For any online marketing plan, SEO is one of the main aspects that one needs to pay attention to.
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, boils down to following certain parameters that aim to make your real estate website and content much easier to find online.
Sounds difficult? Don’t worry, because SEO can be as simple as publishing useful or entertaining content, or remembering to add links to your website whenever you post on Facebook. While there ARE more advanced levels to it, for realtors who are running their own website, it’s not something to be too stressed about.
There are many checklists of what to do for good SEO, but we think it’s also important to remind people (especially those just starting out) on what NOT to do.
So, here’s some quick rules of thumb on some SEO mistakes realtors should avoid.
Using Keywords TOO much
Keywords are indeed important, but too much of anything can be bad for you, too.
This is an easy trap to fall into, and usually results in blog posts and content that are redundant, annoying, and spammy.
The practice of keyword-stuffing may have worked about ten years ago, but technology has been moving at a fast pace, and Google’s search algorithms are constantly tweaked. Nowadays, it is frowned upon, and may even earn you a penalty which causes your site to be ranked lower, or even not be displayed among search results at all.
To keep up-to-date with what works and what doesn’t, make sure to read up on the topic from time to time. There are many reliable sources online, and you can check the official Google developer blog as well.
Linking to unrelated and/or questionable websites
While you don’t have control over other people’s websites, you DO have control over your own content and which sites you choose to link to.
Links to other sites are also important in SEO, whether it’s linking back to your own content, or linking to content on other websites to provide a source, a reference, or better context for your readers.
However, it’s important to make sure that the site you are linking to is a.) relevant to your own site, or the topic at hand, and b.) is not known to be a source of spam, viruses, malware, and other suspicious (or even possibly illegal) activity.
So don’t just link to the first seemingly fitting website you find online! Go check and see if the content there really does relate to yours. If necessary, perform a quick Google search on the site itself to see if it has any undesirable records, or if it’s a known source of spam and/or malicious software.
Remember that if you link to “bad sites” too often, Google has no qualms about bringing down a penalty on YOUR site, so steer clear!
Reusing the same content over and over within your website
So you want all your site visitors to know that you are “the #1 realtor in [YOUR LOCATION HERE]”. No problem, because it’s perfectly fine to share how you earned that recognition in your own website.
Maybe you can publish it as a blog post, or include it in your Biography page. Maybe you can even make a graphic to display on your home page that announces this, and then link it to the full story.
What you DON’T do, is post the same text/story over and over in various pages within your site. This sort of thing is spammy, and again, Google will most likely spot this and you could face a penalty for it.
We know that it’s easy to get lax about creating fresh, unique content for your site, especially if you’re very busy. However, we assure you that the bit of extra effort is worth it… even if it’s just to avoid Google’s penalty system.
Take the time to think about your content, and if you really need a hand, hiring a writer or asking for help may be well worth the investment.
Focusing on only SEO
Unfortunately, this needs to be said.
It is very easy to get lost within the technical aspects of SEO. As one strives for the highest search engine rankings, and lots of time is spent tweaking and calibrating, keep in mind that the success of your business doesn’t SOLELY rely on it.
SEO is a great tool to give your business a boost, but ultimately, it’s a combination of factors that helps keep the clients rolling in.
From having a responsive website and good visuals, all the way to your personal responses to Facebook comments or online messages, all of this needs to come together to strengthen your brand.
So while having good SEO is nice, make sure that other aspects of your business (such as communication and customer service) aren’t being left by the wayside!