Understanding SEO is important if you have an online presence. Allan McNabb with Image Building Media joins Nadia Daggett with Graystone Real Estate, and together, they discuss the basics of SEO and how to get more exposure on social media.

This video includes 6 Must-Do Tips for Beginners:

  • Website with SEO-Optimized template, SEO software, and fast hosting with CDN, pages optimized for speed and ADA compliant.
  • Google My Business Listing optimized.
  • Business name, address, phone number, website URL in directories and websites (local citations).
  • Put your website URL everywhere.
  • Add fresh, high-quality content to your website regularly.
  • Get high-quality links to your website (backlinks).

Webinar Cheat Sheet

Here is the cheat sheet we provided to the agents who attended the webinar. Although we did not cover all the items during the webinar, we made all the available information. Download the complete PDF of the webinar cheat sheet: 6 Must-Do SEO Tips for Beginners.

Video Transcript

Allan McNabb: Hi everyone, this is Allan McNabb with Image Building Media, and we are doing another Graystone training today, and we’re going to be talking about SEO, beginning with SEO. So we’re talking about some basic things important to everyone that wants to be found online and, hey, who doesn’t want to be found online. And Nadia is with us, with Graystone, so Nadia, why don’t you introduce yourself and after that, we’ll get started.

Nadia Daggett: Yeah, great. I’m Nadia Daggett with Graystone. We have a great brokerage here of over 50 agents, so I’m excited to be representing this great crew, and I’m excited to talk about the SEO and how to get more exposure on the social media and also on our websites.

Allan McNabb: Alright, that’s great guys. So let’s jump in. I’m going to share my screen. We’ve also got our cheat sheet. Also got our cheat sheet on WhatsApp for the agents if you want to download that. We’ve got a few links on there, and with this, guys, I wanted to keep it really simple so that these are things, just the very first things and everyone can do them so let’s get started. And, Nadia, you chime on in here with me and all the agents, let us know your comments, let us know your questions. First of all, to get started with SEO, you have to have the website that has what you need to do this, and of course, you need a template that is SEO optimized. In other words, all the things that are in the template and a lot of technical things that we’re not going to talk about today, that they are all set up, they’re ready to go, and you can plug in your information using some tools we’ll talk about today, and you’re good to go.

So of course, then you need your SEO software, especially with the latest changes with Google, you need a fast hosting and a CDN, that’s a content delivery network, and then as you build your pages, you need to have them optimize for speed and also to be ADA compliant. So you’ve gotta have the tools to get started. And this is what we provide to the agents with our website plan, and of course, the agents, Graystone agents, they get a free design as being part of Graystone, and so when they receive a website from us, it is completely ready to go to be SEO optimized. So a lot of things go into it. There’s a page builder that makes this easy, there’s a form builder, all of this, a lot go into it, a lot of software, and a lot of optimization right out of the box. So that’s step number one. So, Nadia, let me pause. I know you recently got your Graystone website, let me stop right there. Let’s see if we’ve got any questions from the agents and so, Nadia, what are your thoughts?

Nadia Daggett: Yeah, no, I think the SEO is so important because it brings people to your site. So I know with my new website, I’m excited to get more traction, and I’ve always been building these sites for myself with code for I don’t know how many years and nobody goes to it because I don’t really pay attention to the SEO, I wasn’t trained in it, that isn’t something that I pay attention to, and now I see on my site, it’s actually getting traction. So I’m excited about the ability to get out there more with your support.

Allan McNabb: Very cool. And guys, if you’ve got questions again, bring them up. So just starting with the tools does not mean you’re going to be at the top of Google. There’s a lot that still has to be done, but you have to start with the tools so you can get started. So, Nadia, I’m going to go over here to show you the results of what we’re talking about. So I just did a Google search, “Tampa Internet Marketing,” that’s us. This is the first page of Google, you see there’s an ad there, there’s a map, this is pulled in from Google Maps, but it’s on the first page of search. You’ll see our company name, Image Building Media is right on the map. You’ll see that we are within the three-pack, the rankings here, there’s an ad at the top, and then you go down a little bit further and you see we are there again. So I guess if you want to count our name on the map, we’re three places on the front page of Google, not an ad, that’s just from our SEO. So when we talk about SEO, this is what we’re talking about. And so when you get the website, the Graystone website, you’re ready to work and you’re ready to move forward.

Nadia, let me show you very quickly, especially with the latest update of Google with page experience. So Google about a year ago, they gave us heads up, everybody heads up, look, these are some changes that they’re making, and part of that change is your website has to be fast, things can’t move around once they load and things like that. So here’s one of the tools that we use to just measure the speed. So if you get an A or a B, and a lot of times it’s a real estate website, especially if you have IDX, you’re pulling in a lot of things, you might get a C. And so performance is super important. Here is the Image Building Media website, it’s an A, 99% performance, and I went on and I did Michael’s website, I don’t know if he’s able to be with us right now, and his performance B, 83% performance, which is really good, really good for a website. A lot of them, even very big ones and popular ones, they’re getting F’s and things like this, so really good performance. So that’s what we’re talking about. Alright, Nadia, I’m going to pause. Any questions, any thoughts, any comments? And if you’re with us today, just open up your mic and let us know really quickly and while I pause for just a second.

Nadia Daggett: Well, yeah, is that something that our agents are able to look at and to see the performance, or is that something that they should be contacting you directly to get that information?

Allan McNabb: Yeah, so there’s a lot of tools out there. GTmetrix is one of the ones I use quite a bit, and that’s the one I used on those. And the URL, you might be able to see GTmetrix, G-T-M-E-T-R-I-X.com, metrix.com. So there’s a lot of optimization. You can see Michael’s here, just out of the box. We delivered it to him, and got a B. That’s great. You’re going to rank fine with that. As you work on your website, if you want to improve on that, certainly you can. A lot of times with websites, we’ll work sometimes for weeks to really get that speed up, especially if it’s an e-commerce website or something like that. Those can be really difficult, but just out of the box, be super, super great and ready to go. Alright, any other thoughts, comments before we go on?

Okay, so alright, so we’ve got the tools and so, well, what are we going to do with them? So the next thing is, and we spent, by the way, Nadia, we spent a whole training on this. You’ve gotta have your Google My Business listing, it needs to be optimized, and of course, part of that is being verified. So when you talk about local SEO, when you talk about local SEO, which, I’m going to go back over here to our example here. Local SEO is appearing on the Google Maps. If you’re in the top three, you’ll not only be in Maps, you’ll be on the front page of Google, is being in the Google Maps, ranked at the top. And it’s being, for example, listed right here. This is in the Local three-pack, and then further down, it’s in the regular search rankings, so this is called… This part right here is what comes from the Google My Business listing. So we spent a whole training on this, and I’m not going to go over all of that once again, but I put in a link right here in the cheat sheet that people can go and visit that training and review that, and, Nadia, you’ll remember, that we went step by step over the whole thing from the beginning. We took it slow. We answered questions. We let agents fill out their Google My Business as we went, so that by the time we were done with the training, it was probably about an hour long, by the time we were done with the training, everybody could be done.

So here we’ve got that video of what we did with the training. We’ve got a transcript down here to help everyone keep up with that, take shortcuts, get the information they want. So step number two is having an optimized Google My Business listing. In the training, we talk about the category. We talk about having everything filled out. We talk about the verification process. Google will send you a post card. The address has to be delivered, has to be… It can’t be a PO Box. You can get away a lot of times with your home address. A lot of times bigger businesses can’t get away with that, and needs to be optimized and verify. And this is super important. If you don’t do this, just don’t go any further. You’re just not going to make any progress with it. You’ve gotta have the Google My Business listing that’s optimized. Okay, that’s number two. Nadia, what are your thoughts? And then we’ll see if any of the agents have a question.

Nadia Daggett: Well, yeah. I think it’s really important for the Google business. I know some of the agents, I did go out and check to see how many agents have that. And it’s so important, because if somebody is looking for you, they can see your ratings. And when you close, when you have a closing, you have a very successful closing, send the Please Review Me here. It’s the best way to get reviews and to keep your Google on top. So I did see some agents have it, but I think we need a lot more agents to get on board.

Allan McNabb: And also with this, when you go to Maps, if someone is just looking at Google Maps, they’re looking on their phone. When you go to Maps, here you see our company, right here. We rank number three with this. So here you see our company, and agents, you want to rank high up on this. If your Google My Business profile is not verified, it will not be shown publicly. You will not appear on Google Maps and you won’t be in the Local-Three pack on the first page of Google. It’s easy to do. We go through it in the training. You just click a button. Google sends you a postcard. It’s got a code. Just go back into your profile and you put in the code. Takes about five days for Google to get that to you. Super, super simple, but really just absolutely important. And by the way, Nadia, we can also post to the Google My Business listing using Sendible. So it would be great if all the agents had this done, had it verified. They were getting the post going to their Google My Business, and that would just help everyone out immensely. Alright, guys. Nadia and everyone else, any other thoughts or questions there?

Nadia Daggett: Yeah, I think that’s something that we definitely need to get with our social media manager to do, because I think that’d be a very important thing for our agents to have with our social media manager here at Graystone. That’s one of the best things that we have available for the agents. So if we can get with Sakina to work on that, I think that would be amazing.

Allan McNabb: Alright. So and with that, I mean, I know some of the Graystone agents, not to mention any by name, they do come up on the top of Google with their address, so it’s super, super important to do. Okay, guys, number three. So the next thing you want to do is get your business name, address, phone number, and website URL in directories and websites all over the Internet. This is technically called local citations. This is a citation of your business with the address, a phone number and the website, and it’s all over the Internet in directories, Yellow Pages, just all of them, everywhere. There’s just hundreds of them. And so with this, you are just getting the word out, it’s sending the signals to Google that, “Hey, this is real. This is really it.” And now let me give you a tip with this. Even your corporate documentation, your LLC filings, all of that, they all need to have the exact same address, because that’s public information. You can go to Sunbiz, you can look up someone’s LLC, you can see the people that are involved, you can see the address, all of that. So when we change our business address, we also change it on our corporate documents. Super important for SEO. Alright, any other thoughts, any other questions there?

Nadia Daggett: Yeah, I heard that that’s actually one of the most important things that if you have your address or your phone number incorrect on one, Google search will actually lower your ranking because they don’t think you’re an actual business, so I know that it’s a very important thing to do.

Allan McNabb: Super, super, super important. So, guys, it takes some work. What’s the value of being at the top of Google? To getting the phone calls, to get people to go to your website, to get people to go and they fill out the contact form, or sell my home on your website, what’s the value of that? What would somebody pay for that? So here we’re talking about what it takes to get that. And it takes some work, it takes some legwork, but it is worth a million times over. Alright, if there’s any thoughts, any questions, let us know. Alright, number four. Put your website URL everywhere. Now, Nadia, that’s like, you might say common sense, right? But sometimes I talk to agents and they’ll say, “You know, I’m not getting anything off my website.” I said, “Well, what are you doing with your website?” “Nothing.” I said, “Do you tell anybody about it?” “No.” “Do you put it on social media?” “No.” “Do you do posts on social media and put your website?” “No.” I said, “Well, it’s like having business cards. You can buy business cards, but if don’t do anything with them, are you going to get anything from your business card? Absolutely not.”

You need to get your link, your URL everywhere. Put it on social media, be posting on social media. Well, that was what? One or two trainings ago. Every day posting on social media. “Well, I don’t want to post every day.” Well, get a tool, the exact same tool Graystone uses, $29 a month, less than a dollar a day, a fraction of what you’re going to pay for a coffee at Starbucks every day, and you can schedule out your post once at a time. Post every day in comments, go on websites, comments, go on the websites you like going to, you get information, make comments, put your URL. Review, put reviews on other websites, “Hey, great product, I’m using your product all the time.” Put your website. Emails, send it everywhere. Put your website everywhere. So get it out all over the place, get your URL out, keep it out, put it out every day, and tell people. “Image Building Media, that’s our website. Jazzy Realtor. Nadia’s.” Tell everybody about it. Okay, Nadia, I feel like I’m on my, I don’t know…

Nadia Daggett: Soapbox.

Allan McNabb: Soapbox here. Help me out, give me some thoughts here.

Nadia Daggett: No, I think you’re exactly correct when it comes to treating your website, very similar to your business cards, if you don’t pass out your business cards, it’s not going anywhere. And when you’re going ahead and putting in on social media, always get people to drive back to your site ’cause that’s where your bio is too, that’s where they’re going to get to know you, that’s where you have the videos where they’re going to get to know you, not just the property you’re advertising. And another thing is to use it and connect it with your SavvyCard, so I know a lot of people use SavvyCard, but connect your website to your SavvyCard so that they have access to every site. I know, I’m actually… Ian showed me a really neat thing with SavvyCard is if you have a video on your website, tells about you and who you are, have that be your about page on SavvyCard. So it’s a great option to keep going back to the website, use your website as landing pages, and keep using as much as you can. It’ll just keep upping your search engine and keep people seeing who you are and get to know you.

Allan McNabb: Yeah, guys, Google shows or takes people to the websites that are popular. Google, I mean, they’re doing this to make money. If they send people to terrible websites, people will stop using them and they won’t make any money. They’re going to send people to the best websites. How does Google determine what the best websites are? Well, one way is they know they’re popular because their URL is everywhere, it’s out every day, it’s being reposted over and over and over and over again. It’s at thousands and thousands and thousands of places. This is part of the game. So get that URL out everywhere, tell everybody about it, try to get everybody to go there, who can go there, because another metric that Google uses is, “Does anybody go to your website?” So you want to get friends and families if you have to beg them to come to your website, just get people to come and come and come and come, so that you’re sending the signal to Google, “Hey, this is a popular website, send people here.” Alright. Anything else on that one, Nadia?

Nadia Daggett: No, no, exactly. We can beat this over and keep telling and telling, because it’s very important, that’s the only way we’re going to keep getting our search engines up. And if all of our agents are doing it, it’s just going to increase Graystone and keep growing our agents. And people are going to know us, and they’re going to recommend the name and keep growing the brokerage.

Allan McNabb: Absolutely. Absolutely. So you gotta have the right tool to start with. You gotta have your Google My Business optimized and verified. And just get your business name, address, phone number, URL of your website, get it all out everywhere on the Internet every day telling everybody, posting it everywhere. And now we sort of, we’re going to get to the hard stuff, guys. [chuckle] Stuff we’ve been talking about so far is easy, right? Because you’re on social media every day anyway, just make sure you’re getting your URL out. You talk to everybody, to people like Renee, just make sure you tell them about your website. Okay, here comes the hard stuff. If you do not add fresh, high quality content to your website, nobody has a reason to go there, and Google has no reason to send anybody there. Fact, that’s just a fact. So as marketers, as communicators, as salespeople, you have to produce content. And that can be articles, we’ve talked about that. We’ve talked about videos a lot. Podcasts, add transcripts with them, we’ve talked about that in training. Images, put those on there. Have SEO titles, and ADA compliance. Gotta have a title, gotta have an Alt text. Use your key words.

How do you find your keywords? Here is Uber Suggest, I’ve got this link in here for you. These guys have a great website, you can do three queries a day for free. And you get limited information, but the information you get is great. And you just come down to Competitive Analysis, go to the Website Overview. And so it’s easy to go there, it’s easy to use. It’ll tell you who your competitors are, it’ll tell you they’re doing, it’ll tell you what their keywords are, and so you can find out what the keywords are. I used the Yoast SEO plugin, this is provided with all the websites that we do. And make sure you add your SEO title and description, add your social media images, link between the pages in your website, you’re sending signals to Google, and link out to other high quality websites. So, Nadia, if the agents are interested, this would be a training all by itself right here. And we can’t go through all these things in one day, we’re just sort of overviewing all this, but we’ve got to get that content into the website. And if it’s not, I can guarantee you one thing, you’re not going to show up on Google, that’s the way it is. So, Nadia, what are your thoughts?

Nadia Daggett: Yeah, I think that would be a great meeting to have an overview on how to make sure we got the optimization going on their websites. I think that a lot of the agents, what are they best at? They’re best at selling, and when it comes to optimization, we actually need to take some training on it, because they’re better dealing with their clients than worrying about this stuff. So once it’s plugged in, once we’re working on it, once we got things rolling, then they can keep going. So I think having a seminar, having a webinar on this would be a great idea to keep it going. And I know Jorge does an amazing job with his as well, he’s always looking at this. Allen and him have meetings every week, they go over numbers, making sure they’re making the numbers, making sure they’re plugged in. And I gotta say, the numbers with Graystone, if you Google it, they’re top of the search. We have over 40,000 in our database, and we get that from our SEO. So I think it is very important to use these tools. So I definitely think this is a very good website we could do, or webinar we could do in the future.

Allan McNabb: Yeah, we might want to do that one next, if the agents are interested. And like you said, Jorge, Graystone, great role model, right? Because Jorge is pushing content all the time. I was working on that today, and Shakeen and I were working on that today, because you’ve got to be feeding content all the time if you want to use your website to generate leads. And that would be like going to a restaurant that doesn’t have any food. Is anybody going to go there? No, nobody is going to go there. And so if people go to websites to feed on content, that’s why they go. So if we don’t have anything to feed them, they’re not going to come. And videos, to me, that’s the easy one, right? Because we’re making a video right now, what am I going to do when we’re done? I’m going to put this on YouTube and on our website. And I’m going to use a service I’ve told you all about several times that we use to create a transcript, I’ll put it on the website. I’ll also upload a transcript to YouTube, and we’re going to use this. So videos are easy.

Make a video. A lot of times, we’ll do live videos on YouTube, and those are super-easy, because then all you do is embed that video on your website. Same thing with Facebook. And so super, super, super easy to do, and quite honestly not that time consuming. So final one I’ve got here is backlinks to the website. And backlinks are simply links from other high-quality websites to your website. And what that is, that is a vote of confidence. And Google is tracking all of these. And the more people, the more high quality websites that link to your website is just screaming at Google, “Hey, this is a website you need to send everybody to,” and of course Google listens and that’s what they do. So there’s a lot of ways to get it. You can publish articles on other websites. You can submit media queries. I’ve got a tip for you right here H-A-R-O stands for Help A Reporter Out. And every day, several times a day, there’s emails that go out, there’s media professionals requesting information from experts, and you guys are experts, and so you respond back to that, and they’ll a lot of times give you a link, include a link to your website, and boom, that just boost you up.

Be a feature to host and videos that other people do and podcasts other people do, and submit reviews to other companies that they’re going to publish on their website. They’re going to include your URL to your website, and the list, there’s just like thousands of different ways to get links to your website, but that’s one of the three top things Google is looking at. Do you have a website that is popular enough for other people to be sending, to include in their website to send their people to see your website? So Nadia, I feel like I’ve been on a soapbox all day, at least for the webinar. So your thoughts as we can get ready to wind it down.

Nadia Daggett: Okay, yeah ’cause we are going to be doing these not a full hour so that way they can get back to work, but we are going to be taping this and adding this to our educational channel, so they will be getting this information that they can use multiple times. So I think this is a really important thing for our agents that no other company’s really going over the details on how to make your website work, how to make it work efficiently. You can put a website up there for what, $13 or say $29 a month and just, it’s like getting business cards and then putting them in your sock drawer. So there’s a lot of things that you can do, and I know that there’s a lot of things that Jorge does to optimize it because he has a huge amount of followers, and it’s coming from using this SEO, using these techniques that you and Allan and Sekina have been doing to make sure that this is optimized by Graystone.

Allan McNabb: Yeah, and if there’s absolutely nothing wrong if you don’t want to do SEO. This webinar is about doing SEO, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong if you don’t want to do it. If you want to use your website as we call them brochure websites, just like handing somebody a brochure. That’s great. That’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, and a lot of people use it for that. But this webinar is about SEO and getting up to the top of Google, and that is a lot of work, and quite honestly, it’s years worth of work to get there. So that’s what this webinar is about. Alright Nadia, any closing thoughts there or any questions from the gang we’ve got with us today?

Nadia Daggett: Yeah, we actually have one of our newest members here, which is a bigger pockets contributor too, Connor Maccoli, he’s one of our newer agents, so I’m excited to have him on here today and yeah, I’m really excited to keep moving along with these trainings and growing this, ’cause I know when it comes to websites, there’s no better place to be with than with Graystone ’cause when you Google real estate, it pops right up because you guys worked so hard on keeping optimization up. So thank you, Allan, for doing these presentations with us and look forward to doing another with you.

Allan McNabb: Yeah Nadia with Graystone, where you invest and we do the rest, right? Alright, so listen, I’ll go ahead and close it out. This is Allan McNabb with Image Building Media, internet marketing with proven results, and Nadia, three weeks? Version three weeks from now.

Nadia Daggett: Yup, every three weeks, 4 o’clock, and we’ll have another webinar and we’ll get the information to you, let you know what’s it going to be, and we’ll add this to our educational channel.

Allan McNabb: Great guys, we’ll talk to you later. Everyone have a great end of their day.

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