Google’s New My Business: A Guide for Real Estate Agents
“Google is the all-knowing search engine I have to worship in order to get my real estate website found online.” This may be your view of the search giant — and if it is, you’re not entirely wrong. Google does have a dominant position atop the search market, but the good news is it wants you to be successful with your search engine optimization (SEO) and real estate marketing efforts for your business.
Google My Business was unveiled in mid-June to help professionals, including real estate agents. In short, it’s a new platform that makes it a cinch to manage all of your Google accounts in one place and add in your real estate business hours, photos of your company, and information about your services. This will not only help you get found better through organic searches, but also get more visibility for your Google+ profile.
“One finds limits by pushing them.”
— Herbert Simon
How to Get Started with Google My Business
If you’ve already set up a Google+ account for your business, or even verified your business on Google, you can go directly to the Google Business homepage and click the “Get on Google” button in the upper right-hand corner to log into your existing Google account. You’ll be taken to a map, above which you’ll find a search bar where you can search by business name or address. Enter one or both of these, and you’ll be able to find your business and “claim it,” which allows you to manage its information, along with your Maps listing, in your Google My Business page.
If you haven’t set up your Google+ account or Maps listing, or even verified your business on Google, not to worry: Google My Business gives you clear-cut instructions on how to optimize all of that from the start and continually update your info. Here’s the rundown of how to get your business set up entirely on Google:
1) If you don’t have a Google account, you can still start from the Google Business homepage. Don’t worry, it just takes a minute.
2) If you have a Google account set up, but haven’t started up your Google+ page, when you reach the map page click the settings icon (it looks like a little gear in the upper-right corner) and select “Create new page.”
3) This brings you to a page where you can designate the type of business you run: “Storefront,” “Service Area” or “Brand.” Click on “Brand.”
4) You can then actually create your Google+ account on the next page, starting with filling out your company name, website URL and the type of page it is (select “Product or brand”).
After this, you’re Google+ account is ready and raring to go, and you can fill out the remaining details of your unified Google My Business page. Once you’ve got all of the nitty-gritty filled out, your business page will show up in Google like this:
Setting My Business up can easily improve your online presence for real estate by keeping your business information centrally located for Google.And as long as you continue to follow SEO best practices for your real estate website and Google+ page, this will boost your brand awareness and search optimization. On your My Business page, you’ll see your company info up top and three sections below that:
Share: This includes your Google+ publishing options. You can post text updates, images, links, videos, and info about events. Everything that goes onto this page will show up in Google.
Insights: Here, you can monitor metrics related to your visibility on Google (like clicks and views on photos and Google+ posts), engagement (including how many shares, comments and +1s your content has received), and audience (such as your followers and their demographics and location).
Reviews: Read and reply to reviews about your business with ease.
Hangouts: A great feature that allows you to instantly have face-to-face calls with clients and leads.
Learn how to get your business found via Maps with How to Get Your Google+ Page to Appear in Your Google Maps Listing.
What do you think of the new Google My Business platform? Share your views in the comments below!
Published on June 27, 2014
Written by Matthew Bushery
I'm the Sr. Content Creator for Placester, where I educate real estate professionals about modern marketing and, in turn, help agents and brokers make the most of their online presence, earn more traffic, and generate more leads and business.