Posts in SEO (page 3)

SEO Checklist for Compatibility with Google’s New Search Parameters

Google has begun implementing 40 changes and updates to its core search engine algorithms. Real estate agents that want to maintain high rankings in Google’s search results will need to make some substantial changes to their real estate websites. But keeping up with 40 tech changes is a lot to expect from even tech-savvy Realtors. The following checklist provides a useful guide for prioritizing website changes and re-optimizing your real estate website to take advantage of Google’s new search parameters:

  • Open a Google+ account and start moving clients and prospects into friend circles. Google’s new search results algorithms place the greatest weight on social media connections, giving a significant edge to Google+, Google’s new Facebook competitor.
  • Increase the amount and quality of original content on your web pages. In new algorithms, unique content receives the highest scores while using content available on other sites counts against you. Providing in-depth Q&A content is a fast way to increase unique content on your real estate website. Hiring a professional writer to create content is another option. Move valuable content from your parent company or other resources to subdomains to decrease its negative impact.
  • Decrease the volume of offsite links and ads on your web pages. Both now decrease web page rank.
  • Current topics and trends capture the greatest attention from Google’s freshness update. Q&As and blog posts on hot button and trending real estate topics will boost your search ranking, perhaps significantly; but the uptick will be fleeting, decreasing as the freshness of the topic fades. Regular posting on newsworthy topics will be required to maintain a high freshness rating.
  • Accommodating Google’s new page layout algorithm may require a major overhaul of your real estate site landing page. Google now favors web pages that make value-added content instantly visible when a site visitor opens the page. Forcing visitors to scroll down to content or filling the initial page view with ads will lower your search rank. Unfortunately, so will glossy photo displays that attract customer interest.

Tips for Maximizing Website SEO Under Google Search Changes

Recently implemented changes and updates to Google’s search algorithms mean real estate agents will need to tweak their real estate websites if they want to maintain their current search rankings. Agents that fail to adjust and re-maximize search engine optimization (SEO) of their real estate sites to accommodate Google’s new search parameters will see themselves drop down or even disappear from Google search results.

For real estate professionals, the most critical changes are to Google’s Link Evaluation (discussed in our previous post) and the search engine’s year-old Panda search-ranking program. Before focusing on Panda, one more important comment on Link Evaluation changes: In new algorithms, Link Evaluation not only weights new information on Google+ heavily in determining search results across the board; but, among members of your friend circles, it also continues to push your site to the top of search results as long as an individual remains a member of your circle. Google’s new search emphasis on its new social media network makes opening a Google+ account a smart move, if only for the SEO benefits.

Panda created a SEO firestorm when it was released a year ago. Designed to cull low-quality and low-content web pages from Google’s massive index, Panda heralds a major shift in the way Google’s search algorithms evaluate and rank web pages to derive search results. Overnight, many of the SEO tricks that had been commonly employed to boost web page search rank became not merely ineffective but actually counted against pages under the new Panda system. Pages with little original content or with an abundance of links and ads plummeted in the rankings, consequently losing traffic.

Many real estate sites took a major hit after Panda’s implementation. Panda took a poor view of the copied material from authoritative sources and home office libraries that forms the backbone of many real estate web pages. Panda devalues websites that carry material available on other sites in favor of websites that display original content.

To be continued

Google Search Changes Necessitate Real Estate Website Tweaks

High search engine placement is the key to driving client traffic to your real estate website, and search engine optimization (SEO) is the key to high search engine placement. It would be convenient if search engines would stop tinkering with their search algorithms so that real estate agents could maximize their sites for SEO once and be done, but that’s never going to happen. Like it or not, constant changes in search algorithms by the masters of Google and their ilk mean that real estate agents must stay current with new search parameters and periodically tweak their real estate sites to accommodate new search strategies and re-maximize SEO. Realtors and real estate agents that fail to keep up with the latest SEO strategies will see their search rankings plummet, site traffic fall off, and new clients move to more web-savvy real estate brokers. Such high stakes justify the effort and expense it takes to keep your real estate site search engine optimized.

