Every real estate agent wants to drive more visitors to their website. While it’s true that paid advertising and SEO are the best ways to increase visits, these tactics take a long time to build momentum. Luckily, there’s a quick win you can implement today that will help drive traffic to your website: set up a Google My Business account.
Setting up a Google My Business account gives you two major advantages over real estate agents who don’t. The first is that it exponentially increases your visibility above the fold for branded terms (i.e., searches that include your company name). Google will populate the entire right rail of search results pages with information pertaining to your company, including office hours, reviews, address, popular times, and images. All of these elements can be customized from within your Google My Business portal.
The second major advantage is that you will appear in Google Search and Maps when customers search for businesses like yours or your specific industry. For example, if someone located near your office searches for “Real Estate Agents,”, you’ll appear in Google’s Local Results section, like this:
Even if you don’t rank organically for competitive terms like “real estate agents” or “real estate agents near me,” by setting up a Google My Business listing, you’re guaranteed some visibility on page 1.
Setting Up your Google My Business Listing
Anyone can set up a Google My Business Listing here. Setup only takes two minutes, and solicits general information like company name, address, telephone number, and website. As a final step, Google will ask you to verify your relationship to this proposed business listing by providing a verification code, which you can receive by phone at your business number or by mail at your business address. The mailing option takes roughly 10 business days.
After your account has been verified, you can customize what appears in the Google My Business right rail. Here are some tips on how to increase engagement within your Google My Business Listing.
Even if you think it’s nothing special, be sure to add photos of your office, especially the exterior of your building. This will help potential clients find your location when they come visit you. When it comes to your cover photo, opt for a picture of yourself instead of your office or logo. In a study conducted by Moz, businesses found that adding a profile picture increased their Google search result click-through rate by 35%. Using a photo of yourself will also make it easier for new homeowners and homebuyers to identify you in person.
Above everything else on your Google My Business Listing, reviews are without a doubt going to make the biggest impact. In fact, TrustedCompany found that Google paid ads that included a star rating increased click-through-rates by 17%—a stat that makes more sense when you look at just how much rating badges stand out. Take a look at this result, for example:
In the results above, the company in the middle is clearly the most eye-catching,and all they had to do was get two reviews.
To begin capitalizing on this, we recommend sending an email blast to past clients asking them to fairly review your business on Google. (This is also one of the destinations we encourage agents and brokers to push from within their RealSatisfied reviews and ratings account.) Best of all, if you get at least 30 reviews on Google My Business, Google Adwords will automatically pull your rating into your text ads.
A final perk of Google My Business is their reporting. At the end of each month, Google will send you an email outlining your business listing performance. You’ll see how many times you appeared in search results, how many people visited your website through your Google My Business model, and even how many people clicked-to-call your business directly from your modal. This data is especially informative for real estate agents who are just starting to invest in demand gen. The report typically looks like this (with the green arrows always pointing upwards):
Considering that a Google My Business Listing is free and only takes two minutes to set up, there should be nothing stopping you from doing it right now.