Have you ever wondered why all the organic listings related to your market are occupied by Zillow, realtor.com and other big businesses, without any agent websites showing up on the first page? A lot of agents have asked me that question, and the general perception is that striving for organic placement on search engine result pages (SERP) is a fruitless exercise for Realtors and agents.

  • I know lead generation is the soul of any digital marketer. But that same technique is what is ruining your search engine rankings.
  • The main reason real estate agents find it difficult to break even on search engine result pages is that they focus on lead generation with a forced registration.
  • Using user intent and behavior to offer lead bait with an option to decline signing up is the only way search marketers can generate real estate leads without destroying their search engine rankings.

Have you ever wondered why all the organic listings related to your market are occupied by Zillow, realtor.com and other big businesses, without any agent websites showing up on the first page?

A lot of agents have asked me that question, and the general perception is that striving for organic placement on search engine result pages (SERP) is a fruitless exercise for Realtors and agents.

Just like Solomon Greene said here in one of my posts on Inman.

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There is no denying it: All organic placement, just like Greene said, has been occupied by all the national brands to the detriment of local agents who are supposed to have it because of their local nature.

But the reverse is also the case, and I know a lot of agents must be asking why — considering that when you analyze all the backlinks of these national portal pages, their link profile is not worthy to get them there.

So why are all the national portals occupying first pages of search engine results page without focusing on link-building?

I will show you here.

What is destroying your search engine rankings?

Lead generation is destroying your search engine rankings.

You might be surprised, but that’s the truth. I know lead generation is the soul of any digital marketer. But that same technique is what is ruining your rankings.

How does lead generation ruin your search engine rankings?

A lot of real estate agents’ sites are focused primarily on generating leads rather than adding value.

They do this by forcing users to register before they can view more details on a listing. This strategy is easy to implement without any basic knowledge.

It’s also the main reason real estate agents find it difficult to break even on search engine result pages.

How does forcing users to register to see listing details hamper search engine rankings?

It causes high bounce rates, which is a signal to search engines that your website doesn’t have valuable content.

Let’s say your lead generation through forced registration to view listings is 10 percent. That means only 10 percent of your website visitors are enjoying your site.

Meanwhile, 90 percent are bouncing off immediately when they reach the forced sign-up page. That is a big signal to search engines that the majority of your site visitors find it uninteresting.

If you doubt me, Google “homes for sale in (your market)” and go over all the organic listings on the first page of SERP.

You discover that none of the top sites use a forced registration strategy as a means of generating leads.

So, how can I generate leads without being annoying?

There used to be a time when forced registration was the ideal lead generation strategy.

But in today’s world, that strategy is obsolete, and any search marketer who wants to remain significant must jettison it and embrace the latest way of generating leads without annoying site visitors.

That latest strategy is leveraging user intent and behavior to offer lead bait that has the option to sign up or decline.

The option to decline will enable the website visitors to continue whatever they were doing in your website, thereby improving your website user metrics.

That is a win-win for you. If visitors are uninterested in your lead form, they will still pay you back by improving your website user metrics, which will result in higher search engine rankings.

Using user intent and behavior to offer lead bait with an option to decline signing up is the only way search marketers can generate real estate leads without destroying their search engine rankings.

What’s your take on this? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

Ibemere Obinna is a real estate agent and a digital marketing expert. He blogs about real estate digital marketing and SEO on his blog, realtymarketingtool.com.

Email Ibemere Obinna.

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