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SEO Process DiagramYour direct relationships with corporate clients and RMCs are valuable business sources – but it’s no secret that prospects often initiate searches for new products and services online. Without a good SEO strategy in your marketing plan, you could lose potential B2B and B2C opportunities to competitors with better SEO planning.

New corporate clients, RMCs and relocating families should easily find your relocation department services online. But they may not be visible or distinct enough within your real estate brokerage website to capture their attention. Search Engine Optimization is a discipline designed to achieve high placement of your website within search engine page rankings. The higher your site ranks on the search results page, the greater the probability that prospects will click through to visit your site.

While technical aspects of SEO protocol are outside this article’s scope, do consider aligning website content and SEO strategies as part of an overall marketing plan. Peter Di Salvo, Director of Member Relations for RISMedia’s Real Estate Information Network (RREIN), answers a few fundamental questions about how Relocation Directors can boost their departments’ online presence.

Peg Guinta: Are there basic techniques that can increase Relocation Department website traffic from prospective new clients?

Peter Di Salvo: The first place to start is to be sure there is a relocation area or tab on the brokerage’s website. This is where your related services, resources and stories will reside. The next thing is to add good content regularly.  Many sites mention relocation on their website, but often it’s just a short paragraph or a static page that’s not been recently updated.

After adding content that describes all your services offered for each targeted audience, add articles, stories and other newsworthy items to bring dimension and resource value to your site. Commit to regularly updating your material to encourage ongoing search interest to maintain credibility and build branding.

Work with your web developer to coordinate the technical processes needed for creating an area that can be regularly updated.

PG: What are the best types of topics to cover and articles to include?

PD: The best items to feature within the relocation department site area are articles that provide information value to your targeted corporate audience, B2B customers and consumers. Draw sellers’ interest with articles about improving exterior curb appeal or staging interior spaces to maximize home-sale success. Attract buyers to your site with stories playing up the advantages of living in your town or regional events and activities. Relocation professionals may be enticed by articles discussing the advantages of paid rental assistance programs or periodic policy evaluations.

Consider distinct sections within the relocation area on the site for your different prospect groups, each displaying respective services and interest features. Corporate prospects will be interested in destination services, home sale / inventory management and relocation policy development offerings. Incoming buyers will need your regional cost information and school report data, while relocating sellers will seek marketing analysis and sale strategy capabilities. An overall resource section could hold moving checklists, community profiles, ‘Buy and Sell Smart’ guides or other topical articles.

Be sure to rotate topics to keep repeat traffic coming back to your site once prospects have found it. They may not make contact with your firm initially, but research shows that if your material stays relevant, you will be top of mind when it’s time to make contact.

PG: Any other suggestions or tips that can be put to immediate use?

PD: Links from other sites have always been very important in enhancing SEO. Popular reputable, related sites linking into your site are best. You want good, honest, reliable links; perhaps you work with a bank, mortgage lender, home inspector or builder who is willing to place a link to their site at yours. These are ideal and mutually beneficial methods that will increase your visibility as well as your business partners.

Internal links help too. Another idea is to share links from other areas of your main website that are pertinent to relocation department business activities. For example, if there are “buyer” and “seller” areas on the main brokerage site holding information or articles regarding purchase and sale processes you could hyperlink one or two articles back to the relocation area.

Don’t forget the power of popular social media. If you don’t have access to edit your web pages or if it’s difficult to update your website consider using a Facebook page, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and YouTube to promote your relocation news and services. Social media falls into the “link” category as well. Add social media share buttons to your website area to allow visitors to easily place your articles on their own social media sites, further promoting your brand within their own sphere. If you post on your own social media sites and contribute to other social media sites or blogs and have those posts refer back to your own relocation site pages, those links from the outside world to your site will help increase your SEO “juice” to some degree.

SEO should not be overlooked as it can be an incredibly valuable marketing tool and economical method to increase your relocation department’s online visibility to potential new business streams.