If you have a well-planned, researched, and expertly targeted website, you need it to be found in search results by the right people or there isn’t much point to having it in the first place; and while there are many ways to drive traffic to your website, one essential way is through your paid and organic search strategy.
Essentially, there are only 2 ways to bring in traffic from search: one way is to put in a lot of hard work (to be found organically), and one way is to pay for it (paid search).
A well-rounded search strategy involves being found in both organic and paid search searches. Before digging into the reasoning, let’s clarify what each is, and why it’s important to have both.
Organic Search: Being found organically is when someone uses a search engine, like Google or Bing, types something in, clicks the search button, and then finds your website in the search results and clicks through. In most cases, organic search doesn’t cost you money, and it has the added bonus of appearing more authentic and honest to the user, but it is certainly a long term play; it may take you years to build out a successful organic SEO strategy.
Paid Search: Being found through paid search is when someone uses a search engine, like Google or Bing, types something in, clicks the search button, and then clicks a link to your website in one of the ads at the top of the results. Depending on where you are and what your competition is like, paid search can be quite expensive, but it guarantees your place at the top of the search results where it has the greatest potential to be clicked by someone.
Building Your Organic Strategy
The first thing to know about organic SEO is that it’s not instant, and if someone is telling you that it will be, they’re taking advantage of you. It takes a lot of time, a lot of hard work, and a lot of knowledge to have a successful SEO strategy in place. But as an agent, there are a few basic things you can do to ensure your site is as SEO friendly as you can make it.
An organic search strategy is primarily about determining what you want to rank for, if it’s possible to rank for it, and then putting in the work to rank for it. At the most basic level, the websites that rank for keywords are comprised of great content, backlinks, and a high domain authority.
Despite what people may tell you, there is no quick and easy way to rank for a keyword for a long period of time. Ranking for a keyword is hard, strategic work.
Getting started involves understanding your audience and what they would search. The words that you’re trying to rank for all called ‘keywords’ and ‘keyphrases’. Keep in mind, the research around what is actually getting searched isn’t easy to do, but if you know nothing about SEO at all and want to build your search strategy as best you can, you can start by being honest and original with the content you’re creating, and start writing about topics that you think your target audience will be interested in.
At the end of the day, Google just wants to return the best results for whoever is searching, so by writing good, quality content consistently, you’ll have a better chance of being what Google is looking for in results.
One strategy you may want to try is developing a ‘pillar page’, which is a long, detailed, and well-developed main topic page with internal/external links, headlines, etc. Then, plan out your other blog posts that build on and are related to that topic, and then link back to that page through your posts. For example, your pillar page may be: The Ultimate Guide to Selling a Home, and then your blog posts may be: The best time to sell your home, why you should use an agent to sell your home, 5 things people overlook when selling their home, etc. Each of those posts should link to the pillar page.
The idea is that you’ll be building the authority of your page through the posts, and as well, provide the user with a lot more useful information. As well, if you can get other reputable websites to link back to your pillar page, that will help increase the authority and the ranking of your page, but quality is key here. For example, if your pillar page received a backlink from another real estate agent’s website, that would be great, but if it received a link back from a large authoritative website, like Zillow or RedFin, that’s a lot better as it shows that your pillar page is important and increases its authority.
How do you tell if it’s working? A lot of professionals will use complex tools, like ahrefs, to have a detailed look at the overall organic structure of a website, but that’s a bit overcomplicated for most people. The brilliant marketer, Niel Patel, has an amazing free tool you can use to get a high-level view of your website right here. Just by entering your website’s domain, you can get a great overview of everything from your organic traffic, top pages, keywords you rank for, and a lot more. It’s a great way to get a free and easy-to-use overall view of your SEO strategy.
Building Your Paid Search Strategy:
The first thing you should know about paid search is that it’s quite complicated to do successfully because there are a lot of moving parts. You’ll need to understand the set up process, keywords, bidding, and landing pages, but with all of that in place, a paid search campaign can be really effective as part of your overall search strategy.
The main reason paid search is successful is because of intent. When it comes to other forms of advertising, like Facebook, you know a lot of things about the audience, but you don’t know what they want to do and when. In paid search, you know that some is searching for something specific to see your ad, so you know what their intent is and you can capitalize on that in your campaign.
A great paid search strategy starts with a great campaign, meaning, it isn’t as effective to simply put up some paid search ads and push the click-throughs to your homepage. You need to create something of value that answers the search intent and drives them to a page that they can easily convert on. For example, let’s say you were trying to get selling leads. You’d want to run a campaign specifically to address a seller’s pain points, like selling their home for more money or working with someone that makes the process easy, and then, you’d want to push those clicks to a landing page that talks more about how you solve those problems, as well as an easy way to convert by filling out a short form, calling, or sending an email.
To run a paid search strategy, you’ll also need to know a bit about the bidding process. Basically, the bidding process is where you are bidding on the placement of your ads in the first, second, third spot, etc, in the search results for certain keywords or keyphrases. The bidding process is also controlled by your daily/monthly budget. For example, let’s say you had a daily budget of $50, and you were bidding on high traffic keywords that have a cost-per-click of $25, that means after 2 clicks, your budget for the day would be depleted and your ads would no longer show. In larger cities, where the competition is more fierce, having a higher daily budget helps you compete against your competitors for those high traffic keywords, but, it may be a better strategy to go after less traffic keywords if their search intent is in line with what you’re offering so that you’ll get more clicks, and hopefully, more conversions.
Another strategy is to directly compete against your competitors by having your ads display when someone searches for their name. That may sound sneaky, but it’s a fairly standard strategy nowadays. The key here is to, again, answer a pain point. For example, if one of your competitors proudly offers discounted commissions, and someone searches their name, it may make sense to run an ad campaign about why your full-service commission results in higher sales prices, and when clicked, bring them to a landing page that proves it.
For paid search, paying a lot of attention early on is really key. A well-run strategy that generates results needs constant attention in the first few months of set up to be continually optimized and fine-tuned to get the best results.
As mentioned, setting up a paid search strategy can be quite complicated, so if you want to get started with paid search but don’t want the hassle of figuring out how to implement is strategically, click right here to see our product sheet around our paid search service and let our expert search team handle it for you.
Tying It All Together:
By imploring both an organic and paid search strategy, you’ll be covering all of your bases around search. You’ll be able to tailor your paid search strategy to ensure that your website displays in results that you can’t rank for organically, and vice versa.
Want to learn more about what Artifakt Digital can do and how we can help your business get ahead of the competition? Book a no-obligation consultation call with our team quickly and easily.