WordPress is a powerful tool and website platform that is quickly growing in the real estate community. Choosing WordPress to host your site makes your content stand out on Google, Yahoo and Bing and helps your target audience to find it in search.
But, how does that happen? Are there some specific rules and methods that must be followed to allow the search engines to crawl your site and index your content? Yes.
Once you know these rules and how to navigate them, your website numbers should start to increase, along with the volume of prospects filling out forms to meet with you. The beauty of WordPress is that you don’t have to be a technical person or website programmer to use or understand it.
If you are an agent who is new to WordPress or just want more guidance, here are a handful of simple rules to follow before you hit the publish button on your blog.
Install this SEO plugin first
There are many good SEO plugins that can be installed on your site, such as Jetpack, All in One SEO and Google Keyword Planner. But the one I like the most is Yoast SEO.
Yoast is super easy and provides specific guidance on what you are doing right and wrong when making your post SEO friendly. It’s also available in the premium version for only $69 a year — a good investment in my book. Take a minute, install this plugin, and you are ready to go.
Use effective keywords and phrases
When creating an effective blog post, begin with the end in mind. Who are you trying to reach and for what word or phrase? That word or phrase should appear in your blog post title.
For instance, if you are creating content about your subdivision, your key phrase could be: “xyz subdivision.” This type of keyword is known as a short tail. You could make the key phrase longer (long tail) and have it be “homes for sale in xyz subdivision.”
Either can work; just remember, the longer the keywords, the more narrow the audience. Try to establish your blog topic early in the post and have your keywords appear in the first paragraph and a handful of other times throughout. I shoot for four to eight times depending on the keywords and topic.
Finalize your permalink for SEO
Your permalink is the link to your blog post. It will appear just below your blog post title in WordPress. If your blog title and content is created and halfway through you decide to change that title, the permalink won’t change with it.
You have to go back and do it manually. This is critical because you could create an informative blog, but without the permalink matching the blog title, it means little in organic search. Make sure your blog post title matches your permalink.
Add your tags and metadescription
The search engines can’t see your website — the aesthetics of it anyway. What they do see are tags, keywords, the permalink and the metadescription. The metadescription is the little two-line blurb below the Web page name that informs the reader what the page is about.
In WordPress, you can create your own metadescription to entice the reader to click on your site.
For SEO purposes, it’s a good idea to have your focus keyword or keywords in your metadescription. Again, if you are writing about your subdivision, make sure “xyz subdivision” appears in the metadescription.
Your tags or metatags are words or phrases that are relevant to the post and describe aspects of the Web page. These tag words should also appear in your blog post. If they don’t appear, then they are not helping your blog rise to the top in search.
Again, if you are writing a blog post about “xyz subdivision,” add metatags including the school nearby, a golf course or other often-searched-for items relevant to the subject. Choose them wisely.
Add an image and name it correctly
The search engines like pages with photos, as do readers. It helps to bring your blog post to life. With that in mind, find a relevant photo, and insert it in the blog post. Take the time to name your photo.
Make the photo name relevant to the blog post, and use a keyword or metatag word in the photo title. People search for items online and hit the images button. If your photo is named correctly, it will pop up in an online image search, which links the image back to your website or blog post.
Remember the capture form and call to action
This might be the most important part of your entire WordPress blog post. Many times I see agents posting a blog and at the end — it just ends. No form for the reader to fill out or calls to action.
WordPress has many form plugins that can be downloaded. I prefer using Gravity Forms. This is a great plugin to create and manipulate capture forms for readers to fill out and obtain leads.
At the end of your blog post, I highly recommend that you insert a form and include calls to action for the reader to tell you what they want, subscribe to your blog and get added to your social networks.
Getting your readers to opt-in, follow, join and subscribe keeps your business and brand in front of them at all times, which is extremely important in real estate.
Not all blog posts and websites are the same. Many times, agents skip steps before publishing their content while thinking they did everything correctly.
Taking the time to follow these key steps will help get more eyes to your website and blog content, especially if you are using the powerful WordPress platform.