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Sunday, 16 September 2012

12 Ways Real Estate Agents Can Move Up In Search Results


You’ve probably figured this out by now: “homes for sale” in your city is one  of the most competitive search queries on Google. If you’ve accepted the fact  that your website will only get up to the 10th page – DON’T! There are a lot of  things you can do to move your website further up in search engine results, if  you are willing to put in a little work. The payoff will be occupying the most  valuable real estate on the web! Here are 12 ways real estate agents can move up  in search results:

Focus On Specific Keywords
You cannot skip this step because every step after it is based on this one.  These keywords represent what people are searching to get to your website. I  could write endless blog posts on how to choose keywords and do keyword research, but here are 3 basic tips:

Choose 5 keywords to focus in total on your website, and use only one (maybe  2) for each website page. I know that might not seem like a lot. But, what you  are aiming for is more precise targeting. If you have 20 keywords, your site  will be watered down, and you won’t rank very high for any of them. But, if you  have a small manageable list of keywords, you can focus all of your content  around those and be more competitive against sites that are trying to do it  all.
Choose keywords that are popular, but maybe not the most popular. Everyone  will go for the search term that is the most popular. But sometimes the 2nd or  3rd most popular keywords still have a high volume of search traffic, but might  have less competition.
Keep your keywords up to date. As a real estate agent, you know what  communities are booming and where people most desire to live. Take advantage of  that knowledge and tailor your keywords to one or two of those micro areas.  You’ll pick up added SEO value where the big guys may not be looking  yet.
Add A Blog To Your Website
Blogging is one of the primary ways you will become competitive in search  engines. Make sure the root domain of your blog is your website, and it’s on a  good blogging platform like WordPress. Also, when you’re blogging make use of  the different headings (heading 1, heading 2, heading 3, etc) to organize your  posts (just like how this blog post is organized), and include your keywords in  these headings if you can. You’ll find these in the text editing section  options.

Install A Good SEO Plugin
Once you have your blog, add a good plugin to help guide you in adding  keywords properly to your blog posts. If you’re using WordPress, my favorite is  the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast.

Write A Blog Post Everyday
What? You want to be competitive, right? This is the most valuable real  estate on the web we’re talking about here! Yes, you should write a blog post  everyday. If you have other agents working in the office with you, take turns!  Or, hire a writer. Make sure you have a solid content marketing strategy so that  you know what to write about, and include those 5 keywords cleverly in your  posts (one keyword for each post).

Add Social Sharing Buttons To Your Site
Add buttons that will easily allow readers to share your blog posts on their  social networks – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, etc. The more shares  your content gets, the better your content will rank in search engines. When  you’re writing your blog posts, keep this in mind and write blogs that people  will want to share.

Use Video Regularly
Videos uploaded to YouTube are a great way to add more  content to be found by search engines. Set up your YouTube channel so it is  branded properly and clearly directs viewers to your website. Videos should be  less than 3 minutes. 90 seconds is about the perfect length. You can video  anything: house tours, neighborhood tours, customer testimonials, tips for  selling your house, interviews with agents and staff. Be creative! And no, you  don’t need professional camera equipment to pull this off. If you have an iPhone  or a FlipCam, you’re armed with all the equipment you need. Once you upload them  to YouTube, make sure that the description and the tags include one or two of  your keywords, as well as a great description of what the video is.

Post Photos Regularly
Take tons of photos of your properties. When you upload them to your  computer, make sure you change all of the file names to include one of your  keywords and then a couple extra description words, all in lower case letters  and no spaces. For example, if you’re taking a photo of a home in Orlando and  one of your keywords is homes in Orlando, label the photo  orlando-homes-address-room.jpg. Then upload them to a good photo sharing site  like Flickr, and tag them with a keyword and a good description, including a  link to more information on your website. Also add them to your website, using  keywords in the ALT tags and descriptions. These photos are also very valuable  for posting on your social networks – just make sure they are good photos! Spend  some time learning how to take a good photo, especially since your photos do not  have a human subject to focus on.

Create A Facebook Page…And Update It
Create a Facebook page, and add as much content and photos as possible – using a few of your keywords. Your Facebook page will be one more piece of  property on the web that you own that can be found in search results. Once you  have it all set up, make sure that you are updating it every other day. If you  have followed the other steps, you should have plenty of blog posts, photos, and  videos to post. But, also remember that Facebook (and any social network) is a  two way street. Ask questions, have conversations, solve problems, interact with  followers through your Facebook page, and you will increase the exposure of your  site.

Claim Your Office On Google Places
Claim your office on Google Places, and fill out the info completely making  sure to use a few of your keywords in your description and categories, if  possible. All of those real estate directories that usually hog up the first few  pages of Google can’t compete when it comes to local search of agents. The more  complete your information is and the more reviews you have, the higher up your  office will rank in local map search.

Create A Google+ Page
Like it or not, Google gives preference to their social network in search  engines. Completely fill out your Google+ page and include a few of your  keywords as well as your photos and videos. Once you’ve done this, you should  update it regularly with your blog posts, and also add everyone at least into  your peripheral circles. The reason being Google customizes each person’s search  results, and if they have you in their circles, your updates will rank higher in  their search results. This is just the beginning of what’s being identified as  social search. Not a lot of agencies have caught wind of it yet, so you will  have a competitive advantage if you lay the groundwork and start doing this  early.

Ask For Reviews & Testimonials
Like I said in the Google Places step, the more reviews you have there the  higher your agency will rank. After every closing, send a thank you note (email  or snail mail) along with a link to your Google Places page requesting a review  of their experience.

Read more at  http://www.business2community.com/online-marketing/12-ways-real-estate-agents-can-move-up-in-search-results-0243936#KBhY8gu0evUJt66W.99