Welcome to part 1 of our crash course in digital marketing for Estate Agents. With this series, we’re not aiming at getting everything perfect, we’re aiming at getting everything from Google to your social media optimised and functional so that going forward you have a great starting point for your digital marketing efforts. If you’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed and found yourself signing up for a load of expert emails each one a bit more confusing than the last, then this is for you.
First things first, you need to have a bit of a tidy up and get your Google presence in order. When you’ve been online for a long time, you may have had different marketing professionals working for you all with slightly different ideas and methods, and little things can fall by the way side if no-one is checking how you look on Google regularly.
It’s time to roll up your sleeves and have a bit of a clear out
You want to have a look at your NAP. NAP stands for Name, Address, Phone number but it also applies to any other information you would want to be consistent wherever your customer spots it, so things like web addresses, email addresses and opening hours, too.
We’ve written in more detail about why you need to do it here, but it’s basically to ensure that all of your information is consistent right across the web. Sometimes websites will pull information from elsewhere, this becomes out of date, and then when Google’s little robots are crawling the web making sure you’re indexed in their search results correctly, they see inconsistencies in information about you, and it can have a negative impact on your Google rankings.
Secondly, it’s time to take a look at your reviews. If you’ve not actively been getting Google reviews, now is a great time to start asking customers for them. Especially if at some point you’ve picked up a negative one at some point and you weren’t aware, but it’s bringing your overall Google star rating down.
If this is the case, although you can’t delete bad reviews you can bury them. By asking customers for reviews when you know they’re happy with your service, you can reduce the overall effect Negative Nigel has on your rating.
Want to know how best to reply to bad reviews even if you want to type ‘WE ALL THINK YOU’RE AN ARSE, MR MOANY LANDLORD’? We’ve written about replying to negative reviews here.
GOOGLE MY BUSINESS
Google My Business is essentially a free profile for your business, with the aim of helping signpost people to your services when they’re in need of them. Being a Google product, they favour businesses in their rankings who actively use it.
In your profile you can include your business name, type, a description, address, opening hours, phone number, link to your website, images, reviews, important COVID information (e.g changes to operations or opening hours), reviews, posts, products and more.
If you haven’t claimed your business, it may well be that Google has tried to fill in some of this information for you, and got it wrong. If you haven’t done it before, create a Google account, Google search your business name, and click on ‘claim this listing’. If it’s been claimed before and you can’t remember anything about login details, you can also go through the process of reclaiming control of your business listing using the same method.
You basically need to blow the cobwebs off of your Google listing and give it some love, updating information and photos, and ensuring that your information is consistent across the web.