How Buyers find YOU

Search Engine OptimizationHaving a targeted, content-filled, website with quality SEO is a game-changer for Realtors.  Buyers start their search online, so who do you think they are going to call?
I have had a real estate website for about 8 years.  From 2003 to 2010, I got a few phone calls or emails per year from potential buyers who had found my website, and I made about 1 sale per year because of my website.  This obviously was not a big part of my lead generation program, but it was more than enough to cover the cost of having a website.

Search Engine Optimization for Realtors

Then in 2010, I discovered SEO, and the way I do business had fundamentally changed.  Now instead of keeping my trade secrets to myself, I publish articles on my website and other blogs, and people actually read them.  I try to provide quality content about Portland Condos and Real Estate on my website.  So, SEO rule number 1 for realtors is to have good content on your website.
Rule 2 is to have a multi-page website that is easily searchable and indexable.  About a year ago, I discovered that my “template” Realtor website was not getting searched and indexed by google.  It had frames, and Google never went past page 1.
Rule number 3 is to pick your target.  Let’s say that you like to sell homes in a nice neighborhood like Laurelhurst.  You could write articles about Laurelhurst Real Estate, and use page titles, headers, and photo tags with the words Laurelhurst Real Estate, and you might get picked up by the search engines.  Not everybody can make it to the top of search terms like Portland Real Estate.  There are a few leaders who have already made it there, and they will be formidable competitions for the most searched terms.

 Off-Site Optimization – Link Building

Once you have a content-filled website or blog with targeted terms, it is time to get the word out.  So I guess rule number 4 is to submit your website to the search engines and directories.  You may have to spend some money to get included in certain directories, but in my humble opinion, it is well worth it.
Now you are making progress.  You might even appear on the front page of google… booyah.  The problem is once you start making progress you want more.  Rule number 5 is to convince other websites to link to your website.  Sounds simple, right.  Well no.  It is hard as hell, and it is very tedious work.  You might want to hire a professional to help you with this step.  I mean someone who will follow “White Hat” rules that slowly but surely add links and content to your site.  If the content is King, then inbound links are Queen.
As a matter of fact, step 4 is best managed by someone who knows the ropes.  You don’t want to pay $99 to submit your website to 9 million websites.  Your website could be tagged as spam, or nothing could happen, either way, you lose $99 and maybe more. I was fortunate enough to meet some very smart people in the world of SEO, and they put me on the right track.  It doesn’t matter what business you are in.  If using the internet to generate leads and business is not a huge part of your marketing plan, good luck.  You are going to need it.
Guest Blogger – Brian Porter