I'm still learning my way around ActiveRain. One of the things I am studying is how to use AR for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Lori Ballen has an excellent article that I thought I would share. Be sure to visit her blog to learn more!
So you are looking to learn Real Estate SEO for your Blog or Website. You've come to the right place. While there are is some terminology to learn in the process, you'll find optimizing your blog or website for the search engines is not as complicated as you might think.
Once you read this, and you crave more, Check out the Complete SEO Guide for 2017.
What is SEO?
The simple definition for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the act of optimizing a piece of content (webpage, video, image, map etc.) to rank on the search engines results page (SERP). The higher you rank, the more traffic you will probably earn from the search engines. The better your title and "snippet" which we will talk about in a bit, the better your click through rate. The goal is to first know how people search (keyword research) and possibly get ideas for pages to create. Next, we create amazing content and use on page SEO to optimize for the search engines. We work to create quality links from other websites who share our article and link back to us providing a certain level of authority with the search engines. As we increase our search engine visibility, trust, and authority, our rankings grow.
SEO FOR REAL ESTATE Starts with great content
This is the best news for most real estate agents and the worst news all at the same time. The great news is that you don't really have to understand much about general SEO when you can create amazing, valuable, quality, original content. Yep. That's where I lose most of my real estate agents that I train. Right there. At valuable, quality, original content. I mean really, how many real estate agents are great bloggers? Where I start most of my clients is with this simple activity. Every time you are with a client, write down their questions. Do it there or as soon as you leave so that the questions are fresh. When you get back, write out the question as a title on a blog post. Next, answer their question in writing on the blog post as best as you can. Do it completely yet without stuffing in any keywords or "fluff" to fill in words. Read it back to your self and ask yourself if you were in someone's shoes who doesn't know real estate, would that answer it? If you are courageous enough, do it on video. Then, send the video over to a company like REV.com who for only $1 a minute will transcribe your video to a written word. Now you have a Video to put on youtube and a blog to include on your website.
Here's some sample questions:
- What does the offer include?
- What if I get multiple offers on my property?
- How does earnest money work?
- What credit score do I need to buy a house?
- How much are closing costs when Selling a home?
- How long does it take to buy a house in (city)?
- Can I buy a house and not put my spouse on the loan information?
- What if the buyer misses the closing date?
- How to sell a house myself
- Should I buy a house with an HOA?
- When is the best time to sell a house?
- Which buyer is better: the cash buyer, fha buyer or va buyer?
- When do I get my keys?
- How much will it cost to buy a home in X?
- How long does it take to sell a home?
- Should I buy or should I rent?
Get the idea? Let your clients come up with the questions. You just answer them. Once you get this on a routine, you can learn more about on page SEO for your real estate website that might help you rank higher on the search engines. Remember your goal is actually not to rank on the search engines alone. It's to close transactions with visitors who find your page on the search engines, click through and then register becoming a lead. Knowing this, you'll want to make sure you include clear Calls to Action and items of value in each piece of content. On seller blog posts, you'll include home value offers and seller guides. On buyer blog posts, you'll include property links, home calculators, and free home buyer guides.
Home Value Offers for Web Visitors arriving from the Search Engines
Note: This Tool is provided by ListingsToLeads.
SEO For Real Estate Websites powered by IDX
I love the power of IDX for real estate websites. IDX stands for Internet Data Exchange and it's part of the broker reciprocity agreement that allows all MLS listings to be syndicated permitting real estate listings to be displayed on real estate websites through IDX. When you choose an IDX solution, you are essentially making or braking your website's lead capture. The right IDX solution will allow you to customize your registration forms and thank you pages, where you offer or force registration, how your listings are displayed, and what offers you make in exchange for contact information such as: More Info, Schedule a Showing, Use the Mortgage Calculator etc.
Why IDX Broker for your Real Estate Website?
I personally prefer IDX broker over all other IDX providers I have tried. There are several reasons. One is that it delivers the IP address with a lead. This Internet Protocol is often a unique address that identifies the visitor in certain forms (not by specific name or address). When I put the IP address into my favorite analytics tool (Clicky), I'm able to find the source of the lead, where they entered and exited my website, and which pages they visited. I can also see what trigger or offer got them to register. For an internet marketer, this data is essential.
