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*Read to the end to see PROTECH’s new/easier pricing schedule!
Probably. But should you? If you’ve talked to other REALTORS® or used social media like Facebook or Twitter, you’ve most likely heard about or seen countless ads promoting do-it-yourself website development, using a site builder. While a drag and drop option of building your own Agent website inexpensively may sound like a great idea at the time (just like one of your clients thinking it’s a great idea to do FSBO! ;)), there are very good reasons why you could be better off in the hands of a professional.
Free and inexpensive site builders aren’t really free.
You will be providing free advertising for the service you built your site on, or even possibly a competitor. If you don’t want to provide this advertising and you don’t want restrictions over what you can do on your site, you’ll pay extra. Research shows that price is typically higher than for hosting elsewhere.
The code behind these websites tends to be bloated and will slow your site down.
“Why do I care about code? I don’t see it.” Bloated code leads to problems later with speed, maintenance, security, and dependability. If you need to have someone else look at your site later, it will be more difficult for them to decipher behind-the-scenes code and help you out.
You might not actually own your site.
Websites built on site builders stay there. When you decide to move up and onward and transfer your site, it is no easy task. You or someone will probably have to reconstruct the pages and their functionality. With a professional (local to St. Petersburg agents) company like PROTECH, you will retain control over your site and we will host it for you.
Your site might look a lot like everyone else’s site.
Have you ever noticed that some websites have a lot in common? That’s what happens with template-design site builders. While PROTECH has a number of layouts to choose from, we carefully craft your site for your business which includes colors, fonts, functionality, clear call-to-action, and beautiful searches for your clients.
It’s not as easy as it looks
We know you’re smart, and we know it starts out easy enough. But I’ve heard from countless clients that it all turns into a great big hassle. Leave the hassle to us. You know how to market homes, and we know how to develop your website. We’ll work with you and get it done.
So yes, please set up your reference web pages provided to you by REALTOR.com, Zillow.com and others. But when it’s time to build YOUR business web site, save yourself the time, hassle, and money and consider a professional. We work with REALTORS® and we know your business. Let us help you.
Check out some of our work here.
As promised at the top of the article, we’ve rolled out monthly pricing again. You can purchase a Starter Page for $40/month, or an Agent Premium Package for $65/month. IDX always included. (We can do business and personal sites too, call us to schedule a consultation!)
Although a website may not be your main source of leads, it is very true your professionalism is judged by potential clients partly on the appearance and performance of your real estate website. And with some work, that website can also start generating leads for you. There are a number of ways to get traffic to your website, and search-engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most important. PROTECH develops your website with the basic SEO to get you started, and with continual attention and knowledge of yourself and your goals, your website will become a true tool in your REALTOR® marketing toolbox.
How Do You Optimize Your Agent Website?
Real estate SEO is not that difficult to do, but it requires you to follow a set of rules and guidelines. If you don’t, it will be harder for your website to get organic traffic. And if you don’t have traffic, you’re losing out on potential clients.
This guide will take you through each step required to properly optimize your website and benefit from at least a fraction of the huge amount of traffic that search engines can send your way. So roll up your sleeves, take a deep breath and start working on your online visibility.
There are four main steps in SEO:
1. Identifying optimum keywords
2. Enhancing your pages so they can attract search engine traffic (also called on-page optimization)
3. Website promotion (also called off-page optimization or link building)
4. Measuring and tracking your results
Identifying your Keywords:
1. Find the Best Keywords for You – Go Local
Think of the audience you are targeting: people that are interested in buying or selling homes in your area. Your keywords should be specific to real estate in your area and relevant to your listings. Some examples, assuming that you are a real estate agent in Tierra Verde Florida:
• Tierra Verde real estate
• Tierra Verde homes for sale
• Tierra Verde real estate agent
• Tierra Verde single-family homes
• Tierra Verde homes for rent
• Tierra Verde land for sale
• homes for sale in Tierra Verde fl
• houses for sale in Tierra Verde
In fact, the more specific your keywords are the better. Target your niche of listings accordingly with keywords like: “your location beach homes,” “your location condos,” “your location coops,” “your location luxury homes,” “your location multi-family homes,” “your location vacant land,” etc.
2. Use Google’s Keyword Planner to Uncover More Keywords
The Keyword Planner is a free tool from Google that can uncover what are your most valuable keywords. The tool’s purpose is two-fold:
• To give additional suggestions for keywords
• To estimate how much monthly traffic those keywords receive in Google
To use it, go to the tool’s location and log in with your Google account. If you don’t have one, create a new account (it will take just a few minutes). Then simply type in some keywords you think people might use to search for what you provide, including your geographical area (e.g. “Tierra Verde real estate”). It will give you a list of related keywords and their search volumes.
Enhancing Your Pages with Relevant and Engaging Content:
3. Use Your Keywords in the Page Title
Each webpage has a title that can be seen at the top of the browser, but must not be confused with the heading. The page title (also called title tag) is much less visible on the site itself, but is the first element that appears in the search engine results.
