With the implementation of my new successful YouTube real estate strategy, in which I link directly to specific properties, it seemed more likely than ever that a potential buyer could land on an expired property listing. So, what's a REALTOR® to do?
Create the best 404 page ever! Check it out:
Click screenshot for larger image.
Showing Visitors Their Options (& More)
My new expired property page serves three purposes:
1. It sends a 404 message to search engines
2. It tells users that the property they were interested in is not available
3. It gives those same users something else to do
I have linked directly to other pages on the site that might be of interest, and I'm also suggesting other nearby properties that may be interesting as well. Visitors will instantly see that they have plenty of options for exploring my site, without compromising their trust.
The Choice To 404 Instead Of 301
Why not just 301 redirect the 404s to the property search page? Simple: it's a misuse of the redirect. A 301 redirect is meant to help users find a page that has moved to a different page name. An expired listing hasn't moved, it's disappeared forever, which means a redirect does not apply here.
When someone clicks on a listing, they expect to see that listing. If they end up on a completely different page, with no explanation, they'll feel tricked and lose trust in my site. Even worse, the exact same thing will happen to search engines like Google. They will think I tricked my users, lose trust in my site, and this could potentially impact my authority and rankings. That's just not a risk I'm willing to take.
Real estate agents, find out other ways to give your visitors the best online experience by checking out our REALTOR® Advice column!