Fire the search engine optimizer - get active on Facebook

by Suresh Srinivasan on Jun 06, 2011

Facebook marketing can help real estate agents gain serious search engine rank

A recent SEOMoz study looked to see if social media had any impact on a website’s search engine rank. The results were surprising. The number of Facebook ‘comments/likes/shares’ someone gets seems to directly impact their Google rank.

The study looked at results across 10,000 Google searches and compared the top 30 ranked sites to see what they had in common vs. the lower ranking sites. The common denominator? Over 60 percent of the high ranking sites had Facebook comments/likes/shares!

seo-rank

ReachFactor ran its own test of this hypothesis since we power Facebook pages for thousands of real estate agents. ReachFactor looked across 2,000 clients and compared only those who had a similar number of listings and client reviews (to avoid skewing results).
We then compared the search engine ranking for those who used Facebook actively vs. those who didn’t. We found ample evidence to corroborate the SEOMoz study.

Let’s take a look at how this works…

auto-posts

Here are snippets of wall posts from the Facebook page of one client. You notice our application automatically shares into Facebook a status update about every new listing – announced when it first hits the market, then also when the price changes. ReachFactor also sends into Facebook an update immediately when she gets a new review from a client.

But notice how she socializes the news (see the picture below). The agent ‘liked’ her own listing update which broadcast the news to her 145 Facebook fans. It gave them a quick ‘heads up’ that there was a recent price change.

facebook-gets-wall-posts

Notice then that Zak, one of her fans, commented on the same post. When Zak does this, it broadcasts his comment, along with the agent’s original post to all of the agent’s fans AND Zak’s Facebook friends. Zak just sent a broadcast about this real estate agent to his 130 friends (Facebook says that on average, people have 130 friends on Facebook). The two likes on the past client reviews (from the earlier picture above) just promoted the agent’s service history to a few hundred more people.

What seems to be happening is that these ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ are links saying “hey, I like this information and think it’s important. Go check it out.” This is a social indicator that’s factoring into Google’s algorithm.

What kind of content gets likes/shares/comments?

To get social interactivity you want to promote things on Facebook that are heartfelt, touching and warm – or are about timely, bargain-hunter information. Listings and past client reviews are perfect content sources. You just need to be diligent about sharing your content properly.

For example, if you are making status updates about a listing, be sure to put up individual property pages inside Facebook and make your own editorial comments about the listing. When you create your wall posts you want to give fans the ability to see what you’ve posted about without clicking out of Facebook. People in Facebook don’t want to click out. The goal is comments, likes & shares – we don’t want to lose them.

facebook-listings-page

So what has this done for our client’s search engine ranking? See below..

Search phrase & rank position
top sunset utah real estate agent — #1, #2, #4, #9
top sunset utah realtor — #1, #2, #5, #6
sunset utah real estate reviews — #1, #6
sunset utah realtor reviews — #9, #10
lori fleming realtor reviews — #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #7, #8
recommend sunset utah realtor — #3, #4, #8
recommend sunset utah real estate agent — #1, #2, #7, #10
utah real estate agent reviews — #6, #7

The agents who didn’t use Facebook had just a few appearances in Google, mostly just for their own personal name.

If you’ve struggled with search engine optimization or worry about the lack of leads from the Web, get going with Facebook immediately. It’s really not that difficult to stimulate likes/comments/shares and ReachFactor’s Facebook apps help you do this without spamming or alienating your fans.

If you’d like a demo please contact us.

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