To rank well, build a site so fantastic that it makes you an authority in your niche. – Matt Cutts, Head of the Google Web Spam Team
A decade ago, if you owned the domain losangelesrealestate.com you’d won.Today, you can’t dominate your local market by simply gaming Google. Here’s what to do instead…
1. First, know your audience.
David Meerman Scott, author of The New Rules of Marketing & PR, calls this creating “buyer personas.” Here’s how it works … take 10 minutes to sit down and identify the person who buys from you. What do they want to know about buying/selling real estate in your market area? Once you know this, you can create content that directly speaks to their hopes, dreams, fears, and frustrations. The more content they consume, the more likely they are to want to work with you with the time is right.
2. Create tons of high-quality local content.
The success of your real estate blog is dependent upon your ability to create high quality content, consistently, over time. Look at sites like Your Boulder, Lifestyle Frisco, Issaquah 360, and See South Bay.
3. Invest in a good design.
Good design = trust. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on a custom website design right away. Instead, sites like StudioPress.com make it easy for you to purchase and setup a professional looking website in no time. The Winning Agent Pro theme is my new favorite real estate theme.
4. Be a connector.
Nextdoor is a service that allows you to create a private social network for your community branded with all of your contact information. Real estate agent Chris Speicher closed his first deal as a result of the connections he’s cultivated on Nextdoor by being a connector. Real estate is a numbers game… How often are you connecting with people on a daily basis?
5. Be consistent.
Angelo Davis writes a new local market report (almost) every day. He covers local market statistics by community and writes about upcoming events in the community. Scott Schang writes new content covering financing news weekly. With each post that they write, they are giving readers a reason to keep coming back to their site.
6. Build a permission asset.
Go see what Scott Schang is doing at FindMyWayHome.com. Emails go out every Tuesday, giving readers an “insider’s view on all of the current trends and topics that keep home buyer, and home ownership, interesting.” He’s built a permission asset of well over 12,000 subscribers to date and as a result generates between 100 – 150 leads per month.
7. Write for your readers, not for search engines.
Focus less on writing keyword-rich copy and instead, write like you speak. Write like you’re sitting across the table from a friend answering their questions about buying and selling real estate. That’s far more likely to spark a relationship and start a conversation than writing a bunch of keyword rich text that doesn’t make any sense.
8. Make it easy to search for homes.
Make it incredibly simple to search homes for sale by creating IDX-rich community landing pages. Then, setup e-Alerts for those people in your database that have registered with a valid email address. Listing alerts are the best way to keep people coming back to your website again and again.
9. Become a better teacher.
Here’s Doorsteps value proposition: “Buy a home smarter, better, faster.” When you sign up for their newsletter you get a high value education on everything you need to know to get ready to buy a home. From finding the right type of mortgage, to calculating a down payment, to understanding the closing process and more.
10. Follow up like crazy & play the long game.
79% of leads never turn into sales due to slow (or no) response. 45% of consumers upon initial contact with an agent expect a response of within 15 minutes. If you want to improve your closing ratio, practice better and faster follow up and play the long game. Not everyone is going to be in the market to buy or sell real estate right now. Nurture those relationships over the long-term and practice proper follow up every time.