In December 2008 a detailed analysis of the Top 50 Real Estate Companies’ Websites, recognized by Real Trends Report “The 500 Largest Brokers in the U.S. (Ranked by Closed Transactions sides for 2007).” Real Trends is a leading source of analysis and information on the residential brokerage industry.
The main objective of the analysis was to highlight the SEO practices of major Real Estate Companies as well as emphasize with real examples, the importance for all Real Estate Companies to place SEO at the top of their marketing agenda.
What is SEO?
SEO (SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION) is the process of making a website and its content highly relevant for both search engines and searchers. SEO includes technical tasks that make it easier for search engines to find and index a website for the appropriate keywords. Web SEO helps a website gain top positioning for relevant words and phrases. If a website is not found on page 1 or 2 of a search engine, then that website will not enjoy website traffic, online exposure, and online profitability.
After viewing countless websites every month, ranging from small sites to large multi-page web-sites, while doing a variety of SEO research to try to identify what’s working and what’s not cutting it for Real Estate websites, there were a few issues that come up frequently. These Optimization factors were divided into 7 SEO CATEGORIES.
Note: The categories that are discussed in this report only touch the surface of what is required to gain top Search engine placement. Like Real Estate, the SEO world is constantly changing and it takes a true professional to keep up with new SEO trends, tools and practices..
This study evaluates the websites of the Top 50 Real Estate Companies as recognized by a re-port published by Real Trends entitled “The Largest 500 Brokers in the U.S. – Ranked by Closed Transactions Sides for 2007”
The following factors were considered:
- Traffic Ranking
- Number of Search Terms a website ranked for
- Google Page Rank
- Number of Pages indexed by Google
- Meta Descriptions
- Page Titles
- Website Validation Errors
Real Estate Landscape
Real estate is about building relationships. Nowadays, these relations start online. The need to embrace the Internet is evident in most industries, but for Brokers and agents, optimization and the Internet is paramount and a core factor for success. Having an online, visible and prominent website voice and an online platform to showcase your listings and make your services known to sellers is crucial.
According to the 2007 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 84% of all homebuyers used the Internet as an information source.An astounding 84% of ALL buyers identified the Internet as a source in their home search. This percentage amount included 87% of first-time buyers, 82% of repeat buyers, 79% of new home buyers and 85% of buyers of previously owned homes.
With a plethora of Real Estate Websites to choose from, can home buyers and sellers easily find your site?
In today’s challenging market and economic downturn, every dollar spent needs to have relevance. Advertising and marketing costs are on the rise and what used to work no longer does. Media today has become fragmented and gone are the days when companies launched a campaign on TV and reached masses of consumers. Traditional media vehicles such as newspapers, magazines and TV, simply do not make the phone ring like they used to. This is because consumers today are bombarded with thousands of marketing messages every day and they have almost become immune to traditional media. People use the internet as their resource.
Studies indicate that the Internet has become the go-to source for home buyers and sellers. The Internet provides a 24/7 source of information and buyers and sellers can browse and look for WHAT they need, WHEN they need it, without having to be distracted by hordes of other irrelevant marketing messages.This means that you need to position your Company and Agents’ website for top rankings in the search engines.
Top Real Estate companies have relied on name recognition, but with a host of major companies to choose from, clearly only a few would get “top-of-mind” awareness. Subsequently, even the most established companies need to optimize their websites to constantly maintain their market position.In a world dominated by the Internet, what matters most is not having concrete processes for your marketing and sales funnels but a SEO Real Estate optimized website that potential clients will find in the first place.