One of the best ways to create a successful marketing campaign is to segment your audience. Many agents will create "buckets" by dividing their client and prospect contacts, then focusing most of their efforts on the most likely to buy or sell soon.
That's not a bad strategy, but this approach often only yields short-term benefits. The system creates a marketing cycle of "prospect, prospect, prospect – secure leads – then process, process, process" these transactions. The challenge for agents is this becomes a roller-coaster approach to business growth. You feast after closings and famine when hunting for more business.
By leveraging the potential of the DeltaNET® 6 CRM, you can end the roller-coaster nature of your business. Delta's tech toolset allows you to create ongoing, set-and-forget marketing campaigns that build both immediate and longer-term business.
Targeting both ready-to-transact prospects and nurturing longer-term potential clients is particularly valuable when statistics now tell the average homeowner tenure is just over 13 years. As a result, real estate agents often face one of the most prolonged business cycles in terms of repeat business.
But real estate veterans will tell you that a lot, if not the majority of their business, comes from referrals. And although people live in their homes for a long time, these same people buy vacation homes and investment properties.
Another way to design your marketing campaigns to fulfill short-term and long-term business needs is to segment your contacts by generation. How many would fit in each bucket when you look at your total sphere of influence?
· Generation Z (ages 12-23)
· Millennials (ages 24-42)
· Generation X (ages 43-57)
· Baby Boomers (56-76)
(Ages shown are based on National Association of Realtors research)
And more and more, demographers are breaking these generations down even further by bifurcating two of the largest groups – Boomers and Millennials. The National Association of Realtors makes its distinction this way:
· Generation Z (ages 11-23)
· Younger Millennials (ages 24-32)
· Older Millennials (ages 33-42)
· Generation X (ages 43-57)
· Younger Boomers (ages 58-67)
· Older Boomers (ages 68-76)
· Silent Generation (ages 77+)
What if you also knew the buying and selling habits, overall, for each of these generation segments? Fortunately, the National Association of Realtors recently released its "NAR 2022 Generational Trends" report.
This 140-plus page survey document is a treasure trove of statistics to help you better reach each of your audiences.
A great example is the share of buyers and sellers in today's marketplace by generation.
Share of Sellers by Generation
· Generation Z: 2%
· Younger Millennials: 6%
· Older Millennials: 20%
· Generation X: 24%
· Younger Boomers: 23%
· Older Boomers: 19%
· Silent Generation: 6%
Share of Buyers by Generation
· Generation Z: 2%
· Younger Millennials: 18%
· Older Millennials: 25%
· Generation X: 22%
· Younger Boomers: 17%
· Older Boomers: 12%
· Silent Generation: 4%
NAR explains that they broke apart both the Boomers and Millennials by age into two groups because these segments have "differing demographic and buying behaviors."
For example, researchers found that Younger Boomers were more likely to purchase in a rural area, while Older Boomers (likely due to retirement) moved the furthest distance. In addition, Older Millennials had one of the highest shares of married couples among these generations (64%), while Younger Millennials had the highest share of unmarried couples (21%) buying homes.
Generational Impact on Real Estate
It's valuable to understand the massive influences that each generation has today – and will have tomorrow. For example, Millennials comprise the largest – and growing – share of home buyers at 43%. Eighty-one percent of Younger Millennials are first-time buyers, more than any other age group.
Boomers are motivated to move closer to friends and family, move due to retirement or a desire to have a smaller home. They also are more likely to purchase homes in a small town. Gen Xers have the income – the highest earning power at a median annual income of $125,000. Gen Xers also buy the most expensive homes: $320,000 with a median average size of 2,300 square feet. They are more likely to purchase a multi-generational home or move because of a job relocation. They are the most racially and ethnically diverse population of homebuyers.
And while Gen Z currently has little impact on buying and selling homes as they capture just 2% of the market, play the long game with this crowd, and you could win. Gen Z is a group that is interested in becoming homeowners.
How do You Reach Each Generation?
Different generations rely on different communication methods and social channels. For example, Boomers primarily use email and are active on Facebook. Millennials and Gen X are text-centric and engage with businesses on Facebook and Instagram. Gen Z loves the video-oriented platforms YouTube and Tik-Tok.
More importantly, understanding what's important to each generation and where they are in their buying and selling cycle can help you connect in the right way. Knowing your audiences and their communication habits is the first step to successful marketing.
