SEO, SEM, CRO - OH MY! What is it? (And Does it Matter Anymore?)

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

Search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), conversion rate optimization (CRO)… Aren't these all essentially the same thing?


Well, not exactly. When the term is search engine optimization first came out that's exactly what we were doing, optimizing for search engines. There was a lot of black hat techniques 10 to 15 years ago and it was easy to game the system. This means that as long as you put enough effort, time, and usually, money into the game, you would end up on the first page. But of course, Google goes after those black hat optimizers and they are always looking out for the consumer.


They want the consumer to get the information they have googled. Doorway websites that tell you one thing but then direct you somewhere else, low content information, sites that load too slow, or scammer and hacker sites all around eventually will get kicked off the first page. Sure, some black hat techniques still work… For a time. But for the long game, long-term, doing things right, nothing beats real, authentic, authoritative information. You can't write a couple of hundred words and think it's going to be the end all #1 result on Google, especially if there are 3000 other options that provide more information and are more authoritative. It's just not going to work.


Even when I write in Activerain, I'm not necessarily doing so to be the number one result for whatever my title is. I'm writing for you. And that may be where your leads come from. Are you going to the source or do you just want to be #1 for your key phrase?


Today, any consumer can look up real estate from any of the big dogs that pretty much dominate the front page. The key for the individual real estate agent or even a small brokerage is to go where the consumers are. This could mean making a killer Instagram page with great memes, listings, advice, and articles. This could mean building out your Facebook page and paying to boost posts, paid advertisements, and get more likes to your page, so statistically, you'll get more eyes on every post you do promote.Be a marketing ninja


Maybe it is getting involved in a Reddit real estate bloggers group and sharing, networking, and building your referral base.


What it's not is being #1 on the Google search engines anymore. It's just too difficult to show up for "[city] real estate", unless you've been in the game for 10+ years, have a killer website with thousands of high-quality articles, have an amazing paper click campaign etc.…

We can market for the search engines but that may not be where our customers are anymore. Are you where they are when they need you? That's probably on some social media account or even just a referral.


What about your Google business page? This could be a great place to showcase some of your best articles and posts, have your reviews, and have your contact information ready to go. Chances are, someone is not going to be reading your article on staging and then all of a sudden decide to sell their house and give you a call. You have to be where they are and be ready when they are.


Related Post: Online Marketing Tips that Actually Work


So, I don't think it matters what it's called anymore. It's basic marketing and it changes all the time. You have to be where your consumers are. If you're trying to market to baby boomers, you're probably not going to advertise on a college campus. Go where your target demographic is and then market the heck out of it. It doesn't matter where the lead comes from as long as you're getting leads. If you're going to focus on your website, then make it amazing and link to it from a variety of sources so that there is no question that when someone wants to contact you, they know how.


Truly think about your prime demographic and how to reach them exactly where they are. Chances are, it's probably not on a desktop computer within the top 10 search results for Google.


Additional Real Estate Stuff:

How to Sell an Ugly house

16 Things You Should Never Keep When Moving

The Top 5 Ways to Make a Home More Appealing to Buyers

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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 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Krista Jenkins, REALTOR® 03/20/2019 02:25 PM
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
Blogging & SEO
Internet Lead Generation-How Best To Capture Your Audience
Be The Best In Your Field
online marketing

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Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Every once in a while, I am reminded of what life must have been decades or centuries ago and one thing stands out constantly & clearly and that is simplicity. Complexity is the intruder and I see that more and more....

Mar 20, 2019 07:52 AM #12
Dario Ferreira
Attleboro, MA
Internet Marketing

Congrats on the feature.

You make some very good points about social media presence.

You write: "You have to be where your consumers are", well, they still are using the search engines in great numbers, so I would not write off SEO just yet ;)

Mar 20, 2019 08:33 AM #13
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

I love everything you write on this topic. I've learned to write to my audience, whether that is the consumer or my AR friends. Sure hope that's right! :-)

Mar 20, 2019 08:41 AM #14
Krista Jenkins, REALTOR®
klm Real Estate - Lubbock, TX
Residential sales and retail & office leasing

"It doesn't matter where the lead comes from as long as you're getting leads." Thank you for affirming this. We can squander a lot of time chasing the next shiny object in this business. I have learned it is just as important to enjoy your very own process of generating leads as it is generating leads. There is no one right way. It takes time to figure out what works for each of us.

Mar 20, 2019 09:08 AM #15
Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.

All important tips.  We should strive to flesh out all corners of our online presence for those who may want to do a little bit of deep digging.

Mar 20, 2019 12:44 PM #17
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good afternoon Tammy Emineth ,

You are always helping us understand the rules of engagement in this constant change going on in the race to reach the consumers first. Congratulations on a well deserved featured post. You do have to be where the consumers are and you also need to know what consumers you are wanting to attract!

