Google My Business is one of the most under-utilized online marketing opportunities in real estate in Europe right now. Not familiar with Google My Business? By setting up a Google My Business profile you can claim the listing of your business on Google (either as an office or an individual), generate reviews, improve trust and discoverability, and make yourself very popular with Google search rankings.
Here are 10 tips you should keep in mind as either a real estate agent or an office owner when starting with Google My Business.
USE A UNIQUE NAME
It is important that Google recognizes you as a unique individual or the official location of your office. To re-enforce this, it is advisable that offices register their organization Google My Business account as RE/MAX Example Office whilst individual agents register their practitioner accounts as their first and last names only. As well as being less confusing for the end consumer, it also avoids Google flagging one of the listings as erroneous.
DON'T "KEYWORD STUFF" YOUR NAME
Although it may be tempting to put as many relevant keywords into your office or agent name as possible, Google will not be impressed. This will be a red flag that your account is suspect and could result in your listing being removed altogether. There will be plenty of opportunities for you to use keywords to your advantage – your office or agent name is not the place.
USE A UNIQUE PHONE NUMBER
The phone number is what will make your Google My Business listing unique. As an agent or as an office with multiple agents, you want your listings and your agents’ listings to be individual. Using the same address is acceptable, so long as each individual has a unique phone number attached to their listing.
DEFINE A DESIGNATED SERVICE AREA
Using a designated service area allows customers to find your business in a location where you provide your service, but do not have your office address. This is especially useful for agents working and prospecting in designated farming areas. If you take advantage of the Designated Service Area feature it is important to not add a business address in your information section. Although we recommend to fully fill out your information later in this article, in this case it can be detrimental to your goals of being locally relevant.
FOCUS ON REVIEWS
If there is one thing that you take away from these tips, generating excellent user reviews should be it. These will be the best free advertisements you will ever get. As with most things, timing is everything – don’t ask for reviews too early in your relationship with your client, and don’t leave it too late either. Shortly after the deal has closed or move in date are ideal times. As many people searching for an agent online are sellers, it is worth collecting as many seller reviews as possible first. Sellers are the ones searching – so give them something to persuade them.
Top tip: respond to every review, even the negative ones. It will benefit you more in the long run.
ADD PLENTY OF PHOTOS
Populating your Google My Business listing with images, posts and products is another great way to show Google your profile means business and should be prioritized above the others. We recommend having more than 100 photos connected to your profile. These could be team photos, listings, agent photos, move in photos from customers or office social events. 100+ may sound like a lot, but if you upload 20 photos from each category mentioned here you have already reached that number.
USE GOOGLE POSTS
Posts allow offices and agents to share messages with customers which will appear on the ‘local panel’ on Google search and in Google Maps. The term posts may lead you to believe these are potentially viral pieces of content and should be treated like social media posts. It is better to think of them as additional pieces of content to help you rank higher on Google. No one will be sharing or liking these posts. Having said that, it is a good idea to pick your most successful social media posts and replicated them on your Google My Business page. That way you know the posts customers will see on Google will be high quality.
HAVE MORE THAN 10 VIDEOS
Similar to having a good number of photos, it is also advisable to have plenty of videos associated with your listing. We recommend having at least 10 good quality videos to start with. Videos could include sample or upcoming listings, testimonials from past clients or current agents, pro tips for buyer and sellers, or tours of your local farming area.
CREATE A KEYWORD-RICH Q&A
Having a well populated question and answers section of your listing goes a long way to making sure your name appears top of the page. You can even ask and answer your own questions, as no one will know it is you unless they dive deep into your profile. Be sure to include real questions you have handled from past clients, and make sure they are on topics your target audience can relate to. Once you have a list of questions and answers, it’s time to re-write them with as many relevant keywords as you can think of.
GIVE FULL INFORMATION
Not only does Google crawl for fully filled out information sections, but it also makes it easier for your customers to learn about you and contact you quicker. Not only that, but here is an excellent place to drop as many keywords as possible. Contrary to what we mentioned in the first tip – now is the time to keyword stuff. Here, you should be taking as much advantage of relevant search terms as possible.