#391 – Mail-Right Show: Google My Business Local SEO in 2023 For Real Estate Agents
Google My Business Local SEO in 2023 For Real Estate Agents
Google My Business is the key to local SEO success in 2023 for real estate agents. With the right optimization strategies, you can rank your business higher in searches and be seen by more potential customers.
In this podcast, we’ll review all the latest tips and tricks to help you maximize Google My Business for your real estate business and stay ahead of competitors.
Get ready to unlock the power of Google My Business for local SEO success! Watch now to learn how.
Episode Full Show Notes
[00:00:00.000] – Robert Newman
All right, ladies and gentlemen, you have found the Mail write Show. We are super excited. Believe it or not, we’ve done this 391 times. Yeah, you heard that right, 391 times. You are lucky enough to listen to the 391st episode of The Mail-Right Show. What are we going to be talking about today? Google my business. Now, last week we talked about hyperlocal, which sounds like it’s connected, and it was in a very big Broadway, but we decided to get super, super granular for those people that really just want to dominate and propel their hyper local specific results. So the maistro, the master who chooses where this show goes and creates the environment that we all love so much, his name is John. He is on the show. John, wait, wait, wait. I want to let you know, all of you know how magnificent this guy really is. He’s a master of the WordPress arena. He is dedicated to podcast. He’s currently doing three of which this is now the middle series. His first podcast, WP Tonic, is literally a legendary show in the WordPress development world.
[00:01:28.520] – Jonathan Denwood
You say legendary, some will say notorious.
[00:01:32.500] – Robert Newman
Well, okay, legendary and notorious. You decide. I say go listen to the show and decide for yourself whether it’s legendary and notorious. One way or the other, though, Jon has been trying to produce helpful content for a wide variety of people for a very long period of time, and I’m sure you’d agree with that. So with no further ado, why don’t you tell people exactly in your own words who you are? And yeah, that.
[00:01:54.470] – Jonathan Denwood
Thanks, Rob. I’m the joint founder of mail. Com, mail. Com. And we offer a similar service, but better than Real Geeks or Sierra Interactive. Our system combines the power of WordPress, so you own your website with a CRM and other similar marketing tools or better tools than the two competitors I mentioned. Back over to you, Robert.
[00:02:22.440] – Robert Newman
Beautiful. So once again, John has decided to play directly in my playground. So I am what would probably be referred to as an SEO expert. I’ve been consulting for 14 years. For those of you that may not know me, I also founded my own technology company, Inbound rem, Inbound Real Estate Marketing for long, Inbound rem for short. And we focus on using inbound traffic or organic traffic from Google to propel results, higher lead quality, higher lead conversion. We’re a mid to high tier solution. So in other words, if you haven’t been selling real estate for a while, you might not call us. But if you have, we’re somebody that you want to check out, which you can do at Inbound rem. Com. We’re going to talk today about Google My Business. This is an area that I focus on a tremendous amount. I’ve had extraordinary success in and I’m quite frankly super excited to dig into this and propel some common myths, some things that my competitors say. That is simply not true. We’ll talk about what John is labeled in the notes, show notes as the right optimization strategies. You can rank your business higher in searches and be seen by more potential customers.
[00:03:36.240] – Robert Newman
I agree with that 100 %. I’m going to add something to the end of this. With the right tips and tricks, you can actually get a much higher conversion rate off the calls that you do get as well. So it’s an additional benefit. So, Jon, I’ve always get very wordy when we actually talk about something that I consider to be my core expertise. So instead of doing that this show, I’d like to offer you the opportunity to take the microphone for the first time and share a thought that you have about the subject.
