Tags: Google, homebuilder social media, internet marketing for homebuilders, online reviews
This post was written by: Anna Chandler
If you have a Google+ profile (and you should), there’s a brand new feature rolling out from Google: a reviews tab. This handy inbox brings you all the reviews left on your Google+ page and makes it easy to publicly reply, whether thanking someone for a five star rating or responding kindly to the challenges of a negative review. Learn what your home buyers are thinking of you and what potential buyers will see when they’re first searching.
So it’s a nice little feature – makes it easier to handle the page – but why care about online reviews?
Because that’s where most people do their shopping. 9 out of 10 homebuyers start their new home search online. That’s why internet marketing – and SEO – are so crucial to your success as a home builder. No matter how gorgeous your model homes are (and we’re sure they’re very lovely), if the website’s terrible they won’t do you any good. You have to get people to visit you first.
And one of the major ways home buyers determine their builder of choice is through genuine reviews. This is the big insight that launched the “social media is now super important” Google algorithm updates. Consumers are smart. They know how to “read” an add and see what’s really being marketed. With so many choices out there, it’s not always who has the biggest flashiest add at the Super Bowl but what their friends recommend. The more real people are reviewing you online as a good home builder, the more potential buyers will trust you.
There are a lot of places those reviews can reside: your website as testimonials, a video of new and gushing buyers, your Facebook page, quotes in print media, and more. But Google+ is a good place to have them.
Why? If you have a Google+ account, that page shows up as part of your search results. (Note: results variable, and often tied to whether you’re doing a local search.) And while Google says they don’t weigh Google+ unfairly in their algorithms… we’re little dubious at the claim. So people searching “internet marketing for home builders” find Builder Designs in search results and with it, our Google+ page. Now let’s say you’re still seeking our your web design company. Do you want to pick the person with ten positive reviews and heartfelt replies to each – or someone with no reviews, someone you don’t know anything about, someone no one is talking about?
Now, you might be wondering how to get those reviews. And honestly, a lot of the time it’s by just asking. People like to talk about things they care about, and if you mention a Google+ listing, would they be so kind as to review, you’ll get a lot of natural interest. There’s also the possibility of drawings, though we want to keep winners randomly selected – you don’t want to give the idea that you’re in any way paying for reviews. Note that your Google+ account does need to be verified before the reviews are up and running.
Like always, if you need help setting up our managing a social media account, just let us know. And enjoy all those stars.