Real Estate SEO – How to Rank on the Search Engines

Words for video below for the hearing impaired.

– All right, in today’s video, we’re gonna talk specifically about real estate SEO, ranking on the search engines for real estate, and I’m gonna tie in a little bit on generating web traffic as a general rule, where we tie in social media and pay-per-click advertising as well. I’m gonna be, I always do a what’s new in SEO at the beginning of the year, and that kinda covers the gamut of search engine rankings and search engine ranking factors and what we need to know.

But today I wanna specifically focus on real estate SEO. So a lot of you guys are real estate agents, and you’re wondering how can I compete with Zillow and Realtor.com and Trulia and all the top, all the top people on the search engine. And so many of you ask yourselves that question, and then you answer yourselves that you can’t compete with them, and so you just don’t. And I’m here to let you know that you still can. It’s just, it’s just applying some very specific strategies that will help you still generate traffic, generate leads and business from Google, from the search engines, from the web, it just may not be for those popular terms that you’re automatically thinking in your head, okay? So let’s take a look at this for a second.

If we were to go over to Google and we’re to type in Las Vegas, no, I’m not gonna use my market, let’s do San Diego homes for sale. By the way, for those of you who are watching this for the first time and just discovering me, my name is Lori Ballen and I do have a real estate team in Las Vegas. We serve Las Vegas, Henderson, and North Las Vegas. And under Lori Ballen Team at ballenvegas.com. So if you have any referrals for our market, we would love to have them. I also own a marketing company. We build real estate websites, pay-per-click, we do pay-per-click management, we write your blog content, your real estate market reports, do your SEO, set up your campaigns, and you can find us at ballenbrands.com. All right, so if I were to type in here San Diego homes for sale, here’s how the search engines work.

And by the way, these are always changing. It used to be the search, this is called a SERP: search engine results page. And the SERP used to have a different number of advertisers on here, paying for their ads. It used to have a bunch of ads on the right-hand side. Things are changing, because mobile’s taken the forefront, so a lot of your desktop applications are modified as well, so that they can respond on mobile and be mobile-friendly, and so they’re just carrying over some of those same practices, and they figured if right-hand ads aren’t gonna show on a mobile, let’s not have ’em show on the SERP, on the desktop either, so what we do see is advertisements, So here where you see that little word, ad, ad, ad, ad, for the popular terms, you’re gonna see three or four ads on the top of the page before you scroll. See, this is the scroll. So above the fold is everything you see in the screen before you start scrolling down the page, okay? For those of us that are focused on search engine rankings, that’s the pits, because the top four spots are ads, and I think Google has the way they have modified their ads, it’s less obvious that they’re ads, so they’re getting more clickthrough and less people are scrolling down underneath that.

So what we have to do instead is figure out how we can rank for other keywords, even less popular keywords, more specific niche focused keywords that don’t have all those advertisers on the top. That’s one strategy, right? They also have these advertisers at the bottom down here. You can see, ad, ad, ad. So there’s seven ads on this particular page, okay? Below that, what you’ll typically see in real estate is Zillow in the top spot, Trulia, Realtor.com, Redfin, Homes.com, before you get to any local brokerages or agents, okay, let’s pick another one, let’s do Denver. Denver homes for sale. Okay, we have, so there’s Zillow, Realtor.com, Trulia, Redfin, Homes.com. The same ones, pretty much, right? Let’s take Boston homes for sale. This one I’ve never done as an example, I don’t think. So you have ad, ad, ad, ad. And in this particular case, Zillow actually even has this featured rich snippet right here, which, ugh, those are really brutal, you guys. And so they’re in that zero position, right underneath the ads.

And you can earn these as well. I do earn these as well. It’s, again, it’s gonna be for the more niche-focused, long tail keyword phrases. So for example, a long tail keyword is, instead of, a long tail keyword means you’re drilling down into a more focused niche. So it’d be something like, instead of San Diego homes for sale, it would be San Diego homes for sale in a gated community. So those long tail keyword phrases will often have five, six, seven, eight words in them, and they’re still considered a keyword, like a long tail keyword, it’s more of a phrase, but so Boston homes for sale in a gated community, Boston home high rise, you know, high rise condos in Boston, I don’t know Boston, so I don’t know what you guys have there.

55 plus homes for sale in Boston. Those are gonna be your long tail keyword phrases, for example, okay, and then underneath that, you have your earned in, so there again, we have Zillow, Realtor.com, Trulia, Redfin. So many real estate just look at this and they just go, oh, why even bother? I’m not even gonna bother. Well, I’m here to tell you that you could get a couple hundred to 1,000 leads a month. It depends on your market. So I hate throwing numbers out there, but, for some of you, it might be, you could do a significant business if you were to get 50 more leads that actually converted at a high level, because there are such a specific, they’re so niche-focused, right? And so what we work, what we look at is in each market, how are people searching, and how many people are searching that term, okay? And sometimes really small, like one of my better ones only has 70 monthly searches a month. So, 70 times in the United States, somebody goes into Google and types in Las Vegas horse property.

And I’m typically gonna rank in that, definitely in the top five, sometimes number one, depends on what I’m doing with my website, because we use my website as a test kitchen as we build our other, as we build out our platform. So sometimes number one, two, three, four, five, usually in the top five. So now we, I don’t know, I don’t know, yeah, I don’t know Boston. So I’m looking here, Boston luxury real estate, and there we go, so, Boston luxury homes. You see these little, you see how Google, these words are popping up here, as we type in those things right there? Love this. This is Google suggest, and what it’s showing us is other phrases that people have typed in in the last 90 days that are also popular.

Now, some of these may not even have a large search volume tracking yet, because they’re new and trending, possibly. So I look at these and go, okay, what of these keywords that are popping up could I potentially rank for? Could I potentially in a long tail form get some business from. So for example, we know we’re not hotels, so I go to, I’m not gonna do any of these hotels, so let’s go to homes, okay. So, Boston luxury homes, so I would make sure that I have a page on my website built about Boston luxury homes. You know, what are they, I’m gonna talk about the architecture, I’m gonna talk about, you know, the general cost, the general price ranges, you know, here in Vegas, our luxury homes start at about the high sevens, some people say million plus but, and go up to about 35 million, I think, is our highest one right now.

