We spend a lot of time on the YBS Marketing Tam thinking about SEO.  Discovery online is one of the most critical – and nuanced – means of growing our clients’ business.  Sometimes a company can brute force the process.  At other times it takes extensive training and strategy, examining the landscape of competition over the course of weeks and even months.  We found this article – originally posted by Joshua Lyons on his blog – very insightful and a great point of reference for an SEO strategy for a CRE pro.  Read on!

I recently had someone ask me if I can prove that search engine optimization (SEO) really helps boost the revenue for commercial real estate brokers. I didn’t want to just say “yeah, of course it makes a difference.” Rather, I wanted to put together a logical response that was supported by statistical proof that SEO helps commercial real estate brokers. I put that information together, and shared it with the individual who asked me. But after I put it together, I realized I could make a few tweaks and share that information with the entire commercial real estate community! With that in mind, I’ve put together the following SlideShare presentation.

I hope you found that slide presentation educational and helpful. I know you just got a good bit of information from those slides, but I want to give a little more information about SEO, in general, in this post.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a VERY frequently used term that means “making Google, or other search engines, like something.” If your website has good SEO, that means there is a good chance Google will like your website. There are roughly a couple hundred factors Google looks at when deciding how much it should like a website, but Google doesn’t actually tell us what those factors are. Your website can always have better SEO. There are some very common SEO items that a lot of websites are missing, and it’s important to get those items taken care of ASAP, if you want to out rank your competitors. Remember though, your competitors are also trying to improve their SEO, and if they do a better job than you do, then they are more likely to be the ones who show up on Google.

No. It doesn’t typically generate revenue, unless you’re in the advertising or marketing industry. There are always exceptions, but for the commercial real estate industry, SEO doesn’t generate revenue. It generates leads, and leads are definitely a stepping stone to getting more revenue. So, if SEO helps generate leads, then what are you supposed to do to convert those leads into actual revenue? I’m glad you asked!

Use Calls to Action (CTA)

When someone gets to your website, they need to know what you want them to do. Do you want them to look at your listings? Do you want them to look at your brokers? What do they need to be doing? Use clear CTAs to drive your traffic down a path that will help them convert into paying clients.

Show Them Who’s Boss

Don’t give your website visitors the impression you’re just some loser with a website. They need to see that you know what you’re talking about. They need to know without a shadow of doubt that you are an expert in your field, and if they’re going to talk to anyone in your area about commercial real estate, then it’s going to be you! Show that you are credible, experienced, aware of the latest trends in your industry and the perfect person to work with. If you can show them you’re the industry leader in your area, you will be much more likely to end up working with them on their commercial real estate needs.

Have Listings to Show

If you have a potential buyer coming to your website, and you don’t have any listings to show that lead, then you’re going to have a really tough time ever getting that person to turn into a paying client. Just because SEO can get leads to your website, that doesn’t mean you and your brokers have anything worth selling or leasing. Yeah, the brokers need to show they are credible and knowledgeable about commercial real estate, but they also have to have some listings. Without listings, there won’t be a whole lot of revenue, no matter how good the SEO is.

That’s the right question for you to ask. If I were you, I would take the following 10 steps. There is plenty more you could do, but these are some of the most important steps to take, if you’re wanting to boost your SEO.

  1. Decide if I really want to get leads from Google. Is this really something worth investing in?
  2. If I do want website leads, I would check and see how much traffic I’m currently getting, so I can use that as a benchmark, to see if my website traffic increases as I spend more time working on SEO. I want proof my efforts are paying off!
  3. If I don’t already know the ins and outs of SEO, and I want to do my SEO in-house, I would definitely need to do a bunch of research to learn how SEO works, and figure out the best way to manage my SEO efforts.
  4. I may even hire someone for some general training on SEO, just to make sure I don’t accidentally do something to get my website blacklisted and banned from Google.
  5. I would do keyword research to find out what people are actually searching on Google when they are trying to find my services.
  6. I would figure out which keyword phrases people are using the most often, and then create a priority list for me to make sure my website ranks well for as many of those terms as possible.
  7. After that, I would create a page on my website for each service I offer.
  8. I would then start blogging, to help me rank well for the search terms identified during the keyword research.
  9. I would make sure each blog post is optimized and designed to rank well on Google.
  10. I would get involved on social media, because social media will help boost my exposure, will help develop my professional network, and it will also provide SEO value to the website.

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