In today's digital age, having a strong online presence is crucial for real estate agents to attract potential clients and stand out from the competition. One powerful tool at your disposal is Google My Business (GMB). In this article, we will explore the key strategies and best practices for optimizing your GMB listing to maximize visibility and drive more leads for your real estate business.
Claim and Verify Your Google My Business Listing:
The first step is to claim and verify your GMB listing. Visit the Google My Business website, create an account, and follow the verification process. This step ensures that you have full control over your listing and can access all the features available to enhance your online visibility.
Optimize Your Business Information:
Provide accurate and detailed information about your real estate agency. Include your business name, address, phone number, and website URL. Ensure that this information is consistent with what appears on your website and other online directories. Add relevant categories and attributes that describe your services, such as "real estate agent," "property management," or "home sales."
Craft a Compelling Business Description:
Utilize the business description section to showcase your expertise, unique selling points, and the value you offer to clients. Highlight your experience, specializations, and the areas you serve. Incorporate relevant keywords naturally to improve your listing's visibility in search results.
Leverage High-Quality Visual Content:
Visuals play a significant role in capturing users' attention. Include high-quality images and videos of your properties, office, and team members. Ensure that the visuals are well-optimized and relevant to your real estate business. This will help potential clients gain a better understanding of your offerings and build trust.
Encourage Positive Reviews:
Positive reviews not only boost your credibility but also improve your GMB ranking. Encourage satisfied clients to leave reviews on your listing. Respond promptly and professionally to both positive and negative reviews. Engaging with your audience demonstrates your commitment to customer service.
Utilize Google Posts:
Take advantage of Google Posts to share updates, promotions, and featured listings directly on your GMB listing. This feature allows you to communicate directly with potential clients and keep them informed about your latest offerings. Use eye-catching images, compelling copy, and clear calls to action to maximize engagement.
Monitor and Respond to Customer Inquiries:
Regularly check your GMB listing for customer inquiries and messages. Respond promptly to demonstrate your responsiveness and willingness to assist potential clients. Addressing questions in a timely manner can help convert leads into clients and boost your reputation.
Localize Your SEO Efforts:
Real estate is a localized business, so optimize your GMB listing for local search. Include location-specific keywords in your business description, posts, and reviews. Regularly update your hours of operation and ensure that your contact information is accurate. Consider creating Google My Maps to showcase local attractions and amenities near your properties
Google My Business is the most effective tool for real estate agents to get more clients. With a GMB account, you can significantly increase your visibility and offer up to date information about yourself on Google Maps search results as well as generate leads from people who use these services!
If you’re a real estate agent that manages your own business or works for a brokerage firm, you can claim and optimize a Google My Business (GMB) profile.
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You'll also learn how to set up a GMB account, how it affects Google’s ranking of real estate agents, ways it can help your enterprise achieve a higher ranking on Google, and tips to optimize Google My Business for real estate agents.
Once you do that, you'll have a GMB page displayed in a box on both desktop and mobile Google results, as well as related search engine optimized terms like "real estate agents near me”. You'll also be featured on Google Maps among other relevant results..
This blogpost explores vital things to know about Google My Business, what businesses qualify for it, and its relevance in the real estate industry.
An Overview of Google My Business
To increase awareness on Google, many business owners create a business profile. If you belong to this category, you may not know that creating a business profile doesn’t give you immediate control over it. You need editing and control capabilities if you want it to work for you as an efficient SEO and lead generation tool.
Google My Business enables business owners to manage and optimize their business profiles on Google. These profiles, which represent the search engine's description of the business listings, appear on Google Maps and in the primary category of Google Search. Creating this profile is identical to adding a location to Google Maps, which anyone can do.
The business name, category, and location are the main information required to open a GMB account. Immediately Google verifies the authenticity of the data provided, a profile will be designed for such a business and will subsequently be open to clients and other agents to leave reviews, insert photos, ask questions, and even get replies to questions.
A business profile can stand on its own, independent of a GMB account. Whether you created a profile or not, you can't control the information it shows or the reviews it receives. Here's where Google My Business becomes instrumental. Creating a GMB account allows you to customize, access, enhance, and manage your business profile on Google, for free.
Businesses That Qualify for a Google My Business Profile
As mentioned earlier, a verified Google My Business (GMB) account can help you garner more reviews and take your business to significant heights. A verified account not only helps in the search engine research page (SERP), but it also features on Google Maps.
