So you want to use SEO to drive leads to your real estate business but don’t really know how it all works. You may have been told that SEO is a black art, or that offshore SEO providers rule the roost.
Neither is true – SEO is actually a science.
Google actually tell you what they expect to see in the top 10 of the search results. If you comply with the Google guidelines and either do the work yourself or outsource it to a reputable SEO company, then you can drive as many leads as you can handle from the search results.
If you look at this diagram it explains exactly how we take a real estate business from the very start to actually bringing in leads that can then be converted into sales.
The first step is to analyse your website and see where you stand. We run a comprehensive website audit which shows which Google ranking factors you comply with and which you need help with.
You receive the website audit via email and then you get your web team to perform the fixes detailed in the audit…..or simply ask our team to do that for you.
The next step is keyword research. If you select keywords with great commercial intent – or buyer keywords – then you will attract the people who you want to help.
Terms such as – sell my house fast, we buy houses, how can I sell my house – these are all great buyer keywords so the job is half done once you are ranking for these terms.
You also receive a competitive analysis report which shows what keywords your direct competition uses. This is invaluable as if you take the best keywords from the top 3 competitors AND add a few of your own then you can rise above them and take the majority of the business!
Keyword selection is critical. We suggest a couple of power keywords plus three longer tail terms so that you get enquiries in quickly whilst the more competitive terms start to rank. SEO is not a quick fix but a strategic marketing tool – it can take 3 to 6 months to rank on page 1 for the high competition terms but once you are there you stay there.
SEO is not a quick fix but a strategic marketing tool – it can take 3 to 6 months to rank on page 1 for the high competition terms but once you are there you stay there.
You now get your website optimised for the selected keywords. This involves simple tasks such as adding the keywords into the copy on your home page and incorporating them into your title and description. We also suggest building a new page for each keyword and help with creating that for you.
At this stage, we send you a link so you can check your rankings in real time and at the end of each month send you a comprehensive report showing the progress.
Backlinks are also created for you from our excellent writing team. These articles are then placed on high authority related websites with a link back to your website.
The key is to have perfect on-page optimisation linked with quality authority backlinks.
We have several real estate clients who now rank across the board on page 1 and have a superb ROI from our efforts for them.
A lot of businesses get this back to front when building their online presence. One thing you need to understand in this new fast paced online world is what you perfect client thinks and then types into Google.
Everybody uses Google to search for answers, places to stay, reviews, in fact anything at all that they need to know about in any given moment or situation.
The last thing your prospect needs to know is how you started your business, what your premises look like, how much money your business turns over etc. etc.
Remember this phrase and if you do then your online business will skyrocket:
WHATS IN IT FOR ME
That is all anybody thinks when they search online.
Put yourself in the same place – when you are looking for a nice holiday destination for example, what are the things you think about?
If you are anything like my wife she follows this process:
Where is it sunny at the time we want to go on vacation?
What budget are we working to?
Does the place we are going to have wifi, nice spacious rooms, sea-views, comfortable and pleasing décor?
Then she puts together a shortlist of properties and checks the reviews.
All of this process is geared towards – what is in it for us.
We are not interested how old the property is, how long the current owners have been there, how many other properties they may have.
It is exactly the same for your prospects.
Let’s assume you are looking for distressed sellers in your local area.
If you can get into their heads and realise what they are thinking, then you are already halfway to converting a deal.
Let’s take the scenario that your prospect has split up with his wife and the house needs to be sold to ensure that the divorce settlement is completed.
What are the thoughts running through his head?
“I need to sell the house and get this situation sorted so I can move on with my life”.
“I need the minimum of fuss as don’t have the patience for dealing with fussy buyers.”
“If someone can get this done for me quickly and release the cash then I would snatch their hand off.”
Those are all WHATS IN IT FOR ME statements!
Not once has he thought – I wonder how long each real estate owner in my area has been in business?
Or…I wonder how many staff each real estate business has?
