Yesterday afternoon, Ramin and I made some traditional Chinese Pu’erh tea at his place (in a not-so-traditional way…)
… as we talked casually about ten powerful ways real estate agents can begin improving their website rank on popular search engines this year.
Watch our afternoon unfold in this awesome video, and then apply a few of our SEO recommendations to your own REALTOR® website and online presence right away. When you have 10 minutes, watch the video embedded below or directly on our YouTube channel.
(PS. I’m not sure what we’re calling these videos yet… Real-TEA-Ninja – Dojo Tea Sessions? Any ideas?? Tweet me)
Top 10 SEO Checklist for REALTORS® in 2017 (Text Version)
#10 – Ask For Backlinks
Backlinks are when another website on the internet links to yours. A backlink from a highly reputable, or really busy website can mean that your website moves up and rank on Google, Bing, and all those search engines. And so you want as many links to your site as you can but you also want links to come from great websites not from non-relevant websites. Websites that are relevant to the real estate business, to REALTORS®, to your community.
And you don’t just want backlinks that link to your homepage that say “click here!” You want a backlink that is relevant to what’s happening on your homepage or on that page of your website. So for instance if they’re backlinking from some popular websites your blog and it’s one of your blog articles, well make sure that some of the keywords from that blog article are being linked, and not just a “click here!” or just your name. It should be relevant
#9 – Create Video Content
So we always get asked, “What’s the quickest way to start creating content for my website.” … or for anything. I think the quickest way that you can get started is just to pull out your phone, go to the camera and start recording a video of yourself. This could be at one of your listings that you’re representing; just give a nice little walk through tour in the video, on your phone. Super low-tech. You don’t have to invest in lighting, or audio equipment. Just literally walk through the property, explain a few things as if somebody was there and then say “You know what, I’m hosting an open house this Sunday, I’d love to see you there. Click the link below to go to my website to view the floor plan and way more information on this property.”
One way you could do this right away is jump onto your Facebook app on your phone, load up your page and start recording a video on Facebook Live, so it will be a live video that people can watch as it’s happening, and right when that video is over, it gets saved to your page, and then that’s a piece of content.
#8 – Write Guest Blogs
So guest blogging is actually a great way to create backlinks, because when you’re guest blogging you’re not blogging on your own website anymore. You’re blogging on somebody else’s website. Let’s say you’re North Vancouver REALTOR® and you want to write a guest blog post for NorthVancouver.com. Well that’s not your website, but you get to write some content for it, and at the end you get link back to you.
And so guest blogging is a form of backlinks – of earning backlinks without necessarily asking for them. Instead, you’re going out and providing value to a blog or website by writing an article for them, or creating some content for them and then in that content you have a link back to your website.
#7 – Curate Content
Another really quick way to get content on, let’s say, your blog is to take the market reports that the real estate board puts out. Link to it but then put your own spin on it. So the reports come out, they’re often a few pages long, they’re full of data. If you can distill that data for the user that’s on your site, just give them a brief synopsis of the highlights and stuff that they need to know and how it affects them in particular, but right in your own words.
Not only is good for SEO it’s good for establishing you as the expert, and building trust.
#6 – Create Interlinks
Interlinking refers to the activity of linking to pages on your own websites from your own website. Not like a backlink that’s coming from an outside domain, all these links are happening on your own domain. Now one thing that we do at RealtyNinja is interlink between our blog posts so if you’re reading any one of our Dojo posts you’re going to get at least one or two links to our other articles from within one article.
Also, throughout our website you might find call to actions leading you to other areas. Super important to have your website visitors not stuck or stranded in one area, they need to be reading your page and constantly following a flow of events until they get to the final step which would be buying a house or selling a house with you, ideally, but until that point a little bit of interlinking helps keep them on your website for longer.
#5 – Write For Humans
So, this is a big one. It’s writing for people, and not Google. So Google works every single day to make their programs more like humans. So if you just focus on writing relevant high-quality content, that’s shareable and interesting, people will naturally read it and share it. Now, Google is gonna naturally rank that website or that page article higher the more relevant or interesting it is. If you try to trick Google and try to use various methods that are called “Black Hat” or “Grey Hat” such as keyword stuffing or improper backlinking… trying to essentially trick Google’s systems into ranking your website higher, you’ll definitely regret it.
You might see very short-term uptick in results but overall your website will get penalized.
#4 – Create Shareable Content
Shareable content doesn’t have to be something that’s challenging to create. It does require a little bit of reflection though. A little test that I usually put myself through is I just ask myself, when producing content, “Would I share this if someone else had produced it?” Would I post it to my own Facebook? Would I, you know share it to my own blog? Would I re-blog it? Would I re-tweet it? Would I post it to instagram if it’s a photo?
What makes something share-worthy? The fact of the matter is, it’s going to make your audience feel smarter. They’re going to share your article if it makes them feel smarter or if it makes them feel like they know something that other people don’t know. Alternatively you could just be hilarious and maybe they’re sharing something that’s funny but we tried that in our last video and we did get a lot of engagement, people though we were funny, but they didn’t share. Because our job is not to be funny, our job is to be educational and informative so make sure you know what you’re doing and create content that’s shareable for your audience.
#3 – Follow Google Guidelines
So Google has a document called the webmaster guidelines. They’re essentially a set of standards that they expect professional web designers and developers to take when they’re developing a website. Now, you should talk to your web designer about this, and if you’re RealtyNinja customer we got you covered.
Now what they are is a set of things, kinda under the hood stuff that has to be there. It could be your URL structure, title tag, Schema, sitemap.xml files, proper descriptions and so on. There’s lots and lots of stuff and it’s constantly changing.
#2 – Audit Social Profiles
Here’s a super simple one that’s often forgotten or overlooked. Bringing your entire online brand together and making sure it’s cohesive by having all the links from your social networks point your website. If you haven’t done so in a while, go and audit your online presence. Maybe do a google search for your ownname or just go to all the social profiles that you currently have active and make sure that every single website domain on there is linking to your homepage.
Every web presence that you have control of online should be linking to the nucleus of your of your brand online, which is your website.
#1 – Choose Realistic Keywords
When it comes to picking keywords for SEO, you gotta keep it realistic. Let’s say you’re a brand new REALTOR®, with a brand new website, on a brand new domain, that doesn’t have any history or backlinking already. Now, Google doesn’t really know what your site is about or what you’re up on it, so if you’re trying to break out into the market and target a huge broad term like “Vancouver Real Estate” or “Real Estate Agent in Canada” … something like that, you’re definitely not going to see the results you want.
So what you want to do is drill down to a few of the smaller niches that you know really well. So, yes your domain could have various sections to it that link off and show a broader perspective But you generally want to focus in, and show just one or two things that you’re an expert in.
Obviously, SEO is a huge topic and we really haven’t dived into it and full detail today. We’ll be covering it a lot more as the months go by, in the blog, so make sure you subscribe to The Dojo and download our ebook via the form below!
Have an awesome day, Ninjas!
- Download the tips from “Top 10 SEO Checklist for REALTORS® in 2017 Video” in PDF format. (coming soon)
- Google Webmaster Guidelines
- Google Webmaster Central Blog
- Knowing Black Hat SEO (things to avoid)
- Marketplace Deal for RealtyNinja Customers: