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SEO for Real Estate Takes Time

March 05 2013

This post comes to us from BrokerageU:

brokerageu seo timeEarlier, we discussed how it's possible to beat sites like REALTOR.com, Trulia, and Zillow. But we wanted to take a minute and make sure you understand that this isn't an overnight process. It takes a long time, and your real estate website won't work unless you work on it.

While some vendors can make it sound like they will get you on the top of Google overnight (we've all seen junk emails from these vendors, even some in the real estate industry that lie when they are on the phone with you),  the truth is that this doesn't happen. There is no single magic bullet that will make your site change overnight. Furthermore, those that get you overnight differences in SEO are probably using black-hat SEO methods. They are probably doing just as bad of work as what you can buy on Fiverr – "Get 100 inbound links for $5." I repeat – these low quality purchased links can actually hurt your website. Google even has a tool for you to fess up to having down this before and "disavow" those bad links.

These methodologies are against the rules that Google has outlined. It's only a matter of time until the algorithm is changed and the benefits are completely wiped away and, in most cases, you'll actually get a penalty.

Are two months of increased rankings worth six months of not being anywhere on Google? It happened to J.C. Penneyhappened to J.C. Penney, and it can happen to you.

It's simply not possible to take a site and within five months have it rank number one on Google for a major city search. If you're doing it the right way, that will last for months and years, instead of however long you pay your search engine firm.

The truth is that real estate is even harder to rank for than most other companies. You have competitors on a hyper local (other REALTORS®), local (small boutique brokerages), regional (brokers and your consumer MLS website), and national scale (Zillow, franchise sites). It takes a team of people that can help you over the long run to slowly gain these rankings.

At TRIBUS, we create a plan for each individual client on how to help them rank higher. Each plan is a little different. We send out weekly tips on how to help get inbound links to your site in an organic and white hat way – write guest blogs on other sites, work with your newspaper to provide content, provide content for your broker's website, fill out profiles around the Internet that feature follow links.

Questions To Ask Real Estate Website Vendors / SEOs

  • Do you specialize in real estate? If not, they won't really understand the competitive landscape. You have hundreds, if not thousands, of competitors. Most other companies they work with have less than 10.
  • Are you guaranteeing placement at the top of Google? If they say yes, run!
  • Are you doing on-page or off-page SEO or both? White Hat strategies usually involves working on your on page SEO and giving you tips to help you get links to your site from other locations. If someone says they're going to generate 50+ inbound links to your site overnight, they are probably not following the rules set by Google.
  • Where should we start? A good idea is always to start small and expand out from there. Focus on long tail terms like addresses, neighborhoods / subdivisions, etc.
  • What are your video capabilities? Companies that understand rankings and especially real estate specific rankings know that video is the frontier of higher rankings. They'll have plans in place to help you get focused on video techniques that will produce the thumbnails in Google that lead back to your site instead of YouTube.

Search Engine Optimization work is intense work. It's not inexpensive and it takes just the right person. If it's some added fee from your vendor, more than likely it's just a fee to turn something on that helps their bottom line. You should ask if someone will manually be reviewing it regularly and if they can provide you a report.

To view the original article, visit the BrokerageU blog.

Other articles of interest: MLSFinder.com | dsSearchAgent IDX