So you might talk about that. You might talk about the custom home builders that are building luxury homes out there, if you have something like that. You might talk about the Boston, the neighborhoods that have these luxury properties. Taxes, I don’t know, there’s all kinds of things you could talk about in an article format, in addition to showing those properties there, okay? So waterfront, there’s another one, Boston waterfront luxury homes, so this is a different page, and so when I’m talking about building out these pages, what I’m referring to, actually, is something like this where we go into our website and we’re going to put in some text, some information and some links and we’re going to put in some properties, and we’re going to include a map and schools and we’re going to create this community page around something specific. Sometimes it doesn’t have a lot of text at all, sometimes it’s just a line of text, because there’s not a whole lot to talk about, so for example, if I’m building Las Vegas Homes With A Pool, there might not be as much to talk about, you know, with buying homes with a pool, so I might just have a line or two there.

And how we build these pages, is this is actually the BREW website, so this is the website that my marketing company, my web development company, built and what you see on here is we have properties, we have video, we have reviews, we have neighborhood pages, we have pricing tables, we’ve got an about section, we’ve got blogs on here, and so to build up these pages, we simply do really easily, we go here to new, and I’m going to go to my showcase page. Now, this is built on a wordpress platform, so you could be building, you could be building, you could just be using pages, or posts, or depending on whatever website you have.

I have something on my real estate website, it’s called Showcase Pages, and what’s fabulous about the Showcase Pages is that they dynamically build these breadcrumb and pricing tables, so that if somebody lands on this page, and it isn’t what they’re looking for, there’s links to take them to other places, so we’re encouraging more clicks, and you know, providing a more quality user experience. There’s other things I really like on these Showcase Pages as well. I like our content blocks. This here, where’s that little, oh did I already get off that page I think I did.

There was a little three column up here that had information about the new model homes, those were our three column widget, and we have a two column, our content block, and we have a inbed code content block it allows you to put in like a google map or a video and it will size it for you correctly, so there’s a lot of really cool things that we’ve designed and are still designing with our BREW, which stands for billing, Ballen Real Estate Websites. Billing, that’s funny, Ballen Real Estate Websites. Okay, so for example if I were to build out this page, I would title it up here something like, Boston Waterfront Luxury Homes for Sale, so the goal here is to rank on the search engines, if somebody types in Boston Waterfront Luxury Homes, for instance now let’s go over the search engine really quick and see who’s showing up there already. So we have ad, ad, ad, ad, Zillow in the zero position, that stinks, Zillow, Zillow, okay, well, I’m already excited, because there’s a local showing up on page one, there’s a brokerage, Redfin kind of at the bottom, okay, now let’s go over, I have a tool that I absolutely love, and if you’re going to use this tool, I would really appreciate you using my link, it does benefit us a little bit.

All of the software that I use, if you go over to Loristools.com, Loristools.com you’re actually able to see all the software that I use, and I only talk about what I use, I don’t, nobody pays me to talk about their products. I have to use it, and in some cases I do have an affiliate relationship, where I’ll get a little, you know, a gift or a t-shirt or a monthly check sometimes, depending on what they are, or maybe my account’s free or discounted, so it does help me, if you guys use those. And this here, this is the one we’re using today, SEM Rush, so go over to loristools.com, click on SEM Rush. I’ll also put it in this video. All right well, up here we have this keyword tool, it’s really cool, and if we type in right here, Boston Waterfront Homes, let’s do that without the word luxury to start off with.

This tool will show us the keyword data. Now you can also get this from other sources. One of those sources is going to be there we go, one of those sources is going to be Google AdWords, the keyword planner, so if you are running ads on Google AdWords, if you can use their keyword planner, and that’s one way to do it. There’s more features in this tool that I like, but if you need a free tool, you can start there. Down here, what we see here, is we have a list of keywords.

Then we have the search volume, so how many people are searching per month for that term? Then we have the keyword difficulty. How hard is it going to be to beat out the competitors who are already ranking for that term? The higher the number, up to 100, the harder it’s going to be to rank for that term. Then we have the cost per click, so this is on average, what people would be spending on that and it kind of does indicate the value of that keyword, because if people are spending you know, two three four five six seven whatever dollars, the higher they’re bidding, there’s a good chance that somebody has figured out that that’s a quality keyword, they’re getting business from that keyword, and that’s why they’re willing to spend more money on it.

So, it can be indicative of a quality keyword. You also can have a couple advertisers just bidding the heck out of something because they want to beat each other, but typically, we’re going to see pretty standard costs on those. And then we have the competitive density of advertisers, so this is how many advertisers are out there bidding, so with the cost, and then how many, like are there a lot of ’em, is it a small number of advertisers, and then where that keyword is trending, and then here we can actually click open the SERP, the search engine results page and actually look on the page, okay? So the first thing we see here is Westin Boston Waterfront. The second thing we see is Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel, so hotels are clearly ranking on the top, so we’ve got three, four, five, so the first five are all hotels, and then you have the keyword phrase Boston waterfront, Boston waterfront restaurants, okay, so you may look at all this and go, “Gosh, there really isn’t a lot I’m gonna use there.” By the way, I would, whoops, typed it in wrong, I would tell you you still might.

Let me give you an example of how this works with SEO in 2,000, this year, and I’m sure beyond. Content and links still drive up a lot of SEO, lot of your search engine rankings. When you create a great piece of content on your website, in the form of a page, a blog post, an article, a press release, you’ve got something on your website that you’ve done a really good job, you’ve provided a lot of value on that website, it stands a chance of ranking well. Well it also has a certain amount of, search engine power of its own, its own ranking power, and you can link out to other pages on your website, sharing some of that linking power. So let’s just say, let’s take this one here. Boston waterfront homes for sale. So you want to rank for Boston waterfront homes for sale. There’s only 40 searches a month for that exact phrase, but that still can be significant if you’ve got, you know you’ve got hundreds of thousands of phrases that people are searching, that even have a small number, that adds up to a lot of traffic, okay? And the higher you rank on the search engines, the more of those clicks you actually get.

So it’s important that you are ranking as high as you can for these search terms, you are focusing on that, so that’s another reasons why we go after these long tail keyword phrases, because it’s easier to rank in position one two three four five, on a long tail keyword phrase, then it is on a head term such as Boston real estate. So we go after these long tails, okay. Now this one has a keyword difficulty of 70%, that’s not bad, that makes me very happy when I see something in the 70s, that means it’s touchable, okay? Cost per click value’s a buck, you know, not huge, but definitely a player, definitely something I would do and focus on, and build on my websites, probably not going to take a whole ton of effort.

