Going Super Local With SEO (Search Engine Optimization) & Marketing
In this episode of the Mail-Right show, Robert and myself look at how an individual agent or small teams of real estate agents can effectively compete with the big boys like Zillow and the large franchise brokerages by going super local in your SEO (search engine optimization) & general marketing.
Jonathon: Welcome to the Mail Right Show. This is episode 183. We’re going to be talking about super local in marketing and in SEO terms about getting quality leads. I got my great co-host with me. Robert, would you like to quickly introduce yourself to new listeners and viewers?
Robert: I’d love to. So my name is Robert Newman. I am the founder of Inbound Rem. We are an inbound marketing company, which is different than SEO. In my opinion what we do is we help our clients create excellent website experiences. And also provide important burning questions that their clients have. Provide the answers to those questions on those websites, which is for me what the definition of inbound marketing is. So that’s what we do. I’m really excited about the show. John and I talk about hyper local all the time. It is the one thing that real estate professionals have going for them. That is absolutely something that truly, and Zillow and all those guys that you get so tired of hearing about. They can’t compete with you in this category. Not even close, this is why we probably have covered this before. John and I both believe that we’ve covered it before many times. That’s not going to stop us from covering it again today. And we’re pretty excited about the show.
Jonathon: That’s great. That’s great. Like I say we probably have touched this in previous episode folks, but it’s a really important subject. And we feel we needed to go into this in a little bit of debt. From when we were probably also going to let it bleed over into next week’s show as well. But we probably have another subject. Now we say Super Local. How would you define that Robert?
Robert: So hyper local to me is usually the way they actually sign up. It’s not how you, and I define it, how Google defines it. So how does Google define Hyper-Local? Hyper-Local for Google is usually centered on the place that you’re identifying where your business resides. So that’s what their definition of Hyper-Local is. Now it’s kind of complicated because it really greatly depends on the city or the place that you’re in, as to how would you go identify Hyper-Local. And I think what they’ve done is they’ve taken their search data and they’ve kind of correlated it to your zip code. And then they decide that anything, let’s say within 10 or 15 miles of that particular location is probably local. And that’s a loose definition, but when somebody does realtor in Van Nuys, which is the city I live in. They get Van Nuys hits and they also get Los Angeles hits because Van Nuys is part of Los Angeles County. And the entire city of Van Nuys is not actually five miles wide.
Robert: So you have a very small city that Google will absolutely serve up results in, but it will also serve you up results that are close to that city. And that’s part of Hyper-Local as well. And I think they’re doing it by zip code. I hope that answers the question.
Jonathon: And the actual way Google does this isn`t A. Would I be correct? They change this very often. They are very active in changing the parameters. Especially on their entire technology bit, especially when it comes to local search. Would I be correct about that?
Robert: Yes you would be. Now, just a quick housekeeping issue. I’m sorry for these listeners but I’m John, we’ve got a no show on your Facebook page as far as I can tell him that there were male right Facebook page.
Jonathon: I probably put it on the wrong page actually. Let`s get it on the right page.
Robert: Because I’d like to post it to my page too and I always just think so I’m going to cover it. Well John does this, so everybody get out your pens, your papers or if you’re in your car, put on your thinking cap. Cause I’m going to shed a whole bunch of information with you on Hyper-Local like in one real quick go here. So we’ve also been talking a lot about local here in general is the way that Hyper-Local results work. First of all, you don’t actually need a website in order to rank well in Hyper-Local. What you need is something called a Google my business page. A Google my business page is a similar thing to a Facebook marketing page except Google has done a much better job at building the page and segmenting categories for your business. You may not even know that Google does have something called the Google my business page. And if you don’t, you should go out and get one today.
Robert: The next thing is that Google looks to have what are called citations and connect them to your Google my business page. What’s a citation? Citation is actually a fancy way of Google saying they call anytime they find what they think is a credible listing of your business. On online directories, they call that a citation. A credible listing is going to be something like the yellow pages, the white pages, manta.com, and hot-frog. And there’s many, many, many, many others. If you could even get into it anymore. These are directories that have human beings that comb through the directory and make sure that the information and that the businesses that are listed in this directory are legitimate. So Google looks at all of these directories and looks at how many different times your business has been listed and then takes those. Those are what are called citation.
