Claim Your ‘Google My Business’ Profile & Make It Work for You

Claim Your ‘Google My Business’ Profile & Make It Work for You


You might already know that
there’s a free listing on Google
for qualified local businesses. But what you may not know is
that if you don’t claim your
listing, your company will have
less of a chance to get in that coveted spot in the
top three local listings when
someone searches for real
estate in your local area. And, it’s not just for brokers
or company owners. Sales
associates can claim a
listing, too. I’m Sherry Bonelli, a digital
marketer and owner of Early Bird
Digital Marketing in Cedar
Rapids, Iowa. Let’s take five minutes to
learn how to claim your Google
My Business profile and what
information you should include. Before you start, remember
that it is considered
advertising, and you want to
adhere to your real estate
commission’s rules when optimizing
your Google My
Business profile. The Google My Business
profile is what you see on
the right-hand side of a
Google search page when
you search for a local business name.
It’s also referred to as a
“Knowledge Panel.” It
includes a company’s name, address, phone
number, website, business
hours, a map to show the
location of the company
and more. If you’re an individual
sales associate, ideally,
you want your brokerage
to claim their business
profile first. Then, any agents who
work for that brokerage
can claim their profiles,
which will then include
their personal name, the brokerage address and a
phone number. They can do this
by going to
www.google.com/business. Once that’s done, individual
sales associates can claim
their profiles and get listed.
Google considers individual real estate agents to be
“practitioners” similar to
lawyers who work for a
law firm. So, when you claim
your individual Google My Business profile,
your business name should
be your personal name like “Tammy Meyer” for
example). Do NOT include
any words, including the
brokerage name, the city
you work in, or the word “Realtor” or any
other words – just your name.
If you add any other words,
it violates Google’s Terms Of
Service and you can get
your profile suspended or
removed. Here are some other
best practices. There are a variety of
questions Google wants
you to fill out to complete
your Google My Business
profile. In order to improve your
search rankings, you want
to complete all the information
Google asks for. When done, your listings will
have valuable data that will
make it easier for potential
customers to find information about your
company. And if you don’t
fill out that information,
someone else could. Many
business owners don’t realize that anyone
can suggest a change
(or edit) to your business
listing—and that includes your
competitors. So, log into your Google
My Business dashboard
regularly to ensure that no one made any unwanted
changes to your profile. Next, there is a feature that
allows people to message
you directly. There is also a
question and answer section. Just remember, anyone can
ask these questions and
anyone can answer. So, be
sure to check these often and try to be the first to answer
any questions. Reviews are also a
local ranking factor and
Google has recently started
using Google My Business
reviews to try and answer questions
people ask on Google My
Business Q&A. So, reviews
are becoming even more
crucial. And reviews that include
KEYWORDS are extra
important! After a transaction
has closed successfully, direct your customers to
your Google My Business
profile and ask them to leave
you a review, then make sure you reply
to that review—good or bad.
Online reviews appear next to
your listing in Google Maps and your business’ Knowledge
Panel in search results. Online
reviews help your business
stand out among a sea of search results.
Additionally, online reviews are
known to impact search result
rankings, build consumer trust and
improve click-through rates. You can also add photos
and 30-second videos to your
business’ listing on Google
My Business. Be sure the photos and videos
you upload are of high quality
and pertain to your business
– no stock photos. Also, your business description
is important. Google only
allows so many characters
and you can’t have a business description loaded
with spammy keywords. Be
clear and concise in your
business description and be careful about being
too promotional, as Google
will review your business
description. When it comes to search, the
higher the better. Claiming
and optimizing your Google
My Business Profile can give you the boost you
need to come out on top.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

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