Competitive density, not a lot of advertisers in that space, okay, so, obviously I don’t know Boston, you guys might be laughing because maybe there just aren’t any houses (laughing) I may have picked the worst example ever, but it was here and so we’re going with it, because I haven’t investigated the market, but so that could be one reason why it’s not higher, maybe there just aren’t a lot, in that particular example. Now, in fact, here’s another thing you can do, oh let me finish the thought process. So, you create a page called Boston Waterfront Homes For Sale, and your ranking, you know you enter on like page three, and then it works its way up to page two, and maybe get to the bottom of page one and you’re just going, “Dang, how do I push this up?” Well if you were to write another page, using the previous keywords, so if I were to go back to Boston waterfront without the word homes in it, I think I had homes spelled wrong on that forty, didn’t I? So what if I now go, okay, I’m going to go after Boston waterfront in general.

It’s got 1600 monthly searches, it’s got an 80% keyword difficulty, so if my website has good search visibility, I’m being seen by Google, there’s a chance I could get in there. It’s got a really good cost-per-click value, for that market hardly anybody’s bidding on it, okay so let me go build a page called Boston Waterfront, and again this might be a terrible example, I don’t know Boston, but I’m going to create a page called Boston Waterfront, and I’m going to write all about what that is, what is Boston waterfront? What is it, does it, clearly there’s hotels there, does it offer anything else there? Well if I look down, I can see some of these suggestions, Boston waterfront restaurants, we’ve got the Boston waterfront hotels, so the first thing I would do, I would build a page titled Boston Waterfront.

Then the first paragraph is going to be called Boston Waterfront Hotels, and I’m going to write all about the hotels there, and I’m going to make a list of the hotels there and what people need to know about the hotels, and I’m going to embed reviews. By the way, in case you don’t know this, you actually can just go over to a website like Yelp, and you can type in Boston waterfront and I’m going to change this to Boston. So funny, I don’t know why I went to Boston, I’ve never used Boston as an example. Something’s going to come up later with Boston, I’m going to laugh, I’m going to get like a real estate referral from Boston today or something.

Okay, so you go down here and you find like, a you know something that’s on the Boston waterfront, like this Boston Harbor Hotel, okay? Click on it, it has a 159 reviews. What you can do is go down here, pick one of these reviews, like this one here, it’s recent, it’s got five stars, I usually only do positive reviews unless I’m really, I’m not a critic, so, I’m going to take this, embed review, see that little thing there? Click embed review. I’m going to take that code, then I’m going to go over to my website that I’m building, and I’m just going to add it, here let me add a little content block. All you have to do is just click on Text, and add it. This is your WYSIWYG editor: What You See Is What You Get.

So as long as you got a a WYSIWYG editor on your website, you’re fine, and then if we preview it, I’ll show you what the review looks like. See that? And actually, if you have one of my websites, if you have a BREW, I believe, let me just make sure if we, oop, let me get rid of that. If we add this as an Iframe, so let’s, instead of adding a regular content block, we’ll add an embed code, paste it there and look at it, it should resize it to the full page width, which I prefer.

Oh, it didn’t. Okay, I’ll have to look into that. There may be some piece of code in there forcing that, so we can look at that. So anyway, you can embed any, you can embed reviews right there, so let’s just say you’re doing this Boston Waterfront, you’ve got Boston hotels, and then each one of ’em, you embed the review on. Now you’re not copy-and-pasting the content, there’s no duplicate content issue, you’re not stealing their content, they have given you permission through that embed code. So as long as you’re doing it that way, you’re okay. Now another thing you can do to make this better, you go over to YouTube, and you type in Boston waterfront, oh look, Boston waterfront district, see I’m learning all kinds of new things about Boston today.

All right, so I don’t know if any of these apply. Let’s do a Boston, yeah, okay so let’s just take this video, pretend it applies, I have no idea if it does or does not. I’m going to make sure that I watch the video, or part of it, I’m going to make sure it’s not being put out by another real estate agent, so let’s say this is all about Boston waterfront, and why it’s a great place, but it’s not done by a real estate agent, okay, so you don’t want to promote your competitors.

I can share this too, by going over here to Share, and I can click Embed, and I can take, I’m going to turn off the suggested videos, and I’ll turn off the title, but I’ll allow it to show player controls, and I can take that Iframe, go back over to my website, and now I can put that one in the code, so you put that in your text or in your content block, and I can click preview. Again, very few websites I’ve ever found where I can’t do this, stuff, most of it you can. Look at that! See how the video resized to the proper width without me changing anything? That’s what that Embed Content Block does for us. I knew it worked with YouTube videos. I haven’t messed with the reviews, so we’re going to have to code in there and get those to be all the way across as well. You also can go to Facebook, and do an embed, so if I go over to Facebook, and I’m going to type up here, Boston waterfront, oh look, waterfront cruises! Oh I’m getting all excited (laughing).

This is what I do, I create content, and I get this vision, I just get so excited about where it could go, because I can see it, I can see it in my head exactly where I want this piece of content to go, it’s so exciting to me. All right, so we’re doing, we did waterfront hotels, we’re doing waterfront restaurants on this same page, and now we’re doing waterfront cruises, right? Where did I get this idea from, well, we didn’t finish our keyword tool yet, we’ll go back to that, but I got the idea from Facebook, because I typed something in there. Well watch what I can do.

I can take this page, this waterfront cruises page, and I can, let’s say I make a list of waterfront cruises. I can take any one of these posts, any one of their Facebook posts. I might look for video, video is really good for the user experience, so I love to include video on a page as long as it’s not killing your load time, and if you’ve got the right host it shouldn’t. But let’s just take this one here, all I have to do is go up here to this little dot dot dot, and click Embed, take that little code, go back over here, to our page, and I’m going to put the embed code in there, and now we can preview it. See that? Yeah, see this is a great example, I would not want this to be the width of the page.

I like this one more like a newsfeed, so that works quite well. So you see all the ideas, this is what Google rewards for SEO, this is what Google rewards, is this kind of content. I’m going to make a list of all the things about Boston waterfront, and I’m going to include reviews, and videos, and I’m going to embed Facebook posts, and I’m really going to give that user some amazing insight on what that Boston waterfront offers, okay? Now if you scroll down here some more, you might see some more ideas, so I don’t know what that is, strega, you might know if you’re from Boston.

