Blogging brings real traffic - A case study for REW Bloggers

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Blogging brings real traffic

Earlier today, we were having a discussion on the forum about using tags in your blog and it was stated by one of the members that we should care more about the SEO benefits of our blogs vs. the actual benefit to our readers because this Realtor (and I quote) was "not convinced the general public is reading these things".

I already knew better and have been teaching bloggers and webmasters for years to always write and construct your content first and foremost for the benefit of the reader. Only after you have made sure that your writing is as good as it can be, go back and adjust where you can (without sacrificing quality) and tune for SEO. This btw mainly means massaging your titles and headings a bit to make sure they contain some elements of your target phrases. (But remember it's not worth losing readability just to get a keyword in there.) Alright this is supposed to be a case study, so I'll stop tooting my own horn and get to the point.

Blogging Case Study

On August 30th, 2006 (almost one year ago) I posted a blog article about the Northwest MLS and how I felt they were bullying one of their own members (who also happened to be a member of the Real Estate Webmasters Forum). To date, this article has been read by 9375 unique visitors. I am going to use this blog post, and the Google Analytics data from my blog, to make a demonstration to all of those real estate bloggers who think that the only people that ever see our REW Blogs are other members and Realtors.

The blog post in question is located at: http://www.realestatewebmasters.com/blogs/morgan-carey/58/show/ for anyone who would like to reference it.

And now for the data!

Google Analytics Data:

Total Unique Visitors
"NWMLS" - 1658 unique visitors
Combined phrases containing "NWMLS" (328 different phrases) - 2131 unique visitors
"Northwest MLS" - 338 unique visitors
Combined Phrases containing "Northwest MLS" (197 different phrases) - 664 unique visitors

These figures represent a grand total of 2795 unique visitors directly from Google searches and I have not even gone all that deep into the referring data - there are quite possibly this many more visitations brought into the blog post from other phrases that - quite frankly - I didn't even need to get into because just these numbers alone prove my point.

Also keep in mind that these figures only reflect traffic from the Google search engine, there are still many more visitations that have come by way of Yahoo, MSN and other search engines.

So what does this mean? Well let's crunch some numbers

With a total of 9375 unique visitors, just the Google traffic from 2 phrases (and their variations and long tails which total 2795) we can safely assume that 29.8% of the traffic (and this is DRASTICALLY UNDER CALCULATING) has been brought to the blog post directly from relevant searches. If I had to estimate or guess, I would say that in reality no less than 50% of traffic that reads your REW Blog each time you post is a potential customer that was actually interested in what you had to say about some relevant subject and NOT just another member of Real Estate Webmasters that is a Realtor looking for blogs to comment on.

The moral of the story

Writing great blog posts that are properly (not overly) optimized, focusing on the subject matter and your intended audience, will bring you a TON of relevant search engine traffic - and we all know that relevant traffic means potential customers - and customers mean commissions, right?

I hope this case study has inspired you to approach your topic selection (hopefully using blogalytics) with the goal of providing the most relevant and insightful content possible, realizing that it isn't just your fellow real estate bloggers that will be reading it.

So what are you waiting for - GET BLOGGING!

 

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Ryan Ward

Hmm, you mean people still don't understand that consumers read blogs? Let's see...I received and closed a listing from a blog post I wrote recommending that sellers remove wallpaper...I got another listing from someone who read a blog post about about searching for homes by school districts - and a buyer. The sum total in dollars when the listing sells and they buy up along with the other sold listing and other buyer will be in the neighborhood of $40,000 GCI. I would like to say that I hope no one else figures it out, but, there is plenty of business available for those of us who figure out how to write content for the consumers that conveys that we are experts at what we do. Along with these sales, buyers and listings, I have received phone calls from newspaper and magazine reporters, agents from other parts of the country and consumers for information about market statistics, tax assesment help, contract questions and more. This is real and I'm not even what I would consider a great writer. As I improve, I expect this to increase and as the rest of the world begins to learn more about obtaining information online, it should improve even more! There is one caveat to making blogging useful and I read often that it's not important - SEO. While you don't want to write for search engines, your blogging platform MUST rank high enough in the search engines for readers to find it. This is where an REW blog can help!

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