Archive | SEO

The Challenges of SEO for Real Estate

With 92% of home buyers using the internet during the buying process (NAR 2014), and many sellers entering the market first as buyers – a strong internet presence should be a priority for real estate agents.

Using internet to find seo optimized real estate site

Unfortunately, even with so many agents ignoring their online profiles, Real Estate may still be the most challenging industry in which to develop a presence through Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

SEO Challenges for Real Estate Industry

Search the most common, broad, real estate search terms (i.e. Real Estate + Your City) and you’ll quickly discover that the the Big 3 – Zillow, Realtor.com, and Trulia – own the top positions on the Google Search Result Page rankings.
Real estate seo

Even beyond the Top 3 positions, you’re competing with major sites like homes.com, craigslist, yelp, hotpads, Redfin, big builders like Toll Brothers, and major Real Estate Brands such as Remax and Century 21.

Doesn’t leave a lot of room for the individual agent, small team, or independent brokerage.

Making matters worse, Google has reduced the number of “Local Results” (those associated with Google Maps) from seven to three, while increasing the number of Paid Advertising (PPC) links on the Search Engine Results Page (SERPs). In addition, the Keywords that produce local results have been limited to those that represent a search for an agent (i.e. REALTOR, real estate agent, real estate agency, real estate company, etc.).

Can SEO work for Real Estate Agents?

It depends . . .

I do believe that agents can be successful with SEO under 2 conditions:

  1. They are committed to it: A “little” SEO won’t be of much help, you need to be committed to creating new pages and new content regularly and for the long-term.
  2. They use the right strategies: success will require a combination of broad and long-tail keywords, keyword silos, local SEO and barnacle SEO.

SEO Strategies for Real Estate

1. Broad Keywords: I still recommend using Broad Keywords (i.e. real estate + your city) on your website. Individual agents or brokerages do still show up occasionally in the search results, Google is constantly updating and changing their algorithm, it will help Google better understand your business overall, and you never know what long-tail keyword you’ll end up showing up for because of your primary keywords.

2. Long-Tail Keywords: Long-tail keywords are phrases that are generally comprised of multiple words, they are typically more specific then broad keywords, and are searched less frequently (i.e. How do you buy a HUD home?). Amazingly, even today 15% of all searches are phrases that have never been searched before on Google. Creating a niche market is another great way to focus on longer-tail content.

3. Local Search Optimization: Optimize for your geographical location through website mark-up, registration with “local” search engines, and creating local content.

4. Create Content: You must be committed to creating unique content regularly – at least weekly, but daily would be better! This can be in the form of blog posts, videos, podcasts, etc.

5. Create Content Silos: Use internal linking and content creation to create themed silos. This will help boost your topic authority in the eyes of the search engines.

6. Barnacle SEO: If you can’t beat them join them. Make sure that your profile is prominent on the major sites that dominate the search rankings.

7. Link Building: Backlinks – links on other sites (high quality and topically relevant) that link back to your site are still the most valuable authority indication to the search engines. Realtors need to create link-worthy content and promote it to other bloggers and publishers.

8. Citation Creation: Citations are additional business listing sites that you can register your business on. While not a huge influence on SEO, they are easy to set up and every little bit can help . . .

Check back soon, or sign up to receive our blog in your email inbox (see sign up box in upper right hand corner), future blogs will cover each of these concepts in greater detail.

 

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Top 10 (plus two) SEO Blogs of 2015

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

During the course of a normal week of researching content for an SEO Roundup blog post I write for SteamFeed, I skim about 500 SEO articles (then read the best) from approximately 90 different SEO/Marketing blogs that I subscribe to.

From those blogs, I have compiled a list of the Top SEO blogs for the past year. While completely subjective, and made up from blogs that range from multi-author blogs that post more than once per day, to single author blogs that post every once-in-a-while, I’ve found them to be the best sources of SEO information –  the most interesting, timely, original, and trustworthy authorities on the subject of Search Engine Optimization.

* This list is alphabetical order rather than in numerical. 

Backlinko – Brian Dean is a backlink building/creating specialist. His strategies are unique, often run against the grain of traditional ‘best practices’, are backed by data and real world examples, and are very effective.

Blind Five Year Old: AJ Kohn writes very in-depth, detailed articles. His topics are unique, insightful, and have practical applications. It’s great to see him publishing more regularly again!

Bruce Clay: Bruce Clay, Inc. is an online marketing agency. Their multi-author blog consists of both industry news and helpful guides to other marketers and DIYers.

Local Visibility System: Phil Rozek provides unique and practical information related to “Local” search optimization.

Moz: Moz is an SEO software provider. The Moz Blog, consisting of both staff and experienced reader contributors, provides expert industry insights, commentary on industry news, and advanced practical SEO strategies.

Neil Patel: While the link points to NeilPatel.com, he is a prolific blogger and many of his best SEO articles appear as guest articles on other SEO or marketing blogs.

Search Engine Journal: SEJ is an SEM industry news, commentary, and ‘how-to’ publication. Their expert level information is provided by both staff and outside contributors. I am a contributing author at Search Engine Journal.

Search Engine Land: Also an SEO industry news, information and commentary site. They have a strong team of knowledgeable, trustworthy writers, and good connections within Google.

Search Engine Roundtable: A go-to resource for the lastest SEO news and commentary. While information tends to be less in-depth then either SEJ or Search Engine Land, Search Engine Roundtable is often the first to publish new or breaking news stories. In addition, author Barry Schwartz,  monitors not only the search engines, but SEO forums – white and black hat – for information.

Stone Temple: Stone Temple Consulting’s Eric Enge and Mark Traphaggen provide a mixture of industry expert commentary and original research based information.

My Plus Two

Whitespark: Whitespark is a company that focuses on Local SEO, especially Citation building for businesses.  While they don’t blog frequently, the information and experiences that Founder and President Darren Shaw has access to makes for unique and insightful content.

The SEM Post: relatively new to the market, Jennifer Slegg’s The SEM Post offers informative and thoughtful industry news and commentary. Definitely worth checking out!

Hope you enjoy these SEO blogs. Are their any that you’d add to the list?

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