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October 12, 2018
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Tiffany Houkom

How to Optimize Google My Business Listings

Last week we covered the importance of setting up a Google My Business listing for your property management company. These local listings appear in the top spot of 93% of Google searches with local intent, meaning that they will almost always appear above your website, no matter how well optimized it might be. These free listings offer several benefits to local business owners, including:

  • Increased real estate in the search results
  • More information for prospective customers researching your business
  • Potential for increased traffic to your website

In order to reap the benefits, you must take the time to optimize your listing; simply claiming it won't do much for your business. By optimizing your listing, you will help Google understand more about your business: who you are, the services you offer, the geographic area you serve, your operating hours, and your website. The more information Google knows about your business, the more likely it will be to include your listing, website, and social accounts in the results for relevant searches. Here's what you must do to properly optimize your listing.

Double check the basics

The first thing you need to do, especially if you've claimed an existing business listing, is ensure your contact information is correct. Things to check for include:

  • Business name: Ensure the listing is setup under your EXACT business name. Don't include extra words such as the city name or keywords to try to improve your SEO.
  • Phone number: Is the best phone number to get in touch with your team listed?
  • Address: Is your address correct? As mentioned earlier, always avoid using P.O. boxes.
  • Website: Is your listing linking to your main website?
  • Business category: With over 2,300 categories to choose from, be sure to select the most relevant category, which will likely be "Property Management Company".

Tell a little more about yourself

Google lets tell more about their offerings in a 750-character description section. This appears on listing in the section, "From [BUSINESS NAME]". Focus on sharing critical things about your business right away, as only the first 250-characters appear before a "Read More" separator. We recommend including the following information in this section:

  • The city, towns, and regions you serve
  • The exact services you provide
  • Your mission statement and values
  • What differentiates your business from competitors
  • How long you've been in business
  • List any recognizable communities you serve

Add professional photos

Photos are a vital component of Google My Business listings, as they have prominent positioning within your listing. When you don't upload photos, a huge Google street view image will pop up on your listing, making it look unprofessional, and downright unappealing. That's why we recommend spending money to have professional photos taken that you can upload to your listing (note: get more for your money and be sure to add these professional photos to your Yelp listing and Facebook page). Here are some ideas of photos you can add to your listing:

  • Your office
  • Your team members
  • Properties you manage, as well as the amenities offered
  • Your team volunteering
  • Parties and community events you've hosted
  • Don't forget to upload your professional logo!

Respond to reviews

We've harped on the importance of monitoring your online reviews, and this holds true for reviews on your Google listing. You must respond to each and every review, whether it's positive, negative, or neutral. When you receive negative feedback, don't get defensive. Rather take the review to heart and create an action plan on how you can use this information to make actionable, positive changes within your organization.

Don't forget to celebrate positive reviews too! Whenever you receive a positive review, share it with your team! There's a good chance they only receive negative feedback and complaints, so be sure to take the time to email your team whenever you receive a positive review. In the email, be sure to thank your team for their hard work and call out specific individuals who may have been mentioned in the review.

We're not quite done providing tips on Google My Business. Next week we'll cover advanced optimization techniques to help your listing standout from your competition.

Looking for additional ways to improve your overall strategy? Get your free copy of our whitepaper, Key Strategies to Promote an Informed and Efficient Community.

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