“69 percent of home shoppers who take action on a real estate brand website begin their research with a local term, i.e. ‘Houston homes for sale,’ on a search engine.” ~ National Association of REALTORS®’s recent Digital House Hunt study
Google My Business for real estate is a big deal. The last 5 clients I have built websites for have not had Google profiles. According to BrightLocal, “42% of local businesses don’t have their business information claimed”. I suspect that percentage is higher with real estate agents.
The very first thing you should do if you want to eventually rank on Google for anything is to “Google My Business”.
You can build SEO without it if you really know what you are doing. But if you really know what you are doing why wouldn’t you?
And now more than ever, “Google is about to revolutionize the way consumers find real estate agents”, according to Inman News.
'Google is about to revolutionize the way consumers find real estate agents', according to Inman News. #google #googlemybusinessClick To Tweet
To me it would be like expecting business leads from an Networking group, but not joining the group. I mean you could still get some leads from the group… but you would probably get a lot more if you joined the group.
What is Local SEO
In 2016, it was simply putting a location in front of a search term.
Non Local SEO Search Term:
- Real Estate
Local SEO Search Term:
- Seattle Real Estate
Since 2016, Google has seen a 92% growth in searches for “best real estate agent,” (Source: Google Data, US, 2018 vs. 2017) and a 61% increase in searches for “homes for sale near me.” (Source: Google Internal Data 2018 vs 2017)
Now Google knows where you are and will find the search term that is located near you.
If you want to rank for the local search terms then you need to tell Google where you are. It can guess… but it is a robot. You should probably make sure you tell them.
Increase your local SEO
Get started right now to increase your local SEO and create your Google My Business account.
- Creating Your Google My Business Profile
- Verifying your business
- Via mailing a postcard and entering the code when you receive it
- Optimizing your Google My Business Profile
- Adding Photos
- Areas Served
- Day and Year Opened
- Phone Number
- Add Videos
- Post Content from time to time
- Services Offered
- About Blurb
- Getting reviews to your Google My Business Profile
- According to Review Tracker “Google is dominating the review market”.
Common Questions About Creating A Google My Business Account
- Can I use my brokerage address?
- Yes. But there can be side effects. If your brokerage has a strong presence they may overshadow you. Because of the Google Possum update, sometimes Google will only show 1 business in the Map Pack from the same address or building.
- What should my business name be?
- Keep this short and sweet like your name and a real estate term… Bob Smith Homes. If you have a brand name use that. What is important here is to pick a name and stick with it. Use it on your website and all business profiles. Also, be careful here there are some words that you can not use, such as misrepresenting your self as a brokerage if you are not.
- Know, Save and Use NAP+W
- Think of this combination as a Social Security number for your business on Google. Everytime Google sees that combination they know it is your business.
What Does Local SEO Look Like
There are 3 ways that your real estate business can stand out from the crowd once you Google Your Business.
1. With a Knowledge Graph
The Google Knowledge Graph as defined by Wikipedia:
“The Knowledge Graph…provides structured and detailed information about the topic in addition to a list of links to other sites. The goal is that users would be able to use this information to resolve their query without having to navigate to other sites and assemble the information themselves. The short summary provided in the knowledge graph is often used as a spoken answer in Google Now searches.”
You can see below that I typed in my business name…
Jason Fox Web Design
and you can see my Knowledge Graph to the right:
FYI: Below is why using your name as your business name might not work out the best. When you just type my name in you get the NFL football player Jason Fox’s Knowledge Graph.
2. With A Local Pack
Google’s Local Pack is a map display of listings that match a service provider and the corresponding area.
In the image below you can see I typed in…
Web Design + Bothell
and below is what the Local Pack or Map Pack looks like: