The Power of a Blog

Earlier I posted an article outlining the Importance of your Real Estate Blog. Here I’m going to provide an example of how powerful a blog can be in increasing traffic to your website.

We are going to use this site www.silkwoodmedical.com.au. Silkwood Medical are a plastic surgery company based in Bondi Junction, Sydney. They built this website around 18 months ago and although the site looks very nice it does not rank well in search engines and therefore does not generate too much organic traffic. The site has no blog associated with it and news articles are posted to the website in pdf format.

Our solution was to create a blog which looked exactly the same as the client’s website and place the blog on a separate url www.silkwoodnews.com.au. The idea of this, is that a user will jump between blog and site or site and blog without realizing they have been redirected to a new url. The client would then post articles through the blog which will build up pages in search engines driving traffic back to the blog which in turn will direct traffic to the original site.

This has worked very well and the blog now rates high in search engines in many key words which the original website does not. Some of these key words included on the first page of Google for the blog are:

  • macrolane sydney
  • ulthera australia
  • breast macrolane injections
  • breast injections macrolane
  • ultherapy cost
  • ultherapy reviews
  • cost of face ultherapy
  • facial revolution
  • macrolane breast enhancement sydney
  • macrolane injections sydney
  • skin tightening ulthera
  • ulthera laser in sydney
  • ulthera reviews
  • ultherapy costs
  • video ulthera

Because users now receive the Newsletter via email and a link back to the website, means traffic is driven to the blog. This is better for their business as readers are likely to view other information about their services and could lead to an increase in new business.

Unfortunately, the General Manager of the company left a few months ago so content has not been updated since then. However, the main Silkwood Website receives between 55% to 65% of its traffic from the blog site and this would spike significantly each time a post was created and an email sent to subscribers.

In summary, by attaching a blog to the website will increases the amount of pages and content in search engines resulting in increased traffic. Also, a great way to encourage users to frequent your website is to post your newsletter through your website, further increasing traffic.

Note: if you do not want to set up the blog on a new url you can cerate a sub-domain for the blog eg news.silkwoodmedical.com.au

agency website, agent website, real estate blog, real estate office blog

SEO For Real Estate
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Agentpoint Real estate

About The Insider

Ryan has been involved in the real estate industry for a number of years. During this time he has operated web based real estate businesses along with provided consulting to the real estate software development industry. Ryan operates Agentpoint.com.au and is actively involved with the design and development of real estate systems, software and web sites in the United States, Australia and New Zealand.

10 Responses to The Power of a Blog

  1. Terrance Willard August 29, 2010 at 4:14 pm #

    Ryan,

    I appreciate there are a lot of complexities to a website that you cannot see from the outside, however if your advice to getting that client’s website up the rankings was based solely on a blog, you may wish to re-examine good SEO practices.

    There is no doubt their site has challenges, however implementing a blog on another URL is neither good practice or strategically sensible for the site moving forward. Not yet anyway.

    From the surface the site has challenges with its animation and code structure, however there are some basics that should have been done first that you seem to have ignored for the sake of a blog implementation. Or so it seems.

    Most obviously change the internal links to be something meaningful. SEO 101 tells you that Google loves internal links however if they are all the same (“click here”) and do not relate to the strategic keyword strategy you are targeting then the page achieves bad ranking and PR. Secondly, remove the keywords from the meta data, practice now days shows that Google pretty much ignores them. All they manage to do is alert your competitors to what keyword strategy you are targeting. Your competition on your strategy goes up and that is not smart.

    Next on the list of more sensible SEO 101 strategies is to remove the image labels for the paragraphs and replace them with text links and H1 and H2 tags.

    I think you get the jist here. I don’t mean to be critical here however if you are going to consult to a client on SEO you need to do the right thing by them, creating a blog when there are obvious flaws on their website seems a little strange and is not a recommend strategy that we would put towards any good SEO initiative.

    Finally and most importantly, implementing a blog is not easy by any means. It is costly in resources and if you get the content wrong you can end up in the complete opposite position to what you wanted the blog to do in the first place. If all the resources for writing the blog rest with one person and one person only then I would have to say its not a great strategy that you have put this company into.

    I do not doubt Agent Points skill here, however this is not a good example. And I would hope that any real estate agency reading this blog would consult any number of specialist SEO companies who can provide a more sensible strategy to achieving the basics in good Search Engine Ranking.

    Terrance

  2. Peter Ricci August 30, 2010 at 1:57 am #

    I agree with Terrance in a number of his points – there are ideal situations for any blog, however you also must realise we are talking about the majority of real estate agents being relatively small businesses. I think it is ideal that a client has a blog and website all in one. However, in many cases clients come to web designers after already exhausting their funds on other websites that have no SEO built into them at all and relatively no thought placed in content from design. Most of these are just plain crappy template sites that take a few hours to set up.

    As for blogs being expensive to implement, this is not true, a typical start up blog can cost as little as $2-3k and customized blogs anywhere from $4k upwards – the more customisation you want the more it costs 🙂

    As for SEO in a blog and the need to use an SEO company – that again is not true. Google SEO Guru Matt Cutts tells us that a WordPress Blog has 90% of the SEO built into it.

