Most people in the real estate investment industry use traditional marketing tactics such as door knocking, bandit signs, bird dogs, and flyers. But many of them are neglecting an easier, and often cheaper, method of reaching potential sellers when it comes to marketing for motivated or distressed sellers. The online world provides a direct channel to many of these people, as more and more people get connected via social media or search engines such as Google. With that in mind, one of the toughest, yes most rewarding forms, is SEO, or search engine optimization.
What is SEO?
SEO is the process of getting a website, or any type of listing, ranked higher on search engines, particularly Google. Users that search for specific keywords, like "buy my house" or "sell my house fast", often pick the top 2-3 listings that come up so that they can get cash offers from these companies. In almost all cases, users never go past the first page when looking for a particular product or service if they've already found viable options on the first page.
How effective is it for real estate?
In short, extremely. There are two approaches with online marketing, paid ads and organic search. The difference between the two is that paid ads are more pro-active, where you're trying to put content in front of people who aren't necessarily searching for it but may be interested. This is the traditional form of advertising you'll see with TV commercials, billboards, posters, and so on. Organic traffic, on the other hand, is reactive, where people are particularly searching for a specific keyword. This means that they're more likely to convert into customers or sellers. This is why it's so valuable to have organic traffic and why it's more difficult to understand and accomplish.
How can I take advantage of organic traffic?
This comes down to a series of steps that are used to build your online organic presence and rise in the SERPs (search engine result placements). If we break down SEO into components, we'll see that there's on-page optimization, off-page optimization, and conversion.
This is making sure that your website is fully optimized to meet Google's standards of what it considers to be relevant and high-quality content for people using its search function. These optimizations will include:
- Proper relevant Title and description meta tags
- High-quality content
- Alt tags on images
- Relevant URLs
- Easily readable content and page structure
- Speedy site (host, image size compression, file compression, etc)
These are things that will give you the most brownie points when it comes to Google's on-page assessment, and can go a long with in helping with your rankings. Aside from these basic optimizations that would occur on every site, one of the most important things to consider when starting a new lead generation site is choosing the right domain. If you're in, let's say, Chicago, you may want to choose something like ChicagoHomeBuyer.com or WeBuyHousesChicago.com as your domain name because these take the highest volume search keywords and puts that directly into your domain. This gives it heavy relevancy and Google's algorithm prefers domains that are an exact match to search terms, assuming that it's a credible source.
Off-page optimization consists of factors that aren't within the walls your website. It is primarily about what other sites are linking back to and referencing your website. Although it's wrapped in with SEO in general, but there's really one big difference. Rather than thinking of it as an "optimization", we should think of it as "building"... search engine building. This is because there's no peak optimization for building backlink profiles.
The most important thing you want to do with building backlink profiles is build links and relationships with other sites and organizations that are very credible and high-authority sites in your niche. In this case, as a real estate investor site, you would do well with backlinks from sites such as BiggerPockets or mortgage sites. This is because they are big sites with a lot of authority that are linking back to you, thus passing on that power on to you and making you look credible to the G Algorithm.
This is like saying that Robert Kiyosaki is saying that you're a reputable person. Google would take that reference very highly.
If you're looking to get started with SEO, the first thing to do is build a website that has relevant information about your company and services, then build out the pages that target some of best keywords for your area. Once your site is ready to go, then you should start building links to your homepage and supporting pages. Once you begin building links, you don't want to change the URLs to your pages or posts, as you might then lose the referential links.
If you'd like to learn more or get some help for doing SEO for your real estate company, check out http://www.impactnextseo.com, who specialize in real estate SEO.