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6 minute read

Attention all real estate agents!

You may have been targeted by marketing “gurus” trying to scare you into thinking your website is broken or your SEO needs urgent attention based on Google Page Speed Insights tests.

When their work dries up, many SEO “gurus” tend to reach out, unsolicited, to real estate agencies with reports like this in an effort to fill their sales pipeline. It’s a tried and true method these “gurus” have used for years to scare people into spending money with them on fixing things that don’t really need fixing or, at the most, are unimportant in your overall digital strategy.

It’s important to note that page speed plays a crucial role in user experience and website performance. However, you should be cautious when interpreting the results from the Page Speed Insights tool. This tool, although helpful, does not provide a comprehensive assessment of your site’s performance, user experience, or SEO capabilities.

Marketing “gurus” may try to scare you with Page Speed Insights test results and how they can fix all of your problems (at a fee, of course), but remember that these results don’t paint the full picture and the “gurus” love to use these tools to sow doubt in the minds of unsuspecting agents and their marketing teams. It’s essential to focus on providing a fast and seamless experience for your website visitors but don’t let fearmongering tactics push you into hasty decisions or spending thousands of dollars with marketers on things that don’t actually need fixing.

The screenshot above is a Google PageSpeed Insights report of a very well-known real estate agency in Australia. Their Google presence and lead generation is outstanding. Are their improvements that could be made to their website to improve these results? Of course. But is the data from Google PageSpeed Insights taking them go backwards? Absolutely not.

Tools such as Google PageSpeed Insights and GT Metrix aren’t as important as you may have been led to believe, and they aren’t as important as other SEO factors.

Take it from John Mueller of Google, who recently said:

We’ve seen people hyper-focus on these numbers, that’s not a good use of time & energy. Think holistically instead. Source

In fact, Google has recently dropped Mobile-Friendly, Page Speed, Secure Sites, and Page Experience as retired ranking systems. So, let’s take a closer look at what this means for real estate agents and their websites.

Retired Ranking Systems: What Does This Mean?

Google has updated its documented ranking systems, removing four ranking systems from the list. These include:

  • Page experience system
  • Mobile-friendly ranking system
  • Page speed system
  • Secure sites system

Why did Google remove these systems? The tech giant stated that it was dropping page experience, as it is more of a concept than an actual ranking system. Although Google has removed these systems, it’s still essential to provide a great user experience for your website visitors, as it can align with success in search ranking.

What Should Real Estate Agents Focus On?

Rather than stressing about the now-retired ranking systems, real estate agents should focus on other, more critical SEO factors. Some of these factors include local SEO, helpful content, dynamic suburb profiles, and establishing yourself as a real estate expert. These factors can significantly impact your website’s Google ranking and overall online presence.

Beware of Dodgy SEO Tactics

While it’s essential to stay up-to-date with Google algorithm updates, it’s also crucial to be aware of dodgy SEO tactics. Don’t be misled by marketing “gurus” who try to scare you with Google Page Speed reports. Focus on implementing tried-and-true SEO strategies, such as the ones mentioned above, to improve your website’s visibility on Google.

Essential Ranking Factors for Real Estate Businesses

While real estate agents shouldn’t worry about the now-retired ranking systems, it’s crucial to focus on other SEO factors that can significantly impact your website’s Google ranking, especially for local businesses. These factors are designed to help your website stand out in local search results and attract potential clients in your target areas. Here are some of the most important ranking factors to consider for local businesses:

1. Google Business

One of the most critical factors for local businesses is setting up and optimising a Google Business listing. This listing is crucial for appearing in Google Maps and local search results. Ensure that your profile is complete and up-to-date, including your business name, address, phone number, website, and business hours. Additionally, encourage your clients to leave reviews, as these can positively impact your local search ranking.

2. Local Citations and NAP Consistency

Local citations refer to any mention of your business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) on the web. These can be found on local business directories, social media profiles, and review sites. Consistency in your NAP information across various platforms is crucial for improving your local search ranking. Make sure to update your business information on all platforms to ensure consistency and accuracy.

3. Local Keywords and Content

Incorporating location-specific keywords into your website’s content can help improve your local search ranking. These keywords can include the names of suburbs, cities, or regions where your business operates. Creating localised content, such as blog posts about events in your area or dynamic suburb profiles, can also help boost your local SEO efforts.

4. On-Page SEO

On-page SEO refers to optimising individual web pages to rank higher on search engines. This includes using relevant local keywords in your title tags, meta descriptions, and header tags. Additionally, optimising your website’s URL structure and providing high-quality, valuable content can improve your local search ranking.

5. Mobile Responsiveness

Although Google has retired the mobile-friendly ranking system, having a mobile-responsive website is still crucial for local businesses. Many users search for local businesses on their smartphones, so it’s essential to ensure your website looks and functions well on all devices.

By focusing on these local SEO factors, you can help your real estate website stand out in local search results, attract more potential clients, and outshine your competition. Don’t be fooled by marketing “gurus” who try to scare you with Google Page Speed reports; concentrate on what truly matters for your local business success.

6. Apple Business Connect

In addition to Google Business, Apple has launched Apple Business Connect to help local businesses improve their visibility on Apple Maps and Siri search results. By setting up and optimising your Apple Business Connect listing, you can ensure that your business information, such as your name, address, phone number, website, and business hours, is accurate and up-to-date on Apple’s platforms.

This service also allows you to manage your customer reviews, showcase your products and services, and engage with your customers through messages. Taking advantage of Apple Business Connect can help you reach a wider audience and improve your local search visibility on both Google and Apple platforms.

The Bottom Line

Don’t be fooled by marketing “gurus” who try to scare you with Google Page Speed reports. These tools aren’t as important as other SEO factors, and Google has even retired some of these ranking systems. Instead, focus on what matters: creating valuable content, enhancing user experience, and implementing proven SEO strategies that will help your website rank higher on Google.

For more information on real estate SEO and other ways to improve your website’s ranking, check out these helpful resources:

Remember, your website’s primary goal is to attract and engage potential clients. By focusing on the right SEO factors, you can ensure that your real estate website remains competitive in the ever-changing digital landscape.

So, don’t get bogged down by retired ranking systems or marketing “gurus” trying to scare you with Google Page Speed reports. Stay informed, focus on what really matters, and always aim to provide your website visitors with the best possible experience. Happy ranking!

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