Google introduced a new aspect of their business integrations in June with Google My Business, an interface specifically designed for local businesses. A Google My Business account automatically connects your information with Google+, Google Maps, and Google Search, which means if you’re not taking advantage of this service, you’re missing out.
Have you ever searched for a local business and seen company details listed on Google search like this?
Image source: Google My Business
This information can be controlled and updated through Google My Business. Keeping this information up to date can give customers searching for you the information they need immediately, rather than needing to go to your website and find it there. Potential clients can easily call you, find you, or read reviews. Helpful, right?
Google My Business puts these controls, along with your Google+ page management, right at your fingertips on one easy to manage dashboard. While this integration may not be necessary for individual agents, a broker who is looking to build their company’s online presence could benefit from this system. If you’ve already got a Google+ Business Page, this is a simple one-step process that will just take a minute. If you haven’t already set up, no problem. There’s a few more steps, but we’ll break those down as well.
Setting up your Google My Business with an existing Google+ page
The homepage of Google My Business breaks down the benefits and tells you how to get started. Click the “Get on Google” button to start the process. Once there, type in your company’s name or address into the search bar. You should see something like this.
From there, you’ll be able to claim your business, and integrate your Maps and Search information with your Google+ Page.
Setting up your Google My Business without an existing page
From the map page above, click “Create new page” from the drop down menu at the top right.
You’ll be prompted to choose your business type, in this case a real estate brokerage would be a “Brand”. You can then name your page, link to your website, and select the type of page (choose “Product or Brand”). This will set you up to link all of you information together in your Google My Business. Once you get your page set up, be sure and verify your website to be eligible to show up on the right hand side of a Google search. Click the button that looks like this, and it will give you the necessary code to paste into your website.
Why set up Google My Business?
Besides adding your company information to Google Search, there are tons of other benefits you get from setting up Google My Business for your company.
- Reviews – Company reviews can have a big impact on whether a potential lead that Googles you ever ends up giving you a call. When you have happy clients, ask them if they would be willing to get together with you after the sale and write a positive review on Google. With Google My Business you can easily respond to reviews as the business owner. Responding to not only bad reviews, but good ones too, reflects well on your company image.
- The App – There is a Google My Business app in both the App Store and Google Play. Using these from your tablet or phone allows you to update company information, share images, and respond to reviews on the go.
- Insights – This feature tracks views and clicks over time, like many other analytics functions on social networks. However, the most unique function of this Insights feature is the integration with Google Maps that has the ability to show you where customers are when they get directions to your business. This can help you target your marketing efforts to a more specific area if you start to see a trend.
- Hangouts – Video tours are a growing part of the buying and selling process, and Google Hangouts is an easy way to stream a live home tour to your potential buyers. Walking a person through a home when they’re able to ask and answer questions in real time is much more effective than sending them a recorded home tour with cheesy music and a voiceover. Once your comfortable with Hangouts, it will be easy to offer virtual tours to your buyers that may be moving a long distance and can’t see every home in person.