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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Real Estate Analysis: When informational trumps transactional

Think back to the last time you used Google.

Were you researching information? Maybe you were looking for an answer to a question.

Perhaps it was while shopping for a new TV, or new car.

Maybe it was a bit simpler of a shopping search; you might have just been price checking an item while you stood in a retail store.

You could have used it to find this article.

Or maybe you use Google so often that you can’t even think of what you last used it for. Maybe it’s engrained into your daily activity.

We touched on something in last week’s article about improving your real estate business by blogging, and we want to elaborate on it a bit more.
According to an article published Tuesday, 80 percent of content is transactional or navigational, yet 50-80 percent of search queries are informational in nature. Blogging is built more around natural conversation than transactional on-site content, like that found in most property descriptions.
We probably don’t need to explain why the majority of search queries are informational in nature—people use search to find the information they’re looking for.

That information often becomes transactional, but smart consumers are doing their homework on items before deciding what to buy, where to buy, and when they might buy. For real estate, that means doing market research, looking for the best way to search for homes, seeing what else is for sale around it and what else recently sold around it, and finding information on which real estate agent or brokerage to work with.

But most real estate websites, like most websites of any industry, are primarily transactional or navigational in nature.

Many real estate websites only contain content from property descriptions. Many more are hindered because property descriptions are hidden behind a property search wall, and search engines can’t get past it.

Even if your real estate listings are getting indexed, the property description might not be enough to get you ahead. By natural nature of the IDX feed, your competitors have the same property descriptions on their websites that you have. And each and every real estate agent using the IDX feed becomes a search engine competitor, because they all have websites that can take away organic traffic from your own.

Many members of the real estate industry have bought into SEO, which makes it all that more important that you have it, and have it from a good SEO company.

But SEO goes beyond cheap, simple website tricks, and it goes beyond property descriptions.

You can boost your SEO by having an active real estate blog. You can boost it by having market landing pages. And you want to improve your own conversion rates by offering other items consumers want, like Market Watch reports, Seller Reports, and other informative pieces that help a buyer or seller make an educated decision.

Google isn’t just about finding options—it’s about pointing a consumer in the right direction as to answer the question he asks the search engine. That’s the informational side of your business that can help cater to the majority of search queries that aren’t transactional in nature.

Contact Delta Media Group for more information on how to utilize SEO and informational tools to improve your online business.
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