The new NAR 2022 Generational Trends Report allows you to see each generation's buying and selling habits. Knowing these differences unveils the myriad of business opportunities each group can offer you.
Next, you'll need to provide the right content that engages each generation. That's different too. Just as you need to understand the communication preferences of each generation, you also need to understand the content consumption habits.
Once you better understand generation habits, you can use this knowledge to create more effective communication strategies and content.
The Power of Social Media
Market research from Sprout Social tells us that more than three-in-four consumers (76%) have used social media within the last year, and 63% have bought from it.
Millennials are avid social media consumers. Their social media usage is up: 72% report their social media activity has risen in the last year. Millennials are more likely to use Facebook (70%) and Instagram (64%) to connect with businesses. They also are the generation most likely to buy something after seeing an ad, watching a video review or reading a review on social media.
Gen Xers are not digital natives, yet they are the second biggest consumers of social media among generational groups. Their appetite continues as their consumption rises: 76% said they used social media more in the past year. Gen X's first choice of social platform is Facebook, followed by WhatsApp and Instagram. They also value responsive customer service.
Baby Boomers may have come late to the social media party, but they use Facebook the most today: 92% of Boomers have an account. Their social use is also growing, with two-thirds of them reporting an increase in social media use in the past year.
According to the Social Sprout study:
· Baby Boomers' primary motivations for liking or following companies on social are to learn about new products/services (69%) and stay up to date on company news (51%).
· Most Baby Boomers (87%) are likely to buy from a brand when someone they trust recommends a product/service.
· More than two in 10 Baby Boomers reach out to businesses on social when they have feedback, second only to email.
You can see why the popularity of Delta Media's Ad Wizard is at an all-time high. It's tough for agents to engage on one social channel, much less manage ads and budgets on a social channel.
That time-consuming process is automated by Ad Wizard, built to help agents maximize their exposure on Facebook and Instagram.
The Impact of Email
If you have deep knowledge about your targeted audiences and know their communication and social media behavior, you now know your audiences and have the right way to engage with them figured out.
But you still need to deliver to each audience the right messages. If you are like most real estate agents and brokers, creating content is challenging and takes time. The good news is that Delta Media can do the heavy lifting for you.
One of the most powerful and easiest to use tools within the all-in-one DeltaNET® 6 CRM platform is its AI-drive email marketing and newsletter campaigns. When you are looking to deliver the right content at the right time to the right audience, this is your go-to solution.
According to researchers, email is still the most preferred communication channel overall for communication from a business. That's true of Millennials, Gen X, Boomers and even Gen Z.
The best part of the Delta Media drip email campaigns is that they are ready to go, so you don't have to create content. But, most importantly, the interaction that prospects have when they read your emails and newsletters helps determine the future content they will receive. The magic of using artificial intelligence for marketing is that it gets smarter by learning what the reader wants, sending them more of the content they prefer.
This is how Delta helps you achieve marketing that has more impact and success: by helping you send the right message to the right audience, the right way, and at the right time.
Brokerages currently face a real estate paradox: 90% of sellers and buyers say they would use their agent again, yet only about one in five home buyers and one in three sellers actually used the same agent a second time.
It's not because these "orphaned" clients are moving out of the market. On the contrary, Pew Research found that most Americans (57%) have never lived outside their home state, and more than one in three (37%) have never lived outside their hometown.
The fact is that when most people move, they don't move very far. So why aren't they using their original agent? And for those moving to another state, why aren't they getting a referral from their agent?
The most likely cause of lost repeat business is also the most avoidable: Agents are not staying in touch with their past clients.
To some extent, this is understandable. When you're a busy agent, it feels nearly impossible to find the time to fit in the tasks that will build new business when working a pipeline of active buyers and sellers. Closing transactions puts income in your bank account today. Reaching out to prospects does not.
However, over time, unless agents stay top-of-mind, clients will no longer feel connected to the original agent who helped them buy or sell a home. This makes clients open to another agent's direct solicitation of their business.
Automatically Staying Top-of-Mind
Today, agents no longer need to struggle to stay connected to past clients. When brokerages use DeltaNET® 6, agents benefit from a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform fully integrated with easy-to-use automated marketing programs.
Agents can select from an array of Delta-provided email and text drip campaigns that help them consistently stay in front of their sphere of clients, prospects, business acquaintances, family, and friends.
