Google's the Teacher - What Kind of Grade Are You Getting?

Services for Real Estate Pros with Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing

Google originally didn't know it all - They learned along with the rest of us. But they are still the teacher giving us the grade on whether or not we got our SEO stuff together. As they got smarter, we had to adapt and get wiser and more creative on getting that good grade. The list of pluses and minuses have also increased. Ten years ago the list was just 10 simple things, easy to do and not a lot of competition. Today, that list has hundreds of pieces and what we're doing AND NOT doing will make our grade go up or down.Google is the teacher

If you've been blogging for a long time or tried to stay on top of the SEO strategy for years you probably found it easy at first to soar above your compeition. It wasn't that hard since there were not as many serious students in the classroom. But today, there are plenty more to compete with and we have the teacher's aid as well kissing the proverbial butt of Google (Trulia, Zillow, Realtor, Homes etc..). Is there a way for the little pion in the back to get anywhere in a Google dominated world? How can you keep up? How do you know what's even on the list? Maybe you are finding yourself sinking in the rankings or simple non-existant. 

Unfortunately the little push and 10 minutes of SEO here or there a week that used to cut it is not making the grade at all anymore. You're not even getting a grade! You're simply being turned away to continue revising until your work is half-way decent enough to even be considered. SEO is truly a full time job if you want to be found and actually make some business from it. But because one thing leads to another, you don't have the money to hire full time because you're not getting leads and your not getting leads because you need to hire a full time marketer... and around and around we go. 

Ok, so let's stop this cycle. 

If you are going to be using your website as more than just a place to send people directly you need to find the time and put in the effort. Now is a great time since markets may be slower across the country and you can focus on a few tricks here and there as you listen to the sweet sounds of the season on the radio (already). 

Take 1 hour every day and put in some time making sure your site is optimized and making the Google Grade.

  • Check your website. Is it easy to navigate? Analyze your site and check any mistakes that seem obvious to you. Is your domain old or new? (older is better) Is the type of lead you're looking able to find what they came to your site for? Can they easily contact you? Do readers know what you sell and where you are from the home page?
  • Analyze your Meta Data - Double check your title, description and keywords. If you site doesn't allow you to customize these things, time to pick a new website. Start with  your home page then move to subpages a little at a time. Never use a / in your title or description as websites see this as a code rather than the break you wanted. Instead use | or a dash. 
  • Is the content easy to read on the homepage? Is it original or canned information with the area words changed? Is it information that would help the type of reader you are after? If not, change it.  Make the content easy to read with bullet points, bold phrases and heading tags when appropriate. But you don't want it too busy either with 34 fonts and 5 different colors.
  • Do all your images have alt tags? Every image on every page should have an alt tag (in the code look for  alt="keyword here") Google cannot see your image they can only read text. Tell Google what the image is. Same with video. Don't use Google images to find pictures - buy them or better yet, take them yourself.
  • Are you adding fresh content and consistently building out your site? If your site is the same as it's been for years, Google finds nothing fresh about it and will downgrade it accordingly. 
  • Blog - Write - Share. Add links to past posts that are related or to bring fresh life into older posts that still carry weight. Link to the new content FROM older posts to create a better foundation for the new posts to shine.

That's the on-site stuff. Stuff that should be analyzed and checked on or corrected regularly. Then you must incorporate off-site SEO. Your site cannot operate in a bubble. People have to find it, experience it and buy into it. Here are some things you can be doing off-site to increase traffic and awareness.