Robert: It just basically means it is a way to, for Google to decide if your business is authentic and reputable in terms of just simply having a listing on its own platform. The next thing that it looks at in terms of getting you in front of Hyper-Local searches. So why are you doing all this? Because I didn’t cover that and I should have. A Hyper-Local search result for Google is something like Los Angeles realtor. Anything where you attached a location to a broad category search that affects a profession, Google will serve up something called a Hyper-Local search result. Some of my categories are a little broad there and the way that I just explained that, but for the most part what I said is true. So you go like Los Angeles lawyer, Los Angeles realtor or Los Angeles real estate professional, Los Angeles, real estate consultant, Los Angeles, real estate contractor, all of those are Hyper-Local searches. And every single one you’re going to get. As a matter of fact, John, do you mind if I do a screen share just to show the people that are going to watch? So for those of you who are listening, if you want to see what this looks like exactly and I do suggest that you take the time to see it. And the hyper. So pull this out. Separate the search packet. Share my screen. All right.
Robert: Can you see my screen John?
Jonathon: Yes I can.
Robert: All right. So what are called Hyper-Local search packets change. This is a really broad one and Google can see that I’m in Los Angeles. But at that I’m in the city of Van Nuys. So down, here’s where I get my Hyper-Local search packets that are based on the hyper local search results that I’m mentioning to you. In other words, Los Angeles Realtor, this is serving me up, people that have Google my business pages in Los Angeles. And it’s doing so in a weird little search packet at the bottom of my screen as opposed to the top. Do something like Van Nuys realtor, which is the city I’m in. And now you get this, which is what a lot of more of you are going to be familiar with. So now we get Van Nuys realtor and we get Hyper-Local search packets.
Robert: You see my company right here. Even though I am not a real estate agent, I am doing so much better than anybody else in the city of Van Nuys. In terms of hyper local search marketing, it pretty much serves me up anytime you even vaguely mentioned real estate. Inbound real estate marketing pops up in the search results. Even though I am not a real estate company, so here I am, I get 700 visitors to my local business page, which I’m just going to show you. That’s this page right here. Okay, so a citation is when you put yourself in directories and the last thing that Google looks at, and this is why I’m doing so well in comparison to all my competitors, is they look at reviews. They look at how many reviews do you have on your local Hyper-Local, like on your my business page.
Robert: And I have 35, five star reviews. So getting reviews and then putting them on this page mean that you have a much, much better chance of doing well inside your hyper local search results. More importantly by far, this also bumps up the credibility. I want to stop sharing here. Give me one second everybody. All right. There we go. I stopped sharing. It’s also bumps up the credibility of other SEO campaigns that you are doing that might use Hyper-Local search terms such as. Let’s say you’re in Austin and you desire to be in front of the Keyword Austin, Best Austin realtor. That’s not a Hyper-Local search result, but it will potentially bump you up in your chance to rank for that term on some of the pages on your website. So doing Hyper-Local, which by the way is a category that Google really doesn’t even give Zillow or Trulia a chance to compete, in.
Robert: This is why we keep bringing it up over and over and over again. You want to have a website that focuses on a particular niche. You want to then have part of that strategy be this Hyper-Local stuff. The good news is that Hyper-Local is exactly what I just told you in terms of doing a campaign. It really is mostly just get the citations, get the reviews, have the page, and you’re kind of done. There’s other things you can do with the page. You could get more robust, but if you do those three things and you’re a real estate professional, I promise you you’re going to be out ahead of 98 to 99% of your competitors. You are going to be way out in front if you just do the things that I mentioned. John, do I have a minute more to pontificate on this?
Jonathon: Before we for our break yeah.
