Stop Squinting – there is no smoke. Put down the shades – there are no mirrors.
When I asked (on Twitter) earlier this week for ideas about what to cover in this week’s article, more than one of you wanted to know “What is special about real estate SEO, how is it different from regular SEO?”
Got your pen & paper ready? Nothing is different. Well, almost nothing. I’m serious, stop laughing.
What do YOU sell?
The only real difference is what you sell, and how you sell it. Typical retailers always carry the same products, by the same manufacturers – day in and day out. They can build on that, create content that describes each of them in every possible way, so that no matter what someone types into Google, MSN or Yahoo, there is a good chance they have it covered. Realtors, as you know, do not have that luxury. Actually, if your “inventory” is sitting around long enough that it needs to be SEO’d, you have bigger problems…get off the computer and go sell something ;-D. Let’s take a step back – what do you really sell? A building? A house? A condo? No – you sell homes, neighborhoods, lifestyles – people’s dreams.
What do you write about then?
Those dreams, and lifestyles are what you write about, those YOUR content that never changes. Create articles – or better yet, series of articles that describe each of the neighborhoods you service. Forget the web for a moment. If I called you on the phone and said I was considering a move to your area, but had not decided yet, what would you say to me? Would you say “Great, I have a 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom with a pool that would be perfect for you”? Probably not. You would probably try to sell me on the area first, then steer me to a neighborhood and finally to a home. Your web sites should do the same thing.
Not all experts agree
I’m going to tell you to do something I noticed some of the “experts” I found by Googling “real estate seo” tell you not to bother with. Write about your properties on your blog too. Don’t just bury them in the MLS, or whatever system you have. Sure, the bots & spiders etc can crawl those dynamic pages now, but why let yourself be limited to a few boxes and a paragraph or two? Fill a page with elegant text describing the place. Don’t forget to add pictures – properly named and tagged of course, and even a video tour. The more types of media you can attach to a page, the more likely you are to rank well. Blended search is becoming very powerful. If you don’t know about blended search yet – look into it. In a nutshell, engines are displaying results from image, video, blog, news and web searches all together in one place – the more of those you are in, the better off you will be.
Is that it?
It really, REALLY is. I keep telling people – most of SEO is not rocket science, it’s just taking the time to think about what you have and who you want to read it. It’s in the planning.
As always, I welcome your comments and your questions.