Have you noticed other real estate offices showcased in the right sidebar of the Google search engine results page and wondered how to have your real estate business profile show up there?
These listings are part of Google My Business (GMB), and it's free to set up your listing! Just head over to https://www.google.com/business and click "Manage now." Since Google removed search ads from the right sidebar in February 2016, Google has put increasing emphasis on local business listings.
As much as 46% of all Google searches have local intent and Google estimates 90% of searchers don't have a brand in mind when they perform searches for services in their area. Done correctly, a Google My Business Page can help you rank higher in local searches and drive more revenue organically.
How to Set Up
If you have both a personal and business Google account, be sure that you're logged in to your business Google account when adding your business to GMB, or claiming an existing listing. You could also Google your business name, either from the Google home page or Google Maps. You might see an existing, unclaimed listing - look for a “Claim this business.” or “Own this business?” link and and follow the instructions.
To verify that the business information is valid and accurate, a postcard with a verification code will be sent to your business address, usually within two weeks. GMB notes that alternatives to the postcard method are available for some companies. So if you see an option for phone call, text, email, or Google Search Console, follow those directions for a quicker verification.
Under the Insights menu, you’ll see the search terms that triggered your business listing to appear. Often, your brokerage name or your name will be the most common search queries, but you may also rank for real estate companies, realtors, real estate agent etc. or even homes for sale in [geographic location]
Google My Business listing in right panel:
“Map Pack” listing format:
Optimizing Local Real Estate Business Listings
Is your Google My Business listing only appearing for searches of your name, your business or brokerage name, while you'd like to show up for "realtor" or "real estate agent" searches? Below are some tips for optimizing your local real estate listing so that they show up for these more general searches.
1) Ask your clients to review you via Google. From within your Google My Business dashboard, there is a Get More Reviews option under the Home tab. Look for “Share Review Form.” Another option is to search your business name on Google and from your GMB profile, click "Write a review", then copy that URL and send it to recent clients.
2) Continually add photos to your business listing, as you do on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media. According to an Ipsos Connect study, 90% of customers are more likely to visit a business that has added photos to their Google listing.
Types of posts you can add to GMB include Offers (such as a Free CMA Consultation), Events (e.g. a First Time Homebuyer Info Session) and Updates.
3) Add a business description - this can be up to 750 characters. Your description should be unique; do not copy it verbatim from one of your other online profiles.
Here is some additional information on Google My Business.