Blog Marketing For Realtors and Agents – How to Get a Flood of Free Search Engine Traffic!
What Realtor or agent wouldn’t want masses of free traffic beating a path to their website or blog? We spend countless hours and small fortunes attracting prospects to our websites and cell phones, trying to turn them into profitable clients. Wouldn’t you rather have a marketing technique that ran on auto-pilot, sent you a constant stream of targeted prospects to your site or blog and cost you mere pennies or even nothing at all?
I’m going to warn you right off the bat. This marketing tool is a little bit technical but not too bad if you hang in there. If you are not familiar with internet marketing and blogs in a general sense, there will be a bit of a learning curve for you. It’s well worth the small hassle to learning this marketing technique. Trust me. I’m no “techy” so if I can do this, you certainly can.
This marketing technique builds upon knowing what a WordPress blog is. If you’re unfamiliar with WordPress or blogs in general, check out WordPress’s site and the rest of this article will make much more sense.
So now that you know some of the basics of what a WordPress blog is and what a Studio theme/template is for your blog, we can go a little more in-depth about “search engine optimization” (SEO) marketing for your blog, which is what’s going to drive all that wonderful, free, targeted traffic to your blog.
“Search Engine Optimization” (SEO) is a big term but the concept is simple. And it’s a great marketing idea for us Realtors or agents to learn if you want free traffic visiting your website or blog.
Let me explain…
You know when you do a Google search for something and a list of website results are returned that match your search term you typed in? There are usually pages and pages of results but you only look at the first 1-2 pages, right?
Well, if you look in the upper search bar, you’ll see the total number of results that Google found, which is usually in the millions. You’d have to go through pages and pages of results to see the millions of website results.
So how do some of these websites owners have the marketing genius to get listed on the first 1-2 pages while the other millions of websites stay at the bottom of the results? SEO marketing!
There are ways to optimize your website so that search engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN, Bing, etc. rank your website to be most relevant to what the person is searching for. Therefore, you get rewarded with a higher ranking on the results page and get more traffic to your real estate website or blog.
Tons of SEO companies and tech guys try to “game” the search engines so their sites come up as the #1 or #2 result. The problem is that search engines like Google are changing their requirements all the time so it’s almost impossible to artificially get higher rankings.
But of course, there are some foundational ways to get higher rankings and most of them directly relate to the content on your site.
The content on your site, or the text/words, is one of the main aspects search engines scan to evaluate your website. This is why I think blogs are so effective because you are constantly writing new, relevant content for search engines to find.
You can do the same thing with regular static websites but it’s tougher. You’d have to constantly update and add new content, which is much more time consuming and technically difficult than with a Word Press blog. Plus, Word Press is much more user-friendly for “non-techy” Realtors or agents like me.
Here’s where we start to get a little more technical so buckle up…
Within your WordPress blog, there are tools called “plugins” that software developers have made to enhance different aspects of your Word Press blog. They’re incredible for all aspects of your marketing.
Many plugins are free, some cost a little money. They’re easy to install; you just search for the plugin you want, download it and activate it and “Forget about it!” (sorry, that’s my best Italian impression).
For example, I use a plugin called “Contact Form 7″, which automatically creates a contact form on our “Contact Us” page. I don’t have to deal with any programming, coding, HTML or any of that junk. I just download the plugin, adjust the settings and it’s up and running on my Word Press blog. It seems like programmers have thought of a solution like this for anything you can think of. It’s fabulous!
But the plugin that I want to camp out on and tell you about is called “ScribeSEO”. It’s specifically built for you to get higher search engine rankings with your Word Press blog.
Since most of us web surfers don’t look past the first 1-2 pages of results when searching, we need to get our Realtor or agent blogs up as high as possible on those results pages, right? Of course, that assumes you want free, automated traffic.
This is going to be a little tough to picture if you haven’t seen or used a WordPress blog but we’ll try it anyway. When you write a post for your blog, you’ll be writing a Title, a Description and the actual Content (or Body) of your blog post.
The title you write will show up on the search engine results page. Go ahead and do a search on Google right now so you know what I’m talking about. See that blue colored “headline” for all the results? That’s the title. Just like any other marketing piece, the title or headline is vital to catch your prospects attention. So put extra effort into this part.
Underneath that title will be your description, which will tell the surfer what your post is all about, in a nutshell. See it? It’s usually about 2 sentences long, right under the blue colored title.
The content of your blog post won’t show up on the search results page but search engines will still be scouring that content with their little robots.
What ScribeSEO does (after you’ve written your title, description and content), is it scans those 3 aspects of your blog post to see how likely it is to be “favored” by the search engines and achieve higher rankings in the search results. Make sense? If not, just know that those are 3 big keys to focus on.
Now, there are certain “keywords” that people commonly search with, like “Seattle real estate” or “real estate jobs”. Search engines want to see good keywords in your title, description and blog post content.
This is what ScribeSEO does for you; it analyzes these 3 areas and gives you a score from 1-100. The lower the score, the more work your post needs in order to be “optimized” for the search engines. The higher the score, the easier your blog post can be picked up by the search engines.
If you get a low score like I did, an embarrassing 39, ScribeSEO gives you a list of recommendations of items you need to fix or change. It could be as simple as starting your title with a better keyword or using more hyperlinks in your post content. It might suggest that you lengthen your blog post since most search engine like to see a certain minimum number of words.
One thing that happened to me yesterday was that ScribeSEO said I didn’t have ANY keywords in my title, description or content. What the heck? I was dumbfounded. I don’t remember the topic I was writing about but I know it was something specific.
One of the ScribeSEO suggestions was to add more keywords to my content. Again, I forget what the topic was but let’s say it was “marketing”. I went through my blog post and added the word “marketing” a few more times. I hit the button to re-analyze my post and it picked up the keyword “marketing”, just as I hoped. I added it to my title and description and what do you know; I got a score of 100.
The cool thing is that ScribeSEO tells you exactly what you need to fix and how to do it. It’s perfect for Realtors or agents like me who need clear, step-by-step, non-technical directions.
After you make the recommended changes, you can re-analyze your blog post again and see if your score has gone up. It’s possible to get 100 on every one because I’ve done it, so far. Ok, I’ve had to make changes and re-analyze a few times on a single blog post but I’m always determined to get 100. It’s like I’m trying to beat the program or something.
The frustrating thing was when I went to make changes to a score of 79 and got a 39 when I re-analyzed my blog post. I was ticked! But it was my fault. I was trying to be cool and make the changes I thought ScribeSEO would say instead of just following them step-by-step. That’s what I get! In the end, I got 100 though. Yee haw!
The thing I don’t like about ScribeSEO is that it costs money. It’s not really a valid gripe, I just wish everything was free. The pricing options really aren’t bad at all, especially when you consider how much traffic this one marketing tool can get you.
Remember though, you need to use it with a Word Press blog. I think you can use it on regular websites too but I’d recommend going with the blog since it’s that much better for ScribeSEO marketing.
They also have a free “test drive” so you can try it out. Frankly, I didn’t know if I would even be able to work the dang thing so I did the test drive first and got comfortable with it. After that, I was sold!
Anyway, I hope this marketing idea wasn’t too hard to follow along with. If you’re a “techy” you’re probably saying, “Dude, give me a break. I already know this stuff.” And the rest of you are thinking, “Blog what? Search eng… huh?” In either case, this is a great marketing tool to use and learn more about.
Now go close some deals!