Google’s famed and longtime motto was “Don’t Be Evil.” The search engine has since retired that phrase, but could plausibly replace it with another: “We Hate Spam.”
In April, Google published its annual spam report, and claimed it was able to keep 99% of searches spam-free. In particular, Google touted an ongoing effort to eradicate “keyword stuffing,” in which SEO professionals and businesses fill websites with meaningless text full of keywords.
Google’s anti-spam efforts could affect your business. Agents who rely on keyword stuffing to appear at the top of search results such as “real estate agents in Houston” are at risk of being demoted from the first page of search results. And even if you’ve never engaged in any kind of dirty SEO tricks, Google is putting more and more weight on only serving search results full of verified, credible product and business providers.
Basically, you now have to prove to Google that you’re not spam. If you can’t, you won’t rank, won’t appear when consumers search for real estate services, and will cede new clients and business to your competition.
How exactly do you prove yourself to Google? Through two actions: verifying your Google Business Profile and soliciting positive, plentiful Google reviews. The best way to accomplish both those actions quickly? Become a Homesnap Pro+ member.
Step 1: Verify Your Google Business Profile
The first action necessary to prove to Google that you’re not spam is to verify your Google Business Profile.
Your Google Business Profile is the information box that appears on the right-hand side when consumers search for you online. It displays your contact information, a description of your services, recent listing photos, and, crucially, reviews of your services.
Homesnap Pro+ automatically verifies your profile and syncs it with your Homesnap information, photos, and listings.
It’s important to Google that when people search online for a real estate agent – even when they type in your name – they’re served with informative and helpful search results. A verified profile signals to Google that you’re a real person who is ready to do real business. You aren’t spam, and a verified, comprehensive Google Business Profile makes sure the search engine and everyday consumers know it.
Step 2: Get Positive Google Reviews
After your profile is verified, Google knows you’re a real-life real estate agent. But Google wants to learn something else: Are you a good one?
That’s where Google reviews come into play. The strongest Google Business Profiles have dozens of positive reviews. That tells Google, and the consumers who find your information, that you’re experienced, competent, and ready-to-do-business.
Google Business Profiles with no or few reviews don’t rank for search terms like “local real estate agents.” And agents with limited reviews or a low ranking don’t typically do business, because Google doesn’t consider them a high-quality option for searchers.
Just consider that our data scientists have found that the top 20% of agents have about 15 Google reviews and an average rating of 4.98. In the most competitive markets, those numbers can be even higher.
The competition for every listing and lead is fierce, and if you don’t have positive, numerous Google reviews, the search engine and people using it are going to assume you’re an untrustworthy, inexperienced choice. Fortunately, Homesnap Pro+ makes it easy to solicit Google reviews with the One-Click Review Tool.
With the One-Click Review Tool, you can ask all of your clients, friends, and colleagues for a review – all with the effort of a single click. Plus, the One-Click Review Tool automates up to three follow up requests. You won’t waste time tracking down who has and hasn’t left you a review.
By getting reviews on your Google Business Profile, you’ll prove that you aren’t spam, that you’re a qualified business option, and that you’re deserving of appearing at the top of queries for competitive Google search terms. By upgrading to Homesnap Pro+, you’ll have a verified Google Business Profile and an easier time getting the reviews you need.