Let’s start with a big fish, they’re maybe one of the country’s largest providers of real estate websites. You may have heard of this company, you may even have a real estate website that they designed, built, and host. If you do, well, Real Estate SEO probably isn’t a priority for you.
The company is called Advanced Access. They play a simple game and their business model is a good old one. They’re what business professors call a high volume, low quality provider. More on that in a minute. They provide real estate websites based on templates. (all the sites look the same) They come with the same content, the design and user experience is horrible. Even the sites they highlight on their website are circa 1995 state of the art.
Here’s what really gets me. They claim to offer services that will help your search engine placement. Let’s start with their meta tagging service. Anyone who knows even the basics of SEO will tell you that meta tags aren’t enough. Yes, you should have a title tag and yes, you should have a meta description tag. Both should be keyword rich. But SEO does not stop at meta tags. If all you do is optimize your meta tags, it’s extremely unlikely that you’ll see a positive effect on your real estate website’s search engine placement. Advanced Access claims that this can make a “profound difference.” This just isn’t true.
Then there’s the Link Tracker Service that they offer. This it seams is a service that double checks to make sure that the OUTBOUND links on your site still point to pages that exist. Please do not pay them for this service. Perform one Google search for “broken link checker” and you’ll find a score of FREE broken link checkers out there. Yes, broken links can hurt your SEO. No, you should not pay for this service. We once met with a client who thought Advanced Access was selling them SEO services when in fact, they were just checking for broken links every month. We were honestly appalled. Outbound links are generally bad for your Real Estate SEO. Please remember that.
Next, any real estate website provider who gives you content is setting your real estate SEO efforts back. The search engines want to see unique content. If you put up a site that has content that the search engines have seen before, this will hurt your SEO. If you are serious about real estate SEO, you need to have unique content on your pages. In addition, though less related to real estate SEO, it’s important to realize that it’s almost impossible to differentiate yourself when your website is exactly the same as your competition. I once walked into a meeting with a perspective client. He thought his website was really slick. I informed him that his main competition, an office about 2 blocks away, had the exact same site from the exact same template real estate website provider. Needless to say, he didn’t become a client.
How are they getting away with this? Well, like I said, they’re a high volume, low quality provider. They have a lot of clients all paying them a small amount of money every month. It’s smart business practice to offer new products and services to your existing clients. Real Estate agents know it very well that the best business is repeat business. So, Advanced Access has come up with additional low cost offerings for their many clients. All they need to do is call up the less informed in the group, tell them that this Link checking or meta tagging is going to help their Real Estate SEO and some of them are bound to listen and buy. It’s sad, but true.
So, this is just the first Real Estate SEO Snake Oil salesman that I’m calling out. As I promised in the first post in this category, we’ll be pointing more of them out. If you have questions about the Real Estate SEO for your site and whether or not your provider is selling you the Brooklyn Bridge, please post your questions or drop us an not from the contact us page.