Search Engine Optimization - SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is critical in ensuring that your Real Estate website is ranked well relative to your target audience. We will go through and address the most important techniques you should consider when adding your copy and meta-tags to your website.
We will begin by examining the meta-tags section of your website. Meta-tags are positioned in the "Header" section of your website.
You can enter your home page meta-tags by clicking on the meta-tags link within the left hand navigation of the Agent CMS. Here you will find your Title, Meta-Description and Meta-Keywords which are important in determining how your website is ranked by search engines.
You can also add unique meta-tags to all of your individual website pages at the bottom of each page in the CMS. Adding unique meta-tags for each page of your website is highly recommended.
1.) Page Title
Your page "Title" will appear in search engines and also at the top of web browser windows. Within search engine results, it is the first description your potential website visitors will see. It's one of the easiest ways to climb the ranks in search engine placement and should not be underestimated. Try to include your top key word phrase and stay within 7-10 words. Adding too many words to a page title will diminish your keyword density within the title itself making it harder for your main keyword phrase or phrases to be indexed properly by the major search engines.
We will now look at a few good examples and a few bad examples if you are a Realtor selling real estate in Bethesda, Maryland.
Good Examples of a Title:
The good examples are short and to the point and do not include extra words such as "we are your" and "with the expertise to find you". A good rule to follow is to not use any extra words that are not a part of your main keyword phrase. It's okay to list your company name at the end of the title but keep it short. The most important keyword phrase or phrases should be at the beginning of your site title. Do not use any special characters including commas.
Remember to create keyword phrases that are more specific and are directly related to what you are selling and your demographic.
Have a look below at the Google search results for the query "Bethesda Maryland homes for sale". You will see on the first page of the search results, the companies who are ranked highest have excellent site titles.
2.) Site Description
Your site description will also appear in search engines. It does not carry as much weight as your site title but it does play a bigger role in your site ranking than your meta-keywords. Some SEO experts would argue that this section does not influence SEO at all but it's better to be safe and add them just the same. Write your description accurately speaking to your audience detaling who you are and make sure you lead with your most important keyword phrase or phrases.
Your meta-keywords will have little to no influence in your website's search engine rankings. When the internet was still in its infancy stage, this was the most obvious way to climb search engine rankings and it worked. But this is no longer relevant as search engines now use very advanced algorithms to scan and index websites. You can still add meta-keywords, but don't be fooled into thinking that this is the ticket to the top.
A good domain name can go a very long way in attaining positive search engine results.
1.) Choosing Your Domain Name
Your domain name should also include your number one keyword phrase if at all possible. Or at least try to include part of your number one keyword phrase as every little bit will help.
We will use the example that we did previously looking at a good domain to use if you are a Realtor selling real estate in Bethesda, Maryland. We are not going to mention any domain names specifically so as to not infringe upon anyone's privacy. But we can give you tips. In this case, we would recommend Bethesda or Bethesda Maryland in the domain name along with one of the following; real estate, selling homes, homes for sale, buying homes, etc.
2.) What to Avoid when Choosing Your Domain Name
Many companies want to use their company name in the domain name and use only their company name. This is fine if your company name has a strong keyword phrase that relates to real estate. If it does not, it will be a missed opportunity to have a quick effective way to rank higher in the search engines targeting your demographic.
Try to avoid using your full name on its own without a good keyword phrase. A name on its own does not tell the search engines about your site and what it has to offer if you just use your first and last name. Lastly, you cannot use "Realtor" in the domain name as it is trademarked and you will just have to change it later.
Keyword Phrases in Your Home Page Copy
One of the best ways to establish good SEO is to incorporate your keyword phrases directly into the copy of your home page.
Adding copy into your home page that targets your demographic using "Keyword Phrases" is completely necessary if you ever wish to attain good search engine rankings. On the home page, within the bottom section, you can add unlimited copy. Search engines look for specific phrases to index. General terms like Realtor, real estate or a specific city on their own won't help as the competition for these keywords is too great.
The more specific you make your keyword phrase relative to your demographic, the higher you will be ranked in the search engines for that search query. Repeat the keyword phrases too and alter them slightly without participating in keyword stuffing which can actually have a negative effect on your search engine ranking.
1.) Choose Your Keyword Phrases Carefully
Choosing your keyword phrases is half the battle. The other half is writing the copy that tells your story and what your company does without keyword stuffing and without sounding redundant to your site visitors.
2.) Example of Keyword Phrases
If you have a look at our site's home page as an example, you will notice that one of our most important keyword phrases we target "real estate website templates" has been inserted into the copy many times without it sounding redundant. It flows with the copy and narrates what we do which will ultimately appease the reader and the search engines. We tell our story but we make sure that we have those important keyword phrases incorporated into the copy so they can be indexed properly by the major search engines. If the keyword phrase appears only once on your home page, you will have little to no chance at all of being indexed in the major search engines for that phrase.
3.) Research Keyword Phrases
When creating your keyword phrases to use on your home page, do a little research to find out what people are searching for relative to your market. An excellent service to utilize is Google's Get keyword ideas tool on their Google Adwords landing page. This will give you results for many things including the Global and Local searches per month for specific keyword phrases and the competition. This will give an edge as you will know up front what your keyword phrases should be.
4.) Keyword Phrases and Rich Content Throughout Your Website
It is one thing to get your home page in order adding the copy and including your most important keyword phrases, but it's another process to carry this strategy throughout to the rest of your site. Each page is important and is an opportunity to educate your site visitors while telling your story also to the search engines. The search engines need and want to know who you are so they can index you properly. If you do not talk about your sales demographic, marketing techniques, historic sales, or what you market in general within your site pages, they simply will not be known or indexed in the major search engines.
If you are interested in getting traffic to your site and properties immediately, then we would highly recommend using Google Adwords. The nice thing about this service is that you can set a budget on the maximum amount of money that you want to spend and test your keyword phrases to see how they perform.