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Is it hard to rank in real estate keywords? *My first possible SEO client!*

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by ThopHayt, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. ThopHayt

    ThopHayt Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I never advertise my seo skills for sale, but based on what I did for my last site in Google I've gained the attention of a friend's associate who wants to pay me to help him rank for some real estate keywords.

    I'm excited and flattered because I'm not somebody who does professional seo for other people and this would be my first "client" for seo... BUT I am nervous because I'm a little suspicious that real estate seems like it might be a tough area to do seo in.

    I'm guessing it would be a local real estate market with keywords having to do with certain cities, but how hard do you guys think this would be?

    Is ranking in this going to be realllly hard? His site is 2 years aged and seems to have lots of good content on it, but I am concerned with how hard this niche might be.....

    Need help y'all.
     
  2. gu3sswh0

    gu3sswh0 Regular Member

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    as long as you go after local real estate keywords I think you should have no problem. In my region you could get number 1 for local real estate keywords by giving them a stern look.
     
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  3. hpv222

    hpv222 Power Member

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    it depends on what he wants to rank for - local could be workable, but yet again, it depends on the location, it's one thing to rank for "apartments in New York" and another for "houses in my grandma's village noone has ever heard of" ;)
     
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  4. aStroke

    aStroke Regular Member

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    Local keywords are always easier. Throw up enough high PR backlinks and you will shoot up above them. Just make sure you cover ALL the long-tail keywords in addition to the big ones. Long tails are where the traffic is.
     
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  5. flaw3d

    flaw3d Regular Member

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    well it depends what his keywords are.

    if you do los angeles real estate then yes it's going to be hard. If you do "houses for sale in nowhere,ca" then yes it's easy.
     
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  6. ThopHayt

    ThopHayt Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    What about mid-sized cities such as Kansas City? Is that untouchable too like New York?
     
  7. ThopHayt

    ThopHayt Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Also how much do you guys think I should charge a month to do this for him? Is like $350 too much or too cheap?
     
  8. Flatux

    Flatux Newbie

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    I ran a quick report and it looks moderately difficult only. (55% difficulty) Certainly not a pushover, but doable.

    See attachment for more details. ;)
     

    Attached Files:

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  9. schwagoo

    schwagoo Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I took on a local real estate project for a friend...and it was a LOT harder that it seemed. Not impossible...but I quickly got to the point of "sorry, I can't do this for free"
     
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  10. ThopHayt

    ThopHayt Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Do you think that it would be do-able to get page 1 within like a month or so? What kind of heavy lifting are we talking about?
     
  11. lykathe

    lykathe Regular Member

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    From my experiences, it's not as easy as I thought it would be, but certainly not hard. I haven't ranked yet, but I have only a couple articles, basic web 2.0s, xrumers and AMR behind them.
     
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  12. dme17

    dme17 Newbie

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    Even New York isn't "untouchable" but it certainly would take some effort and time. Most of your competition in real estate will be from well aged directory type websites. These directories can range from no real competition, to ok to tough competition so sure it can get competitive but just plan on casting a wider net if so.

    As a general rule, with decent SEO skills you'll be able to rank quite well pretty quickly for a number of local realty keywords and no Maps to deal with. Even with all the realty specific "online marketing" companies the local competition is almost always kind of weak.

    Realtors are also a great source for referrals if decide you want to take on anymore local clients.

    There's a few odd rules with real estate. Probably the most important for you to be aware of is that it's illegal for them to pay you per lead. A few will try a work around for this but it's risky if you ask me because this is something that's actually watched for.
     
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  13. SEORasta

    SEORasta Senior Member

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    Im charging $400 for a local client who was using google adwords and now just about 3 days going live with a new website redesign he is ranking for some nice local keywords + standard keywords. By a full month or 2 we should be good for page 1-2 for all keywords were ranking for.

    Real Estate is not hard its actual fun because you can do a lot with it since the market is so big.
     
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  14. ThopHayt

    ThopHayt Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Thanks for the insight. I think I'm going to give it a try and ask around $400 per month with at least 3 months committed. They aren't wanting to pay-per-lead, just monthly flat fee so it shouldn't be any problem with that.
     