Robert: Okay, so the last thing is, is another thing that you can combine very easily into Hyper-Local is that Google now takes into account the location code. When you upload a video, so YouTube and Google are wildly connected. They look at the data on YouTube as almost being the same data as collected off Google, the search engine. So when you’re talking about producing a video, if you produce it in any of the cities that are within your Hyper-Local demographic, your video gets uploaded with the location code. This now actually like really hammers home the concept to Google that you’re a local business. And a local businessperson producing local content, that is to the benefit of the people searching for local categories. All of this means that you are going to like every single one of these little things creates a step in the direction of making you a Hyper-Local monster. Like I am my business is even getting recognized for searches it shouldn’t be getting recognized for. Because I’m so far ahead of everybody in Van Nuys. For producing content and doing, getting likes and shares and having people leave me reviews, nobody even comes close or touches me. Which is why by the way, I decided my hyper local strategy to focus on Van Nuys instead of Los Angeles. And Los Angeles I’d be a very, very small fish in a very big pond. Because of some of LA`s biggest marketing companies are already located there.
Robert: Anyway. This would be a strategy that you could also apply. Like if you live in a little teeny tiny city and you know there’s bigger brokerages near you, you would still focused on the little teeny tiny city because you will be a big fish in that particular pond. And then Google will start to serve up all sorts of search results for you because you’re not competing against whatever big brokerage that you probably might be in. And we should probably go to break. I’m sorry John I really went off on that one man.
Jonathon: I think we already lost a few of the audience. But more people are listening to this podcast, which is great. Thank you new listeners and viewers. So we touch stuff that you probably won’t hear in some of the other real estate podcast. And so if you have been listening to our guest scenario in our internal shows, you probably understand some of what we’ve discussed. We’ll be back in a few moments.
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Jonathon: We’re coming back. I think what another area is just a recap. So what I think Robert`s been saying is, it’s better to find a niche. And that niche it’s better to find that if you’re in a big city. Find a certain area in the city that you want to concentrate most of your activities. If you live in Denver and you think that you’re going to be able in search terms, be able to dominate the market of Denver. You’ll probably greatly deluding yourself. The chances of you being able to dominate the whole of Metropolitan Denver is basically zero. But if you select a particular area of Denver and you optimize your website for that particular area.
And then we got all these directories, which when it comes to large cities, regions or National SEO, being able to be found easily don’t really matter. When it comes to super local, these directories do matter. And having the content on your website that’s focused on a specific area or a specific target audience is really important. And then have mentioned video because like you said, that they know where you uploaded the video. They know where you are roughly for the device that uploaded it. Now the other area that I think has totally changed local SEO and why this is so important is smartphones. Because am I correct that when somebody does a search that Google knows where they’re doing the search. So they also know their technology can sense if the search is in their eyes around a local service. Or something that it’s dependent on location that will change the search results that are fed back to the searcher. Is that correct?
Robert: Yes. To my understanding that is correct.
Jonathon: And that has really changed the game dramatically over the past five to eight years. Has it not?
Robert: Oh God. Yeah. That’s why Google is gone to what’s called mobile first mobile first search results. Google really takes the data from cell phones, cell phone to offer up more data that is relevant to Google than actually PC`s do. This is interesting to me as a Marketer. Google is still using the same basic Google search technology where we go into the search browser and we can just ask anything. But among the permissions that you give Google when you use their search products on your phone. Is they are always asking for location which seems innocuous. But it’s really not identifying a really precise way what local really means, like how far do you drift away from where your core location is. They get to correlate all that data and take a very scientific view of what local actually means in the particular area that you’re in. Which is why I wasn’t able to give you a precise answer because I don’t think, I think that Google changes the parameters.
Robert: I think that they’re using their AI and other things to say, this is an average for your particular city, John, and so that’s what local means to you. And then it correlates into what you just asked. Then it changes the search results that you’re getting every time you put in a search like you do. I want a dry cleaner, so probably serves you up dry cleaners that are within, let’s call it five miles of the location that you’re doing the search from on your phone. Or what’s the best restaurant, you know, blah, blah.
