Independent Brokers Network Meeting: SEM vs SEO-Do You Have Money Or Time?

The IBNMarin, Independent Brokers Network meeting held Tuesday June 3, hosted guest speaker Steven Schneiderman the Online Sales Manager for the San Francisco Chronicle’s website SFgate.com. MC. for IBN, the indispensable Frank Sunshine, Sunshine Realty and Marketing, did another stellar job of bringing a speaker and topic of importance to attendees.

Steven’s speech was compelling as he explained Search Engine Marketing and search from a beginner’s perspective, explained and identified the value of a SEM campaign, and he provided a solid base for people to understand how Google, Yahoo, MSN, and Ask.com are the driving forces behind today’s online search marketplace.

While bringing forward some interesting and compelling reasons why a Realtor or broker would want to adopt a pay per click program, a case can be built for establishing an organic program utilizing a blog in conjunction with a pay per click campaign.

SFGate.com

1. SFgate.com: the website for the San Francisco Chronicle in fact acts more like a blog due to the fresh content placed on the site (writers’ articles) on an everyday basis

2. SFgate.com: is ranked by Alexa.com 836 most trafficked website in the world, ranked #229 in the US, 17% of it’s traffic is global with high rankings in Uk, Canada, India, and Germany

3. Pay per click: advertising campaigns on SFgate.com will provide any Realtor in the Bay Area or any Realtor looking to do business in the Bay Area from any location in the world another piece to a well rounded marketing campaign

SEM Positives

1. Only Guaranteed Method: to top of page placement if you are willing to spend the money
2. Pay: only when your ad is clicked
3. Tracking: ability to track your activity
4. Adjust: you can adjust your spending to drive “conversions” by choosing a higher priced placement or lower your costs by choosing a lower per click cost and placement
5. Proxy Technology: Steven’s terminology for how you can identify keyword popularity, keyword activity, measure your activity and set a strategy to convert clicks to sales

Why SEM vs Blogs For A Realtor?

1. Technology: the #1 hurdle to blogging is the technology learning curve and the time it takes to understand. Realtors who do not have the commitment fail at blogging
2. Writing: Realtors that do not write well will have a difficult time producing compelling content that would attract readers
3. Time: Realtors who do not make time to write 3-5 days per week will not blog effectively
4. Social Network: The #2 reason behind successful blogs is social networking within the blogosphere. If a Realtor is unwilling to spend time commenting on other Real estate blogs and building online relationships, they will fail to blog successfully
5. Commitment: Blogging is a commitment of time, energy, innovation, and pride. If a Realtor is unwilling to make the commitment they are harming their own reputation