Many people turn to the Internet to solve their problems.
Whether it’s trying to figure out how to keep their dog from “going potty” indoors, learning how to solve a Rubik’s cube in ten minutes or less, or trying to figure out what that terrible noise is coming from the engine of their car, people turn to the internet in hopes of an answer.
As is mentioned often on the BiggerPockets Podcast, much of real estate investing is about solving problems, so it would make sense that people would search the internet for a cure to their home difficulties. And they do, every day. For example, people in your town are searching, every day, for:
- How to sell their house fast
- A house to rent
- A home to buy
- A place to invest their money
- and LOTS more.
So how can you get your solution in front of their quest for answers?
Your website, through SEO. Let me explain how!
(This post is an excerpt from the still-unnamed “Book on Creative Real Estate Investing” that BiggerPockets will be releasing in the coming weeks! Stay tuned…)
What is SEO?
If you don’t have a website, you are missing one of the most important ingredients to real estate investing success. People tend to check out a website before ever making a phone call, so a professional looking website is not optional – it’s pretty much necessary.
But how do you get people onto your website?
Obviously you should include your website on all your marketing material and whenever you talk with people – but your business cards can only go so far. Instead, you want to capitalize on something known as “SEO.”
SEO stands for “search engine optimization” and refers to the process of getting your website listed higher on the results page for Google, Yahoo, Bing, or other search engine.
The goal of the search engines is to find the very best content and serve it to the searcher, and the more the search engine feels it could help solve the searchers problem, the higher your web page will be listed on the page… and the higher it’s listed on the page, the higher chance of it being clicked on.
SEO means doing everything you can to let Google know that your page has the answers to the person’s problems. Although I could spend another 10,000 words on the best practices for SEO, I won’t bore you with the details but just give you a high-level “ten tips” overview. Although the search algorithms that define what gets to the top of the page are constantly changing, there are some tried and true methods to help your page stand out that you can begin implementing today. The following are 10 tips for ensuring your site is Search Engine Optimized.
10 Killer SEO Tips for Beginners
- Have a clean, modern, helpful website. Without a website, none of this matters. For a step by step guide to building your own website, see How to Create an Awesome Lead Generating Website in Under an Hour with No Technical Abilities.
- Provide a lot of good written content. As smart as the search engines may be, they still can generally only use the text on the page to decide what the page is about.
- Write with keywords in mind. Use words that people would search for, like “How to sell my house fast” or “sell my house fast Denver”, several times throughout your content, and consider making entire pages of content focused around those keywords. The header at the top of your page is perhaps the largest indicator to the search engines what the page is about, so if you want to rank well for the words “How to sell my house fast in Denver” – you should probably make the title of an individual page on your website “How to Sell My House Fast in Denver” and use that phrase a few times on the page, as well as other similar variations of the term; but don’t overdo it.
- Write for a Child. Would a child be able to read your article and understand the major theme? If not, a search engine probably won’t either. Consider most young children’s books you have read: the key to comprehension is repetition and simplicity. The same is true for the search engines.
- Write amazing, epic content. Although it’s not a perfect correlation, articles with longer depth and length tend to get picked up more often by the search engines. Seek to become the number-one best piece of content available for the topic you are writing about.
- Get social media links to your articles. Even if it’s just you sharing your content on Facebook and Twitter… do it!
- Hook up “Google Authorship” on your articles. This is the small photo you might see on the left side of a Google search, and when your little picture shows up next to your article in Google – it helps build trust and encourages people to click on it. To hook up Google Authorship, you’ll just need a free G+ account and about five minutes of time. See Claim Google Authorship for Your WordPress Website in 3 Easy Steps on CopyBlogger for a simple step by step walk through of the process.
- Interlink your pages. In other words, on each page of your website, link to other pages on your website. Every page should have several links to get to that page.
- Get other websites to link to you. The more links you get from legitimate sources, the more authority the search engines will see that your page has. You can get links in a variety of ways, but the best way is to write great content and let people know.
- Consider hiring an SEO expert. SEO is a constantly changing field and trying to stay up to date with the current best practices can be difficult. You might be surprised at how inexpensive a good SEO expert could be in helping your site reach the top, as minor tweaks that take only a few hours can cause dramatic changes to your rankings. To find a good SEO expert, ask for referrals from other website owners or look for a freelance SEO expert on a site like eLance.com or oDesk.com.
By following the ten tips outlines above, you can dramatically improve how the search engine’s view your website, helping to drive more traffic (and more leads) to your solution. The more leads you get, the more deals you can close, the more people you can help, and the more money you can make.
Do you have any other tips to add or questions about SEO? Jump into the conversation below!