So, we still got waterfront guide and seafood, gosh, you can do a whole page just on the restaurants. Okay, so now, oh bars, there you go, waterfront bars, could be your next paragraph, and each one of these paragraphs has its own bold heading. And, we call those heading tags, and in, in SEO, we use these heading tags to kind of emphasize the importance of a segment, or particular keyword, so kind of like an outline, so for example here, if I were to go to Add Layout and go to General Content, my first, my heading is going to be Boston Hotels, and then I’m going to make, do all this stuff on Boston hotels.

Well, this is an H2 tag, or if you’re using a WYSIWYG editor that doesn’t do it for you automatically, you just type in the keyword phrase, and under here we’re going to make our list, just say we’re going to make our list like this, lists are very popular always on content, and because they’re popular with your users, they’re popular with Google, and Google will often give you that feature rich snippet when you create structured data like this, so I’m not going to get too deep into structured data and schema today. I have other videos on that, but I just want to let you know that lists are very, are very good to do, very good to use. And so here, I could just hover over this and I’m going to drop this down and I’m going to make that a Heading 2. Did you see what happened there? So now it made it bigger, okay, so the Heading 1, the H1 tag, the main one, that looks like this, is usually your title, and on most WordPress themes that happens automatically, automatically makes your title the H1 tag.

Not always the case but most of the time. You only want one of these on the page, one each one. Then your other paragraph segments should all be H2 titles, so Boston Waterfront Hotels, I’d add the word waterfront there, Boston Waterfront Hotels. Boston Waterfront Restaurants. Waterfront Bars, and you don’t have to put Boston on every one of those heading H2 tags, you can play with it, test and measure it. You don’t want to overoptimize with your keywords, however, I do like the location to be in those H2 tags. I may just not wanted to say the word Boston throughout the page anywhere else, if it doesn’t make sense to do so. You never want to stuff keywords in artificially, that’s old school SEO, it doesn’t work anymore, it can trip the spam filters with Google, so you want to write more naturally.

So then we said cruises, so we’re going to have waterfront cruises, we’re going to have waterfront bars, and each one of those is going to have its own H2 tag, and then these little items down here, okay? And then there’s H3, H4, H5, H6, so if you’ve got a reason to put something else underneath those, let me give you an example, so let’s just do Boston waterfront hotels, one two three, okay? But then you have a couple that are pet-friendly. So now you’re going to do, like underneath Boston waterfront hotels, you’re going to do pet-friendly hotels, and this is now going to be an H3, and it’s going to stay under the category Boston waterfront hotels, okay? Kind of like if you were going to indent that, it’s kind of like an outline, okay? So that’s kind of the idea of how we would do that.

Now, the idea of this is, let me tell you why we’re doing this. So, you might be sitting here thinking, “Why are we building a page about hotels and cruises “when that’s not what we do?” What we’re going to do now is we’re going to work hard to get this page to rank as high as possible. We are going to reach out to other relative websites and say, “Hey, we thought you might like this list, “this article about Boston waterfront, “might be relative to you,” maybe it’s a newspaper, maybe to, the cruise line would share it because you mentioned them, you know, contact each one of the people that you mentioned here, each one of those hotels, each one of those cruise lines: “Hey, I want you to see that we mentioned you “in this great blog, feel free to share it, “here’s the link, and “you can link back to us on your website,” maybe you include like a little animated gif, or a gif, or something they can embed that has their you know, their name on it or something like that, anyway, you’re working to get links back to this article.

Well then what you do on this article, is down here you have Boston Waterfront Homes, and you’re going to put this little tiny, you’re going to put a little paragraph, “If you are looking to buy a waterfront home in Boston, “you have come to the right place, Joe Smith specializes “in blah blah blah blah blah, and on this website “you’ll find you know, up to date properties, tours, “photos, whatever,” and then here what you’re going to do, is you’re going to highlight, buy a waterfront home in Boston, and you’re going to link it, click here, to include a little link, and you’re going to link this now to your page of homes, waterfront homes in Boston.

And what’ll happen is, some of that link flow will flow from this page now to that page. The higher ranking your pages are, which you can see from using your search engine tools, Google Analytics, Search Console, SEM Rush, you can see all your top performing pages, your top performing pages should link out to other pages on your website you want to rank higher, because some of that link flow will pass through, and it will benefit, so if I want my horse property page to rank higher, I could create a page on horseback riding in Las Vegas that ends up doing well in the search engines, and I could link it back to my horse property real estate page and potentially raise that higher, because not a lot of people want to link to just my page of horse property, but they might link to an article about horseback riding, and that article might rank higher and therefore, I can link back to my own property page, raising the search engine rank on that particular page, increasing its value, right, if you look at each page on your website as, how much value does it have, so let’s just say Boston Waterfront Luxury Homes For Sale, okay, using a mathematical formula, just say, this page has a 100% ranking power, okay, now, you’re going to link out to five other, five pages on your website, each one of those links takes a percentage of that link flow, I don’t know the exact mathematical formula, but it’s just an example, I was saying okay, this one ranks at 100%, I’m going to give 5% to my horse property page.

You can’t actually tell it how much percent you’re going to flow out, it’s divided up based on the number of links that are linking out from that page, as well, a certain percentage of it goes out, okay? So, this is how you build this internal link strategy, is by linking to other pages on the website that this consumer, this user, would find valuable and Google’s going to look at that link and potentially consider that page more valuable, because somebody clicked through from your other high-ranking page. So what our strategy is here, we’re going to build a lot of content, we’re going to have a website that loads fast, okay, we’re going to have a website that loads in just a few seconds or less.

Obviously, ideally, Google would love to see our websites load in a second, and if you host on their servers, and get your website set up, with accelerated mobile pages, AMP as we call it, you can get that to happen. That’s debatable whether or not that’s a good move or not a good move, depending on who you talk to in the SEO world. AMP is a, Google hosts those pages and so therefore, you are paying Google and some people look at that as a conflict of interest, and it doesn’t mean it will rank any higher because you’re paying Google, an AMP site that loads faster could provide a more quality user experience, and could rank higher on the search engines, but if you’ve got a great host, over here at Ballen Brands, we do WordPress hosting, so if you do need, if you need, if you notice your website’s really slow and you need a better host, and you’ve got a WordPress website or you’re interested in getting one, look us up at ballenbrands.com, we’ve got very affordable hosting packages.

