Posted by: realestatewebtrainer | May 18, 2011

Do Nothing before launching a Real Estate SEO Project

A broker called me a few days back and said: “Alright, I am ready to start working on the SEO for my Company’s Website; What is the first step?

I answered: Do Nothing!; Nothing at All!

Sometimes it's best to Do Nothing and Reflect on where you are!

What this broker had not done is the most important step of any journey towards your organic visibility:

A Survey of Where you Are!

I asked a few questions and he started realizing that he had 3 to 5 websites with different vendors; some he has had a long time; some he does not own the domains; yet others his agents pay for it indirectly… He was not aware of all his assets; and there is nothing wrong with that – but you must do a survey of what you have before you move forward with your SEO. (Search Engine Optimization or Organic Search Placement.)

Of course one understands his objective; his brokerage pays thousands of Dollars monthly to generate Leads through Paid Services, and none through Organic Visibility. My argument goes even further than that – Your Organic Placement for important Keywords should help you with Marketing and Listings.

So what questions should Brokers and Agents ask themselves before embarking on this journey:

1. How many Websites do you have and who are the various vendors involved?

2. How old are the various domains and are those names still relevant to our agency? (Domain Age is Very Important – Don’t discard your Domain Names willy-nilly – only do so if the name no longer fits the marketing or the name of your entity.)

2bis. Do you Own your domains? You must check!

3. What are your current costs for all your Web Services and the length of your contracts? (Trust me when I say don’t guess – these costs are hidden in your monthly Credit Card Statements and many brokers never check how much they are really paying!)

4. Are any of the Websites you currently have adequate for SEO? This is very important – There are Web Services that are dead in the water before you can even start; let me share an example: Some vendors are still using HTML Frames within their Web Services; to work on an SEO project with Frames is truly a waste of time. (I write regularly about the No-Nos of Web Containers – I cannot cover them all here…)

5. How many paid Leads are you generating monthly? (You need 6 month worth of data in order to see trends.)

6. Same with organic Leads?

7. What are your closing ratios for your current system? (It is best not to guess if you don’t know – you may inflate your numbers when in fact you have no idea.)

8. What type of IDX Integration do you currently have – if any? and is it scalable?

9. What are the Strengths and Likes of your current Website(s) and Vendor(s)?

10. Same for Weaknesses and Dislikes?

11. Do your agents have a Lead management CRM that help them manage their leads – what do they think of it?

12. Who are all the parties that ought to weigh in on the current and future strategy of your Web Services? (Ask them to help answer some of these questions.)

This list of questions is by no means extensive but it ought to be a very good starting point!

I know this is a lot of work and by nature Real Estate Agents and Brokers are impulsive; many of them thrive on the pill-mentality; they tend to say: just tell me what to buy and I will buy it. Unfortunately this is why many of them keep buying and not using many of the services; Vendors have become clever so they charge monthly fees on Credit Cards so they can be out of sight and out of mind; This is a Huge drain on everyone.

I implore you to stop buying, and to start planning;

Hesitate a bit before you pull that Credit Card out;

Seek Guidance from Colleagues, Users, and Friends;

Know why you are doing what you are doing;

and finally, Brokers,

Stop bombarding your agents with something to buy

at every Office Meeting;

Become a thoughtful Gate-Keeper!!!

Happy Blogging 🙂 Key Yessaad, Real Estate SEO Trainer

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