The main purpose of writing new content for your website is to increase your ranking on search engine results. With a higher ranking comes more visits to your site, and with more visits to your site come more leads as long as you know the proper way to use landing pages.
But how do you write quality content?
Is it just a process of stuffing each and every keyword into the body that you possibly can? Is it writing the same things everyone else is in hopes someone will end up on your page?
The answer to both of these questions is “no.”
The first page of search results gets over 90% of the traffic, and the very first link gets a whopping 33% of the total clicks. So let’s delve into the process for filling your blog and site with content that ranks well and brings you the visitors and, ultimately, leads you want.
1. Solve problems
Why do we use Google?
We turn to Google and other search engines to find answers to our questions and solutions to our problems. We type our query into the search bar and then click whichever link we think will give us a helpful response.
Creating the link that gets clicked is what this whole article is about, and it really all starts with helping to alleviate the issues your customers face. A stand-out page title and enticing description can help encourage people to click on your link instead of the others.
When it comes to your blog, the page title is the title of your blog post. Best practices suggest you make it between 50 and 60 characters, as this is what Google will display. When deciding on a title, make sure you choose and include relevant keywords! We’ll go over how to do that later.
The page description generally displays the very beginning of your post. This means the best way to start your posts is with something that you feel introduces your content and draws interest. These descriptions end up being cut off after roughly 160 characters.
To help you visualize what each other these look like, we’ve included an image below. The area highlighted in red is the page title and the page description is in blue.
Make sure that your content is what you’d expect to get if you were clicking on a similar link in the search results. No matter what other steps you take, if your content (blog and site) doesn’t provide searchers with what they’re looking for, they’ll simply ignore you.
Think about some of the common questions you are asked and begin a list. From this point on, write them down as soon as you hear them. These questions provide great jumping-off points for posts you can create.
Actions to take:
- Write content that answers questions or solves problems for your target customers.
- Customize your page titles and descriptions to make your links stand out in results.
2. Keep it local
Your audience needs to be specific, so your content should be, too.
If your real estate or mortgage business’s market is in the middle of North Carolina, you don’t need to worry about appealing to someone in Oregon. Write about local matters, local events, and local problems so you become the go-to source for your community.
Let’s say your town is hosting a farmers market one weekend. Writing a blog post about specific vendors that will be participating and then sharing it on social media will not only interest those who might be going, but will also increase the chances of your content being shared by others who are connected to those vendors, increasing your exposure.
Writing content that is not only location-specific but also involves others is a great way to bring members of your community to your page through searches and shares, which brings me to my next point.
Action to take:
- Blog about local events in your community.
3. Make it shareable
The obvious benefit of writing shareable content is that people on social media are more likely to click a link they see shared multiple times on their newsfeed. But did you know search engines react in much the same way?
The more outside sites that link to yours, the higher search ranking your pages get. Search engines can recognize when people acknowledge you as being a reputable and helpful source.
Using the same farmers market example from earlier, a great way to get your content shared by the vendors you write about is to reach out to those vendors themselves. Who doesn’t love free publicity? Just point them to your blog and ask for a share. They’ll more than likely oblige!
Need some more help? Check out this great article that provides a template for you to create super share-worthy blog posts!
Actions to take:
- Share your content on Social Media and ask others to share it as well.
- If you blog about a local vendor, ask them to share on their social media channels.
4. Optimize for search ranking
Once the main pieces of your content are all there, it’s time optimize your content for search ranking – specifically by interlinking your pages and including long tail keywords in your content. By employing these oft-forgotten details, you’ll move yourself that much further ahead of the competition.
One of the easiest things to do to encourage people to spend more time on your site is to link related pages together using hyperlinks. If you’ve ever read a Wikipedia article, you’ve seen this tactic used spectacularly. You can use these links within your content to let your customers get more information without having to leave your site.
Case in point, when writing your blog post about the farmers market, you can include a link to a page on your website that talks about the area of your town it’s in. You can even provide a link that contains your current listings in that area. Just aim to keep people moving around in your site!
A huge part of search engine optimization (SEO) is appropriate keyword usage. While the days of creating keyword-stuffed pages that provided no real help to site visitors are long over, the natural inclusion of keywords in your content plays a major role in both how search engines rank you and how helpful a potential customer sees you as being.
When deciding which keywords to use throughout your site and to base your blog posts around, you first need to know what your ideal customers are searching for. A great way to research this is through Google’s keyword tool.
First things first – you have to have a Google account to use it. Once you do, it’s simple to find out how many people in your area are searching specific phrases. You can also see if the competition is low or high.
It does take a little creativity on your part in that it’s your job to provide Google with the keywords it’s looking for. So think up some phrases you’d like to write about or you have customers frequently asking you about. After you type it into the keyword search bar, Google takes care of the rest.
If you can find something like “best restaurants in Naples” being searched 110 times/month with low competition, you could easily write a great blog post and try to rank high for that, driving traffic to your site.
Something else to keep in mind is that “long tail” keywords and phrases have a much smaller search volume than their shorter, “fatter” counterparts. For example, someone searching “farmers market” is going to get way more results thrown back at them than someone searching “farmers market in North Carolina this weekend.”
Include phrases someone might actually search for. IMPORTANT: keep them natural and make them read normally. Don’t plug them into random places just to have them.
Action to take:
- Link your related pages and blog articles to one another.
- Make sure you naturally include long-tail keywords and phrases in your text.
Without a doubt, employing the above tactics into your real estate or mortgage blog or site will give you the results you want. Remember, no one appears in the number one spot on Google overnight. Keep plugging away and making the right steps and you’ll see your site’s rank rise.
In the meantime, we’ve provided mortgage lenders and real estate professionals with free eBooks containing over 50 blog ideas to help!