How to Use IDX to rank on the search enginesNow, let's talk about how to get your IDX pages to rank on the search engines. Most real estate agents won't do what I'm about to teach you. This is where you have the advantage. That is IF you are the one that actually does something with this. Remembering that Google wants quality, UNIQUE content on the search engines, you have to wonder how it would differentiate rankings between websites that all share the same IDX pages. Imagine thousands of real estate websites that all have the same local inventory as we do here in Las Vegas. With listing syndication, we all have the same information. Our pages show the Address, listing number, description, price, size, number and size of rooms, type of fencing, air conditioning, appliances and so forth. Whatever is in the MLS fields are generally fed out through syndication to all websites. This alone will not do much for you on the search engines.What does get you on the search engines is building pages that are titled 'Homes for Sale' by price, by feature, by location and so forth. Each of these pages simply offer home listings. They don't have to have descriptive content on the page to rank well. They need real estate listings.What if you could be the one in your market to rank for "(City) Single Story Homes For Sale" or "(City) Horse Property?". Even with only a small number of monthly searches tracked for these long tail keywords, those who dominate them generate leads and closings. And when you stack these keywords in the rankings, there's a huge pay off in traffic.Let's look at some actual search terms people are using to find my Real Estate Website in Las Vegas.The first term someone used is a longtail Keyword. In this case, it's 7 keywords strung together to create the longtail. This is truly how people search. In fact, most searches on Google are unique. When someone types in that search, they would find a page like this that has homes built in the past 5 years which is how I built the IDX widget. This example with a home by price AND feature when you add in the years.The next term you'll see is 'Chaco Canyon Las Vegas'. In this case, it's a neighborhood and someone clearly new the name to do the search. These are sometimes a seller looking to find out how much properties in their subdivision are selling for. Watch these leads and make sure you reach out to ask if they have a home to sell.And check out the person looking for a property in the Las Vegas zip code 89139 with a Mother in Law quarters. We see a lot of searches for those here as well as what we call a casita that is a "small house". I have a client I coach in Washington who is generating quite a bit of traffic from her "Mother-In-Law" page.This is a simple activity, it's simply time on task an very effective.
Real Estate Keywords for Optimization
2017 SEO doesn't call for as much keyword optimization as our old school SEO did. Google has gotten much smarter. It understands topic and content in a way it didn't before. Rank Brain, Google's new artifical intelligence uses semantic search and looks for like phrases instead of repeated keywords to determine what the page is about. It is much better today for on page SEO to use similar topics and phrases. There's a great free tool to check out to start generating Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) Keywords for your SEO needs. Simply type in a keyword and watch the tool give you suggestions of other keywords you might want to include on the page. I also love SEMrush for this. I can go to Google and type in a term and see who is ranking for that term. I can then put their URL in the tool bar and see all the keywords they rank for on that page. This gives me paragraph ideas and what other content I may want to build into that page. Google Keyword planner is a free tool you can use if you have a Google AdWords account. It's a good idea to measure Search Volume for a particular phrase. In the volume column, you'll see a number. Depending on how your tool is set up, this will tell you the monthly search totals for that area. You can measure by a hyperlocal area, city, state, country, and even globally.
Top Real Estate Search Terms
[table id=Keywords /]
Localism is more important than ever. This is a growing ranking factor with Google. In fact, a recent algorithm called "Possum" has many websites fluctuating in the search engines depending on their NAP (Name, Address, Phone) with GMB (Google My Business). Google often shows the Local Pack on the search engines. It looks like this: Google is going to show you 3 local properties that match your request when it believes it's a "local" search where a map is appropriate. This is powered by your GMB page (Google My Business). It also works as part of an algorithm that takes many of your local citations into account such as: Facebook, Foursquare, Yelp, YP and so on. The more consistent your NAP is with these citations, the better the odds are that you will rank in the local pack. Don't stuff in SEO, but do make sure you choose as many appropriate categories as you are able to select. Include hours, photos, services, products and any other options you have to complete your profile on all of these local channels. Don't skip. It matters. If you change the name of your business, address, phone, or website at any time, it's worth changing it on all local channels. You can use this free tool at Moz.com to see how you are doing with your LOCAL SEO. Tip: When thinking local, don't forget to check your real estate portal profiles such as Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com to make sure they also match your established NAP. On your website, be sure your NAP appears on every page. On WordPress, this is easy to add as a footer.
Becoming the real estate SEO Expert
Are you looking to dominate your market? Become the Real Estate SEO expert in your area by coaching with Lori Ballen one on one.Lori will coach you on how to further enhance your already growing and ranking website. You've got the traffic, now let Lori guide you in making the most of the magic already happening on your website to get you more leads online.
Real Estate SEO Services
Looking for help ranking on the search engines? Ballen Brands, a digital marketing company for real estate agents, can help. Ballen can start you off with an SEO friendly website and then provide search engine optimized content that is focused on the consumer experience and then is reward by Google. Call 702-917-0755.
