Ever spoken with an SEO guru or self-proclaimed “website expert”? If you have (or even if you haven’t), you’ve probably heard a huge list of things your site absolutely must have to show up in a Google search.
Well, guess what?
The things you’ve heard are likely wrong. Or, at the very least, outdated.
Let’s go over a few of the features you might think matter, but really don’t.
This is something I hear time and time again when speaking with agents and lenders who are working on setting up their website.
They want the perfect domain. They want multiple perfect domains.
They’ll spend endless time and energy coming up with every possible version they can because they think it’s going to help them get visitors and rank higher on search engines.
But it won’t.
At least not by any amount worth mentioning.
Sure, having an easy to remember and spell domain name is great for when you’re sending people to your site or putting it on a business card, but it’s hardly something worth fretting over.
Whether you have one great domain or 10 mediocre ones isn’t the point. People aren’t visiting your page because they see a clever URL attached.
They want to see the information you’re offering on your website and they want it to be beneficial to them.
Shift your focus:
Instead of worrying about your domain, focus more on including some hyperlocal content on your site.
You don’t need to own overly specific domain names when you address those topics and interests within your site.
Write blog posts about local events, your favorite restaurants, reviews of parks, etc. This will show you’re engaged with your community and know what people are curious about.
You can also include content pages that are focused on specific areas of your town or recreational activities that can be found there.
It’s about providing information about your community, not just incorporating it into your website’s URL.
Keywords and meta tags
This is an oldie but a goodie.
Once upon a time, these two things were very important. Tucking away little meta tags within your website code and stuffing keywords into the content itself was extremely commonplace and expected.
However, people began using these techniques to trick Google and essentially cheat their way to the top.Pages weren’t necessarily helpful, they just contained all the right keywords.
So, Google changed.
It stopped looking at those factors so heavily and started focusing more on things that indicated pages were actually helping people and answering their questions (like visiting multiple pages on a website and spending good amounts of time on those pages).
It no longer matters if you have hidden 15 different meta tags in your code and have shoved 30 relevant keywords into the text. And that’s a good thing.
Shift your focus:
Create a website and write content that keeps people engaged. Again, this is what those Google bots are looking for.
Answer their questions, link to other relevant pages on your site, and provide the information your visitors are looking for.
Stop worrying about SEO tips and tricks and focus on content, content, content.
Google PageSpeed Insights
Okay, I get it.
Google is basically the authority on all things Internet. I’ve mentioned them multiple times in this post alone.
But I’m not afraid to say this is one thing I don’t think is worth the weight it’s been given. I’m not saying PageSpeed Insights isn’t helpful – it definitely can be! It provides multiple things you can improve about your site and even tells you how you can fix them.
However, a lot of times, I think it can cause users to miss the forest for the trees. Case in point, I tested amazon.com using the tool and it performed fairly poorly, scoring 65/100.
Do millions of people still use Amazon every single day? You betcha. And I’d be willing to bet their developers aren’t being kept up at night by their score.
If you’ve tested your page before and were concerned with your results, take them with a grain of salt. Glaring issues are one thing, nitpicking is another.
Now that I’ve voiced my negative opinion, I’ll sit and wait for secret Google agents to drop down from the ceiling and take me in for questioning.
Shift your focus:
I’m about to harp on content. Again.
It really is that important, though. If you’ve got information people are interested in reading, they’ll wait that extra millisecond to access it.
First things first – I don’t want you to think the overall look of your site isn’t important.
People are drawn to things that are aesthetically pleasing. If your site looks good, it reflects well on you and your business.
But time and time again I’ve watched real estate and mortgage pros spend days deciding between two different shades of blue rather than dedicating time to what really matters (*ahem* content).
Seriously, yes your website should look nice, but if that’s all you’re focused on, you’re missing the point.
An effective website is much more than just an online business card. It’s an information source. It’s a representation of you as a professional. It’s a way to show people you know your stuff.
Shift your focus:
Again, the look of your site is important, but not as important as it being easy to navigate.
So, stop focusing so much on color choice and what photos you want to be displayed on your home page and instead make sure your site is easy to use.
For mortgage pros, this means making a link to your loan app visible and front-and-center.
For agents, this can take the form of quick, easy access to your listings.
When it comes down to it, modern SEO is simply more about helpful content than anything else. You don’t need a guru and you don’t need to know secret tricks.
Just make sure your visitors get the information they’re looking for and focus on being the professional that you are.
At Pipeline ROI, we take pride in providing real estate and mortgage pros with the tools they need to market their services and get more leads. From a beautiful, mobile-responsive website to lead management, e-mail drip marketing, and social marketing tools, it’s all here. Click below to learn more and get a free demo.