Your Website May Be Loosing You Clients
Recently while doing research for a real estate client, I ran across some big changes in web technology that can help realtors and brokers who update their websites get a huge edge over their competition.
Here is the secret, most real estate websites embed MLS data in a way that search engines can’t read or just disregard. This can even negatively impacting your local business listing as well as your search engine ranking. Regardless of what you hear, no SEO service, or advertising campaign is going to fix this for you, you need to get your website rebuilt, or at least a heavy overhaul by someone who knows how to take advantage of these new methods and technologies.
As a result, real estate businesses who build websites, incorporating these new methods and technologies get a big advantage over their competitors with older websites.
What Makes a Real Estate Website Stand Out
Google and other search engines simply want to point their users to the best content available. To do this, they scan and rate websites depending on how useful the content is, the quality of the user experience, and how original or unique the content is compared to other websites.
When a websites is built to maximize their search engine ranking, this is usually called Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Simply, a variety of best practices to help search engines understand the value of the information to people searching for it.
Sometimes, people talk about SEO like it’s a magical secret that you have to pay a monthly fee to get. This isn’t true at all. SEO is most effectively addressed by building a website well, then creating good content on it.
On the flip side, this also means if a website is not built well, the content is the same as every other website in that industry, or a search engines can’t read it very well, the business can actually be penalized with poor visibility on search engines and local business listings.
How Your Website Uses MLS Information Really Matters
The way older real estate websites use MLS data can seriously damage how your business appears in web searches. New developments in web technology can really make real estate businesses that incorporate these stand out on the web compared to real estate businesses who aren’t using these new technologies.
A big factor in how search engines score content is if it is original compare to other websites. For example, when every realtor and broker in your area is showing the same property listings in the same way, a search engine will give that content a very low score. It just simply isn’t high value if every a lot of websites have the information. This is particularly true with real estate sites like Zillow who are using the same MLS data.
The good news is, now we can solve that problem with clever web development that can add value and originality to MLS information. This will make your real estate website stand out big time, when everyone else is the same and you have original content with extra value that stands out to search engines. One way to do this is to set up your website so it automatically categorizes and adds your expert knowledge of the neighborhoods and areas, without adding work for you.
Another huge change in technology is with the technology MLS providers use to share data with realtors and brokers. Until the last couple years, most MLS content was embedded in real estate websites using what is called an “iframe”. The problem with this is search engines look at “iframes” as single object, it doesn’t matter if it has a dozen of your best listings in it, the search engine can’t read it and won’t see it as useful content. This is how most MLS information has been embedded in websites.
Fortunately, with new web technologies there is now a solution that can make a real estate business really stand out. Most MLS providers now have a method that allows web developers to add that information dynamically in a website, allowing search engines to read the individual listings, index them, and present them to people searching. This makes those listings original, high value content that search engines like to provide to people searching for it.
InsideMT Can Solve These Problems For You
Over the years we have specialized in solving complex web problems for our clients. We are experts in creating web solutions that simplify your work and make you stand out.
When I saw these problems with older MLS technology, I knew I had to write this article and offer this solution to Montana realtors and brokers right away. InsideMT has the technical expertise that will make a difference for you.
Author: Tim Lewis
Web Developer / Marketer / Web Analytics Wonk
Tim has been working with Montana businesses and organizations to optimize their web and targeted advertising since 2012. With a B.S. Geographic Information Science and an M.S. Technical Communication from Montana Tech.