Real Estate Case Study

American Realty

American Realty is one of the largest real estate agencies in the Dubuque, Iowa area. It heavily promoted its web site on radio and relied heavily on newspapers ads to further attract attention to their properties. Unfortunately, American Realty didn't rank in the top 30 for many of the phrases prospects were using to look for homes in the area.

The problems with the site was that it had little text and almost no incoming links. Ad Hoc Marketing real estate SEO services would focus on keyword research and link building.

Even as we began developing copy we were researching potential link partners and more importantly, real estate directories. There are literally dozens of web sites that list Realtors and real estate agencies, many for a fee. We began listing the site on the directories that offered free listings. This provided a little bump in rankings.

We also developed copy for two markets. One campaign was for customers interested in buying homes in the area while another for prospects looking for a Realtor to sell their home. These pages were designed to rank for specific keyword phrases such as Dubuque real estate and Dubuque Realtor.

It was also decided that we needed to budget money for some of the paid directories. We chose directories with high PageRanks who would impact not just our rankings, but also bring in potential customers.

Within a couple of months the site ranked in the top 5 on Google and the other search engines for most of their phrases. This includes a number 1 ranking for Dubuque Realtor. These rankings generated thousands of visitors to the site each month.

The result of this SEO work was to double the number of prospects who visited the site each month. And one thing the analytics showed was that visitors typing in Dubuque real estate spent twice as much time on the site as most other phrases. It also showed a number of visitors were from out of state. Dubuque is located where Illinois, Wisconsin, and Iowa meet. Yet there were twice as many visitors from New York as there was from Wisconsin. These were people actively looking for homes in the area, yet who hadn't yet relocated. These were people who weren't exposed to the local media, which is typical of most real estate searches.

Despite the top 5 rankings the site was still missing out on a lot of potential customers. First we began targeting specific communities in the area through pay per click. Even though these outlying communities had smaller populations, the pay per click revealed there were a significant number of searches for these smaller towns. The site’s design prevented us from targeting all these communities naturally, but the cost per click was relatively low. For a fraction of what it would cost for a single newspaper ad, these pay per click campaign generated thousands of additional visitors each year.

"Scott- a big thank you from all of us for the excellent job you are doing in getting us better placement on the web. In doing a search this morning we are right up there on top. It's amazing what can be accomplished if you have the expertise and know how. We especially appreciate you keeping us updated on your progress."

Bob Neuwoehner

American Realty of Dubuque, Inc