So you want your website to load in just a few seconds. You want the navigation to be clean and clear and easy, easy to navigate, you want everything to be more responsive, right? And so, when you’re doing all of those things right, and then you create phenomenal content, really great content, long form, dive deep content, like we were doing with that Boston waterfront one, you’re gonna, you’re gonna gain some search engine visibility, should be relatively quickly, and once Google starts seeing you ranking on the search engines, it will pick up additional pages very quickly. And then how high they rank really depends on all the ranking factors with Google, there’s 200 ranking factors, but if you create a really good quality user experience, you are focused on that user, you’re not thinking about Google, you’re thinking about that consumer, what am I giving them today, what are they looking at? Then, you have a good chance of ranking on the search engines, and what you do with all these blogs and articles is, you link them back to your property pages.

So, let’s take a look over here. If I were to go to my analytics, so I love this tool, this is called Clicky, and again, if you want to check this out, go over to Loristools.com and go over here, and click on Clicky, click on Clicky (laughing) that’s a funny, that’s my birthname, was Click. We always laugh about that, okay so, this is Clicky, and what you see here at a glance is, it’s not, it’s not that far off from Google Analytics, however, it’s to me it’s easier to digest in a shorter timeframe. I can see what I want quicker, and I believe the Google webmaster, I mean Google Analytics is fantastic, but it’s geekier, so for the average local business, do-it-yourself SEOer, this is more at-your-fingertips friendly, and what I look at is a few things.

The first one, I’m always looking at traffic, where, so this is my traffic today over yesterday. I can change that and look at today versus, there it is, today versus last year, this is one I really spend a lot of time focusing on. Did it change? Oh it did, okay, today versus last year, where’d it go? Okay, so I’m always looking to make sure that I’m up. It always goes straight down by the way, right now, because it hasn’t recorded the time right now, so this’ll be constantly, it’ll go up.

You will notice these little trends stay similar, like your, everything dips at noon on my website, I’m going to find that trend to be pretty much continuous. Everything goes up if my peak times are like at one o’clock, that trend will stay pretty similar. So I’m kind of looking at that stuff, I’m looking at how many visitors I’ve had, how many actions they’ve taken, if they’re clicking, if they’re commenting, if they’re sharing, if they’re you know, actually taking action means clicking, doing something on the page. Clicking through to another page, I’m looking at that. And then, I’m looking at links, who’s sending people to my website, I’m looking at what content’s being visited, okay, so let’s take a look at this for a second. If we go up here to content, oh let’s go to visitors. We’ll actually look for real, so, right now this visitor’s on my website right this minute, I can actually spy on him if I wanted to.

Not like see his actual face, but I can see what he’s doing. If they’re going, what pages are going to. So the first one, they’re looking at IDX, this person’s looking at homes for sale okay? This next one, horse property, remember that? There’s my example, isn’t that funny? This one came from Facebook, and they’re looking at a listing. This one came from Google organic, and they’re horse property. This one came from Google organic, organic means unpaid, earned in, they are looking at information about Las Vegas. See this frequently asked questions about Las Vegas? Everybody should have one of those. Wherever you are, you need to have a frequently asked questions about your location, those are very popular. This person came from another country, organically, and they’re looking at shopping in Vegas.

So you see, none of those are specific, well the horse property one was real estate related, but the shopping one wasn’t, the FAQs wasn’t, but it leads them to those other pages. If they’re interested in real estate. Here’s another one, zip codes, incredibly popular. In my market, and in most markets that I work with my clients in, zip codes are very popular. So you can see the trend, look exactly what happened here, this person was on Facebook, and they clicked information about Henderson. They either did a search on Facebook, or they’re following my business page, that part I’m not sure just looking at this right now. Henderson homes for sale, so I probably have a post that goes out, I schedule those so I have a post that goes out about all the different homes in our area. From there, they clicked on locations, they clicked on my Henderson zip codes page, okay, let’s just go look at it so you can see. Let’s do it from the beginning, so they clicked here. Okay, so they clicked on my Henderson Homes For Sale page, so this is what I’m talking about, I’ve got a pricing table, I’ve got a little intro, I’ve got properties, IDX, I’ve got a description, I’ve got information about the neighborhoods so long form content, right? Giving them lots of content, designed to rank on the search engines obviously, do well on social, then from there, they clicked on Henderson zip codes, so they want information about zip codes, so they clicked right here, and they’re looking at information about Henderson zip codes.

So on that page, I have all the Henderson zip codes built out, so they can actually start shopping for houses now by zip code. Underneath that, I have let’s see where they went, now they went to 89052, so this person either knows they want to live in 89052, they’ve done their research, or, they’re a seller. They have a house to sell, and what happens is, a lot of times these sellers, they go looking for their neighborhood, or their zip code or their area, so they can kind of do this little self-CMA to determine what their house is worth. And that could be what this person is doing as well, oh seven more, hold on they’re not done. Where else did they go? Okay after that, they started looking at houses, so they looked at this one, they looked at this one, and then they went back to the Las Vegas page, looked at a property, looked at a property, looked at a property looked at a property looked at a property, looked at a property, went to the photo gallery, this is where they registered to become a lead, anyway, so you kind of see the idea of how that navigation works on there.

So, for SEO for 2017, we build out homes for sale with a pool, homes for sale with an attic, three bedroom homes for sale, four bedroom homes for sale in Henderson, all the price ranges, all the zip codes, all the school zones, we’re not just allowing a widget to do all the work, we’re actually building out all these pages so they rank. Take a look here at how people search. So, Clicky shows me some of the ways people are searching to find my website. First one is an address, so this person was in front of a house, and they googled the address. By the way, that’s not my listing. It’s just because I have a strong website, I have high search engine visibility, I got a great IDX, so Google believes I’m an authority on that address, so it pops up. I’m not marketing somebody else’s listing, we just all share the same IDX inventory, and therefore we all could rank for an address, okay? Second one, how to organize your life, that’s a blog post.

