What SEO Tactics Real Estate Agents Should Avoid

By Lenny Ford

Posted:

Category: Real Estate Agents SEO


Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a wonderful way to increase your online visibility, get more calls from prospective clients, increase revenue, and compete with others in the field. 90% of prospective homebuyers search for homes online, so it’s essential to have your website optimized to appear in relevant search queries. Search Engine Optimization improves your online visibility and helps you get more traffic.

SEO techniques improve your website quality, so once visitors land on your site, they have a better experience. However, it takes a long time to see SEO effects, and some optimizers choose to use tactics that they think will help a website improve ranking faster. In practice, there is no such thing as speeding up your SEO results besides having a well-planned, effective strategy that works for your site, which may take time to improve your online rankings.

Black hat SEO consists of techniques to boost a website’s performance in search engines by tricking the algorithm and violating search engine guidelines. Any method that manipulates the search engine algorithms will only harm your real estate website. You may not even realize you are breaking SEO rules and including steps in your strategy that you shouldn’t have. That’s why we have decided to include the tactics you should exclude from your SEO strategy.

Keyword Stuffing

After your keyword research, which is an essential step in search engine optimization, you may want to include it in the text on your page as many times as possible to improve your website’s positions in relevant search queries. Such an approach can lead to keyword stuffing.

Your goal should never be manipulating the ranking, but rather improving it. Tactics like keyword stuffing decrease your site quality, and most importantly, it doesn’t boost your ranking and may harm your online visibility.

“Filling pages with keywords or numbers results in negative user experience and can harm your site’s ranking. Focus on creating useful, information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and in context.”

Google

Hidden Text

If you want to target the keyword “homes on sale,” you may not use keyword stuffing method, but instead, use hidden text. Such text will not be visible to human visitors but will be visible to the search engine. For instance, you may use a white font on white background, set the font size to 1, place the text behind an image, position text off the screen, or hide links in characters of the text, such as in punctuation marks.

“Hiding text or links in your content to manipulate Google’s search rankings can be seen as deceptive and is a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.” 

-Google

If you use such text, it’s also because of the intent to manipulate your ranking, and you will probably get a penalty from Google.

Cloaking

Cloaking is the technique of offering content to the search engine that is different from what your website visitors see once clicking on it and is a step you shouldn’t use to rank well in search engines. A user clicks on your site because the page in the search engine looks like something they need, but once they land on your site, it offers different and unrelated content. The primary purpose of the technique is to appear in search queries that the page otherwise wouldn’t appear in and to trick users into visiting a site they would otherwise not visit. It sounds quite like an infringement, and it is. Cloaking is a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and will result in a penalty.

Buying or Exchanging Links

Links in SEO are crucial, and if many sites link to yours, Google will understand your content is helpful and relevant so that your site will improve in ranking. However, some links can harm your online presence, and you should remove acquiring such links from your strategy.

You should earn links by creating compelling content, networking, sharing it to different social media platforms, and keeping your site fresh and optimized. Because link building requires a lot of time and investment of energy, one might decide to buy, sell, or exchange links. If you contact another real estate agent and tell them, you’ll link to their website if they link to yours, it sounds like an innocent deal. However, “I’ll link to you if you link to me” strategy should be off the table if you don’t want to harm your real estate website. Don’t contact other sites and ask for links in exchange for money – this is also a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

“Any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site’s ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.” 

Google

The best way to earn links is by having a successful SEO strategy that doesn’t include infringement of rules. If you have a great website with compelling content that you actively share or promote on social media, you’ll have more chances to earn backlinks from others.

Duplicate Content

There is no penalty for duplicate content, but it is among various reasons your site may not achieve desired positions in search engines. If Google sees the same content across the internet, choosing which one to rank in a query will be challenging. For instance, if this article lives on five different websites, how does a search engine choose which one to rank in search results? You might argue that there are hundreds of ranking factors, so whichever site is more optimized will appear in the results. Unfortunately, that’s not true, and in reality, sites with duplicated content may have difficulty appearing at the top of the search results.as

“In some cases, content is deliberately duplicated across domains in an attempt to manipulate search engine rankings or win more traffic. Deceptive practices like this can result in poor user experience when a visitor sees substantially the same content repeated within a set of search results.” –

Google

You may think if you don’t visit another real estate agent’s website to copy and paste their content, you don’t have to worry about duplicate content. The fact that you aren’t copying anyone else’s work is a great start, but it doesn’t guarantee you won’t end up with duplicate content. Sometimes, you create such content unintentionally. 95% of all duplicate content is unintentional and may cause numerous problems. If you have a site, www.thebestrealestateagent.com, it’s not the same URL as thebestrealestate.com, although the destination is the same. When search engine bots see these two different URLs with the same content, the search engine considers it duplicate content.

Another way duplicate content can be unintentionally created is by repeating your content on multiple pages on the website. For example, you may have a great About Us page with 600 unique words about your real estate business. You then decide to include that same content on the homepage as well. This creates duplicate content between the About Us page and the homepage.

The best way to avoid duplicate content on your site is by using 301 redirects to the correct URL. Tools like MOZ crawler can help you identify duplicate titles, duplicate pages, and duplicate content from dynamic URLs.

Article Spinning

Article spinning refers to creating new content from what already exists on a site, and it’s not the same as updating content. Usually, this technique is performed automatically; therefore, the quality of the content is considerably low.

See the example below for the excerpt of our article:

“Article spinning refers to creating new content from what already exists on a site, and it’s not the same as updating content. Usually, this technique is performed automatically.”

Doesn’t make sense, right? Imagine randomly replacing the words and phrases used in an article to create new content. With no human writer and editor, such content will be difficult to read and may not even make sense. You should never use automatic spinning. No automated writing software can recognize the context or grammar in your sentences, and the chances are that you will have low-quality content. Having such content is pointless because it harms the quality of your site, your page visitors will have an unpleasant experience, and such content cannot rank well in search queries. Article spinning is a technique you should avoid, as by spinning, you aren’t creating new original content and are trying to “fool” a search engine. Besides, no users will be happy to read the same article twice, even if there are different words and phrases, and even if the text makes sense.

Instead of spinning articles, update your posts by adding content to them, or rewriting them to adjust to changes in the field. If you wrote an article about buying a property in NYC in 2015, go back and see what has changed since then. Are there things you would write differently in 2020? If so, you can use the existing article and rewrite it so it is up-to-date. It’s not the same as spinning, and as a result, you will have high-quality content and your page visitors will have a pleasant experience on your site.

To sum it up, you should leave all the tactics that aim to manipulate your website rankings in search engines out of your SEO strategy. Instead, invest your time and energy in SEO techniques that help increase your website’s online visibility so that you can get more clients on your site and increase revenue. Create compelling content, improve the quality of your site, and invest in a user-friendly, simple, and appealing design.



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