Whenever you create a real estate website, or any website, for that matter, one question may arise: How will people find it?
Having déjà vu? That's my fault. I began another article the same way. Remaining competitive in online searches is sort of like exercise: You're not healthy just because you went to the gym once three months ago (unfortunate, I know).
Appearing in search results is one thing. Ranking well in those results is an entirely other thing. Hopefully, you already checked out submitting your real estate website to Google and Bing Webmaster Tools. If so, let's talk about optimizing your home page for SEO.
SEO is multifaceted, but a key contributor in determining your website's ranking online. There are tons of valuable resources that discuss the "big picture" when it comes to SEO. Domain authority, curating backlinks, continuous content marketing efforts -- these variables are super-important. They also require a little bit more work and, as such, a little bit more time. Ideally, an SEO setup guide for your home page would be one step. Instead, we'll review some smaller actions that you can take while working up the courage to paint the bigger picture.
The what: Find opportunities to leverage important keywords on your home page.
The why: This one does require a little bit of prework. That said, it's worth it. Do some research and determine your primary keywords. Then, look for areas on your home page where you can optimize those keywords. It's likely you'll want these keywords to frequently appear in any blog posts you produce, too. This will increase the chances that Google and Bing will recognize your website as a valuable resource when people search for those keywords. Is your niche market short sales in Chicago? Demonstrate that.
The action: The keyword research is the hard part. Applying the research shouldn't take as long. Think about updating the titles of your widgets. Does the theme you're using allow for a text overlay in your slideshow? If you're using a Placester theme, navigate to the WordPress side of your site. Select the Theme Options tab and then jump into the "Home" or "Home Page" tab. There are probably a few fields lurking in here, too.
The what: Improve your search page's URL.
The why: Technically, this isn't your home page. You'll thank me in a few minutes for highlighting this piece first, though.
The action: If you're using a Placester-hosted site, simply log in to the WordPress dashboard. Check out the "Pages" tab and edit your Search page. Strengthen the end of your permalink and update the page.
The what: Link within your real estate website.
The why: You might notice many blogs produce articles containing hyperlinked words. There's a reason they do this and it's often to improve SEO. You may be curating a pretty good list of resources in your blog. Maybe you even know a few property searches that are likely to be popular. Use this to your advantage on your home page.
The action: Use your footer to create a new menu that links to other pages within your site. This is also an opportunity to leverage keywords. Using a Placester site? Go to your advanced search page, complete a search within a popular city or neighborhood, grab the resulting URL, and make a menu item based off of that URL. Repeat. See, aren't you glad you already adjusted the search page's permalink? Here's a helpful support article about menus.
The what: Link outside of your real estate website.