Publishing new website content on a regular basis is one of the best things you can do for your real estate Internet marketing program. It’s free. It’s fairly easy to do, once you know how. And it can help you attract more visitors to your site. In this article, I’ll share some tips for writing real estate website content with an SEO focus.
But first, some definitions are in order:
- Website content is a broad term with many applications. It might refer to photos, text, downloads and more. But in this context, I am specifically referring to textual content — real estate articles, blog posts, news stories, etc.
- SEO is a term you’ve probably seen before. It stands for search engine optimization. SEO is the act of improving your website for better search engine rankings and visibility. Better ranking is the intermediate goal of SEO. The ultimate goal is to attract more visitors to your website, so you can generate more leads and/or sales.
Website content is one of the key components of real estate SEO. In fact, I’d say it’s one of the top-three factors that will determine your SEO success. (Link popularity and user behavior patterns round out the top three.) But I digress. Let’s get back to the content strategy for your website…
Creating an SEO Content Plan for Your Real Estate Website
A lot of real estate agents neglect their website content. They put up a five-page website with some basic “about us” information and then call it a day. From an SEO standpoint, this is a huge mistake. It limits the number of ways people can find your website. It reduces the traffic potential — and thus the overall success — of your real estate website.
The argument for this limited publishing strategy goes something like this: “I don’t need to waste my time writing website content. People will only find me by doing a Google search for a handful of phrases. So I only need to be concerned with my search engine rankings for those phrases.”
This argument comes from a lack of understanding. Real estate agents who believe and follow this logic are missing out on a lot of traffic. People might Google hundreds of phrases when researching your local housing market. Any one of those people could become your next client. So it would behoove you to write a volume of website content that caters to these people.
That’s just one advantage of prolific publishing — it gives people more ways to find you online. There are other advantages too, and we will cover those a bit later. First, I want to offer a helpful diagram that shows how to write a wealth of real estate website content to support your SEO program. Keep this diagram in mind as we discuss keyword-research and content strategies.
This diagram represents a process you can use to create new content for your real estate website. The goal here is to build your content around known search phrases. These are the words and phrases people are using to research your products or services. Remember, we are trying to transform your website into an informational resource for prospective customers.
Here’s how to get started.
- Use a keyword research tool like the free one offered by Google.
- Enter various phrases that relate to your real estate services and your housing market. Enter as many phrases as you can think of.
- Run a keyword search on these starter phrases. The tool will then generate a list of search phrases based on actual user behavior. You can even sort the list by popularity of phrases, which is helpful for determining which ones have the most traffic potential.
- Create a spreadsheet or Word document with the phrases you want to incorporate into your real estate website. You can omit any obvious redundancies (like different wordings of the same phrase).
- Use this list as a blueprint for writing new content for your website.
- You could build the actual content in several ways. You could create an article library, a news blog, a series of articles, etc. Do whatever works best for you.
- Create useful website content that engages the reader. This will help you in several ways, and I’ll explain them a bit later.
If you follow the seven steps outlined above, you could see a significant increase in traffic over time. Your traffic might eventually double, triple, quadruple or more. You are giving people more ways to find your real estate website. You’re giving them more information to read when they get there. And you’re positioning yourself as an authority in your local market. All this by following a systematic approach to writing website content.
Google Panda and the Need for Quality Content
In February of 2011, Google shook up the Internet world with the release of its “Panda” update. Google is constantly refining the computerized algorithm it uses to rank websites. But the Panda update (named for one of the employees who worked on the project) went above and beyond any of the previous updates.
Here’s what Danny Sullivan from Search Engine Land had to say about it:
“Panda is a filter that Google has designed to spot what it believes are low-quality pages. Have too many low-quality pages, and Panda effectively flags your entire site.”
This reinforces a point I made earlier (bullet point #7 above). The quality of your website content is far more important than the quantity. I’ve given you a publishing model to help with the quantity side of things. That’s the easy part. The real work is to write useful content that engages the reader. This is the hallmark of any real estate SEO program — or at least it should be.
If you crank out low-quality articles and blog posts in a vain attempt to pull in search engine traffic, you are shooting yourself in the foot. It will undermine your SEO goals, and your broader goals for Internet marketing and lead generation. If somebody clicks through a Google results page to find your real estate website, and they immediately hit the “back” button for some reason, it will reflect poorly on your site. This is known as a “bounce.”
Search engines incorporate this kind of usage data — the “bounce rate” — into their ranking algorithms. A higher bounce rate will result in lower search engine rankings, with all other things being equal. Quality content lowers your bounce rates, by engaging the reader and keeping her on the site longer. In terms of data and usage behavior, it tells Google and other search engines that people like your website and find it useful. This translates into better rankings. It’s a fundamental for real estate SEO success. But it all starts with the website content you create.
Website content and SEO go hand in hand. But that’s just one benefit of creating quality content. It also helps you connect with your ideal audience. It helps you gain their trust. It helps you showcase your knowledge over your subject matter. It helps you generate leads and attract new clients. So I ask you … aren’t these things worth the extra effort?
P.S. — If you need some help writing the kind of real estate content discussed in this article, we can help you. It’s one of our specialties. Use the links in the main menu to learn more about our copywriting services.