[00:04:05.100] – Jonathan Denwood
Well, I think there’s still a lot of agents I sense by what I watch. I think the other YouTube influencers and other people that talk about digital marketing in the real estate space, have been promoting Google Local business, my business local. I think that’s one of the problems Google regularly keep changing the name of this product and service. So let’s get the title right, Jonathan, my business local, my Google… I’m getting confused myself. But I still think a lot of real estate agents don’t realize how powerful is and how much it’s worth the effort to keep this page that Google provides. First of all, claim it. I’m amazed the amount of agents that still not claim in it. And then I’m also amazed the amount of agents that don’t keep it updated and understand. It’s one of the real surfaces and areas where they can really compete with the bigger brokerages and national brokerages. And Google will treat you just the same as the bigger players if you utilize it in the right way. Well, I feel I’d be interested to see what you feel about it. So that they’re my main takeaways. I don’t know if you agree what I just said there.
[00:05:40.720] – Robert Newman
All right, so first, let’s weigh in on language. The actual technical correct language today is Google Business Profile. Google changed the name away from Google my business. That’s not that long ago. Google does have a tendency to change its brands around. It is very frustrating. I feel you in every way that there is that another human can feel. So there’s that. In terms of what was the other point? I got stuck.
[00:06:08.660] – Jonathan Denwood
On the top of the line. Well, I still think even though it’s promoted by a lot of agents, still don’t know it, don’t understand it, and not even claiming their page.
[00:06:20.760] – Robert Newman
I’m going to take a reverse psychology in my answer there. So Google my business done right or your Google business profile created the right way with the right content on it is the number one free way that you can drive massive results in a fairly short timeline for your business. So by all means, everybody, ignore it. Don’t do it. Don’t pay attention to it. Continue not to leverage it at all because it makes it so that I can charge a lot more money for the handful of people that want to pay me for my work. But the horrible truth is that this is one of the least technical areas that you have to have. There’s only one technical skill set. And all these companies like Yext and Local EZ, they charge you a small, bright, local white spark. The list goes on. All these people are only focused on hyper local because it’s an easy program to run. You’d love it if that’s the tool that you developed, Jon, because it’s simple. And then they go out and they basically collect places to input your listings. How easy is that to program? Super easy. And it’s also something that you can do on your own.
[00:07:33.000] – Robert Newman
You don’t need a professional helper like me or John or anybody else. But you know what? By all means, pay us $1,000 a month to do it for you. We do not mind. So the hyper local profile, I do agree that not enough people are… I’m going to stop being tongue twisted and say, of course, it is such a no brainer that people build a profile, but I do not know why. But it is probably something that less than 20 % of all agents have done. So I don’t know what the number is, but I guarantee you there are not two million Google realtor profiles, business profiles. And if I had to guess, I’d say there’s probably less than 300,000, which means that the vast majority of agents don’t bother to build one. I have a huge amount of steam on this subject. I can jump in.
[00:08:33.160] – Jonathan Denwood
No, I’m happy to let you do the lead and say the most in this episode. Do you think some of that is the actual claiming process of the page that you used to be able to phone? They stopped that. The only way you can claim the page is go to the website and make sure that link is in the show notes. And then they send you a postcard and you’ve got to have a physical address which they recognize. Do you think it’s the actual process of claiming it might be one of the reasons why the claiming of it is still quite low.
[00:09:20.430] – Robert Newman
Probably. There’s a thousand reasons. Realtors usually lag 10 times behind everybody with technology. And the sad truth is that the top 20 % are the ones who are the worst offenders because they have probably built their business using word of mouth and other traditional methodologies don’t rely on online. Anything that even whiffs of some work that is digital, they’re always on the like, yeah, no, immediately no. I don’t even know that Joyce Ray has a profile. And usually she’s quite tech forward. It’s like and she’s like, for those of you that are listening, Joyce Ray has a profile. It has one review on it. This is the most prolific female real estate agent in the entire country. She has one single review on her profile. So she needless to say is not posted. She has her own goddamn Wikipedia page and yet no Google My Business profile. So usually, John, or very unintended one, usually, John, the answer is people don’t really pay attention past a certain point. The same thing holds for Diane Williams, who’s a legend in Palm Springs, Palm Desert. I can go on and on. All the big agents, all the big teams, they don’t bother with my business profile, which guess what?
