In Part 1 of this 3 part article series, I highlighted how significant it is to have your real estate website ranked in the top 5 of search results in Google for searches done on your farm area. The reason is most people doing real estate searches (or on any topic) explore only the top 3 or 4 websites ranked in Google, usually because Google has determined they are actually the best, most informative sites on their market areas. So if your website is not in the top 5 of search results your website is much, much less likely to be viewed than the top 5.
With the traditional Yellow Pages, the old school version of Google, you could (and obviously still can) buy your way to prominence for your print advertisements. The more you spend on your Yellow Pages advertising, the larger your ad would be, or the more ads you could have scattered throughout the directory’s Real Estate section, and the more likely you would be to get ad calls.
With Google, your ability to buy your way to ad prominence is not entirely absent in determining your ad positioning, but your budget is much less a factor than the Yellow Pages or any print advertising for that matter. The reason is Google is a meritocracy: the more informative a website is on a given topic, the more useful Google will recognize it as, and therefore the more prominently Google will position it to searchers. Consequently, for most people Google has become a trusted source of information, like a close friend you can count on to give you their honest, unbiased opinion about something they’ve experienced.
So when someone sees the first page of Google search results, they tend to think that the #1 ranked site is the very best site because Google ranked it as the very best, the #2 ranked site is the second best site, and so on. So it’s no wonder people do not usually venture far (if at all) beyond the top 5 search results. They perceive that the lesser a site is ranked, the worse it must be. It’s also the reason why only about 10% of searchers click on the Sponsored Pay Per Click ads that appear in Google search results where advertisers are paying for ad prominence.