He just wants to sell his house quickly and get the cash released ASAP!!
So if you have a website set up with a phone number displayed prominently and a free quote form as soon as he clicks on your page then the chances are he will either call you or fill out the form.
So you need to be found in Google for all of the search phrases he might type in so you have the best chance of getting the lead and then converting it into a deal.
Of course that is just one scenario.
The prospect may be on the verge of bankruptcy – so you need to get to him first.
She may have been left a property by parents or an aged Aunt – and just wants to sell it quick for the cash value.
It might be the parents’ home and they have to go into care and they cannot afford to run two houses – so they need to sell it fast.
Each of these situations are different customer avatars and if you set up your website to appear in the search results for each one then you will at least double your turnover quickly.
You know the real estate market much better than we do.
We are experts at helping you to structure your website and get it ranked highly in the search results.
If you can think of any more scenarios where clients have come to you to sell their house, then make a note of each one so you are ready to create a customer avatar for each one.
We will now look at how you create such an avatar in the next section.
Create Your Customer Avatar
We need to pick one example of a potential customer for your business as you can then base other scenarios on this method.
It may seem long-winded and unnecessary but I can confidently say that most of your competitors do not do this but all of the very successful businesses in any sector do. If you persevere and get this done, then you are setting your business up for a very rosy future.
OK we will use the recently separated man who needs to sell his house quickly.
When we build a customer avatar we use the following criteria – you can decide how many or how few options you use:
You can go into as much detail as you like and trust me the more detail you go into then the more you know about your perfect client so you will attract more of those to your business. I am sure you are the same as we are – we only like dealing with clients who “get” what we are doing and love the amazing results we get for them. We don’t deal with clients who try to micro-manage what we do. Our clients trust us to get on with it whilst they handle all of the leads we send to them.
So our prospect may have these answers:
Name – Steven Smith
Address – 40 The Poplars, St Clements, Anytown, Anystate
Phone Number – 04562-456-456
Email Address – firstname.lastname@example.org
Marital Status – Divorced
Age – 48
Income Level – $35,000
Occupation – IT Manager
Interests – Golf, reading, films
Now if you use this information in a scientific way you can soon build up a list of prospects that you would like to deal with. One way would be to go to a mailing list broker and ask for a list of all IT managers who are either divorced or separated, in your state that are aged between 40 – 55 with an income range of $30 – $40k.
You can also use Facebook Adverts and key in the same data and have this traffic driven to a Facebook landing page that either gathers more information or connects them to your enquiry form or free quote form.
We won’t go into that here as this is about getting rankings in Google but you can see the potential of building a customer avatar.
We can then gather more information from these sources and use it to write better website content that connects with your perfect client.
Create Content Based On Your Avatar
In this section we need to use an example so we can outline how to do this.
We have a perfect client avatar as before so we need to now find the right keyword phrases that will bring them to our website.
We already know that Mr Smith is in the process of a divorce and needs to sell his home so that he and his former wife can split the proceeds in order to carry on with their lives.
A fantastic resource for this is Answer The Public.
If you go to www.answerthepublic.com and type in a search phrase then you get some great information that can help you to select the best keywords and also provide ideas for content that people are already searching for.
Obviously if someone is searching for “sell my house fast” in your area and you have relevant content on your website AND rank on the first page of Google for the search term then chances are you will attract the lion’s share of the leads.
So we type “sell my house fast” into answerthepublic.com and these are the results:
As you can see it shows all of the keywords and variations that people type in for this search phrase which is useful in lots of ways.
First of all, we can see the monthly search volume and CPC (cost per click) for each phrase. If we then select the best ones and add these to the website, then we are going to start ranking for them. The beauty of this is that when people search for these phrases they will see your website in the search results and click through to read your content. If you have a free quote box enabled on each page of your site, then some of these will complete it and you have a lead!
The other useful aspect is that you can use these search phrases to create content really quickly.
