“Sell my house fast Wichita” is a keyword. Professional home buyers use keywords like this to boost their SEO score and get more motivated sellers to go to their website and sell their houses to them. It’s a trick of the trade, they take the most commonly used phrases searched on Google that relate to their business and use that a thousand times over in different pieces of copy, on their website, and even in their domain name. Businesses will create 2000 word blogs, much like this one. that are filled with lots of nonsense phrases that are packed to the brim with SEO ranked keywords. Pages and pages of the same thing over and over; “sell my house Wichita,” “ selling my house after a divorce,” “ how to sell my house Wichita,” “ how to sell my house Wichita, KS,” – over and over and over and over again. Is this information really useful to you?
So what is SEO? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. So, think about the internet, think about how huge the internet really is, there are millions and millions of pages and pieces of information that can relate to just one key phrase. Take, for instance, “apple.” Sure, an apple is fruit, and you may be looking for an apple farm with guided tours to go take a weekend vacation-that is a possibility. But, you’re more likely looking to buy products from the tech giant Apple. So, when you search “apple” on the internet you’re going to see an iPhone before you see any actual fruit. That kind of explains SEO, not really, but kind of.
The most common search engine, and therefore the most heavily optimized search engine, is Google. Google as a service has become such a big part of our lives that the word Google itself has become a verb that generally means to search the internet, even though there are several other search engines that you could use.
So, what Google does in order to disambiguate a piece of fruit from a billion-dollar tech company, is it scores certain websites on a few criteria. One of them is relevance; this helps ensure that what you’re searching for is a relevant topic. For instance, if you want to know about the economy and rising interest rates you probably don’t want an article from 2006. You want an article that’s more relevant; you want an article that was published last week. Helping search engines produce links to pages that match the user’s intent is just a small part of what SEO is all about. Another big part, possibly the MOST IMPORTANT PART, of SEO is authority; so what is authority?
Authority, in the simplest of terms, is about the quality of the page that is being presented on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page.) Not only do you want a search result that is relevant to the topic that you were inquiring about, but you also want the information to come from a reputable source. So, Google actually does this for you. They use a number of factors to rank websites based on the quality of the content they produce. This can range from whether or not the information is factual, has been vetted, how many views the content has, or even how many times the content has been shared across the web. These criteria can be met in several ways. You can become an authority by actually being an authority or you can become an authority by pretending to be an authority.
In the business world we call these white hat and black hat tactics. White hat is about doing things the right way, it’s about doing your due diligence, being honest and upfront, and making a name for yourself through rigor and hard work. Now, on the other side of the coin, we have black hat tactics. Black hat isn’t about doing anything illegal or anything immoral, it’s just about playing the system and knowing how to exploit weaknesses in loopholes in order to maximize the visibility of your business.
In terms of SEO, the white hat way of getting your business ranked would be by offering quality content that is dependable and useful, networking on social media, going on podcasts, creating favorable impressions so that your name is spread by word of mouth, and just generally creating a genuine and personable online presence.
The black hat way of getting ranked is accomplished through various means that don’t actually provide anything useful to motivated sellers, but will nonetheless get a business ranked. They use tactics like keyword stuffing, which is when you take one phrase that ranks high in Google’s SEO algorithm and you just repeat it over and over again in various pieces of media, therefore getting Google to notice your business based on how they’re robots troll and rank web pages. Businesses also generate visibility by creating backlinks and having them pasted onto random websites that are simply just domain names that are bought and created for the sole purpose of having a space where businesses can pay to have their websites featured. And another sneaky trick, is to simply just name your business something like “Buy Wichita Houses Fast,” or “We Buy Wichita Houses.”
Check out this article on the difference between spammy backlinks vs. quality backlinks and how that can be used against business owners.
We’re aware that all businesses will do whatever it takes to get motivated sellers, but sometimes that can come at the expense of homeowners. By tricking Google’s SEO algorithm into thinking that a business has more authority than it does, businesses that offer a higher quality of service can get shoved down to the bottom of the search page. It’s not only hurts that business, but it also hurts homeowners that will think that their only options are the first three businesses the pop up on the search page (many of which will also be paid ads.)
Here, we’ve discussed the many ways that shady businesses can trick you into settling for less. If you’re a homeowner in Wichita who just typed in the phrase “sell my house fast Wichita,” make sure you do some research and find businesses that offer you an upfront and honest experience, both online and in-person.
A great way to do this is to check out the businesses Google page. Any business worth its salt will have an actual profile on Google. On the right hand side of the page you should see the name of the business along with their address, phone number, and a list of Google reviews. If it doesn’t have its own Google page, chances are it’s not a business you want to work with. The next thing you need to do is go through the Google reviews.
Now, I wouldn’t suggest trying to find bad reviews, because they’re probably not going to be there. Many people follow their moms advice and decide that if they don’t have anything nice to say, they’re not going to say anything at all. That extends to Google. For most businesses you’re going to see a lot of glowing and complementary Google reviews. What you need to look for is the language of these reviews. Do a lot of them sound the same? Do they have the same punctuation?
It’s common practice for websites to pay for, or do their own, reviews. But, usually, just one person will create different fake accounts and write reviews from those accounts to make it seem like the business has a big following. Be on the lookout for fishy comments. A website that is a genuine authority is going to have genuine reviews that reflect the values of that company.
Another way to vet a business is to go to their Facebook page (if they don’t have a Facebook page, that’s a red flag.) Go through their posts and see what kind of engagement they have. Does the owner of the company talk directly with sellers? Or, Is there a lot of ghosted comments and copy/paste replies? If you see a flourishing Facebook community centered around that business, then you know you are going to be working with people who have your best interests in mind.
And finally, the number one way that you know you can trust a business is by hearing about it from a friend. If you’ve heard good things from someone you trust, then you know that it’s going to be a place that you can depend on. In fact, that’s how I built my painting business…
Before I got into real estate investing, I was a painter working contract to contract, and I had no idea how to build a website and I had probably never even heard the term SEO. So, what I did is I went to a printing press and had a 1000 business cards made that I would hand out to the people I worked for. And I knew that if I showed them my skills, my knowledge, and my personality, that they would hand those cards off to the next person they knew that needed a paint job.
And I’ve carried that ethos into my new career as a real estate investor. I knew I didn’t want to sell a junky, half-baked experience to people through sleazy, underhanded tactics. So, what I decided to do was put the seller’s experience at the forefront of my business model, not profit. I with that idea in mind, I created an online community through the various Facebook groups that I manage that inspires other entrepreneurs and provides an oasis to sellers that are exhausted with the hidden fees and trappings that selling a home through realtors on the traditional marketplace is mired in.
This blog is about clearing the smoke screen put up by realtors and other professional home buyers that confuses and disorients sellers into making bad deals on other people’s time.
If you’re a homeowner and Wichita, who’s looking to sell their home, and needs a quick and simple solution, give us a call at (316) 217-9675.
Whether you end up working with us or not, call us for a free consultation, and we will help you decide what’s best for you and your situation.
Harmony Home Buyer has a mission to renovate the city of Wichita one house at a time. We aim to inspire, not confuse, new business owners and motivate, not trick, homeowners to make the best decision for themselves and their families.
I’m Jason Lavender, and I’m asking you to put your trust in yourself, and let us help you through the stressful and confusing precess of selling your home.
We’ll talk soon.