No doubt that you’ve heard the terms “Local” or “Local Search” at some point in time over the past 2 years. Local search is simply referring to a move being made by Google (and other search engines) to return more local search results for certain keywords or search phrases. Do you want to see what I am talking about? Go to Google and type in “Pizza”. In the past if you typed in “Pizza” the search results would show websites about how pizza is made or maybe show you the websites of national chains, but not anymore. Now, the search results show pizzerias located within just a few miles of where you are searching from. That is the beauty of “local search!”
Google calls their local search engine Google Places. I am a huge fan of Google Places for multiple reasons, not the least of which is the fact that I don’t want the phone number of a pizzeria in the Los Angeles area when I’m in Atlanta. Google knows you don’t want that either, so that is why they have put so much emphasis on “local”. But, that is not the purpose of today’s post.
The purpose of today’s post is to give you the MAIN reason I love local search, which is reviews. Local search provides you with an excellent opportunity to reach out to your past clients and ask them to post a review of your service online. This is similar to putting a complete stranger who is in the market to buy a home in a room with your fans who are singing your praises. That complete stranger is going to come away with a warm, fuzzy feeling about using you as his Realtor. Think about it for a minute. You don’t typically try a new restaurant without speaking with a friend or family member who has eaten there already or without reading reviews online first. Many home buyers and sellers do not have a preferred Realtor (likely because the Realtor they used last hasn’t kept in touch with them – which is a different post altogether), so they go online to find a Realtor. If you are not on a “local” search engine or ranked on the first page of Google, then you won’t be found. If you are on local search and you don’t have reviews then you are missing a wonderful opportunity to build trust with a complete stranger. Creating a Google Places profile is simple to do, and getting your satisfied clients to leave you a review should be as easy as a phone call to ask for their help and their email address so you can send them the link to your profile.
Go to Google Places today and set up your profile and then make 5 phone calls to past clients to ask for reviews. Tomorrow call 5 more and ask for them to post a review. If you hit some road blocks in the process of making your profile, then call or email me. I’ve probably built a hundred Google Places profiles and can probably walk you through the process in 2 minutes. If you have already setup your profile then please leave a comment with the link to it. I would love to see what you’ve done. Oh, and by commenting with the link to your Google Places account, you are giving yourself a little search engine juice, which is never a bad thing. I look forward to seeing your link below.