How to Effectively Use Google for Real Estate Sales

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When you type “Homes for Sale in CITY” into Google, most likely Zillow, Realtor, and Trulia will appear at the top of the results page, not a local real estate agency. With so much focus on platforms like these, it’s easy to lose sight of one of the biggest online referral sources available: Google.

More than just a search engine, Google is the biggest advertising platform in the world. Understanding how to leverage it can help prospects find your agency, listings, and other information that will help you sell more.

Understanding Google’s Role in Real Estate Sales

When buying property, over half of buyers found their new purchase online, compared to 30% of buyers who discovered the property through their realtor.

This is a drastic shift from just a decade ago when much of the home buying process happened in the presence of an agent. Nowadays, most people already have a home in mind before they reach out to a realtor.

Google is an integral part of this online discovery process. Since real estate apps are dominating search results pages, using Google AdWords is an effective way to get your agency to stand out AT THE TOP!

You can keep your bidding low by using your agency’s name in the keyword rather than “Homes for sale in CITY.” Not many people will be bidding on your agency’s name, plus you’ll attract the people who are already searching for your brand.

If you’re hesitant about your own marketing abilities – don’t be. Google actually offers you professional and setup for your first AdWords campaign for free. Yes, really.

Building Your Real Estate Reputation with Google

Even though Google may not always be the biggest traffic source for your specific listings, it can be the ultimate tool in boosting your online reputation.

As much as 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a referral from a family or friend. This number is significantly higher for Millennials and Gen Z buyers – 97% in this group rely on reviews to judge a local business’s reputation. Given that almost three-quarters of all online searches are performed through Google, it’s important you establish a strong reputation that can tilt prospective clients in your direction.

Start by claiming your free Google My Business listing if you haven’t already. Even if you’re part of an agency, you can create an individual business listing. This free listing will help you earn star ratings and reviews from your clients. You can link your website details and cell phone number to the listing so people can call you directly from their mobile with a single click.

It will also give you a polished, professional look when you appear in search results. People will see you as an agent, rather than your agency as a whole. This is a great free tool to get your name and personal expertise into the market.

Google will also act as a vehicle for clients to research your reputation elsewhere. Social media accounts, blogs, and other sources can all be discovered on Google, so make sure you optimize all aspects of your online presence to help your clients find you.

Wrap Up

Even if you aren’t doing much marketing for your agency, you should at the minimum engage in building and maintaining your reputation. Feel free to drop a comment on how you’re using Google to boost your real estate sales.

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How to Use Google+ for Real Estate Marketing

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As a tool for helping market your real estate business, social media is one of the strongest tools there is. However, when most people think “social media”, their thoughts turn to platforms like Facebook and Twitter, ignoring the potential of Google+, an almost criminally overlooked social media platform that just happens to be one of the strongest tools in any company’s online marketing toolbox.

Why Google+?

The primary goal of any real estate marketing strategy is to ensure your business attracts new clients through its online presence. While you can budget advertising dollars for this, it often turns out that the most effective way to drive new business is through more organic means, such making your real estate website easier for search engines to find it. This is where Google+ comes in.

Google’s so-called “failed” attempt at a social media platform might get a lot of flack, but the truth is that it’s alive and kicking — and because of its integration with Google’s other tools like Maps and its search engine functionality, businesses that make use of Google+ often have advantages when it comes to showing up in search listings.

Boosting Your Real Estate Company’s Visibility

Maintaining a professional presence on Google+ has a number of advantages, chief among those being that posting regular content on the platform has a direct positive effect on how Google ranks that content in web searches. This means that blog posts and other content that you host on your Google+ profile will naturally have better exposure than similar content hosted on other sites, which has the potential to drive more interest in your real estate business.

Getting preferential treatment for your content by using Google+ to post it isn’t the only advantage, though. The simple act of filling out your Google+ profile in a full and comprehensive manner provides crucial data for Google’s search engine, which means that it helps location-specific searches. People looking for “real estate agencies in Pasadena” in either Google Search of Google Maps will find your Google+ profile near the top of the heap if you fill out your agency’s location properly.

A Part of A Well-Rounded Social Media Strategy

Using Google+ as part of your social media strategy is an absolute must in this day and age. The search engine’s social platform has more than 440 million users as of last count, and while that’s considerably smaller compared to Facebook, it’s still a strong second place. Thanks to the way Google prioritizes its content, though, it packs a major punch for its relatively diminutive size, making it a real competitor when it comes to marketing strategy tools.

That being said, Google+ is just one facet of your marketing strategy — a single part of a much bigger whole.  While nobody has hauled Google’s CEO into Washington, DC to be questioned by US senators about membership data breaches, Facebook and other social media sites will continue to be a strong presence in most people’s lives, so plan your marketing accordingly!

Photo Credit: WikimediaImages via pixabay

 

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Ten Keywords to Boost Your Real Estate Website

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If you’re in the real estate business, you know how important it is to distinguish yourself from your competitors. The website for your business is the perfect place to begin that process, but there’s a lot of competition out there — you’ve got to ensure that people find your Realtor site first before anyone else’s.

This is why you need to ensure your real estate website uses the right language to attract the attention of prospective clients. The most effective way to do this is to ensure your website is armed with the right keywords that will show up in user searches on Google, Bing, and other search engines. Here’s a list of ten of the most useful keywords to boost your online reach and why these keywords are effective.

Start With the Basics

If you’re developing a keyword strategy for your real estate website, a good first place to start is to discover the most popular trending keywords. In 2017, for instance, the Google Keyword Planner found that “houses for sale”, “real estate”, and “homes for sale” were the three most often searched keywords by month. This means that, if you include these keywords in your real estate website, your website is likely to appear in these search results as well.

Of course, this is a double-edged sword. The most popular searches return the most number of results — “houses for sale” alone was searched close to 670,000 on average per month in 2017. It’s likely that your site will still be lost in the crowd, even if you do ensure these three high-popularity keywords are included.

Make Subtle Adjustments to Tighten the Net

Using the most common keywords, as discussed above, is a good start but suffers from not being unique enough. That’s why it’s important to also include subtly different versions of the keyword to account for users who might either spell things differently or use a different turn of phrase.

For example, a number of people use plural nouns when using search engines, but a good proportion of others might not. That means that while “home for sale” and “homes for sale” look practically identical, they’re not when it comes to search engine results. The same goes for “house for sale” and “houses for sale”.

Build Specificity for Your Target Client

This is where the next step in designing effective real estate keywords comes in. Adding specificity to these first three keywords to create new ones will narrow search parameters and make it much more likely you’re going to come out on top, or at least on the first page of a typical search engine’s results. In this case, we’re talking about targeting the type of people you’re looking for as clients.

Does your agency deal primarily in townhouses? Alter the above keywords by changing them to reflect that, such as “townhouses for sale”. Do you specialize in a specific neighborhood? Adding to a keyword to create “houses for sale in Staten Island”, “real estate in Brooklyn” or “homes for sale in Queens” to filter even further. Get even more specific by combining both traits in a single, long-tail keyword, such as “two-story homes for sale in Park Slope”. Just make sure the content on your website matches those keywords!

Wrapping it All Up

Still scratching your head? Here’s a list of those ten keywords. Remember: you’ll need to fill in the blanks for your neighborhood and specialty for them to be the most effective!

houses for sale
real estate
homes for sale
house for sale
home for sale
[specific dwelling type] for sale
real estate in [specific location]
houses for sale in [specific location]
homes for sale in [specific location]
[specific dwelling type] for sale in [specific location]

 

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