Every time I speak about Local Search Engine Optimization (Aka Local Internet Marketing) I am being asked if this is something Real estate agents even need.
This is a valid question.
As a Realtor®, you are your own business. Not only does that mean you wear all the hats, you also bear all the expenses. When faced with another marketing effort that is going to take time and cost money, it is natural to question whether or not the activity is worthwhile. Let me start by saying that there may be few, if any marketing activities a Real Estate Agent can roll out that are as important as local internet marketing.
What is local Internet marketing?
Up until a few years ago, if you simply entered “Realtor®” into Google’s search bar, you’d get results from all over the country. It didn’t matter if you were located in Vancouver, Toronto or Victoria, you’d get the same top 10 results no matter what.
Fortunately, Google has made some major changes since that time, and now, search results are heavily influenced by the geographic location of the searcher. The search engines of today not only return search results to people based on the search terms they used but also geographically specific search results. So let’s say you are a Realtor® that specializes in homes in Langley. If you have a solid strategy of regularly blogging about Langley homes for sale, the market strength, and anything else of interest that is going on in the area, you will turn up in the top of these search results. These articles, crafted correctly, will no doubt contain keywords that homebuyers and sellers would naturally be typing into their web searches, giving you top search engine placement.
89% Of Home Buyers & Sellers Start Their Search Online
That number sounds high, right?
Believe it or not, it is most likely higher. In 2012, the National Association of Relators® released a report that showed 89% of Home Buyers and Sellers begin their home search process online. In the past six years, this number is all but certain to have increased.
Based on this single fact alone, it is easy to see why Local Search Marketing is so critical to the success of your Real Estate business. When they go to the Internet, homeowners use what are referred to as long tail keyword searches to find what they want. What that means is they don’t type in something general, such as “homes for sale in Vancouver”. That search would most likely return many results the searcher would not be interested in. Instead of doing this, the searcher would type in something more specific, such as “2 story homes for sale in Langley”.
Client Reviews Increase Your Local Online Visibility
One thing that a Realtor® can never get enough of are client reviews. The social proof reviews give are always a great way to attract business. Even more though, these reviews will also have a positive impact on your local search ranking and therefore the growth of your business.
According to MOZ’s Local Search Ranking Factors Survey, online reviews make up 10% of how Google and other search engines decide to rank search results. What this means is the more reviews and positive ratings your clients and past clients give you, the better your local search rankings will appear in web searches.
Home Buyers & Sellers Want To Work With An Expert
One of the greatest side effects of having a strong local Internet marketing and SEO strategy is the fact that all this great content you are producing will not only help you in these searches, but also establish you as an area expert. The more links that turn up in searches that homebuyers and sellers can click on, the more they will learn from you. The more you teach them, the more you are going to be considered the area expert.
Selling or buying a home is likely the most expensive financial transaction a person will ever participate in. With so much on the line, why would a seller or buyer want to work with anyone other than the local expert in her or his area?