Real Estate SEO Tips
We get allot of questions about SEO for real estate and if there are different tactics or approaches for real estate seo for organic and/or local search.
The fact is that all of the fundamentals still apply with a few other added features that I feel are very important, so here are some of the basics for Real Estate SEO 101.
Domain name: Selecting the correct domain name for your real estate website is critical. First do your keyword research and find out what people are searching for. In this example we see that the keyword phrase “Wickenburg real estate” has over 880 searches per month.
We see here that the domain name WickenburgRealEstate.com has already been registered but the .org and .net are still available!
You may also want to consider buying “old stinky domain names” that people forgot about and let expire.
Each week we purchase expired domain names in auction for our clients that still have page rank. An example of one domain that I purchased in this manner was the RadarDetector.org website, paying only $800.00.
One of the most popular domain auction websites is GoDaddy.com.
One word of caution, some domains can be very expensive and sellers can use “fake page rank” to inflate the actual links and authority of the domain, so make sure you do your homework before you commit to any purchase.
Website: Next we need to develop a website and I would strongly recommend consider using WordPress as the framework for your website. WordPress has a very powerful CMS (content management system) and several real estate specific themes and plugins that you can use.
When developing your new WordPress real estate website or later on while you’re creating new posts and pages pay special attention to your permalinking and how you name your pages.
Also think about all the other keywords that people may use to find their special home in your community and use these keywords as categories, page titles, H1 tags and of course links.
Lets use the example phrase “Wickenburg Horse Property”. As this is a term that you would like to rank for you would want to create a category on your website for articles/listings that will be tagged with this keyword, use this keyword in your page title and then create content with links on other pages of your website using this term that will direct users to this new category/page that you created.
WordPress Plugins: There are several WordPress plugins that are specific to the real estate niche and essential for a website to index well in this competitive arena, one of which is iDXpress developed by Diverse Solutions.
iDXpress allows your real estate site to have the function ability of a highly customized site utilizing IDX data from your MLS. The cost is $99.95 and then $29.95 a month for their services.
Content: Content is King and Context is Queen on any website and there is no exception if you’re a realtor. So if you want to sell real estate in lets say Queen Creek Az you would want to have articles on your website about Queen Creek.
Consider writing articles about the local school district, shopping, fun things to do. Then link these articles to the specific category areas on your website.
Also consider creating an RSS feed that so subscribers can be notified when there is a new post or listing on your site that interests them. Another plus, an RSS feed will also help with the optimization of your website.
Photography: I don’t know about you, but some of the worst photos I have ever seen have been on real estate websites.
You don’t need to be professional photographers just think in advance before you press that shutter button. Here are some common myths;
- Spending more money for camera equipment will improve your photos – Cameras don’t take pictures people do
- Bright sunlight is best for taking pictures – The best time to take outside photos is early in the morning, late in the afternoon or on cloudy days.
- The main subject should be in the center of the shot – Remember the rules of thirds in photography, it still applies to the web
- The landscape looks best if the horizon splits down the middle
Here are a few basic tips that will improve your real estate photos;
- Use a wide angle lens for interior shots
- Consider the lighting in the room, don’t frame a window with bright light in the center of your lens
- Shoot exterior shots early in the morning, late in the day or on overcast days to avoid bright light
- Carry a camera with you at all times and take photos of other interesting things in your community such as parks, schools, and events. Store them on your computer and add them to your website when you mention these items on your website.
There has been allot of debate on the importance of Geotagging your images both for local search and for real estate websites and as far as I am concerned David Mihm put this topic to rest during his presentation on “How Do You Rank a Phone Book”
David has tested Geotagging photos and videos in hyper competitive markets and his findings is that it does give you an advantage.
You can make this entire process of GeoTagging very easy with these simple tips;
- Consider purchasing a camera with an internal GPS that will geotag your images as you take them
- Purchase a wireless SD card for your camera that can be setup to download automatically to your computer
- Create an online photo account and set it up to automatically upload your photos.
Once you’ve set this all up, all you will have to do is log into your account, delete the photos that you don’t want, rename the images using keywords (address, city, town and zip code) and then embed the images you do want into your posts on your website.
Videos – Stand out from your competitors and consider creating YouTube videos for your listings. It’s allot easier then you may think. In this video the realtor took photos of the home, added a sound track and then did a voice over.
This video appears in Google’s universal search for various real estate terms and has had over 280 views.
Also if you’re a broker or even a Realtor don’t forget about claiming your Google Places listing and then optimizing it, as you can see in this example the broker did neither.
Because of this the broker is not getting the top billing his agency may deserve in Google search and another unscrupulous broker can come in and hijack this listing.
Yes, this is only Real Estate SEO 101, however I’m sure that if you follow some of the simple tips that I offer in this article and video that you will be miles ahead of your competition.
If you would like to learn more about Real Estate SEO or SEO in general consider signing up for my free SEO Tip of the week.
Also if you have a website or considering launching a new website and wish to utilize our paid consulting services please contact us.
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