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Your new client is a real estate agent in Phoenix, with a brand new site.
Everyone says that "content is king" and that "link bait" is the way to go.
Just exactly what content can be developed for this client that will gratuitously attract links in enough quantity to compete in the Phoenix real estate market, where most of the top ranking competitors have, literally, hundreds (many have over 1000) links from unique domains.
[edited by: DomainDrivers at 2:16 pm (utc) on Feb. 21, 2007]
As for linkbait, off the top of my head one of the best bets is the old "become an authority." One idea might be to compile a monthly market report of sales -- asking price, selling price; how many homes are still on the market after 3 months, 6 months; average price rise and fall in different areas -- all the usual stuff.
Ya'ever know, if you save newspapers' real estate reporters some work you might be able to garner some "As reported in.." links.
So I should ignore the fact that nearly every first page competitor has over 500 uniques, and some even more?
You are sayng that a handful of the "right" links will get me there?
Where did I say that? I said to be sure to research the backlinks to know exactly what you're dealing with. In this sector it takes a heck of a lot more than knowing a competitor has 967 backlinks; you have to know how they were generated. If you find that many revovle around the same or similar networks you can be assured that the SEs know this too.
What if the newspaper reporters ignore my content?
Ahh, the "What ifs" start early ;-).
What if area relocation firms link to the content?
What if major area employers link to the content?
What if area social and fraternal organizations link to the content?
What if chambers of commerce, state development agencies and other authorites link to the content?
You can't be sure what's going to stick. See what other ideas pop up in this thread and try a couple.
What method should I use to get my links on these sites? I can't really send unsolicited email, can I? How will they find my content?
Do you have any examples of this real estate pricing content strategy working like this?
[edited by: DomainDrivers at 4:45 pm (utc) on Feb. 21, 2007]
OK - A couple of points that I need to ask here:
So, some of these links to their sites are not good, but they are still all ranking well?
Also, on closer investigation, most all of the top ranking local realtor sites that rank well in Phoenix are using reciprocation as their primary link building method. That is not hypothetical. Have a look.
They really don't have links from local newspapers, relocation firms, social and fraternal organizations, etc. They just reciprocated, with determination.
Should I do what they did to get there?
[edited by: DomainDrivers at 5:11 pm (utc) on Feb. 21, 2007]
Why not? If you do it through an automated bulk system you're spamming. If you send out individualized and personalized emails it shouldn't be a problem.
I wouldn't have any links if I didn't send out emails.
Very interesting. So if I send an unsolicited email to the head of the Kiwanis ( an example of a social/fraternal organization mentioned previously), and ask them to link their site to my site, even though they are not even remotely related to real estate, that's not spam?
I though that unsolicited commercial email, regardelss of the purpose, was spam.
...what do I offer them in return?
One of the top sites in a hyper-competitive finance niche features new content every day, news, consumer reports and reviews, as well as guides and online tools. They have a phenomenal amount of one way backlinks from dot com, dot us, dot gov, and dot edu. Not bad for a site working a notoriously spammy side of the street.
Real Estate agents are famous for taking a good idea and ruining it with their egos. Take the video walkthroughs uploaded to YouTube. That was a good idea until some knucklehead in the second wave decided to soundtrack it with smooth jazz now you hear it from the west coast to the east coast. The third and fourth wave is on it's way. Oh goodie. Not looking forward to seeing how they drill a good idea into the ground with extra cheese on top.
The fact that Real Estate agents are apparently generally clueless about web marketing represents a huge opening for individuals who do have a clue.
How about a guide to the best, and worst neighborhoods to live in in the Phoenix.
Best schools for smart kids.
Best schools for dumb kids.
Best neighborhood for Stepford Wives types.
Best area for serious drinkers. Nicest picket fences, highest concentration of rich single neighbors, most muggers, most police visits. The good, the bad, the ugly.
You'll get lots of links. And a tad of controversy, but people will come and look. How could you resist?
Does this mean that if they can't come up with something useful that they should just punt?
Not sure how to tell that to a prospective client. They want answers.
Especially since their well-ranking competitor sites are not all that useful to the larger world. They do sell houses from it, but it's not content that is all that remarkable. And they do well.
[edited by: DomainDrivers at 9:29 pm (utc) on Feb. 21, 2007]
Does this mean that if they can't come up with something useful that they should just punt? Not sure how to tell that to a prospective client.
It's your job to give them a clue. Isn't that why they're punting at your door? :)
And a tad of controversy
Right, agreed with DD. Controversy probably doesn't have a place in that scenario.
BTDT - well ranking local agent real estate sites seem to:
1) Optimize for their primary terms
2) Build content that primarily sells houses based on that.
If you just look at what the local competition is doing and think that is the only way to do things, you may be doomed by lack of imagination. Either do some useful feature BETTER or do a NEW useful feature. Swapping links isn't a useful feature, but a calculator that tells how many decibels of road noise exist at every address in the city is.
Taking strong competition head on isn't the best way unless you are very determined. Fill a customer need they don't for your link bait. Look at other cities or industries for ideas.
But if I did have such useful content, you'd also have no problem with unsolicited email sent to local newspapers, relocation firms, social and fraternal organizations, chambers of commerce, state development agencies and other authorites?
Just want to make sure if that is an isolated opinion, or a generally accepted SEO practice.
Has any real estate site done that? I wonder where they'd get the data for that that is not already published and cited elsewhere. Likely a government agency. Kinda hard to be second to the trough.
[edited by: DomainDrivers at 10:19 pm (utc) on Feb. 21, 2007]
OK- thanks for the clarification. Wheel said in this thread that he does it to promote his content, and nobody seemed to take issue with that, so I wanted to clarify.
If I don't send UCE, then how do I make the local newspapers, relocation firms, social and fraternal organizations, chambers of commerce, state development agencies and other authorites aware of my useful content?
[edited by: DomainDrivers at 10:52 pm (utc) on Feb. 21, 2007]
But since this is not an email that they asked to get, and there is not prior business relationship, then the only wayto define that email is "unsolicted". It was not asked for.
And, since it is commercial in nature, it becomes unsolicited commercial email (UCE). Right?
But, I do appreciate the clarification.
I am going to recommend to this hypothetical client that they
1) Build a calculator that tells how many decibels of road noise exist at every address in the city (of Las Vegas)."
To do that, I will need to find that data (making sure it's public domain), and then, develop a way to present it on my website. Possibly I will need to hire a database programmer as well, if it is to be searchable and organized. And I need to find away to keep the data current.
2) Once I have that in place (I not yet sure of the time to deployment, it could be months of waiting), I will send unsolicited email to various places (local newspapers, relocation firms, social and fraternal organizations, chambers of commerce, state development agencies and other authorities). I will ask them to link to my noise data, for nothing in return.
I guess the next question is..what if they don't care about a calculator that tells how many decibels of road noise exist at every address in the city, and they don't place my link?