Here are a few examples of good page titles you can use for various page types:
• Homepage: Tierra Verde Real Estate | Tierra Verde Homes for Sale – [Your Brokerage Name]
• Neighborhood: Chelsea Real Estate | Chelsea Homes for Sale
• Listing Page: [Address], Tierra Verde, FL Home For Sale
Place your most important keyword at the beginning of the page title, the closer a keyword is to the beginning of the page title, the better the chances of that page ranking for that keyword.
4. Make Your Content Engaging
Write your content for your potential clients, not for Google or Bing.
Search engines track visitor behavior to detect what real visitors are reading, thus trying to improve their algorithms to offer people valuable content. If Google detects those visitors tend to leave your site and search again immediately after they have clicked on your website, the logical assumption is that they didn’t care for what they saw. Your website is then likely to be downgraded so as not to appear so high in the results for those search terms as another website with those terms and similar content.
5. Tell a Story
People love stories. They will give you more attention if you take them on a journey.
6. Use Your Own Unique Content
If you only copy articles from other websites and paste them into your site you will find it extremely difficult to attain good rankings in the search engines, because duplicate content can suffer penalties in the search engines.
7. Use Your Keywords Throughout Your Articles…
Have your targeted keywords appear naturally throughout the article; don’t force your keywords in. For example, if one of your keywords is something like “homes in Tierra Verde buy,” please don’t add it in that form in the article. It’s much better if you use these words in a more natural order, like “buy homes in Tierra Verde.”
8. …But Don’t Overuse Your Keywords
Having a keyword appear 2-3 times is enough in a 300–500 word article. Overusing your keywords (also called keyword stuffing) is bad for readers. Search engines can detect keyword stuffing, and it’s not a good thing if they come to the conclusion that you’re trying to exploit them.
9. Format Your Content to Make it Easy to Read
People tend to skim, not read articles. Using short paragraphs (3 or 4 lines), with lists, headers, titles, and subtitles help your clients find the information they really want quickly.
10. Try List-Type Articles
People love list-type articles (like this one), because they are easy to read. Writing articles like “10 Reasons Why Living in Tierra Verde is Awesome” can bring you a lot of exposure, and eventually clients.
11. Use Relevant Pictures
A picture is worth 1,000 words and makes your content more enjoyable. Be sure to include descriptive alt text both to help with SEO and accessibility.
Branding Your Real Estate Business:
12. A Good Domain Name is Important – Choose a Brandable Domain Name
A good URL can go a long way in attracting extra traffic from the search engines. Besides the obvious branding reasons, it can also yield better click-through rates from search engine results. An important thing to note is that as a domain gets older, its strength in the search engine results increases.
When you choose a domain name for your business, the most important thing to consider is your brand, and to a lesser extent, your keywords. For example, a good combination is “brand + real estate.” In the case of property sites, a good option is for the domain to contain the property’s address. Also, it should be relatively short and easy to remember.
How to Attract External Links to Your Website:
Every time another website links to yours, it acts as a vote that the other website gives you. The more votes you have, the better, because when search engines find out about them they will know that people are talking about your website and this will result in good rankings.
What is very important in a backlink is the clickable text, also called “anchor text.” This is another strong signal that search engines take into account when evaluating your relevancy to certain terms. When you build your backlinks, having your target keywords in the anchor text of some of them can be really useful for SEO.
Link building is hard work; in fact it’s the most time-consuming aspect of SEO, but it’s worth your while if you do it right.
13. Get Involved in Discussions on Forums and Real Estate Networks
Whenever you find a forum or a real estate social network discussing topics related to your real estate niche, or better yet, discussing the real estate situation in your area, it’s a good idea to participate in those discussions. Link back to your own website, using anchor text keywords if possible.
14. Find Local Blogs and Contribute Guest Posts on Other Blogs
This is one of the most effective link building methods. There are a lot of bloggers out there that will agree to publish your article on their website. In that article they will usually let you add a link to your site. Participate in discussions on local community websites to increase your local SEO (and real estate!) authority.
15. Add Value
But don’t comment on blogs or forums only with the intention of getting a link. Try to add real value to the discussion, help people when they have questions, follow up on your conversations, and be a valuable asset to the community.
16. Create Real Estate Videos
On a property site, create a video with images or a tour of the property. On your agent site, create a video showcasing some information about the real estate activity in your area and about you. Then upload the video on the major video hosting websites (YouTube, Dailymotion, etc) and place a link to your website in the description of that video.
17. Don’t Forget Your Social Media Marketing Presence
Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus profiles are essential for your social media presence. Be active, add people on Facebook, follow people on Twitter, and be genuine. Although Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus are considered by many to be the most important social media sites for marketing, there are also other resources to help maximize your social visibility, like LinkedIn, Pinterest, and YouTube.
PROTECH can set you up with a beautiful, optimized real estate website. Using these tips above you’ll be able to provide us with the information we need to get you started, and then help continue building your own special presence on the web for your clients.
Content courtesy of https://retechnology.com/agent/articles/46-tips-to-attract-more-leads-using-real-estate-seo-best-practices?layout=onepage