Target and Focus Your Local Content

targetI’ve just written about SEO deprogramming; because of the urge to focus most of your time and effort into SEO for your blog. SEO might get people to come to your site, but SEO won’t get them to stay there.

This is referred to as the bounce rate. How many people click to your site, don’t see what they want on their screen, and hit the back button to move on to the next result.

There are ways to slow this down and I’ll address slowing down bounce rates soon.

For now lets talk about target and focus for your local content.

Targeting Content

We have categories for organizing or posts. We should also have targets for those post.

For this blog that is very easy to identify. I have just one target which greatly simplifies my task.

My Target:

  • Real Estate Bloggers. Primarily self hosted WordPress bloggers, but concepts are transferable from platform to platform.

Selecting Good Targets

Here is the quote from the comment to Kathy.

“Think about the things a person getting ready to move to your town would want to know and write about these things”

They are getting ready to move, might want to buy a house. Hum. Can you see where this line of “What to write about” could lead.

Local Targeting of Content

  • Services of interest to people moving to your town
  • Activities of interest to people thinking about moving to your town
  • Information on local rules and regulation on home purchasing and selling
  • The process and terms used in real estate transactions in your area

Focused Content

This leads me to focus on several primary areas:

  • WordPress and it’s functionality or lack thereof
  • Real Estate Blogging concepts and tools

This is pretty easy for me I have a limited target and easy focus as a result. Here are some examples to get you thinking about local focused content.

Local Focused Content

  • Local Hospitals and medical clinics
  • Local specialty stores organic food stores
  • Local Events coming up
  • Local Clubs and Organizations
  • Local City Government (Google Map: police, fire, post office, City Hall, etc)
  • What is it like living in your town

Flock of BirdsThere are lots of resources with list of things to write about. Topical suggestions to stimulate your thinking. But without Targeting your audience and Focused Content it is like pointing a gun at a flock of birds and pulling the trigger hoping you hit something.

Final thought:

Stop thinking like a real estate agent with a product or service to sell.

Start thinking like a best friend. If your best friend was getting ready to move to your town what would you tell them, show them, help them find, help them do. Write your posts to that best friend. You might just find one.

Comments

  1. John Lockwood says

    Hi Dave,

    I’ve been reading your criticisms of SEO for a couple of days now, including the cult of SEO, etc. I don’t see it that way. Long before the current cult of mutual admiration began, a handful of bloggers were using blogs as part of an overall SEO strategy — John Mudd in Tampa Bay, Gary Woods in Santa Barbara, etc.

    You admonish: “Stop thinking like a real estate agent with a product or service to sell”, and I see that in line with the fact that you see success as someone who thinks of you as a friend, and define it negatively as a failure to bounce.

    I think of myself as a real estate agent with a product or service to sell, and I define success positively as a first-order conversion to searching for homes on my site, viewing a listing, etc. The job of the rest of my site is to create a second order conversion — an email or phone call about real estate.

    I think of you as a friend, Dave. It’s nice and all, don’t get me wrong. However, run that fact by your bank when your mortgage is due and let me know how it goes. 🙂

  2. John,

    It appears I need to do some clarification. I’m a big fan of SEO. I think it has to be in place and monitored. I write a lot about what will put better SEO in place on a blog and the way things are indexed.

    There are lots and lots of posts and information on SEO in the Lab.

    However, I think some are coming to blogging now and they are spending an in ordinate amount of time focusing on SEO instead of what to write. Including writing content people are searching for.

    The stop thinking like an agent with something to sell is based on focused content on the people and not yourself. Not that you make everyone a friend, but you think of your community objectively and a tool for doing that is introducing someone you like to your community.

    I’m seeing more and more agents being told you have to get a blog. As they do they trying and use the same kind of content in a local blog they do on an agent website.

    I’m number 1, you should use me because I’m great. Here is what I would do, I can meet all your real estate needs, I am in the top two percent of the nation, I sell a home every 2 days. I will buy your home if it doesn’t sell in 60 days.

    This is the kind of content I’m seeing coming in to blogging that didn’t used to be there.

    I do believe that being a real estate agent with a service to provide and letting someone get to know about the community and yourself while providing them access to the MLS data is a good approach to RE blogging.

    The suggestion to think about your best friend has to do with the attitude while writing more than the goal of making someone your friend.

    It is a paradox, sell me hard, you don’t sell me at all. Provide me service, information I want and integrity in the process, I’ll use your service, but as soon as someone starts trying to sell me. . . I’m gone. I don’t want to be sold.

    I think your blog is doing exactly what I’m talking about as to providing good content, insight into the community and the services you can provide.

    I don’t see posts on why you are the greatest agent or brokerage in town and why everyone should use you or they are losing out.

    In summary, SEO, yes, focus on SEO no. Provide a service and let potential clients know you provide those services yes, Sell Sell Sell and shove those services at people no.

    Not sure where the mortgage coming due fits.

    And yes, I do consider you a friend as well. 🙂

  3. Dave,
    SEO will be in almost anything you write whether you plan on it or not. I see the value of key phrases and terms but don’t obsess about them. As far as a connection with readers creating a more loyal crowd I totally understand what you’re trying to say.

