Google My Business Execution Guide For Loan OfficersThe Ultimate Local SEO Guide
If you have not setup your Google My Business, this will be the first steps you need to take.
Skip This IF:
- you already have a Google My Business page setup or just need to verify it.
1. Set up a new Google Account
Or access your Google My Business login, if you have one
2. Head to google.com/business
And click ‘Manage Now’.
3. Enter your business name
When it comes to the business name for an agent in Google My Business, there are typically two rules to follow. Google only cares that you do not “stuff” your business name with keywords (i.e. “John Hamman – Best Mortgage Officer”). Depending on whether or not you are a part of an agency location with multiple agents or real estate agents that is the only public-facing agent for a branded organization.
Multiple Loan Officers At One Location
If there are multiple Lo’s at your location, there should be a listing for both the mortgage company and each Loan Officer. When naming, the Mortgage Company should take the brand (i.e.” Southern Trust “), and the LO’s should ONLY include their name and NOT the company.
- Southern Trust Mortgages: Sally Harris
- Sally Harris Keller Southern Trust Loan Officer
- Sally Harris Loan Officer
Solo Loan Officer For Location
If there is only one agent at that location, then Google wants you to have the following format:
Southern Residential: Joe Miller
4. Enter the address of the business location
(Only if this is where your business engages in face-to-face interactions with customers).
If you’re a Service Area Business that delivers goods and services to your customers, you’ll need to tick the box at the bottom of this form. LO’s may have two have two options here:
- If you can receive customers at your business address, enter your address here, tick the box and click ‘Next’.
- If you don’t have any premises where customers can visit you, leave the address field blank, tick the box and then tick the ‘Hide my address (it’s not a store)’ box that appears below.
You will have the option to specify a Service Area in the next step.
5. Specify service areas.
Before you can choose your business category, you’ll need to specify the areas you serve, so that Google can accurately surface your business for searches in those areas, even without a physical address. Enter one or more regions, cities, or ZIP codes that your business serves. Do not go overboard with this as it will dilute your listings. It is better to pick a few cities to cover than listing all the region in hopes to get business in areas you don’t actively work in. Basic rule of thumb is, if you drive to that area on a regular basis, then add it to service area.
N.b. At the time of writing, Google My Business is phasing out the ‘Distance around your business location’ option and has stated that these will be replaced, so we’d recommend forgoing this option and specifying regions, cities, or ZIP codes instead.
6. Choose your business category.
This is a very important field that will not only strongly influence the kinds of search terms you appear in Google for, but also appear within your Google My Business profile. It’s also something worth testing when you come to update your Google business listing.
While you are able to adjust this later (which will require re-verification – more on this later), I’ve recommended just selecting ‘Mortgage lender‘.
7. Add a contact phone number and website URL.
Neither is compulsory but are strongly recommended if you want to take advantage of GMB functionalities like call tracking. If you ever need to change this when updating your Google business listing, be sure to make those changes to all other business listings, too.
If you don’t already have a website, Google will even give you the option to create a new ‘Google Website’ based on the information you’ve provided. However, as we’ve shown before, there are plenty of reasons local businesses need their own unique websites.
8. Complete your Google My Business Verification.
Google obviously needs to be able to prove that your business is where you say it is, and for entirely new GMB profiles, you have three options:
- Postcard verification. This is the most-used verification process, and is available to all businesses. With this process, a verification postcard will be sent to the address you entered earlier (it should reach you within five days). Once received, you can enter the code in your GMB account to verify the business. If your code doesn’t show up, you can click the ‘Request another code’ banner at the top of the screen in GMB.
- Phone verification. Some businesses have the option to verify their listing over the phone. You’ll know you’re eligible if you see the ‘Verify by phone’ option at the beginning of the verification process. Using this process, you’ll receive an automated message with a verification code, that you’ll then need to enter into GMB.
- Email verification. Like phone verification, this is only available to some businesses, and you’ll know you qualify for it if you see the ‘Verify by email’ option. This simple process sees you receive a verification code in the inbox of the Google Account associated with the GMB listing and entering it at the verification stage. Be sure you have access to this inbox before proceeding with this option.
The two other options are instant verification, which is only available if you’ve already verified your business’s website with Google Search Console, and bulk verification, for businesses managing ten or more locations. You can read more about both of these options here.
Once you have an officially verified listing, it’s time to optimize your Google My Business!