Search Engine Love

For years, we’ve told Appraisers to customize their XSite pages to get better search engine rankings. And for years, this approach has worked for appraisers who do it. Even so, may appraisers don’t believe they can effectively customize their content, so they don’t try. This spring, we’re introducing a solution to that problem.

For an appraisal business, an XSite can provide value on many fronts: Business and order management, full fee orders through Mercury Network, delivery plugins for national clients and AI Ready, your own branding on business cards or other advertising, and last, but not least: new clients through web searches.

Some of these goals may be more important to you than others. But appraisers have one thing in common these days — you all want to get calls from new clients. An XSite gives you a web presence so potential clients searching Google or Bing for “Appraiser in [insert your city or county here]” can find you.

Next, the million dollar questions: Why do some sites show up higher than others in search engine results? And what can you do to get yourself up to the top? My May 14, 2009 article on talks in depth about search engine strategies. The central theme is this: Write unique, original content for your web pages. The more fresh and unique the content on your pages, the better. Also, make sure to read both articles on page T9 in this edition of AppraisalPress for other search engine tips.

But what about all those provided pages found in the XSites design wizard? Simply put, you need to customize them. “Out of the box” these pages are interesting to site visitors and reinforce your expertise. But we can’t possibly know about and account for all the unique attributes of your company and local area. That’s for you to decide. So while the content we provide is well written, it’s important that you customize it to fit your specific business.

Believe it or not, many appraisers never actually get around to customizing the content pages on their XSites. In the long run, this can end up actually hurting your search engine effectiveness. As we’ve said many times before, search engines look for and reward unique content. But we know that for many appraisers, writing “marketing verbiage” is out of their comfort zone.

To help our customers create unique content that’s fresh and search engine friendly, we’ve created our new XSites Custom Content Generator.

The basic premise of the Content Generator is this: We’ve taken key phrases from the most popular XSite content pages and created multiple variations of those phrases by hand. When you decide to use one of our provided content pages, the XSite selects one variation of each phrase and rewrites a static page for your site. If we only created 5 variations on 2 different phrases in a page, there would be 25 possible versions of a page available. Increase that to 5 variations on 10 phrases, and you’ve got 9,765,625 different versions of a provided content page. It adds up quickly.

The XSites Content Generator
See how the headlines all say the same thing, but differently? Our content generator keeps your message on point, yet keeps the content fresh for search engines.

Our content creation is a well-written, quality-controlled process. You won’t get junk content — every phrase is hand-written. You’ll also see alternate graphics and layouts for different page versions. And finally, we’re making heavy use of your contact information, using your company name, city, county and state, to further ensure your pages are unlike those of any other site. Best of all, these customized pages are valuable to your customers, so search engines will love them.

The text creation will appear transparent to you since it works behind the scenes. When you open the page in the XSite editor, it will look just like any other static page. You can even open it and customize the page text yourself. Or, if you don’t like what we’ve created, we’re providing a “rewrite” button that will recreate the page all over again.

Look for the Custom Content Generator to appear in your Appraiser XSite early this spring.