Real Estate SEO is not sorcery, nor is it a catch-all.
SEO as a word on its own isn’t bad; however, shady agencies are using smoke-and-mirror terms to deliberately not be transparent with clients about the work they will actually be doing on their website.
I have Real Estate Agents coming to me asking for Real Estate SEO, assuming that it will make them number on in the search results because other Real Estate SEO Practitioners have said that it’s possible within months. As Real Estate SEO experts, it’s just not right to be taking advantage of Real Estate Agents who have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.
What is Real Estate SEO?
SEO’s birth dates back to 1997, making it just over 20 years old.
SEO was quite simple in the early years.
It was very easy to manipulate the search results by throwing in a bunch of real estate SEO keywords. The practice was more about gaming the search results than it was about correctly performing search engine optimization tactics on a page/site, as it is today.
As SEO is now somewhat grown-up, the vocabulary, terminology, and best practices are too.
In today’s post-pandemic, complicated, and fast-moving digital marketing world, change is a way of life. It’s true. If search marketers had to pick a specialty, it would be “expert in change.”
What worked last year is old news and what was amazing five years ago is ancient history in Google years. Unlike fashion, dated SEO terminology doesn’t make a comeback.
Optimizing to win results on Google’s page one search results needs an attitude of “adapt or die.”
To keep up with the changes, here are some SEO words industry professionals would like to delete from the SEO vocabulary.
Real Estate SEO Terms That Should DIE
Back in the day (over 20 years ago), we needed a 5.5% key phrase density to position in Alta Vista.
Today, Google has said that keyword density isn’t a ranking factor.
Randomly shoving keywords into content won’t help positions. Yet, I still see companies (and some SEO tools) pushing for a specific keyword density because they think that’s what Google wants.
SEO Is Dead
This really annoys me, since it clearly isn’t. Who only knows how our business will change with regard to this Net Neutrality situation, but I am sure we will just find another way to give our consumers the content they’re looking for.
This one gets me and feels a bit overused. Maybe the phrase digital marketing should take it over.
Yes, outbound is different from inbound, but we need to get on with it and try something else.
Content Is King
This is my absolute favorite overused phrase. I agree content can be king. You must factor in that if your site isn’t optimized, the content isn’t strong, and you don’t have a decent budget to promote it… then it’s not king. People just won’t see the content.
I’d add the word “TESTING” in really big bold letters. I think many SEOs talk a big game around testing, but very few implement, test, tweak and learn with measured scientific testing.
What produced results and what did not? How can we better design our test? How can we improve our results?
In my opinion, the number one rule of testing is “be prepared to be wrong.”
I think there’s a lot of ego in the SEO industry and many can’t handle being wrong about a theory or tactic they’ve been using (and heavily promoting) for YEARS.
It’s hard to eat crow – but if it makes my clients more money – I’ll add ketchup and dig in.
SEO tools created the notion of “toxic links” and now the industry has gone overboard with assigning relevance and importance to this score.
However, the same SEO tools that measure “toxic links” are mostly just looking at spammy links, which are entirely ignored by Google.
Every website has spammy links, and Google knows this. The real “toxic” links are links that violate Google’s guidelines, which are generally difficult for SEO tools to identify.
This idea of a “toxicity score” is misleading for SEOs and website owners alike.
Another metric created by SEO tools has been blown completely out of proportion.
While Google likely uses some version of a domain-wide evaluation of authoritativeness, we don’t have access to those metrics and DA is certainly not it.
E-A-T Score / Algorithm / Algorithm Update
E-A-T is extremely important, but using terms like “E-A-T score,” “the E-A-T algorithm,” or “the E-A-T algorithm update” greatly oversimplifies what E-A-T actually does and how it works. The term E-A-T is likely used across all of Google’s organic algorithms, but it can’t be boiled down to a simple score in the same way something like Core Web Vitals can be.
Also, no single algorithm update focused only on E-A-T, although it has played an increasingly important role in algorithm updates of recent years.
“Best” And “Top”
I have probably even been guilty of using these words in the past.
However, in the era of brand democratization where customers are part of the brand story, search results favor brands when customers are the ones saying they are the best or top in what they offer.
So, let customers and audiences have their say!
SEO Words Relevant In 2022
It is time to embrace the softer side of SEO!
Customers become emotionally attached and fiercely loyal to brands they love. So, words will vary by brand and marketplace.
To attract the most qualified visitors to a website from search engine results, brands can leverage two key elements in content and snippets in the hope they will appear in SERPs:
For example, Apple’s snippet reads: Discover the innovative world of Apple and shop…
Customers are loyal to the Apple brand because they are connected and continually anticipate the brand’s innovation.
Use of brand differentiators calls to action (CTA) like “discover” and “shop” promote action (the click!).
When SEO becomes more human, everyone wins!
Google Business Profile
Since Google rebranded Google My Business recently, we should add the new name: Google Business Profile.
The frustrating thing with this rebrand is that it sounds very dumb when you abbreviate it to GBP as Google thinks you’re talking about the British pound.
It will take a lot of practice to get used to saying Google Business Profile instead of GMB.
I agree with “Link Juice” for words that should be removed. I can’t stand how this word sounds and usually opt for something like “link power” or “link equity” instead.
“Do ‘this,’ and you will succeed.”
Everyone writing and giving advice need to stop saying anything like this.
There are too many variables to consider when it comes to SEO to guarantee someone that they will be successful if they copy your strategy.
As an editor, I always remove these false promises from my articles.
Can this concept please die? You’re either:
- Making amazing content and promoting it with ads and PR.
- You’re spamming.
With all the work that Google is putting into snippet generation, it looks like the utility of meta descriptions is going to be 100% gone soon, if it isn’t already.
For now, I would still optimize your meta description, but I suspect in a year or two, we’ll get confirmation that it doesn’t matter anymore.
I have no confirmation, but I am speculating given how much work Google is putting into snippet extraction, I believe the need for meta descriptions will disappear.
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Don’t get caught using outdated words and terms.
As SEO enters its third decade, new generations are redefining the search marketing industry. Innovation, technology, and culture impact new behaviors.
It’s up to all marketing professionals to stay educated and aware of trends and algorithms to attract the best talent, get the best results and stay up-to-date on best practices and Google updates.