1) Don’t use a lot of real estate jargon.
If you are going to dialogue with visitors using real estate related “jargon” then don’t be surprised if you attract more real estate agents to your Web site than home buyers or home sellers. It is amazing how many real estate Web sites make the error of thinking that the whole world is searching for “MLS Listings.”
Unless you are a real estate person, you are not going to be searching in this fashion. Ordinary, every day home buyers do not generally search using industry jargon. However, they are doing some pretty sophisticated searches in an intelligent fashion. Some are looking for their ideal “dream home” with very descriptive terms. Other are doing “cost of living comparisons” by City using the Internet as a true research tool. One of the biggest points is in how you communicate with your visitors.
2) Is your real estate Web site content “self focused” on your services and achievements?
Of course it’s good to let your visitors know what makes you unique and different (not better) than the competition, but many real estate Web sites are far too “self focused.” Most readers will be searching for information that is “important to them” the homebuyer and will not be impressed with pictures of you shaking hands with the Mayor or looking at the latest “award” you have won.
Instead, offer something that satisfies the reason why the prospective homebuyer “searched” the Internet in the first place. For example, detailed community statistics, location maps for specific types of churches or local schools, perhaps community employment statistics or even community crime rates and various directional maps of the area would be appropriate. In place of long and boring self focused dialogue, you need to provide engaging and useful content that is 100% customer focused and full of genuine value to the reader.
3) Educate yourself sooner – than later. From a technical point of view, watch out for content management systems that are sold with a slant towards the Real Estate Industry. If someone is going to sell you a Web service or system, ask to see examples of how well it actually performs with the search engines. Many real estate people are surprised to find that a good content management system that is “SEO friendly” is extremely hard to find. This is not to say that all systems are bad, but many automated content managers tend to generate a horrendous “code to content ratio” so that search engine robots simply cannot properly do their job.
Before investing any money in a Real Estate related system, no matter how good the functionality sounds, use wisdom where a service is not willing to show you examples of high-performance working solutions that are easily found on the major search engines for important generic but competitive phrases. Beware of “advanced looking” systems that require some kind of “long term commitment” or services that try to force you into “special hosting arrangements.” Beware of the real estate system that is offered for “free” in exchange for a portion of your sales commissions. Take some time to educate yourself on search engine marketing before spending your money or use wisdom and hire an SEO professional who has been structurally trained and can demonstrate a proven track record for getting their clients genuine results. A little due diligence can save can save you a lot of money and wasted time.
4) Beware of companies that claim they can artificially inflate your link reputation and link popularity “overnight.” When it comes to linking and link building, there are specific strategies that you can learn and employ, but use caution when it comes to “link exchanges” that promise miracles over night.
Rule of thumb: Build links very naturally based on what makes sense to your visitor audience. Remember that someone linking to you from an un-reputable Web site can never hurt you (because you cannot control who links to you.) Where the damage can be done, is when you link to somebody (because you do have control of who you link to.) We do not recommend reciprocal link building.