7 Reasons Your Real Estate Website Isn’t Ranking in Google
By Colin Ryan
You’re going it alone.
You may think you’re saving money by managing your own search presence, but you’ve got enough to worry about when it comes to running your real estate business. More importantly, SEO is difficult and tedious. That’s why there are people who do it professionally, and make a good living at it. While it’s a good idea to learn what you’re up against, you’re better off hiring someone to do the dirty work for you.
You let an amateur design your site.
We’ve heard this story too many times, and no matter how much money you saved, it’ll end up costing you SEO juice in the long run. “I just launched this site last year, and it looks/feels great,” you might say. But just because you and your customers like it doesn’t mean Google will, too. Whether it’s broken links, poor onsite optimization, or a lack of social integration, an amateur site may be hiding a host of problems that are holding you back in the rankings.
You don’t have enough new, high-quality content.
It’s simple: Google rewards sites that produce a steady stream of new and relevant content. Whether you’re churning out a half dozen crappy blog posts a week jam-packed with keywords, or you have several terrific articles from last year, you’re not going to see much of search benefit. Instead, invest some time in crafting (and promoting) fresh, informative, unique content. Even two or three posts a month can make a world of difference.
You’ve chosen the wrong keywords.
While your keywords may seem obvious to you, ranking highly on search engines isn’t about what you think: it’s about what your prospects are typing into the search box. It’s also about what you can realistically attain. Trying to rank for “Boston real estate”? You’ll be competing with hundreds of other companies, as well as big publishers like Zillow and Trulia. Instead, do your research: Use Google’s AdWords Keyword Tool (above) to explore the long tail and find keywords with a good balance between competition and monthly searches.
You’re neglecting everything else.
SEO is just one piece of the puzzle. There are plenty of other things you can do to drive more traffic to your site, and if you’re spending all your time looking at the search results page, you’re wasting those opportunities. Instead, try boosting your local search presence by claiming your business on Google+ Local and Yelp. Invest some time and effort in your social media presence. Get involved in your community. Create a broader, more robust real estate marketing strategy, and figure out what works best for your business.
You’re behind the times.
Google is not the search engine it used to be. The Penguin and Panda algorithm updates of the last couple years have eliminated many “black hat” strategies—link buying and exchanging, content scraping, etc.—that used to get results. If you want to move up in the rankings, you’ll have to spend some time getting up to speed on the new search environment and adjust your strategy accordingly.
You’re catering to robots, not humans.
If recent changes to search engines show us anything, it’s that SEO is a means to an end. In reality, your end goal isn’t really to rank more highly, but rather to get more flesh-and-blood humans to visit your site so you can show them why you’re the right real estate professional for the job. By placing so much emphasis on pleasing Google’s crawlers, you’re neglecting that goal—and, if Google’s algorithm does it’s job right, you’ll be penalized rather than rewarded.
Found one of these problems in your SEO strategy? Have another suggestion? Tell us about it in the comments!
Published on February 8, 2013