You're listening to the “REI Marketing Nerds” podcast, the leading resource for real estate investors who want to dominate their market online. Dan Barrett is the founder of AdWords Nerds, a high-tech digital agency, focusing exclusively on helping real estate investors like you get more leads and deals online, outsmart your competition, and live a freer, more awesome life. And, now, your host, Dan Barrett.
Dan: All right, hello everybody, and welcome to this week's episode of the REI Marketing Nerds podcast. As always, this is Daniel Barrett here from AdWordsNerds.com. How are you? Hope you are having an awesome week. [00:55.5]
I have been diving deep into the world of online marketing for real estate investors, and then SEO for real estate investors and PPC, and I don't know, every now and then, I go through a period with the industry. I'm sure you're the same with real estate where it's like, I'll get a little bored. I'm a little kind of stuck in my ways. Things are a little routine, and then I start to discover new things or things start to change up, and that makes it fun and interesting again. I'm deep in the fun and interesting phase, which is always a great place to be.
But today I wanted to talk to you about content marketing for real estate investors. This is a really important topic because most investors out there today have a blog or they have some videos on YouTube. They're putting something on social media. They're doing some form of content marketing. Maybe if you are working with a company like InvestorCarrot. You might have a blog, kind of an automated populating blog. You're using their service or maybe you’re buying blog posts from a copywriter. You're doing something. Most investors are doing something. [02:13.6]
But over and over and over again, I see real estate investors make a couple critical mistakes when it comes to content marketing and the result of that is that they spend money, they spend time, they spend effort, and they don't really get anything for it. You end up with not a whole lot to show for all of those blog posts and all that effort that you put in. Today, I'm going to talk about some of the critical mistakes that investors make with content marketing and exactly what to do about it.
Let's get started, first of all, by just defining really quickly what content marketing is. When I'm talking about content marketing, I mean you're putting some sort of regular content on your website, whether it's a blog post or some kind of in-depth guide, with the goal of either generating leads or traffic from that piece of content. Right? [03:09.6]
If it's some kind of opt-in offer a PDF or a booklet or something like that, you're going to generate leads from that. If it's a blog post or a page, something that you're updating with a bunch of content or information, generally, you're looking for Google to pick that up and drive traffic your way.
For the purposes of this podcast, specifically, I'm going to focus on content marketing for the purposes of driving traffic, because you know I do search engine optimization, SEO for real estate investors every single day. We do Google Ads for investors every single day. Generating traffic and leads from that traffic is really what I do, so that's what I'm going to focus on. [03:53.6]
Again, content marketing for the purposes of our conversation, you're putting content, blog posts, pages, videos, whatever, on your website for the purpose of driving traffic from Google or Bing or whatever, Ask Jeeves or whatever, whatever people are using, DuckDuckGo.
All right, so that's what content marketing is. Let's talk about where people go wrong, and typically, investors are going to go wrong right at the beginning, and that has to do with understanding why they are creating content. There are many reasons that creating content for your website is important and, back in the day, regularly creating content so that the website was frequently updated was relatively important, but it was relatively important in terms of ranking well in Google.
But I would argue that over time, this has become less and less important, and really creating content has to come after an understanding of what your overall strategy is. [05:02.1]
For SEO, that's really talking about your keyword strategy. What are you targeting with this content? Why are you targeting that keyword? Right? Why are you targeting it? Are you targeting it because you don't have any other pages on the website that might rank for that keyword? Are you targeting it because your ranking okay for it, but you want to improve? Are you targeting it because it's a broader piece of a topic that you want to rank for?
There are a lot of different ways to approach the SEO problem with content marketing, and if you don't know why you are building a specific piece of content, you are going to create content essentially just for the purpose of creating content and it actually isn't worth very much to you to do that. If you got to the average real estate investor blog, they tend to have blog post after blog posts that are like10 ways to sell your house fast and Houston or nine ways to blah-blah-blah, and they're using the same keywords over and over and over again. [06:11.7]
Now, what that does is it actually confuses Google and hurts your rankings, because if you say, Okay, I want Google to rank my website for “sell my house fast,” really only one page is going to rank for that, and if you have dozens of pieces of content that are all targeting that exact same keyword, Google is not going to really understand which page is the primary one and which page it should rank, so kind of just splits up its ranking power or its ranking equity, or whatever you want to call it, between all those pages, right?
You wouldn't generally want to put your best content on a single page, and then if you were using content to rank that page, you want to be targeting sort of subtopics within that overall topic. [07:05.8]
You really have to understand, Okay, here are my primary topics. Here are the subtopics. Here are the different keywords and here's how I'm going to divide those keywords between many pieces of content. Here's how they're going to interlink to one another. Here's how they're organized in a hierarchy. All that stuff you figure out when you build your initial keyword strategy, and if you're not doing that, you're essentially just throwing darts at a dartboard, except that every time you throw a dart, all your other darts become less accurate, which is not a metaphor that makes sense. Don't worry about it.
