With a plethora of marketing mediums available, realtors are often faced with a difficult question: What is the best and most cost-effective way to market their business/listings? Well folks, search engine optimization it is!
Search engine optimization for realtors is a timeless, functional, and very cost-effective marketing medium. SEO focuses on organic search results and placing websites/listings on the first page of such results, which provides more exposure, increased traffic, and most importantly — increased sales.
When compared to conventional print ads and flyer distribution, search engine optimization lasts far longer and is, according to all statistics, more effective. Once conventional ads are published, viewership rises significantly, then drops off sharply. For example, potential customers see no need to keep/re-read the LA Times from weeks ago, so print ads in LA Times have a very limited “shelf life.”
On the flip side, search engine optimization operates in an oxymoronic fashion. As articles and websites marinate on the web, their rank and “weight” increase. High-traffic websites, over time, build PageRank and a lower Alexa ranking; both of which directly relate to search engine placement.
According to Wikipedia, “PageRank is a link analysis algorithm, named after Larry Page, used by the Google Internet search engine that assigns a numerical weighting to each element of a hyperlinked set of documents, such as the World Wide Web, with the purpose of “measuring” its relative importance within the set.” Google has around 80% market share in the search engine business, so Google PageRank is nothing to ignore.
Alexa ranking pertains to website traffic, and high-traffic websites are assigned a numerical value domain-wide. The more traffic, the lower the number. A brand new website will have an Alexa ranking of well over 20,000,000 whereas Google is ranked #1.
On to the good stuff — how to implement proper SEO techniques…
1) Optimizing Page Titles
Your websites page titles are the most important part of SEO and should be attacked first. Page titles are what search engines display, along with meta descriptions, so as you can imagine, failing to optimize such is like shooting yourself in the foot. You can have the coolest site, but if no one can find it, it does no good. Proper page titles help lead people to your site.
2) Researching The Best Keywords
Implementing proper keywords, ones that receive high-traffic, is an art in itself. Keywords should be very specific, relevant, and attractive. A perfect example of such is whether to use the words “real estate broker” or “realtor.” After doing some research, I found that real estate broker receives around 201,000 monthly searches in Google. On the other hand, realtor gets a whopping 5,000,000 searches per month. This tells me that realtor is the best word to use most often. Though it will be more difficult to rank high under such a widely-used term, it will pay off in the end.
3) Relevant, Functional Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions are the small lines of text (usually 25-30 words) that appear just under the page title in search results. Most sites lack meta descriptions altogether, or dynamically generate meta descriptions based on page content (many blogs do this). Proper search engine optimization includes writing specific, keyword-rich meta descriptions that attract precise visitors. Inaccurate meta descriptions can quite possibly attract more visitors in certain scenarios, but these aren’t “qualified” visitors or visitors that will actually lead to conversions. This is very important. Having 100,000 visitors a day, but no sales, is truly useless.
4) Building Incoming Links (linkbacks)
Increasing the amount of incoming links to a site, preferably from high-traffic, high-PageRank sites, is another integral part of the search engine optimization spectrum. Incoming links from relevant sources boosts the strength or “weight” of a site and in return raises its position in SERPS (search engine result pages). For example, for a realtor, having a link from the home page of Homes.com or Zillow.com is a godsend.
I hope the above tips have helped all of you realtors out there, and there will surely be more to come. If you did find this article helpful, bookmark the sucker by clicking the below icons.
The Brainchild Group
Aaron Schoenberger is Founder of The Brainchild Group — a top online advertising agency that specializes in strategic SEO and Social Media. He’s known for his work with celebrity clients, top restaurants, professional athletes and Fortune 500 companies. Feel free to Contact Us for more information.