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How to Avoid Search Ranking Disasters for Property Listings

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When it comes time to change a company real estate website, most brokers or real estate company decision makers think of a real estate website developer for the job and forget to verify their property listing pages can be found by ready buyers.

real estate website developmentA real estate website developer is a person or company employed by the real estate Company that deploys a vast amount of geeky web coding that makes up what you, I or a website visitors sees when they visit the website.

While the look and feel of a real estate website is important from a visitor’s experience and usability perspective, it is often the coding behind that geeky coding that ultimately determines how real estate SEO friendly the website is. Another words, will Google and others crawl, index and add important web pages to their search results.

Today, it’s no secret, when real estate buyers begins searching for listings they begin that search online. Ideally a broker wants their website to appear in Google’s search results when a person has typed in a keyword phrase or search terms that relates to real estate or property for sale in their local marketplace.

Understanding Buyer Behavior Can Improve Real Estate Website Search Rankings

There are two general categories I place property buyers in:

  1. Just Looking: these are browsers. People who may someday sell or buy a property and are more interested in what’s happening in their market place.
  2. Ready Buyers: these a people who seriously want to make a move. They want to buy or sell a property within the next 6 months.

A company’s real estate website must serve both the “just looking” and the “ready” buyers. In this article we are going to focus on the ready to purchase real estate buyers. The people who are motivated and seeking a property sooner than later.

How “Ready” Buyers Search for Real Estate

When a buyer becomes serious about purchasing a property, more than likely they were previously a “just looking” online browser. The first phase allowed them to narrow their search, define an area, location or neighborhood that accommodates their desired lifestyle needs.

We have all done it when searching for a home. After we know our desired vicinity we begin to narrow our property search online. Gone are the days buyers pull up to a local real estate office and ask what’s for sale in their chosen location. They have done their homework and now it’s time to locate a home that not only meets their overall criteria such as location, number of bedrooms, or square footage, but one that has the personality they are looking for and makes them put in an offer.

It is common for an active home buyer to get in their car and drive by listings they found online. They also inform their friends and colleagues about their upcoming purchase. After all, searching for a home is an exciting time.

I have purchased over 10 different owner-occupied homes thus far in my life and when I walked in the front door for the first time, I knew that I was going to buy the home.

Poorly Implemented Website SEO Can Kill Sales

It is a listing agent’s responsibility to gain as much exposure as possible for their sellers. But what happens when a prospective buyer searches online for a listing by address? Or they conduct a highly targeted such search such as by street address or neighborhood combined with number of bedrooms, favorite amenities or specific home characteristics? If a buyer conducts an online search in your market place using any of these highly targeted search phrases and they match your listed properties criteria, that property details page should appear on the first page of Google, right?

It all goes back to that geeky coding we previously talked about.

While the process Google and other major search engine use, referred to as an algorithm, to determine what pages appear in their search results is complex and not publically outlined, you do need to beware there are SEO best practices that can be implemented to ensure your listings appear ahead of anyone else’s when conducting such a specific or highly targeted property search.

It is What You Don’t See that Determines Online Property Exposure

Property detail pages on a real estate company website, normally consist of MLS data. However, it is the way that data is pulled into the website and the geeky coding that can differentiates a property page from appearing on Google and one that does not.

Google does not view page like we do. Behind each web page is coding. It is this coding that Google sees. And it is this coding that is a big contributor to the property page’s SEO friendliness and ability to capture Google’s attention.

How to Maximize Online Property Publicity

There are numerous on-page SEO factors that influence whether a property page gets found online.  Here are two simple methods to learn if your company real estate website utilizes SEO friendly property pages.

Method One: Verify Property Pages are Indexed by Google

Go to Google and type (replace with your actual website address) into the search box. After you hit enter, Google will display an about number above the results. This is about the total number of pages Google has indexed from your website. Is Google’s number similar to the total of all your property page listings? Scroll through the results pages and look for your property pages. Can you find them? Are they shown on earlier pages? Are they buried deep in the results?

Method Two: Do a Google Search

Go to Google. Search for a property listed by your company by address. Does your property detail web page appear on page one? Page two?

Go to Google. Think about how a ready buyer might search for a property that matches one of your company listings. Type in the street name or neighborhood name followed by highly targeted terms such as “Taylor Village modern home with in ground pool.” Does your property listing web page appear in Google’s results? Conduct a variety of these type of searches.

The above two methods are not scientific but they will help you determine if your property detail web pages are real estate SEO friendly and therefore will appear in Google’s search results when a ready buyer searches online for a home that matches your property listings description.

Want Property Page Exposure?
Contact realWITS to learn how to get found online by ready buyers.

To gain optimal online exposure for property listings a real estate company website must be developed from both a user perspective and incorporate SEO friendly best practices. 


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