The concept of being green has for decades, in my opinion been unnecessarily politicized. People are labeled as either tree-huggers or a ‘drill baby drill’ types. We all want to save money on energy and increase the value of home at the same time so why not harness energy in more creative and natural ways.
Should I optimize for Green homes?
As part of the search engine business, I am particularly interested in what people are searching on for information on green home building and as I research this, I start to get a better idea of how popular it is becoming. There is plenty of nomenclature for green homes; carbon neutral, sustainable etc etc.
The cost of building your own or adding environmentally friendly features have been historically high. With more and more green companies providing a critical mass with green tax deductions, breaking even and beginning to saving money the green way is closer than ever.
In the last 12 months, searches on terms like modular homes, green homes etc are up 50%. Many real estate firms should be looking for opportunities to compete on these breakout terms early while it also remains possible to compete at a reasonable pay-per-click cost. If a web site is optimized for terms before they become wildly competitive, then you increase your chance to maintain a high SERP (Search Engine Rank Position) for a long time.
Building Site Authority with Google
Google and others will recognize the site as an authority and consider you a trusted resource. Remember however that Google cares about deep, relevant, keyword-rich content, linked to and from other relevant, trusted sources. So don’t have anything spammy or stuffed to the gills with keywords. People are wary of greenwashing too, so don’t talk the talk if you can’t walk the walk. Google is smarter than all of us too.
Here at Union Street Media, we have been having success recently with clients in this market and have been able to advise them on how best to optimize their content for this market. Walkable Suburbs chose to focus on a particular market area which is becoming more and more relevant: walkable suburbs.
Partnering with Union Street Media, we built a site focusing on suburban real estate with walkable commutes to trains and commercial districts. This site is a great example of an agent seeing an unfilled niche in their market and building a website to take advantage of the opportunity and realize a passionate, personal goal.
A National Movement
There has been an exciting convergence of design, green technology, human ingenuity and an increasing moral imperative that is taking shape in many areas often the least well-off. In New Orleans, the lack of government help and leadership has led to some exciting urban renewal projects spear-headed by a wide spectrum of people and partnerships including Brad Pitt‘s Global Green organization and people whose homes were actually devastated by Hurricane Katrina.
Companies like GroSolar are leading the way in solar energy for homes, which Union Street Media was proud to be involved with.
To me, not only does it make sense to be investing in these types of homes but to be an early adopter of the right kinds of keywords that people are actually searching on.
This recent article in the New York Times on suburban green initiatives, discussed the ways towns are improving their environmental sustainability and whether consumers are at the point where they are willing to pay more for it in the short term, but for long term value. Also visit Brian Boardman’s Vermont Green Initiatives Resources page.