For all of those who read and implemented (or plan to implement) the SEO tips on part 1 of this 2-part blog series, “How to create a website people will actually visit in 2016,” kudos to you!
I have attempted to make these articles as user-friendly as possible because I know there are a lot of real estate professionals who wear many hats and don’t have the money to pay for SEO.
If you want a fighting chance at getting your real estate website ranked in 2016, then you need to be proactive about your SEO or else you will really be behind the curve.
The worst part of not doing any SEO for real estate websites is having to be retroactive and go back and fix all the terrible errors that are plaguing your website. So it’s much better and easier on you and your wallet if you can do it correctly the first time around.
Getting ranked on page 1 in the local maps section
If you want to show up on page 1 of Google in the maps area where it displays local results, then you’ll need to make sure your Google Plus Business page is setup.
This is the page that Google requires you to verify your address by sending you a postcard in one to two weeks with a verification code on it. Once you activate your code and business page, your business page will be live to be displayed under the local search results for keywords people are searching for.
To begin getting your local business listing ranked at the top, you’ll need to begin building the backlinks to your new URL the way that you would do for your website.
This is by social sharing, blogging, guest blogging and having other relevant websites link to your Google Plus page. Another key factor is having many local citations for your business listing. Local citations are such as chambers of commerce, better business bureau, Yellowpages, Yelp, etc.
It’s crucial for you to be active on Facebook to have your websites ranking affected. Can you get your website ranked without Facebook? Of course you can.
Can you get your website ranked on page 1 quicker by having an active Facebook page that is engaged upon a lot? Absolutely.
So get a bit more active on your page. If you’re an agent that doesn’t have time to post to your social media pages then there are services that will post to your social media accounts for you such as Hootsuite, The Reputation Shop and TweetDeck.
The social effect
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know and understand that everyone is on social media these days. You might have realized the fact that everyone’s on social media when your grandmother replied to your Instagram pic with “Looking great. What’s a hash brown used for on Instagram dear?”
So of course big brother Google knows this and is giving much more credibility to social media accounts that have large followings as well as websites that have high engagement on their social media accounts.
So again, I urge everyone to get social and get a strategy together for 2016. Maybe start a specific hashtag that you use in all of your marketing and online content. Whatever your tactic is, be consistent and frequent.
SEO versus AdWords
When companies spend tons of money monthly on AdWords and don’t spend any money on SEO, it just blows my mind. Because the second these companies stop paying for advertising on AdWords, then their business leads dry up with it.
At least by doing some SEO on your website, you can have a better return on investment (ROI) and more long-term strategy that will stick for quite some time.
AdWords is great for short-term goals and to get a little visibility for a bit, but it isn’t necessarily a strategy that you want to stay with long term.
Furthermore, because many real estate professionals do their own AdWords work themselves, they just direct their ads to their website. Once the lead is on their website, though, there isn’t a good lead capture system.
So they’ve blown money sending a lead to their website and never gotten a contact form filled out. Please don’t be this person. Money is hard enough to come by when advertising, so you don’t want to waste it on fruitless activities.
If you’re going to be doing any type of ads on a permanent basis, I would recommend Facebook because you have more branding and marketability on that platform.
If you have your photo and face on your ad that is going directly to your website, then users who click and visit your website often know that they’re going to your website long before they clicked to do so.
You can also track and grow your audience by using Facebook pixels that will track actions that result in conversions of leads from Facebook who visited your website and filled out your contact form.
The cost-per-click is also substantially less than Google’s cost-per-click. Furthermore, Facebook makes it much more user friendly to target specific demographics that are in your area.
This part 2 of two-part series was a little bit more advanced than the previous article, but it should be a great benefit and add-in to your SEO goals for your real estate website in 2016.
Everyone has differing views on this entire subject, so if you do as well you can post it in the comments section and I will do my best to respond to the comments and questions.