5 Traffic & SEO Myths Busted
– And What To Do Instead

Focus on what actually works, and stop wasting time & effort.

Many Realtors® often focus on the wrong things, making unimpactful changes to their website without any increase in business resulting from it.
Many common actions are a total waste of time and money, and sometimes they can reduce your visitor engagement and thus hurt your business!

Myth 1: “Domains with great keywords will rank high!”

No, having “Vancouver” or “Toronto” in the domain itself will NOT help your Google™ ranking. This often upsets those who just spent money on a domain, but here’s the truth.

Here’s why Google started ignoring them long ago:
  • People bought absurdly long domains with keywords stuffed in it, such as WestVancouverLuxuryHomesForSale.com.
  • Those websites often did not have relevant content or quality build.
  • Google thus dramatically reduced the weight on keywords in the domain.
  • Focus shifted more towards quality content, better structure and links, higher security, mobile friendliness and more.

Don’t Believe Us? We Have Proof!

Google “Luxury West Vancouver Real Estate” and scan the domains. Many brokerage/Realtor® name domains show on page 1, including our clients Mike Grahame/Tyson Angus, and Brock Smeaton, but none have “West Vancouver” in them.

Test this outside of real estate, search “Best yoga clothes” on Google. Only one domain, www.Yogajournal.com, has the word “yoga” in it (as of May 2024).

What Domains To Use Instead for Real Estate

The domain needs to be easy to remember. Matching your (team/group) name for brand cohesion is great, or if it can be your niche neighbourhood (FalseCreekFlats.com or SilverValleyHomes.com are such examples)! But keep it short. That way, it’s easier to print too!

Myth 2: “If I build it, they will come!”

Many seem to suffer from this delusion! Beaming with pride at their newly-built website, they presume people will pop in like it’s an ice cream shop that just opened at the pier. It’s not a visible retail store that people pass by (duh).

Without SEO or PPC, Your Traffic Is Limited To:
  • Referral/New lead Googles your name.
  • Social media profile or story links.
  • Type in domain from signs, mailers/ads.

Most websites do not get a lot of traffic just by existing, and pages don’t get clicks just because you link to them either.. which leads us to our next myth:

Myth 3: “Link to the new page and everyone will see it!”

Sorry to burst your bubble (again) but let’s rethink this. Just because you’re excited about this page doesn’t mean the unknowing public will be.

Take the Visitor’s Perspective – Is There Intrigue?

Imagine seeing links such as HOME EVALUATION (with a long boring lead form nobody will fill out), or some random unknown title such as HARBOUR ONE (“Is that a neighbourhood, or a new presale?”), or just YOUTUBE/INSTAGRAM on a menubar. Most people won’t explore all the links like it’s a cave with treasure hidden inside.
Yet so many still assume links mean pageviews, and waste their efforts. Too many links can be messy and overwhelming. If the menu and dropdowns are not well-grouped, it may even confuse visitors and turn them away.

Here’s What You Can Do Instead To Drive Visitors To A Page

On an existing page (such as the homepage), design a curiosity-triggering teaser for attention. Interest them and build desire for more, and they are more likely to click on the button. Here are some examples:

Realtor Stefan Gerber's homepage teaser and link to his work motto
Exponential Realty's About Team Website teaser and link

Enticing and grabbing attention of visitors with great visuals and storytelling is the key to directing people where you want, which leads us to the next myth:

Myth 4: “Visitor count is the most important traffic metric”

Too many people fixate only on visitors but miss the more important metric – engagement! This observes how those visitors are using your website, directly reflecting how well-designed and good-looking your website is.

Engagement Metrics That Matter For Realtor® Websites:

  • Pageviews & Clicks – how many pages does each user click and browse? PDF downloads & video playbacks count too!
  • Time on page/site – how many seconds do users stay on specific pages, and how about the on the whole website?
  • Scroll depth – how far down do visitors scroll on your pages?
  • Conversion – how many submit the contact form, or click your phone/email link?
Higher Engagement = More Brand Awareness = More Business

The more time visitors spend viewing more pages, the more they familiarise themselves with your brand. Increased brand awareness leads to more commissions in real estate. At the end, your goal is to sell homes, not just get visitors on your website.

Why Visitor Count is Overrated When It Comes To Traffic
  • Paying for more traffic to a poorly optimised website is a waste, like sending people into a store that doesn’t have the credit card terminal set up yet.
  • Google detects if somebody clicks your page, then clicks the BACK button right away, and may demote your ranking if this happens a lot!

Instead, Improve On-Site Flow and Conversion Rate First

We have Google Analytics reports that prove storytelling custom website modules deliver better engagement. Our custom designed Realtor® websites not only look better than the average cookie-cutter websites, but they also deliver higher conversion rates.

Better Investment of Budget for All Scenarios

Improving the conversion rate of a website is much more cost-effective in getting more deals from modest traffic, compared to the higher cost of SEO or PPC Campaigns for more traffic. Converting more existing traffic gives you better ROI, which leads us to the final myth to bust:

Myth 5: “Websites Are Meant To Be Lead-Gen Tools!”

No, most Realtor® websites are visited by referrals/existing leads who want to check you out. Without a dedicated SEO campaign or an active PPC Campaign, you rarely get brand new leads on your website.

  • Without traffic, more lead gen forms/widgets are useless.
  • Optimise the design and flow (storytelling) of your website first.
  • Converting more of existing traffic is the first goal.

Some tenured Realtor® websites do get the rare search traffic from an address query, but that’s not enough to call it a “lead gen” platform, any more than you can call a frenchie a hunting dog (although they are adorable).

What To Do Instead If You Want Traffic and Lead Generation

There are two key methods to get more traffic to your real estate website, thus more leads at the end:

  1. Dedicated SEO Campaign (we also have DIY SEO tips for Realtors®)
  2. Full-Flow Funnel PPC Campaign (Google or Social Media)

These campaigns will have much higher efficacy if the website is optimised first for better flow, however.

We Hope This Helps You Make Better Informed Website Decisions!

In summary, here’s how you can maximise your investment, get more business, and reduce effort and money wasted:

01

Realistic Expectations

Unrealistic visions of how easy it is to get traffic, leads and conversions is at the core of many poor decisions.

02

Quality Before Quantity

This applies to most things in life. Focus on the on-site engagement (website quality) before chasing more traffic.

03

Be Mission-Oriented

Before pondering “How do I add this page/link?”, first ask “Will this help me get more business?”

More Useful Advice and Tricks For Realtors®

Hundreds of agents took home valuable insight and new ideas from our recent Youtube videos:

  1. 3 Tips to Design Better Listing Presentations
  2. Homepage, Landing Page and Entry Pages Defined
  3. Why some fancy MLS® search forms actually hurt your business
More Videos On Our Youtube, Instagram and TikTok

If you want to become a better performing Realtor®, subscribe to our Youtube channel, and you can find short but inspiring reels on our Instagram and TikTok – give us a follow, and keep up with real estate marketing trends.