We’ll get straight to it – if you Google your name, website, or the name of your brokerage, and aren’t immediately presented with your Google My Business (GMB) listing on the right-hand side of the page, then this 5-minute article is one you need to read… you can’t afford not to!
If you don’t have 5 minutes, then go straight to Google My Business – Stand Out on Google for Free and get started right now. At AgentMarketing, our mission is to show you how to engage leads, add value to your marketing objectives and grow your real estate business – even if it means clicking away from this article!
If you do have 5-mins, read on!
If you’re like most of our subscribers, you’re striving to dominate as much of the local market as you can.
While there are dozens (and dozens) of boxes to check on your marketing plan, ensuring that your GMB listing is accurate, up-to-date, chock-full of posts and positive reviews should be very high on the list, if not #1.
Leveraging your local expertise, and more importantly, being FOUND for it, is incredibly valuable. Leveraging your sphere of influence to help optimize your website’s ranking on Google is a no-brainer.
For those of us who follow the ever-changing Google algorithm updates (yes, the ranking mechanisms are always changing!), we know that trying to optimize and account for hundreds of factors is far from simple. But, when we look at where the score is weighted most heavily for Local SEO, the majority comes from your GMB profile.
So, how do you do it?
First, create and verify your profile! You’ll want to add as much information and media as you can. It’s a self-explanatory process, but if you need help, inbound marketing expert, Hubspot has a great easy-to-follow guide.
The most important part of your profile setup is Name, Address, Phone Number (NAP) and Website – it’s crucial for your local SEO. You want to be sure anywhere it’s listed, it’s consistent. The combination of your NAP+W tells Google it’s you!
If you have a brick and mortar location, that’s great! Your business will show up on Google Maps which is an extra SEO boost. If you don’t have a physical location to promote, that’s okay too – you’re still adding value with a $0 product, and will undoubtedly see ROI! If you’re one of many agents at a particular office, you’re still in the money, but may not be listed on the map.
Whichever category you fall into, just be sure to accurately define where you are, your “service areas” and where you’ll be focusing your efforts. When a potential lead searches “real estate agents near me,” you’ll have a chance to show up!
Imagine your GMB profile as your digital billboard. If you only had a few items to promote yourself in that space – what would those important things be? Well, as a real estate pro – you know word of mouth is everything! The importance of reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp, Zillow, etc. can’t be understated.
While Google’s algorithm isn’t something you can control (e.g. you won’t be able to decide which review sources are in the knowledge panel), making sure that you’re deploying best practices in making the request can make all the difference. You probably already have someone singing your praises, and many more in your sphere, just waiting to be asked to do so.
If you need help in garnering reviews, your choices are plenty. Even better – GMB makes linking to your specific review form a snap.
When your most prominent “digital billboard” is full of great reviews, all signs forecast that you will see an increase in your click-through rate (CTR). According to BrightLocal, “82% of consumers will read reviews when searching for a local business. “ That’s huge!
(Read the CTR study by BrightLocal here)
At the bottom of the panel, you’ll see an area for Posts. Think of this as your GMB social media channel. If you have a blog article, an open house, or any number of items that you want to promote – this is the place to do it! The more you “post” the more relevant you are. It’s yet another free resource available to you, and you can fill it with the items that matter most.
While the amount of content you’re able to push into a post is limited (300 characters), it’s the perfect place to link an open house, a featured listing and photo, or better yet – your single property websites. Using a compelling image and CTA can be an awesome way to get your point across, even if your site traffic metrics aren’t immediately affected. If you post it, the clicks will come.
(For an in-depth study on GMB Posts, read more at Moz – here)
Putting it all together
At AgentMarketing, we aim to fill your toolkit with everything you need to farm an area, build a powerful website, strengthen your social presence, and even create single property sites that spotlight your individual listings.
It’s then up to you to make sure that you and your real estate brand can be found!
While it is true, the recipe for success may vary; when it comes to your local presence, the simplest way to make a big impact is with Google My Business – and it’s more important than ever.
So, if you haven’t claimed your listing on Google, what are you waiting for?