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Local Search Optimization for Real Estate Professionals - the Secret to Effective Marketing

By Ben Shepardson | August 29, 2017

Today, any real estate professional that doesn't have a fully engaged marketing strategy is one that will soon be out of a job. You can't count on people to just miraculously show up at your door with a suitcase filled with cash, asking you to find them a house - you've got to get out there and find prospective home-buyers on your own, and marketing yourself as a realtor is part of that process.

However, all too many otherwise marketing-savvy real estate agents have a glaring hole in their marketing strategy. Ignoring or not paying enough attention to online marketing, especially in the current high-connectivity environment, is selling yourself short and costing you clients. Here are some great online marketing tips for real estate professionals that need some help in stepping up their marketing game.

Local Search Drives Your Business

The biggest, and most successful, new facet of online search at the moment is local search. Search engine service providers like Google have shifted their focus away from global search results when it comes to individuals looking for goods and services in order to provide better support for local communities and economies.

Some of this just makes sense - it's not going to help to know what a movie theater in Arkansas is playing when they live in New Jersey -  but it's also part of an overarching effort to improve user experience so that more people rely on search engines for their needs. The better companies like Google and Bing provide valued results to their users, the more those users will come back for more; this makes the focus on local search results - and optimizing marketing efforts to reflect well in local searches - a priority for real estate professionals.

It's Time to Take a NAP

Local search results rely heavily on the number of citations for a business that can be found online. In this context, citations mean crucial information like website address as well as the name, address, and phone number - the "NAP" for your company. In the realm of online marketing, ensuring your citations are

In the realm of online marketing, ensuring your citations are accurate, uniform, and error-free is half the battle. The other half is ensuring that these citations are listed on as many quality business directories as possible. Chief among those is the Google My Business listing, which not just enables your business to show up in web searches but also on Google Maps, making it easier to be found by prospective clients.

Reviews, Pictures, and Content, Oh My!

Getting your citations out there and in the right places is a major step that will certainly bear fruit, but even that's not enough. The more information a business listing has about your company, the better - so it's crucial to add images of either yourself or your office, content such as opening and closing hours, and anything else that a prospective client would benefit from knowing.

In this case, user feedback is a major plus. Many listing sites provide opportunities for users to review and rate a business, giving you an opportunity to showcase the kind of skills and expertise that turn prospective house buyers into homeowners. A realtor with many positive reviews is going to garner more attention than one with negative reviews or even none, as this creates a positive expectation that you're a real estate professional people want to do business with.

The rest, as they say, is history - online marketing through local search optimization can result in some excellent organic conversions for your real estate business. It's still just one facet of an overall marketing scheme, so be sure to integrate it fully into an existing strategy for best results.

Ben Shepardson is a Realty Biz News Contributing Writer and has a long track record of success in online marketing and web development. While pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems, he worked doing enterprise-level SEO and started an online business offering web development services to small business customers.
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