Earnest money and missed closing date, that’s a blog post, here’s another address. What happens when home loan does not close on time? Okay, so this could be a frequently asked questions article about real estate or about loans, mortgage finance, it could be a full blog post, in my case it’s all about home loans, everything you ever wanted to know about home loans, and so they click on that, and they go to that page, still not closing 30 days after the contract closing date. You see how people type things in? Rooftop decks in Las Vegas. Rooftop decks in Las Vegas. How many of you would stop and think to build a page on your website about rooftop, homes with a rooftop deck? Well let me show you where I get this idea from. I use IDX broker, and IDX broker is what powers our BREW, Ballen Real Estate Website, so if you get a BREW you do get our fancy schmancy IDX, all customized and ready to go for you.

Okay so if I were to go up here, I’m going to go to Designs > Widgets > Create. By the way, if you go over to my website today, or well I don’t when you’re watching this video, but today when I’m recording the video, our forced registration is actually off, and it’s off on purpose, because we’re doing this little test right now to see how many more user interactions and how many more page visits, how much more time on site we would get if we didn’t have forced registration on, so normally you’ll see 10 leads in the pot for today, but there, without forced registration, you get way less leads. Your leads are more, are stronger, when you don’t have forced registration on, like if they’re only registering for, you know they’re interested in viewing a property, say they want to set up a showing, or they want information on a property, you’re going to have a lot, you’re going to have somebody with a real phone number, real information, a stronger lead, but you have way less leads, like, it drops off instantaneously when you turn off forced registration, so you have to choose that battle.

Normally, ours is forced at the photo gallery, so they can browse all the details they want, they can look at all, they can do as many searches as they want, but as soon as they want to click on photos, that’s when we trip the forced registration. But right now it’s off, like I said, because we’re testing and measuring. This is my test kitchen, my own Vegas website is my test kitchen, I get to test it, see how things work and then I go out there and make things better for you guys on the websites that I sell, so it’s really a nice, cool combination, and it works well for me, so anyway, let’s just say that rooftop deck for example, so I go to IDX broker, and I say, I’m going to build a showcase widget, and I’m going to build a custom search, advanced.

Now, here’s how this works. You have all of these fields, that show up that you can select from. You only have the fields that your MLS syndicates out, feeds out, you only have the fields that match your MLS. So whatever’s in your MLS, you’ll see fields for. But they’re not all automatically here. What you have to do, is you go to your IDX, and you go to Pages, and I’ve got videos on all this stuff, and by the way I actually have a complete training system on how to do this at home, it’s called The Ballen Method, and if you go to theballenmethod.com, I’ve got course after course after course, videos, trainings, how to do every single thing that I do, to generate leads through the web, search and social and pay-per-click, so, check that out.

So what I do is I go down here to Advanced Search, this is a page on my website, so this is this page, this Advanced Search page. And then I go over to Customize column, and I go to Fields. Click on Fields, and then whatever category you’re in, so right now I’m in Residential, because we’re building that rooftop decks, actually a high rise might have more of those, oh, probably high rise, and I’m going to go to View Settings, and then what I do is I scroll down here and I look at all these on the right hands side, are all the fields that you can have, if you want them in here, okay? Some may not apply, like you may not want the Garbage Disposal field (laughing) you know, that you might have in your MLS.

So there’s some things you may not want in here, but all you have to do, click the little plus sign, and it’ll show up there on the top, click Save, or on the bottom, you can choose to have it show up on the top or the bottom, click Save, and now that field will be in your MLS, for the buyers to search, and for you to build widgets around, okay. So, all I’d have to do is go find rooftop deck, and once I’ve made that, let me just pick a random field here, because I don’t know where, I don’t know if I have rooftop, oh there it is, okay, so there’s a rooftop deck, so let’s say I’m going to do rooftop deck, all I would do is save the widget down here, rooftop deck, I’m going to call this Sample, and how do I want to sort it, do I want newest to oldest, most expensive to least expensive, so in my case I’m just going to do newest.

Our standard is, we do a three column widget, however many columns you choose, is how big or small those boxes are, so we use a three column, here’s the example of the three column. One two three. If you made this a four column, you could put four columns five columns six columns, ten columns, but each time you do that, these boxes get smaller and more narrow and more narrow and more narrow. We, my tests have shown that three column is the ideal. So then, I go down here and I’ll say, I’ll show 15 listings, so I’ll show 5 rows, and then I want them to have to click the Display More, I want them to click through to see more. So you could just show three, sometimes I show three for if it’s just part of a bigger page, but all this page is going to have is properties on it, I’ll just leave it at 15, click Yes, I’m going to click Build Widget, and then all I do is take that java script, go back over to our page here we were working on, just go back to our hotels here, and in your case, if you don’t have a BREW website, you’re just going to use this little text, and you’re going to paste it anywhere here that you want it, like at the bottom.

If you have a BREW, you’re going to click on the little plus sign and add IDX Broker Showcase widget, you’re going to title this, Shop Boston Rooftop, roof deck whatever, what did it say? (laughing) Rooftop homes, and we’re going to paste it here, rooftop deck, I think is what I said, and then I’ll show you it, let’s preview. There they are. And then all your homes will just show up like that.

So it’s not complicated. None of this is actually complicated, people think SEO is so hard, it’s really just about learning what are the steps, what do I need to include, what’s important to include on this page, and then, just, you go to work, you get to work building these pages, and you get to work blogging. Now, people are always asking me, what is, what is, how much of what should I do? And it really depends, like how much should you be blogging? How much should you be, I say build out every one of those community pages, but while you’re building out those community pages, I mean you might be able to do five of those in a morning before you go start your day, you might be able to do 20 of those in the morning before you go start your day, you might be able to do 100 of those, because you’re, you know, on days that you don’t have to be out in the field.

And so you’re going to build out as many of those as you possibly can, or you can hire a virtual assistant, you can hire a college student, you can hire one of your own children, make sure you pay attention to all the work laws, you can hire a company like mine, we do this for you, or we’ll build out your pages, so you have lots of options, of what you can or how you can build those out.

But my suggestion is, that I would like to see at least once a month, and when I say at least, I’m serious, at least, please, ideally you would do more than, but at least one real estate article a month. How to buy a house in Las Vegas, how to sell a house in Las Vegas, what are closing costs when buying a house, frequently asked questions about real estate in Las Vegas, first time home buyer tips for buying a house, how to buy and sell a house at the same time, what credit score is needed to buy a house in Las Vegas, should I rent out my house or sell it, should I rent a house or buy it, my credit score’s great, my partner’s not, how do we buy a house, you know, how to buy a house when you’ve just got a job, which you know, you’re obviously going to put in there that they’re going to need to wait blah blah blah probably for qualification, but you can accept the forms, there’s lots of ways to go about that.

