Many real estate agencies are still balking at optimizing their pages and listings. While some of the more successful realtors and brokerage firms have realized the benefit of hiring a Hawaii SEO expert, most simply slap up a few keywords that are barely researched, if at all, and then wonder why nothing happens. In truth, the search engines have evolved so much in just the last decade and, in response, users have evolved as well. This has created an environment where more sophisticated marketing strategies are required to get the desired results.
“Studies shows 90% of buyers start their home buying search online. Sellers are also starting to go online to choose their real estate agent,” says Andrew Leitheiser, Seniors Real Estate Specialist and Military Relocation Professional for Century 21 All Islands at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki, based in Honolulu, Hawai. “Having an online presence is very important, especially with the amount of information you can find and the amount of users on the web. Real Estate agents are busy on the road with meetings, showings, checking inventory, preparing contracts and facilitating closings, we need to manage our time more effectively. SEO, CRO and SEM will help agents build a stronger web presence, better time management, identifying consumer needs, which will lead to more business and stronger relationships. “
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has undergone tremendous changes in the past few years. Real estate agents are only now discovering how much SEO can help their business, but there is no doubt it is a very effective method for reaching potential sellers and buyers when they are actively in the market for a real estate agent.
Our Hawaii SEO expert uses keywords and other techniques to improve a website’s search engine ranking. When a person inputs a particular word or term into the search engine, it’s SEO that determines what sites are shown in response to that search and how the results are ranked.
Most real estate marketing involves local SEO. Simply put, local SEO employs a keyword accompanied by a location, such as “Fresno house for rent.” This is the way most people find the things they need online and most businesses adapt to that in an effort to reach those people.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a type of marketing that involves placing paid advertisements in search engines or social media. It is not the same as SEO although many people do confuse the two. They do work well together, especially for real estate marketing. Where SEO brings the listing to the search engine, SEM determines the placement of the listing within the search engine.
Using paid or sponsored listings ensures better visibility in a shorter amount of time in the search engines. An ad can be set up in a matter of minutes and immediately go live. However, creating an ad is one thing, creating one that actually delivers results is quite another. When driving traffic to your real estate agency it takes a particular finesse and a knowledge of SEO.
Using local SEO and targeted keywords are an important element in your ads. It takes a lot more than fancy keywords that you come up with off the top of your head though. It takes research, analysis, and consistency. And you have to do that over and over and over to identify what’s working and what isn’t so you can make the necessary changes.
CRO for Real Estate
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is the third piece of the puzzle, the third element in the digital marketing trifecta. It is the process of analyzing the performance of a website or online ad, employing user feedback, and making the necessary adjustments to make the ad more effective. It is simply determining what users want then they land on a website or ad and then delivering that to them in the most effective way possible – effective meaning what makes them click that call to action or finalize that sale.
CRO is good for creating higher conversion rates which, in turn, create a better return on investment (ROI). It delivers what customers want faster and more effectively so that they don’t lose patience and click off. It just makes it easier for that customer to make his or her way down through that sales funnel.
SEO and SEM Combo
While SEO and SEM can certainly be used independently of each other, they are far more effective when used together. When combined, these two marketing strategies create a one two punch that drives the effectiveness of your marketing and optimizes your real estate agency’s visibility in the search engines. It takes up more space in the SERPs, staking its claim in the prime real estate at the top or sides of the page and the SEO is essentially the enticing little “Open House” sign that draws visitors in.
Organic search (what our Hawaii SEO experts specialize in) drives 51 percent of all visitors to business to consumer and business to business websites. Paid search (SEM on its own) drives 10 percent of visitors. In fact, 86 percent of PPC search ads wind up in the top four spots of search engine results. Also, in case you were wondering, a video on your landing page gives your website a little boost in the ranking potential – a 53 percent better chance at making it to Google’s page 1.
Add CRO into the mix and you have a powerful strategy that will propel your real estate agency from just another listing to a veritable powerhouse that attracts visitors and keeps them interested. Tie it all in to your agency’s branding and keep making adjustments. This is particularly important due to some of Google’s most recent updates that seem to show a preference for pages that are updated often and a steady stream of fresh content.
That is really the final vital element that ties all of this together. It can be summed up in five words: Keep Up With Google Updates. The past few years have seen tremendous activity at Google in regards to how pages are ranked in the search engines and how the search engines respond to queries and in return how it reacts to a website. With the push for semantic search, the users are becoming more sophisticated with their queries and if you want to stay ahead in this game you have to keep up. Do your homework.