For many internet marketers, Google Plus is a bit of an unknown. Perhaps, it is a result of too many folks wanting to put Google Plus in a strictly defined box, comparing it to existing social networks like Facebook or Twitter. In reality, Google Plus is its own system unlike Facebook and unlike Twitter.
Google Plus is a social network in the sense that you can communicate and share information, links, photos and videos with other individuals, however, it’s much more than that. Google’s other services like GMail integrate into Google Plus as do other services like YouTube. A Google Plus profile is rapidly becoming the core “Google account” for all Google services.
But why bother with Google Plus? To address that, it helps to understand how Google internally uses the Google Plus platform. Many speculate that a major reason for Google Plus is to verify individuals and brands. Google’s main business is search, and the goal with search is to provide the best and most relevant information to users. By verifying sources of information, it allows Google to improve the quality and reliability of the information it serves up in search result pages.
Simply put, Google wants to use information from trusted sources whether those sources are individuals or brands. Google Plus is useful for establishing trust.
How does this apply to the real estate industry? Using Google Plus for real estate can be very advantageous for your business. The following are reasons and ways you should consider using Google Plus:
- Google Plus can help your search rankings – Nearly every real estate professional I talk to asks about search engine optimization (SEO). They want to know how they can get more search traffic. Well, Google Plus is by no means an SEO panacea, but it’s indeed an opportunity to improve your SEO. By integrating your Google Plus profile and/or brand page with your website, you will encourage Google to view you as a trusted source and to put you higher in search results pages.
- Increase search click throughs – Not only can you improve your rankings in search results, but by telling Google that your G+ profile is associated with the article of a particular blog post or article, Google will include your photo and author information in the actual search results page. Studies have shown that search result listings that include the author photo and information have higher click throughs compared to those that do not.
- Engage socially with potential clients – While Google Plus is much more than a social network, let’s not forget that it is still a social network. It’s a great platform to engage with potential and current clients. Like Facebook, social networks are great for showing photos, and the day-to-day work flow of a real estate professional offers many great opportunities for taking interesting and relevant photos that can be shared online.
- Local authority – Google Plus is helping change the game when it comes to local search authority. Real estate is a perfect example of where this is relevant. Real estate professionals are local experts. You matter locally. Therefore, you want to rank high for local search when it comes to local real estate. Google Plus has many signals that help Google establish you as a local authority. Local authority is a larger topic that we at 29doors will talk about more in the future.
If you’re a real estate professional, how do you get started in Google Plus?
Here are some simple steps:
- Create your account and create some level of activity so that your account looks “active” – you can do this by sharing interesting articles or photos.
- Join a community and start engaging with others. There are a number of real estate related communities including this one.
- An easy way to get some quick “followers” on Google Plus is to contribute to a community and follow (called adding to your circles on G+) some other individuals. If you’re contributing to a community and following other like-minded individuals, you’ll notice a decent percentage of them will follow you back.
- Take a long term view. Building your Google Plus presence is a long term game. Think slow and steady.
Lastly, you’ll want to integrate your Google Plus profile into your website. This is done in a couple of ways.
First, you should add a G+ badge to your social icons section indicating to visitors that they can follow you on the Google Plus platform.
Secondly, you’ll want to add the author markup tags to your website articles. We at 29doors do this automatically for all clients as we believe it’s an excellent way to improve search rankings. As your Google Plus presence increases and your website presence grows, the two will work in tandem helping you to create a very large presence on the internet, ultimately driving more real estate leads and more business.
Have any questions on using Google Plus for real estate? Give us a call to discuss your needs and we’ll give you a free consultation on how to help you drive more business via the internet.