Delta's "My Customer for Life" newsletters are designed to keep agents connected with their client list so that when they are ready to buy or sell, they reach out to the agent they've worked with in the past. Other Delta Media Group® marketing tools, such as Social Connector, Market Watch Reports, HomeFinder Reports, and Seller Reports, also help keep agents top-of-mind.
Using Delta's automated listing videos is another way to streamline your marketing tasks to have more time to reach out to your sphere.
Staying in touch is crucial. According to the latest National Association of REALTORS® research, a stunning 77% of recent sellers contacted only one agent before finding the agent they eventually worked with to sell their home. And the percentage of buyers who interviewed only one agent during their home search? An astounding 73%.
But all client outreach starts with an up-to-date CRM.
CRM: Now More Important Than Ever
The most valuable and cost-effective source of new business for a real estate agent comes from their sphere. A study by Buffini & Company showed that 82% of all real estate transactions come from repeat and referral business.
The study also found that for one in four agents, half of their business comes from repeat clients. One in five agents gets more than half their business from past client referrals. So why do agents pay $200 or more for an online lead when there is a goldmine in their own database?
Real estate is and always will be a relationship-driven business. The critical tech tool that manages agent relationships is a CRM.
A CRM's value cannot be overstated. Many top-producing agents find that nine out of every 10 referrals come from their sphere of influence, including past clients, friends, and family. Moreover, agents who earn $100,000 or more in gross commission income are more than twice as likely to use a CRM than agents who earn less, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.
Agents potentially will be spending hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a month on advertising and promotion to reach new prospects — but their most significant source of future business is the people they already know.
A Brokerage Provided CRM
Brokerages provide more technology than ever to their agents, yet almost every tech tool — from CRM software to transaction management programs — feels and looks the same, regardless of the brokerage.
Many brokerages struggle to showcase their character and individuality through their tech offerings, so when it comes to recruiting and retention, nothing really stands out. Non-franchise brokerages, meanwhile, are usually independently minded. They want to provide tech tools that differentiate them from their competitors while also helping their agents grow their business. Unfortunately, what's often missing from that approach are the tech tools that can set the brokerages apart.
All that changes with a CRM solution from Delta Media Group. Delta is offering an industry first: CRMs that can be customized for every brokerage. The color, style, look, and feel of the Delta-provided CRM makes it your own. It also draws in agents who are able to see a customized product that is unlike anything else in real estate. With tech that's one-of-a-kind, agents will be inspired to do one-of-a-kind work as well.
Automation = Adoption
Real estate brokerages know that the best CRM is one that an agent will use. Yet, adoption remains the single most challenging barrier towards universal CRM usage.
To accomplish universal CRM usage among their agents, brokerages need their CRM to do a lot more than it does now. That's why Delta is integrating the newest technology into our easy-to-use platform, providing one-stop-shop tech that offers everything from automation and artificial intelligence to machine learning.
Automation is what will drive universal adoption. Take out any unnecessary steps, free up agent schedules, and suddenly, it's easier than ever for those same agents to accomplish everything on their to-do list. And as intelligent marketing tools are integrated with the DeltaNET CRM, the benefits for agent adoption will be universally compelling.
There are two keys for a brokerage CRM to be successful. First, every custom CRM that Delta Media Group creates for a brokerage must be easy to use. Second, the CRM also must reflect the independent brand of the brokerage.
Delta-provided CRMs are at the core of every agent marketing activity. Future innovations will make them even more robust. And when an independent brokerage uses a customized CRM, it helps that brokerage differentiate its brands.
Delta is building even more innovative marketing tools that will be fully integrated into every CRM we provide. These new tools will drive more social media connections and deliver more highly targeted direct marketing, email, and text campaigns that offer the right message to the right audience at the right time.
Everything will connect to one's CRM, and once independent brokerages can provide a unique CRM from their competition, we will move closer to universal CRM use.
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.
You've read the headlines — "Inventory Shortage Sends Home Prices Soaring at Record Rate," "Housing Inventory Shortage Leads to Most Bidding Wars Ever," "Explaining Today's U.S. Real Estate Inventory Insanity," and "It's crazy. There is no inventory," — and are all too aware of how low inventory in your market is impacting your business. But did you know that low inventory is also causing your brokerage website traffic to plummet?
