If Your Real Estate Website Content is King, Make Sure Links Aren’t Your Jester
As a real estate agent, you may feel like your real estate website is the mouse next to the sleeping Google elephant. If the elephant rolls over, it will mean more to the mouse than the elephant. Eleven months ago Google started penalizing real estate websites for certain linking strategies that once worked to improve search engine ranking. As disastrous as that was for some real estate websites, marketing lessons were learned … or relearned.
Relearned is that content is, was and will be the driving force in keeping real estate websites high in a search. In one move, Google increased the load for keeping real estate websites ranking onto the shoulders of the real estate agents (and their writers). Google had already begun ignoring keyword meta tags, now the mechanics of linking fell more under the “content” scrutiny versus the “inbound link” scrutiny.
Two results: the ability of real estate agents to add content to their website increased in importance and the inbound and outbound links need to have a good contextual surroundings. Blogs and article manager tools have taken on greater importance in the strategy of ranking. Not by the number of articles or entries so much as the content of the entries. Regular and weekly (at minimum) updates are definitely part of the strategy, but the big points are for content.
Content, theoretically primarily educates or helps your website visitors. Secondarily it is to clue the search engines in on what you website is about. Writing for website visitors, using keywords and phrases in the content as they would occur naturally and not placing keywords all over the place is what the search engine algorithms are checking.
Think of the search engines as trying to mimic a website visitor when it indexes the website content and links. The algorithms check the content for percentage of keywords used to number of words used in the article and if the link has relevance to your website. Rule of thumb: write naturally and sprinkle in the keywords, but don’t try to form the article or entry around the keyword. Using variations on the keyword also helps to cover more keyword searches and seem more natural (and less boring to the reader). A content check is “Would this entry read the same or this link be useful if there were no search engines?”
Fortunately for real estate agents, the software to write blogs and articles has improved and WYSIWYG text editors allow real estate agents to write in a familiar environment. When the elephant rolls over, reposition and keep going.
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