How To Dominate The New Real Estate Content Marketing Landscape
The third quarter of 2014 has proven to be one of the most exciting, trying, and confusing for real estate marketers. On top of the massive Zillow coup, and the ongoing dramatic changes in the market in general, Google has been back at it, playing with algorithms and the rankings of real estate companies and agents. So what’s new? What are the best practices for marketers? How can you dominate the content marketing landscape to give your company an advantage over the rest?
Google’s Pigeon Update
Google recently changed the online real estate field with its new Pigeon update. This has been one of the most stealthy search engine changes to come out, yet it has had one of the biggest impacts on the real estate industry. It has boosted online directories like Yelp and Zillow, and has pushed many smaller and local real estate professionals and businesses off the internet map. Experts tracking the changes have found 20% to 60% of searches impacted. The few who are turned onto it, and the opportunities it offers for getting the edge with the right strategy, will do well.
Remember Ezine Articles? The popular online article directory was once one of the best tools for real estate marketing; offering great links and boosts to search engine rankings and visibility. Then it got slammed with Google’s Panda and Penguin updates, and became less beneficial. After Pigeon, Ezine Articles appeared to be making a comeback. Then, in the second week of September, Google sent out a surprise announcement to authors, declaring it was making all links, ‘no follow’ links. In other words; erasing years of link building efforts and investment. In some ways, this is like what Facebook and Twitter have done in eliminating free marketing at scale, and rolling back the value of what users and customers have plowed into these platforms. It’s always dangerous when you don’t own the platform.
Google has done the same with Authorship; wreaking havoc among many internet marketing gurus who built entire products around it. However, Author Rank isn’t gone, and Inman News has suggested that Google is going to, and will continue to, use author data to rank pages and websites in online searches. For some real estate pros that already have very high level influence, this is the green light to keep going strong. To others just starting out, or that haven’t built up their personal voice as a brand, there may be big benefits in recruiting more content from other popular real estate industry writers. This alone may provide substantial traffic and lead channels.
Content Length Debates
Over the last few years, the length an article needs to be has changed dramatically. 500 words used to be very long. Then came the ‘in-depth’ articles with 2,000 plus words. Now, many have settled into the 750-1,000 word bracket to try and bait Google. However, longer doesn’t always mean better in other aspects. Attention spans are shorter than ever today, and it seems most people have less time than ever. Balance, and variety appears to be the key today.
You can’t guarantee links will last anywhere, or maintain the same value over time, but mere name mentions in the right places can be valuable. The right words in a Tweet at the right time can still set off a viral chain, and Google+ is catching on with more and more high level real estate figures. So, more should be done off page in driving in traffic to on-site content, as is done to maximize on-site content. However, this is no excuse to slack on real estate blog frequency and consistency which is paying off big for those that stick with it.
Real Estate Content Marketing for Q4 2014
Fortunately there is still a quarter to go for real estate marketers. The last couple weeks of the year can be tricky, but the run up to Black Friday is a massive opportunity for those prepared with content. Expect to see more real estate deals at the holidays this year. So brainstorm some great copy, and campaigns. However, overall real estate marketers will do well if they hone in on frequency, quality, making it interesting, delivering value, and understanding what prospects are searching for and desire the most.