Every website featuring property listings is experiencing lower overall web traffic because of record-low inventory. Even brokerages with top-notch SEO programs — like the SEO Delta Media Group® provides — are experiencing big drops in overall web traffic as their IDX listings fall. For brokerages in some markets where listings have dropped as much as 60% over the last few years, web traffic has also dropped upwards of 60%.
This is not a coincidence: this is pure cause and effect. So, let's dig into this deeper and see what you, as a broker-owner, and your agents need to know about declining web traffic volume, how SEO is needed now more than ever, and what you need to do next.
Real Estate Web Traffic is Down Everywhere
Research from both Zillow and realtor.com shows that their property listing inventory is down about 50% nationally.
According to Zillow, 1.788 million homes were listed for sale as of August 31, 2019. Fast forward to April 30, 2021, the most recent number available, and the total U.S. homes listed for sale according to Zillow was 949,788 — a decline of nearly 50%. Realtor.com's weekly inventory tracking reports say that total active listings as of early May were down 52% year-over-year.
When leading brokerages look at their total web traffic numbers, they are likely to see a decline in overall traffic that closely matches the decline in local listing inventory. Delta Media has seen this happen for clients across the board, nearly without exception.
But here's the silver lining. Despite the decline in web traffic, search ranking for Delta brokerage clients has not changed. In some cases, rankings have improved. This is because Delta's Search Engine Optimization or SEO and content services continue to drive traffic to broker websites, making sure brokerages continue to get their share of real estate-related web traffic.
Understanding the Cause
By digging deeper into the cause of traffic decline, analytics show that traffic landing on property listing detail pages — which are crucial to successful SEO — has dropped in tandem with the drop in the number of local listings.
Let's look at the math. A single-listing detail page for a property can generate a handful to hundreds of visits. If the average listing generates five visits and you have 1,000 active listings in your market, you are getting 5,000 visits from listings. If your average listing generates 20 visits, you are netting 20,000 visits from the listings in your market. If you average 100 visits to an active listing, that's 100,000 visitors to your brokerage website.
If your active listing inventory in your local market declines by 50%, it's likely you are going to see a comparable drop in traffic.
But don't throw in the towel and give up on SEO because your web traffic is down.
That's happening across the board. Staying with your SEO efforts is key to long-term success because SEO does a lot more than generate website traffic.
Impact of SEO
One of the misconceptions in the real estate world is that websites can't rank for IDX listings. That's simply not true. With the right SEO, traffic is generated from all the listings on a brokerage's website.
The best response by a brokerage to website traffic decline should be to stay the course with SEO. That's because, despite the declines in overall traffic, SEO still drives 50-80 percent of all organic traffic to a Delta broker's website. Additionally, more than 50% of their leads are coming from SEO.
Keep in mind that organic leads — created by ongoing and effective SEO efforts — generate both the lowest cost leads and the most ready-to-list and ready-to-buy leads. The cost per organic lead is just $5.41 for Delta Media's clients overall. For large brokerage clients, it averages $4.56 for a ready-to-act lead and $4.98 for our mid-sized brokerage clients.
SEO ebbs and flows. The key is to remain steadfast with your SEO efforts.
Why? SEO is like a company's reputation: it takes years to build and, with one misstep, minutes to lose.
The blunder that many brokerages make with their SEO happens when they switch brokerage website providers. If the proper steps are not taken by your new tech firm, you could lose all the SEO equity that your website took years, sometimes decades, to build.
We have witnessed past clients — who see greener grass — switch tech firms to handle their websites. Their web traffic falls off a cliff almost universally. During the migration process, they lose the brokerage's SEO mojo. More critically, organic lead generation from SEO efforts also takes a massive nosedive.
Most surprisingly, the tech firms they switched to are well-known website vendors. But none of these firms offer the SEO acumen that Delta does.
SEO is one of Delta Media's superpowers. It's why many of these brokerages return as clients. We know how to manage website migration without negatively impacting your SEO.
Changing website providers does not have to cause you to panic. With the right approach, you can keep all your SEO equity. But you need to work with a highly skilled website provider that understands all the steps that must be taken to correctly replicate your website's content.
The Power of SEO
The beauty of Delta Media provided websites is how well they rank for both the brokerage's listings and IDX listings. Therefore, it makes sense that the web traffic declines brokerages are seeing are most significant in the hottest markets, where the brokerage has a dominant market share. As IDX listings have dried up, so has overall traffic.
