Commercial Agents, it’s all about Position! Position! Position! – Part 1

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Commercial Agents, it’s all about Position! Position! Position! – Part 1

It’s not just the way you walk, or the way you talk, it’s as much about where you are! The website for your commercial property practice may be the most beautiful on the web, but if commercial property vendors and buyers can’t find it, what is the point?

A proportion of your new business enquires will originate from “natural” or “organic” search. This is when prospective clients simply type, “chartered surveyors Nottingham” or “commercial property agents Leeds” into a search engine like Google, Bing or Yahoo. Where you are within these results can have a dramatic effect on the effectiveness of your companies website and its ROI.

Position! Position! Position!

Look at your commercial property market and your particular area of specialism. There are probably ten, perhaps even as many as twenty commercial agents or chartered surveyors that can provide the knowledge and service that you do.

Now you may have worked hard on your brand to convey a unique differential from these other commercial agents, a brand that has now been expertly brought to life in your website. But if a prospective client or partner ‘Googles’ for commercial agents or chartered surveyors in your area and your website is not listed on the first page (first ten results!) all that work could have gone to waste.

Getting Seen

Research has shown that nearly 70% of people will only click on links in those ten results listed in that first page of a search. More striking is that just over 90% go no further than page three. That means your company website needs to be listed within the first 30 results at least.

That is no-mean-feat if your consider that for some keyword phrases for commercial property you will also be competing for rank with specialist property portals like Estates Gazette, Rightmove, Prime Location or Showcase. Oh, as well as those 10-20 competitors we mentioned earlier.

New Clients Like High Ranking

Low search engine rankings could also be having a detrimental effect on your business in more ways than visibility.

It is now widely understood that a company’s search engine rank has an influence on how the company is perceived. Customers believe that companies listed highest actually represent the market leaders in nearly ever sense.

Your Competitors Understand

In the corporate world there are big agencies specialising in nothing but “search”. They provide services for both natural search and PPC (more of that at a later date) to big, well known brands. These big brands literally spend hundreds of thousands of pounds each year on search alone.

This importance of high search engine rankings is evident within the commercial property market as well, because the power of a page one ranking on Google, Bing, Yahoo or any other search engine is huge. Putting “commercial property agents” into Google can highlight this. The first three results were as follows:

  • Knight Frank
  • Savills
  • King Sturge

It will be interesting to see if King Sturge can maintain that position following the merger with Jones Lang LaSalle. JLL do not rank highly for that term.

And Now The Good News

But do not despair dear Chartered Surveyor and Commercial Agent, the dizzy heights of Google Page 1 are not purely the realm of the big boys. The good news is that:

  • You can influence on your company’s search engine ranking
  • Even the smallest Chartered Surveying practice can achieve a page one ranking

It is all down to a little thing call SEO or Search Engine Optimisation, a process that influences the content, design and very architecture of your company’s website, and something that we will expand upon next week.

The web is a great leveller. A well designed website and page one listing can convey more than the very swankiest office at the most prestigious address.

Philip Burrows, Marketing Consultant