What’s Wrong with My Real Estate Site?
Why doesn’t my site produce traffic or leads?
- it doesn’t have reach via Google, Ads, Facebook, or Linkedin
- it doesn’t create value or appears you offer no satisfaction
- it doesn’t engage and generate emotion
- it doesn’t persuade or convince
Let’s Take the First Issue: Google
A good chunk of a realtors traffic and leads should be coming from Google. If your pages aren’t accessible to Google or strategically optimized, visibility in Google’s search listings will be low. Creating Google traffic is the most critical problem to solve.
Here’s a common example:
The bottom line is that this type of site will never produce for them. They need a whole new IDX site provider. There are plenty of them such as Real Estate Webmasters, who have excellent realtor websites. You would never rely on REW for your digital marketing, but their websites are very search engine friendly. They provide the basics and it’s up to you to be competitive.
A good portion of real estate agents have what Amy Strand of Century21 has. It’s an agent subdirectory on the broker’s site. But on these sites, Google won’t index mls listings on it, and the agent’s section is cookie-cut pages that make all the agents look the same. It doesn’t appeal to visitors nor Google.
Calgary Home Boys uses an REW website. These search results shown in the graphic below reveal the site has 8200 pages indexed in Google. The listings are segmented by neighbourhood, condo name, and price. This is good for visitors and Google rankings. There’s plenty of creativity possible in a REW site for SEO. A site like this, with good content writing and link outreach, can dominate a city market.
A closer look at the listings though show the title tags and meta descriptions aren’t optimized. The listing really doesn’t tell the homebuyer viewing it, much about the home. And there’s no info or attention building other than the street address. It also doesn’t contain much that would help Google understand what the page is about.
If you click through to one of the listings, you’ll see there is some text and property data. In order for this page to rank well and draw visitors, it needs search engine optimization. It’s not enough to get pages indexed. That’s just the start. And all the pages work as a team to boost each other’s rankings. What’s amazing about premium REW sites is that they enable optimization if you have someone like me to do it for you.
Remember that you’re competing with other agents, brokers and entrepreneurs who want all that Google traffic. You’ll see REW.ca in the listings a lot. They’re new to the scene but are grabbing up a good chunk of traffic. Alexa’s data shows keywords they’re ranking for and how long visitors are staying on their site.
Here are the basics of a SEO friendly realtor website:
- all pages are easily accessible to Googlebot (not just through a sitemap; sitemaps are a very poor way to get your pages indexed)
- all title tags and meta description tags are editable
- all pages are interlinkable
- all pages have editable text sections above and below the property data
- site has a blog which links to specific property listings and to your Twitter and Pinterest pages.
- pictures use correct text in alt tags
- copy in pages uses keywords, synonyms, related words and stemmed variations
- use links in your text since this is what Google pays attention to
- create high value content since Google is watching how people use your site
- don’t use your brokers content; you need unique content throughout your site
Read more SEO tips and the context regarding search engine optimization. SEO is an art. Please ignore the thousands of brand new SEO peddlers trying to sell you a story about SEO friendly and technical SEO. As the algo increases in complexity, so does the optimization techniques.
When you create your main pages, you should choose a special page, well SEO’d, as your main goto keyword optimized page (e.g., homes for sale San Diego, or Vancouver Condos for sale). This is because homepages aren’t particularly good for being the center of your SEO efforts.
SEO has changed and key pages aren’t as important anymore. Google began considering them as “honey pots” and they discounted them. Now the focus is on individual pages, which makes it more challenging for SEOs to make internal SEO work. On a trusted website, it still does work. Believe me, over 18 years you see techniques come and go. It’s a matter of constantly adapting to Google’s algorithm.
Integrate your Social Presence
Ensure you have your social feeds place directly into your listing pages and your regular web pages whatever topic they’re about. It’s more important for visitors to meet your personally, rather than them view a listing and just disappear.
View your digital marketing assets as a team. Your FB, Twitter and even Linkedin pages are vitally important to capturing prospect’s attention, interest and respect.
Choosing digital marketing is a big decision and investment. Yet without it, you’re not present in the dominant medium of real estate marketing. A strong presence on Google is just one more way to add value to your personal prospecting efforts, and to keep you top of mind with home sellers and buyers.
Good luck with your marketing campaign in 2016. If you have any questions, get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 416 998 6246. I’m looking forward to speaking with you.
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