First, I would like to start off by saying that we are approaching a new year, so it’s time to set our goals for the year. Goals are so important to write down and implement, so that you can take the appropriate steps of growing your business.

Most people just take it day by day, coming up with different angles of growing their business as they go along. One day they’re talking to realtors about properties, and the next they’re riding neighborhoods for dollars. All of a sudden, they’re not even doing that for about a month or so because they just got interested in a new direct mail campaign, which is sometimes not the best route to go.

The issue is that most people are not consistent in this business of real estate, and for this reason, they often get left behind — not because they’re not understanding what they have to do, but because of the lack of writing down their goals and sticking to them. With the new year approaching, I will be doing something to help all of us stay consistent this coming year and hopefully achieve our goals at the same time.

The Review

A few weeks ago, I wrote about “The Top 55 Business Listing Sites for Maximum Online Referrals.” These are the top ones to start with when building your online presence. There are more, but these are the ones that I educate all of my clients and readers to take advantage of right out of the gate. Plus, to make this even more powerful, last week I got into the 9 social media platforms that you can use to get even better results when it comes to marketing those business listings.

Related: Online Marketing is a MUST for All Real Estate Investors: Here’s Why

Today, we are looking at something that most of you may not even realize existed online. This is the power of the review. When you think about marketing your real estate business, the last thing that comes to your mind is not getting any reviews. What can reviews do to help your business when at the end your goal is to get leads and close on those leads.

The search engine is my best friend, and it will continue to be until the end of time. If you know how to get your business in front of thousands of people who are searching for your product or service — and do it for cheap — then you’re in business. So the goal is to use reviews to do two things when it comes to building your online presence and gaining search engine traffic.

Now, I will say that you shouldn’t start this until you have a Google Places, Google Plus and YouTube channel setup through Google. You see, Google is the#1 search engine, and for those of you who don’t know, Google also owns YouTube. Because of this, they make sure to highlight the platforms they own more readily than any other platform, including:

Facebook Page
Yellow Pages

Now, these are very high authority platforms, and you can still rank very highly from them with a little SEO added to the mix. But just know that at the end of the day, your Google Plus and Google Places profiles will usually outrank anything else in Google search engine results, without a doubt.

Once you have your Google services set up and all of your profiles and listings are filled out completely, then it’s time to think about getting reviews, and here is why.

Reviews are powerful tools that allow search engines like Google to have some form or checklist to rank those listings that we all search for. Let’s say that we live in Atlanta, GA, and we are looking for an ice cream shop to take the family to. What we will do is Google “Atlanta Ice Cream,”and there should be a number of results that come up.

We only want to focus on the business listings that show up on top of the search engine above the organic searches, which will be listed below. Now, over time, we will go over how we can do some SEO to get in the organic searches, but for now we want to ride the wave of piggy backing off of Google platforms to get top rankings.

Using Reviews to Rank More Highly

Now, I already looked at the searches for “Atlanta Ice Cream” and have gone through all of the listings to see what stands out the most. Right off the bat, if you look closely, you will see that most of the top 20 results have reviews. Whether it’s a few or up to 20, the top listings all have reviews.

Google uses a number of factors to rank these listings, from profile completion to seeing the right keywords. This is why we stress to our readers and clients to make sure that all of the information on their profiles is completely filled out and centered around targeted keywords that people will be searching for to find your business in the search engines.

OK, this leads us back to the ranking factors that Google uses to place one profile ahead of another. Why is the listing that only has 7 reviews listed above the one that has 13? When it comes to that, it gets a little confusing, so I’m not going to explain that in detail today. Just understand that if you get more reviews than the other local competition, then you’ll more likely outrank them.

I try to keep this simple for people and not get too technical on why this happens versus something else. People just want to know what they need to do to get their online presence moving up the ranking.

Related: Powerful List of Cheap & Free …read more