Looking further into what is happening at the brokerage level, we make sure nothing else is happening that would hamper traffic. SEO remains key to helping brokerages maintain their overall ranking, despite overall lower web traffic numbers.
SEO also can help a brokerage compete against the portals. The more dominant a brokerage is within a local market, the more favorable Google will view them when they deploy the right SEO efforts.
Google loves fresh content, and that's one of the essential services that Delta provides brokerages. We do all the heavy lifting by creating the kind of new content that Google wants.
What Else is Influencing Web Traffic?
The pandemic has had a massive impact on internet traffic. As America locked down, web traffic shot up. The New York Times reported that Facebook traffic almost immediately spiked 27% higher, with YouTube and Netflix jumping over 15%.
Studies by The Internet & Television Association show that with a surge in people working from home (WFH), peak internet usage swung from the evenings to the daytime. As a result, online retail sales were up 39% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2021. From January 2020 to March 2021, Zoom experienced over a 2,000% increase in traffic!
However, over time and as America begins to reopen coast-to-coast, the overall surge many companies experienced in web traffic has started to decline. Even mighty Google, which is still ranked No. 1 in website traffic, sees lower website traffic today than in January 2020.
The key to any successful SEO program is to remain committed, as the most effective SEO takes time. While there certainly are best practices that can help you shorten the timeline for SEO success, it cannot happen immediately. So if anyone is touting an SEO solution that promises to catapult your brokerage to the top of Google rankings instantly – walk away quickly.
Having a better understanding of why your brokerage website traffic is lower and that SEO does more than drive traffic to your website is vital to maintaining the course. The best and lowest cost organic internet leads should give you plenty to cheer about when it comes to using SEO.
If you are not satisfied with the SEO effectiveness of your brokerage website, Delta Media Group is ready to show you how we can help.
The online house hunt is now a reality for Americans of all age groups and backgrounds.
As far back as 2013, a joint study by Google and the National Association of Realtors showed that 90% of buyers searched online during their home-buying process. Fast forward a few years, and digital technology had taken an even more prominent role: In 2018, 44% of home buyers went online first when looking for properties.
Over 90% of real estate firms now have websites, and their property listings are their #1 feature.
Whether you're new or experienced in real estate, the conclusion is inescapable: Most of your future clients will find you online, not through traditional advertising or face-to-face events. Creating a real estate website full of helpful, informative content is no longer optional; it is critical.
What Real Estate Firms Need to Know About Search Engine Optimization
It's easy to feel overwhelmed by the thought of competing for attention online in a crowded market. Carving out your niche can seem even more complicated when it's time to come to grips with one of the most misunderstood topics in real estate digital marketing: Search engine optimization (SEO).
Put simply, SEO is a collection of best practices in website design and marketing. It raises your online visibility by making your website more likely to feature prominently when prospective customers search for topics related to your business, for example, "homes for sale in Tempe, AZ."
In today's world, all real estate agents need SEO. Unfortunately, the misconceptions around it could fill a book.
Some believe it is as complex and challenging as writing a computer program. Others have been told that it is "cheating," something ethical businesses avoid at all costs. These erroneous beliefs come from a bygone era, before SEO practices included measuring data and demonstrating clear results.
Search engine optimization is now more science than art. It is precise, powerful – and surprisingly accessible.
SEO has evolved alongside search engines. All search engines strive to help their users discover the most useful, valuable, and legitimate content on any topic. Instead of being confined to the tech-savvy few, modern SEO often comes down to understanding what website visitors want and giving it to them.
The better you know your audience, the more successful you will be.
And isn't that true of everything in real estate?
MAKE SURE YOUR WEBSITE IS EASY TO USE AND NAVIGATE
You appeal to search engines by appealing to people. By and large, people need signs they're in the right place when they arrive at a website. Otherwise, they'll leave without inter-acting, a phenomenon called "bounce." When designing your site, make sure navigation is simple, and information isn't buried under too many layers. Create clear call-to-actions and avoid clutter which will serve as distractions.
USE THE RIGHT UNDERLYING TECHNOLOGIES FOR YOUR SITE
Two key technical considerations go into any modern real estate website. First, your site must be "responsive," meaning it adjusts its appearance and navigation for people using mobile devices. Second, it should use SSL encryption to keep data safe. Google considers both of these factors when ranking websites.