One way would be to add a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page to your website and create content around these searches.
I Need To Sell My House Fast What Do I Do?
What To Do To Sell My House Fast
Sell My House Fast Online Quote
You can then add a paragraph under each heading with a brief explanation and that is your FAQ page done!
Structure Your Website Correctly
You need to understand how to structure your website for the best results.
First of all, decide which are your most important pages and put them in the navigation. Any secondary pages that are not going to generate leads you can put in a secondary navigation in the sidebar or the footer.
Home | Free Quote | How We Work | Testimonials
Disclaimer | Blog | Terms | FAQ | About Us | Contact Us
Setting your website out this way shows Google which are your most important pages and will show them in the search results accordingly. There are other SEO aspects you can use but we will explain that in a later training.
Make sure that you use the home page for your main keywords – around 3-5 is usually sufficent and then add related keywords to other pages. The more keywords you can work into your content the quicker you will rank for them.
Make sure that each page is set out so that it is pleasing to the eye, has a few images and maybe a video. This helps with user engagement – a key ranking factor. The longer people stay on your website the better and I am sure you soon click away from websites that have poor navigation, long blocks of text and boring content.
We have already covered this a little but let’s expand this a bit more.
One free tool I like to use is Google!
We will assume for this example that you have a real estate business based in Baltimore.
So we start with the keyword “sell my house fast Baltimore”.
Type this into Google.
Now go to the bottom of the page to see what Google suggest as related phrases:
The best related phrase is “we buy houses Baltimore” which has a monthly search volume of 170 per month and would cost a hefty $50.35 a click.
It is also useful to use the other related phrases in your website text as Google will reward you with better rankings.
If you click on the “we buy houses Baltimore” phrase this will open up more phrases:
As you can see you can quickly build up a nice collection of targeted keywords to use on your website so that you rank for these terms and generate lots of leads.
Optimise Your Website
Now you have the keywords you need you can optimise your website for them.
I will explain one page to show you the best way to do this.
We will stick with the example “sell my house fast Baltimore”.
The title for the page will be Sell My House Baltimore
Then we use H2 and H3 headings as follows:
We Buy Houses Baltimore
Cash For Houses Maryland
Just by doing this we have 4 of our main keywords on the page.
You can now write a few paragraphs under each heading and provide more detailed information of what you do. Just write naturally and Google will see that you are a legitimate business with a very related page all about the subject. This is known as Hummingbird – Google release new updates to their algorithm regularly to ensure that the search results provide the best user experience. They reward websites that conform to their guidelines so constructing a page like this will really help you to rank higher for all of your keywords.
If you do a page for each particular keyword and then link to each page from your homepage then you are nicely set up and optimised for the next stage which is getting quality backlinks.
Create Your Other Online Real Estate
The best backlinks by far are those from social accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and many more. You may already have these properties so it will be just a case of you adding them to your website. If you don’t have these then make sure you set an account up on each one and then add the links to your website.
The other property that is extremely valuable is Google My Business. This lets Google know where you are based and that you have a real bricks and mortar business. The key here is to enter your name and address details exactly as you have them on your website and then complete your profile.
Google My Business will have to be verified – this is done by way of a postcard which they send to you which usually takes a couple of weeks. When you receive the postcard it will have a code that you enter into your profile online which verifies your business.
This enabled your business to show up in Maps – these are the first results people see when they search from their mobile phone so is very important. Over 68% of online searches are now conducted via mobile devices which means you need to appear in these searches to get the majority of the leads.
Promote Your Content
There isn’t much point writing great content for your website without anyone seeing it. As you are in the real estate niche you need to get your content seen on some of the high traffic real estate websites out there. Sites such as Realtor.com.
You will already know of Zillow and Trulia, but Yahoo Homes and Redfin have a massive readership.
If you can get one of your articles or blog posts to feature on any of these websites then it will drive a ton of related traffic to your site. Not only will this generate new leads but will also provide you with much higher rankings as a link from these sites is like gold.