  • Write, Share, Respond - Repeat. Once you have a great website you need to share it. If you are not good about writing new content, share the old. If it's still relevant boost it by pasting your link on your Facebook page, Linkedin profile, Google + Page or profile (which is a great link back from Google), or tweet about it using catchy phrases like "Are you sure you're getting the most from your home sale?" or something that will make a reader click the link to know more. Don't simply post "New blog post, click here" Cause they never will. If you have beautiful photos, pin them on Pinterest. Use the social media that best fits your genre.
  • Be proactive and reactive. Share OTHER PEOPLE'S links, posts and comment on them. Get yourself out there so people know you are not just a robot. Be real, be genuine and share without being spammy.
  • Find other blogs and comment on them leaving a link back to your website where applicable. Many comment threads allow you to leave your name, email, WEBSITE ADDRESS and comment. That URL then gets linked to your name so be serious, intentional and make every blog comment count.
  • Rethink your branding and your profile. Make sure you have a profile in all the places a client would find you. Directories that are RELATED, profiles on sites that make sense and make sure there is a link back to your site on all of them. Build those back links.
  • AND CHECK THOSE BACKLINKS - you never know when a porn or gambling site may have picked up your link. Go to or and get a list of your back links. If any seem unrelated or just plain odd, ask to be removed or disavow them on your webmaster tools. OR - overshadow them by creating more of the good back links.
  • Get a .edu or .gov back link if you can. How? Ask. You never know. Find .edu and .gov blogs and leave a comment. 

Take this as a list and do one thing every day and in a month you will have a better optimized website, easier for your readers and more social connections. Yes, it's a lot but take that hour in the AM or PM every day to make a better online impact with your site. 


Posted by

Personal SEO Tim and Tammy Emineth

Personal SEO Facebook Page Personal SEO Instagram Page Tammy Emineth Pinterest Page Personal SEO Linkedin Page Linkedin Page


Tim and Tammy Emineth have owned Personal SEO since 2004. We focus on SEO first whether it's blogging, images, website design, IDX solutions and calls to action. We operate with a Storybrand philosophy to encourage more traffic to your site, more eyes on your content and more leads to your business. Call us or email us for a free website audit.

Tim: 425-443-8372  Tammy: 425-344-0677


Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. MichelleCherie Carr Crowe Just Call...408-252-8900 11/21/2013 12:08 PM
  2. Bob Crane 12/01/2013 12:52 PM
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
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Show All Comments
Dan Derito
Success! Real Estate - Brockton, MA

Thanks for sharing this information Tammy. Sure it's over my head, but at least it's on the radar screen and calendar for 2014 of 'things to improve on'. 

Nov 21, 2013 11:31 AM #63
MichelleCherie Carr Crowe Just Call...408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

So much good info. If only I had the time to devote to it all. FYI no longer works.

Nov 21, 2013 12:05 PM #64
Tammy Emineth
Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing - Marysville, WA
Content Marketer, SEO Teacher, Website Fixer

Hella, great! Use it as a checklist to get things done.

Drick, thanks!

Debbie, great!!

Michael, Yes, not putting in the time definitely shows fast

Jeremy, thank you!

Travis, your welcome

Jimmy, and it requires more people sometimes ;-)

Karen, hmmm… but you’re so on top of it!

Bob, Thank you! And I am really hoping our work pays off! Keep it up.

Bob Miller, yup

Rob, Not necessarily every day but you can revisit old content that’s still valid and relevant, it can really help

Dan, good deal!

Michelle, ugh! I meant! Thanks for the correction.

Nov 22, 2013 01:56 AM #65
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Thanks for the tips Tammy, after reading your headline I did a check on a few of my recent posts and was impressed at how well they did, showing up right at the top of Google, even wrote a blog about it today.

Thank You!

Nov 22, 2013 09:14 AM #66
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Having something worth reading, watching, following is the start before all the razzle dazzle SEO detonation though. Having something worth finding. The lack of effort put into the market shows loud and clear, crystal. Getting ready for marketing online means better images and quantity, blogging daily, full service websites like the big box store but also with a boutique small table in the corner with the lite candle and checked tablecloth. We all have personalities, so all the approaches should have basics wired into the SEO but also color, flair, flavor to if you want to be remember of the herd of choices the buyer, seller is asteroided. Buckle up. Warp it up a few notches.

Nov 23, 2013 09:05 PM #67
Curtis Van Carter
Better Homes & Gardens Wine Country Group - Yountville, CA
Your Napa Valley Broker Extraordinaire


In the beginning I used to do some of this myself. But as you so wisely point out, it ain't for amateurs any more. Thanks for all you do for us here and always being the true expert here. cheers cvc

Nov 24, 2013 03:08 AM #68
Don Hintz
2D-enterprises / HAUS Design, LLC - Anderson, IN


A little late to the comment table here, but this is an excellent post and an even better read, if that's possible. Thanks for your work and for sharing your knowledge.

