October 11, 2011

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Google AdWords, SEO & Blogging: A UK Perspective – Part One

This week’s agent strategy comes from Bruce Fenton, sales and marketing director of UK real estate agency Harwards. In part one of his article, Bruce points to some differences in attitudes about real estate marketing in the US and UK, and gives UK agents a first step to consider.

“The residential property industry in the UK has seemingly resisted the movement towards e-business methodologies, unlike our brethren in the US.

The US real estate market (as they call it) has embraced the Internet as its ally, advisor and closest friend. It is certainly not unusual for a “Realtor” to be running a local property blog attached to a high-spec professional business web page. They will almost certainly be using pay-per-click marketing services and paying for continual website optimisation.

Sadly, the UK has largely failed to leap on board the speeding train that is the e-commerce revolution.

For a long time agents relied on being in a local newspaper’s property section, having lots of branded boards erected and being physically located in a good spot with a nice window display. Once upon a time, that was all perfectly adequate and just about all one could do without spending vast sums on television or radio advertising.

Things have changed a great deal since those days. You might not think so if you talk to some local agents.

We all know that the biggest change to the residential property market has been the introduction of property portal sites such as rightmove.co.uk and findaproperty.com. Though not cheap, these sites have ensured that any agent can achieve a relatively broad level of visibility. I would suggest, however, that portals offer a level playing field to start from rather than a final solution to marketing strategy. After all, your competitors are likely right there alongside you - what makes you perform better than them?

Last month a YouGov poll was carried out on behalf of Hamptons. They asked 2,255 people how they look for property. This found that although 61 percent did indeed use property portals, 59 percent looked on agents’ own sites.

This should either excite property agents or leave them deeply concerned. I have seen some very professional agent sites and others that verge on the comedic. Before even considering any of the strategies I’ll detail in part two, agents should ask someone they trust the opinion of to look at their website and contrast it against those of a few competitors.

Having a professional online profile is essential. Part of that is ensuring the potential client has a pleasant experience whilst visiting the company website. If your site fails the test, do not implement any of the strategies in part two until you have addressed any fundamental issues discovered.”

Tune in tomorrow for part two of Bruce’s article, where he outlines exactly how UK agents can use Google AdWords, SEO and blogs to their advantage.


Related posts:

  1. Google AdWords, SEO & Blogging: A UK Perspective – Part Two
  2. Agent Strategies: Blogging Plus SEO
  3. Agent Strategies: Real Estate Blogging that Works
  4. Agent Strategies: Hyper Local Blogging
  5. Agent Strategies: A Social Media Combo
  6. AdWords Tips from Google
  7. Agent Strategies: Focus on AdWords
  8. Back to Basics: How Will Blogging Help You?
  9. Is Google Personalized Search A Threat To Property Sites
  10. Link Building Tips from Google

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