A leading real estate brokerage in Southwest Florida generates nearly 200 visitors a month from a single blog post that provides reasons to move to the area. Another blog post filled with fun local facts from last April continues to drive nearly 100 visits to another Sunbelt-based brokerage.
So, what's their secret sauce? They are all benefiting from the value of coupling content with SEO. Content is a crucial component of any SEO program for real estate. By providing content that attracts traffic to their website and engages visitors, brokerages can leapfrog local competitors in traffic and lead generation. Without a complete SEO and content strategy, you miss out on driving more prospective local home sellers and buyers to your brokerage website.
That's why real estate brokerages benefit when they think like news veterans to drive more targeted and quality traffic to their websites. News publishers understand that nothing connects better to their audience than local news and information that provides value.
Avoid Being Yesterday's News
While you don't have a team of seasoned journalists who create content like big-time newspapers do, you can learn from how they do what they do.
About a third of all traffic to one of the country's largest-circulation newspaper websites comes from search traffic, according to Alexa. In addition, the paper's reader engagement is off the charts at more than double their competitor's average. So, it is clear that newspapers care deeply about SEO and the insights it provides.
For example, Search Engine Land notes that, often, data tools help shape editorial decisions. Newspapers closely monitor online reader behavior, which allows them to improve their content strategy, and, in turn, builds more trust with their readers.
Newspapers don't think about SEO as a one-hit-wonder for their sites. They know building trust with their readers takes time, and rather than try to sell to their customers, they focus on informing them. Today's newspaper world offers content that connects, and readers keep coming back for more.
Benefits of Content in Your Overall SEO Strategy
Google likes websites that offer new and engaging content. The more frequently your content is updated, the more Google crawls and indexes your website. As Google begins to see your website as being authoritative, your ranking in Google searches improves.
It's essential to provide fresh and frequent content that is distinct. Google does not like duplicative content. If you are repurposing the same content that Google is finding elsewhere, Google is less likely to come back and index your website. Google also will come back less frequently to a website when the content is stale. So you need to give search engines like Google something new to find.
Delta Media Group® regularly provides local content for brokerage websites that is distinct, with topics that spark curiosity to attract and then engage readers and helps ensure they spend more time on the broker's site. Examples of hyperlocal blog content include "Top 5 Picnic Spots in Dayton," "Pet Parks of Portland," "Best Bookstores in Boise," "7 Fun Facts About the French Quarter," and "9 Reasons to Move to Naples." These are the type of evergreen posts that can drive more traffic to a website for years.
In some larger markets, it is difficult for a brokerage to rank high in a Google search for a general home search, such as "Homes for sale in Miami." But by specifically building out hyperlocal blog content for these markets and optimizing these blogs for search, brokerages can increase their chances of ranking for the more competitive search phrases over time.
Delta also provides industry-leading SEO software that automates the process of optimizing a brokerage's website. As a result, it helps brokerage websites grow immensely, creating tens of thousands of pages from MLS listing data – content a brokerage otherwise would not have. Plus, Delta's software provides Google with clean, more descriptive URLs for each page it creates, making it easier to index.
This includes market landing pages, pages for local neighborhoods and subdivisions, school districts, brokerages, IDX listings results pages, and more — all optimized and updated for search engines automatically. Without this software, a brokerage would need a team of folks to manage this process. Combined with the regular blog posts Delta provides, there's always plenty of new content for Google to come back and index.
Right Time, Right Content
Real estate brokerages can leverage automation tools and deliver the right content to the right people at the right time. While you may not field a team of content creators like a major newspaper, the good news is that Delta Media already has one in place for you. Creating content of interest that is relevant and valued is what Delta does best, generating thousands of visitors to our brokerage clients' websites each month.
For example, manually creating and maintaining social media channels, email marketing campaigns, and a blog can be challenging. Many brokerages don't dedicate the resources needed for an effective content marketing strategy because it can be overwhelming and often not deliver a return on one's investment of time and money.
Delta Media Group helps brokerages overcome this hurdle by providing a robust content marketing strategy that leverages automated drip marketing email campaigns and social posting tools as well as hyperlocal blog content. Everything you do as a brokerage in leveraging content should be easy and help you better connect with the communities you serve. By delivering content that matters to your community, you can turn online prospects into closed transactions.
For example, in New Hampshire, a monthly email that targets 22,000 individuals showcasing new listings, price changes, and a real estate article generates 53% of their website traffic and 33% of their leads.
To drive more website traffic, major regional brokerages in North Carolina and Long Island, New York, deploy automated marketing tools, including Market Watch reports, new listing alerts, push notifications, and the My Customer For Life drip marketing email campaign. As much as 10% of their total traffic comes from these automated tools.
In fact, a brokerage can derive more than half of its website volume and a third of its leads from a well-crafted email campaign when the content is hyperlocal and seen as valuable. While the brokerage provides the content, the email goes out on behalf of agents to each agent's client and prospect database.
Agents benefit from this strategy, as they don't have to lift a finger to touch both past and potential clients. They appreciate their broker giving them this type of marketing support that helps them grow their business. Over the years, one broker's email campaign has built an almost cult-like following, with recipients looking forward to their weekly email blast.
Building Traffic and Leads
Real estate SEO is a lot different than how SEO works for most other industries. Regular SEO typically is trying to build and drive traffic to products or services that remain the same. In real estate SEO, the product — a property listing — is turning over all the time, and every new home listing is a new product. A lot of brokerages struggle with SEO for this reason.
But SEO done right can help brokerages dramatically increase traffic and generate more "ready to transact" leads. When compared with most other real estate marketing activities, SEO triumphs by delivering a stellar ROI, as it is one of the most profitable ways to market your brokerage website.
And SEO isn't just for national brokerages or ones with million-dollar marketing budgets. SEO is achievable for brokerages of all sizes. Best of all, the audiences you reach on your website with the right SEO program are buyers and sellers who are more likely to transact sooner rather than later.
Because Delta Media Group delivers the "under the hood" work that SEO requires, brokerages don't have to do the heavy lifting. As a leading real estate website and lead management developer, Delta has the programmers, system administrators, content creators, and web designers to help with the necessary website adjustments, maximizing the SEO of a brokerage site.
Delta works within your real estate website, including the back-end code, to make the necessary programming adjustments, helping brokerages avoid using the services of a third-party SEO company. In addition, copywriting is done by a team of professionals so that SEO-based content creation is by writers who include graduates from top journalism programs and many former professional journalists.
For SEO to remain effective, it also needs to be monitored and adjusted. Having a professional team that has your back gives brokerages peace of mind. Delta makes sure that your SEO investment continues to deliver traffic and leads through tracking and monitoring online behavior. As a result, brokerages get ongoing insight into their website traffic and lead generation because SEO transparency is paramount for its long-term success.
The Big Takeaway
It's a myth that SEO is only for the biggest brokerage firms, and SEO is anything but dead in real estate. The fact is SEO can provide one of the most significant returns on investment of any marketing expenditure by a brokerage.
The right SEO and content marketing strategy can be a brokerage's secret sauce for driving more traffic and building more leads. When a brokerage thinks like a publisher by delivering hyperlocal, relevant and timely content, they will drive more traffic to their website, generate more actionable leads, and delight their agents.