Real estate is “location, location, location!” And, website or blog search engine visibility is “content, content, content.” Don’t get caught up in hiring SEO (Search Engine Optimization) “Gurus” who promise top search engine positions in a hurry. A few may be able to do some good, but the tactics used are almost always discovered by the search engines, and your positions suffer quickly.
Another problem with promises of position is what key phrases the positions are showing for. It is relatively easy to get top positions for phrases or key words nobody uses in their searches. It’s like searching for your own name in Google. You’ll find that you show up right at the top, but who is searching for real estate in your area with your name?
The search engines are constantly changing their criteria and algorithms. They are getting better all the time at locating the most relevant content for the search term entered. Part of that is your site’s overall coverage of that term and related terms that they have identified. Google has created “related term” lists for “real estate.” They are secret, but likely include terms like title insurance, deeds, surveys, etc. Your site will begin to gain attention from the search engines over time with your content. That’s content about all kinds of topics related to your area and real estate. Write about:
- YourTown real estate
- Title insurance and binders
- Homeowner concerns and insurance
- Valuation of a home
- Land use regulations and building codes
- MLS home searches and how-toâ€™s
- General area information
- Schools and government information
- The list goes on and on
What you want is an ever-growing body of content that is related to living in your area, and buying and selling real estate. Yes, it’s a lot of work. But, your future income from the Internet is dependent upon it. Remember though that your customer is the site visitor, not the search engine. So, all content should be written for that visitor, easy to read, and full of information. Then, just try to work in your key words and phrases in page titles and in the text. Remember, visitor first, search engines second. If you don’t do it this way, you may lure a visitor from a search, but they won’t stay long enough to become a commission.
If you agree that you need lots of quality content, where in the world will it all come from? You don’t have to write it all. You may not be able to or want to write any of it. Get an assistant with spelling and writing skills, hire a friend and give them your notes and ideas. Use freelancers from sites like eLance.com and Guru.com who are bidding to write real estate content. Those are all ways in which to get quality articles for your site. But, there are other ways, and they are free and you will do little or no work to get them!
Associations and Subdivisions — The average person is well aware of the value of Internet exposure, and subdivision or neighborhood association officers are no different. Especially if they have their own website, they are willing to write announcements articles about their association and neighborhood for you. The link back to their site is the lure, as well as spreading the word. Go out and network with them, offering to put up their articles, and to enter their announcements and events. They’ll email them to you for insertion.
Business owners and vendors — “ This is a great resource for you. How many movers, electricians, plumbers, home inspectors, furniture store owners, home repair people and others can you contact. Virtually anyone who has anything to do with the home is a great resource for articles for your site. They’ll write how-to’s and advice for your site visitors, and they’ll do it for a link to their site. If they don’t have a site, they will do it for a mention of their business, phone number and email address. These articles will be full of relevant key words for a real estate site. And, your visitors will get good homeowner information as well.
Local government personnel — One real estate professional gets weekly emails from the town Public Relations person. They are full of announcements, town meeting notes, area promotional material and more. The beauty of it is that they are not on any website, so it is original material. He emailed permission to put them in his blog, and they said yes and thank you! He gets original material weekly for just the time it takes to copy and paste it out of the email.
Reverse networking and content to boot — The same real estate broker goes to a business every couple of weeks and offers to do a short 30 second video of their business with a profile. The owner is happy to provide brochure material or even to write the text in exchange for this feature on the broker’s site. The chamber of commerce even announced this little service to their members! Using a free service, Animoto.com, the broker puts up snappy Hollywood production style videos like mini-commercials. The text is just more content. He also has met more business owners in a few months than he had in the two years prior!
See, it’s not a task you should fear. Get out and start generating content that doesn’t need to come from your fingers on the keyboard.