How to Dominate for a Community with Real Estate Blogging
Zillow, Trulia, Realtor OH MY! How can the podunk little real estate agent compete on the search engines? They dominate all the major broad keywords and unless you've had a domain for 20+ years, have 18,000 high quality back links or a killer website, you're just not going to show up. Blogging for a week or two or even a couple months is just not going to get you there. So what's an agent to do?
There is a way to compete but it does take time. Nothing is going to rank immediately but regardless of whether you've had a website for a couple years or just starting up, there is a way to compete.
Find your niche and run with it.
So, you might service a large area such as my client in the Palm Beach County real estate market, but that's a big area. There are smaller communities and neighborhoods all over and how are you suppose to rank for all of them? The answer... you're probably not going to. But if you live in a particular neighborhood that you love and really want to farm that area then it can be done.
First, make sure no one else is farming that area. If you know of another agent that sends out postcards, shows up for every search result and is in the local newspaper every week, you're probably not going to compete, at least not right away, anyway. Find a neighborhood of at least 200 homes that no one is dominating. It can be done. Every market is different. Some communities in Florida have two agents for every one house and that's really tough, but there are other markets that the ratio is more balanced. Depending on your area, it could be more or less difficult to find this neighborhood.
Once you have the neighborhood pegged, do some preliminary searches for various key words and phrases. Let's take Mirasol in Palm Beach Gardens Florida; what type of homes are there, how are people searching, and are there micro-communities within the main subdivision? Palm Beach Gardens has about 50 smaller neighborhoods with single family homes, town homes and condos. This could be really extensive, but this is GREAT. Start jotting down ideas to blog about as they come to you. Even though the big guys might still dominate on a larger community you can be way more extensive in your research making you the authority.
I'm not talking a couple blogs here or there, I'm talking at least 2-4 every week on your community. Take video, pictures and research the area. Use long-tail titles to really emphasize your knowledge of an area. Here are just a few titles that would be great long-tail searches:
"Community real estate market report (Date)" - these can be done with graphs, words and images
"Local Events in Community" - There might be something every month or week which would take up that blog post.
"How Much Home will $400,000 (or whatever figure) Buy you in Community"
"Important Tips for Buying a Home in Community" - geo-target basic real estate news or focus on the difference buying in one community over another. Some communities may be gated, have buyer rules, etc...
"4 Bedroom Homes in Community" - talk about the layout, design or home builder and do this for all the layouts"
"Homes with Pools in Community"
"Homes Near Golf Course in Community"
"Homes Near (Major college or school) in Community"
"What School District is in Community"
"Best Schools in Community"
"Commute Routes to City from Community"
"Amenities in Community"
"Short Sale Homes in Community"
"Foreclosure Homes in Community"
"Shopping in Community"
You get the idea. There are lots and lots of details you can blog about in a certain neighborhood.
You can't operate in a bubble. If people don't know you are the expert in the community they can't find you or read about you. You'll want to promote your information. This can be done on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest or Google Plus. Pick 2-4 social media outlets and run with them. And consider sharing more than once; people may not see it the first time. Good information should be shared and reshared... (you think Bill Gassett shares his content only once?)
Facebook - Create a Facebook page just for that community, or promote it on your own business page if you have one. Spend a little money promoting that page for more likes and tailor your audience to people that live in your major city and are looking to buy or sell.
Twitter - promote your links from your blog on Twitter and always use the same hashtag of the community.
Pinterest - This is great resource because you can create boards just surrounding that community. You can post links and images, video and pictures all focused on that community.
Google Plus - Google plus is great because any link you post on Google plus will get instantly indexed. This is a great way to get found on Google by promoting your links over on Google class. You can also create a community built around your community so that all of your links will be posted in that community and people can follow that community specifically.
Then you check.
So after you've exhausted your knowledge on a community you want to check your ranking. Look up that community and see if you are starting to rank. If you still don't find yourself anywhere then you need to keep writing. Eventually, Google will realize that you are an expert in the community and will start ranking your website higher and higher for the best information.
It can be difficult to dominate but by starting with a smaller community and building up authority in the smaller areas then you can branch out to the next community and the next one. [Reorganized and adapted from my original post here]