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Archive for search engine optimization

10 Real Estate SEO Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make

SEO for Real Estate

Google is your most fickle friend. It’s been said that Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first. And this is true of all search engines. However, once you are friends, they will be the best friends you’ve ever had.

They will tell the entire world that you’re amazing, and you’re the first Realtor® that everyone should call.

The good news is there are a lot of things you can do to help your search engine optimization (SEO). The bad news is there are just as many things you can do to hurt it.

Some of the things to avoid include:

1. Linking to Sketchy Sites

Outbound links are great, as long as you link to the right places.

Real Estate Blogger Matthew Bushery advises that “frequently linking to “bad” websites — like those that are littered with spam and implement black-hat SEO strategies — could get your site penalized by Google.”

So be judicious with your links out – use them, but carefully.

2. Putting Stock in Keyword Density Numbers

A few years ago, you would hear people throw around numbers like 1.5% when it came to keyword density; meaning your keywords should make up about 1.5% of your overall word count.

Those days are over, and algorithms are recognizing people who do a bit of keyword stuffing, and punish them for it. So instead, focus on using keywords naturally, and using them in key places like headings, titles, and tags.

3. Not Blogging

The numbers are practically screaming in your face to start blogging, if you’ve been putting it off. Marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI.

So start your blog tomorrow. Unless you are…

4. Blogging the Wrong Way

Blogging is only a waste of time if you’re wasting other people’s time.

Don’t pump out content for the sake of pumping it out. Make sure your blogs are helpful and relevant to your target audience. Take time to define who your target market is and evaluate and tweak it as needed.

5. Trying to Skyrocket up the Rankings

Don’t chase quick wins. People will try to fly up the rankings and expect to be ranked #1 right away. That’s not reasonable, and it’s not how the search engines work.

Instead, focus on a smart and sustained strategy that will make you hard to knock off the top once you’re there. This means creating consistent, relevant content over time.

6. Not Keyword Optimizing Your Images

Your image name, and descriptions should be keyword rich. Don’t keep their titles at IMG_0034. Instead, name it something helpful, like “Beautiful 2BR on Stewart Street” or something appealing like “Vaulted Ceilings in Living Room”.

7. Using Duplicate Content

Google hates this. Yes, it can be expensive and/or time-consuming, but make sure each page on your site has original content, not something copied from another site. If this is a struggle, consider hiring a freelance writer to create your webpages and even to keep up on your blog.

8. Ignoring Broken Links or Images

Stay on top of your links and images. Go through the whole site on a regular basis just to make sure everything does what it’s suppose to. Having broken links not only causes you to drop in Google results, but it frustrates customers and seems very unprofessional.

9. Giving Up

Again, this is not about short gains. So don’t give up on your tactics and plan, even if you’re not breaking the internet right away. Stay the course, and make tweaks where needed. Most of all, great SEO is about perseverance and consistency.

10. Looking at the Wrong Metrics

Your current search ranking for specific keywords is important. But it’s not the only important fact. Look at every statistic and metric you can get your hands on. That way, you know which parts of your website are the ‘stickiest,” and which parts are underperforming.

All of these steps are really just about doing mindful and proven things to help boost your SEO rankings. They may not be the fastest, easiest, or cheapest things. But they’re 100% the things you should be doing.

While your auditing your online presence, how are your print materials looking? If they’re not where they should be, click here to see to choose and customize a new design.

Revamp Your Real Estate Marketing by Optimizing for Local Search

Local Search Marketing

If someone did a search for “moving into {Your City Name}”, would you be on the first page? Would you show up at all?

According to a recent study done by the National Association of Realtors, approximately 69% of those shopping for homes online began their search with a local search term.

So what is it about local search that’s so great?

And more importantly, how can you apply it to your real estate marketing plan?

Let’s take a closer look.

The Power of Real Estate Marketing and Local Search

Local search is simple – it’s just optimizing your online presence (whether that be on your website, blog, social media, etc.) for a specific location. A lot of local marketing is based on direct mail – like EDDM, for instance – but local search is about optimizing your online presence for a specific neighborhood or city.

For example, as a realtor, basic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) principles would tell you to optimize your website for search terms such as “Real Estate” or “Real Estate for Sale,” and while this is great, it really only just skims the surface. If you want to get real, localized result, you’re going to need to be more specific with the keywords that you choose to target. So instead of just targeting “Real Estate,” try “Real Estate in (your local area),” or even more specifically, “Luxury Homes for Sale in (specific neighborhood) in (your local area).

The general rule of thumb here is that the more specific your target keyword, the smaller your target audience. And while this may seem a bit counterintuitive, remember that someone who is searching for a specific home type in a certain neighborhood is much closer to being ready to make a purchase than someone who is broadly searching for “Real Estate for Sale,” which in turn shortens the length of the sale for you. Focus on small, targeted audiences in order to achieve bigger, quicker results.

How Can You Improve Your Local Search?

So now that you know about local search, what can you do to make your real estate business better in that regard?

  1. Location Specific Blog Posts – Blogging is one of the best ways to target specific keywords for SEO purposes, and the same technique applies to local search. Try writing about your local community, recent homes you’ve sold, or even market trends – just remember to target a specific local keyword.
  2. Write About Community Events – Know about a cool upcoming event in your community? Write about it on your website and share it on social media. Remember to mention the specific neighborhood/location.
  3. Optimize Your Social Media – Speaking of social media, make sure that you list your location on your social media homepages (like Facebook and Twitter). This way, if someone is searching for real estate in your area, they’ll be more likely to end up on your page.
  4. Start a Google My Business Page – Listing your real estate business with Google is practically a must in local search. Doing so allows your business info to pop up when someone searches for your company name or more generally, real estate agents in your area. It’s easy to set up, too, so definitely do this one ASAP.
  5. Ask for Local Reviews – Reviews are always good, but if you can get local customers to review you on sites such as Yelp, new potential clients will be much more likely to find you when searching the web for real estate agents in your area.
  6. Create an Account on Various Real Estate Sites – If you haven’t tried sites such as Trulia and Zillow, you should definitely look into them. Sites like this give you the opportunity to list location specific details, which is always a bonus for bettering your local search.
  7. Try Google AdWords or Facebook Ads – The great thing about both Google AdWords and Facebook Ads is that you can target your ads to reach specific demographics and locations. So if you’re looking to try out some advertising, try creating an ad through one of these services and remember to target your specific location.

As with any real estate marketing plan, the state of local search is always evolving. But with these strategies under your belt, you’ll be well on your way to knocking your local search results out of the park!