You mean I have to “market” my website?
February 27, 2012 | Shawn Smalley — View Recent Posts
Yes. That's exactly what I mean. Off-site marketing and promotion is the single biggest thing that can help your site’s rank and traffic. It has mattered since the beginning (and is how the “big guys” got the way they did), but matters even more these days even for a self-built, small website. Since the search engines are focusing less and less on the technical things that used to go into search engine optimization they are using your “online reputation” to figure out who is actually worthy of attention rather than whose site has had the most “tricks” done to it. If they keep hearing about you from other reputable sources, if it looks like you are already networking and have popularity online with specific circles, then the search engines want to keep up with this as well and will increase your presence in search result pages.
So, what does that mean? How do you build an “online reputation”? There are a few different ways to do it, but the gist of it is that you need other websites to link to yours. Not all links are created equal, though. The sites have to be related to yours in some way.
Having colleagues link to your site helps, particularly if you are in related fields (like having a home inspector link to an agent). It shows you’ve got a “circle of business trust” built up. Promote local businesses and have them do the same. You’ll be helping each other’s rank by doing so.
Getting your site linked on professional directories like LinkedIn, Yellow Pages, Google Places, local and state lists of agents, the chamber of commerce, and other websites will also benefit you because you are then showing up where other agents are expected to show up. You’re in the right crowd and doing what they’d expect you to do based on what your competition is already doing. Here’s a good list of possible sites to join with instructions on how to sign up with each of them – mostly focus on the local search engines, internet yellow pages, and social networking sections that may apply to you.
You should also show up where other real estate agents show up, such as on Trulia, Zillow, Craigslist and other listings syndication partners or real estate groups. It’s not just about getting your listings exposure – your website benefits as well since the search engines keep seeing your company name, your name, contact info and website address on websites that are already seen as great real estate resources that visitors look at before anything else.
Check back next week if you want tips to get beyond the "bare minimum"....and I promise it's not hard.