Nov 24, 2013 10:23 AM #69
Jack Tenold
Jack Tenold LLC - Spokane, WA
Specializing in Reverse Mortgages

I appreciate your generous spirit Tammy.  I am thankful that I am privy to such helpful information.  Have a Happy Thanksgiving.  Jack

Nov 25, 2013 02:11 AM #70
M.C. Dwyer
Century 21 Showcase REALTORs - Felton, CA
MC Dwyer-Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

Thanks Tammy for the important checklist - bookmarked!

Nov 26, 2013 01:37 AM #71
Nora Sims
Northern Shadows Realty, Inc. - Sedona, AZ
helping folks like you since 1978!

Thanks, Tammy! Sure appreciate the info you so willingly share.

Nov 26, 2013 05:47 AM #72
Jason Wright
Keller Williams Advantage - Golden, CO
Associate Broker

Tammy, This is a great post and something that I am working on currently. I just signed up with Real Geeks and am in the process of creating the content for my site and trying to increase my knowledge of SEO. It is a full time job and I feel like it takes time away from doing what I do best and that is listing homes!! One of my goals this year is to be able to hire someone to keep my content fresh and optimize my site regularly, is that a service you offer? If so I think you are at the top of my list. I am from Woodinville and my fiance is from Bothell, we have relocated to Las Cruces NM to be near my elderly parents and have decided that with the move comes a career change so we are now a real estate team (Long time dream).

Thanks again for the post and I wish you much success in 2014!!

Nov 26, 2013 12:35 PM #73
Jill Watts
Realty Pro, Inc. - Vancouver, WA
A Luxury Experience at Every Price Point!

I love your blog and always learn something new. This time I am challeneged to go and freshen up my webpages and add some new pages to it. Blessings to your 2014 year!

Dec 01, 2013 02:19 PM #74
Hella Mitschke Rothwell
(831) 626-4000 - Honolulu, HI
Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker
Debbie: I'm doing marathon updating of my websites right now, but it's a massive job. I see that I need to devote an hour or two every day to it. Maybe by doing this regularly it hopefully it will pay off.
Jan 01, 2014 01:41 AM #75
Catherine Ulrey
Keller Williams Capital City - Salem, OR
Equestrian and Acreage Property Specialist

Oh there is a lot of good info in here, I just checked my back links, over 500 of them.  Don't know if that is good or bad, but it sounds like a lot.

Jan 01, 2014 03:11 AM #76
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

You have to have a system, a strategy to approach all your real estate marketing media streams. You build them, create them with hand made precision to all snap together, cross pollinate and build the marketing fire. And oozing with helpful, time, gas and money saving content. Loaded with imagery you shoot, links, videos and a reason for someone to come back over and over. For life, not just one real estate sale. Real estate is a sport, but if you are not training, working out and evolving, you don't win a ribbon of any color, you don't place. Love your posts coach!

Jan 10, 2014 09:42 PM #77
Ellie McIntire
Ellicott City Clarksville Howard County Maryland Real Estate - Ellicott City, MD
Luxury service in Howard County & Catonsville

I am with Jason (#73) in the fact that I need to find someone to take over this task for me. This is excellent info and if you have referrals I would be interested in names and numbers.

Jan 10, 2014 10:34 PM #78
Tammy Emineth
Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing - Marysville, WA
Content Marketer, SEO Teacher, Website Fixer

Ellie, this is what we do! :) We tell you all the things you can do but if you don't want to do them, we do them for you :)

Jan 10, 2014 11:42 PM #79
1~Judi Barrett
Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745 - Idabel, OK
BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK

Again, another excellent informative post.  That's quite a list to be working on. 

Jan 19, 2014 09:50 AM #80
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
Good Company Real Estate - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Thanks Tammy for the great advice. I could always use better ways to use SEO, and how to rank on Google. It is a lot of work, but well worth it.

Feb 24, 2014 01:25 PM #81
Mark Loewenberg
KW of the Palm Beaches - Palm Beach Gardens, FL
KW 561-214-0370

did a reread on this and yes habits are what we need to keep our seo charging forward

Dec 29, 2014 08:45 AM #82
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