[00:10:48.850] – Robert Newman
For all of you listening who are not already making two or three million dollars a year in commission as a real estate agent, all I’m really saying to you is there is a wide open way for you to get attention that all these established agents aren’t paying attention to. Joyce Ray may not notice the bleed in her client list, but as it relates to people finding other agents online, but you can take some of those clients based upon their lack, which is something I’ve explained to countless people that have called into me and asked me, how do they compete with somebody like Joyce Ray? The answer is Joyce still has a black book. She calls all the clients the same way that Jade Mills does. And those people, as long as they have time to call you, that’s fine. But that is a finite resource. So what they’re really going to do is focus on 50 or 100 people who are high profile clients, and the rest of them language a little bit. Though all those other people that might be online looking locally because the search that Google My Business focuses on is realtor in city name or Realtors Near Me.
[00:11:54.930] – Robert Newman
Those are all listing searches. This is what Realtors call me up ad nauseam, John, and ask me to help them with. Can you get me listings? Blah, blah, blah. And the answer is, yeah, create a Google My Business profile. I can. Create a Google My Business profile, which, of course, there are t’s ant, ant, tema. It’s like, what? Why would I do that? Because you just asked me a question. I gave you a solution. Don’t argue with me. So it’s crazy to me, Jon, to go to your. It’s crazy to me, John, to go to.
[00:12:29.390] – Jonathan Denwood
Your one is crazy in a way, but it’s not uncommon. It’s called resistance in psychological circles, isn’t it? It’s a classical example of resistance, which appears in business and personally in many types of consultancy or personal relationships. It’s classical, isn’t it? So what’s your recommendations about after you’ve claimed the page and you’ve logged in? What are some of the best insights about how you should fill it initially with information and content that will get benefit the quickest?
[00:13:19.650] – Robert Newman
I’m just going to stick with all the hacks. Ladies and gentlemen, John has managed to stumble across one of those rare subjects that we do online where if you pay attention to this, I’m going to make you hundreds of thousands of dollars, including John. So everybody, buckle and buckle, pay attention. Seriously, the number one mistake that people make on the Google My Business profile is that you need to have one synonymous Google email address that connects to all your profile. Youtube, your website, your hyperlocal Google only recognizes email address to email address. So if you use anything that you’re not using in other places, you lose a lot of the value on the profile. So use the same damn email address to make sure it’s a Gmail address and you haven’t done this. Start now when you create your profile. So step number one, find a marketing email that’s connected to your GML account or use something you’ve already got up and running, but use it synonymously across YouTube and everything else. All right, that’s number one. Number two, make sure that you list the address that is most convenient to where you want to do business.
[00:14:19.420] – Robert Newman
In other words, I started off with a PO Box for inbound rem. The PO Box was located about three blocks from me, which doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it was a PO Box. And I noticed that I seem to be getting penalized. And I also didn’t like the fact that when you research the building, it didn’t look great. And after much consideration, early on in my local profiles existence, I changed the address to my home’s primary address. And now my home comes up on all inbound rem searches. But I still like that more than I like the previous address. And my ranking started to happen much faster, probably because of a higher level of engagement across the profile. So address is super important. Don’t tangent in the middle of my list, Jon.
[00:15:07.900] – Jonathan Denwood
Oh, sorry. Right, sorry.
[00:15:11.850] – Robert Newman
Okay. Number two, because I just want people to hit these bullet points. Okay, so it’s address, physical location. You can use your own home, you can use your PL box, you can use your broker’s address. Keep in mind that if you use your broker’s address, you are competing against 40 or 60 or 70 other agents. You don’t want to do that in most cases. The exception is going to be the exceptional agent who’s already top one or two % inside that brokerage. Other than that, probably you want to use your home address. If you live far away from your preferred farm, that’s the exception to that rule. These are all incredibly important things, John, just let me hit the list. So the other thing that you want to do when you’re setting up the profile is you want to make sure that you have three to four relevant images that relate to you. And one of them needs to be you. Shock. You need to have an image of yourself up on your hyperlocal profile. And then the rest can be of your business, your office. Please don’t take a picture of your car. So don’t do that.
