Case Study: Real Estate
Ali Safavi is a successful real estate investor in Los Angeles, specializing in off-market properties. His business was killing it, but he had no web presence. Ali Safavi had a real estate website in the past, but abandoned it years ago. Thus, he contacted me not just for social media, but to create SEO content. He wanted the term "Ali Safavi Real Estate" to appear on page one.
SEO is a different beast from social media, though the two are intertwined. Both need good content to work. Social media is primarily focused on platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Whereas SEO is focused on your websites and creating backlinks. Trying to have good SEO without having a websites is like trying to do social media without Facebook and Instagram. It just doesn't work. Ali Safavi Real Estate needed websites and an injection of content. Luckily, Ali Safavi Real Estate had a large backlog of blogs to pick from. I created four websites, each with a different purpose. One focuses on real estate advice, one on new properties, and the other reviews fellow realtors in the Los Angeles area. Now the problem with having old blogs is that Google tracks these things. So I could not simply take an old Ali Safavi Real Estate blog, repost it, and wait for it to take the number one spot on Google. I could either repurpose the blog and resubmit it to google, or delete it completely and do a rewrite for my new blogs. Duplicate content can actually hurt you.
SEO takes time. While the work is daily, the results can take months. Google gives more weight to websites that have been around for a while. With Ali Safavi Real Estate, results took about two months. After continually fine tuning the websites and writing new blog posts, we started popping up as the first two results on Google. During this time I also managed Facebook and Twitter. Facebook consistently ranked in the top 5, but Twitter was more volatile. Then, just to throw a wrench in the whole thing, it appeared that Google switched their algorithm so now Facebook doesn't not rank as high. That hurt. I also had to team with a web designer who knew about creating SSL certificates, which basically shows that a website is secure. There were other design aspects that web professionals are just going to have a better grasp of than me.
Once the Ali Safavi Real Estate sites were completed I began blogging. The tough question is, do I pack the keywords "Ali Safavi Real Estate" into each blog so that Google with think it's super relevant and rank us highly. Or, will Google notice that it's a trick and burry the page deep in the bowels of their search engine. These days Google can recognize keyword packing - when you just repeat a keyword with no narrative purpose. What I did do was make sure most of the titles, and more importantly, the URLs had the keywords in it. That way I had more flexibility in the body of the blog knowing that Google would still notice the keywords.
It's an ongoing process and I am learning a lot. Google does not make it easy. Literally ever day Ali Safavi's content ranks in a different position. So, then I have to go back, tweak, update and see what happens.
Ask 100 people advice on SEO and you'll get 100 different answers. I had one person give me direction, and then two weeks later another person say the exact opposite. Both are professionals in the industry. There are definite guidelines to follow, and a plethora of resources online. Headlines, links, keywords and multi-media seem to be the four main areas that have helped our content rank. Social is very important as well. You should always be linking! The journey continues with Ali Safavi Real Estate. Do you have any advise on best practices?
Do you have help with SEO or have questions? Contact me!