How to prepare our house to sell, and I’m not talking about a 500 word article on how to prepare a house to sell, that’s not going to do anything for you, I’m talking go deep, dive deep, talk about how to prepare your house to sell, how to have a pre-appraisal, how to fix you know, what appliances you should worry about or not worry about, putting in new carpet and paint you know, checking out your furnaces and your water heaters, and your gutters, that’s so funny we don’t have any of those things in Vegas.

You know, all that stuff, how’re you really going to prepare your home to sell, that article should be a couple thousand words long, if you’re really going, diving deep, and you’re using video and examples, and okay so let’s say you’re doing one of those a month, that’s all you have time for, you’re going to write 500 words a week of that and you’re going to publish it at the end of the month and it’s going to be 2,000 words, okay? Once a month, I like to see hyperlocal. So, hyperlocal’s going to be something like, frequently asked questions about your area, look at this person googled springs preserve best gift shop award, so Spring Preserve is a local little museum type place we have here in Las Vegas, and it has animals, and it has events or whatever, so I did an article about Spring Preserve. Information about the local high schools, information about zip codes, things to do for the holidays, where to go to the pumpkin patches, those are your hyperlocal, and the reason we do hyperlocal’s because one, it positions you as an authority on your market, two, it shows Google that you know, if it’s going to rank somebody, that is a real estate agent in a particular area, the more you write about your area and real estate, the more likely you are rank as an entity for that area and real estate, so if everybody types in the words that area and real estate, there’s a much better chance that you’ll rank higher because you’re proving to Google and to the visitors that you are a local specialist.

In addition, every time somebody hits your website, they Google something, you know they’ve got allergies, and they look up Las Vegas, you know, how do I deal with these Las Vegas allergies? And they click through and find your website, there’s a memory stored. If they’re logged into Google in any way, or using any of the Google login devices, and they’re logged in to Google, which most of us are most of the time now, then Google stores a memory that they’ve been on my website before, and if they click or engage or any quality signals there that they like the website, the next time they do a search, I’m going to be higher up on the search engine rankings for that person, and the more that happens, the more likely they are to find my website, the more I’m creating that brand awareness, and the more likely I am to show up if they ever type in how to sell a house in Las Vegas, and I want that listing, right? So that’s why we do hyperlocal, and so, also once a month, a real estate market report.

Some of my best leads come from my real estate market reports, okay, so if I were to go over here and google Las Vegas real estate market report, wow this is a long video, huh? Okay, so here I am, number one, I’m gonna click on that, and this is what our real estate market report looks like, so it’s got a little table of contents, it’s got archives of the old years, of the old information, I’ve got graphs, I’ve got current listings, it’s not super complicated, it’s really all we’re changing, it’s kind of this here, you know, what was last month, what sold, what was the average price range, and then I can click on any one of these links, and it will take them to other pages, so if they’re here and they’re looking at the market trends, or they really want to buy a condo and the click on condos, it’ll take them to my pages all about condos.

Okay, so this is SEO, this is real estate SEO, this is exactly how we do it. So, real estate market report once a month, hyperlocal blog posts at least once a month, a really really good real estate article at least once a month, all of your community pages, you’re going to build out all your homes by feature, you’re going to build out your neighborhoods, and then in addition to that, I also highly encourage you to get on YouTube, build a YouTube channel and start cranking out some videos, for my marketing company my number one lead source is Facebook, my number two lead source is Google, and my number three lead source is YouTube. For my real estate team, number one is Google, by a majority, right now we’re not doing as much other stuff for the real estate team as we are for Google, because we’re using it as our test kitchen, but there was a time when YouTube was driving us for several years.

The nice thing about YouTube is, you can make a video and rank on the search engines easier, for YouTube check this really cool tool out, I’m going to come back and do a feature on this later, but if you go to Loristools.com, and click on the TubeBuddy link, where’s Loristools, right here, go down here, Loristools.com and click on TubeBuddy, see if they have a free trial for you there, that is the coolest YouTube extension, and what I’m able to do, is I can go to my channel, and I can look at, I can research keywords, I can see who’s ranking number one for that keyword on YouTube, I can look at the competitive analysis for it, I can post live, I can syndicate and schedule a video to post on Facebook, all kinds of things, I’m not going to get any deeper than that, I’m just going to tell you today, get on YouTube, make some videos, go out to the houses, you know, if you’re doing an open house, stand in the kitchen and talk real estate, and make a video.

Make a Facebook live video, how about a frequently asked questions series, and every week when you’re doing that open house, you’re going to answer one question. By the way, if you don’t know what questions to ask, go over to answer the public dot com, and type in something about how to buy a house, okay, I want this in English, oh they’re changing it, oh how funny! That guy wasn’t yelling at me last time I was on here. (laughing) Okay, click on how to buy a house, go to your results, change this to a list form, so that you can read it, um hold on, data, where is my list form? They changed it! Okay alphabetical, there we go, all right, let me get that out of that box there, okay, how to buy a house young, how to buy a house you can’t afford, how to buy a house on YouTube, how to buy a house you’re renting, ooh that’s a good one, I like that one a lot, I don’t think I’ve done that one.

I need to make a note. How to buy a house yourself, how to buy a house you rent, how to buy a house, okay, so, how to buy a house in your 20s, how to buy a house without a realtor, how to buy a house with no credit, how to buy a house with a VA loan, how to buy a vacant house, how to buy a house with a mortgage, how to buy a house without a mortgage, how to buy a house to flip, okay see all these kind of things? You can also go to Quora.com, where people type in real questions, so here’s an example, remember I said people are logged into Google and they don’t even realize, see how Quora popped up and it had a login with Google? As soon as you click that button, you’re logged into Google.

And now Google’s tracking your browser history, okay. So you could go up here and type in, how to buy a, and see how the questions start appearing? Okay, how to buy a house in Singapore, how to buy a house without money, how to buy a house without any okay, how to buy a house with bad credit, how to buy a house without a permanent job, how do (laughing) drug dealers buy houses with their dirty money, don’t answer that question, that’s hilarious, okay, switch that, how to sell a house, obviously you don’t want to write a whole bunch of blogs on how to sell a house with crappy credit, right, and no money, but you should have one that’s, you know, what is a credit score, that type of thing. What’s the best way to sell a house, what’s the fastest way to sell a house, how to sell a house in probate, there’s a good one! How do I sell a house in probate, how do I sell a house for, you can kind of change those words and it’ll give you other suggestions, right? So, you can take some of those ideas.

