Getting Customers For Free? SEO Marketing for Realtors, Part One. Can you really get customers for free on the web?
Yes you can and average people are doing it now every day. But they are only average in the sense that they do not have some magical ability or special inside knowledge seo group tools buy. They are the people that have learned to use time tested principles and they implement them using the efficiencies of modern technology. So what is SEO Marketing? Just in case you are an old timer, ( anyone over forty, relative to the Internet) or you have been living in a cave you may need a definition for the acronym SEO. It simply means Search Engine Optimization. For the sake of brevity I am not going to spend much time explaining what it is.
I am going to assume you already have a fairly good working understanding of this term. This article will be the beginning in a long series of articles that looks at SEO specifically for Real Estate Agents. Because I am a Minneapolis Home Inspector located in the Lake Minnetonka area; it serves my interests to help local real estate agents succeed by educating and coaching them for the Quid Pro Quo benefit of obtaining referrals from their clients. It is perhaps one of the very few ways inspectors can offer value to agents without the unethical and perhaps illegal practice of paying for referrals under the table.
Anything I do to help realtors succeed and obtain clients will benefit my business. It is in my direct line of self interest to help realtors get more business with a lower capital investment. SEO is a valuable tool in the marketing tool box. If done properly it can lower the cost of acquisition per customer.
A quick definition of SEO. Search engine optimization is where you try to increase the amount of traffic to your web site through ( organic or unpaid ) search results as opposed to search engine marketing (SEM) which deals with paid inclusion or the purchasing of advertising space. In Internet marketing strategy, SEO tries to understand how search engines find, categorize and qualify content and what people search for. Optimizing a website involves the task of writing content to both increase its relevance to specific keywords and to remove barriers to the indexing activities of search engines.
This simply means that when you attempt to use the “free” aspect of the internet to market your real estate agency, you will need to optimize the content of your web site. When you design your web site, write articles or network on the web, you will need a strategy for the effective use of keywords, links and HTML code to “attract” web site search engines like Google to your web site or any other form of your internet content.
This is all too often scary and intimidating to most real estate agents because search engines are very mysterious and highly mathematical technological monstrosities. When most people try to start learning it they quickly throw up their arms and conclude it is just too complex. So they will either forgo this medium of marketing altogether or they will spend a great deal of money hiring someone else to do it for them. And all too often these companies that claim to be able to design an amazing lead generating machine that will spit out one qualified lead after another from your sales funnel turn out to just be a worthless rip off. Too many service providers like real estate agents have fallen prey to this hype.
And now the rules have changed. Current SEO companies are now offering “Pay For Results” marketing programs that promise first page placement guarantees. At least these companies must adhere to some kind of a measurable performance metric. But to simply get on the first page is not enough either. The goal of marketing is to attract qualified clients and build brand awareness. Just getting on the first page will not do that. That is why the masters of the internet are able to apply “Old School” marketing wisdom to the modern medium of Internet marketing.
And that is what this series of articles is going to address. How can your average real estate agent compete and win in the fast paced and ever changing world of internet marketing? There is an answer to this question. And there is a way to get there. But the cost of admission is to get an education on time tested marketing principles and applying them to modern SEO principles to create a marketing strategy that will deliver on the promise of more customers for less money.
What’s The Problem? Why do you need to learn SEO Marketing Online?
Real estate agents are entrepreneurs. That means they have to spend their own time and money acquiring their own customers. They also have overhead expenses including the cost of office space, administration, insurance, licensure, etc. But the one expense that is perhaps the most expensive is the cost to acquire customers. In the modern world it has become very expensive to advertise. And the effectiveness of most advertising is very poor. It is now normal to only get one lead out of one thousand viewed advertisements. That is a.0010 rate of return. And that is just a lead.
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