If you own a real estate office, how seriously do you take business listings sites? Some listings platforms such as Google Places and Yelp! allow for business owners to respond to reviews and learn about their customers’ experience or satisfaction, so taking it seriously can really improve your reputation among potential clients.
Setting up your business listing page on Google Places is a very simple process. The first piece of information you’ll want to include is your full address and phone number. Be sure to include this near the top of your listing as failing to do-so will put less weight on search engine bots to recognize your page. Next, you’ll want to include your geographic and service keywords in your business title. So if your company name is "Heath Realty Company", perhaps phrase your business title as “Heath Residential Real Estate Company – Chicago, IL.”
Finally, don’t just include your images to describe who you are and where you are located. While a great image with your company logo, name, and contact information satisfies users, it fails to satisfy search engines. In order for a search engine to pick up this information, it has to be able to “read” the photo through image titles and alt text. If your photo fails to have adequate search engine optimization, it will do little for you business listing in terms of getting recognized by Google, Bing, or Yahoo!
Along with Google Places and Yelp!, other national business listings sites you should investigate include: Bing Local, Foursquare, Yahoo! Local; but don’t just stop there. Depending on what market you’re located, there are usually lots of local listing sites such as www.newchicagoliving.com, which is a free listing site for new businesses around downtown Chicago, including real estate offices.
Joe Heath is a graduate of Indiana University and also holds a Graduate Certificate in Real Estate Development from Drexel University. After working in the market research sector and authoring published Market Snapshots for Hanley Wood Market Intelligence, Joe now works as a Web Marketing Specialist and is a managing partner at Real Estate Web Creation, LLC.