How many times have you heard someone say, I just want that top search result on Google? For a business website, the top spot in a Google Search can be a lead generating machine.

Think about it. Google is where most people go when they are researching. What if there was a way to get the pages of your company website on that coveted first page? Well, there is…

On this episode of Real Estate Pros, you’ll learn 3 simple ways to improve your Google ranking – without the need to bother your web developer or SEO team.

Google Ranking Real Estate

According to recent studies, up to 95% of people only look at page 1 results on Google. So if your business isn’t there, your chances of being found in a Google search are pretty slim.

Just ask yourself… When was the last time you visited page 2 of Google’s search results?

Recently, the team from Moz released their 2017 Google Search Ranking Factors for local businesses. It’s an annual report to help businesses understand what drives local search results and what they should focus on to increase their organic rankings.

Organic search results are the pages that appear just below paid placements.

It’s important to recognise that Google makes changes constantly to how web pages are ranked in their search results, so staying on top of these changes – with reports like this one from Moz – can make a significant impact on your business, both in search rankings and revenue.

Proximity of Address to the Point of Search is playing a stronger role than ever in the rankings., it’s certainly not the only factor impacting rankings.

According to the 2017 Moz report, one of the search ranking factors gaining the most traction is proximity to a business from where someone is performing a search on Google. Meaning, if you’re standing in Sydney and you do a search for the phrase ‘real estate agents’ on your phone, Google will serve you the most relevant search results for where you’re standing. This is also the case for desktop searches from your PC or laptop which is connected to your internet service towers.

The results are even more accurate on a mobile device as Google knows exactly where you’re standing at any given time. Granted, if you have your location privacy settings turned off on your phone, it’s a little bit harder for them to pick your exact location. But based on the phone network you’re using to browse the internet, they still have a pretty good general idea.

In some cases, the number one search result for the phrase ‘real estate agents’ could be realestate.com.au’s list of agents in that area. In which case, your business is going to be one-of-many on the shopping list. So all the more reason to ensure your own website is as high as possible in the search results to drive more traffic to your website.

When someone is on your website, you have their full and undivided attention – something you don’t always get on social media or the portals.

There are many reasons why you should employ a skilled SEO strategist and real estate website developer but what I’m about to share with you are 3 simple ways you can improve your Google ranking without the help of your web developer or SEO team. Some of these you might be doing already, but it might also be a good reminder to review these with your team.

Note: When we’re working on SEO strategy for agents and brands, the plan and the deliverable is quite a bit more comprehensive than what you’ll see below, but executing these steps yourself will put you well above the average agent or agency in Australia.

1. Register a Google My Business listing – https://www.google.com/business

The number one search ranking factor for local businesses in 2017, according to the report by Moz, was businesses who had a robust Google My Business listing. Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool for to manage your online presence across the Google platform, including Search results and Maps. By verifying and editing your business information, you can both help customers find you and tell them the story of your business.

You also get access to a dashboard whereby you can manage your Google reviews, photos, contact information and business profile. I know many of you have activated a Google My Business listing already, but I also know that many of you have not. If you’re the latter, then visit google.com/business to learn more about setting up your listing. If you have a listing that was set up by an ex-employee, it might be a good time to update your information.

2. Get more links to your website

The second most important search ranking factor in Moz’s 2017 report, was websites that have a high number of other credible websites linking to them. Credible being the operative word.

https://moz.com/learn/seo/backlinks

For those of you who are well versed in SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), you know how important credible backlinks are to the authority of a website. For the rest of you, this means that Google looks for how many credible websites are linking to yours, thus assuming your website is credible also.

Backlinks are especially valuable for SEO because they represent a “vote of confidence” from one website for another. In essence, backlinks to your website are a signal to search engines that others vouch for your content.

Consider partnering with other local businesses in your area to share content on each other’s websites, information and interesting stories about the community. Collaborating with other credible businesses in your local area and sharing links to each other, in the eyes of Google, is a major factor in how well your business will rank in their search results.

Important: This strategy cannot be ‘gamed’. You must develop one-to-one relationships with highly credible website owners/contributors (including news & media sites) if you want them to share your content/article and link to your website.

3. Google Reviews

We collect them in real estate more than just about any other industry and with the rise of online ratings and review sites, it’s never been easier for your clients to tell the world what they think about you in the form of an online review. But while reviews on all those other platforms are important to your overall digital strategy, Google puts a lot more weight into the reviews you get on their platform.

The downside to this is that your clients will need a Google (or Gmail) account to leave a Google review. But if your ranking on Google is important to you, my tip is to put Google reviews at the top of your priority list when it comes to getting your clients to leave you a review. Google will reward you for it.

Extra Tip: This article will show you how your clients can leave a Google review with just one click.

So there you have it… 3 simple ways you can improve your Google ranking.

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