Let’s get right to what too many real estate professionals do wrong when it comes to real estate branding. That’s developing and marketing a brand that not only becomes recognizable but also is more than just name recognition. Why shouldn’t your brand actually deliver real prospects for business?
This post is an extension of last week’s post, Real Estate Branding-No Not for Agents. If you haven’t read it, do it now and come back to this one, as you’ll have the foundation to pick up here and move forward to more business.
Rule #1: You Can Have More than One Brand
We’re talking primarily about the world of Internet marketing of real estate and real estate branding by niche market. When it comes to SEO, Search Engine Optimization, your brand can be your URL or domain name for a niche real estate website.
Why would you want to have more than one website for your real estate business? The simple answer is SEO. Without a lot of techie buzzwords, Google and other search engine robots are crawling your entire website. If you have one, as most agents do, you’re mixing a lot of great information together. The problem is that the search engines cannot see a primary theme for the site other than it talks a lot about real estate in your market area. Well, so do dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of other sites!
Action #1: Think Like a Search Engine and Specialize for Effect
Pretend you’re a search engine collecting a ton of data from a real estate website. “Real estate” is a phrase used hundreds of times, so we know that much. Other words used over and over include your “market area name,” maybe some subdivision names, homes, land, condominiums, commercial, residential, luxury homes, first-time buyers, etc.
Really, the only things the search engine knows for sure is that it is a site about real estate, and maybe that it’s about your market area. The rest of the stuff is all spread out and mixed in with no cohesive theme.
Rule #2: Think Mini-Brands
Maybe Coca-Cola or Nabisco need to worry about diluting their brand name if they use other names, but they avoid it by using phrases like “Diet Coca-Cola,” or “Nabisco Wheat Thins.” Their name is still there. You can do the same, but still create mini-brands to help the search engines to focus. You don’t have to get too complicated here, as it can become more trouble than it’s worth. However, concentrating on some of the larger niches, such as residential, commercial, rental, and condominiums can deliver great results.
Action #2: Plan for Focus Sites for SEO
Think about the major divisions of your website, probably a buyer section, seller section, and you may have at the least some different pages about condominiums, single family homes, and maybe sections for major areas or subdivisions. Take this a bit further and think of it as if you only worked in each of these niche markets or property types. Create more content for each of the main sections or “mini-brands” you want to focus on.
Rule #3: Think Subdomain the Easy Way
Subdomains are those URLs you see at the top of the browser when you are on a site and they have something like “condominiums.yourdomain.com.” Notice the condominiums and a dot before the domain name. The advantage of this in SEO is that the search engines index the condominiums section of the site as if it were a completely separate website. This means that all of the great “condominium” content will be the main focus of this sub-site and it will get better SEO results.
If you ask most real estate website providers how to get sub-domains set up on your site you’re likely to get an answer like “we don’t do that.” If this wasn’t planned for in their initial setup of their services, it can lead to hassles for them and their users.
Action #3: Consider Separate Sites the Easy Way
All subdomains do is pretend to be separate sites, so why not just set up separate websites for each niche? “Big hassle” is probably your first response, or maybe “too expensive.” Websitebox recognized these issues and created specialty nichesites for inexpensive and fast setup.
These niche websites are already filled with key phrases and content specific to the niche and ready for easy modification for your market area. Sure, this is a slam dunk decision for SEO, but there are more and better reasons for doing this. It’s all about your site visitors, why they are there and what they seek.
By delivering a one-stop specialty store of information precisely on target for what your visitors seek, you’re going to have a far better chance of ending up sitting with them at a closing table.