CHECK YOUR WEBSITE'S SPEED AND MOBILE PERFORMANCE
Before your website goes live, check it out on a variety of mobile devices and browsers. All pages should load in three seconds or less to avoid user frustration. Google's Page- Speed Insights tool not only gives you useful data on your website's performance but also includes actionable ways to improve it quickly.
HAVE A STRATEGY TO OBTAIN BACKLINKS FROM OTHER SITES
Backlink is the accepted term for any link from another web- site to your own. In the old days of Google, each link was regarded as an "editorial vote" vouching for your website's quality. Now, the volume of links going back to any specific page is still a significant factor in whether that page will rank for a given search term.
SHOW VISITORS YOU CAN BE TRUSTED
Many different signals can be used to kindle trust with your first-time visitors. In real estate, customer reviews and testimonials are perhaps the most powerful. Text-based testimonials are effective, but if you can record a video testimonial with a happy customer, it's all the better for making a genuine human connection.
LEVERAGE ON-PAGE OPTIMIZATION FOR BETTER RESULTS
On-page optimization includes technical elements such as meta descriptions, title tags, headline tags, and cross-linking your content. Done consistently throughout a website, these tactics will help search engines have a more concise understanding of what each page is about. This will aid in pages getting indexed and gain better visibility in the search engines. This tactic is best handled in partnership with a digital marketing agency.
GET FAMILIAR WITH YOUR WEBSITE DATA AND ANALYTICS
Analytics software collects information as people find and use your website. It lets you know how your visitors heard about you and what they did next. Becoming familiar with this can guide you in creating more of the kinds of content your audience responds to. Analytics can also be a great asset in determining if you are getting an ROI from your online marketing efforts.
PUBLISH NEW BLOG POSTS REGULARLY
Your blog serves as your brand's voice. The more you update it, the more search engines visit your site and recalculate your rank. SEO research tools can help you find search keywords reflecting real search queries to build your articles around. Blogging not only helps from an SEO standpoint, but it also provides visitors better insights into your brand as well as helpful information about the community you serve.
Google My Business: The Key to Local SEO
Even in this exciting age of virtual home showings, most customers will come from within 50 miles of your location. Enter Google My Business, a directory of local business information maintained by Google. When you "claim" your GMB listing, you are more likely to show up when locals search for "real estate firms near me."
Google is careful not to let brand assets like a GMB listing fall into the wrong hands. With that in mind, you'll need to apply to verify your business address through postal mail. This usually takes only a few days, but it can take weeks in times of peak interest. When verification is complete, you control your GMB entry.
This gives you the power to craft the details about your business, update your photos and hours, and monitor reviews on the Google platform from a single centralized interface. Be sure to fill out all your details, post compelling, high-quality photos of your business, and encourage customers to leave reviews on your GMB listing.
Search engine optimization is an indispensable part of real estate marketing; it helps you capture the best results from all your other digital marketing initiatives. With these tips, you can establish a strong SEO foundation, attract more people to your website, and convert more leads.
In this article for Delta Media Group's real estate industry publication, Real Estate Marketing and Technology Magazine, Aaron Geh discusses how SEO helps your real estate website attract more traffic and better quality leads.
Whether searching for a sales associate or going on a house hunt, most people start their search online. Search engine results are a huge potential source of traffic for your real estate website, which leads to fierce competition for the top positions in search rankings. That's where search engine optimization (SEO) enters the picture. SEO is one of the most powerful tools for growing your real estate firm online, but SEO's complexity means that not everyone understands it. Let's look at these SEO tips to help your business attract more traffic and better-quality leads.
In an article for Delta Media Group's industry publication, Real Estate Marketing and Technology Magazine, Aaron Geh discusses his 20 plus year career guiding the growth of companies in various verticals using digital marketing.
I have spent over 20 years helping a wide variety of companies grow their businesses on the Internet. Here are two of the most frequently asked questions I receive and their answers:
First, let me define what Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is from my perspective. SEO techniques are used on and off websites to make a site more appealing to search engines. The more search engines like a website, the more they visit to index its pages.
The result of SEO work done correctly--search engines push your website higher in search results for specific key phrases associated with your products and/services.
Traffic generated from SEO is called "organic traffic."
Aaron Geh, Head of Business Operations - Digital Marketing at Delta Media Group, sat down with Allison Rybarczyk, Relocation Director for Arizona Best Real Estate, for a recent Real Estate Marketing and Technology magazine article.