At the end of February, Google began implementing a series of 40 changes and updates to its search engine, many of which boost support for Google+, Google’s Facebook competitor. For real estate agents the two most important changes were to Panda, Google’s year-old search ranker, and the self-explanatory Link Evaluation. If you want to keep your real estate website at the top of Google’s search rankings, the following tips will show you how to tweak your site to accommodate Google’s newest search engine modifications.

Link Evaluation shifts search impact from offsite links, the backbone of traditional SEO strategies, to social media engagement. Your blog entries, article submissions and directory submissions will still count toward your search engine ranking on Google, but their value has been marginalized in favor of social network mentions, social update shares and customer engagement (comments and reviews). Not surprisingly, Google places premium value on Google+ interactions. If you’re not on Google+ yet, the SEO advantages alone should make this a priority.

Continued next time

Google Adwords

Adwords and PPC for Real Estate Agents

Once you have an agent website, you should make sure it’s optimized for search engines. But Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a long-term effort to get your site to the top of the search results. It can take months until your efforts pay off and requires constant monitoring and tweaking. In the meantime, for faster results, you can use Google Adwords.

What is Google Adwords?

Google Adwords is Google’s Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ad network.  PPC is an Internet advertising model, in which advertisers pay their host only when their ad is clicked. With search engines, advertisers typically bid on keyword phrases relevant to their target market. For example, if you work in Seattle, you would likely want to base your Adwords campaign on keywords such as “Seattle real estate,” “Seattle homes for sale” etc. If you manage your Adwords campaign well, your ad could appear on the first page of search results, under the “Sponsored Links” tab.

Why Use Google Adwords?

As explained by Google, Countless home buyers use Google to browse for real estate information each month. Google Adwords enable you to reach prospects in your region at all stages of their home search – while they’re looking for properties, checking out locations, and selecting an agent.

Google AdWords can be a very effective  tool for sending more traffic to your real estate site. Google AdWords  offers a measurable, pay-for-performance solution that enables you to determine your costs and only pay when a prospect clicks on your ad to visit your website. You can continually monitor your campaign to see what’s working and what’s not, and you can modify or halt your campaign at any time.

An important aspect of Adwords for real estate agents is that it enables you to target users by location. This allows you to reach home buyers and sellers specifically within your service area.

Controlling Your Adwords Budget

You should be aware that if you’re not careful, your Adwords budget can easily balloon and get out of control. If you’re just starting out with Adwords, it might be a good idea to pre-pay for your first campaign. This will ensure that you don’t go over your budget.

Converting Adwords Traffic To Leads

A well-managed PPC campaign is likely to increase the traffic to your site, but that traffic will stick around and turn into leads – and possibly clients – only if your site is attractive, rich in information and interactive. The last thing you want it to pay for clicks that end up bouncing off your site. Before starting your PPC campaign, make sure your agent site is as good as it can possibly be.

Nice Video from the UK with more information about google Adwords:

An introduction to Google AdWords


Single Property Websites – Traffic Report

Ever wonder where your property website traffic is coming from? Over the past 6 months we have compiled analytics on over 1,400,000 visitors to approximately 15,000 single property websites and created this infographic to showcase our findings. Our study shows that having a top level domain name is clearly an advantage for both SEO and direct traffic.

Ever wonder where your property website traffic is coming from? Over the past 6 months we have compiled analytics on over 1,400,000 visitors to approximately 15,000 single property websites and created this infographic to showcase our findings. Our study shows that having a top level domain name is clearly an advantage for both SEO and direct traffic.

Some of the highlights:

  • Facebook has overcome, Trulia and Zillow to become the #2 top referring website behind the King of all referrers – craigslist
  • Mobile traffic is up 600% over the past 18 months
  • Single Property Website can drive 55% more traffic to your listing than virtual tours or online flyers
  • Google generates 80% off all search engine traffic