The question is “How to create good real estate website content,” not why do we need it. As the Internet has become one of our most powerful marketing venues, the value of a comprehensive and relevant real estate website has become crucial. Even if you are out networking and marketing through print and other traditional media, once contacted, the vast majority of prospects will check you out on the Web before making a decision.
Another question is how to create or get good relevant real estate website content without having to create it all yourself or spending a lot of money. I’m sure you didn’t miss the word “Free” in the title, and I’ll show you here how to get great and highly real estate relevant content for your website for free, and in the process, you’ll meet new people and build your networking effort.
Expand Your Ideas of What is "Relevant Content"
Sure, articles and blog posts about real estate law, the home buying process, listing a home, buying your first home, etc. are all relevant, but real estate is homes and homes are part of a community. Community content is relevant to real estate, and your website will benefit both for SEO and visitor interest if you include lots of community content of the right types.
Step #1: Identify Offline Community Related Content
You’re probably already seeing or reading this type of community information, but it’s time to pay attention to the quality, sources, and the relevance of the content to your site’s real estate website content goals.
- Quality – As we’re going to see how to make this an easy process for you and your resource, you want to look at the content for how interesting it is and basic stuff like grammar and spelling. Later we’ll see how you want to move it from its current print or script status to your website with a couple of short steps on your part, so you don’t want editing to be a part of that.
- Sources – You want to get your content from sources that have an overall general relevance to real estate, homes, and the community. These include very valuable sources like subdivision and homeowner newsletters, government newsletters, etc.
- Relevance – Most of the content you’ll find will have some relevance, but search for content and materials that address the type of topics that are of interest on a real estate website (and relevant according to Google).
- Subdivision & Homeowner Association Newsletters – Many residentially oriented real estate websites have content grouped by market areas or subdivisions. It may be navigation tabs by subdivision name where you place images, video, and content that speaks to characteristics, features, and amenities of the area.
- Government Newsletters or Pamphlets – Whether it is Planning and Zoning or Economic Development local government sources, there is a lot of content out there that instructs people in real estate related rules and process.
- Any Business Doing Email Newsletters – You’re already out there networking, meeting people, and building business relationships. Check out those that send out regular email or website email newsletters.
For every source you locate, evaluate the content for these three criteria and choose those that fit your goals. Then you’re going to take the next very crucial step.
Check for Online Uniqueness
You may already be getting emailed newsletters from some of thse sources, but you should try to subscribe to every one that you can. This way you’ll find the best for your needs. Then you want to do some online searches with whole paragraphs out of the content. Your goal here is to NOT find it. Many of these sources do the email newsletters with content they do not also place on their websites, There can be several reasons, but perhaps the most frequent is that they don’t want to pay a website person to do it. They simply put a link on their website with a call to action to subscribe to their newsletter.
Step #2: Reach Out to the Source
Once you have a target source, meet with them or make first contact via email on their website. After you say good things about their newsletter or other print/email content, you want to ask two questions:
- Do you place your newsletter or print content on the Internet as well? Sometimes there is a delay between the email or print and when they put it on the Web, so it’s best just to ask. You are seeking what will be “original” content that will give you SEO credit for it.
- Would you allow me to do it for you and send people to your site? If you stress that you will not be doing other marketing in their content (links in the content itself) and that you have a Web audience interested in the area and their subdivision, products, or information. It is rare that you’ll get turned down.
What you want is to get their permission, and you’ll often find that they’ll be enthusiastic about it. If you create a page or navigation destination on the site just for their newsletters, they’ll be even happier and probably end up sending the link to others, especially those who ask for previous newsletters.
Set up the Process
Actually, there’s very little process to set up. You have them send you every issue of their email newsletter, or their word processing version of the print material. You then copy and paste it into your website or blog. Two steps and it’s done.
Step #3: Do It
You don’t need to set up reminders, as receiving the email takes care of that. Make it a habit to very quickly get their material up on your site. If they told you that they eventually get their newsletters up on the site with weeks or months of delay, you don’t have to tell them that you’ll beat them to the punch for the SEO credit.
Provide Regular Constructive Feedback
You want to build value in the eyes of your sources, so you want to show them that you’re doing what you said you would. This means sending them a link to the new page or blog post after it is live on your site.
Step #4: Give the Statistics if You Can
If you have the ability to track visits to your pages and posts through Google Analytics or some other tracking service, you’ll want to periodically let your souces know who is seeing their content, and even more important, who is taking the link to their site from yours. You just sent them business.
Do all of this and you’ll get thousands of words of new content monthly for your website, and all of it full of relevant key phrases that become some of your most valuable real estate website content.