Posts Tagged as real estate sites

4 Things Every Real Estate Agent Should Know About SEO

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by SEO (search engine optimization). Good SEO is what helps a website rank on the first page of Google, for instance. You want good SEO. High quality content, good, easy to navigate design – these things are in your control, and they are crucial to the SEO of your real estate websites. So today, I’ve pulled together four things that every real estate agent should know about SEO.

1. Content is the cream that rises to the top. Content should answer a need. It should tell a story. It should solve a problem. Content should be applicable, usable, shareable. It should resonate with your users. As a real estate professional, you know your market. You know the buyers and sellers you want to attract as clients. What do they need? How can you give it to them? This applies to your agent and single property websites and to your social media efforts. Before you throw up your hands in defeat, know this: none of this means you have to have tons of content or writing on your sites. But it does mean that what you do say and post needs to be relevant. This is one area where using a dedicated service like RealEsateSites.com or Listings Unlimited can be a huge help – your website will start with tested, high quality content, keywords and built-in SEO. You can build on a solid foundation put together by experts.

2. SEO is steadiest on a tripod. To have a solid SEO strategy, you need to focus on three separate areas – content, links and social media. They are separate, but also incredibly interconnected. And they’re all important. Link exchange is a great way to get legitimate links from other websites pointing to your site. Links increase your site’s authority and, therefore, its visibility in the search engines. Link building can be arduous to the inexperienced, but is often built in to quality website services. Social media is the vehicle that can take your site to the next level, by giving it the exposure it needs to appear valuable to search engines. At the end of the day, link building and social media connectedness and moot, without great content. Your content is incredibly important and must focus with precision on your visitors’ needs and your call to action.

3. Social media puts the ‘S’ in SEO (well, not literally). Google, in particular, gives more and more credit to social media when it comes to ranking. Likes, shares, comments, @mentions, etc. have become an incredibly important part of strong SEO. You want to make it easy for people to share and like your content. This, in turn, makes it easy for other people to find your content. Built-in social networking tools will save you time and money when it comes to this critical aspect of your real estate site or single property website’s SEO.

4. You must know your brand before you can optimize it. SEO is step two, after good branding. And the connection between good branding and SEO has been made easier and stronger since Google release Google Authorship. Google Authorship connects your content to your Google author profile, and the search engine gives more credit to recognized authors’ content. This is by no means an overnight fix, but it is a very worthy recipient of your time and strategy, with regard to SEO.

How Facebook is Cornering the Property Market

Facebook has more than 1.31 billion active users. According to NAR (the National Association of Realtors), 90.5% of real estate agents and brokers use social media to some extent. In a study of traffic sources conducted by Properties Online, using Google Analytics, single property websites received the most referrals (50%!) from Facebook.

Changes to Craigslist in late 2013 mean that referral traffic from the site can no longer be measured. This gives Facebook a boost in ratings, so to speak. And the social networking giant is doing all it can to maintain its place at the top.

Twitter has been growing, but hasn’t had the impact on real estate professionals that Facebook has. Still, at more than 645 million users, the social media site is a significant force, with a lot of potential. One problem for real estate listings is that Twitter is home to A LOT of information. Tweets can easily get lost and end up unseen. But there is something to the platform – something that has had Facebook on alert for a long time.

You may have noticed the subtle integration of some of Twitter’s features into Facebook this year. Actually, just before the New Year, Facebook began by renaming its ‘subscribe’ and ‘hide all’ options with ‘follow’ and ‘unfollow.’ Facebook is using an algorithm—based on your usage—that then controls the content that appears in your newsfeed.

Another Twitter-ish update was the move to ranking link posts from publishers higher in the newsfeed. This seemingly small change led to big things for Facebook, with publisher content referral traffic from Facebook rising 50%, to account for over 15% of all social referrals. At the same time, mind you, Twitter referrals decreased four percent.

Now, as we know, Facebook is great for sharing photos and videos (and this is great for real estate professionals). But Facebook saw Twitter’s edge when it came to user-generated content and changed its algorithm to rank text-only status updates from users higher in the newsfeed. Their research showed them that users respond positively to these types of updates, and that they prompt more of the same. So, that that and run with it – share your thoughts about a listing, the market, anything of interest, with your Facebook followers.

Facebook may never replace Twitter when it comes to real-time news, but it doesn’t need to. And while a full-blown social media presence is great, if you can pull it off, you don’t need that, either. Facebook is a fantastic option for busy real estate professionals, and it’s gotten even better in 2014.