Larry Page, co-founder of Google, coined “Googling” in 1998. The word was added to the dictionary in 2006. It then became a verb used in 25 languages. So why is that (25+ years later) the art of being found easily on Google remains such a mystery to many real estate professionals?
If you are one of them, then read on because …
I. Am. Going. To. Spell. It. Out.
- You do not need a website to be found on Google.
- Listing your business on the world’s biggest and best directory costs you nothing.
- If you need a Google My Business (GMB) profile, read my 8 tips, then visit www.business.google.com to register.
The bottom line is that a Google My Business or GMB listing is a powerful tool that can significantly impact your local search visibility and result in home sellers or landlords seeking out a real estate professional to call you.
The best part? You can optimise your GMB profile for better sales in just 30 minutes! Let me walk you through the essential steps to maximise this valuable resource.
Why Google My Business matters
Before diving into the optimisation process, let’s understand why GMB is crucial for your business. When people search for service providers in their local area, Google often displays a list of nearby businesses alongside a map. This is known as the “Local Pack.” GMB is the primary driver behind these listings.
Here’s why GMB matters:
Increased visibility: A well-optimised GMB profile ensures that your business appears in local searches for real estate agents, real estate agencies, property managers and so forth, increasing your chances of being discovered by potential customers.
Trust and credibility: A complete and up-to-date GMB profile makes your business look more legitimate and trustworthy to potential customers. Even if someone recommends you, people will Google you and judge you based on what they find (or don’t find – which is far worse!).
Customer engagement: GMB allows you to interact with customers through reviews, Q&A, and posts, creating a sense of community and trust that you are a legitimate and active real estate service provider.
Data insights: You can access valuable data about how customers find and interact with your business, helping you make informed decisions.
The worst thing you can do is claim your Google My Business profile, add the bare minimum details, and abandon it.
What is The Local Pack?
This is a term given to a set of search engine optimisation features. At the time of writing, they were ranked as follows;
- Google Business Profile (32%)
- On-page keywords (19%)
- Reviews from customers (16%)
- Links, aka digital pointer boards (11%)
- Behavioural meaning traffic/visitors/clicks (8%)
So, let’s get to work optimising your GMB profile!
Step 1: Claim or verify your business
If you haven’t already, claim your business on Google My Business. If it’s already claimed, ensure that the information is accurate and up to date. Verification can be done via mail, phone, or email, depending on Google’s options for your location.
Step 2: Complete Your Profile
Your GMB profile should be as comprehensive as possible. Fill out every field with accurate information, including:
Business Name: Ensure it matches your official real estate business (this can also be your personal or team name if that is the alias for your brand).
Address: Make sure it’s accurate, and include any suite or unit numbers.
Phone Number: Use a local phone number, not a call centre or virtual one.
Business Hours: Specify your hours of operation, including holidays.
Website URL: Link to your website (if you have one) for more information.
Category: Choose the most relevant category for your type of real estate business. The category names change occasionally but will include terms such as real estate, property, commercial property, property management, rentals, leasing, etc.
Service area: Add the suburbs you service (perfect for real estate professionals).
Photos: High-quality images of your products, services, and the interior/exterior of your business can significantly impact customer decisions. If you don’t have an office, you can upload an image of you standing in front of one of your property signboards or a photo of an advertising billboard with your face on it.
Step 3: Craft an engaging business description
Write a compelling business description that encapsulates what you offer and why you’re unique. Keep it concise, informative, and engaging. Use keywords relevant to the real estate industry and your primary location, suburb or council area.
Step 4: Encourage customer reviews
Positive reviews boost your credibility, attract future clients and generate warm leads. Encourage satisfied clients to leave you a real estate review and always respond to both positive and negative feedback professionally and promptly. Refrain from becoming a keyboard warrior, attacking those who leave negative comments, because that could lose you a potential listing.
Step 5: Post regular updates
GMB allows you to post updates, events, and offers. Utilise this feature to keep your profile fresh and engaging. Share property listings, news, and community content regularly. This demonstrates in search results that your business is alive and operational. Create a video so that people researching real estate agents can get to know you before calling you. Post your property listings to your GMB profile the moment they list online and report when they are sold or leased. Your GMB posts are visible for 7 days (and get archived after six months), so use a scheduling tool to keep a steady flow of content appearing. A Google My Business post is as essential as a social media post.
Step 6: Monitor insights
Keep an eye on the insights provided by GMB. They offer valuable information about how users interact with your profile. Use this data to refine your optimisation efforts and tailor your content accordingly.
Step 7: Turn on messaging
Messaging has become society’s preferred method of communication. It’s faster and less intrusive than calling someone to talk to, so make sure you are accessible and turn on the messages feature.
Step 8: Be responsive
Respond to customer queries, reviews, and messages promptly. A timely response can turn potential leads into loyal customers.
It’s that easy!
In just 30 minutes, you can optimise your Google My Business as a real estate professional servicing your core farm area (suburbs) and become much easier to discover, especially for those “near me” search prompts. If you want to learn more, then Google has their own guide article called How to optimise your Business Profile on Google, which is also worth a read.
If you’d like help updating your full suite of online profiles, we have a #digithoole Profile Package that can help. You can book a time to chat with me, Melanie Hoole, to learn more.