    By being myself on my blog and giving relevent information in a more personal way I’m creating a personal relationship with my blog readers. If they like what I have to say they come back. Hopefully they like me enough to want to know more about me and my business. This is when they may chose to go to my website, which is easily accessed from my blog. My website is where you’ll find the Kathy Neilsen Rah Rah section. They find out how good I am, how many homes I have listed and sold and what a great agent I would be for them.

    I like and feel comfortable with this process because that’s how I operate in person. I hate talking about myself and prefer to talk real estate when I am approached not the opposite.

  4. Kathy,

    Exactly my point on SEO is a part of writing your blog. Good keyword placement is a must. Targeting your audience with content and structured content is crucial.

    I start almost every post with the same word, our town. I want that to be the first focus. Keywords have to be tied to your location if you really want traffic coming to you.

    No body just searched “Homes for Sale” They will search “Denver Homes for Sale”. If you sell in Denver you should let the search engines and searchers know you are providing information about your market.

    I think you have a good process and structure for your blog and website.

  5. Dave, good post. Google says to just write good content and they will find us. I think one of the best things we can do is be consistent and write good content. At some point we will be seen as a trusted part of the equation and seo will be there. Also google likes sites with a year or two under their belt – consistency. I would like to be able to write every day but can’t seem to get that done but if I can consistently write every other day it will still be hitting the search engines on a regular basis.

  6. hi dave!

    meeting you in tempe this summer was a great pleasure. i love your approach and enthusiasm. it’s addictive. our chat about seo and writing content has never left me.

    as a real estate agent blogger, i think you must decide who the heck you plan on writing to – buyers and sellers or the brokerage community. once you have answered that very important question, you can then focus and target your energy on writing relevant local and informative posts to your targeted audience.

    but, while on the subject of seo, make sure to get off on the right foot and set up your blog to be search engine optimized from the beginning. once that’s done, you can write, write, write……

    if you write consistently, you will get indexed.

    blog on!

  7. Rudy,

    It was a blast to see you this summer. What an experience you guys had.

    It is so true about setting up for SEO that is the foundation upon which a blog or website should be built.

    Then it is time to build the house. I see so many building a little, the ripping the foundation out from under the blog or site and trying again, then rip it out once more.

    That’s what I was getting at in Growing peas in a day. Set it up with good solid SEO principles then build away and leave the foundation alone for the most part.

    Of course there are always things you can add to the foundation as the environment changes.

    I think one of the biggest SEO mistakes bloggers make is getting tired of a theme for their blog and changing it. There are so many SEO concepts in a blog you can literally kill your traffic with a theme change.

  8. we’re on the same page dave!

    plumb, level and square…..build the foundation, set up the framework and then decorate the house.

    you are so right about the theme. not only is it your visual brand, but there are so many seo aspects that are incorporated within the theme itself. once you switch, you may have to re-build lot’s of little do-dads…..not too much fun.

    my advice for a new blogger:

    find someone who is knowledgeable about setting up a blog, have them do it, then write till your hearts content. that’s it, write, write, write…..

  9. Just wrote a post that is not all that different from this one. Going to delete it right now. bye

  10. Teresa,

    Before you hit that delete button, you should publish it. I think this might just be the softening the beaches post. Your’s might actually do some good and take root.

    Let’s hope the message starts getting out there. If it doesn’t change the whole RE blogosphere will . . .

  11. John Lockwood says

    Why thanks, Dave. Cheers.

  12. Dave-
    Question….You mentioned that many bloggers tear out their Themes often. Are you refering to “themes” in the same definition as WordPress would define it? How do the fonts, colors, and layout of your blog affect and/or kill your SEO and your traffic?

  13. Scott,

    Yes, Themes as in WordPress themes, the items mentioned in your comment don’t. But those are the things seen on the outside of the car, what isn’t often seen is the underlying code which is significant.

    I once found a theme I like, easy to modify and do what I wanted, but after two weeks not a single page or post was indexed. I changed the theme to one I knew was “good under the hood” In less than 5 days the site was showing up in the search engines.

    It is very important how the theme in constructed in coded for good SEO and code structure. Just making a site look a certain way is “eye candy”. Making the site solid is the skeletal structure which puts it all together and give you a place to hand the eye candy.

  14. Interesting, but here is the million dollar question: “How do I know if the WordPress Theme that I installed (because it looks nice), has good SEO qualities?”

    The theme I installed was called YourBlog2.0. Found it on the WordPress site. The designer appears to only have ever created this one, but he is in the web design/consulting business.

    I also installed “All in One SEO Pack” and try to hit keywords often. It appears to be working, but I want to get all the Google juice I can!

  15. The main theme I use now and in the future is greenflower, same author as mistylook.

    I found a couple of blogs with PR5 and lots of pages indexed.

    Check PR
    Run a site command

    Search on the theme name for other sites using the same theme.

    That’s my process. You can’t go wrong with the author of greenflower. I have had to tweek that theme a lot for the eye candy but it and all of this authors themes seem rock solid under the hood, with a couple of exceptions, on trackbacks and feeds at the bottom of each post which I removed from the code.

  16. Dave-
    I took your advice and searched for others using my theme (YourBlog 2.0). I came across a programmer that fixes SEO problems in common themes (for fun I guess!). Check it out: http://courtneytuttle.com/search-engine-optimized-wordpress-themes/

  17. Great Post. With so much competition its better to secure smaller cities and niche words.