Your SEO Campaign for 2015
I've had a lot of people ask why I'm not as active here as I used to be and the truth of the matter is, there's really nothing new under the sun. When I first started blogging on ActiveRain back in 2010 I felt like I had a lot to say because I knew a lot, had researched a lot and wanted to put all of that valuable knowledge into a blog that could help others. Because of my background as a real estate agent and with several years under my belt in search engine optimization and marketing, I had fun telling people how they could increase rankings and if they chose not to do it themselves we could certainly do that for them. But now, I feel that there's really not a lot of new tactics out there so this is why I've just not written a lot lately. Sure, anyone can go back and read through some of the updates and information on back links, guest blogging, content etc. but I really try to emphasize anything new or changes in this industry so that my readers can stay well-informed.
One thing we always want to do is talk about marketing in the new year.
Most real estate agents across the country are a little slower during the winter season and this is a great time to consider sprucing up your marketing efforts for spring. The key with SEO is that whatever is done now may not have the results you're looking for for 2 to 3 months. Anything done in the spring may not have an effect until fall, so now is a great time to consider any additional pushes or marketing efforts so that when spring hits, you will be ready to take on new clients from the effects that you did two or three months prior.
There really are no major changes in the SEO world over the last couple of months. With Google's major updates of Pigeon, Penguin, Panda and Hummingbird being the biggest over the last two years. These algorithm changes were designed to cut down on spam and minimize or completely obliterate any low quality back links.
In the real estate world most individual brokers or agents are competing with national companies like Zillow, Trulia and Homes.com, plus quite a few others and before we know it the entire first page of Google is filled with these national companies that the individual agent can only dream to compete with.
But, Google has also created algorithms that help identify the individual searcher and what they're looking for much better than before. They geo-locate the reader (searcher) and offer different search results than those searching for the same product or item in another state. This is also why long tail keywords and phrases are still extremely valuable. Rather than simply typing in Michigan real estate, searchers are getting very detailed and typing in individual subdivisions, communities or a particular area. This is where lone real estate agents and brokerages need to focus their time and their blogging or marketing energy.
If you live in an area that has numerous smaller towns, villages, townships or communities it can be difficult to rank for all of them at once unless you’ve had a website for 10+ years and you're totally killing it online. You need to focus on one community or township until it is mastered and then move on to the other. Find the village, subdivision or however your region classifies areas and focus on that particular community until you rank for it and then move on. If you spread yourself too thin, Google will not think you're an expert in any of it.
Let's say you're going to focus on Port Washington Wisconsin. You may also sell real estate in numerous other cities and towns around Port Washington but currently you're not ranking for any of them. Focus on Port Washington and do a real estate market report every month, write blog posts about events, history, weather, shops, restaurants or do a review of one of the businesses. Once you have a good basis of information on this one particular area then you can start moving on. I would dedicate 2 to 3 months on this one area posting at least 5 to 20 posts about this particular location before moving on. After 2 to 3 months do a search for your blog topics and your area and see if you are ranking any better. If you are, you can move on to the next city and continue to build out your website or your blog. If you're not ranking for that area just yet you might wait a little bit longer and then try again. Remember, anything you do now may not have an effect online for 2 to 3 months.
Don't forget Yahoo and Bing.
We always like to optimize for one of the top search engines, which is Google, but you won't want to forget about Yahoo and Bing. Firefox recently defaulted to Yahoo as their main search engine and Internet Explorer has always been Bing. Take some time to find out what their ranking qualifications are so that you not only rank for Google but any of your clients can find you on any search engine.
Don't neglect social media.
Google, Bing and Yahoo may not fully rank your site based on social factors but it does have a large impact if done correctly. It's not just about how many "likes" you can get but the type of interaction that you're giving and receiving. Make sure you communicate with your followers regardless of what type of social media you're using. Don't just post and then forget about it. Some of these social media programs that post all at once are great and time-saving but they do take away from the social interaction that social media was meant to be in the first place. Whatever social media you decide to go with, work it and communicate, responding to people, re-tweeting, following, sharing their information and truly being a real presence on the Internet.
Read more: The Basics of Today's SEO
If your website is not mobile you may find that people will simply find a more accessible website than yours. If you have a WordPress website it's an easy upgrade, however you might need to change themes. Creating a mobile application for your website will make it easier for people with smart phones, iPads or tablets to quickly pull up your information, read your blogs and share your content.
Remember, we do a lot of this for our clients and even though any of this can be done by anyone, it's usually not your first line of business. If you have questions, need some help, or are looking to go mobile in 2015 feel free to give us a call at any time.