Search marketing is a form of marketing that gets businesses and organizations noticed in search engines, like Google and Bing. It’s an important part of any business’ marketing strategy, and learning enough to give your real estate business a competitive edge isn’t as hard as it seems. While there are several different types of online marketing tactics, there are two specific types that are great for real estate businesses:
- SEO (search engine optimization), helps website owners acquire traffic without having to pay for listings because the search engines “find” your website based on it’s content and keywords.
- PPC (pay per click) advertising lets you place your business’ ads on search engines and on other websites. Unlike SEO, PPC ads come with a price, but you can control how much you spend on these ads. You only pay a fee each time your ad is clicked.
Search marketing helps you attract more visitors to your website, social media channels and blog with the goal of them turning into customers. Real estate agents can increase their local visibility and get more leads by being strategic about their search marketing practices.
Using SEO to grow your real estate business
You can hire marketing experts to maximize your SEO efforts, saving you valuable time, or learn some easy-to-implement SEO techniques of your own.
Keywords are important, but they aren’t everything
Years ago, keyword-rich content was the main way to get your website and blog posts to the top of search engines. Many people tried to beat the system by stuffing their content with unnatural keywords. Search engines caught on and now there’s a greater focus on phrases and quality content.
To get the most out of keywords, start with research. Use the Google AdWords Keyword Planner tool. You’ll need an AdWords account, but you don’t have to purchase ads to use it. In the Keyword tool, type in some phrases you think people might use to find you, like “Denver real estate agent,” “Atlanta homes for sale” or “Jacksonville Realtor.” You’ll be able to see how many people search for your keywords and what the competition level is for that keyword. For the real estate industry, you’ll want to choose very specific keywords that are relevant to your location.
The tool even suggests related terms, which can be helpful to use throughout your website. For example, the phrase “home costs in Fort Collins” might appear as a related result. You can add that phrase to a page about neighborhoods in the area or create a blog post about the topic.
Optimize your content for search
Real estate businesses can create helpful websites that become trusted resources (which rank high on search engines), so fill your website with helpful information about your geographical location. Blogging is one excellent way to do this.
Each page on a website, whether it’s a static web page or blog post, will have header tags (a code in your website’s HTML that signifies a title that is written as <H1>) that help organize the hierarchy of topics and subtopics. Always try to use the H1 tag, work your main keyword into it and mention your keyword in the first paragraph.
Of course, there’s so much more to learn about SEO. If you’re interested in learning more, there are a lot of tutorials available online.
Using paid search methods, like PPC, to grow your business
Things can get a bit more complicated with paid search marketing techniques, mostly because there are so many ways to use it to your advantage. Learning the ins and outs of paid search marketing can take some time, but the process lets you see results almost immediately, whereas good SEO takes time to reel in visitors.
Learn more about PPC and why it’s effective
The process of buying ads, analyzing data and pouring over analytics can be overwhelming, but there’s plenty of information available online to help you learn the ropes. Google AdWords is one service you’re bound to use, and their website is full of information.
Why PPC works for real estate agents
You can’t pay to have your website automatically appear on the first page of Google’s search results, but you can buy an ad that appears at the top of the page. The most effective paid search ads are targeted and local, making this an excellent option for real estate businesses.
Paid search is great for small businesses because you don’t pay a thing unless someone clicks on your ad – you have complete control over the cost. Start by bidding the amount you’re able to pay for each ad. Another helpful paid search tool is remarketing. Remarketing essentially allows you to “follow” your website’s visitors as they continue to browse other websites online. This is accomplished by using online tools that place your ads on other websites. That increased and repeated exposure can turn casual viewers into concrete leads.
And, as we mentioned before, results are nearly immediate. However, you do need to be prepared to do a lot of research and experimentation. Figuring out what your ideal PPC keywords are and the most effective campaign can take some time.
Use SEO and PPC together to build your real estate business
If you want to ramp up your marketing efforts, search marketing is one of the best options available. Due to the very specific nature of the real estate industry you’re likely to draw in relevant search traffic, which equals more leads and more clients. Search marketing techniques like SEO and PPC might seem complicated at first, but it’s entirely possible to learn the basics so that you can quickly implement these strategies and see results.