Having a GMB profile increases the probability of your website appearing before your potential clients because Google places it on the searcher's location. Recently, the tech giants reviewed their verification policy and made it more rigid in such a way that it makes it challenging for some businesses (particularly those in the service industry) to get their accounts verified.
According to Google, a business is required to make in-person contact with clients during its opening hours to qualify for a business profile. If your business doesn't have a physical location or service clients at their respective locations, it doesn’t qualify for an account.
Examples of such businesses include any online business with a 100% digital presence and purely e-commerce businesses. Business profiles on GMB can only be created for businesses with a physical location that clients can visit.
The Importance of Google My Business in the Real Estate Industry
Google My Business is an essential and vital tool for generating leads and increasing visibility for local and remote businesses. Because people are regularly searching for services online, having a Google My Business profile helps attract potential clients to your real estate business.
Most individuals care about client reviews and focus on what appears first on the search engine results page (SERP). Having a GMB profile increases the chances of your business appearing in SERP top-page position and allows Google to showcase information about your real estate enterprise that will attract people to your website.
Around 90% of the world's searches take place on Google. More than 80% of interested homebuyers and sellers check out a real estate agent via Google before hiring them, even after they've seen an agent's advertisement or had a word-of-mouth referral.
Google helps connect clients to home-buying information more than 19 million times per month, and it’s safe to say that it’s one of the most credible tech brands, and clients consider reviews on this platform more reliable than anywhere else.
For any realtor, high Google ratings directly correspond to more leads, improved credibility, and new business secured. It's not a complex concept - those businesses that are noticeably displayed in front of one of the web's biggest audiences stand to benefit the most.
How to Set Up Google My Business (All Steps)
Most individuals never make it past the first Google search results page when seeking the services of a real estate agent. So, how can you convince home sellers and real estate buyers to hire you for their real estate services? It’s simple. All you’ve got to do is ensure that you rank as high as possible in Google search results. Below are the steps to setting up Google My Business for real estate agents.
Step One: Check the Condition of Your Current GMB Profile
Check for your name on Google and see if anything pops up. The recommended box will appear if you already have a GMB profile or account. If you have previously made a profile and it's outdated, that's okay! It's better to work off the current profile rather than creating another one, as having multiple profiles will confuse existing and potential clients.
Step Two: Create or Claim Your GMB Account
If you have an existing GMB profile, locate the link that says "Own this business?". Google often changes this wording, so it may not be those exact words. Click that link and continue finishing your profile. If you don’t have a current GMB profile, visit the official website to create one.
Whether you're beginning from scratch or working on an old profile, it's essential to put in an email that isn’t your private email address as this will likely be an account you'll be sharing with your real estate team.
Step Three: Follow Google's Prompts
Google will ask you for basic business information such as your name, phone number, and business address. To make your profile as effective as it can be, ensure you add the terms "Realtor" or "Real Estate Agent" following your name. That’ll ensure that the GMB algorithm places you in front of people who want to work with you.
There’s a point where Google will require you to pick categories that describe and define your real estate business. Only select those that are related to your business. Two perfect examples are "real estate agent" and "real estate consultant."
Step Four: Confirm Your GMB Profile
After you fill out your profile, Google will send a postcard to the address you provided. This postcard is essential, as it has a unique verification code to enable you to completely verify your business.
More often than not, Google offers you the option of verifying through a call, text, email or the Google Search Console. Be ready to wait several weeks before your business information is fully verified.
Step Five: Optimize Your Profile
The period in which you have to wait for your GMB profile to be completely verified is the most ideal time to supply as much information to Google about your business as possible, so that you can portray it in the best way possible to prospective clients. Some examples of necessary business information you can provide are your services and business hours.
Ensure that your business hours are frequently updated, as it’ll boost searchers’ trust in your GMB profile. Another awesome way to improve your profile and gain trust is by including photos and videos relevant to your business. These photos should be of standard quality and not stock photos.
The more photos and videos you include of your work, the likelier it is for searchers to click through to view your website. Lastly, if you're claiming an existing profile, there’s a good chance you might already have client reviews on your profile. In that case, respond to every review you get. It shows that you’re easily reachable, care about feedback, and always looking to get better.
How Google My Business Affects How Google Ranks Real Estate Agents
Google categorizes the results matching the particular keywords used when individuals search businesses by name. These first-hand searches account for about 16% of total search volume on Google, and there's little you can do to control what Google displays, whether a business name matches the Google search query, or it doesn't.
