Personal SEO ~ Website Marketing and Content Writing: SEO, SEM, CRO - OH MY! What is it? (And Does it Matter Anymore?)

SEO, SEM, CRO - OH MY! What is it? (And Does it Matter Anymore?)

Search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), conversion rate optimization (CRO)… Aren't these all essentially the same thing?


Well, not exactly. When the term is search engine optimization first came out that's exactly what we were doing, optimizing for search engines. There was a lot of black hat techniques 10 to 15 years ago and it was easy to game the system. This means that as long as you put enough effort, time, and usually, money into the game, you would end up on the first page. But of course, Google goes after those black hat optimizers and they are always looking out for the consumer.


They want the consumer to get the information they have googled. Doorway websites that tell you one thing but then direct you somewhere else, low content information, sites that load too slow, or scammer and hacker sites all around eventually will get kicked off the first page. Sure, some black hat techniques still work… For a time. But for the long game, long-term, doing things right, nothing beats real, authentic, authoritative information. You can't write a couple of hundred words and think it's going to be the end all #1 result on Google, especially if there are 3000 other options that provide more information and are more authoritative. It's just not going to work.


Even when I write in Activerain, I'm not necessarily doing so to be the number one result for whatever my title is. I'm writing for you. And that may be where your leads come from. Are you going to the source or do you just want to be #1 for your key phrase?


Today, any consumer can look up real estate from any of the big dogs that pretty much dominate the front page. The key for the individual real estate agent or even a small brokerage is to go where the consumers are. This could mean making a killer Instagram page with great memes, listings, advice, and articles. This could mean building out your Facebook page and paying to boost posts, paid advertisements, and get more likes to your page, so statistically, you'll get more eyes on every post you do promote.Be a marketing ninja


Maybe it is getting involved in a Reddit real estate bloggers group and sharing, networking, and building your referral base.


What it's not is being #1 on the Google search engines anymore. It's just too difficult to show up for "[city] real estate", unless you've been in the game for 10+ years, have a killer website with thousands of high-quality articles, have an amazing paper click campaign etc.…

We can market for the search engines but that may not be where our customers are anymore. Are you where they are when they need you? That's probably on some social media account or even just a referral.


What about your Google business page? This could be a great place to showcase some of your best articles and posts, have your reviews, and have your contact information ready to go. Chances are, someone is not going to be reading your article on staging and then all of a sudden decide to sell their house and give you a call. You have to be where they are and be ready when they are.


Related Post: Online Marketing Tips that Actually Work


So, I don't think it matters what it's called anymore. It's basic marketing and it changes all the time. You have to be where your consumers are. If you're trying to market to baby boomers, you're probably not going to advertise on a college campus. Go where your target demographic is and then market the heck out of it. It doesn't matter where the lead comes from as long as you're getting leads. If you're going to focus on your website, then make it amazing and link to it from a variety of sources so that there is no question that when someone wants to contact you, they know how.


Truly think about your prime demographic and how to reach them exactly where they are. Chances are, it's probably not on a desktop computer within the top 10 search results for Google.


Additional Real Estate Stuff:

How to Sell an Ugly house

16 Things You Should Never Keep When Moving

The Top 5 Ways to Make a Home More Appealing to Buyers

Personal SEO Tim and Tammy Emineth

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Comment balloon 30 commentsTammy Emineth • March 19 2019 08:02PM


So true Tammy Emineth  it is like being invited to the right parties or going to the right night clubs on the right nights 

Posted by Hannah Williams, Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818 (Re/Max Eastern inc.) 10 months ago

If you are going to blog, make it worthwhile to avoid wasting your time, anyone else's who stumbles on to whatever you upload. Thanks for the great blog post Tammy Emineth .

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) 10 months ago

Tammy loved this post, I have always tried to write to the clients I wanted, thanks to my blogging I had many International Clients... being in Los Angeles where the Brokers have deep pockets indeed it has been many years since I have been on page one of Mr Google.... never the less clients find me because of my foodie and wine blogs, my pet friendly blogs.... and those are the type of clients I want to work with anyway, Endre

Posted by Endre Barath, Jr., Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices) 10 months ago

Seems to be always evolving into something more or Being streamlined to do something else

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) 10 months ago

After reading about how many people love this post I think I’m gonna be at again tomorrow looking at this one.

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) 10 months ago

I know nothing.... I do know you should always target your audience but I know nothing of SEO  CAM CRO CRA  So I will bookmark this and try to gain some knowledge!

Posted by Debra Leisek ( Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska) 10 months ago

At least the Keyword Golden Ratio for Realtors works 

Posted by Peter Mark, Full Time SEO, Local GMB Expert (PeterMarkSEO) 10 months ago

This is a fascinating and helpful post for those of us here trying to improve our presence on line organically. Congrats on the feature

Posted by Lise Howe, Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC (Keller Williams Capital Properties) 10 months ago


This has always seemed to be a "Black Hole" that many, including myself don't understand very well.

One thing is constant... things always seem to be changing.

We appreciate your insight, and thank you for your post.

Posted by Wayne L. Brown (Franklin Advantage Inc.) 10 months ago

Writing for a goal...attracting people of like minds...what a concept !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) 10 months ago

Thanks for the great info. It's always a good reminder to write for people. I'm not in real estate but this article applies to lots of niches. 

