You are here: GeekEstate Blog » SEO » 4 Reasons To Ignore SEO In Your Content

4 Reasons To Ignore SEO In Your Content

When it comes to SEO, most agents are focused on getting to the top of the search results for phrases like “Real Estate Agent in X” or “Where To List My Home.” After all, spending time and money on rising in the search rankings will lead to more clients, right?

I wholeheartedly disagree. I’d rather see all of my search engine clicks come from searches for “Virgent Realty” rather than “Real Estate Agent in Atlanta,” because that means my clients are interested in working with us and not just any random agent in the area.

In my opinion, SEO is a red herring, especially in an industry like real estate where the services are personal and expensive. Here are 4 reasons I wouldn’t focus on on SEO as a real estate agent:

1. It means your services are commoditized

When you try to optimize your content for search engine rankings, you’re implicitly agreeing that your content is very similar to what else is out there, and that your goal is to use search engine tricks to come out on top. Sure, it’s great to rank #1 in the search for “Real Estate Agent in X”, but what this actually means is that a prospective client thinks that any old agent in X will be fine, and you happened to be the first one to come up.

This leads to a problem: the clients who choose you don’t do so because of any unique advantage or service you offer. These clients will view you as a commodity, and have no issues switching agents down the road. Flour is also a commodity, and I’m betting you pick the cheapest bag of flour at the store. You don’t want to be flour.

2. SEO is irrelevant when it comes to finding clients

Guess how many home buyers find their agents via a search engine. According to the National Association of Realtors, the answer is 1%. That’s it.

A basic Hubspot subscription is $2,400 a year. Using that as a proxy for SEO spend (and I know Hubspot does much more than SEO), your annual marketing spend would have to be $240,000 (both in ad spend and agent time invested in marketing) for that investment to make sense based on the expected return.

3. Your best audience isn’t searching for your keywords

Think about the best content you’ve seen in the last year. That video you shared with your friends on Facebook or the blog post you emailed to your colleagues. Now ask yourself how you found that content. I’m betting it wasn’t because you did a Google search for “cats in funny hats.”

Real estate is a unique business because there is only a small window in a person’s life when they are looking to buy or sell a home. As such, most SEO-friendly content (e.g. “How will interests rates affect the home buying process”), will be completely ignored by the vast majority of people who could become your clients down the road because it isn’t relevant to them right now.

By instead focusing on content that future clients may be interested in by will likely never search for (e.g. “How many bedrooms does your house have? The answer isn’t what you think“), you’ll reach a far larger audience of prospective clients.

4. SEO should take care of itself

Although Google’s search ranking algorithm is a well-guarded secret, it’s well known that backlinks are the most important factor. This is also the factor you can’t control just by picking the right keywords and putting them in the right places.

The best way to get backlinks? Create interesting content worth sharing. If you focus on developing interesting blog posts and engaging infographics, you’ll be much more likely to get other to link to your content, which will do far more for your SEO than any keyword research you could possible do.

About Ben Kubic

Ben Kubic is the co-founder and CEO of Virgent Realty, a technology-driven brokerage serving home sellers in Atlanta. In its first month, Virgent was featured in Inman News and Product Hunt, and Ben sat on the Hybrid Broker panel at Inman Connect 2015 in SF. Ben received his MBA at Harvard Business School and his B.A. and B.S. at the University of Maryland.

This entry was posted in SEO and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.
  • 2. SEO is irrelevant when it comes to finding clients

    I’d have to disagree with you on this..and I know others who read this blog will agree. Some brokers/agents make really good money finding and converting online leads via SEO.

    But it’s damn hard, and damn expensive.

    A prior article I wrote on the cost of neglecting SEO: http://geekestateblog.com/attn-real-estate-brokers-whats-the-cost-of-neglecting-seo-now/

    • Benjamin Kubic

      I agree with your sentiment in the post that a lot of agents have neglected their web presence, but I think a lot of that is because web presence hasn’t mattered in the past. According to the NAR, the vast majority of clients find their agent through referrals. Web presence of any kind is towards the bottom of the list.

      As I mentioned in the post, the percentage of people who find their agents via search is only 1% according to the NAR, and I think a lot of that has to do with Zillow. Buyers start their home search on Zillow, and then use their “suggested agents” to set up showings.

      All I can speak for is Atlanta, but if you look at search volume for keywords like “Real Estate Agent in Atlanta” it’s extremely low, because people know ahead of time who they plan on contacting either from neighbors or the portals.

      • I totally agree no one looks online for a real estate agent. But they look online for properties for sale…and then happen on an agent who happens to have a presence there.

        • Exactly, and that’s why buyer lead gen is so much easier online than seller lead gen.

  • This is the right message for some, not others. I’d tell a new agent “Ignore door knocking” unless I knew that agent was going to be diligent, good at it, and enjoy focusing on it. The same goes for SEO.

    Most agents don’t need to spend much time on SEO. They just need their branded searches to come up, as you point out. Then they can go focus on other business-building activities.

    But that’s hardly lead gen. Those of us that focus on our organic lead gen niche have to find buyers and sellers before they’re aware of us. Product/geography-based search terms are key for that. SEO isn’t everything, but it should always be part of the strategy.

    By the way, I question that survey every year it comes out. Most of our clients still find us online every year, even as our referral/repeat business grows. People tell surveyors whatever makes them feel good about their decisions. I’m happy for them to keep publishing it, though, and for others to believe there’s no money in online lead gen. We’ll just keep working.

2008 - 2016 GEEK ESTATE · ALL RIGHTS RESERVED - THEME BY Virtual Results
Hosted by Caffeine Interactive