I'm not an expert at SEO, not by a long shot. The real problem with SEO is all the miss-information and superstition. In the most logical approach, you need to choose which search engines you're targeting and you need to learn how they gather information from your site and how they use it to rank results.
Using a platform like wordpress is a good start because they automatically make most information available to search engines.
Search engines want to display good results that bring value to their users and they are getting much better at avoiding sites that try to "hack" their way up the ranking. Google uses "more than 200" criteria to analyze and rank search results.
The bullet points I always see are:
- Valuable sites get linked by other sites, but don't just ask for links, build relationships with content creators(bloggers, youtubers, etc...).
- Update your site with new "original" content regularly.
- Make your audience more specific. Target the "Long-Tail"
These are the questions I would ask myself:
- Who is my audience?
- What value am I providing them?
- What barriers may prevent search engines from recognizing my audience and evaluating the value provided?
And Just to be overt, I hope this provides value so we can build a relationship.
If you have any problems, post them here and I'll do my best to provide possible solutions.
Thank you for this.
Thanks! Any advice for lead generation pages or squeeze pages? These seem hard to rank because there is limited data on them.
Is it best to add a blog? Should each blog page target a different keyword?
Granted that I am coming from a software engineering background as opposed to a marketing background, this is what I suggest.
The main purpose of squeeze pages is to gather emails for direct email marketing. If you are interested in direct email marketing, first ask yourself what you are marketing. If you are trying to get off-market property leads, who is your audience. It's probably not home owners, but it is people interested in becoming wholesalers and investors, it is banks looking to cash out quickly.
"Want to get involved in Real Estate? Join my newsletter to get the best tips to find the hidden deals in your neighborhood.".... This target people interested in real estate. They may not have the network to do deals themselves, but they will find you leads. If you're their main news feed into the local market, they will go to you first. You would want to pair this with a regular newsletter that provides tips for finding leads, market information in the target areas, and establishes you as the go to for the area. When buying marketing, target a small area, no more than a few cities and advertise to those areas directly.
"Large REO inventory? Save time and effort, bring your properties to me first. I buy properties, as is, all cash, and quick close.".... This targets banks and requires that you can deliver on your promises, but cash will be easy to find if you have exclusive first access to REO inventory. These people are professionals and so you will have to spend a lot more effort creating content to keep them interested. Bottom line, how do you create value for their business? If successful, word of mouth will slowly take over.
Even though these are ideas for squeeze pages, focus on getting quality emails. If your pages are too general because you are just trying to get as many emails as possible, you may scare away your best connections.
A blog is a great addition to any real estate website for many reason. When people come to your site for information, they will also come to you when they have leads. Second, when other sites reference your site, you will rank higher in all modern search engines. Third, people can easily share your content on social media. But, here is the thing, put less focus on keywords and more on content. Make content that people want and make the keywords honest to the content. Search engines these days care about how people use your content.
The conclusion you should take from all of this is spend more time on content.
Hope this helps.
And here are a couple Pro SEO Tips for creating great blog content:
- Find several existing articles on the same topic that target your audience and bring them to a content writer to re-write for your blog.
- Negotiate a bulk deal discount with a content writer to re-write several posts over a time period.(ie: 1/week for 12 weeks = 12 Posts)
My 2 cents will be, try and accurately asses the keywords you are targeting (use the free Google keyword planner), notice that the higher CPC for a keyword, usually means harder to rank organically. And don't forgot the inbound quality links will always carry value.
There are a lot of charlatans selling SEO who don’t know their *** from a warm rock. But that said, SEO is NOT a scam, and IF you follow the guidelines and understand the Google patent/algorithm, you can actually win the battle for leads.
Here is the #1 obstacle you MUST overcome when doing SEO to generate targeted leads and find people actively looking to buy a home. How do you compete with the big boys, Zillow, Yelp, Trulia, realtor.com & homes.com? These guys virtually dominate Page 1 for any real estate search term people use. Next come the big brands, Remax, C-21, etc.
Are you tired of these big players stealing your leads and selling them back to you? So how do you turn the tables and screw them before they screw you? How do you compete?
Here's some good news folks. Most buyers, after maybe doing an initial search, scroll past the aggregators- Zillow, etc., and look for local agents or offices. They want to deal with a person, not some faceless machine that requires an email and a pint of blood to get any information.
So where do you start? First, you need to really niche down, go for very local markets. Remember the age old advice- work a farm area! You will never be able to penetrate broad searches like Dallas real estate. Instead think neighborhoods, developments or market areas. If you are associated with a major agency, you have a real advantage if they give you your own page, or subdomain. Why? Because you can leverage the Domain Authority of your agency much easier than if you build your own brand new website. (Sorry, if you’re with a small agency, things are going to be MUCH tougher.)
Next, you need to build Page Authority for your subdomain. This takes some time, BUT you can do it systematically by building citations, social profiles and Web 2.0 properties. These need to all link back to your subdomain. Google uses over 200 pieces of data in their algorithm, but backlinks always have been, and always will be, one of the most important ranking factors. Find real estate blogs like Active Rain, Inman and BiggerPockets that let you include a link back to your website/subdomain. These 3 are high Domain Authority sites that give your site link juice, or quality and trustworthiness. Build lots of links!!! Create a Google My Business page and make sure you have previous clients give reviews. Google gives a lot of respect, and better ranking, to sites that have reviews.
Create LOTS of short 2-3 minute videos, every time you preview a house, and upload them to your YouTube channel. Include local keywords like “Poughkeepsie homes for sale” and a link back to your site.
Veteran SEO consultant here, 11 years and counting.
I like what Nicholas said about creating content consistently. We still see this being the biggest single onsite thing marketers can do to grow their presence in search.
The single biggest thing you can do for SEO in general is like Bruce suggested, build links back to your site to increase the authority. Ideally, these links will be from legitimate sources relevant to your target keywords, and placed in ways that are natural for blogs and sites to link. Does that make sense?
You can also hire a VA to submit your site to a large quantity of local search directories so your local business information is corroborated around the web. I recommend setting up moz.com/local to get more local performance.
I hope this helps and let me know if there's something specific you could use more help with.
I would use caution listing yourself on directories. Make sure it's a good directory from a user perspective. Who will use the directory? Is it easy to use? Does it look spammy? Those determinations may be hard to outsource. Having said that, as long as your link building activities are well distributed, a few bad directory links won't hurt you.
But I agree with the content creation. Hiring a writer is a great step in the right direction. Keep your blog fresh and network with other bloggers in associated industries for those precious relevant, meaningful links.
Think of it this way: If Google disappeared tomorrow, how would people find me? Do I have enough link presence in all the right places so that people would still know where I am? If you say YES, then chances are Google likes you a lot too, and will rank you well.
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