Mike Price – IDX Trainer
Yes, blogs are still alive and well in this social media age.
They can help you to keep new content flowing to your site and increase the number of keywords your site is ranked for with search engines (both of which are great for your site’s SEO). They are an excellent way to “talk” with customers, potential and existing so that they can learn more about you, the kind of real estate agent you are, and the expertise you bring to the table when you represent them in a transaction.
But many real estate agents tell me they’re intimidated by the thought of starting a blog. “What will I talk about?” “I’m not a writer!” are both common objections. No worries. You don’t have to be! Just be yourself. It’s as simple as having the same kind of conversations you have with people every day, and then writing them down. Once you’ve gotten past that first post, the ideas will come to you, and you’ll be on your way.
Four reasons you should have a blog:
- Branding Subscribers to your blog that read your posts regularly will have you “top of mind” even if they are not a current client or prospect.
- Credibility Your blog is an excellent resource for establishing yourself as an expert in your marketplace and sets you apart from your competition and big portals.
- Content Resource Using snippets of blog posts in your social media flow, or repurposing articles in other outlets such as your LinkedIn business page and Facebook are great ways to increase traffic to your content. Tip: If you’re reposting articles in their entirety in other areas, change it up so that it’s not an exact duplicate. Duplicate content is recognized by search engines and could cause potential problems.
- SEO Blogs are search engine optimization gold. Search engines love content that is updated regularly. Your blog posts also allow using keywords and descriptions that have a significant impact on organic search results. There are some best practices to keep in mind when it comes to blogs and SEO, and following them will improve your overall results.
If you’re still feeling dubious, wondering what kind of content to include, here are some ideas to get you started
Ideas for blog content using IDX home search
If you’re a current blogger or considering establishing a blog, there are some great ways to use your FBS IDX solution as excellent content to augment your blog.
Going beyond the MLS description to tell the story of an individual listing is not only a great way to drive more traffic and views, but it also demonstrates to your seller that you’ve taken the time to go the extra mile in your marketing effort. Just remember not to limit all of your blog posts to only featuring properties. Create a saved search and include it in your post. Please describe the property from the viewpoint of why it would be a great place to live. The “on page” copy that you add to the post will improve your SEO in a big way.
I am a huge proponent of a “hyperlocal” approach to real estate web content. It’s one of the best ways to use your website as a marketing funnel for qualified leads. Buyers and sellers want to know what you know. When writing a post about a neighborhood or making reference to one, take the time to create a saved search and embed it in the post. If you’re painting a picture of the area or points of interest like schools or places of worship, it’s a great way to include the current IDX listings in the area without linking away from the post.
The FBS IDX WordPress plugin has a super-powerful widget that can be used to add great content to a blog post. The market stats widget allows you to post graphs about several different market conditions by area. If you’re referring to specific regions of your posts, you have a flexible way to include the graphs in the body of your posts and add some great context. Buyers and sellers love this kind of information, and it could go a long way toward creating blog subscribers and captured leads.
Do you have a particular niche that you serve in your market? Perhaps you have a focus on lake homes, ranch properties, golf courses, horse property? There are numerous opportunities to create great blog content around your niche, and you can use saved searches to embed niche listings right in your posts.
Feature A Local Business
Some of the best posts I’ve seen in real estate blogs include a brief interview with a local business. Getting a perspective on why someone loves their community is a fantastic way to demonstrate your local expertise. Include the listings that are in the area of the business you feature as a way of adding value to the post. Tip: you can also use this as a co-marketing opportunity. Maybe the business will allow you to pop some flyers in their lobby or at their register?
So, go forth and publish!
Just about every option for establishing a website can include a blog. I think it’s an essential resource to a significant real estate web presence. In summary, the branding, local expertise, and SEO benefits are the primary reasons to write your blog.
Share Your IDX Powered Blog
If you have a blog and are using your IDX content in your posts, share them with me! I would love to see them, and I might feature your site in some of my upcoming articles and posts. Could you shoot me a link to firstname.lastname@example.org?