But essentially the thing you want to remember is creating content without a coherent strategy dilutes the entire power of the website, so you have to be really careful with this kind of stuff. You don't want to just blog willy-nilly. [07:59.6]
All right, so that's mistake number one. Mistake number two is writing Thin content. This is probably the most common thing that I see when I look at real estate investor blogs. It is just post after post after post of Thin content, by which I mean not a lot of words, not a lot of particular depth to the topic being covered, not really utilizing images or graphics in any way, not really linking out to other valuable resources, just not a lot of effort put into the content in general.
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If you think of Google, it has essentially an engine that it's there to decide, Okay, for any given searcher, I want to match them with the best possible resource. It becomes clear that your job, if you want to rank for a keyword, the way you rank for it is by creating the best possible resource. That's how you do it. Obviously, there's more. There's more to it than that. You’ve got links and everything. Technical SEO, all that stuff, is in play. But largely if you make the best possible thing, Google will reward.
What this means is that all of these blog posts that are 300 words long about “sell my house fast” are no different than the thousands upon thousands of other blog posts that are all 300 words about selling your house fast. [10:05.6]
If you make thin content, you can't really expect that content to rank, and therefore, creating tons and tons and tons of thin content doesn't really get you anywhere at all, which is why for the vast majority of real estate investing websites, there's exactly one page that ranks for anything, if they rank at all, and that's the homepage. It's almost never a blog post and that's because mostly the blog posts that we're creating in this industry just aren't worth that much.
Then, finally, the third kind of biggest problem, the biggest mistake that I see investors making in content marketing is not understanding the criteria for success, and here's what I mean by that. If you go into your local markets, so let's say you're in whatever, Los Angeles, and you type in a keyword that you want to rank for. Let's say, it's “sell house in divorce” or something, okay? You put that keyword out there. You're going to see what Google is ranking in that market for that keyword. [11:13.5]
Now, when you look at the top three, top three results, organic results for “sell a house in divorce in Los Angeles”, right? Those top three results are your competition. You want to be ranked higher than them. Therefore you have to do better than them, right? That's your competition.
Now, when you open those pages, what is Google ranking? What are they prioritizing? How many words are those articles? What kinds of articles are they? Are they asking questions? Are they in-depth guides? Are they roundups of various experts? Are they directories of resources? What are they? Do they have videos? Do they have graphics? Are they well optimized on the page or not? [12:04.4]
Are they multiple pages sort of LinkedIn in a sort of table of contents or are they all one single piece of content, right? How many links do they have? And not only how many links do those pages have, but how quickly are they getting new links every month?
And all this stuff is really important to understand, because if you don't think you can do better, if you can't write, for example, a longer piece of content or a more in-depth piece of content, or a more valuable piece of content or a piece of content that uses video or a piece of content that uses graphics, or a piece of content that you're going to send links to, and not just send links to, but send more links each month than your competition is, if you can't do that stuff, you're not going to rank. [13:00.0]
If you're not going to rank, if the purpose of the content is to get traffic and you're not going to be able to rank it, why write it? Right? If that's the goal and you can't get there or you're not willing to get there, then why do it?
Now, of course, you can create content to benefit your clients, the sellers in this case. You can create content to position yourself as authority. There are other goals we might create content for, but if the purpose is to generate traffic, we have to understand what the criteria for success is, and if that's ranking, we need to understand what our competition is doing to rank and be sure we can do better. [13:51.5]
When you combine these mistakes together, okay, not having a clear strategy for what we want to rank for upfront, not understanding that we need to create deep content, not thin content, and then three, not understanding what the criteria for success even are and what our competitors are doing, generally, when you combine those things together, you get what content marketing looks for investors right now, which is a lot of thin content thrown out there with no particular strategy or goal in mind that isn't ranking for anything, end even worse gets read by nobody.
Here's my thing. I love content marketing. Clearly, I do SEO for real estate investors every day. I do content marketing for my clients. I think that content marketing is super valuable, but the thing is, if it's not going to get you the result, it's just an expense and not a benefit. Right? [14:54.7]
If I am not going to invest what I need to, and it doesn't need to be money, it could be time or effort or whatever, but if I'm not going to invest what I need to invest in order to get the benefit, it is only a drawback to me. It is only a problem for the business. It is not a benefit and you need to understand that before you go down this path.
Now, that said, there is huge opportunity in real estate investing for smart investors to do really good content marketing. So few people in our industry are doing a decent job of this. That doing it well is an immediate differentiator in every market in the United States. I'm not saying not to do it. I'm just saying understand, once you have the bandwidth for it, understand what you have the resources to invest in it, understand what it's going to take, and then jump into that with clear eyes. [15:57.1]
If you can do that, then I think you are going to have massive success because, I'll tell you what—content marketing is not only good for traffic, is not only good for generating leads, [but] it's incredible for generating long-term goodwill and authority in your market, and that, my friends, is what it's going to take in the next 10 years to truly be successful as a real estate investor in your market.
I hope that makes sense and, look, if you would like to ask questions about this topic or get into strategy or anything, you should go to our Facebook group by going to AdWordsNerds.com/Group. Totally free to join, tons of great investors in there. Hey, if you just want to talk to somebody about your market and your strategy specifically, you could talk to someone on my team at AdWordsNerds.com/Strategy. Happy to sit down with you and build the custom strategy. [17:01.4]
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