[00:16:09.600] – Robert Newman
It’s not a luxury profile. Not even Joyce Ray has anything like that. It’s not Instagram. Show off things that relate directly to the business, not to your lifestyle. That’s a rare delineation from things I usually say. Make sure your phone number is listed. Make sure that you’ve completely filled out the entire profile. You will get something like 20 or 30 prompts. Fill out every single one of them. Phone number, when you open, do you have a handicapped access? Is there actual business name? Are you located in a larger business? I can go on and on. There are 30 prompts when you set up your profile, and answer all the questions. Okay? To get a better reception from Google on the profile. Those are my piece of advice as it relates to set up. Now, hit me with your thoughts.
[00:16:58.960] – Jonathan Denwood
Yeah, it was about the address because obviously the real estate industry is dominated by the ladies that listen to this podcast. They’re going to win for understandable reasons. They’re going to win a bit about utilizing their home address for security reasons. But what you said about a brokerage is also totally true. Is there any tip or insight that you can give that will allow a lady real estate agent not to give her home address but not end up giving her brokerage either?
[00:17:41.100] – Robert Newman
Yeah. The third option is to acquire a post office box or executive suite for whatever that costs and use a remote address. There isn’t that many other solutions because as you already mentioned, the verification, this profile has to be sent to a physical address. There is very few ways to try to get trick this all out anymore. So if you’re going to send it to a physical address, there’s amount of credibility that goes along with you sending it to the physical address that you’re listing as your business address. Google does pay attention to that. Everything in Google’s world is a sign of quality, and they are not looking for low quality results inside the Google My business. They need to know you are a business owner practicing business at the place that you’re listing as your business address. It’s very important to them. So if you’re going to suggest that you do business someplace else, there’s going to be some expense and some time for you to basically provide a fake address.
[00:18:35.100] – Jonathan Denwood
So really, you really need the executive because you’re going to meet clients. I see quite a few do it. They meet people at a Starbucks or a local coffee house. I personally don’t think that’s very professional. When you’re dealing, you’re getting people to sign a contract, trying to explain the contract. You might be getting personal information in a public coffee bar or public area. I just don’t think that you might disagree with me. I just don’t feel that’s professional. So I think you need to have a conference. And you might say, Well, I’m getting that from my brokerage, but I think it’s worth the investment if you can afford it to have executive area where you can utilize the conference room and it can be your physical address as well.
[00:19:40.890] – Robert Newman
What do you think? I don’t disagree. I think that… Listen, I’ve traveled a lot. I do a lot of business in a lot of other countries, Sean. I use shared workspaces a tremendous amount, and I find them to be perfectly professional with doors that can close and offices that you can walk into. And the best part about shared workspaces is you can rent them for a day. You can also, if you so wanted some shared workspaces, not all, but like Regus and others, they are starting to offer a like a mail box service where for $120, you get a physical address listed there, which at least is a professional office environment. Shared workspaces like WeWork and Regus have become commonplace and they’re no longer a detraction from brand, I don’t think. It just suggests that you don’t have full-time need for an office, which I think is perfectly reasonable as a realtor or digital nomad or anybody else. It’s like, I don’t have the knee. I don’t want to pay for 30 days of an office space that I use for three. What logic is there in that? That makes sense to most people. Most of these workspaces that I’ve worked out of are beautiful.
[00:20:43.930] – Robert Newman
There’s no problem. As a matter of fact, they’re probably better than what I could afford on my own time without it being a shared workspace. I would say that’s an option. Another option, because you do bring up a good point about security, but I would also say another option is to secure or alter your home environment so that you can have clients meet you there. And what do I mean by that? I have cameras and stuff that run on my house that protects me in the event that some nut case decides that they want to look. Because at this point, I get like 100,000 views on my profile per year. Good competitors see it, everybody sees it. So of course, I think to myself, and I’m a man, so what would it be for a woman? It’s like, hey, do what I do. Record the place, send it all up into the cloud, make sure that people know that you’re recording the place and that there’s certain amount of security precautions that you’ve taken. That may not be a great solution, John, for anybody that’s experienced a detrimental situation inside real estate. And so I consider your question to be incredibly valid.