The other way to promote what you do is to have a professional press release written. Make sure you get this done properly as it has to be in a specific format and tone. Most press release syndication services allow at least 3 links in the release. DON’T use your keywords as links – that will cause you all sorts of problems. Simply link to your website with the URL, maybe an inner page and also to one of your social accounts such as Facebook. If you have a good video then embedding this video will pay dividends.
Backlinks For 2017 And Beyond
We have already covered some of the crucial links you want to create for your website. Social accounts, press releases, real estate websites.
If you are a local realtor then you want to generate what are known as directory links and citations. You need to make sure that you enter your name and address details exactly as you have them on your Google My Business account as Google will recognise these as yours and this will help you to rank in Google Maps.
To find these links simply Google “best directory links 2017” and “best citation sites 2017”
It takes ages to fill out a profile for each of these so I suggest you either give this task to a trusted employee to do or outsource it to one of the citation companies out there. Two of the well known ones are Bright Local and White Spark.
The next level of backlinks that are safe and will provide value are known as Web 2.0 links. These are from sites such as WordPress, Jimdo, Jigsy and tons more.
Again Google “best Web 2.0 sites 2017” for a comprehensive list.
This takes a lot of time as you need to add content to most of them. However, it is either time or money so you choose!
Hopefully these 9 tactics have helped you to see how much goes into real SEO and how valuable it can be for you. Google is just another lead generation tool but if you play nicely and stay within their guidelines then you will be rewarded with as much targeted traffic as you can handle, leads coming in every day and converted deals to massively boost your bottom line.
If you don’t want to do any of this yourself then please get in touch. We have a waiting list for clients but if you are in the real estate business then please email us at email@example.com and we can set up a call to discuss how we may be able to help you.
Every business needs cash-flow. Without cash-flow a business will die.
Your cash-flow will come from two sources – buying houses from desperate sellers and selling the rehabs on to investors.
But…what happens when you run out of leads?
I am sure you have already noticed but we do all of our research online nowadays. My wife checks everything from buying a book to booking overseas holidays – on Google!
So your first prospects, those desperate house sellers, will obviously do the same.
Put yourself in their position for a moment:
You just got the dreaded redundancy notice from work. You are up to your eyeballs in debt and the only way out is to sell your house quickly and rent somewhere until you find a new job and get your finances in order.
Not a nice position to be in but someone needs to help them.
The first thing our prospect does is go to Google and type in “need to sell my house fast”. He will then click on the first few links that come up from the search. He is not concerned with trawling the first 10 pages in Google to find YOUR website…no, he doesn’t have time nor patience for that! He will click on the FIRST website that offers him a solution and guess what….
….if that’s not YOU..you lose the deal.
And yes, those big, national realty names are going to get the business BEFORE you (even though they will do a terrible job at helping these poor souls)…
…BUT WHY? Why will the big dogs get the bone??
Simple….because their website was the FIRST ONE on Google.
Look , the key word “need to sell my house fast” gets 390 searches a month. That’s 390 people looking for the exact same service YOU offer…
Did you get 390 new leads this month…or even this year?
NO, I didn’t think so….but why not?
Because your website is sitting pretty on page 4 of Google….and NOT ONE of those 390 people know you exist.
If this continues then your competition will keep taking more market share and eventually you will have to survive on the walk ins.
What will that mean to you and your business?
Some of the biggest names failed to react to the online revolution for sales – HMV, Woolworths to name just two and look what happened to them.
The only way you can be seen is by working with us to get your website rocking that top spot. In fact, we work with real estate business owners all over the US and provide them with regular leads from our online strategies.
In simple terms we place your business on the top spot in Google which funnels new clients into your wallet.
We can help you to get your website to the top for this search and many others so that you never need to worry again.
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Simply complete this 30 second survey and we will send you a website audit to your inbox.
Don’t let the competition take all of those leads when you can dominate in your area!