If you haven’t noticed, real estate has really picked up around the nation. As most tenured agents know, this brings an influx of professionals who want a piece of the pie.
That can mean more full-time agents as well as more part-time agents — who are also developers, IT consultants and professionals with computer science degrees.
So how do you attempt to outrank another agent whose day job is developing computer code for a living? By ensuring that your SEO foundation is built intelligently and with purpose.
I’ve compiled a list of tips to enhance SEO for real estate websites in 2016. If you’ve got these steps covered, then you will be in excellent shape to get your website ranking high.
Please be aware that there is so much that can be written on this topic. So if a subject isn’t included, look for it in part two of this series.
Having your main keyword in the URL of your website name is a fantastically simple way to earn some good page ranking kudos from Google.
You don’t necessarily have to put every keyword in your website URL, but having one to three keywords is an easy task to assist in your goal.
Page headers and H1, H2, H3
This is a pretty easy way to tell Google what your page is about. By not having the headers labeled correctly, you’re definitely hurting your chances of being ranked by Google in your city.
If you don’t know how to do this, contact your webmaster. WordPress, BoomTown and Placester websites all have an easy fix to accomplish this.
You know how there’s a blue link for each website on Google’s search results page? That’s called the meta title, and it’s a good indicator of where you’re about to click and visit.
By making sure your meta title is relevant to your page’s content in addition to the website itself, you’ll cover your bases. Don’t exceed more than 60 to 70 characters, or Google might not be able to read and display it properly.
This is the information below the blue link on Google’s search results pages that gives you additional details on the website you’re about to visit.
The max is 160 characters and it’s the ideal amount of space — any extra text will simply be cut off. It’s also another opportunity to add the keywords you’re targeting.
This is pretty much a no-brainer, but include your keyword(s) on the page that you’d like to rank.
If your website sells toothbrushes, and all you ever talk about on your website is mouthwash, then you’re not going to be ranked well for toothbrushes.
When potential clients ask why they’re not ranking on Google for specific keywords in their industry and city, this is usually the first error I bring to their attention.
Also, make sure not to overuse the keywords on your website. This is known as keyword stuffing, and Google caught on to it years ago.
Target one to two keywords on each page on your website. The keywords that are placed on your page should also occasionally have inbound and outbound links to pages that contain similar content.
Image alt tags
This is a simple fix on your website. Think about when you search Google for a phrase like “black hats” and then click on the images tab. Those pictures show up because websites named those graphics with their proper alt image information.
If you have a picture on your website of lemon cake, you need to ensure that the Web page is about lemon cake — and that, indeed, your graphic is also labeled as “lemon cake.”
That way, Google’s crawlers know what they’re looking at. Google doesn’t see images the same way that we see them, so using a proper naming convention the first time can greatly help and improve your SEO efforts.
I always tell real estate professionals who are attempting to rank for specific keywords that they need to have a dedicated blog page and update it at least one to two times per week.
This is a great way to have your website continually updated with fresh organic content that is related to the keywords you’re targeting.
When you’re always updating your website, Google will see it as a good source of fresh content (which is a big deal to Google lately). This is also another area where you can get ranked much easier for long-tail keywords.
If I was searching Google for, “Realtor in Anytown, USA,” then that would be an example of a keyword phrase. If I was searching Google for, “who is the best Realtor in Anytown, USA,” then that would be an example of a long-tail keyword phrase.
I’m sure a few might be wondering what the heck all this means exactly. But when it comes to websites, keeping your content as organic as possible — that means unpaid — will serve you well in the long run.
Google can easily determine whether your website features content that is simply copied and pasted. So creating your own articles and using unique verbiage is the best way to go.
Google is giving better rankings to websites and blogs with fresh information over websites without it.
So if you think your Web page might have content that was copied from another site, it’s best to swap it with something original.
In volunteering to guest blog for another site, you might wonder, what’s in it for me?
Guest blogging, in fact, is a fantastic way to add value to your site. At the bottom of your guest blog, you’ll likely get the opportunity to include some bio information, including a link to your website. That link adds value to your site in the eyes of Google. If someone else is linking back to you, it must mean you have something of value to share, right? That’s how Google sees it.
It also allows you to get some relevant keywords and page rankings pointing back to your business.
So if it’s possible, write blog posts as a guest in exchange for a relevant article with a backlink to your website. In turn, your website will absorb some of the good page rank love carried by the already-established blog.
Everyone should have their social media pages linked back to their website and vice versa.
So if this is something you haven’t done yet, then quickly revise your website to account for your social media pages. If you haven’t noticed lately, Google is putting a lot of emphasis on social sharing.
It’s a good idea to get out there and get active if you want to rank in your city for a particular keyword phrase. Best of all, the social media pages are absolutely free, so you’re not paying out of pocket on any charges.
There will be another part to this article series, so come back and ensure you have all the steps checked off your 2016 to-do list.