Search Engine Marketing: Options for Real Estate Agents
Using search engines has become one of the most popular activities on the Internet, second only to email. But with millions of websites and billions of web pages, potential homebuyers need a tool that can sift through this clutter to find the realtor websites relevant to their search.
Thanks mostly to the techniques pioneered by Google, search engines have become remarkably effective at providing results that are highly relevant to the term or phrase the user searches on like
Homes for Sale. But to be relevant, you have to be found, and this is where search engine marketing comes in.
What is Search Engine Marketing?
You may have great inventory, a fantastic local clientele, and a high-end new website, but if that website doesn’t show up on the first two pages of Google (or Yahoo, MSN, or Ask Jeeves), you’re not getting the exposure you need to remain competitive.
Why aren’t you showing up? You may have overlooked search engine marketing. Effective search engine marketing is about more than just optimizing your website or submitting it to the search engines for indexing. When hundreds or thousands of your competitors are competing with you on your service and keywords, just one Internet marketing technique won’t give you high rankings.
Studies have proven what most Internet users know already – people usually do not look past the first two pages of search results. And with over 71% of homebuyers initiating their home search on the Internet (according to the National Association of Realtors), you can’t afford to miss out on all of those active buyers. And if your site isn’t ranked high, it probably isn’t pulling in leads either – leads that translate to more sales and more commissions.
How does it work?
Unlike organic search engine optimization, which you (or your webmasters) can do yourself, search engine marketing requires a little financial investment to generate results. It’s pay to play, but the rewards are worth it.
Generally speaking, search engine marketing is the advertising that appears on top of or along side the “natural” or organic search results on search engine sites such as Google, MSN, Yahoo and many others, usually under the heading of “Sponsored Links” or “Sponsored Sites.” These links can also show up on many consumer and industry-specific websites, depending on the keywords used like Fort Myers Beach Florida Real Estate.
The copy that you see in the advertisement is usually written by the site owner, who will also come up with the keywords and keyword phrases trigger the ad. The site owner also determines how much she is willing to pay for each click as well as daily maximum limit, giving total control of targeting and spending. Advertising charges are only incurred when a visitor clicks on the ad, not when the ad is shown.
Although sponsored listings are a popular way to conduct your search engine marketing, there are other ways to get great results. Many real estate agents are finding that having the time and expense of a good search engine marketing service done for them by a third-party is a great way to go.
Getting traffic to your real estate website
In addition to buying sponsored (paid) listings, lead tracking, and email marketing excellent strategies for drawing relevant real estate leads to your real estate website. All of these methods work quite well and give you a high return on investment, when done properly that is. If you do not have the time or energy to invest in creating your own real estate marketing campaign for search engines, you can always leave it to the experts to create a custom-designed solution for you.
But let’s look at each of the above methods in more detail.
Sponsored (Paid) Listings
As mentioned above, sponsored, or paid listings are a great way to get fast visibility on the major search engines.
Google AdWords is by far the most popular sponsored listings program, mainly because the Google network is used by 80% of all Internet users. The AdWord program allows you to create your own ads based upon the keywords most relevant to your business. You can also choose to have Google write the ad for you for an extra fee.
Sponsored listings and SEO can help attract leads, but to truly get the most out of SEM, you will want to develop a lead tracking system to target the customers and prospects most likely to be interested in your services.
Lead tracking brings both short- and long-term benefits to your company – giving you instant access to information about each sales prospect while also helping to streamline and manage the sales process.
Lead tracking not only helps you attract more customers, it also tracks your return on investment, so you know exactly how much each lead is worth, how many leads convert into transactions, and your overall return on investment in your advertising dollars.
So now you have high rankings on the search engines and lead tracking is bringing in numerous high-quality prospects. Now what? Email marketing is the icing on the SEM cake – it impresses your prospects by allowing you to send them valuable information on the market and it helps you to stay fresh in their minds.
Relevant Real Estate Website Traffic
At Fidelity Assets we have a better way. We charge you a flat fee every month for the number of visitors you want sent to your site from the search engines. That’s it. Your costs are fixed, and your traffic and quality is guaranteed. You can start with as few as 30 visitors a month for a flat $59.95/month fee. You can buy more traffic as your business grows over time.
Fidelity Assets was created and is staffed by search engine marketing experts. Our company manages online advertising for real estate agents, and our employees are veterans of companies such as NBC Internet, Xoom.com, Infoseek, CNET and other pioneering advertising and e-commerce companies. We know the online ad space better than anyone.