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Real Estate Internet Marketing 2012

March 02 2012

This is the first part of an article by Anita Koppens of Dynamic Page Solutions. Stay tuned tomorrow for Part 2!

This is going to be a mostly macro view of search engine optimization with the hopes of helping real estate agents that are interested gain a good understanding of what SEO is and why it’s more important now than ever before to be successful in the real estate game.

There are billions of searches being performed across search engines every day and we have to really embrace the fact that the web is integrated into our daily lives and that it’s the best platform to reach the widest audience possible to sell our product or brand.

Some of the topics that I’m going to cover include onsite and offsite optimization for higher rankings for keywords that can result in transactions. I’m also going to go into the importance of localized search engine optimization which is a huge vertical that is relatively untapped but is going to become increasingly competitive as mobile overtakes traditional search. Lastly, I’m going to talk about Google+ for Business as there is really some exciting stuff going on with this and a few other overlooked opportunities for SEO’ing your web presence.

What is SEO? - SEO is literally an acronym for search engine optimization which is the organized attempt to get web pages to rank highly across search engines. I’m going to reference Google a lot because frankly, they have most of the market share when it comes to search because their search engine is far more sophisticated that Bing or Yahoo or any of the much smaller search engines. Gaming the system or exploiting weaknesses in Google’s algorithms has been the goal of search marketers from the beginning, but there really is a right way and a wrong way to go about making the most of your potential on Google.

Google’s webmaster guidelines are quite plain as far as telling the web community to create good, organized, searchable web pages with good, quality content.  Going outside of these guidelines and trying to build your web presence from the roof down is the wrong way to go and unfortunately a lot of people get waylaid by cheap and easy as an approach to web marketing. This is a poor long term strategy since Google is constantly updating its algorithms to make sure their users that are looking for products or answers have a good experience. When attempting to rank for keywords, you really need to use the approach of creating relevancy for keywords that you’re targeting so Google can award your pages with rankings.

Recap: Search engine optimization, in part, is trying to create relevancy on pages for critical keywords. It’s also making sure that the search engines can easily and quickly determine what a page is about through an optimized tagging of the page or link signals. This gets into site architecture which many search marketers and social media enthusiasts ignore because it’s the really tough stuff that requires a deep understanding of how pages interrelate. Typically the biggest issues are page titles and the biggest mistakes that people make with them are duplicating page titles because you dilute the strength of important keywords.

Click thru Rate = Rank Matters-Something to take note of is that there is a tremendous difference in the click through rate (click through rate is the percentage of clicks on a result for a search term) between result number one on a search engine results page and every other result following. It drops significantly after that so the question becomes how do people rank for search terms, especially in real estate, where the perceived “big money” keywords are ultra competitive. I’ll get to that solution in a minute.

How do I Rank for Keywords – Ranking is determined by relevancy and a bunch of other factors that the search engines take into account such as an optimized website, and a SEO strategy which really encompasses both offsite and onsite factors. They are both quite critical and being aggressive in your approach can make a tremendous difference in real estate simply because most real estate agents are eons behind the curve because they don’t take it seriously. Here is your opportunity to gain dominance over even your well established competition by taking control of your online marketing and using real estate technology that’s progressive enough to make the most of onsite ranking factors. Commitment and consistency is a key component for success in almost anything that you take on and web marketing is no different. I understand that many real estate agents have a lot on their plates but strong web presence is not something you should put on the back burner. Ranking is not going to get easier; it’s going to get harder. In fact top level domains such as .com, .net, .org are being created every day, I just checked this morning and there are 167,632 new domains registered today!

To view the original article, visit the Dynamic Page Solutions blog. Stay tuned tomorrow for part two!