December 1, 2010

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

In part two of his article, Harwards sales and marketing director Bruce Fenton talks about how UK agents can use Google AdWords, SEO and blogs to their advantage.

“So now you have a great website (pat yourself on the back) and you want to show it off. The great news from YouGov is that your customers want to see it too. Just one more thing to do then: ensure it can be found!

1. Google AdWords. Most search traffic in the UK comes via Google, so this should be our preferred pay-per-click service. Google AdWords allows you to post a small three-line advert box at the side of natural search results.

The system is very flexible but requires a fairly good understanding to ensure best results. Essentially, you need to know which search terms are most likely to be used by real potential customers of your services. Do not make the mistake of trying to just get every person on the Internet to visit your site. Always keep in mind that clicks cost money and that a man looking to rent a bulldozer in Beijing is not of value to you.

The big plus side of AdWords is that it will bring new traffic to your website from day one. The negative side is that you will always have to pay for that traffic and the cost will most likely go up as your competitors bid for similar key phrases. (For more AdWords tips, click here.)

2. SEO. If you do not already know what this is, you’re probably not on the front page of Google’s search results. Search Engine Optimisation has become an eternal battle between companies all over the known universe.

When you search for a service, for example a letting agent, you probably go to Google and type in something like “Letting Agent in Exeter”. Google then retrieves what it considers to be the ten sites best matching that search, based on various criteria designed to ensure the sites displayed are genuine, trustworthy service providers able to directly assist you. That is a wonderful big thumbs up for those ten businesses and a problem for any agent not in that initial list.

SEO is the fringe science that allows agents to achieve this golden standard. The benefit of SEO is that once it is done it can drive significant free traffic to your site and generate an air of confidence in those visiting you which is absent from AdWords. The only consideration is that if you get a great new position it is wise to keep an eye on this and tweak your site in response to any negative movement in the future. Remember that your competitors all want to clamber over you to the top! (For more SEO tips, check out our guest series here.)

3. Blogging. I won’t insult anyone by telling them what a blog is as I think we all realise this is essentially a blog article. The obvious advantages of using a blog are that customers have a more engaging and personal experience prior to making initial contact as well as having an additional reason to return or recommend others to visit.

Someone who is not actively looking for your services may come just for your informative articles only to suddenly find they now do need to move house. Rest assured that as the agent they know best, you will be their first point of call.

Blogs also assist in SEO and can ensure your company is found in a much more diverse range of search terms than any home site ever will be. If your blog is particularly successful you can even offer clients a golden service package which includes a blog article specifically about the property they are placing with your company.

The main point to keep in mind is that a blog takes time and effort to be of any use to anyone and for your writing style to develop. It is easy to be enthusiastic for two or three posts and then abandon the whole thing as a waste of your time. It is not - it just takes a degree of commitment. Failing that, use one of the many external services that can run your blog for you by providing optimised relevant articles on a regular basis for a price.” (Check out our Top 10 Tips for Blogging here.)

Got a great online marketing strategy you’re keen to share? Get in touch with us at [email protected]

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Related posts:

  1. Google AdWords, SEO & Blogging: A UK Perspective – Part One
  2. Agent Strategies: Focus on AdWords
  3. AdWords Tips from Google
  4. Agent Strategies: Blogging Plus SEO
  5. Using Google Keywords for More Traffic
  6. Agent Strategies: Hyper Local Blogging
  7. Google’s Latest Releases Part 2: Personalised Results
  8. Posterous: Real Estate Blogging in Record Time
  9. Video Promotion Streamlined with AdWords
  10. Google Instant: What Does It Mean for Marketers?

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