Realtors - Learn To Identify Search Positioning Hype

THE LEADERS POST - Issue #57 - February 14, 2001

By: Doug Towes, Editor

About the Leaders Post

The Leaders Post is the newsletter for professionals committed
to Net Success - from, an online community of
professionals dedicated to providing excellent service to their
clients. If you prefer the online version, the current issue as
well as previous issues can be viewed by clicking
Internet Marketing Tips For Real Estate Agents

You may pass this newsletter on to others, as long as it is
sent in it's entirety.


- Agents try multiple web sites
- 10 things to watch for to help you see through the web site
and search positioning hype and save you money!
- Should I use an automated follow up system for web visitors?
- A new look for
- Your web site may not work in Netscape 6
- Infoseek/ search engine looks like toast
- Tip Of The Day

Net Success

No one ever went broke telling people what they want to hear
and there is no shortage of web designers and search engine
placement companies doing just that - whether it is true or not.

If you are thinking about finally getting your own web site or
if you already have a web site you should be aware that
misinformation abounds when it comes to the effectiveness of web
sites and search engine placement.

I received this note the other day and it is not an uncommon

"I have frequently experimented with many web sites and web
masters. In the past, I have had as many as five running
simultaneously. I did this to take advantage of the rapid
growth and change in web development and, more specifically, in
search engine development and refinement.

Over the past two years, I have been decreasing the number of
sites (based on customer response) until recently I was down to
two. Last week I cancelled my site out of Los Angeles due to a
lack of customer response. Although I always felt their site
was the best looking of all my sites, your site was far superior
in attracting emails and the costs were comparable. (You might
say, my best net results were with Results-net.)"

It is not uncommon for agents to try 2, 3, and 4 or more
different web site providers - all who claim they have an
effective system and can get excellent search engine positioning
- even guarantee it!

I hear stories of disappointment on a daily basis from agents
who are using some of the most popular web site systems and from
those who are using designers that produced some very visually
appealing web sites.


Under the "This is not what I wanted to hear!" category ....
Here are 10 things to watch out for to help you see through all
the hype.

1) If search engine positioning is not the major element around
which a web site is built the site will never place well in
search engines and you will do no business from the web site.

2) Most web sites will never place well in search engines for
the keywords searchers actually use no matter how often they are
submitted. Statements like "We automatically submit your website
to the major engines every month" are common but unless the site
has been designed to place well before the first code is written
- it never will.

3)Guarantees of search engine placement are worthless. They
always include a couple of terms that are rarely searched for
and will not be used by any other web site - which ensure top
placement for those terms for your site and guarantee they will
never have to make good on the "guarantee".

4)You will get zero results from a search engine submission or
placement company if, in conjunction with the submission, no
changes are made to your site to optimize it for the keywords
searchers use when searching the major search engines. Just
submitting a site will do nothing.

5)Keyword Meta Tags count for as close to nothing as you can
get as far as search engines are concerned - and improper use
will actually hurt you more than they help you.

6)Your site will never place well in search engines for
competitive keywords (those actually used by searchers) if you
are using a provider whose system allows you to make your own
changes to your site. This is because the areas that you can
access - search engines can't. As well, other than having Meta
Tags (see #4 above), these systems have none of the elements
search engines look for. Nobody can fix this for you either - so
don't bother trying to hire someone to endeavor to improve your

7)All web site providers will tell you that their sites are
designed to place well in search engines. What do they mean?

What they are saying is that their web sites have Meta Tags
(see #4 above). It is a very rare thing to find one that
actually knows what it really takes to provide a web site that
has any chance at all of placing well in any search engines for
any of the keywords that are actually used by the public when
searching for real estate.

8)You can have all of the bells and whistles you can dream of
on your web site but it means nothing if your site does not
place well in the major search engines for the keywords buyers
and sellers actually use most often. The bells and whistles will
gather cobwebs.

9)Automatic followup systems are all the rage and seem like a
good idea - but the agent who follows up personally will always
get the business over the agent using an automated system. Why?

Because about a week or sooner after you were first contacted
by the prospects on the internet - they changed their criteria
(almost all do). They are now working with an agent who followed
up personally with a phone call after the initial email response
and knows their revised needs and has started building a
personal relationship. You are just the agent who keeps sending
them information about houses that don't interest them.

10)If you do not make search engine positioning a priority
BEFORE your web site is built you will most likely do no
business from your web site.

Making search engine positioning a priority after the site is
up and running is a bit like calling in a REALTOR for an opinion
on the value of the expensive home renovations that have just
been completed. Too late!

If you make search engine positioning a priority AFTER your web
site is up and running you have to be prepared to make some
changes to allow that to happen.


***RNC Internet Services can only do your search positioning
for you as long as you are not in the same market area as a
current House and Home Real Estate Page member. Also in some
cases, because of the changes to your site that would be
required to improve your positioning, we can't help you if you
do not own the copyright to your site.


The House and Home Real Estate Page for your area is a proven
effective web presence system and comes as a fully customizable
package and is continuously updated to conform to the changing
criteria required by search engines - so you can sleep nights
and concentrate on selling real estate! Check it out at
Realtor Websites

* Only ONE agent per market area is eligible for this total web
presence and promotion service! If you are considering
marketing your services on the Internet, why not have the #1
web presence in your area?

Hurry! Before someone else takes this opportunity in your area!

Happenings At

The Results-net site has had a
face lift and some new additions - check it out!

One useful change is that links to some of the most popular
articles on how to increase your real estate business using the
internet are now on the front page.


You can promote yourself very well by participating in the
Agents Online Real Estate Discussion Forums,
which are visited by hundreds people who are each viewing
several messages a day now looking for real estate information,
agents, and property listings! Participating in the discussion
and sharing your insights is great FREE advertising!


This and That

Netscape 6 was recently released and if you have not done so
already you should check and see how compatible your web site is
with this new version.

Unfortunately AOL/Netscape did not think it was important to
make version 6 backward compatible - so much of the javascript
that has been commonly used for navigation systems, scrollers,
image effects etc. does not work in Netscape version 6.

As well, some html code which has worked in all previous
browser versions no longer works the same way - leaving some
pages looking like a dogs breakfast.

I have been busy making changes to hundreds of pages replacing
javascript and revising code - I suggest you have your webmaster
check your site to make sure it is compatible.

In case you have not heard, the Infoseek/ search engine
portal is being shut down by Disney at the end of this month. I
would not be surprised if there were other search engines and
also real estate portals shutting down in the not so distant
future as well.

The business model of selling banner ads to generate revenue is
dissolving before our very eyes and causing dot coms some very
painful times.

Personally, I always expected that some day people would wake
up to the fact that few pay even the slightest attention to
banner ads. What is next to go? Maybe all the sites using
annoying pop up advertising windows - nothing makes me leave a
site faster - how about you?

Tip Of The Day

When everyone is against you, it means you are absolutely
wrong -- or you are absolutely right. - Albert Guinon

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