[00:21:42.320] – Robert Newman
But then again, other workspaces that have security in the building, depending on what the level of your concern is, that’s the direction I would go because there’s no amount of money that connects into your sense of personal safety, in my opinion. So you’re going to be in the business and do the thing. You just have to count that as part of the investment for you to do the business safely. Moving right along. So some other things that come up… Oh, wait, we’re going to go to break really quick. All right. So, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, this is a meat and potato subject for me. I literally do this every day, all day. So I’m going to come back and what I’m going to show you is all the fault we’re going to give you. Instead of telling you the things you should do, which you’ve heard a lot of times, I’m going to tell you the things that other people tell you to do that don’t have a big impact. Stay tuned.
[00:22:35.110] – Speaker 3
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[00:22:58.960] – Robert Newman
Welcome back to episode number 391. We’re talking about Google business profiles, and we are talking about some legends that happen inside these profiles that are actually not that relevant in terms of results. Number one legend that I hear all the time. Everybody likes to tell me how relevant they’ve been told, updating their Google business profile on a regular basis is. Even Google puts it down in their documentation saying that you should update your profile on a regular basis with blog posts, specials, and offers. Here’s what drives the mechanic. Google doesn’t really look at that. What they look at is how long people are staying on the profile and how they’re engaging with the profile. So if you’re putting images and content up on the profile that people click on and watch and read, yes, it can be relevant. Most people do not put that content up on their profile. I do not. I have put pictures of me and my team on there. It’s one of the few places you can find them. So I get some engagement on that content. It’s consistent. I’ve never had to change the information that’s up there because of all the places you don’t get to see my team except for there and a couple of shots on Instagram.
[00:24:16.260] – Robert Newman
And so if you’re really a follower of mine, you might go there and look because it’s unique. All of our offers, the blog posts that we’ve done on there, nobody ever pays attention to and we don’t get any links to our website. It’s just because the adaptability of this particular Google tool hasn’t happened yet. Google just wants it to. So they’re claiming to give you extra credit for doing it. I’m telling you, the statistical reality of what I’ve seen suggests that is not true. What is true, I think, is that if you get anything on a profile that connects with people and they read it or come back to it over and over again, that’s the quality signal that Google is looking for. Now, drum roll, please. Jon, on a Google business profile, what do you think the surefire way to draw people into it and keep them coming back is?
[00:25:09.500] – Jonathan Denwood
I think video myself, but I was also going to… There’s a couple of quick things. I think what you were saying, the way I would deal with it is I would write a list of frequently asked questions. I would have those on the Google business page. I would have the question and I would have four to six of the major questions and I would have a little video answering it and I would have a link to my website with a longer list of frequently asked questions. And the other thing is, I think you’re probably going to cover this, is the reviews as well, having what other people say and having some video content. I think if you have those things that are just outlined, I think they are the type of things that might keep people on that page a bit longer.
[00:26:06.810] – Robert Newman
I haven’t experimented with video as much as I should have. I would guess that you’re right. I’m just going to say video does dominate. I have video up on my profile. It’s not great video and it doesn’t get good engagement. So it hasn’t worked for me. But again, it was a shitty video that I tested on my profile that I should actually take down, but I haven’t. Here’s what I know for sure, though, that I’ve tested ad nauseam on countless profiles all over the United States that relate to real estate. It is reviews. Reviews draw people back in. We feel so strongly about reviews at Inbound rem that we link your Google business profile reviews straight out of the website. We built a whole custom application, John, to suck in those reviews automatically with Zillow and Google business profiles. And so that’s how strongly we think about it. But you can also click back and go to the profile itself directly because there’s a certain amount of credibility that people assume on Zillow or Google. Seeing the reviews on the profile himself correctly lets the customer assume that it can’t be faked out and they are correct.
