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Real Estate Agents: 2 Reasons To Be Cautious Of SEO Gurus

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Jenna Cyprus
January 22, 2019

Jenna Cyprus
Jenna Cyprus has written 2 articles for WebKnowHow.
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You’ve seen the headlines: “get first page rankings on Google with my proven 3-step SEO formula!” And, “Rank on the first page of Google and watch your profits soar!”

Promises of dominating SEO sound wonderful, but they’re nearly impossible to deliver on today. Ever since Google amped up personalized search results and prioritized local search, the dynamics of SEO have changed. Different users see different results for the same search terms depending on myriad factors including location, device, browsing history, and the browsing history of their contacts.

This change has delivered improved results for local search, which gives real estate agents an advantage. Unfortunately, the personalized algorithm changes have diluted the value of achieving page-one rankings. That’s not to say getting on the first page of Google is meaningless. The dilemma is that there is no objective “first page of Google” and first page rankings can be misleading.

Many SEO gurus help real estate businesses achieve first page rankings that aren’t useful, which brings up the first reason you should be skeptical of SEO gurus:

1. They might rank your business for keywords nobody searches for

Most people without professional SEO training think the idea is to come up with a list of keywords they want to rank for. Then, hire an SEO company to get their site to rank for their preferred words.

On the contrary, an SEO’s job is to tell the client what keywords they should be ranking for, and not the other way around. You want to rank for keywords people search for, and that’s the SEO’s job to determine. However, they ’ll be relying on their expertise to come up with the right keywords – search data hasn’t been public for years. Anyone who claims to know what people search for in Google isn’t being honest.

You can pay an SEO to achieve a first-page ranking for your preferred terms, but the lack of traffic will prove it isn’t being searched for. No traffic means no sales. That’s not where you want to be, considering search traffic converts 9% better than traffic from social media.

2. They might focus on keywords and omit LSI

Keywords still matter, but unlike the 1990s, keywords alone won’t bump you to the top. Google removed the option of searching for exact phrases within quotation marks. It’s part of their effort to move search results in the direction of relevance and away from keyword trickery. Today, Google places more weight on latent semantic indexing (LSI).

Google knows which subjects, keywords, and phrases, are related to each other. This is the foundation of LSI. When your webpage content includes additional subjects related to your main topic, Google increases its relevance. For example, Green Residential is a property management company. They’ve published an article titled How to Make Your Home Healthier for the Entire Family,whichincludes content discussing doormats, HVAC systems, air quality, home cleaning products, and natural lighting from windows. All of these topics are related to real estate; therefore, this article will be given more weight in certain searches.

2. First page rankings can be staged

There is no “first page of Google” anymore. There are now billions of first pages of Google.

When a user visits a website often, Google will return more search results from that website in the future. For example, if a user visits the Home Depot website often, anytime they search for home improvement keywords, Google will be more likely to provide results from Home Depot on the first page. There might be results from other home improvement stores, but they will be further down the page if they’re present at all.

Because of this, it’s easy for pseudo-SEO gurus to trick clients into believing their site is on the first page of Google where all users will see it. All they do is insert specific keywords and related content into your webpage’s title, meta description, headers, and body content. Next, they get you to visit the page to give your approval. Then, they tell you to search for a keyword phrase, and low and behold, there you are at the top!

It looks like you’ve achieved first page rankings, but thanks to personalization, you’ll likely be the only person seeing those first page results.

There are real SEO gurus out there

Real SEO gurus exist, but they don’t advertise on Fiverr and they won’t give away trade secrets for $97 online. Be cautious of SEOs who make promises they can’t fulfill. Find a reputable company whose clients vouch for their results. SEO is a long-term investment, not a quick fix.

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