Finding people who want to buy a home or sell one is the lifeblood of any realtor’s business. There are a ton of ways to generate leads, but the most effective is Google. Over 70% of people use Google to find and work with business, so it would make sense to be on Google. Leads in Google are highly targeted as well since they are actively searching for what they need, so its imperative to put yourself in front of these people. Below I’ll showing you 3 ways to get in front of highly targeted leads and turn them into customers!
The first step in any Google campaign is keyword research. We need to find keywords that potential customers will use to find you inside of Google. A good place to start would be to Google “your title + your area” (realtor austin texas). We are looking for 3 things when we do this: other sites paying for ads, low keyword competition, and keyword suggestions. I took a few screenshots of this to use as an example.
Sites Paying for Ads:
As you can see there are people paying for ads, which shows us that this keyword is worth our time. It also shows that there are quality leads that can be targeted.
The best real estate in Google is the top 3 listings. By looking at these listing we can determine how competitive the keyword is and if we can generate leads from it at a good ROI.
This is a low competition keyword because authority sites like Realtor.com and Zillow.com are ranking first and not competitor sites. Usually if you don’t see a competitor ranked first, its a wide open keyword. (If you do happen to see a mixture of competitors and authority sites its still good, it just won’t be AS easy).
As you can see, these are relevant keywords that users are also searching. This gives you a good idea of keywords to target and find more low competition keywords.
You can also use the Google Keyword Planner to get more keyword ideas as well as traffic numbers (if you have a managers account).
So, now we’ve found a keyword. How do we get leads from it?
3 Ways to Generate Leads
There are 3 ways that I use to generate leads inside of Google:
- Rank in the Google Map Pack
- Rank in organic listings
- Rank a YouTube video
These methods yield a better ROI than paying for expensive ads, as well as give you a better click through rate. Google users don’t like ads that much, and over 70% of traffic goes to organic and map pack listings. Let’s get in to how to use each method…
Ranking in Google Map Pack
Google Map Pack, or Google my Business, is the box you see above organic results when searching for a local business. Since it is above the organic listings and makes searching for businesses easier, it is very important that your listing is included in results (only 3 -7 are shown). Ranking in the Map Pack is pretty straight forward, and there is a list of guidelines you can follow when creating on.
Optimize Your Title and Category Tags
In order to rank in the Map Pack you need a listing with a well optimized title and relevant category tag. Google favors listings that include a keyword, or use a keyword as their title and use an appropriate industry category. Here’s an example:
As you can see, each of the top 3 listings for “San Antonio Lawyer” have used some form of industry keyword in their title, as well as using their appropriate industry tag. By doing so they give Google more information about their business and are ranked better as a result.
Keep Your NAP Consistent
NAP (Name, Address, Phone) is a very important factor for Google local. NAP allows Google to determine a businesses location and rank them accordingly. If your NAP doesn’t stay consistent then Google will be confused and your rankings will suffer. You NEED to keep your NAP consistent everywhere – you’re website, your citations, your map pack listing. EVERYWHERE!
Create Local Citations
Local citations are mentions of your website online that note info to Google about your location, category, and web address. The most common citations are Yelp, Yellow Pages, and Angie’s List (although there are literally thousands). When it comes to citations you NEED to remember NAP consistency. Citations are a big factor for your map pack listing as well as your organic listing, so they need to be optimized.
Here’s an example of one of my citations (yes, I know it’s unfinished and that I need to claim it!). As you can see I have my businesses address, phone number, and a link back to the relevant location url (if you have one location just do homepage). This is the way all my citations look, and that is how yours should too. When it comes to citations you want to build as many high quality ones as you can. You can find general citations as well as niche specific citations, which I would recommend.
Rank in Organic Listings
Organic listings are the listings you see under the ads and Map Pack. Although they are below everything, they still account for the bulk of Google clicks. In order to capture as much leads as possible you need to occupy as much real estate on Google as possible. Ranking organically is similar to the Map Pack, but there is more emphasis on your website.
Optimize Your Website (On-Page Optimization)
In order to rank well in Google you need to optimize your website. Google needs as much info about your business as possible to fairly rank you, which we give in the form of an optimized page. There are a few important factors to consider when doing this:
- Page Title
- Meta Description
- On page Content
Below are some examples of each factor.
Optimized Page Title
As you can see the listing includes multiple keywords in the title. The best way to craft a title is to use as many keywords as possible, but in a way that makes sense. I think this title could have been done better and here’s how I would have done it: RE/MAX Real Estate | Land and Homes for Sale in Victoria, TX
It includes all of my keywords and is easily readable. Rule of thumb is to use as many keywords as possible, that way if someone doesn’t search your exact title it will still show up.
Optimized Meta Description
From the same listing you can see that they have a well optimized meta description that includes their NAP within itself, as well as their keywords. When crafting a meta description you want to include your local area and keywords, but you don’t want to stuff it. Meta descriptions are read by users, and a description stuffed with keywords isn’t going to help your clicks or your rankings.