For instance, Huawei phones will not appear above Samsung phones if a client types "Samsung phone" into the search bar. Expected searches, which make up for the other 84% of search volume, refer to the use of more ample terms like "best real estate agents near me" or "best realtor in my city".
In these cases, Google has to determine what results to show. It must decide which agent's business description most accurately reflects the users' search components and are more likely to satisfy their inquiry. The more data Google possesses about a real estate agent, the likelier it is to propel that agent up the search rankings.
In other words, expected search results are unbiased, meaning there's a chance to impact Google's decision-making process. In the past, the search engine relied mainly on its web crawler to comb the Internet and collect the information it needed to reply to expected search queries.
That way, an agent looking to furnish Google with information about its business could leverage conventional SEO tactics — filling their blogs, reviews, website, and social profiles with appropriate keywords and waiting for Google to find and recommend them.However, seeing as earned searches now outdo direct searches by about 900%, Google has resolved that it makes its search results more precise if agents provide information about their real estate business rather than making the former (Google) look for it.
How to Rank Higher on Google With Google My Business
Ranking higher depends on the constant maintenance of your Google business profile. It’s recommended that you log on to your profile daily and include new content (listing images, thought leadership articles, etcetera) at least multiple times a week.
Any less commitment and you could run the risk of becoming a lesser priority. You’re also encouraged to gather as many authentic reviews as you can as often as possible. If you don't have sufficient time or don't know how to, you can ask an established Google Premier Partner to help you instantly manage, verify, and optimize your Google profile for you.
They'll also aid you in claiming your profile and fill it with your photos, business listings, contact information, and more so that you can increase your appearance in indirect searches. Afterwards, Google will send you performance reports so you can check on your progress towards becoming a top real estate agent in your service area.
Tips to Optimize Google My Business for Real Estate Agents
The following tips will help you optimize your Google My Business for real estate agents.
1. Ensure to Use the Same Name, Address, and Phone Number
Google will check how your business is displayed on other popular websites such as Facebook, Yelp, and Realtor.com. You may also be asked to provide different types of identification to authenticate that you are who you say you are with Google Business Profile.
As a result, confirm that your business name is consistent across the internet. Its name, phone number, and address should be spelled out word for word anywhere it's mentioned.
2. Offer Business Categories and Subcategories
Providing business categories and subcategories is an amazing tip for Google My Business for real estate investors if you want to be displayed at the top of Google's search engine results page (SERP).
Google prefers to rank firms categorized as "real estate agencies". As a result, you should start with "Real Estate Agency" and after a while include "Real Estate Consultant" and "Real Estate Agent" as subcategories.
3. Boost Your Exposure With Eye-Catching Visuals
According to a study carried out by BrightLocal, most Google business listings with more than 100 high-quality images generate more clicks.
You can include behind-the-scenes content, visuals of your business listings, real estate team photos, and headshots. Also, consider including enticing videos like listing videos, educational videos, or a teaser for your business if you have the material.
4. Provide Regular and Rich Content With GMB Posts
Like all prominent social media platforms, a Google Business Profile allows you to share posts with prospective clients and audiences. This feature can help you share your new business listings, special offers, and educational guides to maximize Google My Business for agents.
As it creates a chance to showcase your business listing, GMB posts can also boost your engagement with your clients with comments and Call-To-Action (CTA) options. With proper CTAs, you can effortlessly make reservations.
If you’re not familiar with Google My Business, it’s a free platform that allows businesses to create a profile and manage their information on Google through relevant real estate marketing tools. As we mentioned earlier, one of the ways in which Google is rewarding active agents is by giving them more visibility in local search results.
That means if you don’t have a GMB profile, or if your profile isn’t complete or accurate, you could be losing out on leads from potential customers who are searching for real estate services online. So what can you do to make sure your business ranks well in Google?Check in with our team of experts at Ardor SEO to help you create or optimize your GMB profile for maximum impact. As a leading online marketing agency, Ardor SEO specializes in real estate local SEO, digital marketing, social media marketing, web design and development, and search engine marketing, among many others. These services are geared towards making sure your business enjoys all the visibility it can get while maintaining top spots on the SERP.
In today's world, digital experts are affordable and employ teams of experienced professional IT and content professionals. Our team is a vibrant mix of talented real estate professionals and writers who live, breathe, and create an all-things-real estate. If you find yourself too busy or overwhelmed by the things you must do to soar to the highest visibility to both buyers and sellers in your area, don't be shy - discover real estate SEO experts.