    You can view the talk from Matt Cutts SEO Guru from Google here.

    http://www.davecurlee.com/wordcamp/straight-from-google-what-you-need-to-know-matt-cutts-wordcamp-san-francisco-2009

    You need to think about every situation that may be present to most developers out there. Most if not all real estate agents already have a website and we get many enquiries to add a blog. Now most of the time (read nearly all the time) they do not want to change the structure of their websites at this time – which means the only choice is to add a new blog.

    And this has proven to be a very effective stop gap until their time to merge the two together.

    Not everyone has 10’s of thousands of dollars to invest in an SEO strategy that may or may not work and to be honest many of the SEO so called “experts” just try to scare their clients into spending money and are nothing more than snake oil salesmen!

    So the ideal situation for any business is to have their websites and blog on the same url, alternatively a subdomain, or alternative url is still not a bad 2nd or 3rd. After that it is all about content.

    The most important thing once you setup your blog is to write continuously about relevant/local content 🙂

  3. Ryan O'Grady August 30, 2010 at 7:05 am #

    Terrance,

    Thanks for your comments, you have pointed out some valid facts. However, you need to note this post is not about ALL the SEO techniques available for a website. It’s about posting content through a blog rather than as pdfs on a site.

  4. Terrance Willard August 30, 2010 at 8:25 am #

    Ryan,

    Some great points here as well. I did want to respond to some points for clarity sake. Like Peter I would not recommend going to an SEO specialists firm, while I feel they would look badly on the “Snake Oil Salesman” comments (particularly coming from a real estate agent focused website) there are enough really good SEO blogs that will get even the website novice past the basics and into some good SEO techniques without paying a cent.

    My other point in my blog was that the cost for implementing a blog is more than the free software (wordpress) and customisation costs. The costs in implementing a blog are the resources required initially to generate good and engaging content and the the resource commitment to keep that content coming. Then you need to consider that measuring user behaviour also needs to be a regular task so you can assess the validity and relevance of the content and that needs to feedback into your content creation and so on. I guess my point is that a good content strategy is vital and it takes time to create and implement. The cost of the blog software and its customisation is not the point here.

    Finally, I also understand that this blog was about the effectiveness of a blogs, however when you are talking SEO and good ranking there were other obvious solutions I wanted to point out. I think maybe this was not a good example to use in this case. None-the-less thanks for sharing your case study there is always something to learn.

  5. Wayno August 30, 2010 at 9:36 am #

    Hi Ryan
    Just getting a better blog set up done (thanks Peter) and was just wondering your thoughts,
    when you have a blog in your website as say “news” when people click on it is it best to open in the same page or a new page? many conflicting opinions on this one. If it is the same page and they close it they effectively close out of your web site too, if in a new window when they close it your web site is still there, my blog will be a subdomain of my web site.

  6. Bill burdin August 30, 2010 at 9:42 am #

    I used to think SEO could only be understood by rocket scientists until I watched these two videos from Matt Cutts of Google.

    If you want to hear about SEO straight from the horses mouth then I would recommend a cup of coffee, feet up and watch them.

    Matt Cutts How Search Works

    http://www.infiniteleads.com.au/2010/06/understanding-how-google-index-and-fetch-web-pages-in-search-results/

    Matt Cutts: Straight from Google

  7. Jeroen August 30, 2010 at 10:30 am #

    I agree with Terrance. Spreading content accross 2 URL’s can not be seen as good SEO. All you are doing is watering down traffic and ranking to the original URL.

    This said, the message of integrating blogs in to Real Estate websites can never be echoed loud enough. “The Power of a Blog” when implemented with some basic SEO structures and consistently updated with relevant content should be part of any offices online strategy. Well done.

  8. Greg Vincent August 30, 2010 at 4:00 pm #

    Your typical real estate agency has lots of content & a number of contributors at their disposal without even knowing it BUT unfortunately lots of real estate content is wasted in HTML & text emails, pdf documents, word documents, printed newsletters whereas that same piece of content should be copied and pasted onto a blog post so that it can be shared via Social Networks, commented on and indexed by Google.

    PS: So long as it doesn’t take away from the relevance of the article, optimising the content to rank on certain keywords is also recommended.

  9. Ryan O'Grady September 2, 2010 at 10:24 am #

    Wayno, if you look at the example website you will see the header of the blog is a mirror copy of the main website. In this instance it is fine to just follow the link in the same window, as the user can go to the main site by clicking any navigation item (click any navigation on this site http://www.chnews.com.au and you will see the url change). In the case where the two sites look different then I think it is best to open the news site in the new window. As you point out there may not be clear options for the user to go back to the main website. Issue with this is that if they keep going back and forth there will end up being a lot of windows open.

    Jeroen, I couldn’t agree more. A perfect solution is a real estate website build from a CMS with or structured around a blog. Just trying to outline solutions for those who have a site with no such functionality.

  10. buy property September 17, 2010 at 2:14 pm #

    Your right, many people now are into blogging whether it for personal or business purposes. It is one good way expressing ideas and sharing information.

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