Have you ever played the game Where’s Waldo? I always think of search engines when I see a child playing Where’s Waldo. Your website is much like the small Waldo character out there in the world wide web. People are trying to find your site but can’t see the forest for the trees. In some cases, your website may not even be on the page if it is not listed by the search engines. Submitting your website to the search engines, specifically google and yahoo, is very important and it is easy and free. Those two search engines cover over half of all client searches on the internet. Some Real Estate Website Companies like PropertyMinder, Inc.do this for you at no extra cost. But being in the search engines is only a small part of the search engine optimization equation. Off site links, like business directories, that point back at your website are very important too. Today, I’d like to tell you the three directory services I like to use. Think of this as three large people on our Where’s Waldo page that are pointing at Waldo.
My first choice is Google. Being listed in Google’s Local Business Center is easy to do, but not easy to find. When searching for terms in Google such as ‘Realtor Milpitas’, you will see the regular listings that you always do, but you will also see a small map and a small list of Realtors that are listed in Google’s business center. Clicking on these will take you directly to those Realtor’s websites. Getting into this directory means that you have to create a free Google account and add yourself in. Google will verify you via a phone call or post card. Once verified, you usually show up in a couple of days to a week. This listing is editable so you will be able to make changes later if any of your information needs updating.
My second choice is Yahoo. Yahoo’s directory comes up under the same parameters as Google’s. Go to Yahoo and type in ‘Realtor Milpitas’ and again, the Yahoo Local directory shows up with a list of Realtors. When you click on these records, you go to the Realtor’s Yahoo Local page where you can read up on any testimonials that the Realtor’s clients and associates may have put in. You also have a link that will get you to the Realtor’s website. Getting into Yahoo’s directory is a bit easier than Google’s. Yahoo puts up an easy to see “know something we’re missing?” statement that will allow you to create a Yahoo account and get your business in there. Yahoo takes a few days to get you listed. Your listing here is also editable in case you need to make changes later.
My third choice is a directory, but of individuals as opposed to businesses. I like LinkedIn. You can create a free account of yourself in a business, experience and education sense. In your profile, you can add three web addresses. Here is my own little extra that I like to do. With linked in, they label these addresses as “work”, “personal” or a few things, but if you put in “other” it will allow you to create your own label for your website so that you can have www.mywebsite.com be the hotlink term that goes back to your website as opposed to just the words “personal website”. Once listed here, you can link up with friends, associates and past co-workers. LinkedIn is a very good business/social networking directory service.
All three of these are free to use. LinkedIn has some paid extras you can participate in if you so choose, but my own suggestion is try the free for a while and see what you think. Listing yourself in these and other directories will assist your website’s placement in the search engines. Also, having more pointers showing the way to your site is as important as having signs pointing the way to your open house. It’s great free exposure. Why didn’t you do it before now? Maybe because you didn’t know or didn’t realize it was free. So I say to you now, “Realtor, list thyself”.
For those real estate agents with their own website or for those of you who want a firm understanding and a person that will hold you accountable to the principles above, PropertyMinder offers the TECH-MAR Clinic. Five hour long Webinars geared towards helping you to making your website exist and to get it producing leads for you and turning you into one of PropertyMinder’s many success stories.