simply for being locksmiths. This means locksmiths must follow every rule to the letter. You have to be extremely thorough and careful when creating or updating your listings.
Do these sound familiar?
- Getting verified by Google is an uphill battle.
- Your listing keeps getting suspended for no clear reason.
- You’re having trouble getting new customers because the scams have made everyone more suspicious.
We feel for you. That’s why we’ve put together some actionable advice for honest locksmiths to help you stay in Google’s good graces. We’ve also compiled some suggestions for proving your trustworthiness to local customers.
So without any further ado, let’s get started.
Don’t Make Yourself a Target
Like we said, Google is already scrutinizing your every move because you’re a locksmith. Even the smallest transgression will get you flagged.
Here are some ways to keep that bull’s-eye off your back:
- Don’t stuff your listing full of keywords. Write naturally, only using keywords where they actually fit.
- Stick to one, local service area. Fight the temptation to list every city in a 200-mile radius.
- If you work with an SEO company, be cooperative and don’t do anything against their advice. Better yet, don’t even touch your Google listing and let your marketer handle all of your updates.
- Don’t do anything that could possibly be mistaken for spam.
Basically, be conservative. Don’t push the limits at all. As a locksmith, gray areas are off limits to you.
Put Your Trustworthiness Front and Center
As info about the scam spreads, people are increasingly wary of locksmiths they find online. In fact, most news stories are advising people to ask friends and family for locksmith referrals instead of doing a local Google search for one.
What does this mean for you? It means your job is a lot harder now. You must win over the skeptics and prove you’re a locksmith they can trust.
Here are some ideas to help you do that:
- Have a physical storefront and use a picture of it on your Google listing, website, and social media.
- A van or truck with your logo is better than nothing, but a storefront is much more effective.
- List your physical address so people know you’re local.
- Have a logo or some form of consistent branding across the web.
- Include high-quality photos of yourself and your team members on your Google listing, website, and social media.
- Post precise business hours and emergency services instead of just claiming to be open “24/7.” Even if you are open 24 hours a day, people see that as a red flag.
- Include upfront pricing that’s based on a flat rate for each job. Do not charge per hour.
- Share information and warnings about locksmith scams with your customers. Post links to news articles about the scam right on your website and social media.
As we discussed in our previous blog post, “Google’s Incompetence: Hell for Legit Locksmiths, Great for Locksmith Scams,” these scams have complicated matters for locksmith companies everywhere. We can’t expect Google to come up with a fail-safe solution to this problem overnight, so it’s best to take action yourself.
By following the recommendations we’ve listed above, you’ll prove your professionalism and honesty, increase your compliance with Google, and reassure a nervous customer base.
Interested in advice that’s tailored to your own, unique business? Call or e-mail us for a pressure-free chat!