The Secret Way To Outrank Zillow - Pt. 1

Services for Real Estate Pros with Best Real Estate Writer, a Layton Media brand

By now, I am thrilled that most of you understand that with most (over 90%) real estate transactions starting from an online search, that you have no choice but to have your own real estate website.


Every day, buyers and sellers are hopping online looking for someone like you to help them through their move.


Just imagine how your life and business would change if you started to become the number one result when people were searching for an agent or property in your market. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that would be a TOTAL GAMECHANGER!


I am pained to see how many of you are throwing up your hands with trying to rank on Google because you can’t come close in searches to the big dogs like Zillow who dominate most results.


I know that you didn’t spend all of your time and money to build a website just to have it never attract organic traffic from buyers and sellers looking for an agent in your area.


Lucky for you, I also know one of the easiest and most effective ways to outrank Zillow and the other real estate bullies which I’m about to share with you.


That’s not all either!


The super simple secret I’m going to expose today will:

  • Show off your local expertise

  • Build your email list

  • Set you apart from local competition

  • Generate more qualified buyer and seller leads

  • Keep visitors on your website much longer


Are you ready for it?


The secret but insanely easy way to climb the ranks and kick Zillow in the teeth is to build out your real estate website’s neighborhood profiles a.k.a. Community pages.


Say whaaaa?


Yup! You see, the big real estate “bullies” like Zillow frequently dominate search engines because of their size and volume of content (primarily listings).


One of the biggest things that they seriously struggle to populate their websites with is hyper-local content like neighborhood profiles because they have to cover the entire country; a steep hill of content to climb.


Lucky for you, you don’t have to create a page or profile for every community or neighborhood in the country, you only have to do it for your local farm. That challenge or weakness of theirs is also your (potential) strength if you take advantage of it.


It is because of the sheer power of these profiles and pages that I have been able to help a ton of real estate agents reach the top of search engines. In fact, they have become my second most popular product over the last year!


As usual, I’m not just here to tell you the answer to your problem.


No, no no…


I’m here to show you EXACTLY how to solve it.  


Keep reading to learn:

  • How many neighborhood profiles or community pages you need

  • How long each profile should be

  • What to include in every profile

  • How to format your profiles


Plus, I’m not sure if you noticed but this is just Part One in a two-part series which means that next week I’ll be back with the other simple, secret way to stick it to websites like Zillow and score all those buyers and sellers that have been looking for you online. So make sure that you subscribe to get direct access to Part Two.

How Many Neighborhood Profiles Do You Need?

In general, you are going to want to cover as many as possible within your local farm. What this comes down to is having not only the most neighborhood profiles but those that are the most extensive. If you are covering an entire county, then I urge you to start breaking down the county in two different quadrants than individual cities and towns and eventually individual neighborhoods. If your particular market has a lot of new construction or gated communities I strongly urge you to cover each of those individually as well. The agent with the most hyper-local content, like neighborhood profiles, will quickly climb the ranks in the search engines.

How Long Should A Neighborhood Profile Be?

As a rule, every page on your real estate website should be as lengthy and full of valuable information as possible. However, as a bare minimum, you need to have at least 500 words on any given page in order for it to even rank or be registered as a legitimate page in the eyes of Google. Therefore, the obvious answer is that you need at least 500 words but I strongly urge you to shoot for at least 1,100 if you can. Google is constantly scanning each page of your website to see how much content is there, how valuable it is, and how original it is. In other words, if you have a direct competitor that has 10 neighborhood profiles that are all 600 words each you can still beat them by creating the same 10 with double or triple the amount of content on each page as long as it is still original and valuable.

What Should You Include In A Neighborhood Profile?

When people are shopping around for their new home, they are just shopping for the home itself. They are looking for a home in a location and a neighborhood that will fit into their lifestyle. They want to know how long it will take them to get to and from work each day. They want to know that their children will be able to attend a school that they are comfortable and proud to place them in. They want to know what the neighbors will be like. In order to make sure that you are satisfying the cravings of perusing buyers, make sure that you include the following criteria into each of your neighborhood profiles.


  • Insight about the lifestyle - In this section, you need to paint a picture about a day in the life of homeowners in this neighborhood. Talk to them about how bustling and busy or peaceful and private neighborhood is. Talk to them about the neighbors. Give them an idea of what it will feel like to live their day-to-day life here.

  • Details about the homes - Not only do people want to know what it will be like to live in a particular neighborhood, but they also want to know what the homes themselves are like. Fill them in on the details they care about like the floorplans, builders, style of the homes, etc..

  • Community amenities - This is particularly relevant when you are covering an individual gated community or perhaps a new construction community. Buyers that are shopping for homes in these types of neighborhoods are particularly concerned with the types of amenities that will be included with the fees and purchase price of their new home. I am a big believer in simply listing these with bullet points to make it easy for potential buyers to absorb.

  • School districts - Schools are of major interest to parents and want to be parents. It is a no brainer that you include the school districts for preschool, elementary school, middle school, and high school so that buyers know what they are getting themselves and their children into. On the occasion that the schools in that district are of higher regard, it is especially important that you highlight this within your profile.

