SEO, or search engine optimization, is a term that is thrown around a lot, but many don’t understand what the term really means. We are going to spend a few minutes discussing search engine optimization in wholesaling. We will talk about what it is. Then we discuss a few strategies that you can apply for search engine optimization for your wholesaling business, or even real estate investing in particular.
What is Search Engine Optimization with Wholesaling?
Search engine optimization, SEO, a strategy that you can employ to use the search engines to attract more traffic to your wholesaling website. Of course, since the majority of search engine traffic goes through Google, that’s where most of the strategies focus. Using these strategies, the goal is to get more traffic referred to your website from Google and other search engines.
The real goal of SEO is to get your site listed on page 1 because that’s where 95% of the traffic referrals come from with Google. This has led to a common meme that the best place to hide a dead body is on page 2 of Google.
You might wonder what it means to be on page 1 and how you do that. Our goal is to get on page 1 of a search on Google when a user has searched for something where your site might help them. Google’s goal is to send users to sites that are useful to them. This is ultimately good for you too. After all, if you are a wholesaler in Cleveland and you somehow wind up on pages for “sell your house in Topeka” that isn’t going to help you much.
In this case, the phrase “sell your house in Topeka” is called a keyword phrase. You want to strategically use the keywords in ways that drive referrals and traffic so that Google notices that users like the content on your site and refer more traffic to you. Picking the right keywords and getting the right traffic and links will help move you up the rankings.
To do this, we are writing articles, pages, and resources that help our audience. For example, this article is designed to help real estate investors understand the basic concepts of search engine optimization in your wholesaling business. We want to provide you value for your wholesaling business and for you to learn ways to make more money.
Why Do I Want Search Engine Traffic
In business, there are really two types of traffic to your business, whether you are a traditional brick and mortar business or an online business, paid and free. Paid traffic comes from advertising. That may be your “we sell houses” signs, Facebook advertising, etc.
Free traffic comes from referrals, cold calling, search engines and the like. They all require work (or a lot of luck). With paid advertising, when you stop advertising, that traffic generally stops. If you got enough momentum to get referrals and brand recognition then it can lead to on-going free traffic. With search engine optimization, our wholesaling site can continue to get traffic from content long after we have stopped putting any work into that piece of content.
Strategies that You Can Use in Wholesaling Search Engine Optimization
There are entire businesses dedicated to search engine optimization and we aren’t going to pretend that we can duplicate that expertise. We want to provide you with an overview of the concepts and the process. From there, we hope that you can get started on an online marketing strategy for your wholesaling business. At the bottom we’ll direct you to some resources where you can get more information.
Here are some ways to leverage SEO for your wholesaling site
- Target Keywords Relevant to Your Wholesaling Market – Think about articles, concepts and resources that you can provide for home sellers in your target area. There is a whole process you can use to research the right keywords. Usually, this involves finding phrases that a smaller number of people search for but where you can have your voice heard. For example a writing content centering on “sell your house” will probably not get read, but “sell your house quickly in Redmond” may have fewer people searching for it, but fewer people trying to rank for it too. Maybe there are unique characteristics in your market. You could write about tax situations, market conditions, closing procedures and other things that are unique in your town, county or even neighborhood.
- Don’t Just Focus on Video – Video is engaging and it can be quicker, easier and more natural to produce. We aren’t suggesting that you ignore it. When you make a video, embed it on a blog post that also writes about the topic. In the video description, include key ideas and a link to related resources on your site. Unfortunately, the search engines have a limited capability to search the video itself, they rely on the written content.
- Try to Get Links to Your Content – Try to partner with other related businesses and link to each other’s content. This helps both of you. Links to your content are called backlinks and they are a sort of currency for your site. Some catches though, make sure they are related content and are legitimate. If Google thinks they are spam, they actually hurt your chances of showing up in searches. You can also look at guest posting on relevant sites, getting interviewed and similar things to get your name and website out there. Consider local radio stations, publications and the like.
- Keep Users on Your Site – Google measure how long users are on your site and something called a bounce rate. That’s when a user looks at your site and then immediately leave. If Google thinks that users don’t like your content, it will move you down in the rankings. Having links to other content, adding resources for users and other things to keep their interests will really help you and your users.
- Get Their Email Address – This isn’t truly SEO, but it does help get an interested, appropriate audience. Most importantly, you don’t need to rely on a search engine, social network or other source to get them to your site. The idea is to gather email addresses from your audience. The easiest, but least effective, is to have a sign up form for them to fill out and then you can send out a periodic newsletter, blog update or something else similar. While you should do this anyway, a more effective way to do it is to to give your audience something useful in exchange for their email address. For example, you might use something like “sign up for ten easy ways you can get the most out of selling your house” or maybe “how to calculate the best return for selling your house”. The latter example might give them a worksheet that helps them calculate carrying costs, fixing costs, realtor commissions etc versus a cash offer from a wholesaler. This way, you not only get their email address, you also use a marketing message to help guide them to selling to you, which is ultimately what you want.