REAL ESTATE SEO TIPS
- Don't over optimize
- Use best practices for on page SEO
- Install Analytics and Measure for Results
- Make sure pages on your website load in less than 3 seconds. Use a page speed checker like Pingdom.com to measure.
Great SEO Tools
SEMRush - A tool to measure where your keywords rank on the search engines. Use this tool to measure ranking for one domain over another or several others. View a page on your website and see what keyword phrases your page ranks for and where. Get scheduled SEO reports, SEO Checkups and so much more. Want More?? Check out how to rank on the search engines in 2017, the complete guide.Ballen Brands is a digital marketing company specializing in search and social helping business professionals rise above the noise. Our mission is to empower the small business owner to take control over their marketing platform.
Products & ServicesOur products were born out of our own pain points. We needed to solve a problem. We use these products in our own business, so we're certain they'll work in yours. We didn't create products to sell, we developed solutions and are proud to share them with you. Let us show you what's worked for us. Our marketing team is available to help you build or grow your brand to the next level of success. Our marketing team's expert services include BREW (Ballen Real Estate Websites), content creation, property pages, pay per click services, and more.
EventsBallen's live events are crafted and delivered in a way that seems effortless, flawless, and with charisma that makes learning seem simple. Events include 1-Day or 2-Day classes in your market center, or a market center near you, as well as monthly webinars, and personalized hands-on workshops. These events are specifically designed and structured around what you have asked for and have requested to learn. We took your requests and structured events to help you dominate your market, climb the search engines, and generate more leads online.
TrainingThe Ballen Team offers coaching and training on all levels to grow your business through your web presence, evolve your marketing through The Ballen Method Curriculum, or dig into nitty-gritty, with intense one-on-one engagement with our experts on best business practices and marketing. Take the opportunity to learn directly with Lori and her team on the processes for online lead generation, how to take your already growing website to the next level, and more. We also provide consultation services to help you structure your online marketing plan and pave the path to your success.We're Daringly DifferentWhether you’re seeking high-level coaching and instruction, a company to generate leads for your real estate business online, a marketing company who can help you establish your online presence and take your small business to the next level, or an educational company who can teach you how to grow your business online, Ballen Brands is a name you can trust.
You may not be familiar with Lori Ballen, Ballen Brands, or The Ballen Method - but I’m almost certain one of your respected professional peers is. Someone you know likely knows my name. Talk to your associates, your friends in real estate, and ask what they know about the Ballen name. I’m confident you’ll be intrigued. My reputation wasn’t crafted by accident, irony, chance, or luck. I earned respect (and rewards!) the hard way. Using the stepping stones I’ve spent more than a decade constructing, you, too, can build your success story in business. I share my failures (and my win/wins!) to help you succeed.Long before 2010, I was a business owner faithfully (and sometimes embarrassingly!) practicing my motto, “fail forward”. I built millions in various business ventures, and I threw millions away through haphazard mistakes, dangerous habits, and bad choices. Although I lost millions, no one can subtract experience. The valuable lessons I learned were engrained in my being. My marriage was also on the brink of disaster. But my husband and I held on by the tattered threads of our rags to riches dreams, gathered up our life lessons, and joined Keller Williams Realty in September of 2010 with a wish and a prayer. When we became a part of the Keller Williams family, all we had was a computer, faith, and an undying need to succeed. By the end of that year, we closed 100 internet driven transactions… with no database.In the six years that followed, growing organically through trial, error, and triumphs, I also launched a training and marketing company, Ballen Brands, to assist honest, hard-working professionals like you. I know how difficult the road to success is, and I know no one needs to walk it alone.All of my lead generation - all-of-it - is done through search engine optimization (SEO) and social media. I learned the difficult way and I validate my experiences by recycling my hard knocks to demonstrate for you a simple way to dominate digital strategies. And the good news is, your success story won’t cost you millions over decades like mine did! It will only take you a short amount of time and a small investment to build your business, your reputation, and your riches. My marketing class was designed with you in mind.You are invited to join me on the evolving journey. If you’ll allow me, I can show you mind-blowing tricks of the trade and secrets of success. I’m so sure of your potential growth in my classes, I’m willing to put my name on the line. All you have to do is register now. Need to think about it? Click here to learn more.I’m so excited to meet you, to shake your hand, to answer your questions, and to help you grow your business.Sincerely yours,Digital Marketing StrategistBallen Brands - Helping Business Professionals Rise Above the Noise.
702.917.0755P.S. You may just love my new B.R.E.W. websites! B.R.E.W. stands for Ballen Real Estate Websites, and they’re gorgeous as well as functional. To learn more about B.R.E.W.s and other Ballen Brands services, you’re invited to visit us at BallenBrands.com, or call Jeff at (702) 917-0755.