I have been designing websites for over 10 years and people always ask me; “How do you get into the search engines” or “How do I get my website ranked”. Well the simple answer is you can certainly pay a SEO (Search Engine Optimizer) expert or you can dig in and try to do it yourself.
I can write a 500 page novel on all the ways one can get quality rankings but let me give you the short answer; Content, Content, Content. Just as the Real Estate business Location, Location, Location, nothing replaces good, original, and focused content.
So a good place to start on your quest to get rankings is do the following:
Define what you want to rank in. The more concise the keyword(s) the more likely you are to have success. For example if your intention was to rank well in the keyword term(s) “Real Estate” or “New York Real Estate” you are most likely going to be disappointed. A better choice would be; “Westood NJ Real Estate” or “Luxury homes in Bergen County”. These keywords are concise and targeted and the more targeted the keyword the better.
With this in mind you now need to create good, diverse and ORIGINAL content. I say original because you cannot just copy it from another website. Engines like Google spend lots of time detecting plagiarism. Get caught and you will be penalized.
Content, Content, Content! Write some good content. If you sell real estate in Westwood, NJ, then I would imagine you should consider your self an expert in the Westwood, NJ area. So start writing. Organize your content according to content type such as; The Real Estate Market in Westwood, Lifestyles in Westwood, Schools in Westwood, etc. By having diverse pages you will begin to build quality content. YES, there are ways to tweak this content. Things like Keyword Prominence, Keyword Proximity, etc. are ways to further optimize your content but we’ll save these for a later article. Lets just concentrate on the content for now. This is the base for everything else you will do.
So when you begin to write your content keep your keywords in mind what someone looking to buy or sell real estate in Westwood might type into Google for example. Then use these phrases in your content writing. I might search in Google and type the following; “Westwood NJ homes” or real estate in Westwood NJ”. So it would be logical to say that my content must at least contain these words.
Another consideration when developing content is getting quality links. Google for example uses a system called “Link Popularity” and gives you credit on the number and type of links you have on your website. It scores inbound links the highest because someone is linking to you without you linking back. This shows you are a very authoritative site. Of course these are the hardest to find because the sender has no incentive other than to provide a link to a website that has a very high authoritative standing. Links can be grouped into the following types.
- Internal – You link to a related page on your own website.
- Outbound – A link you put on your website to go to someone else’s website.
- Reciprocal – You link to someones website and they link to yours.
- Inbound – Someone links to your website but you do not link back to theirs.
Internal links are a good way to show the search engines how your content is organized. Linking your keywords to related pages shows the connection to all the content.
Building a network of Outbound, Reciprocal and Inbound links should be a part of any good website. Good sources for inbound links might be business associates like mortgage reps., appraisers, home inspectors, etc., and of course search engines. Good reciprocal links might come from agents in other markets that do not compete in yours or local vendors.
4: Page Names
The way you name your web page can also affect your ranking. Naming a page relative to your subject matter is always a smart move. A good name for a page about Westwood Real Estate might be westwood-real-estate.htm instead of westood.htm.
5: Domain Name
The same applies here as in point #4. A domain name like WestoodRealEstate.com is better than myhomes.com.
By following these simple techniques not only are you better organizing your website you are also putting in some good SEO practices as well. Good luck!