HERE’S WHY YOUR ESTATE AGENT BUSINESS SHOULD BE USING GOOGLE BUSINESS PROFILE
When it comes to marketing properties, it’s important that estate agents can make the most out of any free tools that can help them to create more interest for properties and generate new customers. In the current climate, homeowners looking to sell are increasingly looking for estate agents who pull out all the stops to guarantee a sale, so it’s incredibly important that estate agents can cover all bases when marketing their properties.
In the digital era, it can be hard to keep on top of the newest opportunities for online marketing without a dedicated marketing team doing the legwork to attract new prospects. Gone are the days of local listings and even newspaper ads are less than desirable due to high costs and no guarantee of return on investment.
One method of promotion that many estate agents have not yet tapped into is Google Business Profile. While Google has been an important tool for small businesses for several years, Google Business Profile offers many valuable capabilities and features that can help estate agents and other businesses to stand out from competitors. Crucially, this tool is free- so there’s no reason not to jump straight on the GBP bandwagon!
In this article, we will give an overview of Google Business Profile and offer some hints and tips for using it effectively.
WHAT IS GOOGLE BUSINESS PROFILE?
Google Business Profile is a free tool developed by Google that allows businesses to promote their business profile and business website on Google Search and Google Maps. Google Business Profile for estate agents is great for attracting new customers and enables a high level of choice over the information that new clients see about your company.
You may have already seen Google Business Profile profiles for different companies when using Google Search. Business profiles appear on the right-hand side of the screen and typically show different information about the company, such as the address of the company’s headquarters, hours of operation, and a description of the company. It is also usually possible to see the company’s overall rating on Google Reviews.
Your Google Business Profile profile will appear on Google when the name of your company is searched for, providing that your website is SEO-friendly and contains the relevant search terms. Depending on your website’s level of SEO, your company might rank for search terms related to your business, for example, ‘estate agents in London’.
HOW CAN GOOGLE BUSINESS PROFILE BENEFIT MY ESTATE AGENT BUSINESS?
While you may think that you are already using Google effectively, most estate agents are not currently using free tools like Google Business Profile to their full potential. In fact, Google Business Profile has some truly excellent features that can give your business a boost when used correctly (more on this later).
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE ADVANTAGES OF USING GOOGLE BUSINESS PROFILE?
It’s clear that GBP offers several unique advantages. For example:
Having an active GBP account improves Google ranking, something that is crucial for businesses who want to be found on this search engine.
Most potential customers (both sellers and buyers) will employ the help of Google in order to assist them on their search for the home of their dreams, or a buyer for their property. It is estimated that a huge 94% of customers will use Google at some point on the customer journey!
GBP for estate agents can be used in addition to social media as a means of publishing up-to-date information about your company and keeping customers informed. When you link your company’s social media accounts to your GBP account this can help to boost local SEO for your estate agent site. In fact, local companies that make use of GBP are rewarded for using the service with improved local SEO, helping them to stand out from companies that are not using the feature.
As well as local SEO for estate agents, GBP offers local companies like estate agents the opportunity to promote new services. You can make use of this feature to highlight properties to give your clients the best opportunity for a quick sale and can even add estate agent videos to your listings.
WHAT ABOUT GOOGLE MAPS?
In recent years, Google Maps has become vitally important for local businesses looking to be discovered by potential customers in their area. Google Maps has taken over from sat nav to be the most popular method of navigation, not only for drivers but also for pedestrians and users of public transport. With 85% of people in the UK owning a smartphone, it is clear to see why this is now the case. Google Maps is a key way to ensure that your business is visible to potential clients, so take time to check that your business is correctly listed on Google Maps. This tip is particularly relevant for estate agents who have recently moved or expanded their business into a new locale and are looking to increase their presence in the area. If your business appears in the top three results for your location this will provide you with a distinct advantage over your competitors.
MAKE THE MOST OF REVIEWS
Google Reviews are very frequently checked by potential customers so it’s essential that you gather trustworthy reviews if at all possible. Reviews are a form of advocacy that can provide first-hand information about how your business operates, and this can be very helpful in attracting new clients if the reviews are positive and seem genuine. While the odd negative review may crop up, Google Reviews allows you to reply to reviews. You should make sure that you are polite and professional in your reply. If you can resolve any issues via Google reviews this will be very reassuring to potential clients. In fact, many professionals claim that replying to each and every review is a great way to increase trust in your brand while boosting your company’s prominence on Google Search.
ENSURE YOUR CONTACT DETAILS ARE EASILY ACCESSIBLE
When looking for ways to promote your business online it can sometimes be easy to forget the basics! However, it’s important to remember that your primary goal is for new customers to get in touch with you- so make sure that your phone number, email address/contact form, address, and web URL are easily accessible.
UPDATE CONTENT REGULARLY TO STAY RELEVANT
Google rewards pages that update their content regularly with improved local SEO, so it is worth investing time in refreshing your content. At the very least you should ensure that details of your products and services are accurate to avoid misleading potential clients with out-of-date information. However, many local estate agents find that posting once a day makes a tangible difference to their visibility on Google.
WHAT ARE THE NEXT STEPS AFTER I HAVE SET UP MY ACCOUNT?
Once you have set up your GBP page you should check that all your business information is accurate and complete. You should also check your business citations have been built correctly and all your NAP’s (Name , Address & Phone Numbers) match. Try updating your GBP page regularly to keep content fresh by uploading assets such as photos and estate agent videos. After you are confident with using your GBP page you can set up similar accounts for other search engines such as Bing (which uses a similar feature known as Bing Places for Business). Repeating the process across all major search engines should contribute to a good level of SEO overall which should translate into an increased number of leads and traffic to your site.
Thank you for reading our guide to improving local SEO for estate agents with Google Business Profile!