Jonathon: Let`s get into specifics. Let`s look at Reno. Actually La Vegas is a 8 hour drive. So it is isolated. There is about half a dozen because of Lake Toe and Bucky and other high value areas. It’s a very competitive real estate market. This is dominated by three to four reasonably large brokerage or a small city. Could you have a super local campaign just on Reno itself.
Robert: Oh God yeah. You could and you should. Absolutely. Reno is a dream campaign.
Jonathon: When you are up against three to four local brokerages. This is not to be disparaging. But my analyzing of most of the local brokerages is they are not that aware of the power of local search.
Robert: I’m gonna share my screen here real quick. And for those who are just listeners, I’m going to verbally walk you through what I’m looking at when you get home and you want to see what we’re talking about, you’re going to go to the Mail Right YouTube channel. Or the inbound rem university podcast section. We’re posting the same videos guys. It’s not different videos. I’m just reposting stuff that John puts up. So you got Dickson Realty which has 21 reviews. And then you have an agent who’s also put down Dickson Realty with one single five star review because they, they made the mistake of putting in the broker’s name. So Dickson Realty has been listed twice because somebody didn’t understand how to do Hyper-Local.
So actually, even though that Dickson Realty is a major, probably the major brokerage in the area as people have not been educated as to how to do Hyper-Local. You have Dickson Realty listings, which confuses the hell out of Google. Confuses them terribly. That’s a negative for Dickson. And now you have some other people that are there. The only thing that confuses me is you do have somebody named Marshall Realty.
Jonathon: Yeah another local brokerage that’s very aggressive with their radio and online marketing. They use Boomtown. I don’t know what Dickson is using as their main platform. I think they went with a platform that is based in the east coast. They are very expensive. But I do Know Marshall’s uses Boomtown.
Robert: Is Dickson using Boston Logic?
Jonathon: They are using Boston Logic.
Robert: So Marshall Realty, so interestingly enough it’s lower than Dickson. And my guess on this is going to be, is that Dickson has probably has been around longer and what they did is they have more citations. So whoever’s in charge of the Marshall, because Marshall has 134 reviews and they’re almost all five stars. So social proof for Marshall is much better. Dickson is not your question, which is what happens when you have a local of a handful of super aggressive local companies dominating the search results.
My answer to that is that you do have some small guys like home gate realty with 19 five star reviews. I think that most of these guys, I think it would be very competitive to get onto your, to compete for hyper local search results, but it’s not impossible. All of these guys have definitely not at the very most they’ve hired a plug in place service for Hyper-Local. Like I forget there’s a whole bunch of them, but they just go out and do listings for you and that’s it. But they’re really not actually employing a set strategy or paying too much attention to Hyper-Local. You could still get in here if you really wanted to.
Robert: In the meantime, just having a good with a number of citations will probably get you onto the first page of listings right away with these other guys.
Jonathon: You would consider that? Just getting the citations from these directories sorted out would have that power of event. You honestly believe that Robert?
Robert: I do. Because all these guys is probably using is service. Hold on here, hyper local directory service. Like local ease or something like that.
Jonathon: When I was doing a bit of what you do for general clients not specifically for real estate. I used a service called Moss. They offer a service that costs about $100 per year. The reason why we are using the service is important folks. I am sure Robert will tell us a little more about this. Is that when you get a form and you can fill out all the details of your local business and then it pushes it to all these directories. And that make sure hopefully that all the information is the same on all these directory sites. Because if Google sees differences, then it starts to worry about are you a legit business? Is there, could there be some problems with this business? Am I correct about that, Robert?
Robert: You are. And some of those services are Yex and Bright Local. They’re all highly qualified and they all do the same thing. They all do the same thing and I’ll tell you one of the main differences. Most of these guys just use the same big directories. And if you’re up against a low competition area, that’s fine. If you’re talking about Reno, like the example that we’re looking at, because John was absolutely correct for a very small area, wildly competitive with how incredibly competitive, how many real estate companies they are, how aggressive they seem to be on local.
