Success in real estate, more than just about any other line of work, is about building an individual brand. Sure, you’re most likely associated with a company and a broker, and hanging a shingle with an international franchise like REMAX or Coldwell Banker can give your business a boost–but for the most part, you’re on your own.
Clearly, this reality affects how real estate professionals should do business online. Specifically, real estate agents should be creating relevant, targeted content to drive traffic to their website and reinforce their individual brands via search. With Google’s authorship tag (rel=author), you can take this strategy a step further.
When you incorporate the rel=author tag into your website and link it to your Google+ profile, Google will enrich your listings in search results by including a headshot, along with a link to other content you’ve written and the number of people who have added you to their Google+ circles. These snippets elevate your credibility and grab searchers’ attention, increasing their chances of finding and doing business with you.
How It Works
If you’ve never created a Google+ page, you’ll need to do that first. Simply log into your Google account, click the +Me tab in the black bar at the top of the window, and follow the prompts.
Once you’ve got a Google+ page, it’s time to connect it to your website. If you’re using WordPress, you can simply add the URL of your Google+ page to your user profile, like so:
If you’re using another platform, you’ll have to add the following link to the html markup in your website’s header, substituting your Google+ page URL for the text in brackets:
Next, you have to close the circle by providing a link to your content on your Google+ profile. Simply click on the About tab, then click Edit and add your website to the Contributor section via a custom link.
Finally, make sure your +1’s are publicly visible on your Google+ page:
Once you’ve followed all these steps, you can use Google’s rich snippet testing tool to confirm that your rel=author link element is working properly and check out a preview of what your links will look like when they show up in search results.
Note that it may take up to 2-3 weeks for your authorship snippet to start appearing in search results. Once it does, you’ll stand out from the crowd, building your individual brand and generating more business via your content.