Marketing your real estate website online can take any one or both of two basic paths: either you market the site through paid advertising of some kind or you make efforts toward creating a strong, effective and long range SEO campaign that brings you clients through organic search results. The second method may take more time to get you the publicity you want, but it will also cost you a lot less in terms of dollars spent.
We’re going to focus here on the SEO aspect of marketing your real estate website and give you some useful tips on how you can apply reliable, long term and honest optimization principles to your specifically property related niche
The Backbone of Good SEO is Content
High quality, keyword rich (but not keyword saturated) content is the bedrock of a solid SEO campaign. Owning a real estate site gives you an excellent opportunity to develop this SEO tactic to its maximum. Your site has plenty of potential content rich areas: home descriptions, neighborhood descriptions and the blog section of your site (see next tip) will all be places in which you can place high quality, informative content that gives value to your readers; you’ll be able to tell them all about what they should look for in a house, what different homes have to offer and give feature rich descriptions of assorted neighborhoods
Essentially, you should write content that feeds plenty of detailed and unique information to the needs and home buying needs of your potential clients. They’ll view you with more trust, recognize you as an authority in your real estate market and be more likely to trust in you when it comes time to think about buying a home. This, in turn, will raise your SEO profile through increased human viewing of your pages.
Create a Blog
This is related to the concept of good content and plays an important part in creating it; create a blog section on your website. Google and the other search engines all love fresh, up-to-date and original content about the niches people search for on their results indexes. The best way for your real estate site to take advantage of this is by having regularly updated blog section that deals with all property related issues in your target neighborhoods or cities.
You can use the blog to talk about new home offerings, zoning law changes or maybe housing regulations and quality of life statistics. The choices are nearly endless and all of them will flood the search index spiders with new and keyword rich material for indexing.
Research your Keyword Targets
Owning a real estate website gives you a truly excellent source of varied and highly niche targeted keywords to choose from. Research these using tools like the Google Adwords tool or their Keyword Search tool. You should aim for what people are searching for in your target neighborhoods but also be creative in your search investigation; don’t just think about things like “home buying San Francisco”. Instead, also focus on related topics like “zoning laws san Francisco” “Neighborhood crime rates bay area” etc. You get the idea; if you have a blog or a really well fleshed out site, you’ll be discussing a variety of topics related to your regional real estate market and you need to create quality keyword lists for all of them.
These diverse keywords will attract search index spiders and rapidly build your rank based on your strategic use of keywords, especially if your content uniquely covers a topic that is being searched for heavily in a market where the competition isn’t taking advantage and providing information of their own.
However, bear in mind as a warning that whatever keyword lists you build should not be used to saturate your content or page based information with repetitive words or words that all ring the same. This is called keyword stuffing and is frowned upon by search engines. Maintain natural looking keyword density that doesn’t take away from clear text flow.
Optimize Your URLs and tags for the Different Subjects you Cover
Your website will probably have a number of listings pages or blog post pages that are separated by topic or category. Optimize each and every one of these by making their URLs and Meta tags descriptive. Instead of page URLs that contain your domain name followed by a random string of numbers and characters or by a general issue descriptive label like “home buy”, create unique URL labels that very quickly state exactly what any given page is about: meaning that a page about zoning laws in Boulder, Colorado should be labeledwww.myrealestatesite.com/blog/zoning-laws-boulder-colorado or something similar. This creates superior on-site SEO.
Additionally, your different pages should all have their own descriptive attributes; these attributes won’t necessarily improve your search rank, but they will appear on search listings, and if they’re well written, they will make viewer click-through to the page more likely.
Optimize your Website’s Images
As a final on-page tag optimization tip, we also recommend that you don’t forget about your websites image archives. Most real estate websites will be rich in embedded images of neighborhoods and homes in the target market; optimize these by assigning brief descriptive html tags to each image so that the search bots can included in image search indexes. The bots can’t read visual images and they need the text you add to know what the photos are about.
Organize your Site for Indexing
As a final tip we leave you with the need to make sure that your real estate website is well organized and can be crawled completely by the search spiders when they try to index it. This means that you should have plenty of structured interlinking between your different pages and that there should be no “dead zones” on your website that are hard to access by search engine bots. You might want to include a sitemap application in your website to make navigation easier.
You should also make sure that you have well-structured and organized site navigation menus that are easy to use and based on text based programs like CSS instead of Flash; this because the search bots cannot see flash and won’t use Flash based menus to visit different parts of your website.
About the author: When Jerry Davidson isn’t writing about online marketing tips, you can find him doing anything from reviewing overhead garage door installation to enjoying his favorite hobby; skydiving.