Google is the largest and most used search engine in the world. And one of the great qualities of the SE is the support it gives small to mid-size businesses to reach clients and be able to achieve their goals. That support comes in the form of Google My Business. Google My Business is a free listing profile that allows you to be displayed on searched pages on different devices — laptops, desktops, and mobile as well as in local searches and Google Maps.
GMB is free marketing that’s beneficial to you in multiple ways. It enables targeted clients to find you the way you want to be found — how, when, and where to contact you. Real estate agents can take advantage of this exposure for marketing and networking efforts. Clients can find you and your peers. Google My Business is a supplementary marketing channel that you won’t want to miss out on.
Get Started with Google My Business
First of all, make sure that you have a Google account. If not, sign up @google.com/business/ to be able to claim your spot on the listing.
- Once you’ve set up shop on Google.com/business, go to the homepage. However, do not claim this if you have a GMB profile set up from a previous business or real estate agency that you were employed or connected to. Instead, edit your profile to mark it as closed. After the profile is closed, then you can create a new one.
- Go to the “Find and Manage your business” page. Find the option to add your business to Google or type your business name in the search bar.
- Once you find it, “claim it.” This gives you the authority to set up and manage your GMB profile and your Google Maps Listing.
- Don’t worry; Google will guide you through filling out your profile—Business name, category, location, contact details (phone and mobile), business hours, and uploading pictures. Be sure to include photos of your front office, current deals, and previously closed deals.
- Update your profile regularly, especially the pictures. Regularly updating the profile keeps it active and the pictures current and relevant. This will leave a good impression on visitors.
Tips on Optimizing Your Profile
Now that you’ve set up your profile, it is time to put this free Google marketing tool to good use.
1. Naming your business
Google allows you to use the name you want. Keyword stuffing is the only thing that Google does not approve of. Adding a title after your name would be sufficient as a keyword, for example, Melissa Fisher, Realtor, or Melissa Fisher, Real Estate Agent. It is best to follow the guidelines of Google to make sure you are following the house rules.
The search engine also differentiates a location and enterprise with multiple agents and a single proprietor agency with only one agent (you). Rules are different for both situations. Better consult or read through the guidelines before filling out the profile to be sure.
Constant Progress Real Estate Agency; Constance Merit, Real Estate Agent; John Owens, Real Estate Agent.
Owens Real Estate Agency, John Owens Real Estate Agent. An alternative is Business Name: John Owens Real Estate Agency, or Real Estate Agency Name: John Owens.
2. Be clear on the nature of your business
In the category section, make sure to clarify the nature of your business, for example, a real estate agency and the other categories pertinent to your business, such as real estate consultancy or appraiser. Do not add categories that do not match your business, this will only hurt your efforts.
3. Double-check all information while waiting for verification
You have to wait for your profile to go live. Google will verify your business listing, which will take a few days or a week, depending on the verifying method you choose. While waiting, it is best to double-check all information you’ve given and make sure all bars and sections are filled out accordingly. Finally, Google will approve listings with complete details.
4. Use original high-quality photos and video
Add an update to your profile with photos and videos; use only high-quality pictures and videos. Never post stock pictures downloaded from Stock platforms. Google frowns upon this strategy. Instead, use only original and high-quality photos because the Search Engine is strict on the authenticity and genuineness of your business.
5. Ask for reviews from clients
Ask your past and present clients to rate you in the review section. Answer their reviews appropriately. Please do not ask them all at once though, timing is important. The SE watches consistency and frequency. An abnormal surge of reviews and then too long of a lull period give an impression of spam reviews.
6. Reply to reviews
Your response to reviews is important to the legitimacy and good impression on the side of Google, your visitors, and future clients. A good standing on the SE via reviews and your replies would mean better ranking, especially on localized searches. In building a reputable online business, a response is crucial, giving the impression you are attentive.
7. Link all your social accounts
Include links to your personal branded social media accounts on your profile. Linking social media to your GMB profile increases awareness and exposure. It also creates a new channel of connectivity and engagement with prospective real estate clients.
Benefits of Google My Business for Real Estate Agents
- GMB is a free marketing tool. The only things required are consistent updates and following the SE guidelines. Google My Business is a very important tool for small to mid-size businesses, especially on a small marketing budget. You do not need much except for the time and quality photos and videos.
- It is simple to set up. Google made sure it was a fail-safe sign-up to grow your business.
- It is another way to build your reputation as a business owner and real estate agent. It is also another channel to endorse your personal brand, what you do, and your advocacies related to the community and your career.
- It is an efficient tool for location-based searches. Therefore, you are more likely to come out on top in local searches, boosting the probability of reaching your targets.
- It is easier for previous and future clients to find you. As you put both feet into an online business, instant or fast connectivity is key to success. People use Google to search for everything, especially for important and life-changing decisions. GMB brings you closer to your targets and past clients more expeditiously.
Take advantage of the opportunity given by Google to gain the right exposure and create brand awareness. Google My Business is aimed to make it easier for the search engine and you to work towards doing better business for the benefit of all.