Five Common IDX SEO Myths

By
Real Estate Services with IDX, LLC.

The term SEO (Search Engine Optimization) means different things to different people. While there's not enough time in this blog post to explain every SEO technique available to REALTORS, there is enough space to dispel some common myths! 

SEO vs. PPC

Before getting into the details of each myth, let's talk first about what SEO is, and is not. First off, SEO is not the same as PPC (Pay Per Click). The goal of Best Practices SEO is to spend AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE to maximize ORGANIC traffic from search engines such as Google and Bing. Basically, it's about getting more bang for your buck.

Integrated vs. Framed

Let's also clarify which TYPE of IDX feed we're talking about here. We're NOT talking about framed IDX. Yuck. Framed IDX is the kind provided by various cookie-cutter website solutions. Ironically, it's also provided by vendors that may charge much more than what you may pay for an integrated IDX solution. 

As more real estate buyers migrate to the internet, the trend is to move away from frameable IDX solutions. These solutions simply aren't competitive enough for top performing real estate Agents and Brokers. Why? Because Search Engines don't index iframed content as if it is yours. You get zero credit for the content, and in fact, you may be passing any site credit (PageRank specifically) you've amassed to a 3rd party vendor server! Ouch.

 

You can do better. 

Integrated IDX can help you compete, AND it can help bring more buyers back to your website. The SEO benefits of IDX integration are immense. It simply requires some commitment (vs. IDX vendor swapping), and more knowledge about what it takes to leverage the IDX content and tools available to you. 

Now that you know the difference between indexable, SEO-friendly integrated IDX and framed IDX, let's review those SEO myths:

  • Myth #1: Duplicate content hurts you. If you display the same IDX listings that somebody else displays, but with different unique content such as neighborhood information (with IDX results), your header content, Agent Bio pages, etc., you are NOT going to be penalized by search engines. Ask anyone who attends PubCon.
  • Myth #2: Page URL is more important than Title tags. Title tags are CRITICAL and belong on every one of your results and details pages. Most people spend too much time trying to optimize details or results page URLs, and not enough time fine-tuning their Title tags. 
  • Myth #3: Indexing Everything on your Root Domain is good for Business. Not if you're without integrated lead capture, your search form and results reside in an iFrame, or you cannot customize the user experience and lead capture rules to deliver high quality leads through your IDX solution. 
  • Myth #4: Custom Subdomains are Bad for Business.  Some people use home.mysite.com or search.mysite.com as their subdomain. No matter what you choose, know that subdomains have been around a long time and are not going away. Search Engines know this. If you want to know how your current IDX solution is doing as far as # of pages indexed, simply type "site:http://www.mydomain.com". If you have a custom subdomain, ALL OF YOUR SUBDOMAIN pages will display in the Google results. How can that be bad for business?
  • Myth #5: It's Important to Focus on the Indexability of Property Detail Page URLs. Do buyers search for the address as often as sellers do? Some do, sure, but most? Meh. Buyers use RESULTS-focused keywords. If you want more buyers, and pages that drive buyers to your website, then YOU NEED TO build out custom neighborhood and other category links, and get those indexed. Even better…run a PPC campaign and direct traffic to those results links! Do you want to know what Custom Links can do for your site, especially if you have PPC campaigns? Check out this thread on Facebook. Results may vary of course, and are often based on your commitment to a true IDX integration!

 If you're interested in learning more about Integrated IDX, SEO functionality, we encourage you to contact us today!

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Re-Bloggged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Bob Caldwell 03/16/2012 09:35 AM
  2. Gabe Sanders 05/20/2013 03:51 AM
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Topic:
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
Groups:
SEO for Realtors
Real Estate SEO
Blogging & SEO
ActiveSEO
ActiveRain IDX
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mls
idxmls solutions
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Comments 19 New Comment

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Rainmaker
397,897
Denise Hamlin
Real Estate & Relocation Services 319-400-0268
Cardinal Realty - Locally Owned Real Estate Company

I don't have statistics anymore than you do to determine whether it's buyers or sellers who are searching by address. And anyway, what difference does it make whether it's buyers or sellers? It's bringing folks either buying or selling a house to my site and it's due to my other plugin, not IDX Broker. 

I disagree with your assessment that it's more likely to be sellers though.  I do have direct access to the public and speak with buyers. I know they search by address because we talk about that. They drive by and google the address. That's not uncommon at all.

Statistics also tell us that well over 90% of buyers are online, while it's only a small percentage of sellers. That is an indication to me that there are many more buyers landing on my site by address than sellers. Plus, after looking at that one address they more often than not continue by searching for other homes, which is also not something I expect a seller to do. (Although sellers can be buyers too so it's possible).

That said, I agree with you whole-heartedly that there's more to a good IDX solution than just focusing on static pages on the site. That's why I have more than one IDX search on my site. IDX Broker is an excellent all round solution. The other plugin I have gives me great SEO benefits, but lacks the engagement you mention above.  

April 03, 2012 08:20 PM
Rainmaker
545,434
Corinne Guest
Find Your Barrington Dream Country Suburban Home
Managing Broker-Barrington Realty Company

An interesting debate. I have to wonder why so many that search by MLS number or address, because it's commonly either, are located all over the country. I have a lot of number one rankings for addresses and MLS numbers, but I have many that are at number 3 or 6 or 8 on page one. Why on earth do searchers pick me, or are they looking at every page for that property and not finding what they want.

Currently doing research on why my plugin has my neighbors home for sale at number one, yet IDX B has it on page 26. That's a huge difference and I am looking at the tile and desciption for each. It does seem that repeating the dynamic parts on the description is the mistake. The other has the full MLS description for the Meta Description. I would seriously like to NOT have 2 solutions and much prefer the ability to create subdivision lists with good SEO which I can only do with IDX Broker.

And I thought Denise and I were real estate brokers. God Bless anyone who has no idea about this stuff, they'll likely need to pay someone else or find a new job, it becomes an all consuming job in itself!

April 03, 2012 08:40 PM
Rainmaker
545,434
Corinne Guest
Find Your Barrington Dream Country Suburban Home
Managing Broker-Barrington Realty Company

I should have added that my stats program monitors where people are in the country and world, so I absolutely know that many address and MLS searches are from out of state. That to me is even more perplexing.

April 04, 2012 06:37 AM
Rainmaker
105,255
Carolyn Crispin
Crispin Team Sells Branson Homes Land & Commercial
Keller Williams Tri-Lakes

thanks for the great info

May 06, 2012 07:01 AM
Rainer
126,402
Raymond Denton
Irvine Real Estate Agent
Irvine is all I do

>>They drive by and google the address. That's not uncommon at all.

Maybe not where you live, but it's very uncommon where I live ... you probably don't have many gated communities.

July 20, 2013 09:34 AM
Anonymous
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Rainer
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IDX Broker

IDX, LLC.
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Blogging about all things IDX/MLS, including IDX Broker tools and resources that make Agents' and Brokers' lives easier.