How Blogging Will Help Grow Your Real Estate Business
Jacqueline Kyo Thomas
Blogging is one of the most important strategies you can use to grow your business, and even better, it's free!
You may think that being in real estate is all about pounding the pavement and getting up close and personal with your clients, but nearly all real estate business starts online these days. Whether your ideal client is looking to buy or sell, they'll begin their real estate adventure online, usually through a good 'ole Google search.
When they search online, will they find you?
One of the best ways to ensure that you pop up in an online search is to blog. That's right— blogging can actually improve your real estate business. In this post, we're explaining why you need a blog to establish your real estate brand and to reach new clients.
Blogging is a part of your overall content marketing strategy. Content marketing also includes email marketing, social media marketing, YouTube videos, and a host of other content that you create for an online audience.
You’ll use your blog to establish yourself as a real estate authority, build trust with your audience, and generate leads.
Let’s take a look at how your real estate blog can help you grow your business.
The first step is to understand how blogging helps to generate sales leads. A potential sales funnel can work like this:
Because blog posts can boost your site’s rank in the search engine results, you’ll get found by more prospective clients.
The second step is to understand how blogging helps to optimize your website for the search engines. You see, in order to generate leads from organic Internet searches (i.e. Google searches), you need to build and maintain a quality website. But having static pages on your site, such as your “Contact” or “About” pages, isn’t enough. You also need to produce fresh content that directly answers the Google user’s real estate question.
Perhaps a Google user is searching for “Best neighborhoods in Worcester, MA.” If you have a page on your site tackling that topic, you’ll have a good chance of showing up in the search engine results page. Your blog is the best place to add fresh content to your website. And by doing so, you’ll optimize your entire website for the search engines.
Now that we’ve tackled the basic benefits of blogging, let’s get into the technical stuff. Don’t worry, we won’t go too techy. We’ll just focus on what you need to know to successfully run your real estate blog.
First thing’s first, SEO stands for search engine optimization. We’ve talked a little bit about search engine optimization before. In a nutshell, SEO is a list of things you can do to improve your website for search engines. Your goal is to be among the first 10 results listed in a search engine results page. This is important because the higher your website ranks in the search engine results page, the better.
One of the best ways to make your blog SEO-friendly is to harness the power of keywords.
Ideally, you want to target keywords that your prospective clients are actually using in Google searches. But you shouldn’t target hopelessly generic keywords and expect to get found on search. More than likely, targeting a keyword phrase like “homes for sale” will land you somewhere on page 8,910,064 of the Google search results. (You want to be on page 1.) If you’re not on page 1 for a specific keyword phrase, the chances of being seen by your target clientele will decrease markedly. That's because most users don't venture past page 1.
I know what you're thinking. There's no way I can compete with Realtor.com, Trulia, or Zillow. You’re absolutely right. It’s almost impossible to compete with the big names for generic keyword phrases like “Boston Real Estate,” However, if you get more specific and target a keyword phrase like “How to Buy Your First House in Springfield, MA,” you’ll find a lot less competition and that’s a good thing. Plus, if you choose the right phrase, it’s highly likely that your target client is searching for that exact keyword phrase in Google. Woohoo! It’s a match made in heaven.
Whether you blog once a week or twice a month, frequency isn't as important as consistency. It’s crucial that you blog on a dependable schedule so that you stay at the top of your clients’ minds. If you blog haphazardly (i.e. once every blue moon), your clients will forget about your blog, no matter how valuable it is.
Keep them coming back by setting a schedule of when you blog.
Promotion is a necessary part of blogging. It’s not enough to publish a blog post and forget about it. Sure, if you’ve focused on SEO, you’ll eventually rank on the search engines. But, you also need to get the word out that you have a hot, new blog post for your audience to check out.
There are two main ways to promote your latest blog post:
Get on your social media platform and promote the heck out of your blog. Every time you pen a new post, take a few extra minutes to share the link along with a quick blurb about why the reader should check it out.
Email is another way to promote your blog post. Remember that subscribers actually want to get news and updates. That’s why they signed up. So, give them a reason to check out your blog. To get maximum mileage, encourage your email subscribers to forward your email messages to their friends, too.
Once you’ve been taking the time to optimize your blog for the search engines, it’s crucial that you keep an eye on its performance. Which posts are the most popular? Where is your website traffic coming from? What do you know about your site visitors?
You can find out all of this information and more by using the right tool— Google Analytics, to be exact.
Google Analytics is a tool you can use to track your website visitors. Not only is it completely free to use, it's also the best tool of its kind. You can use the data that you find with Google Analytics to create a better blog for your visitors. Here's how:
Google Analytics allows you to find out which pages get the most visitors (this is known as traffic). Once you know what topics are truly attracting your ideal audience, you can make more of them. It's pretty difficult to continue making relevant content if you're unsure of what's resonating.
To learn more about your visitors and their behaviors, Google Analytics breaks down key demographics about your visitors, such as age, location, and gender.
Google Analytics also gives you insight into how they've behaved on your site. Find out how long they've stayed on your site, for example.
You can also learn where your site visitors are coming from. Did they arrive on your site from another website, by clicking on a link on social media, or through a Google search?
Even though it’s so detailed and robust, Google Analytics is simple to use and to understand. You don't need to be a genius to install or interpret the data.
To work, Google Analytics must be installed within the coding of your website. Fortunately, that part's easy, even if you don't know a lick of code.
If you're using WordPress to blog, simply install the Google Analytics for WordPress plugin, which is a third party plugin from the company MonsterInsights. Once installed, you can find Google Analytics data right from your WordPress dashboard. You won't need to leave your WordPress blog to get access to your site's stats.
If you're using SquareSpace, Google Analytics is already built-in. After signing up for a Google Analytics account, connect Google Analytics to your SquareSpace site using these instructions.
Blogging is an essential part of your marketing strategy. You can use blogging to attract more leads, establish your authority as a real estate expert, and stay top-of-mind for your clients—both new and old.