SEO can be challenging enough as it is. Make sure you avoid these 7 SEO mistakes whenever you are running a content writing strategy.
Even if you only have the most basic understanding of SEO, you know that keywords are the backbone of any SEO strategy.
In fact, your choice of keywords and the content you write around them plays a crucial factor in determining whether your content strategy is successful or not.
And sure. It’s easy to speak about keywords in broad strokes and say “It’s very important to pick the right ones.”
But anybody can tell you that. The question is, how exactly do you pick the right ones?
The problem is keywords can be notoriously hard to navigate. So in this article, we’re going to address 7 mistakes you need to avoid to ensure your website is built with the right SEO foundations so you can get more potential buyers and sellers to find your content.
1. Targeting Highly Competitive Keywords
Some keywords are inherently more valuable than others. While there are some exceptions, the shorter the term or phrase, the more likely it is to be searched, and the more valuable it is.
And the more valuable a keyword is, the more competition there is around it, and the more difficult it can be to rank for it.
In real estate, when we say short, high-value keywords, we are talking about general search queries that people are likely to type on to Google when first starting their property search. Keywords such as “Miami Real Estate” or “San Antonio homes”.
In order to rank for these keywords, you would need to have a massive website with a commanding domain authority (something that can take years to achieve IF you know what you’re doing) or throw a massive amount of money at the problem.
This is why big businesses like Zillow and Realtor, who have both the resources AND the domain authority, are able to dominate those general keywords.
Your small real estate business likely doesn’t have the resources or history to fight for those keywords. Instead, you should approach the problem from another angle.
Instead of trying to dominate short general search terms, look for longer, more specific phrases. In other words, the kind of search query that someone who’s a lot closer to making a purchase decision would make.
Long-tail keyword phrases such as “2 bedroom condo in West Miami” or “is now a good time to buy a home in San Antonio?”
You’ll benefit by choosing the right keywords that are often less competitive, simply because they are longer and more specific.
While fewer people are searching for those, the specificity means you get to narrow down your target market further and get more bang for your buck.
2. Forgetting People’s Search Intent
People use different words depending on what they want to find. Sometimes, when they’re starting their home search, they want to find general real estate information. Others are closer to making their decision to buy or sell a home.
Still, other times, they just want to compare real estate agencies. You need to use that knowledge in conjunction with keywords to figure out how to position those keywords relative to your content.
If your choice of keywords is aimed more at people just looking for information, you might generate hits, but won't get any conversions. At least not right away.
3. Not Doing the Research Properly
Keyword research is absolutely essential. Not only can it inform you about the results you can expect from your SEO efforts, but it can also reveal what is in your market’s mind right now.
Your research might even uncover keywords that are far more effective (and easy to rank for) than you initially expected.
There is a multitude of tools you can use to do keyword research. Some of them include:
In addition, Google itself provides a number of tools you can use for free, such as Google Trends, Google news, and Google Keyword planner.
As you do your keyword research, don’t just stick to words directly related to real estate. Make sure you also include phrases and related to the industry, such as home renovations, home loans, tax deductions, and home appraisals.
4. Targeting Just One Keyword Per Piece of Content
While on paper it might make sense that you create a piece of content around a single specific keyword, it may not be a good idea to stick to religiously stick to this guideline.
That’s because your content, no matter how specialized, will have some overlap with other similar topics and searches.
So why not identify some secondary high traffic keywords that are already organically mentioned in your content?
It is not only a great way to get hits, but it can make it easier to use long-tail phrases and other variations of your keywords in your content.
5. Using the Wrong Keywords
Targeting the wrong or irrelevant keywords can have a dramatic and detrimental effect on your content's performance.
You can end up using keywords that drive the wrong traffic to your site, which will cause your brand to take a few hits, and can cost you business you would have otherwise converted.
For example, if you specialize in residential sales like condos or single-family homes, you wouldn’t want to create content based on keywords that might be picked up for commercial real estate searches or golf properties which would not be your target audience.
Instead, you would write super-niche content laser-focused on relevant keywords that include words like “residential, homes, house, condo, apartment” as well as your area of service.
Make sure the keywords you target are not just aligned in search intent, but relevant to the topic and the audience.
If you are not sure if the keyword is relevant, it’s safer to keep it out of the content development and creation.
6. Not Checking Performance
Your job does not end when you send your keyword-focused content is published. You also need to gauge its performance.
Unfortunately, just because a keyword looks good during the research phase does not mean it’s 100% assured to perform well in the field.
First of all, it takes a while for any piece of content to be indexed by search engines and for it to climb up a specific search engine ranking.
By the time your content ranks well for a specific keyword, there’s a chance your audience has moved on and is no longer interested in the keyphrase. This is especially true if you aim to capitalize on trendy topics or fads.
Second, you’re not the only one doing SEO. Other real estate agents might try to outperform you on a specific keyword, and publish content that competes with yours.
By staying on top of your content’s performance, you’ll have a clearer idea as to whether your current strategy is paying off, or whether it needs some re-alignment.
And if it does need some realignment, you’ll be able to rework your content strategy.
7. Ignoring The Current Top Rankers For Your Keyword
Every time you try to rank for a keyword, you are directly competing with other sites that are ALREADY ranking for that same keyword. You cannot fight for the results list in a vacuum.
In order for your content to rank well for any given keyword, you need to outperform those sites that are already ranking well. How do you do that? We could spend the entire day talking about SEO strategies. But the best way to do so is to simply write great content.
Not just great content when compared to your old stuff. I mean creating significantly better content than your competitors.
For example, let’s say you’re trying to rank well for “best neighborhoods in Orlando.” One of the top-ranking result comes from a travel site where it lists 5 Great neighborhood in Orlando. How do you outrank this page?
By making an extensive list of 10 amazing neighborhoods in Orlando, which not only lists the reason WHY these are the best 10 neighborhoods in the city but also includes a list of things to do in each one AND shows what it’s like to live in each.
Why does this strategy work? Because not only will better content attract more real people, but search engine ranking algorithms (especially the Google algorithm) have gotten much better at ranking content.
The more valuable your content is to your audience, the better the chances that it will rank higher.
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