I saw an ad recently from a popular real estate app stating the “traditional agent website is dead and a Google business listing is your new home page because people go to Google for answers. If you don’t have one, you could be missing out on valuable traffic.”
If you upgrade to the PRO version of their app, they will create and manage your Google Business listing content.
They employed the “fear of missing out” technique.
There’s no need to pay a premium for any company to do this for you. It takes minutes. Many companies prey on real estate agents because they think we are rich or can’t be bothered with handling our marketing.
For some, this may be true, but I’m going to show you how easy it is to set up and maintain your listing. Nobody can connect with your audience better than you.
If you don’t already have a Google Business listing, you can easily set yours up for free here. Then, check out my step-by-step guide to optimize it here.
The traditional real estate agent site isn’t dead nor is it for any other type of business. A Google Business listing is essential but doesn’t guarantee that you are going to show up on the first page or amongst top results in a local search. You will compete with companies who pay to appear there or are creating high-quality content regularly.
The content third parties create is usually generic and duplicated across the web. That doesn’t help you. Your audience wants to hear from you and to create unique, and high-quality content is your chance to demonstrate your value. Provide your customers with an experience they can’t get anywhere else, and they will love you.
Yes, 97% of people go online to research businesses on Google, but they also turn to Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other search engines. This is the beginning of a conversation. Your website is the continuation and should convert that viewer into a customer.
Despite my love for the Google Business listing, your website is your bedrock. It should be professionally designed and used to generate leads and sales.
According to a Google My Business Help thread on Tuesday, June 13, 2017:
“One of the most common actions people take when exploring a Google listing is to go to the website.”
Blue Corona found that 30% of consumers won’t consider a business without a website and Research from Moz local explains in full detail why a site is more important in 2019 than ever before
Much of the online world is leased land; one policy change can affect what you can do from day to day. Google and other platforms will do whatever it takes to keep your attention on their platform. This is one of the main reasons they offer various tools and web services, not for your benefit.
Even website platforms like Squarespace are leased. They are great for beginners and, but I recommend WordPress. You can create simple, free websites if your budget is small and when ready, upgrade to a more robust site and hosting without changing platforms. I use SiteGround for web hosting, and BlueHost is well respected too.
If you have a proper website, you own it and control the contents. Nobody can take it away from you.
Here’s what your website can do that a Google listing can’t:
- MLS IDX so customers can search for listings. This keeps them on your site longer, and they will most likely check out your blog and other features.
- Posts on Google expire after one week. Your blog posts stay on your site as long as you want them to. Your content can rank on in the search engines if you create in-depth, unique content for your audience. Write in a conversational tone, speak to them, and don’t fixate on keywords. Add images and videos. Tag them properly to help with SEO.
- You have their undivided attention. There are no ads and distractions to pull them away from your content. If you have valuable resources on your site visitors will spend more time there. The longer they stay, the better your chances of them contacting you.
Before you shell out your hard earned commission check, research an offer and challenge yourself to see if it’s something you can do on your own. Don’t be fooled by anyone telling you they will get you on the first page of Google right away. Organic SEO is a long term play and takes work. In today’s world, it’s more important than ever to take charge of your marketing.
Need help? Have questions? I am here for you. Send me an email [email protected].
Please share this post with any real estate agent or business owner who needs this information.
Christopher is a Personal Branding and Productivity Coach empowering real estate agents and small business owners to stand out in the crowded marketplace and increase productivity. He’s developed his personal brand as a real estate broker in NY & ME, International DJ, and Coach. Everything he teaches revolves around real-world experience, not textbook advice.