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SEO Battles With Big Real Estate Websites? Kill Them With Local Niche Content.

January 22 2013

armwrestleWhen I meet with a REALTOR® about doing a new real estate website for them, we always start out by discussing what their primary objectives are and what is making them want to switch their site up. The first thing I am always told is, "I want to show up first on Google rankings for my marketplace."

When I ask the REALTOR® to be more specific, they will say something to the effect of, "When someone types in (Fill in the city) real estate listings, I want to be the first choice."

This opens up dialogue for a very meaningful exercise. The purpose of this exercise is to demonstrate that it is nearly impossible to compete with the Zillows, Trulias and big box brokerages of the world when it comes to vague (e.g. citywide) search terms. BUT, if you strategically put niche-specific, local content into your website, you can compete with these companies on levels they simply cannot compete with.

The Problem:

For this exercise, let's assume that your marketplace is Menlo Park, California. If you do a quick Google search for Menlo Park Real Estate Listings, you'll see that the top two results, of course, are Trulia and Zillow.

The fact is that you cannot compete with these companies on the broad spectrum. They aggregate TONS of data on their websites, have links to every listing imaginable and have become SEO powerhouses.

The Solution:

While on the surface figuring out how to compete with these "big guys" might seem like an exercise in futility, there is a way that you can use their size against them, competing for SEO placement, in a way that they simply cannot compete.

The answer is simple: Get Hyper Local

Local niche content is the best way to hit these guys where it hurts. Create pages on your site that give details about your marketplace, the surrounding shops and businesses, and insights into the homes in the area in ways that nobody from outside your marketplace could possibly do.

The Zillows and Trulias of the world depend on algorithms that systematically create keywords and links for every marketplace in the country. In other words, their site is somewhat robotic. They simply don't have people on the ground in every major market in the country to analyze and write the market specific data that you can put into your site.

Even more, an added benefit to hyper-local, niche content is the attraction it can draw from other websites for businesses in the area. For instance, if you write about a local restaurant in your marketplace and what makes it great, that restaurant may in turn link to your website as a "Thank You." Backlinks, of course, are a major piece of what search engines use to assess search engine placement.

WordPress offers REALTORS® flexibility to easily and consistently create additional pages and blog posts on their website, giving them an ongoing, ever expanding hyper-local marketing engine. Even more, most IDX providers offer WordPress plugins that can be used on a WordPress page, allowing REALTORS® to easily create saved searches related to location (e.g. a subdivision or neighborhood), or lifestyle (e.g. school areas, waterfront properties, downtown high-rises, etc.). Again, more niche, local content to serve as fodder for your SEO efforts.

While this type of marketing requires "elbow grease," the trick is to not get overwhelmed, and do it bit-by-bit, page-by-page on an ongoing basis. When our team designs a new site for a REALTOR®, in general, we'll do all the groundwork, getting the site up and running and putting the first layers of local, niche content in.

From there, it becomes a training exercise. We teach our clients how to systematically go in, update, add content, add pages, add blogs and get in the mindset of "continual upgrade." This is a process, and over time, it pays off in ways you cannot imagine. The pay off is noticeable, not only from phone calls and listing appointments, but noticeable even through Google searches performed a few months after clients have diligently been adding and promoting local content on their websites.

Are you trying to figure out how to create a website with hyper-local, niche marketing information that will help you get a leg up in your marketplace? Do you have a WordPress website that seems to be falling flat? Do you need help pinpointing the specific type of information for your marketplace that will yield the maximum rewards? If you want to know more about any of these things, contact me anytime, and I would be more than happy to speak with you and give you ideas to help get you where you want to go.

To view the original article, visit the Leading Agent blogLeading Agent blog.