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SEO_button_keyboardAccording to Wikipedia, SEO is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s “natural,” or un-paid, search results. In other words, free lead generation. If you can get your company to show up at the top of a search results page you’ll generate more leads. With over 88 percent of homebuyers searching online for their dream home, SEO is crucial. But are there really thieves stealing your traffic and hurting your search ranking?

Yes there are, and they might even be your marketing partners. However, most of these so-called thieves don’t even know what they are doing. Below are two ways to protect your brokerage from SEO robbery and increase your SEO ranking.

1 – The virtual tour or property site URL. The traditional full serve/self serve virtual tour company has always used their own URL when linking and displaying their virtual tours on the Internet. For example when an individual agent orders professional images on a listing from CirclePix, the URL for that tour looks something like “www.circlepix.com/tour/807500.” For an individual agent this really isn’t a problem. One listing every month is not going to make or break your organic search results. But on a brokerage level it could make a huge difference. When a brokerage uses CirclePix the URL for a property site will look much different. You will see a URL like “tour.youragency.com/tournumber.” This new URL gives a broker’s website the traffic and helps boost their SEO ranking.

2 – Videos on YouTube. Again, the traditional tour company will upload a video to their own YouTube channel. And again on an individual agent basis this really doesn’t affect their SEO. But as a brokerage posting new videos each day you want the video posted to your own YouTube channel and then add links going from each YouTube video to your property site (with your URL), website, Facebook and more. This will increase your brokerage SEO.

The lesson here is as a brokerage, even though you outsource your marketing to a third party, you want the credit for all of your web traffic to maximize your SEO. Take a moment and look at your URL and find out if your marketing partner is stealing your hits.

Rob Davis is the CEO of CirclePix. For more information, visit www.circlepix.com.

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