Dynamic, changing, morphing and evolving – such is the nature of digital marketing. As a firm entrenched in helping Real Estate Professionals, which is one of the most competitive industries with so many competitors, we are constantly working to improve our service standards and quality. Recently we have re-vamped and re-structured our SEO (Search Engine Optimization) as well as the pricing. Here are some of the key changes in our strategy, followed by what is being kept constant as the past.
New Changes To Our Real Estate SEO Programs
We will explain our newer SEO strategies here in the simplest terms possible. We understand that some technical terms can be confusing, and we are happy to answer more of your questions directly should you have any.
#1 – Blog Articles Now Mandatory For Content-Rich Websites
“Content is King” is one of those phrases thrown around a lot – and for very good reason, because it is Google’s mandate to deliver relevant & useful content for their search customers. All of our SEO programs now include a specified number of blog articles by default, because on-site content is hands-down the best way to improve the quality score of your website. Blog articles offer a wealth of options to link to other sections of your website (MLS® search results, or individual listings) as well as link out to reliable 3rd party resources to be of more benefit to your customers (such as reputable news articles, service providers or real estate board websites).
#2 – More Focus on Quality Backlinks Rather than Quantity
There was a time when most SEO engineers would pick as many online directories, public forums & blogs to plaster the internet with backlinks to their websites. Some went as far as creating automated posting software that would hit bulletin boards worldwide for tens of thousands of backlinks to be generated within a matter of days. Others went for paid links – which mean absolutely nothing to Google in terms of how valuable & relevant the content on a website is. These practices fall more under the black-hat realm of SEO techniques, which we have never used. Back in the days we leveraged many more sources for more backlinks (but we never used, and never will use, black-hat SEO techniques), but we are putting less emphasis on the number of links, and more emphasis on the quality of backlinks. Certain directories and online blogs are valid and legitimate sources where we can acquire reliable backlinks that have meaning.
#3 – More In-page Content Throughout (not just the blog)
Outside of the blog, we aim to place more unique text content to describe neighbourhoods, buildings, property types/subtypes in order to boost the actual quantity and quality of the text content throughout your website. When walking a precarious line between clean & minimalist designs VS content-rich pages, our design/development team’s expertise really shines to achieve a balance of both. Our photo galleries for listings/buildings can have detailed descriptions and information, as well as many other sub-sections of our sites.
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Things We Have Been Doing That Will Continue Steadily
Some core elements of our real estate websites that naturally improve your position on Google are steady, solid and rarely-changing because they are based on solid fundamentals, and here are some of the core features or continuous improvements.
URL Structures, Meta Titles and Descriptions
Even our MLS® search result pages are very well optimized in its keyword-rich URL structure that well-defines the listing(s). For your own pages, our team (or yourself) have the ability to fully modify the meta titles & descriptions to make it more relevant and easier to read. This has been one of the most core functionalities for all Brixwork websites for years, and will continue to be so.
Load Speed & Mobile Responsiveness
Our core software is constantly tweaked and improved to reduce bottlenecks, decrease page load time, as well as show up better on social share results. Some of the notable improvements made throughout 2016 already include (these upgrades help all of our clients, not just those on the SEO packages)
- Image load time for MLS® Reciprocity listings
- Thumbnail & mobile generation
- Code & architecture load time (framework files are minified further)
- Off-loading between multiple servers
Server Security & Reputation Management
Entire servers & IP addresses can be blocked or deemed as spam from 3rd parties. Our code is improved constantly to be more secure & stable, and we vigilantly monitor against hackers and intrusion attacks. We also have a strict policy to leverage professional 3rd party email services such as G-Suite (formerly known as Google Apps) to avoid our own servers being infiltrated with spam or losing reputation due to a 3rd party security breach.
Things You Can Do To Improve Your Presence On Google
Apart from what our engineers and content generators can do, there are many other things each Realtor® can do in order to improve their rankings and presence on Google.
- Ensure that your social media profiles (Instagram, LinkedIn) have links to your website included.
- Share sections of your website (generate a specific property search in neighbourhoods) and copy-paste to share those results on your website.
- Find cool listings on your own website (whether your own listings, or MLS® Reciprocity driven) and share on your social media.
- Customize your own property listing descriptions with headings & longer paragraphs (above and beyond what the MLS® system allows you to)
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: The SEO Package prices have increased a lot! Why is that?
A: SEO is a relative game, and the amount of time & effort put into generating content on websites has significantly increased across the board among all competitors. Therefore we need to put in more than double the effort for our SEO campaigns to be effective. Think of the average time of Olympic sprinters decreasing each decade – the standards always go up as a whole. Our pricing is competitive and in-line with other competitors in the SEO industry.
Q: How long does it take to rank well for specific keywords? And are there guarantees?
A: Any properly run SEO campaign actually cannot make solid guarantees, as it is all relative to what the competitors are doing. That being said, traffic increases can be detected as early as 2 months, and up to 1 year may be required to really have impact on the bigger keywords. The bigger the keywords, the more competitive it is.
Q: It says that blog articles are now mandatory as part of our SEO campaigns. What if I do not have a blog?
A: Since SEO is a longer term commitment, with a 3+ month commitment we will install a basic blog for your website at no additional cost.