  15. dme17

    dme17 Newbie

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    That sounds like a good plan. Good luck and let us know how it goes.
     
  16. ThopHayt

    ThopHayt Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Thanks man. I'm eager to rey my hand with a client for the very first time. Before this I've simply been doing it for myself, friends, and on sites I've designed as a favor. This is a BIG step for me lol.
     
  17. citylightz

    citylightz Registered Member

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    I am a real estate agent in California. The difficulty will depend on the city and the expectations of the agent. Most real estate people know absolutely nothing about SEO. There are a few that got smart and hired good website designers and SEO people and paid thousands and sometimes tens of thousands to make their sites produce prospects. But these people are by far the exception.

    Most agents' sites are template sites built with mostly duplicate content and many still have Iframes for that content. Some areas may have IDX available that is searchable by Google and can be used to your advantage. That will depend on the local MLS. The sites that rank in my area often do it with a few hundred backlinks that they got years ago from link exchanges and a link directory page. There are some good ones now but even those will typically have a relatively small number (less than a couple of thousand) of backlinks. The agents are easily sold on the flashy looking sites rather then spending monthly to get the site to be productive.

    Toughest competition for major keywords is from sites like Realtor dot com, Zillow, sometimes the national real estate companies, and a very small number of smart local brokers. But they don't go after the very local markets. Contrary to what some people think, real estate is still a very local business. People don't look for a house to BUY by searching "los angeles real estate". They look for a community like "brentwood homes for sale" or "santa monica ocean view condos". So in a big market - Go for for the long tail first. Check on Google Keyword tool and aim for small victories first, like the tracts they farm, ie: "tract-name estates", instead of "city name real estate" and it will make you look good in the first week and they will be more likely to continue to pay you.

    If they have not picked out a domain yet, get them to go with an EMD as opposed to their own name. It will make your job a lot easier.

    When times were good, agents in my area would easily spend $2,500 on one full color ad in a monthly luxury home magazine. Only a very few do that now. A lot of them are even dropping their sites now because they were costing $50 to $100 a month and never produced any sales. I have had several agents want me to do seo for them but I turned them down because they weren't realistic or serious about it. They wanted to pay $100 or less per month to get on first page for "city real estate" and their sites would have had to be completely re-worked on top of that.

    Finally, be careful that they have reasonable expectations and that they can afford to pay you each month regardless of if they make a sale that month or not.

    Good luck!
     
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  18. ThopHayt

    ThopHayt Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Hey, great advice. I really appreciate it... I'm definitely going to be up front to him with the fact that I absolutely DO NOT guarantee any particular result as that is up to Google and not my links. I think that if I can do that and get at least $275 a month I'll give it a shot. Based on the site, this guys seems to be doing quite well and he seems to be into a pretty specific niche, so that makes life a bit easier on me.

    Thanks again man!
     
  19. nesterdwarf

    nesterdwarf Regular Member

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    I think you are WAY undervaluing your work...

    Think of it this way, if they sell only one 100K house because of your service, they'll make $3-4000 dollars... At the prices you're thinking of offering, they'd only have to sell one house in a YEAR to break even on your cost...and if they are only selling one house in a year, SEO is the last of their worries :)

    ND
     
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  20. citylightz

    citylightz Registered Member

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    Don't judge a real estate agent by their website. Sometimes they have one good month and make a lot of money but then don't sell anything for months. Ask them direct: how many homes have they sold in the last three months? How many do they average a month, and how many did they sell last year, and what is their average selling price? Also, get details on the area that they actually sell homes in, not which area they market in.

    I think you are probably underestimating both your own value and also what they might be wanting from you. Real estate agents are often very demanding but also very cheap. If you're around KC, I would guess that you should be able to get more like $400 to $1,000 with the right agent. But it all comes down to who you are dealing with, your local market, and how hungry you are. Out here, they get $200+ just to maintain the site. A friend of mine said that he was quoted $1,000 per month for seo on his site. He wants me to do it for $100.

    Make sure you know what they want to achieve from their site and how much of your time it will take. Show them how the seo will give them the results they want. If it brings them only one sale a year, with out any work on their part, it will more than pay for itself. Also, the sites are very useful for listing presentations, especially when optimized and with proof of many local buyer views.
     
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