Your agency’s blog or news section plays a significant part in any effective online marketing strategy. If your agency website doesn’t include one then you’ll find it hard to compete with your competitors who actively use one.
In summary the key benefits of including a blog or news section in your website are:
Fresh Content: Most real estate websites include pages with static or dynamic content. Static content are those pages where information is not regularly updated and would include about us, team profiles, how to sell etc. Dynamic content pages are those where the page content is continually updated like the property page or a blog page. By including a blog and publishing an article once a quarter, month or week adds more dynamic content to your website. This is great way to show users you’re keeping your website up-to-date with fresh content. More importantly though, search engines look for fresh content when they’re crawling your site and this will push up your search engine ranking.
Extra Website Pages: When you create a post/news article using a blogging Content Management System (CMS) the title of the blog creates a page in your website (eg. look in the browser url for this page). You then can add tags to the post which are key words used throughout your article. All of these keywords create more pages in your blog and some of the content from the post/news article will be added to the pages created. So for the article you’re reading now you can see the pages created in the blog (or added to) below:
- http://www.business2.com.au/tag/real-estate-blog/ (added content to this page which already existed)
- http://www.business2.com.au/category/social-networking/ (added content to this page which already existed)
- http://www.business2.com.au/category/real-estate-agents/agent-websites/ (added content to this page which already existed)
- http://www.business2.com.au/category/real-estate-agents/smart-marketing/ (added content to this page which already existed)
What’s so important about creating pages? All pages are added to the sitemap and sent to search engines. The more pages you have indexed with search engines the higher the possibility key words entered by users are picked up in your pages, resulting in your site appearing higher in natural search results.
Database Building Tool: If your blog includes useful information which users enjoy reading then they will subscribe to the blog. When a user subscribes that is one more user automatically added to your database. When you publish an article/post through your blog an email alert will be sent to subscribed users. They will click through to your website to view the article and hopefully they leave a reply or look at your current listings or service you offer.
Generate Back-links: Back links from highly ranked 3rd party websites are one of the key determinants search engines use to calculate your page rank. It is often said that “content is king”. If you have relevant, useful and informative content throughout your website then users will link back to your site from their own website or from other blogs they comment in. B2 is a perfect example of this. Due to the great discussions across a range of interesting topics many users place links on 3rd party websites back to pages with relevant content on B2. Many 3rd party websites also link back to B2 as a source for online real estate technology news.
Build Rapport – Many agents spend countless hours in the local community building their brand and promoting their name. You can now do this online through social networks and your blog. Through your blog you can target potential vendors by discussing topics which relate to them. It could be to do with the latest sales data in your area, remodelling a home, preparing it for sale, or non real estate topics which relate well with the demographics of vendors/buyers in your community. Just because you’re a real estate company doesn’t mean your blog must only contain real estate topics.
Automatic Updates with Social Networks – One of the biggest issues of social networking is finding the time to manage all of your social accounts. By having a blog and through the wonders of RSS, posting content on your social networks is now a lot easier. All articles/posts which appear in your blog can also automatically appear in your social networking accounts.
These are the major reasons I recommend to clients why they should include a blog. I plan to follow this post up with a real example of a website which was built without a blog (and still currently exists) and how it now has integrated a WordPress blog which drives more and more traffic to the original website.