[00:27:17.640] – Robert Newman
Google is getting in a lot of hot water because it’s eliminating about 30 % of received reviews. That’s something everybody should be aware of. Google is not approving every single review. And why is that? If they can’t prove you are who you say you are, if you’re using a non Google email address when you leave the review, if you never left the review anywhere else, there is a certain logic that says, no, we don’t believe you. We don’t think you are who you say you are. Guess what? We’re not going to let you leave this review. Sorry. And they move on. And it really ticks off a lot of my customers, by the way. But it’s just a sad fact. But that same reason is why people on the outside of our marketing ecosystem, why they look at these with such a high level of credibility because there is a filtering process. It isn’t automatic that you get a review put there. You can’t just do it from anywhere in the world. You can’t just say anything that you want because of all those things Google reviews are taking with a high degree of credibility.
[00:28:23.090] – Robert Newman
It’s the number one thing that people read on our websites. It’s the number one thing that people read on Google My business. The whole world has moved to influencer social proof marketing. So guys, for those that are listening, what’s the secret sauce in the reviews? Two things. One, get them. Three things, get them. Two, craft them. Send out an email telling somebody roughly what you’d like. Send them an outline. It’s worth the time to create one. And now then you’ll get reviews that are in the length and quality and type that you want. And then number three, and this is really hugely important. It’s the hack that nobody does, even my own clients. You ready for it, John? Yeah. Sure? Yes. Okay. I’m actually getting a teeny tiny little whiff of excitement from them. A little smile, everybody. All right, now I’m excited to respond.
[00:29:18.180] – Jonathan Denwood
Obviously, you got your slate to the last night because you were a bit more weary last week. But so respond, I think the ad. I do that with the YouTube comments, but even though they’re the most benign, I always try and reply back to them.
[00:29:38.080] – Robert Newman
Well, there’s a huge amount of credibility that comes from response building up a strong profile that drives much, much business to you. How do you have a lot has much to do with the response is collecting the review in the first place. Last but not least, guys, and this is my last hack. Any other hacks you’re going to have to contact me to get. But this last hack is a big one. Google still looks at keywords and semantic keyword recognition on the profile. The number one place that they pick that up, though, is it from your notes or what you put in? No, guess what, everybody? It’s from your goddamn reviews. That’s right. They’re picking up the broadness, the length, the depth, the breadth of how far your profile reaches comes in part from what people are saying about your reviews. So when they’re leaving your reviews, you need to be mentioning city, experience, product type, all the things that you would like, theoretically, to people find your business for. You need to be discussing inside your review profile. It’s just logical, but most people haven’t connected those dots. Google then, well, that makes the difference between them deciding that they’re going to show you a result that are five miles from your main point of business, or with me, we’ve expanded up to 100 miles.
[00:30:48.720] – Robert Newman
I don’t know what the limit is. I don’t know how far it will go. I’m starting to think that at some point I can probably rank for all of Southern California.
[00:30:56.250] – Jonathan Denwood
Before we wrap it up, have you got any advice? Because like most things in business and in real estate, it’s a bit of a chicken and egg scenario. Because obviously, if you’ve got a big book of business and you’ve been in the real estate business for three to 10 years, you’re going to build up a lot of reviews. But if you’re in your first, second, third, it’s growing, hopefully. But how do you generate? Because obviously timing, if you got transactions every month, the best time is when the transactions has gone through and you’re God, you are your most popular. But if you haven’t got a lot of those transactions, how do you get relevant reviews, if possible? And secondly, if you have got quite a few of these past clients, but they’re colder, is there any way to get them to maybe give you a review? But it’s outside that Gody locks period, as I called it.
[00:32:11.570] – Robert Newman
I’m going to give you close to 100 % success rate with both questions. But, Jon, I’m going to go back to our old format. Ladies and gentlemen, we are going to do a little bit of bonus content. The answer to John’s questions are going to be the bonus content. You can find the bonus content on the Mail hyphen Write YouTube channel and maybe even the Inbound rem YouTube channel, but most likely the Mail Write channel. I strongly suggest that you guys both tune into the last part of this episode because of great questions and go to the Mail Write YouTube channel so that you can see the answers. We’ll be right back.
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