So many SEO companies, so many offers, so many promises, so few spots at the top 10 results on Google — such is the reality of SEO. It’s confusing, it’s daunting. And to make matters more complex, the Google algorithms keep changing, so even industry professionals are always working hard to stay on top of the new standards & strategies.
90% of Real Estate Search Starts Online!
With most hot cities crawling with thousands of real estate agents, competing for the top spots on Google™ is increasingly difficult, expensive and competitive. Due to the sheer number of real estate related searches, this is a goldmine opportunity for Realtors® and developers, but like a gold rush it is highly competitive.
Say No To Black-Hat Techniques
Black Hat techniques refer to google ranking strategies that involve “duping” or “fooling” the Google bots, and is often effective in the short term. But once exposed by Google, rankings can be lost very quickly — or even worse — be blacklisted by google. The German carmaker BMW was once blacklisted by Google — they are that ruthless! For much smaller entities like Realtors®, being blacklisted by the Google behemoth might spell the end of your online presence, and force you to start over again.
Custom Content is King — Along With A Well-Built Website
Long-term ranking is what you should be after, and that is achieved by filling your website up with valuable, real content that matters. It must be rich, relevant, and unique. Google wants humans who follow their search results to find what they want. Shady backlink techniques to get hundreds/thousands of links, or scattering of keywords without proper planning, does not work anymore.
Having great content that is easy to navigate, and relevant to visitors, while well-crawled by Google, is the key to a successful, long-term content-driven SEO plan.
Follow the Money Trail (The Motive)
Google makes money through their advertisements, primarily. Their ads get a lot of exposure because the search engine receives so many visits. Let’s do a reverse thought-trace on this to legitimize the above claim:
- Google’s revenue depends on the number of visits & usage of their search engine.
- To receive so many repeat visits, their search results have to be relevant and useful to human visitors.
- Short-cut SEO methods (Black-Hat) with no real content to benefit humans can rank high…for a short-term.
- If humans found more junk results that are ranking high without the justification of useful content, those visitors would not enjoy searching on Google as much as they did before.
- These are viewed by Google as “bad” results that will NOT help them get repeat visitors — it lowers customer satisfaction for Google visitors!
- This is bad for Google’s business — their audience may shrink if this keeps up.
- Google punishes these websites by blacklisting, or demoting them through new & updated algorithms.
- Google’s results are kept more relevant, that actually deliver content that people are looking for.
This simple exercise to see things from Google’s perspective of what motivates them immediately validates the long-held view that black-hat techniques are something any serious business should stay far away from.
Content Takes Time & Effort
If the intricate web of deep links, as well as content written about your niche real estate market are not something that would potentially help a real human visitor, it’s time to think again about strategy.
There’s no easy shortcut to great rankings on Google — your website has to portray the value you provide to real humans, and answer questions they may have, and solve problems they may face.
The SEO strategy we’ve kept up for our real estate websites for years remain true to these principles, and we are ramping up efforts to offer even more useful, uniquely written custom content for our agents.
— Written by CEO Jeff Kee