Using Google My Business to Improve Your Online Presence

August 8, 2017 Elizabeth Francisco

In the digital age, the challenge for a multifamily property is simple: to have a widespread and visible presence online. For many properties, this goes beyond being featured on internet listing sites. It also means ranking well for Google searches such as “apartments near [landmark or major employer]” or the direct name of the apartment. While search engine optimization (SEO) is vital for positive search results, there is another simple tool that property managers can use to give their property a quick and simple boost: Google My Business.

Creating a Google My Business Page

Google My Business, also known as a Google Business Page, is Google’s free business listing tool. Having a Google My Business page not only gives an SEO boost to your property, but also serves as something of a digital brochure. By building a Google My Business page you not only significantly increase your local search power (that means showing up when someone Googles “apartments in Dallas, TX” for example), but also provide quick and valuable content that will make prospective residents want to click for more. When a company has a Google My Business page, it appears on the right hand column of the search, and gives quick snippets of important information including company logo, name, and type. Pages might also include photos, reviews, hours and location.

Creating your Google My Business Page is simple. A business completes a slew of basic information to create the page. You will then receive a postcard to verify your business. It’s important to hold on to this postcard as it’s your proof of ownership to your page. Your page will also serve as your Google Business Account, which is useful when multiple people are managing Google tools for a single business.

Information To Include on a Google My Business Page

Once your page is verified, you’ll want to include as much information as possible to not only ensure that your property is optimized, but that the information is useful and relevant for potential residents. This includes uploading a logo, making sure your map location is correct, listing leasing office hours and holidays, and adding a phone number and website.

Properties looking to really take advantage of Google My Business can also add detailed interior and exterior imagery, and even add an “Indoor Street View Tour” by hiring a Google certified photographer.

Optimization is key to better positioning on searches, and mobile is where this optimization especially counts. You’ll notice if you Google a business or a location, map results will show first. Google has changed the mobile interface so that the map and top three locations show before any other search descriptions. This new setup makes it all the more valuable for properties to keep the information on their page current.

Other Important Factors

While having a business page won’t automatically boost your property to the top of every search, and it can be a valuable tool in supporting your search efforts, and can greatly hinder your search results if you don’t have one.

The most important factor is keeping up with the page regularly. Google makes it easy for users to suggest edits, and at times edits can be made without page approval. Sometimes, competitors will also attempt to claim pages for other businesses and redirect those pages to their site. While Google frowns on this practice, not every instance is easily caught, so it’s important to claim your property page immediately to prevent this. Keeping on top of your page also allows you to keep track of reviews, respond to any negative reviews, and make sure information is constantly up-to-date so things don’t get missed. Active pages will also typically have insights for the business owners, displaying information like popular times at your business and competitors. This can be valuable for property managers seeking to boost their efforts by allowing them to use targeted advertising or competitor research.

Another way to boost your property is to send regular requests to your most valued residents to review your page. Pages with more reviews, and especially more positive reviews, will feature first on searches.

With the multifamily market as densely populated as it is, it’s important to distinguish your property at every possible opportunity, especially online. A Google My Business Page is just one of many avenues that can help you stay ahead of your competitors.

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