Here’s a question that literally millions of real estate and small business website owners ask every day:
“Why doesn’t my website ever come up in the search engine results even when I work hard on my web copy and content?”
I get it. You got a website because it made perfect sense. Everyone from the National Association of Realtors to your coworkers thought so too. And it is a good idea… unless you are just paying month after month for a website that can’t be found in Google and literally never produces any business for you no matter what you do with your web copy.
Companies that sell packaged real estate websites like Advanced Access and Z-57 have made a fortune selling agents websites. But when you think about it, selling you a website is really the business they’re in. The question is: How is that helping you? Did you purchase a website to help one of these outfits make money or did you want a website that would help you build your own business?
So Why Doesn’t Your Web Copy Work for You? Keep Reading and Find Out!
The biggest reason is your web copy and your website was designed to work for your website retailer rather than you. And lucky for them, it does an absolutely superb job of that! They get paid month after month even though your website is buried in the dusty back-pages of Google where no one ever goes. You may have never gotten a lead from it…let alone a sale.
Effective Web Copy is not a Matter of Magic!
Writing effective web copy is not hocus-pocus but it is a little complex and certainly challenging. When I first started writing web copy for my Advanced Access website, I have to admit I was pretty much a babe in the woods and frankly, it was definitely no effective web copy. As a professional copywriter I came from the "one audience" school of advertising that taught the purest and strongest message was tightly focused on one audience at a time. This was particularly valid when I got into the business because we could focus the promotion on a specific demographic. In other words, we had the ability to largely control who the message went to.
Writing Effective Web Copy Changed all the Rules
Using optimized web writing techniques can give your web pages a real rankings boost. This is because Google and other search engines like copy that "sounds natural." Of course there's nothing really "natural" about a computer trying to read your copy, but these wily search engines do a pretty good job of assessing the "naturalness" of your web copy. So optimized web writing is a delicate balance between keyword density and readability.
I use Optimized Web Writing Techniques on my own Web Pages
I want to stress that the high Google rankings I have for many of my web pages are ORGANIC, meaning these pages ranked so high because of optimized web writing. In other words, the search engines liked my web copy.
Optimized Web Writing Out-Performs Most Other Web Advice
Here's the simple truth. My pages rank well not because I advertised my website. Not because I paid anyone including Google to position my pages. And most certainly not because I listened to the sales malarkey spun by my former canned real estate website peddler.
Optimized Web Copy Drives Better Rankings
If you have any questions about whether optimized web copy can really drive better search engine rankings, check this out. Below are a series of Google results for keyword phrases relevant to web pages on my real estate website www.MadisonREALST8.com. The site was launched in June 2010 and I applied the SEO Copy MD web copy strategy to every post and page.
Optimized Web Copy Delivers for Verona
With web copy optimized for the term Verona Homes, my Verona page comes up in positions one, two and three out of 28,300 results. I also come up in position one for Verona WI Short Sales. Check out these examples:
Lake Mendota Web Copy Pays Of
Folks looking for shoreline homes on Lake Mendota, one of Madison's two central lakes, will find my web page in positions one and two out of 631,000 results. Optimization of your web copy makes all the difference.
Agent Websites are a Must if You Believe The NAR
As REALTORS, we are constantly told by everyone from the NAR to the agent in the next office that anyone who has bought a home in the past 10 years started their home search on the internet. Apparently agent websites are working for some agents. The question is how are these agent websites working? Are they generating leads or just generating more costs for agents' tight budgets.
No one is really anxious to admit that agent websites are not nearly as productive as advertised. And those of us who bought packaged websites from outfits like Advanced Access or Z-57 know the sting of no leads only too well.
One thing's for certain: All of these buyers who are apparently starting their searches on agent websites or the sites of their brokers weren't starting their searches on my Advanced Access website. That's when I decided to do something about and so can you.
Agent Websites can be Productive if they are "Optimized"
Conventional wisdom used to suggest that writers just use commas where they would naturally pause in reading a sentence. Turns out this kind of invited people to engage in dramatic reading, which in turn gave way to throwing in long pauses and hence commas at every opportunity.
So, here's a better rule of thumb: try to avoid using commas and instead write shorter sentences. Long sentences may be fun to write but are not nearly as fun to read.
So what do you know about "that."
No, about "that."
Sounds like an old Abbot & Costello routine but the word that is one of the classic pieces of excess baggage that can creep into a sentence without really serving any purpose. Technically a pronoun of one sort or another, "that" often finds itself coming along for the ride without really contributing anything to its meaning.
Consider these two sentences:
I want to tell you about something that I learned in school today.