SEO Blogging alone will not get you business – keeping them on the site will

Your SEO might be great but are they staying beyond the first click?

With all the articles on the subject of how to rank at the top of Google for your real estate website, it’s hard not to pay attention and harder still not to engage in this bit of competitive climb to the top.  For some, it becomes an addiction of sorts that they are able to feed all on their own, others spend thousands of dollars for an SEO Blogging Coach to get them there.

Let’s say whatever SEO tactics you’ve employed are actually working and you come up.  Are you able to keep your buyers on your site for longer than a few seconds?  Do your offer your readers something beyond a keyword rich hodge-podge of HouseLogic type content with a few market reports thrown in?

Browsing as many real estate websites as I do daily, most of you do not.  So let’s look at it from the perspective of your consumer, and lets use real estate as an example.  It’s safe to assume that in most markets the good majority of people hitting your first page google listing are indeed potential buyers looking for a home in your town/city/hood.  Once they land on that page, what are they looking at and reading?

I won’t use any live examples of what not to do, but if any of this applies to you, you should probably re-evaluate your real estate website, no matter how high your pages may rank.

Please note that all of this applies to content pages of your real estate website, and not IDX pages.  While your content pages may and should have search links on them or homes for sale displayed, I am only referring to what you actually have control over here.

First, some indicators to look for:

Bounce Rate

If your site’s bounce rate is over 68%, it’s not a good indication that your content is read.  Evaluate bounce rate for all of your important pages (the ones you worked really hard to get to the top of Google, for example).  You should have a Google Analytics account or something with similar capabilities installed on all your sites to properly evaluate this.

analyzing your real estate website

New vs Returning visitors.

In most cases, you should want those to be split about 50/50.  If you are getting very few return visitors, that means you are either not updating your content often enough or it’s just not interesting enough for them to return, and it’s as good an indication as any that some of those potential buyers are now shopping elsewhere and reading someone else’s blogs.

Time on Site:

Anything over 2 minutes is ok, but the higher this time is for your most important pages, the better.

Between these three parameters, you should have a pretty decent picture of whether or not what you are doing now is working.

If you are fine – no need reading further, you are doing great and your conversion rate should be pretty high.  If not, chances are here is what your pages look like to a consumer and why you are not doing well:

Deceptive SEO Title/Description

Say you took all the seo advice to heart and you are naming your page with the keywords you are going after and in the SEO/Meta description of the page, your copy makes it sound highly desirable to a potential buyer to want to click the link.  Example:

SEO Title:

NiftyTown homes for sale

SEO Description:

“hassle-free no registration required complete home search site for NiftyTown, including bank owned and foreclosure homes, FSBOs and all the school and other resources you will ever need.  Find your new home in under 2 minutes…”

Buyer lands on the page, and they are asked to fill out a form to search for homes, and there is no other resources or info – translation, you lost the buyer, and he/she will NOT be coming back, ever.

Selling vs helping

A consumer lands on a page and instead of getting the ability to browse the info they came for, they are being sold to on how wonderful you are, and your longevity, integrity, ability to make the best hushpuppies this side of the Mason Dixon, etc.  Problem is they weren’t looking for you, at all.  They were (in most cases) looking for a house or a condo in NiftyTown.  They would have loved to see great photos of the neighborhoods, read on local businesses, parks, schools, amenities, and not feel like there is a sales person on the other side of the screen.

Your content just plain sucks

Market reports are useful as indicators of values and such, but again, most buyers don’t start their home shopping experience by searching for real estate market reports and statistics in NiftyTown.  Real estate people find those things highly important, and they are, but in the real world, they are and always have been more important to sellers than buyers.  A buyer, after searching for properties for sale in any area already has a pretty decent idea of what a 3 bedroom 2 bath restored colonial in NiftyTown should cost them (they just spent weeks looking at prices), and have already done the averages in their heads.  Numbers, when that’s all you have, make for pretty lousy and boring content.  They also work better when direct mailed to your potential sellers than as buyer bait.

By comparison, good content is addressing things these human beings searching for a home don’t know, and doing it in a way that makes you sound human.

What your potential buyers don’t know could be:  whether or not they can bike to work or school, if the coffee in a particular little coffee shop around the corner from a subdivision is any good, whether or not a nifty little park a mile away allows dogs and do they have to pay extra to play at the community golf course.  No, these in and of themselves are not real estate or home selling related per se, but these are the things that doesn’t tend to provide.  These are the things you should know better than any property search can help with, and these should be the things that at the end of the day help a buyer decide where they’d like to move to.  Because most people don’t just buy a house based on price and square footage.  Most of us want a good place to live, and it’s hard to reduce that to numbers in a graph.

If you’ve stumbled on this post by chance, we build awesome wordpress real estate sites, with all the SEO optimization, help and advice included.  These are the sorts of mistakes our clients never make.

If you like what you read here – feel free to subscribe to our blog, and you’ll get new and nifty posts in your email.  We don’t spam.

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6 Responses to SEO Blogging alone will not get you business – keeping them on the site will
  1. Mack Graham
    October 7, 2011 | 5:39 pm

    This Real Estate posting is more informational article. Please include more information about this.

    “Stratus Building Solutions”

  2. text message marketing
    September 3, 2011 | 12:01 am

    Thanks for the informative post Inna. As an intern working on a brand new website, I often curious how much SEO is appropriate. I do admit that I frequently respond to blogs and put my website in the comment section (like I did here LOL!), I consistently make sure to read the blog, respond to it appropriately and only link when it is actually delivering more valuable content.

  3. Virginia Hepp
    April 17, 2011 | 12:20 am

    You cut right to the point.
    I think my website is too random, scattered tidbits of general info about Mesquite.
    Maybe I need to outline it and then fill it in with more neighborhood info – and show some homes.

    • Inna Hardison
      April 17, 2011 | 11:55 am

      Virginia – too random and scattered would certainly not be good. I’d start with cleaning that up, before adding any new content, it’ll make your life easier down the road. 🙂 You might have to re-categorize what you currently have, so that any useful tidbits of info simply land in places where they’ll make sense to your visitors. That’s as good a start as any. Best!

  4. Chris Olsen
    April 12, 2011 | 7:36 pm

    You can take the most complex, nebulous topic, break it down, connect the dots, and make it beyond easy to understand. How you do that is simply amazing.

    • Inna Hardison
      April 12, 2011 | 9:21 pm

      I’ll tell you, just as soon as I look up “nebulous” 🙂

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