The SEO Connection: How Content Correlates to Improved Ranking
As I've discussed before, content marketing doesn't work in isolation -- it's a network of core content, distribution, website copy, and repurposed content. Create a blog article or video, host it on a beautiful website with top-notch original writing, then distribute links to it through social media content. Want to keep visitors coming in? Repurpose the content to keep it interesting and relevant, then redistribute regularly.
This process helps make you an influencer in your market and in your field, raises your profile, and may even lead to media and networking opportunities. But even more importantly, stellar original content will also improve your digital profile, by improving your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) -- the all-important ranking on Google and other search engines.
White Hat vs. Black Hat SEO
If you have ever wondered why your website is ranked so low, you may have been tempted to reach out to one of the so-called SEO "experts" who proliferate the internet and social media. Many of these use so-called Black Hat techniques to manipulate the search engine algorithms and artificially boost your ranking. They charge a lot, and often the results do not live up to their hype.
By contrast, real, organic SEO improvement is guaranteed when you use White Hat techniques like high-quality, organic content, long-form posts, linkbacks from legitimate media sources and guest posting, and other meaningful ways of bringing attention to your content. These may take a little longer, but they are far more reliable.
Best of all, authentic, high-quality content converts that higher search engine ranking into warm leads. You can buy all the Black Hat SEO you want -- if visitors get to your site and there is nothing meaningful there, they won't turn into clients.
Generic Website Design and Content Farms
You may see people who are constantly sharing content on social media, who seem to be cranking out blog posts at an extraordinary pace, and who have pages and pages of content on their massive websites. Yet, search for "[Their Market] real estate agent" and they don't appear until page 10 or 11 (or more). How is that possible?
The problem is that their content is canned content produced by website builders or content farms and duplicated on hundreds of other real estate agent websites, blogs, and social media feeds all over the country. The same articles, the same generic Buyer and Seller advice, the same photos as all of the other users of those services.
Is this immoral or illegal? Not at all. Is it an SEO Killer? Absolutely. When the search engine crawler sees that you have identical copy to other sites, your SEO takes a hit. The bot doesn't know whether you are plagiarizing or paying thousands for that content -- it just knows that you are using the same words as someone else, so your website's content is not original or meaningful.
If you just want a website and social media content for outreach to your existing sphere, this type of generic, affordable content may work for you. If, however, you are trying to raise your profile, position yourself as an influencer, and raise your SEO ranking, you must have original content on web pages and customization on the backend (in the form of page titles, descriptions, tags, etc.) to recover your ranking.
Again, a higher rank on Google is what you need to bring new visitors to your site and to make you look like the top agent in your market. If you simply want a web presence to reach out to your existing sphere, SEO might not be important to you.
Long-Tail and Market-Specific SEO
One of the reasons many real estate agents don't try to improve their SEO is that they feel that it is hopeless. The big players like Zillow and Realtor.com are always going to have the top spot for "real estate" or "home search."
However, you are not "real estate," you're a real estate agent or broker. And you are not generic, you are a specialist in a particular market or niche. That's where long-tail keywords come in. By adding elements to your search term, then optimizing for that longer format, you might not rank at the top of a generic search, but you'll rank high for searches that are uniquely suited to your business.
Instead of feeling frustrated because you'll never be the top result for "real estate" or "real estate agent," how about being the top result for the thousands of people searching "top real estate agent [market]" or "top [niche] real estate agent [market]"? Add some details and capture more of the people who will actually convert to clients.
Work with a keyword planner or have that task outsourced to find out the optimal search terms for your area of specialization and your market. Adjust the meta tags and description, the page titles and content to draw in those searches you've identified. Look for related topics that appeal to your target group and use those as a guide for you as you create your blog calendar.
When will you see results?
Of course, the answer to this is "It varies." In my own case, my ranking for "real estate writing" reached page one of Google within less than a year of creating my site. My ranking for "real estate content writer" is still on page two.
As you build content on an ongoing basis, different search terms will rise at different times. I have been writing a fair amount lately on property descriptions, so I am hoping to see that ranking start to rise in the weeks and months ahead.
The long and short of it is, if you want to see optimal SEO for your website, you need original, organic content for your website and blog. Then you need to distribute that content through consistent social media posts.
Whether you're looking for a writer, consultant, coach, or accountability partner, I am here to help. Schedule a consultation at www.calendly.com/writingrealestate and let's get started!