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Kick the Pay Per Click Habit: 7 Reasons Why Real Estate Blogging Is Better For Your Business

Time-or-moneyOur goal here at the Tomato is to educate Real Estate Professionals on the fine art of successful business blogging.

Now that our Active Vine of Blogging Clients has grown well past the 100 mark, it's obvious we have an army of savvy real estate bloggers.

In an effort to bring real, first hand knowledge to our readers, we will be collaborating with the Tomato Bloggers in the form of a weekly post.  Monday's articles are now the result of the collective writings of our clients around a Blogging Advice Topic that we discuss in a private forum.

This weeks topic:
What Makes Real Estate Blogging Better Than Pay-Per-Click Campaigns?

1. Longevity
Online Presence and Self Preservation

Pay-Per-Click advertising is an effective traffic generator while you are paying, but as soon as you stop paying, the traffic ceases, as does your increased presence online.  There is a direct correlation between money spent and traffic to your site.  This creates an addiction that is hard to break.

By developing a collection of news worthy blog articles, and in turn, establishing yourself as an authority in the search engines, you will retain search engine traffic for as long as the topics you have blogged about remain relevant. 

With Pay-Per-Click, the only writing you get to do is checks.  With blogging  you are actually creating a chronicle of your career in real estate.  What were you thinking about back in February 2007?

2. Long Tail
The Strategy of Being Found for the Less Common Terms and Phrases

Every article you write is not only a deposit into the bank of longevity, but also a deposit into the bank of keyword combinations for which you will continue to be found in the Search Engines. 

Taking the time to develop an article around a topic generates combinations of keywords far beyond the scope of a pay-per-click campaign.  One article might be written around one set of keywords, and yet generates dozens of combinations because of the association of terms throughout the text.

With PPC, you are limited to your imagination, foresight, term suggestion tools and your budget.

Bank-of-keywords3. Clickability
Where Do You Look for the Best Results to Your Searches?

Studies show that more people are clicking as much as 6 times more on the organic sites rather than the PPC results. Bottom line, if you are not achieving organic placement, and stuck paying for sponsored placement, you are missing out on the majority of your potential traffic.

4. Trust
Transparency vs. Anonymity and the Perception of Value

Your audience understands the difference between an advertised placement and an organic result in the search engines.  This audience is bound to trust you more upon visit to your site if they feel that you have earned your way to the tops of the charts through hard work, dedication and focus.

The experience your visitor receives upon the visit only adds to the trust factor.  A well organized, passionate blog, dedicated to the education of your visitor accelerates the "Speed of Trust" in building a relationship with a potential client.

Pay-Per-Click leads are most commonly generated by sending a visitor to a landing page or a lead generation form.  The fast acquisition of a lead this way, although efficient, usually has you dealing with someone who still wants to maintain their anonymity.  Because there was no relationship before the contact, it can take months of forced incubation to get develop the trust you'll need to convert the lead.

Blogging is the relationship, and the relationship is the lead generator.

5. Relevance
Did Your Audience Find You to be the Result They Were Looking For?

Google Ad Words is becoming more proficient at posting ads in search results pages (SERPs) where the purchased campaigns are marginally relevant.  The idea is to create more exposure, generating more clicks for their clients.  The only challenge is that the ads that are appearing in the sidebars of search results pages are less and less relevant to the actual search.

When you blog about a topic, you are writing ‘around’ the subject.  When a less popular search is performed and your articles are a top result, it is generally because you are ‘spot on’ relevant.

6. Cost
Time vs. Money

The act of blogging is free.  Sure, an investment is generally made for any site’s design and functionality, as well as for the hosting and service.  But the future investment is strictly made in time.  The longer you blog and the more articles you create, the more valuable your site becomes.

The cost of a Pay-Per-Click campaigns depends on your budget  Minimum budgets start in the $100s per month, heavy campaigns run into the tens of thousands.  However, this cost is never ending, and in most cases always climbing per keyword phrase.