Most of the markets that I look at don’t have this kind of local competition in any way, shape or form, so this is really competitive. This what we’re looking at. And so like Yex and Bright Local they’re not going to be there. They would put you on the map, but they’re not going to get you on the first page. What you’d have to do is get clever about finding some high quality local directories. And for that you probably have to hire a consultant that knows what they are doing. Like somebody that actually had an understanding of how hyper local work.
Robert: And then we’d find some high quality directories physically located in Nevada. And then get you listed there because that to Google is much more authoritative than all these broad category directories like the yellow pages and stuff.
Jonathon: I am actually going to disagree with you a little bit there. I think you can totally fond an expert. Robert is totally legit, but we are being very broad here. There’s a lot of people that are a bit dicey when it comes to local SEO. To be quite truthful about it folks. If you want some recommendations you can touch base with me or Robert and I’m sure even we can help you and put in the right direction. I know one guy, but also the really good people tend to be very expensive. And for our particular audience, Robert, they’re probably going to be, I’ve got a friend who does very large SEO. But unless you put him on a six month free time at $3,000 a month, he ain’t going to be doing any work for you. So what I suggest folks, you look at something like Moss, and I think its 120 and it’s not that difficult to use.
Jonathon: And then you do little bit of your own research in some ways. I totally agree Robert. I think it’s just the price point. Robert, is that do the Moss. Because I think it’s still the reputable company and their services are still the cheapest that gets you results and then do some research. When you understand the fundamentals while you listens to this podcast, do some research for yourself. Is then looking for some of these more local directories that Robert just pointed out. And you’re probably gonna have to do a manual go to and they have a form and you are going to have to fill it in. With exactly the same information that you put into Moss and by doing like three or four those, you probably named start getting some results. What do you think Robert?
Robert: I agree. I’m sorry guys. Once again, John is, I actually do agree with John. He is right. You need a real qualified professional. You should reach out to John. He’s probably got a few more contacts than I do. Because if it’s real state and its hyper local and you’ve got to start talking to me, I probably, I’m going to get weird about it. That’s just being transparent because I’m going to say I don’t know that I know anybody as good as me. And then I’m going to, it’s going to feel like I’m pitching for my services and I don’t want to do that to call John. Definitely messaged on this one if you need some help. But I am so he’s right there and you should start small. Go with Moss are anybody that’s inexpensive. I love the Moss recommendation because both John and I and almost everybody else inside SEO knows that they are attempting to build a very white hat kind of service. This just means they’re going to try hard not to steer you in the right direction. You’re not going to be ripped off. You might not get the very best result for your money. But then again, he didn’t have to call and vet 10 or 15 different people. So for the money and the time and the cost savings. I totally buy into the Moss recommendation.
Jonathon: I am going to wrap up the podcast. It’s obvious that we can have to discuss this next week actually. Where we give like ABCD and if you do these things you probably get a good result. And I think it’s been a useful discussion. I think we probably mystified a few of our listeners and viewers. But come back next week folks and we’re going to clarify things a bit more. A bit more meat on the carcass. That`s a horrible saying. Robert, how can people find out more about you and what you’re up to?
Robert: Hey guys you can go to inboundrem.com or you can go to YouTube and go forward slash inboundrem or Facebook same thing. Robert, Edward, Michael, I hope that you, if you want to learn anything about real estate marketing and you want to learn something about a specific company that you’re thinking of using, I hope you will check out my website because it’s there to save you each time and money.
Jonathon: And for me, Robert’s got fantastic resources on his website and he’s been involved in this industry for a number of years. Getting great results for people. If you want to find out more about Mail Right go to the website, we’ve got all the previous podcasts. It’s a great education, got some great expert interviews. And if you want me to do a personal walk through of the Male Right system and show you the real power of the system, you can do that by going to the about us page and you can book a time and day that works for you. And we do it over zoom and I’ll show you how the Male Right system works. We’ll see in next week where we’ll be offering some great advice for you to get the results for yourself and your family in 2019. Be seeing you soon. Bye