How to Use Google’s Business Tool to Generate Real Estate Leads
Jacqueline Kyo Thomas
Would you like to increase your visibility when people search for local real estate agents on Google?
You need to set up Google My Business.
Never heard of it?
Google My Business is one of the most important tools available to real estate agents. Along with SEO and paid ads that appear on social media and real estate-related websites, Google My Business gives you access to your target audience of prospective real estate clients.
In this post, we’ll share with you everything you need to know to optimize your Google My Business listing and generate new leads for your real estate business.
Google My Business is a free tool created by Google, the search engine giant. Google My Business helps local businesses get found. As a real estate professional that provides a service to your local community, you qualify to claim your free Google My Business listing.
In many ways, Google My Business levels the playing field. It can be difficult for your prospective clients to find you through online search alone. While SEO can eventually raise your website’s profile, it often takes a long time to see results. However, when you claim your Google My Business listing, you increase your visibility online almost immediately.
Google is pretty smart. When a Google user initiates a search with local intent (such as a search for a local restaurant or pharmacy), Google doesn’t pull up locations in Tokyo. Instead, it pulls up restaurants that are hyper-local to that user. Google bases its search returns on the user’s IP address. So, if that user is local to Salem, the results will likewise show businesses in the Salem area.
However, if you’ve ever done a search for “real estate agents” in Google, you probably noticed something frustrating in the search results. The results are usually filled with pages from popular sites like Zillow, Realtor.com, and Yelp. Additionally, you may find results from powerhouse brokers like Coldwell Banker, Remax, and Century21. But you probably won’t find many (if any) website listings from local real estate agents in the Google organic search results.
That’s why Google My Business is important. It gives you a chance to compete with others. Here’s how:
Here’s a quick overview of how Google My Business works.
If you do a search for “real estate agents” on Google, you’ll likely see the page split into the following sections:
Only 10 organic listings are shown on the first page of the results page. As you can imagine, getting into the top 10 listings for a basic search like “real estate agents boston” can be very difficult, especially if you’re a new real estate agent without an active and popular blog. But showing up in the top 10 is essential because research shows that almost no one clicks past page 1 of the search results. They’ll either click on listing from page 1 or refine their search.
When you claim your Google My Business listing, your information appears above the organic searches. If it’s optimized and you’re lucky, you may appear in the snack pack of the top three local listings. If not, your information will still be accessible when a user clicks “View all” under the initial snack pack. Both the map and the snack pack pull information from Google My Business.
Google My Business shows up on both desktop and mobile searches. It appears below paid ads but above the organic search results. When someone accesses Google Maps from their phone, they’ll also be able to see your Google My Business listing information.
Once a user selects “View all” under the snack pack, they’re taken to a page that shows listings on the left and a map of the local area on the right. The first two listings that show up on this page are ads, but the remaining 20 listings are organic. Google ranks the listings based on various criteria, not just the number of reviews.
When a user clicks on a listing, an additional information pop up will appear. The following information will appear:
Adding or claiming your Google My Business listing is pretty straightforward. To get started, navigate to this page and then follow the prompts. If you don’t already have a Google account, you’ll need to set one up, but don’t worry. It’s free.
When setting up your Google My Business account, be sure that your business’ name, address, and phone number matches your website and other listings exactly. For example, don’t write out “street” in your website and abbreviate it as “st” on your Google My Business listing. Inconsistency confuses Google and can result in a lower ranking on the Google My Business results page.
Your name, address, and phone number (known as NAP) should be uniform across your website, social media pages, and other business listings, such as Yelp and Zillow.
After you’ve created your basic listing, be sure to optimize it. Otherwise, your Google My Business listing won’t rank high enough in this search to matter. Google prefers listings that are:
- Photo-heavy - Include lots of photos on your Google My Business listing. Share photos of yourself, your office, your logo, and photos of listings you’ve recently sold. These photos show prospective clients who you are and provide a much-needed human connection.
- Active - If a Google user asks a question (which sometimes happens), be sure to answer it right away. Also, link to your recent blog posts. You never know what post may catch your prospective client’s eye.
- Reviewed - The more reviews, the better. While Google doesn’t rank listings solely on the number of reviews you have, reviews definitely matter for both Google and Google users. Send out review requests to your email list and your social media followers.
Claiming your Google My Business listing will help you generate new leads that come from Google searches. Without Google My Business, your website may get drowned by bigger and more popular sites like Yelp or Zillow. Using this tool ensures that your prospective clients will be able to find you.
Because if they don’t find you on Google, they will definitely find your competitors.
Before you go, check out these related posts: