Today’s answer will cover the following questions.
1. How and where are you marketing my listings?
2. I spend a lot of money on Search Engine Optimization. Am I going to
be competing with AlohaLiving.com for top placement on major search
engines like Google?
Since AlohaLiving.com is operated by your MLS provider, Hawaii Information Service, we carefully consider how and where we market our MLS Public website so as not to be in direct competition with our participants and their websites. This is a very competitive time in internet advertising, and there are agents and brokers who spend thousands of dollars each month to have their websites constantly optimized for top billing on Google and other search engines. We feel it is a conflict of interest for us to compete directly in this space, so we have always chosen to not aggressively pursue top placement in search engines for our public real estate sites.
We take a more subtle approach to Google, primarily participating in Google AdWords so that we have coverage on all islands for the most popular Hawaii real estate and vacation rental keyword buys.
Right now, AlohaLiving.com derives 15 percent of all traffic from organic google searches (non-paid), and another 10 percent from our Google AdWords campaigns. We also send our listing data to Google Base every 24 hours. So, more than 25 percent of our traffic comes from Google without us being among the top results for certain search keywords. And those numbers should improve each month as we add more content, and Google begins to index more of our data. The key to our search engine marketing is content. We’re adding new content daily to drive more traffic to AlohaLiving.com.
That being said, we are taking very aggressive steps in creating relationships outside of Google and other search engines that will drive significant traffic to AlohaLiving.com, and therefore to our brokers, agents, and advertisers. We have recently signed listing agreements that will make us the exclusive Hawaii listing partner on CyberHomes.com and the AOL Real Estate Channel. Anyone who searches for properties in Hawaii on Cyberhomes or AOL will be directed back to AlohaLiving.com to see the property details of our agent’s and broker’s listings. We are also in final contract negotiations to implement the same arrangement with an aggregator that will give us the same exclusive relationship with Yahoo! Real Estate, Zillow.com, Trulia.com, MyRealty.com, Oodle.com, Homescape.com, Homes and Land Magazine.com, Hotpads.com, Vast, and FrontDoor.com (HGTV’s new real estate portal).
It is our policy that AlohaLiving.com will not distribute listing data with any website or partner that will not directly link back to our detail page. Getting the traffic back to your listings is our ultimate goal, and we are committed to making that happen.
We are continuing to reach out to the village of existing real estate portals who want to get complete listing data from the MLS, but would not necessarily make the same type of deals with individual agents or brokers. By creating these strategic partnerships, we will be able to drive more traffic to AlohaLiving.com, and ultimately more traffic to your listings, your contact information, and to you!