4 Biggest Real Estate SEO Mistakes
We live and breathe real estate SEO here in the writing department at REW, which means we see all the incredibly awesome things that are happening in the SEO world.
It also means that we see the site-crippling mistakes people are making, and those aren't quite as awesome. Here's a list of the biggest repeat offenders I see in my day-to-day and an explanation of why they're bad:
1. Outdated Practices That Don't Work
One of the most common problems with modern SEO is an unwillingness to adapt. SEO is constantly evolving and developers who don't do the same will fall behind.
I see a lot of people ignoring the advice of their SEO expert because they know a guy who had "Method X" work and by gosh, he got leads! Unfortunately, Method X is often some spammy link exchange strategy from 1996 that will quickly get your site penalized by Google in 2013.
SEO today is mostly about creating helpful and easily accessible content. With the increasing use of mobile devices for browsing the internet, it became crucial for real estate websites to be mobile-friendly to provide a seamless experience for mobile users. This includes having responsive design, fast loading times, and easy-to-use mobile navigation, as Google considers mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor. And yet, many SEOs continue to prioritize desktop performance by default.
New changes are always around the corner, as technology and search engines continue to develop, so what counts as good or even normal SEO practice may be bad tomorrow.
2. Keyword Spam, Spamming Keywords & Keywords That Spam
You see what I did there? Don't do that. This really ties into the first point, where we're seeing the ghost of SEO past manifest in content developers today who misguidedly think using multiple keywords in close proximity is a good tactic.
In reality, it's a blatant attempt to manipulate search engines and those search engines have caught on. 2012 was the year of web spam and all these unnatural attempts to rank better are being cracked down on—hard.
Worse still, keyword spam deters actual users. (You know, the people who bring you business.) Web users are becoming more internet savvy and are instantly suspicious of sites that overuse keywords, because it's a known hallmark of low-quality content and malware. Plus it just sucks to read.
If search engines hate keyword spam and users hate keyword spam, what's the point?
Exactly. There isn't one.
A better approach to keyword usage in SEO is to focus on creating high-quality, informative, and engaging content that naturally incorporates relevant keywords. Instead of stuffing keywords, aim to provide valuable content that answers users' queries and addresses their needs.
By doing so, you'll not only improve your SEO but also establish your real estate website as a reliable source of information, attracting more organic traffic and potential leads. Remember, quality content that adds value to users should be the cornerstone of your SEO strategy. Keyword research and usage should always be in service of user experience.
3. Expecting Lots of Leads, Right Away
Honestly, one of the worst things you can do to yourself is expect instant results from a SEO campaign. SEO is a long-term strategy that requires consistent effort and patience. It takes time for search engines to crawl and index your website, and for your optimized content to gain visibility in search results..
It takes months for a campaign to become established and you're just setting yourself up for disappointment if you expect to see those leads come in the next day. If you're looking for overnight success, then check out our real estate PPC services, but keep in mind that the best online marketing campaigns combine both SEO and PPC strategies to generate leads, because each strategy targets a different type of user.
While SEO can be highly effective in generating organic traffic and leads, it's important to understand that it's not a quick fix. So don't be discouraged if you don't see immediate results. It may take several months, or even longer, for your SEO efforts to gain traction and start generating significant leads.
4. Measuring Success By Google Ranking
There was a time when you could simply look up your site on Google and see the same results as everyone else. However, with the increasing personalization of search engine results, that time doesn't exist anymore. Google now uses various factors, such as previous search history, location, and user preferences, to tailor search results to individual users.
This means that your results might not be the same as your next door neighbour's or even the roommate you share an internet connection with.
There's now an art to understanding your real estate website's ranking and what it means. So, instead of focusing just on search rank for SEO success, we use a collection of metrics.
Using tools like Google Analytics and the REW dashboard, metrics tell us how many visits your site is receiving and what your visitors are doing after they arrive. The main factors for determining a site's success are leads generated and conversion rate (the percentage of visits that become leads), not what position you think you rank on Google.
Ultimately, the main factors for determining a site's success are leads generated and conversion rate (the percentage of visits that become leads), rather than just the position you think you rank on Google. By focusing on these key metrics, you can get a more comprehensive understanding of your website's performance and make data-driven decisions to optimize your SEO strategy accordingly.
The Inevitable Conclusion
Understanding the top SEO mistakes I've highlighted above is a start to understand what real estate SEO is in our current internet era. Web developers and digital marketers need to recognize that SEO is a dynamic field that constantly evolves as search engines aim to provide the best possible experience to users.
As the way we use the internet continues to evolve, SEO strategies need to adapt as well. By providing a fulfilling experience for your users, implementing clean SEO practices, and being patient with your long-term SEO efforts, you can increase your chances of getting the leads you want and staying ahead in the competitive real estate market.