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After you’ve claimed or created your GMB profile, it’s time to optimize it — to tell Google as much as possible about your company and present yourself in the best light to searchers.

1) Include all pertinent information about your company and keep it up to date on a regular basis. You can include your business hours, services you offer (such as “Buyer’s Consultation” and “Home Valuation Report”), a brief description, a link for scheduling appointments, and much more.

2) Include photos and videos related to your business. This could be photos of you working with clients or photos of your For Sale/Sold signs. You have the option of uploading your team’s logo. According to Chris, Google appears to be putting more emphasis on photos recently. “I would pay close attention to the photos I was uploading to Google. Make sure they’re of high quality, and that they’re not stock photos… do an excellent job of visually presenting yourself [It’s] not as important [as] a ranking factor right now… However, I believe it will become more important in the future.”

Photos are also important, according to Google: “Businesses with photos receive 42 percent more requests for driving directions to their location from Google users, and 35 percent more clicks through to their websites than businesses without photos.”

3) Respond to customer feedback. If you were claiming an existing profile, you may already have reviews associated with it. Respond to each one, and keep in mind that the response you write is as much for future clients as it is for the person who wrote the review. (For more information on how to respond to reviews, see our article How to Get More Real Estate Reviews (Without Breaking Any Rules!).

If you don’t have any reviews, look for a section on your GMB dashboard that says “Get more reviews” and share the link Google provides with past clients. (Again, the article linked in the paragraph above has useful advice for this.) Reviews are an important ranking factor — not only how many you get and what they say, but also how consistently you get them.

Screenshot of Google My Business’s “Get more reviews” feature
“If you get 50 reviews tomorrow, Google will consider it spam.” “I wouldn’t advise it,” Chris says. “Or suppose you get 50 reviews in a given month and then none for the rest of the year — that’s probably not as good as a steady stream of four or five reviews a month.” Google prefers to see a consistent pattern of ongoing engagement with your business in terms of reviews.”

There are additional tools in GMB that real estate agents can use, but the following are considered the most important right now: Maintain the accuracy and timeliness of your company’s information, upload photos and videos on a regular basis, and receive and respond to client reviews.