Some Things to Avoid When Using Search Engine Optimization for Your Wholesaling Business
Search engine optimization for wholesaling is about much more than just adding the keywords you want to rank for in as many places as possible or getting as many links as possible to your site. At the end of the day, both you and Google (and the other search engines) want to get people to your site to help solve their problems. It doesn’t benefit you or your audience to get them onto your site and add no value at all.
Just like before, this list is designed to get you started. There are far richer resources out there to get you more but mostly it’s there to warn you to try not to scam your way onto the search engine results. There are tactics out there called “black hat” tactics.
Periodically, Google will come out with updates to their search algorithm. They don’t announce what the changes are but the results can be pretty clear and the algorithm changes have killed online businesses (Here is an example from a while ago of a Google update where search engine traffic literally dried up after an algorithm change). Algorithm changes are less likely to hurt you if you do everything above board. It’s a lot like wholesaling, really. You can get somewhere by bending the rules or being scammy, but eventually, people figure it out and your business will suffer. Better just to be honest and follow the rules.
Some easy things to avoid –
- Spammy Backlinks – Don’t pay directories for backlinks or sites that have nothing to do with your business. A lot of these and Google will actually penalize you. Some webmasters have even had to deal with spammy backlinks they didn’t want. This doesn’t mean that all of the spammy backlinks are horrible. For example, too many links from discussion boards and Google could see that as spam, but if they’re generating traffic to your website then they are serving their purpose. The trick here is to make them “no-follow” links. These links tell the search engines not to follow and Google says that you aren’t penalized for them. Basically, they don’t give you any “link juice” (SEO benefit) but users may use them. Here’s how you can create no-follow links in WordPress
- Keyword Stuffing – You should use your keywords throughout the article, but it should be well-written, relevant, and useful. Vary the way that you use the keyword phrase and spread it out throughout the article. Most importantly, it is constructive, well-written content that helps your audience. This will make people want to read it, other webmasters want to link to it, and out of all that you will get better SEO results.
- Backlinks from Your Sites That Don’t Add Value – You might be using affiliate links (for advertising) or links to other content that don’t add value for your users. You should make these no-follow links. This tells Google to skip over them and not pass on any benefit from your site to the linked site. It also tells Google that you aren’t trying to use them for SEO purposes. It probably doesn’t have a huge benefit but is good practice.
More black hat tactics are out there, but these are enough to get you started. They should also give you an idea of the kinds of things to look out for if you ever hire an SEO optimization firm. Like many contractors, many are amazing and will do great things for you. Sadly, others will do nothing or, sometimes even worse, temporarily do some black hat tactics to be able to show some quick results and be long gone before it catches up with you.
SEO Takes Time
Unlike paid advertising, which can have instantaneous results, SEO takes time. It takes time for people to find your content. It takes time for links to build. You can speed this process up by doing the same things you’d expect for other marketing. Get your name out there with links to your site. Build as much content as possible (that is quality and provides value to your audience). The good news is that good SEO can keep working for you for a long time to, especially if you change your tactics to match what works. Building on effective keywords and understanding your audience.
Some Resources to Help You
Just like with other marketing, search engine optimization is a skill that you learn over time. Search Engine Optimization can be a great tool by itself. You can also use it with signs, paid online advertising, auto-dialing, driving for dollars, and other techniques you use in your wholesaling business. Just like other marketing techniques, you can also have higher expertise but it does help to start to understate concepts. They all have paid products or services but also some amazing free resources.
- Neil Patel – Neil Patel is an SEO expert who does a lot of experiments, helping to show you techniques, strategies, and what works and what doesn’t. He has a huge library of videos, courses, and posts. While you certainly pay for some, the free resources are great. He also offers a tool, called Ubersuggest, which has a free tier that you can use to help you do keyword research and, of course, he will show you how to use that too.
- HubSpot – HubSpot offers a variety of marketing tools and services but for our purposes, they have a rich, useful blog that covers different marketing topics.
- AHRefs – With one of the premier keyword research tools on the market, AHRefs has a lot of data, tips, and guides on what works for SEO.
You can find a lot of other resources out there but these should get you started on your SEO journey. The short story is to generate contact and contacts with of relevant information and referrals that your target customer will find helpful enough to stick around until your other marketing tools and messages can kick in.