This article pertains to real estate search engine optimization (SEO). In this article's usage, real estate SEO is the act
of improving a real estate agent's website for better search engine visibility.
1. Choose the right phrases.
The first step to search engine optimization is finding out what phrases people are using to find services like yours. Many
agents guess at their key phrases, which can hamper an SEO campaign from the get go.
Don't guess what phrases people are using, research them. Use a tool like WordTracker (www.wordtracker.com) to find out how
your prospects are using the search engines. Make a list of 10 to 20 phrases relevant to your services, and focus your SEO
strategy on those phrases.
2. Add 10 pages of content to your website.
Any website that adds 10 pages of relevant content will get a boost in search engine visibility. It's one of the easiest steps
in an SEO campaign. Search engines love content. The more tightly focused content you have on your webiste, the easier it
is for search engines to understand what your website is about and categorize it appropriately.
A blog is a great way to add content to your site on a regular basis. Blogs make web publishing incredibly simple you just
fill in the content areas and click the "Publish" button. Just be sure to publish the blog to your web domain, not the domain
of the blog host. For instance, you would want you blog located at www.yourwebsite.com/blog rather than www.blogspot.com/myblog.
If your blog is hosted under the blog host's domain, it will not contribute to the search engine visibility of your website.
It may generate it's own search ranking over time, but it won't add to the cumulative ranking of your main website.
3. Make your website worth linking to.
Inbound links are a key factor in real estate search engine optimization. With all other things being equal, more links coming
from quality websites to your website will increase your search engine visibility. Links are like votes. When a lot of quality
websites link to you, search engines will rank your site higher.
The key to getting a lot of inbound links is to make your site worth linking to. If your website only talks about you, few
people will link to it. But if you turn your website into a resource of helpful information, you make it much easier to gain
links. So why not build a resource section within your website? Or better yet, build an entire website dedicated to your local
real estate scene. Build a comprehensive, helpful website with loads of information, and other webmasters will be more inclined
to link to it.
4. Publish press releases online.
When you submit a press release online through a service like PRWeb.com, you have the opportunity to distribute your message
through hundreds of channels, RSS feeds, websites and blogs. And by adding a hyperlink to each release, you're once again
increasing the number of inbound links to your website (a big factor in SEO success).
5. Publish articles online.
Much like the press release scenario above, you can also submit articles online for wide distribution. Here's how it works.
First, you write a great article about some aspect of real estate. The article doesn't have to be about your city. In fact,
it will get larger distribution if it's general in nature.
You would then submit the article through distribution websites like EzineArticles.com. If it's well-written, you article
could end up on dozens or hundreds of real estate-related websites. And again, each article would link back to your website
thus increasing your "link popularity."
6. Add your site to directories.
You can also get high-quality inbound links by submitting your website to web directories. An example would be the Microsoft
Small Business Directory, or Best of the Web (www.BOTW.org).
Most quality directories charge a review fee, but it's usually worth the price because of the additional trust your website
will earn. Search engines view inbound links from directories as authoritative votes of confidence in your site.
7. Be patient and persistent.
It's a common misconception that a website should show up in the search engines right away. "Well, it's online, so I should
be able to see it, right?" In reality, it may take months to rank well in Google, possibly longer depending on how competitive
your phrases are.
I recommend creating an SEO schedule. I have one, and if you're serious about search engine visibility, you should have one
too. Schedule one task per day, two hours per weekend, or whatever you can squeeze in. The key is to do at least one thing
for your SEO program each week, or more if you can find the time. Real estate search engine optimization is not a sprint --
it's a marathon.
Search engine success takes time, but it more than pays off in the long run. Can you imagine being found on the first page
of all major search engines for one or more of your key phrases? That's your end goal, and it's a goal well worth the effort!
About the Author
Brandon Cornett is the author of the "Agent's Guide to Search Engine Visibility," available in E-book format for instant download.
Learn more about real estate search engine optimization by visiting http://www.armingyourfarming.com/search.html
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