We often hear an agent or brokerage bragging about being on the first page of Google. Many sellers see being on the first page of Google and other major search engines such as Yahoo and Bing as a moot point. It is not – but it all depends on the nature of the search. Being first for long-tail searches for real estate rather than general terms is key. (For those who don’t know what a “long tail” search means – be patient – all we be revealed) A page one Google search for some general search criteria – is meaningless – and that is where the confusion arises. Most of us strive to be on page one of a Google search – but that begs the question: The first page of Google for what search?
What does that do for my seller in New York?
The answer is nothing – absolutely nothing. The same could be said for being on page one for “New York real estate.” That might get me a lot of phone calls, but it does nothing for a seller in a village or town in lower Westchester. People who are searching an entire state may not even be contemplating a purchase. Why are they looking? Who knows? And if – perchance – they are looking to buy a home in that state – they are a looooong way from buying anything. They are cutting a wide swath because they don’t know what they want yet.
What does this do for my seller in White Plains?
Well, we are closer – but no cigar. That buyer is searching an entire county. This isn’t a buyer – it is a long-term lead that an agent might cultivate over a period of six months to two years. This does nothing for a seller whose home is on the market NOW.
What does this do for my seller in Gedney Farms (a famous neighborhood) or in Jefferson Place (a large condo complex)?
Well, we are certainly getting warmer – but have you ever looked at what comes up with such a search? Not so great as one might expect. When I searched “White Plains real estate” Google pulled up several broker sites and maybe one or two agent sites. Most of these were “sponsored” – that is the brokerages or agent paid for that position. The organic results (not sponsored) pulled up large national sites such as Trulia and Zillow. These are still big generic sites that are guiding the buyer to their public-facing MLS – which covers the entire county and beyond.
Anyone happy with those results is still a long way from buying. Those who are narrowing down their search are frustrated. By the time most buyers are ready to call an agent or are ready to go to open houses – they are drilling down to specific neighborhoods, subdivisions or condo/coop complexes. The frustrated group is going to scrap that search and start looking for far more specific search terms.
But its those very frustrated searchers that sellers want to pull in. Those with an itchy finger on the trigger that are ready to act and are looking in your subdivision or your condo complex. Sellers – listen up – you want your listing front and center to this type of buyer.
Does this help my seller in Gedney Farms or Jefferson Place. YES!
This can and does help. A web page about a complex or subdivision that ranks on the first page of Google that is linked to specific listing information is something that will catch a buyer’s eye. This is what is know as a long-tail search. One that drills down to very specific terms and pin-points what the searcher is looking for.
It is interesting to note that this may not help the agent grab buyers as much as they would like to. By that time, many may already have agents. But – once they find the information – their agent will show them the property.
In a market with high inventory loads as high as they are, being on the first page for THIS kind of search – puts the listing front and center to the most buyers that are actually ready to make a commitment.
So yes, an agent having a presence on the first page of Google matters – as long as the search criteria is specific enough to pull in ready, willing and able buyers.
© 2010 – Ruthmarie G. Hicks – https://thewestchesterview.com. All rights reserved.
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