93% of the time, people – your prospects – look online for a solution to their problem by starting with a search engine.
They don’t go straight to your real estate website…
They don’t go straight to your competitor’s website, either.
Instead, they visit good ol’ democratic, survival-of-the-helpful(est), search engine land (Google).
Which is great if you’re ranking above your competitors!
And not so bueno if you’re sitting quietly under the table…
Fortunately, SEO for real estate (Search Engine Optimization) or ranking at the top of Google is one part patience, one part consistency, and one part knowing the rules.
As per usual for Silicon Valley’s children, though, the rules are constantly changing…
Which is why I’m going to walk you through the future (and present) of Google’s ranking rules and 5 signs that you’re underprepared.
1. Your Real Estate Website is Terrible on Mobile
Somewhere between 2013 and 2014, mobile website usage overtook desktop…
And it hasn’t slowed down since. In fact, Google’s taken note – this year, they rolled out their highly-anticipated mobile-first indexing. In the past, Google has prioritized the desktop version of your website over the mobile version, but as internet users have transitioned from blocky to pocket-sized, Google is following suit and flip-flopping their past formula, prioritizing the mobile version of your website over the desktop version.
What does that mean?
It means that if your website isn’t responsive to the device someone is viewing it on – whether desktop, mobile, tablet, or laptop – then your rankings will suffer. All Carrot real estate websites are mobile responsive in preparation for this increasingly impactful SEO trend.
2. Your Real Estate Website Takes Longer than 3 Seconds to Load
Everyone wants a pretty website with nifty gadgets and colorful, modern badges…
Unfortunately, for many online businesses that prioritize aesthetics over efficiency, those pretty colors hurt rankings. Sure – you can have a website that looks great and performs well in Google.
But the truth is, many people build beautiful websites without considering the backend load speed.
Why is load speed so important?
Because, in Google’s eyes, even milliseconds matter…
And the correlation between load speed and Google rankings isn’t a coincidence. As load speed increases, a little nightmare called bounce rate increases…
The closer that your website’s bounce rate gets to the clouds, the worse for your Google rankings. And a load speed higher than 3 seconds is a sure-fire way to launch you bounce rate and plummet your rankings.
Which is why, at Carrot, we test all of our websites and ensure that they’re far below the danger zone.
3. People don’t Trust your Real Estate Website
What would you do?
You Google for an answer to your problem. You click on a result and quickly find that the result doesn’t answer your question…
*Click Back Button*
That, my friends, is called a “bounce” in online marketer speak. And the higher your bounce rate – the more people who click off without viewing another page on your website – the worst for your rankings.
And most of the time, a website visitor bounces because they don’t trust your website to solve their problem. In real estate, your prospect’s problem is very personal and requires a lot of trust.
Which is why if you don’t build trust quickly the moment that people arrive on your website, the higher your bounce rate and the lower your rankings.
To help, here’s a whiteboard video we did about increasing the credibility of your real estate website with a few small tweaks…
4. Your Real Estate Website Doesn’t have SSL Protection
While the difference between HTTP and HTTPS isn’t massive, it does make a difference in your rankings. And that impact might increase as online user expectations continue to favor secure websites over insecure websites.
Here’s how Google puts it:
“For now it’s only a very lightweight signal — affecting fewer than 1% of global queries, and carrying less weight than other signals such as high-quality content — while we give webmasters time to switch to HTTPS. But over time, we may decide to strengthen it, because we’d like to encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web.”
And that SSL protection signal is already having an impact on which websites are ranking and which ones aren’t.
As it stands, SSL is not the most important part of your SEO strategy. But, if your competitors are using HTTPS over HTTP, then using SSL on your own website could make the difference between who’s ranking on page one…
And who’s invisible on pages 2-10.
Adding SSL to your website usually costs about $50. For Carrot members, though, you can add it to your website with just a few button clicks (literally), saving you time, money, and rankings.
5. You’re not Consistently Creating Content
The more content you create on your website (blog posts, transcribed videos, worksheets, etc), the more opportunities your website has to rank. Each piece of content is like a door to your website. With more doors comes more opportunity and more website traffic.
Which is why, as Ahrefs reports, relevant content creation is the most effective SEO for real estate tactic put to use by savvy marketers.
CARROT PICKED RELATED CONTENT: 3 Steps To Creating Real Estate Content For Marketing (In Less Than An Hour)
Keyword research is the 2nd most effective SEO tactic, a consistent content creation process combined with on-page optimization for high-quality keywords is practically unbeatable.
And the longer you keep creating keyword-optimized content, the better your website will perform in Google.
That’s why, at Carrot, our Content Pro and Advanced Marketer plans come with 12 and 24 blog posts per month respectively – each being written with keyword research and SEO in mind.
CARROT PICKED RELATED CONTENT: 5 Things you Probably don’t Know About Carrot’s Advanced Marketer Plan
Of course, doing your own keyword research is easier said than done… so we did it for you. Click below to receive your free real estate investor keyword bible or your free real estate agent keyword bible.