Re: ‘Rookie Realtor lost in cyberspace‘ (July 13)

Dear Rookie:

Congratulations on your new Web site!

I have some suggestions for you. I have managed to get my Web site into the first page of nearly every search engine by using a few tricks.

Very, very carefully choose keyword combinations and sign up for Google pay-per-click AdWords service. Lock down the price per day you can afford so you are not overwhelmed with unnecessary costs. Restrict the ad display to exact keyword matches to avoid being listed on seemingly relevant cross-sites that increase your click-through traffic without increasing customers. I have a very small, specialized client base, so I have had to be careful of whom my ads target.

Religiously track your results. I have a very comprehensive list of search engines; just ask and I will send you my MSExcel tracking system. Google AdWords cross-advertises on many search engines. I understand there is another pay-per-click service as well, but my results with Google have been so satisfactory that I have never pursued other options.

Buy and carefully study the digital book published by Planet Ocean called “The Unfair Advantage Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars.” This publication set me up when I was a newbie myself and really helped me tweak my site. It took about six months to get the site positioned where I wanted it to be.

Best of luck to you!

Regina Geissler
Market Vision Partners LLC

Dear Rookie:

The real question becomes: What are you doing to drive traffic to your Web site? It sounds like it should be easy enough. If you type in the words “real estate” into Google you get almost 15 million results.

Check out advertising in The Real Estate Book. All of his listings and info will automatically be put on major search engins like Yahoo, Lycos, LendingTree and others. From there, you can direct people directly to your site. This works to your advantage whether or not you are looking for buyers or sellers.

Use your print advertising to direct traffic to your Web site. That’s what big players like RE/MAX, Coke and Nike do.

Max Wry
The Real Estate Book

Dear Rookie:

Optimize your Web site to obtain top search-engine placement for your specific keywords. The real purpose of a Web site is to attract those people who are surfing the Web looking for homes. Those people do not have your business card yet. If you lack the understanding to fully optimize your site, which includes things such as Meta Tags, Title Tags, keywords, Meta Description and rich text content, then choose your favorite search engine and search for SEO (search engine optimization). There are some good SEO experts out there who publish great newsletters that can help you to understand how it all works. Sign up for their newsletters and read them all (you can do this during floor time…hardy har). Once you have an understanding of what to do, optimize your site and submit it to as many search engines as possible and wait for them to index it. Also, if you want a generous amount of traffic, it’s important to obtain high rankings on Google. One other thing, Web site designers typically are not search-engine optimizers and generally create spiffy looking sites but lack SEO experience, which leaves you with a great-looking site that nobody can find.

Best of luck to you.

Laura Burke
Rival Realty Inc.

Dear Rookie:

The secret of a Web site is getting it seen, and having a Web site lost in cyberspace is a common complaint. With thousands if not millions of Web sites on the ‘Net and you only needing local traffic getting it seen locally it’s a minor irritant. There are larger issues in mind with a Web site what is it’s purpose, are you trying to sell from your Web site, are you using it as a point of contact? The Realtor that says these are my homes for sale then provides the lone house they have a listing for says little about their skill as a real estate salesperson.

The real estate salesperson that uses the Web site as a venue for the client to see all of the local MLS homes for sale now puts a great deal of power into the hands of the client and the agent. The agent should use a single or small number of current listings in a “featured homes” portion of the Web site.

Many local civic and local Web sites list real estate agents’ Web sites if offered small compensation, or even some real estate mortgage lenders are willing to place banner ads on their sites if the agent will refer clients to them in exchange for referrals. Another avenue that many real estate people forget is to include their Web address on their flyers and business cards. This alone will drive people to their Web site if they are looking for further information about a listing. Your site may provide a virtual tour of the home, for example and let drive-bys know about the virtual-tour address by driving them to your Web site based upon the information provided on the flyer.

Have a license plate frame made up that says “For the best information in Real Estate:” There are a number of methods available to not just the rookie Realtor but any real estate professional. Moving people toward your Web site is not just a matter of if you make it they will come; it must be a part of your marketing budget and strategy. I am amazed by the number of real estate professionals who have no knowledge of marketing themselves.

Rob Hommel


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