You can just go to Google, and type in buying a house, buying a house, okay, now I’m going to find the people also ask, here you go, look down here, people also ask: where do you start to buy a house? How do you buy your first home? How can you buy a house? How long does it take to buy a house? Now watch what happens, when I click on one of those, and it opens up, it gives me a new set of questions. How long does it take for closing on a house? Click on it, it’ll give you a new set of questions. What do I need to bring to closing on a house? So it gives you ideas for what paragraphs to include if you’re going to write a blog post on how long does it take to close a house, or the closing process when buying a house in San Diego, or whatever, and each one of these things that you click on, gives you a new set of ideas, okay.

Another idea, is to go over to SEM Rush, and to type in how to buy a house, and you’re going to get a whole set of keywords, and ideas and you can look at your competition, and see what they’re doing, so guys, here you go, how to buy a house with bad credit, has 4,400 monthly searches a month. How long does it take to buy a house, how to buy a house with no money, obviously you’re seeing some, how long after bankruptcy can I buy a house? That’s a great blog post! That is a killer blog post right there. Again, 500 words aren’t going to do it. Where 500 words will do it by the way, is if you’re writing a community page, you’re writing a little critique about a restaurant, you know those little things, you’re writing something just for social, you just want to kind of answer a question, those kind of shorters are fine, but if you’re gunning for the search engines, that are super competitive, you’ve got big places writing these comprehensive articles, you’ve got to go deep.

You’ve got to really inform, and again, if you think about your customer, why wouldn’t you anyway? You know, I’m going to answer this question in its entirety, I’m going to dive as deep as I can, and I’m going to provide the best quality experience for this user. If you do that, you’re naturally going to write thousands of words. By the way, if you don’t like to write, put yourself on video or record yourself speaking on the phone. Go over to Rev.com, upload your recording, and for a buck a minute they’ll turn it into written word. A dollar a minute, they also transcribe videos. So, you can talk, answer the questions, say it into your cell phone, hit the little recording app, save it, send it to Rev.com, you talk for 10 minutes, it’s $10 to turn that into a blog, into a written word. It’s not going to put images, it’s not going to put links, it’s going to be a transcript, and you’re going to have to go in there and edit it up some, because you might want to take out the, you want to make it look more like a blog, and optimize it.

I’ve got tons of videos on optimizing as well. But for a buck a minute, and guess what, in ten minutes, you might have said 2,000 words. So, there’s lots of ways to do this, don’t let your limiting beliefs stop you from doing these things. You also can hire ghostwriters, I’ve got lots of blogs and lesson plans on how to hire a ghostwriter, my company ballenbrands.com does content, obviously we’re going to be more expensive, we’re going to optimize it, we’re going to do all the SEO stuff for you, but if you hire ghostwriters, they give you the written text, and then you go in there and optimize it, add your own images, internal links and things like that, and if you don’t know how to do it, watch my videos, or buy TheBallenMethod.com and watch the lesson plan on optimizing.

I teach you how to do the search engine optimization, where to put your links, what images to include, how to title and tag those images for SEO, how to do your structured data, and your schema and schema markup so that you can earn those rich snippets, lots and lots and lots of stuff in there. So, don’t get too caught up, so, in a future video I’m going to talk about how search and social are dating, and how they’re going to be married eventually, in the future, and for SEO for 2017, I’ll go into 2018, what I’ll tell you is, the likes and shares may not be a direct ranking signal with Google, but the traffic is, the traffic is an indirect, can indirectly affect your search engine rankings, so if you’re posting on Facebook and you write a great blog on you know the messy haunted houses for Halloween in October in your market, and it goes viral, and everybody clicks on it and goes to your website, that traffic boost does have benefits, okay? Potentially you could pick up buyers and sellers from that as well, you know, people that are looking at haunted houses might be looking to buy or sell in your market, like I said, there’s other reasons to do that hyperlocally.

But there, you write one Facebook ad, you got a new listing, I run a Facebook ad, I’m going to spend $150, I’m going to run it for seven days, and you get thousands of hits, or hundreds of hits, whatever it is depending on your market, on that page, that definitely can benefit you, especially if you are registering to become a lead. There’s a goal on the page that they’re accomplishing, they’re clicking through other pages on your website, those are positive signals for Google, and those can benefit you, so social does indirectly affect your search engine rankings as well. Also, reviews, testimonials, I’m going to cover those on another one, but I will just tell you this, please please please start gathering your reviews. They matter for search engines, they matter for social, get those reviews, make it a full time focus. The BREW website, really cool, we have a super easy way to add reviews and images and what not, you want to get reviews on your Facebook page, you want to get reviews on your Google page, and you want to get reviews on your own website. Zillow, Trulia and Yelp, all those are secondary in my opinion, but if you live off of Zillow, then you’re number one might be Zillow.

You’ll have to choose that. For me, if somebody goes to Google and types in, Lori Ballen team, they want to look up information, I want that aggregate Facebook Google score on the right hand side to be really high. So for me, those are my three focuses. My own website, Facebook business pages, and Google My Business, the Google page, so really start working on these reviews, it is a ranking factor. Google is listening to brand mentions, and with or without a link, they’re listening to brand mentions, and you want to have a positive brand out there. The better you brand yourself, the more likely you already have brand searches, which benefit you on the search engines, okay? Obviously there’s lots more to this, but this kind of gives you real estate SEO in a nutshell. IDX pages, real estate articles, hyperlocal articles, monthly real estate market report, videos on YouTube, social interaction and reviews, those are what I covered today, that are really important to make sure that you are focused on and working on for your real estate SEO and search engine rankings in the future.

Again, I’m Lori Ballen, I’d appreciate your referrals in Las Vegas, Henderson and North Las Vegas Nevada, at Lori Ballen Team, BallenVegas.com, and check out BallenBrands.com if you need a website, content, pay-per-click management, and TheBallenMethod.com if you want to learn all this and do it at home, and I will talk to you guys all later. Thank you so much for joining me today. .

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