Successfullymarketyourself 7. Internet Marketing Skills
What Does Your Online Presence Tell Your Potential Client?

A Pay-Per-Click campaign is an easy way into the search engines.  Anyone with a budget can swing it.

Blogging takes discipline, skill, focus, dedication, and savvy.  The huge reach your blog has in the search engines is a testament to your current and future clients that you understand and have what it takes to be a master online marketer.  If you have successfully marketed yourself, the impression is that you can do the same for their home.

Lead Quality was one of the topics that came up again and again in our forum discussion, and I feel that it was weaved into the above nicely, but it would be a shame to have left out this quote by Tracey Thomas:

A pay per click lead is like finding a wallet in the parking lot; just a name and contact info.

A blogging lead is like a referral. The customer feels like they already know you. Its almost as good (maybe even better) than third party validation; I control the information feed.

If someone reads my blog and calls me, they know more about me than if I was referred to them by a past client.

A recent relocation client found my via my blog/vlog. When we finally met, she had a familiarity with me that was similar to knowing me for a long time. I almost felt like I was at a bit of a disadvantage at first. I had to ask a lot of questions to get the same sense of comfort with her as she had obtained "virtually" with me.

And finally, my favorite One-Liner in the discussion:

“Blogging gives you a voice, while pay-per-click just gives you a link.” – Mary De Luca

Related Must Reads:
7 Compelling Reasons Google AdSense Will Ruin Your Real Estate Blog

Thank you everybody for your participation.  I look forward to this week’s discussion, see you in the Forum.

Tomato Co-Authors

Armyoftomatoes2Mary De Luca - Beltway Ramblings
Paula Henry - Indy Real Estate Talk
Char Lariscy - The Front Porch View
Cyndee Haydon - Sandbars To Sunsets
Kevin Warmath - Live In Alpharetta
John Coley - Lake Martin Voice
Doug Aegerter - St Louis Real Estate Voice
Tracy Thomas - Blog Calabasas
Gena Riede - Sacramento Real Estate Voice
Joe Peffer - Columbus Homes Blog
Charles Woodall - Dothan Home Search
Daniel Bates - My McClellanville
Eric Ransom - Real Estate Laundry



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Comments

Here's an update on Google losing stock value due to the increasing ineffectiveness of their Pay-Per-Click adveritsing:
http://www.smartmoney.com/onedaywonder/index.cfm?story=20080226-Google-GOOG&nav=RSS20

I agree, blogging is better for the long haul and just just can't beat the no price tag either! Blogging builds the credability and adwords is just an ad.

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They do really work! They display all the information, data and statistics, pay at the time, have high bids, do not shave (it is true!!!).
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Thank you Tomato team, this article was beyond helpful! Like you said "Blogging gives you a voice" - well I feel like I just heard the voice of a friend.

Jim - the longevity part is the best about the blogging. Pay per click is like a drug that gives you instant staisfaction but as you said once you stop paying it is long gone until you pay for a new fix. Blogging costs you in time initially but in the end and long term results can be much better and cheaper than pay per click.

This sounds great, I think a lot of people would benefit about learning this new technological way of marketing!

-faith-

I think the biggest reason is that the public, who want a knowledgeable agent, can easily find your blog content and see the age of the articles. If you have recent content... they know you're still active and on the ball.

Excellent post. Thank you for posting this. I enjoyed it alot.

Great information realy enjoyed reading your post

As a long term strategy good SEO both on page and off page is a very economical way of getting traffic. In the short term PPC has several advantages including keyword discovery,rapid generation of traffic and the ability to instantly craft a message should market conditions change quickly. I think that both are vital to a healthy web presence.

Love the blogging advice and the organic search data your sahed.

I dropped ppc even before I started blogging as it had got too expensive. Now the blogging is taking up the slack and it is paying off. I just can't type fast enough

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