Posted by: realestatewebtrainer | April 23, 2011

Angie wants to understand how a Sub-Domain Website Behaves

Yesterday we met Angie Pinksmith and we learned a few things about her and her relationship to her website – well not exactly a website, but something that looks and behaves like one and is far from being a real Website.

Angie wants to understand Sub-Domains We learned that Angie is very focused, very competitive, and loves her Real Estate Business – in fact her clients rave about her. We also learned that she is not afraid of investing in her marketing but what gets under her skin is the lack of true information that can help her make the best decision for her long term business. Angie also understands that having a website is part of her marketing and wants to understand the difference between a sub-domain driven website and a fully integrated website with her own domain.

In fact her broker, who cares about supporting Angie with her business, wants to know as well:

1. A Sub-Domain website is essentially a clone of the parent website – the main distinction is that the contact management system is locked onto the agent not the rotation of all the agents. When you visit you are really visiting and any action you take as a visitor will lead to Angie getting notified. In essence the Lead tracking system is honed in on Angie.

When visitors start with the lead tracker is rotational and distributes inquiries among the participants in a fair rotational way. This is a good thing because the broker uses the economy of scale to purchase Advertising on Google, Bing, Yahoo, Homegain, etc on behalf of his agents; it is their job to convert those inquiries into Sales and for that they spend a monthly fee that is aggregated and managed by the broker.

2. But let us not forget that Angie is Competitive – she wants to be on Page 1 of Google ahead of other agents in her area who she views as having less experience than she does. Well – let’s make her more unhappy – “You have no chance of reaching that goal; it is not going to happen – sorry :(” Let’s explain to Angie how Google and Search Engine see things:

a. Sub-Domain Websites are clones of the Parent Website and their content is therefore discounted by Search Engines. In essence what is happening is when Google attempts to index the content of it comes to the conclusion that the content is already in their Database; there is nothing new and significantly different than It’s not a penalty it is just the realty that Google is seeking Relevant and Unique Content.

b. Programmers that designed these type of websites are not dumb either – they know this; so in order for them not to run afoul of indexing duplicate content they write code that make Sub-Domain Websites compliant by adding 301-Redirects and Canonical URL Redirects. It simply means that they are telling Search Engines that once a page has been indexed if you see a similar one in one of the agents Sub-Domains you can ignore it. Can I put it bluntly for Angie: “Your Sub-Domain Website is not an index-able website and you have no chance of ranking organically with Search Engines!” Remember Angie can handle the truth and as she seeks to grow her visibility she needs to know what might get in the way of that.

c. In the rare occasions when a Sub-Domain Websites are designed to allow agents to create unique content the “Link Juice” is passed on the the main domain. So in essence Angie is helping grow in building organic influence, which is awesome… but is it? You see Angie Pinksmith is an independent Real Estate Contractor, her desires and aspirations are grounded in who she is; she want her efforts to help with her own Website and to reach Page 1 of Google – NOT just her Broker. This is the kind of truth ‘Established Brokers’ understand – and the best way to help Angie design the proper strategy is by telling her what the agency website does and does not do. Angie will find out and will resent her broker – our Real Estate Agencies have enough challenges as is; we must educate our troops and set them free.

PS: I harp on this point a bit because, a while back, a Broker told me what Agents don’t know won’t hurt them – I strongly disagree… I say: “What Agents don’t know will Hurt your Brokerage!”

d. The type of Website that Godzilla Inc got is called a “Lead Management Website” and they work really well when combined with Pay-per-Click Advertising. We must let our agents know what they are getting and what they are paying for. Unfortunately everything is reduced to the word “Website” and more gray is generated than crisp understanding.

In future Blogs we will discuss why some of these types of websites struggle in the organic realm – Angie Pinksmith wants to know how to continue to capitalize of her “Lead Management Website” but at the same time nurture a new type of understanding that helps her grow her organic visibility. This is important for Angie because she is a “Listing Agent”, and yes it is lovely to work with would-be Buyer, but she has build her reputation by helping Sellers in her community – she cannot afford to waste that investment.

(The adventure of Angie Pinksmith the Realtor will continue in the next few days…)

PS: Angie Pinksmith is a fictional name and is NOT based on any real person.

PPS: if your name is Angie Pinksmith and you are a Real Estate Agent do let me know and I will change the name of the characters – same goes with Godzilla Real Estate Inc.

Happy Blogging 🙂 – Key Yessaad, Real Estate SEO Trainer


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