  • Relevant listings - One of the main points of having these neighborhood profiles or community pages, aside from dominating the search engines, is to draw attention to homes for sale in those areas. Therefore, it should be obvious that you need to make sure that your ID ask is feeding relevant listings into each page. If you cannot see them directly into the page, make sure that you at least have a button or link that will allow interested buyers to start searching for homes in that neighborhood elsewhere on your site.

  • Local businesses - at the very least, you should include a list of local businesses for each community that will be relevant to buyers. This could be businesses like local restaurants, bars, shops, etc. If you can, however, I strongly urge you to build out profiles of each business overtime. Doing this will really supersize your content and massively improved SEO of not just your community pages but your website overall. You cannot afford to hire someone like me to do this for you, I suggest coming up with a simple questionnaire that you can use to interview the managers or owners of these local businesses to save yourself some time.

  • Local events - Just as potential homebuyers searching through these neighborhoods are interested in the local businesses, they’re very interested in the various events that take place around the community. Again, people want to know what type of lifestyle they are flying into, in addition to the home it’s self. Frequently, my blogging clients receive articles that highlight seasonal or monthly events for their farms which can easily be posted on these community pages.

  • Related blog posts - Speaking of blogs, this is the perfect place for you to feature articles that are relevant to each neighborhood. For example, if you have a blog post about the best coffee shops in the west end of Seattle, assuming that’s your farm, then you should be featuring that on your community page about the west end of Seattle and every micro-neighborhood within that area. Keep in mind that internal links like this will not only help to keep people on your website much longer, they are another added bonus to your SEO.

  • Photos and videos - I hope that I don’t have to tell you right now that you are in a visual business. People don’t just want to read and hear about homes and neighborhoods and lifestyles, they want to see them. The more original pictures and videos that you can create which showcases these neighborhoods the better your page will perform for both in search engine rankings and in conversions.

  • Call-to-action - Please don’t ever expect people to go out of their way to do what you want them to do. You have to tell them what you want them to do. Throughout your community profiles, there need to be calls-to-action that direct your website visitors to either subscribe to your newsletter search please don’t ever expect people to go out of their way to do what you want them to do. You have to tell them what you want them to do. Throughout your community profiles, there need to be calls-to-action that direct your website visitors to either subscribe to your newsletter, download a recent market report, reach out to you directly, or search for listings. Remember, at the end of this we are trying to get these visitors to become leads within your final, and eventually your clients. Is your job to hold their hand every step of the way.


The Fastest Way To Create Dozens Of Neighborhood Profiles

Obviously, you can take the time to build a list of the neighborhoods, do all of the research and write up a comprehensive profile on each one. However, if you are anything like most real estate agents that would take way more time than you have to spare. Or, you could hire me to do all of that tedious heavy lifting for you and know that you are getting well-researched profiles that are written to please both search engines and readers (a.k.a. Your future clients). To get started, simply book a brief consultation with me here.




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Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Fortunately my "market" area doesn't have a zip code.  Well it has one, but it doesn't have it's "own" zip code and zillow and the like has never been my competition.  Over time my actual competitors have also built sites and gotten on page 1 for our primary search term, but the fact I started 21 years ago gives me the longevity of URL that gives me an edge.

Apr 09, 2019 11:40 AM #1
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Hi Sarah,
Any post that helps us learn how to outrank Zillow deserves more attention.  I have you queued for the next edition of Second Chance Saturday.

Apr 24, 2019 10:23 AM #2
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

I'm in the process of building new community pages for the location I am moving to later this year, so this was quite timely information. Thanks for sharing!

Apr 27, 2019 03:14 AM #3
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

Great post...I think I feel a reblog coming on...something EVERY agent should know !

Apr 27, 2019 05:59 AM #4
Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Sarah, thank you for the information. Topping the big boys is a great goal for all of us. Thanks for the excellent advice and guidance.

Apr 27, 2019 07:25 AM #5
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Sarah Layton | Copywriter & Inman Star Contributor - Thank you for your detailed outline on developing community pages. I bookmarked your blog. I have incorporated all of my communities into my website but I need to do additional micro profiles of businesses and more neighborhoods than I already have.  

Using your template will help me make sure I follow this process where applicable. 

Apr 27, 2019 07:51 AM #6
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

So happy Carol Williams featured this one, Sarah. Anything to help slay the Z dragon sounds good to me. Thanks for the advice, we will work to incorporate it...

Apr 27, 2019 08:05 AM #7
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Thanks for the tips, Sarah. Bookmarked for further reading and taking some action. I really enjoy writing about communities and specific neighborhoods, and it's great information to have on hand when marketing listings, too!


Apr 28, 2019 09:56 AM #8
Dario Ferreira
Attleboro, MA
Internet Marketing

Very good post.
Beating the big guys is a lot of work, but totally doable.

May 09, 2019 08:38 AM #9
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Sarah Layton | Copywriter & Inman Star Contributor

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