Smoke and Mirrors – Getting on the First Page of Google

Where do you want to be? On the first page of Google results of course; it’s where everyone with a website wants to be, especially if their website is part of their business. There are a lot of search engine optimization firms out there, with new ones popping up out of the woodwork daily in order to meet the growing demand for SEO services.

Naturally, real estate investment is like every other economic sector in that investors and brokers are taking to the web in the attempt to increase their visibility and to gain a larger share of the market. If you’re in the real estate business yourself, you almost certainly have a website by now – and you probably receive a lot of come-ons by SEO companies who are trying to convince you that they’ll be able to get your website into the coveted top spot in Google’s search results.

Before you pull out your wallet in response to their pitches, think for a minute. There are so many of these firms out there and a lot of them make these kinds of promises. Obviously, they can’t all be right and the vast majority of them can’t deliver any kind of results, let alone what they claim.

Before we go any further, I’d like to offer this little nugget of advice: don’t do business with anyone who promises you a spot on the first page of Google’s search results, especially if they tell you that they can get your website into the #1 spot.

Why? Because no one can guarantee this with 100% certainty; search engine optimization is not an exact science, since the algorithms used by Google and other search engines are closely guarded trade secrets and are constantly evolving. What this means is that what worked to improve a website’s page ranking six months ago won’t necessarily work today. This is why no reputable SEO firm will make these kinds of promises; but of course, there are a lot of SEO firms and consultants out there who are anything but reputable businesses.

But what about the proof these SEO “experts” offer you to demonstrate that they can really get your site into the top spot on Google? Let’s look at the kind of keywords they tell you can get you onto the first page of Google results.

The search terms which these SEO consultants and companies tell you they can get you top rankings for tend to be what are known as long tail keywords; these are essentially what they sound like. For example, something like “stop foreclosure fort myers” – and yes, there is a real estate broker whose website ranks #1 for this keyword.

You might also see companies or consultants making promises about Google rankings for phrases like: “Chicago discount home” or “Sell my house in Dallas”. Number one rankings for keywords like these can be valuable, though more often than not the SEO firms who promise you top rankings for a certain phrase can do so for a very simple reason: there is no competition for these phrases.

Isn’t it a good thing to have little to no competition? You might well ask this; on the web, it isn’t always good to have no competition, since no competition for a keyword means that no one is searching for this phrase. It doesn’t matter if you’re #1 for a given search term if no one is ever going to use this keyword in a Google search, since no one is going to find you. It’s always a good idea to do some research on any search term that a SEO company or consultant tells you is going to secure you the top ranking – you can use free tools (Google has one in fact) to find out if anyone is actually looking for this phrase on the web. In any case, you should avoid SEO firms who make promises like this.

People don’t all search for the same thing using the same keywords; everyone brings their own approach to Google or any search engine. There are trends in online behavior that you can count on to some degree, but again, there are no guarantees when it comes to search engine optimization, at least if you’re being honest about how the web works.

So what really will work to give your real estate investment business a higher profile online? You should pay attention to SEO, absolutely; but you should work with SEO consultants who have a good reputation and an established track record of getting results for their clients. What you should hear from these companies is that they can help your page ranking improve over time, not that they can instantly get you on to the first page of results; it just doesn’t work that way in real life.

Search engine optimization is a process, not a product – it takes time for a website to work its way up the ranks and you will have to be patient, at least if you want real, lasting results. Beware of anyone who tries to tell you otherwise: and there are a lot of people who will do exactly that these days. There are multi-level marketing schemes (or scams, as I would term them) which are predicated on selling people a pre-made SEO business; generally the people who have fallen for this are the ones trying to sell you on a package of SEO services which they promise will get allow your business to instantly dominate your market. Don’t believe them – it’s just not as simple as all that.

Source by Duncan Wierman