Posted by Heidi Johnson, Educator providing healthy tips for busy moms (Heidi Naturally) 10 months ago

Every once in a while, I am reminded of what life must have been decades or centuries ago and one thing stands out constantly & clearly and that is simplicity. Complexity is the intruder and I see that more and more....

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) 10 months ago

Congrats on the feature.

You make some very good points about social media presence.

You write: "You have to be where your consumers are", well, they still are using the search engines in great numbers, so I would not write off SEO just yet ;)

Posted by Dario Ferreira, Internet Marketing 10 months ago

I love everything you write on this topic. I've learned to write to my audience, whether that is the consumer or my AR friends. Sure hope that's right! :-)

Posted by Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty, 601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell (Front Gate Real Estate) 10 months ago

"It doesn't matter where the lead comes from as long as you're getting leads." Thank you for affirming this. We can squander a lot of time chasing the next shiny object in this business. I have learned it is just as important to enjoy your very own process of generating leads as it is generating leads. There is no one right way. It takes time to figure out what works for each of us.

Posted by Krista Jenkins, REALTOR®, Residential sales and retail & office leasing (klm Real Estate) 10 months ago

All important tips.  We should strive to flesh out all corners of our online presence for those who may want to do a little bit of deep digging.

Posted by Kevin Mackessy, Dedicated. Qualified. Local. (Blue Olive Properties, LLC) 10 months ago

Good afternoon Tammy Emineth ,

You are always helping us understand the rules of engagement in this constant change going on in the race to reach the consumers first. Congratulations on a well deserved featured post. You do have to be where the consumers are and you also need to know what consumers you are wanting to attract!

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899) 10 months ago

I'm getting robo calls from Google all the time...   Great featured post, Tammy Emineth!
Online home sellers and buyers these days are computer savy.  Having interesting blog topics and where to most effectively post them to attract potential customer is the key  


Posted by Susan Hale, Re/Max Northwest Ohio Realtor (Re/Max Realty of Defiance,Inc.) 10 months ago

I absolutely love this and agree 100%! If you know your target client and create the content they are looking for, you will get way better results than trying to market to everyone, which is exactly what you are doing when you try to be #1 on Google for your city.

Posted by The RE Geek Coach, RE Coach helping YOU build a better business! (The RE Geek) 10 months ago

Another great and informative post, Tammy Emineth! I learned a lot, as always, but what resonated most with me was the following... But for the long game, long-term, doing things right, nothing beats real, authentic, authoritative information. 

Posted by Greg Mona, At your service! (Revelation Real Estate) 10 months ago

Great explanation article on a topic most find a complete mystery.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) 10 months ago

Tammy, your post has a powerful message. It sounds so simple - write and market for who we want to attract and yet so many miss the boat. I personally got off track last year and was writing to try to get on page 1 of Google instead of doing what I'd always done and writing for who I wanted to work with. Not only does it work it's way more fun! Congrats on your feature.

Posted by Amanda S. Davidson, Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale (Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group Brokered By eXp Realty) 10 months ago


Years ago, someone declared that SEO is dead.  And you are right about being #1 on Google.  The real estate aggregators and the brokerages are paying through the nose for those positions.  What is sad is seeing the brokerages competing with their own agents on line.  I agree with you on being found on line.  Since everyone is going through various machinations on line, our clients are busy off line meeting people and getting viable leads that way.  They save time because they don't have to scrutinize the leads. They know who they are working with. 

Sadly online information is not that reliable.  When we research a subject we go past the ad pages, because that is where the reliable stuff is.  Congrats on your feature. A

Posted by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy (Napa Consultants) 10 months ago


Good thinking there.  How do you target your target audience and that will continue to continuously evolve.

All the best, Michelle

Posted by Michelle Francis, Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease (Tim Francis Realty LLC) 10 months ago

Thanks for the post Tammy. It's definitely a challenge to keep up with the constantly evolving world of SEO, SEM and CRO. What I do know is good content, consistency and frequency are key to getting to the top and staying at the top.

Posted by Matthew Klinowski, PA, Golf Community Real Estate Specialist (Downing-Frye) 10 months ago

Thanks for sharing!!!

Today, any consumer can look up real estate from any of the big dogs that pretty much dominate the front page. The key for the individual real estate agent or even a small brokerage is to go where the consumers are. 

Posted by Sham Reddy CRS, CRS (H E R Realty, Dayton, OH) 10 months ago

What do they say now, find a Niche and focus in!  

Posted by Clay Greathouse, Off-Grid, Alternative,Rural, Solar,Cochise Arizona (Tombstone Real Estate) 10 months ago

Hi Tammy: Like your new photo without the hat! I do not believe SEO is dead as I rank on the first page of Google for many terms. But I was also an early adopter, way back when agents said to me, "do you really think you can get clients from the internet?"

Even yesterday a seller called. He found my name as a top East Sacramento real estate agent. When you are squished between big brokerages, people will take the little guy every time. It is possible for solo agents to rank well. It is a struggle to maintain that ranking but I do.

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (RE/MAX Gold) 10 months ago

GREAT INFO!!  You always have good info!

Posted by Jean Wawrzyniak-Fry 10 months ago

This is a great article. This information applies to many different businesses and people, not just real estate. Thank you for sharing. 

Posted by Ryan Vinco, Founding Member and Managing Partner (Encore Real Estate Investment Services ) 10 months ago

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