Google recently made the announcement that it will be encrypting ALL keyword searches to its data platform, rendering some of real estate’s best SEO clues powerless in Google Analytics. What was originally only going to affect users that were signed into Google now affects all users. For the average real estate agent, and their website efforts, what does this mean?
- Your Google Analytics will no longer provide you with the referring keyword data that helped you discover how people using search actually landed on your website or blog.
- It will be harder to prioritize your content marketing strategy based on keywords alone.
- PPC (pay per click) campaigns will be the only keyword data analytics Google will provide.
Although, without being an SEO specialist, it’s unclear how much of the keyword data Google will actually use in its own algorithm to valuate content, it is safe to say real estate marketers need to continue to find new ways to keep content relevant, fresh AND smart. Here are some ways to keep ahead of the competition.
Create your buyer personas for the most valuable content
If you are still throwing out keywords in your content as the net to engage potential clients and just push your website for higher page results, it’s time to pivot! Gaming the system to gain market share is now a losing strategy. Creating frictionless marketing assets that are easy to share in the social realm and between your brand advocates is a winning strategy.
But knowing WHO you are marketing to can take your marketing efforts to a whole new level. Get as real as possible to help you understand the mind of your BEST client. The more you can create interactive, engaging strategies on your website, the more likely people are able to find you and share your awesomeness.
- What are their demographics?
- What needs to they have in their journey to buying a home?
- What resources can you provide that other agents do not? Downloadable tools? Fun questionnaires? Buying or selling kits?
- What is their lifestyle, interests?
- What price point are they looking to buy at, and what do they expect in service?
- What influences their buying decisions? Peer reviews? Location? Referrals?
- Where would they shop? What car would they buy? What kind of Realtor would they use?
Have a killer social search strategy
- Use keywords and hashtags (#) when relevant in social content. With Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus all using hashtags as filters for social search, it is of growing importance to understand that it is not just trendy, social-speak. Consistently use hashtags where appropriate. Common ones are for your normal keywords, and examples might be: #realestate, #Miamirealestate, #Miamirealestateagent, #movingtoMiami. You’ll notice that these become hyperlinks to filtered content on various social platforms. Use them wisely to build your brand. Use keywords when naming Facebook groups, photo albums and Pinterest boards. All of these are searchable terms within the social platforms themselves, and very powerful!
- Link back to other relevant content in your Google Plus posts, blog posts and LinkedIn updates. If you are using Google Plus as an open blog format, make sure you have linked your Google Authorship, and any other website/blog content you have written right back to its original source. Intentionally linking this content together gives you optimum insurance that Google sees and indexes valuable content.
- Embed Facebook updates into your blog or website to drive traffic from Facebook. Do you get more engagement on your Facebook profile than you do on your blog? With Facebook’s embeddable posts feature, you can bring that great engagement right to your website! Encourage engagement, conversation and community.
- Keyword strategies are still important on social media profiles, if not for Google, for your consumer. Consumers are STILL reading your profiles and Googling YOU! Don’t forget to tell them just who you are, where you are from, and what your specialties are!
Home court advantage — reviews, images, and videos
Google Plus, Yelp, Bing and YouTube carry a huge home court advantage for marketers who understand hyperlocal content! Providing a media-rich environment on your website with photos that are alt-tagged correctly, videos that are SEO-optimized, and a healthy list of online, credible reviews will boost your search position in other search categories other than keywords.
Take action: One review, one video and properly tagged photos every month is a good guideline to follow.
Remember: Organic search still accounts for the largest percentage of B2C content results. So don’t panic. Survey the new landscape of tools and technology to always improve your efforts in real estate marketing. The Googles of the world are encouraging you to stay on your game! As always, focus on customer service, relationships and providing value to your community.
Bing, Yahoo, anyone?