When crafting a description use the same guidelines for your title. Create something that explains your site and will prompt users to click.
BONUS TIP: Include a call to action, such as click to learn more, in your meta description. Users read them, and by providing one you can prompt more users to click on your site instead of others!
On Page Content
On page content plays a big role in ranking your site, and the better content you give to Google the better you rank. The best thing to do for content is shoot for more than 500 words (not a requirement but it is suggested), include your local area and keywords within your content (don’t spam it!), and have your NAP somewhere on the page.
By doing so, you give Google sufficient info about your site, as well as your readers. When crafting content make sure that your visitors can read it. If it is just a bunch of keywords stuffed on a page then users will click off, which will affect your rankings and conversions.
BONUS Tip: Put your phone number and clear call to action “above the fold” or near the top of your website. This will increase your conversions and get more people to do what you want.
Build Local Citations
Same as before with the Map Pack, your website is going to need citations to rank. If you already built some for our website already to rank the Map Pack, then you are going to be one step ahead. Citations work exactly the same for both so I won’t expound anymore on it.
Build High Quality Back Links (Niche and Location Relevant)
A back link is a hyperlink from one website to another. This is important to Google because it counts as a vote from other websites showing that yours is a legitimate source. The more votes you have from quality and relevant websites the better you rank. Google local is less competitive, so you won’t need too many of these. The best place to look for link opportunities is your competition. The easiest way to do this is to search your competitor’s URL (the one ranking) in Google.
By searching in Google we can find where they are getting links from and build them for ourselves. This is just the results from the 1st page, you can dig deeper to find more links, as well as search more competitors.
BONUS Tip: Create a free account with Majestic to better find back links. It will show you more data than you can find from a Google search like link type, link address, anchor text, and how many links they have.
How to Build Back Links SAFELY
Back links are a very important factor to Google rankings and have caused some issues in the past with people manipulating rankings with them. Google has since fixed this, so its important that we don’t trigger a penalty on accident. Here’s how to do it safely:
- Don’t OVER optimize your anchor text (text associated with a link, like the one above for Majestic).
- Don’t build links on low quality sites or ones that aren’t relevant (doctors and swords)
- Don’t go overboard and build 1,000 in a day! You want your link profile to look natural, not automated.
The most important thing is not over optimizing your anchor text. DO NOT make all of your links keywords. The best thing to do is add variation. You want some to be a naked URL (http://mysite.com or mysite.com), or a branded keyword (Your Brand Name), and then the smallest amount to be your keywords (realtor + my area).
If you’re building citations then your anchor text ratios will take care of themselves. Just as a rule of thumb, keep keywords to a minimum.
BONUS Tip: Use related keywords that are relevant to vary up your keyword anchors. The variations between them allow you to build them without spamming. Also save keyword anchors for powerful, in content links, instead of weaker citation and profile links.
Rank a YouTube Video
All marketing is moving towards video. It has higher retention rates and click through rates. We as humans just like videos. Another benefit is that they rank super fast in Google, sometimes without any work done! There’s a few guidelines we need to follow in order to ensure a ranking:
- Optimize your Title, Description and Keyword Tags
- Include a Video Location and Category
- Embed and Share Your Video
YouTube videos rank the same as your website, so the steps will be similar.
Here is an image of a video I made that ranked on page 1 for my target keyword, with no work done. Granted, the keyword is super low competition, but if you optimize your video you can do it for higher competition keywords.
Optimized Title, Description, and Keyword Tags
For this video I used my exact keyword for the video title because I knew competition was low. I suggest structuring it like you would your website page title. A better version would be: Texas Towing Services | Tow Truck in Marfa, TX (877) 929-7170. It includes all of my keyword variations but isn’t stuffed with keywords.
For your description you want to write as many words as possible and include your keyword within the first paragraph. I suggest using a similar template to your web content, but don’t copy and paste! Also include all the relevant links within the description.
The keyword tags can be a little tricky. The best way to use them is as keyword variations for your main keywords. This will add more relevance to your video and allow it to rank better.
BONUS Tip: Make the filename of your video the same as your title (you’ll have to do this prior to uploading). I did it with the video above (forgot to highlight), and its just another way to show Google what your video is about.
Include a Video Location and Category
Since we want our video to rank for a local term, it would make sense to include a location for your video. You can do this by clicking advanced settings in the video editor. Just type in your area and hit search.
You also want to add a relevant category for your video. Not all industries have a category, so you can just use People & Blogs as yours.
Embed and Share Your Video
The more Google sees your video on the web the better it will rank, just like a website. By embedding your video on your website you will send a back link to it and increase its ranking. Sharing it on social media will also help to increase your rank. It shows Google that people like your video and that it is of good quality.
BONUS Tip: You can add videos to certain citation websites, which allows you to create a back link to your video and increase your rank.
By using these 3 strategies you can get targeted leads coming to month after month. Although it is not easy and can be a little time consuming, generating leads in Google yields great ROI and allows you to get leads coming to you.