RainCamp: 5 Search Engine Marketing Tips

By Erica Christoffer, Web Producer, REALTOR® Magazine

raincampWhen it comes to search engine marketing, it’s all about reaching your target audience.

Real estate coach and self-proclaimed “SEO addict” Ben Kinney presented ways to drive traffic to your Web site at RainCamp, ActiveRain’s one-day social media and Web event in Chicago today.

Did you know that 93 percent of consumers are using search engines? “The other 7 percent just don’t know they are,” joked Kinney, co-author of Soci@l: Attract Friends, Followers and Connections to Your Business. What’s more telling, 75 percent don’t go past the first page of results, Kinney found. And search engine marketing firm iProspect reported that approximately 61 percent of Internet users believe organic results on the first page are more dependable than the paid ads.

Here are five tips to help you make the most of search engine rankings and climb the ladder of search results:

  1. Keep keywords at 2-4 percent per page: Search engine results are based on the words on the site’s page. Long-tail keyword searches — typically longer than three-word searches — consist of 80 percent of search traffic. Kinney says you should think about searches that make sense in your market. Then look at your Web site. Is that word or phrase you use to reach clients repeated at lease 2-4 percent of the time? For example, on Kinney’s Web site www.livebellingham.com, “Bellingham” has a keyword density of 2.46 percent. However, go over 4 percent and your site might be considered spam. “It has to be conversational,” Kinney says.
  2. Be conscious of page titles and descriptions: Kinney suggests starting and ending Web page content, articles, and blog posts with the key words you want ranked higher in search results.raincamp audience
  3. Consider the age and size of your Web site: Older sites do better than newer sites because it says to the search engine you are a more trustworthy source. And a Web site with six pages will be outranked by a site with 100 pages.
  4. Link key words: Link the actual word, such as the name of the site or homes or location that you want search engines to identify. Don’t link words such as “click here” or “more information.”
  5. Link to your originating source: Say you write an article; you put it on your Web site, your blog, on ActiveRain, on Trulia, and mention it on your social networking sites. Make sure you point a link back to your original site. This is the main site you want to point traffic to via Google searches.

Erica Christoffer

Erica Christoffer is a multimedia journalist and contributing writer and editor for REALTOR® Magazine. She can be reached at echristoffer@realtors.org.

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  1. You will also want to learn about :

    1) Optimizing your website for mobile web viewing on smart phones and “dumb” phones

    2) Social Media Optimization because search engines pick up social media very well, and more people spend time on facebook and twitter than search engines. Facebook, for example, is growing as a search tool for many users and they are pushing that as part of their business plan. Real time search is the way of the future, and social networks are your best chance of being seen.

    Learn great social media and business strategies though my Facebook Fan Page wall:


    Best Regards,

    Jonathan Usher
    Exquisite Certified
    Home & Business Services

  2. Search engine marketing makes it easy to target potential prospects while they are actively engaged, looking for your products and services.

    A very interesting post! Great job!

  3. I went to the Rain Camp event in New Orleans this past week. The information is priceless and I am using the SEO plan as part of my daily endeavors.

  4. Erica,
    Your epitome of Ben is classic and accurate to a “t”. In the nearly six years of his tenure with Activerain.com he has gone from acolyte to authority, having more impact on our Community viability than any other member. We now quote him!
    If memory serves me (I’m a BabyBoomer!) Ben also told me about content count – in the 300-500 word range due to the attention span of the viewer. I use his info when I’m training our members – he’s that good!
    Thank again.

    James Locklear
    Social Media Trainer
    Virtual Services

  5. Every single one of these is excellent at getting more online exposure. So many agents use hundreds of keywords that are not relevant at all to their area or niche. A simple “city homes” can work wonders.