Do you have a professional real estate website, but are otherwise incapable of getting people to it? Do you have valuable content people would enjoy reading if they could just find it online? If so, you are not alone. There are plenty of real estate professionals with valuable information on their websites and no way to gain exposure for it. Fortunately, there’s something you can do about it: implement a good real estate SEO strategy.
A good real estate SEO strategy may be all that is standing between you and getting your website’s content out to the masses, and ultimately increasing brand awareness. If the sounds like something you could get behind, let’s take a look at one of my favorite ways to get your website noticed by everyone: guest blogging.
The answer is unequivocally yes, but before we get into “how,” let us first breakdown the “why.” To understand why guest blogging is a great way to send traffic to your own page, you need to understand SEO.
Search engine optimization, or SEO for short, is a relatively easy concept to understand, but much more difficult to master. As the name implies, search engine optimization is nothing more than the process of making your very own website more accessible to search engine queries. However, doing so is easier said than done. Perhaps even more specifically, optimizing your professional real estate website for search engines will make it easier for your target audience to find the content you want them to see; it places your page higher in the search results, if done correctly. You see, there are a lot of moving parts in a proper SEO strategy; all of which need to work in unison to realize an end goal.
You could very easily argue that SEO represents the epitome of one of Aristotle’s most coined phrases: “the whole is greater than the sum of all its parts.” While each optimization technique may not amount to much, it’s the combination of every strategy that will result in a properly optimized page. It’s only when all the strategies are working together synergistically that you’ll realize the true benefits of a great real estate SEO strategy.
While I wouldn’t expect a person unfamiliar with SEO to optimize their site completely, without any help from a third party, there is one real estate SEO strategy that even beginners can implement now and effectively: guest blogging.
Guest blogging, as its name suggests, is when an individual writes a blog post on someone else’s website. Despite how counterintuitive it may sound, guest blogging is a great real estate SEO strategy for not only growing your online reader base, but also increasing your website’s search rankings, increasing inbound traffic and establishing yourself as an authority within your own niche. What else could you ask for from your online presence?
That said, you can’t simply write a post on someone else’s page and expect to watch the traffic on your own page increase overnight; there are, more or less, rules you must follow. If you want to increase the amount of people that see your website, try using the following advice to get the ball rolling:
1. Identify Your Target Audience
It should go without saying, but you can’t simply write for any blog you want to; the context of the site you write for should be in line with your own audience, or at least the audience you hope to develop. That means, as a real estate investor, it’s in your best interest to write for ‘like-minded’ outlets. Inman News, for example, represents a great opportunity for knowledgeable real estate guest bloggers to get their ideas out to the masses. Conversely, you may want to avoid spending valuable time writing for cooking websites, or anything else that has nothing to do with real estate, as your audience will be less likely to follow links back to your own page.
The real secret to guest blogging lies in speaking to a targeted audience; one that will see your guest blog and want to visit your own site as a result. It’s safe to assume the audience of the real estate website you guest blog for will be more likely to visit your own page than if you were trying to direct traffic from a site whose content has nothing to do with your own.
The next time you go to write a guest blog, be selective of the site you choose. Those that share important similarities will be more likely to lead to quality traffic. And what is a guest blog for, if not to direct interested parties to your own page?
2. Quality Over Quantity
In the past, SEO involved spamming the internet with as much content as you possibly could. Those that could crank out the most content, relevant or not, were typically awarded the most desirable page rank: page one. As a result, companies began to favor quantity over quality, as it was safe to assume Google did the same, but I digress. Times have changed, and churning out high volumes of poor content is no longer a viable real estate SEO strategy. Google caught on to the poor practice and developed an algorithm that favors unique, quality content. That said, it’s in your best interest to place an emphasis on quality over quantity, and guest blogs are no exception.
When given the choice of writing five poor blogs or a single great blog, always choose the ladder. Google, and most other search engines, have implemented paradigm shifting algorithms to strengthen their search results and are now placing an emphasis on giving their audience exactly what they are looking for. That means poorly executed blogs aren’t going to see the light of day, whereas great content will find its way to the top of search queries more often than not. To give your guest blog the best chances of meeting someone’s search criteria, give them a little bit of exactly what they want, and not a lot of what they don’t.
When guest blogging for your real estate SEO strategy, remember one thing: Google search results will favor posts that offer your audience unique, quality content. If that’s the case, you will find your time better spent writing one really good piece, as opposed to several of lesser quality.
3. Link Wisely
Again, a good real estate SEO strategy isn’t what it was even a few short years ago. Where it was once enough to link to anyone and everyone, it’s now taboo to exercise an unjustified link strategy. Not unlike the quality ratio I discussed above, it used to be enough to spam links without a second thought to get in Google’s favor. Not surprisingly, however, Google caught on once again. It’s no longer acceptable to implement a link strategy without some sort of plan. In fact, linking to anyone and everyone now will actually hurt your page-rank.
You see, Google now has the capability to understand what a quality linking strategy looks like. Perhaps even more importantly, Google can now recognize when your links don’t benefit the user. As a result, any attempt to beat the system with a poor link strategy will surely be looked down upon by Google and result in a “penalty.” If for nothing else, your links should benefit the readers and contribute to a quality user experience, not send them on a wild goose chance.
Instead of linking from your guest blog without any sort of a strategy, and potentially ruining your marketing efforts, think before you link. For starters, links need to be relevant. If you are talking about real estate exit strategies in your guest blog, subsequent links should take your audience to relevant topics like wholesaling or rehabbing. What’s more, the anchor text (the words representing the link itself) needs to be just as relevant. If the anchor text displayed says “real estate investing,” the corresponding page should be about —you guessed it — real estate investing.
A good linking strategy isn’t all that hard, but it does require some thought. As a guest blogger, be sure to plan ahead. Before you even put your thoughts down, have an idea of which pages you want to link to. That way, your link will be relevant and actually contribute to your real estate SEO strategy.
Write For The Readers
In order to write a guest blog that benefits your own page, your real estate SEO strategy must place an emphasis on the readers. While there are technical SEO tricks to get Google on your side, it’s ultimately in your best interest to provide readers with the content they are looking for. Keep that in mind when you are trying to direct traffic back to your page, and you could see your reach and exposure grow exponentially.