Closing the gap between technology and the agents who use it has been an ongoing battle since the late ’90s. Today, it’s more important than ever to make sure you have a clearly defined digital presence — and solidifying your name is a great place to begin.
Google handles over 90 percent of all online search options in the United States. Knowing how to manage your name and reputation online is critical for your business plan.
Often, agents are overwhelmed by the prospect of working on their digital presence. There are usually two things that hold agents back. First, they fear that it will take too long, and second, they are not sure how to maintain and monitor their online profile if they do claim it.
Claiming your business profile can be daunting on Google, and if you have any problems with creating your business listing, getting in touch with Google to help you fix it can also be a challenging task.
This is why I was pleased to see the Homesnap team releasing a very user-friendly way for agents to claim their Google Business Profile. The Homesnap Pro+ Profile has three core functions that will make creating a business profile on Google accessible to agents at any “tech” level.
Claiming your online business profile with Homesnap
1. Verify your business
This is the first core function of Homesnap Pro+. It provides a seamless and instant process to verify your business — a task that would otherwise take weeks to complete. Homesnap will provide your contact information, a link to your website and photos of your listings and deals to Google — without any effort on your part.
Google requires this verification process to prove you own the site or app you claim to own. Once you are verified, you’ll have access to private Google search data for that site or app, and you can affect how Google “crawls” it. In other words, the step is very important and cannot be skipped.
Homesnap will also provide review management tools. Agents can easily request reviews. Agents receive an alert when new reviews are posted to their Google profile, to which they can respond to quickly. Google reviews are just one more layer that helps potential clients decide whether an agent is the right professional to work with.
Since making it a goal with one of my consulting clients to make Google reviews a priority, they have noticed an increase in traffic to their site, direct calls from Google and better ranking among competitors in the organic listings.
According to Bernie Harsevoort of Rocket Digital, “the quality and quantity of reviews on Google is one of the most important ranking factors for local SEO. And, when a person scans the search results for a local product or service in Google, the business listings that include customer reviews present greater credibility and, naturally, receive more clicks.”
3. Consistent content
Homesnap will provide fresh content to your Google Business profile. This includes new listings and recent sales. Homesnap will also supplement different call-to-action content pieces that have a “call now” button embedded in the content to engage potential clients and improve your search rank in Google.
If you want to have a larger presence online, you will need to push more content out for consumers to find. Content creation is an area that agents often struggle with. Once their Google business profile is set up through Homesnap, the profile is directly linked with the agent’s activity on Homesnap, and the agent does not have to update the stream.
What types of content will help keep your profile fresh? Photos, small graphics and meaningful interactions. Remember that the content you create for consumers may end up being your first impression. Make sure the content is professional and has a clear purpose.
Keeping your content consistent allows you to connect with existing clients and prospects via messages posted to your business profile on Google searches and Google Maps — and you can share virtually any piece of relevant information you want with you customers.
Securing your name and business name on Google is a good way to start managing your brand online. Agents can start this process themselves or use a tool like Homesnap Pro+ to help them. If you choose to hire a marketing company to help you manage your Google profile, make sure they are reputable, easy to get in touch with and reasonably priced.