By Zach Parker
If you have a real estate website, you know how difficult it can be to compete in today’s digital real estate space. The Zillows and Trulias of the world have grown at a feverish pace, and it can feel overwhelming to come up with a strategy to stay relevant and visible. Don’t think for one second that all hope is lost. Here are strategies you can employ to earn your slice of the pie:
Keyword classification can be broken down into two categories: main keywords and long-tail keywords. Main keywords are the terms that are most often searched by users in a certain area. High traffic searches such as "Brooklyn apartments" and "Brooklyn real estate" are good examples of main keywords. Long-tail keywords are search phrases that receive less search volume, such as "studio apartments in Williamsburg" or "Brownstones for sale in Brooklyn."
As you could guess, the keywords with the most traffic are also the most competitive. You can bet that all of these main keywords are the most difficult to rank for, because all the big players are targeting these. Do a search for any of these main keywords and you’ll see page one on Google full of all the major real estate websites.
A great strategy you can use is to target less competitive keywords within your niche. You’ll have a much easier time ranking for long-tail keywords in your market than trying to go up against Goliath for that one high traffic keyword. A great tool you can use to research search volume trends and traffic is Google’s Keyword Planner, as well as Ahrefs Keyword Explorer.
One distinct advantage you have over the giants of the industry is your local knowledge. A great strategy you can use to gain visibility in your location is to write content catered to that specific area. This is something that the larger websites still haven't perfected at scale, and it’s a great way for you to position yourself as the expert of your market.
Some good examples of localized content could be a "best of" post, such as this one highlighting the best restaurants in Boston. Video content showcasing your listings is always a great idea, and you can even go as far as mounting a dash cam on your car and creating neighborhood drive-through videos.
In any digital marketing campaign, your content is your cornerstone. Focus your content around your core market, and you’ll be able to gain an edge.
The big companies only became big companies because of the amazing product they produce. They did something better than others, and for that reason they were able to grow to the size they are now. Utilize this idea to your own advantage.
When designing your website, make sure to do a ton of competitor research on all of the major sites and pick out the things that look most intuitive and user-friendly, then adapt them to your own site. There’s no shame in copying here—they’ve built the blueprint; you can adapt it.
Competing in today’s digital real estate industry is certainly no walk in the park. It will take some careful planning and ingenuity on your part to have a seat at the table, but with the right strategy and execution, it is possible. Follow these tips, and you’ll be well on your way to getting a piece of the action!
Zach Parker is a professional golfer and real estate enthusiast, currently working as the marketing director for Boston Pads, one of the largest real-time database of apartments in New England. His marketing specialties are in web development and search engine optimization, helping build out one of the country's largest local web portals for apartment listings. He is also owner and CEO of ProSource Media.