Mar 20, 2019 12:56 PM #18
Susan Hale
Re/Max Realty of Defiance,Inc. - Defiance, OH
Re/Max Northwest Ohio Realtor

I'm getting robo calls from Google all the time...   Great featured post, Tammy Emineth!
Online home sellers and buyers these days are computer savy.  Having interesting blog topics and where to most effectively post them to attract potential customer is the key  


Mar 20, 2019 02:17 PM #19
The RE Geek Coach
The RE Geek - Wilmington, NC
RE Coach helping YOU build a better business!

I absolutely love this and agree 100%! If you know your target client and create the content they are looking for, you will get way better results than trying to market to everyone, which is exactly what you are doing when you try to be #1 on Google for your city.

Mar 20, 2019 03:10 PM #20
Greg Mona
eXp Realty - Chandler, AZ
Professional Real Estate Representation for YOU!

Another great and informative post, Tammy Emineth! I learned a lot, as always, but what resonated most with me was the following... But for the long game, long-term, doing things right, nothing beats real, authentic, authoritative information. 

Mar 20, 2019 06:52 PM #21
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Great explanation article on a topic most find a complete mystery.

Mar 20, 2019 07:26 PM #22
Amanda S. Davidson
Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group Brokered By eXp Realty - Alexandria, VA
Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale

Tammy, your post has a powerful message. It sounds so simple - write and market for who we want to attract and yet so many miss the boat. I personally got off track last year and was writing to try to get on page 1 of Google instead of doing what I'd always done and writing for who I wanted to work with. Not only does it work it's way more fun! Congrats on your feature.

Mar 21, 2019 05:07 AM #23
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


Years ago, someone declared that SEO is dead.  And you are right about being #1 on Google.  The real estate aggregators and the brokerages are paying through the nose for those positions.  What is sad is seeing the brokerages competing with their own agents on line.  I agree with you on being found on line.  Since everyone is going through various machinations on line, our clients are busy off line meeting people and getting viable leads that way.  They save time because they don't have to scrutinize the leads. They know who they are working with. 

Sadly online information is not that reliable.  When we research a subject we go past the ad pages, because that is where the reliable stuff is.  Congrats on your feature. A

Mar 21, 2019 08:17 AM #24
Michelle Francis
Tim Francis Realty LLC - Atlanta, GA
Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease


Good thinking there.  How do you target your target audience and that will continue to continuously evolve.

All the best, Michelle

Mar 21, 2019 03:27 PM #25
Matthew Klinowski, PA
Downing-Frye - Naples, FL
Golf Community Real Estate Specialist

Thanks for the post Tammy. It's definitely a challenge to keep up with the constantly evolving world of SEO, SEM and CRO. What I do know is good content, consistency and frequency are key to getting to the top and staying at the top.

Mar 21, 2019 05:08 PM #26
Sham Reddy CRS
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

Thanks for sharing!!!

Today, any consumer can look up real estate from any of the big dogs that pretty much dominate the front page. The key for the individual real estate agent or even a small brokerage is to go where the consumers are. 

Mar 22, 2019 03:40 AM #27
Clay Greathouse
Tombstone Real Estate - Tombstone, AZ
Off-Grid, Alternative,Rural, Solar,Cochise Arizona

What do they say now, find a Niche and focus in!  

Mar 22, 2019 02:44 PM #30
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Hi Tammy: Like your new photo without the hat! I do not believe SEO is dead as I rank on the first page of Google for many terms. But I was also an early adopter, way back when agents said to me, "do you really think you can get clients from the internet?"

Even yesterday a seller called. He found my name as a top East Sacramento real estate agent. When you are squished between big brokerages, people will take the little guy every time. It is possible for solo agents to rank well. It is a struggle to maintain that ranking but I do.

Mar 23, 2019 09:14 AM #31
Jean Wawrzyniak-Fry

GREAT INFO!!  You always have good info!

Mar 23, 2019 10:21 AM #32
Ryan Vinco
Encore Real Estate Investment Services - Detroit, MI
Founding Member and Managing Partner

This is a great article. This information applies to many different businesses and people, not just real estate. Thank you for sharing. 

Mar 29, 2019 11:45 AM #33
Dave Zirnhelt
Snap Up Real Estate - Kamloops, BC
Online Marketing & SEO Expert for Real Estate Pros

Very well written article with excellent formatting Tammy! :)
I'm curious, how'd it work out for SEO and conversions?

Does it rank for any terms?  Did you get some business from it?

What I love about good content like this, is that it keeps generating results indefinitely.

Jul 07, 2020 12:39 PM #34
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