SEO, or search engine optimization, is a group of strategies and processes that, when done correctly, propel your website to the highest position in search result pages. SEO applies to any search engine—Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Youtube (yes, YouTube is a search engine!)
The idea behind SEO is that customer attention is pooled at the top of the first search page and lasts only through a couple of the results further down. That’s why businesses race each other to the top of the results page to ensure a continuous stream of relevant traffic.
Google accounts for about 85% of all searches conducted across the internet. Imagine the traffic you miss if 68% of online experiences start from these simple search engines. 70% of marketers agree that organic SEO efforts increased sales growth compared to costly PPC advertisements. And 87.41% of them attested to having significantly lower customer acquisition costs with SEO efforts than paid ad mediums.
How To Get To The Top Of Search Results
SEO is a logical process, and every bit of optimization adds up. But what most don’t realize is SEO is a time and effort-intensive process. It always pays to take time to arrange an SEO strategy that also aligns with your long-term goals.
The following steps should help you begin the process of getting your realty website to the top of the search results page.
Choose a search engine
Select one or a couple of search engines to work with. Most pick Google due its sheer monopoly on search volumes. But every search engine is different—they run on varying algorithms and have different triggers to help them identify valuable content to present to their search audience. It would help to read up on SEO tactics and tricks for your chosen search engine and then combine them if you’re looking at targeting multiple options.
Craft a catchy domain name
A domain name should almost always include your brand in it. Some realtors choose something witty to help make their websites easy to remember in their customers’ minds. But the goal for SEO is to achieve three key things: suitability, memorability, and most importantly, containing a master keyword you want to rank for.
Mind your page load speeds
Check your website hosting platform and test for loading speed. Google uses this factor as a consideration for the user-friendliness and quality of experience your website can provide its users with. For desktop websites, the best loading time is between 0-4 seconds. Mobile versions are expected to load faster, at 1-2 seconds.
List your target keywords
Choose search keywords that resonate with your audience; think of what they’d be typing in if they were searching for your website. Incorporate these keywords across all your website pages. However, avoid competing with yourself by using unique variations of your keywords on different pages. And avoid black hat SEO practices like keyword stuffing and using unrelated keywords.
Map out your page pathways
Organize your site architecture. This means arranging your web pages in a customer-centric and logical pathway to better facilitate your user experiences on your site. Make it a point to give your users easy access to necessary pages with the most important information. Your site must be built intuitively so users can instinctively move from one page to another.
Customize your URLs
Customize your URLs to showcase your page content as much as possible. Fit in a few of your master keywords in your URLs too since Google indexers look at your URLs and match those keywords on your respective webpages for relevancy.
Ensure your content can be indexed
Mind your alt text
Ensure your alt text descriptions are in place. Since some images and videos can’t be analyzed by crawlers as is, it becomes your job to add a text description of the content of these things for the benefit of Google’s bots. It also helps to incorporate a couple of keywords within these descriptions to help the bots see the media’s relevancy to the page topic.
Ensure your title tags are in order
A title tag is the page’s description, which you see on your tabs. Title tags are strictly text-only fields and are an excellent place to include some of your chosen keywords. Don’t use caps here; give it a decent length of about 55 characters. This element helps crawlers determine page relevancy to users, so be sure to describe your webpage as best you can.
Structure page content with headings
Aside from making it easier on the eyes of the readers, having multiple headings at different levels with varying keywords helps indexers identify what each page on your website is about. Place extra importance on the flow of your website and whether it makes sense to your actual human readers. Google values readability as it adds more value to the user search experience.
Improve your meta descriptions
Meta descriptions are short, detailed text pieces describing the content of your pages—another good place to slip in keywords. The good thing about this strategy is that if the words in your meta description match the user’s search query, Google automatically displays these words in bold. This makes your search result more attractive and compels users to click on your link instead.
Practice healthy page interlinking
Link your website content to your other pages within your site to keep visitors from bouncing away from your website’s pages. Not only does this add credibility to your website as an authoritative information source, but it also boosts the inflow of additional traffic when done right. You can occasionally link outwards so that Google knows that the information you offer is from a credible source and factually accurate.
Incorporate a mobile-friendly design
People spend loads of time browsing on their handheld devices. Your goal should be to ensure your website works impeccably across all devices. Go for a responsive design and mobile-suited layout. Use more images, have more buttons, and have fewer text-heavy sections. Strategic placement of features relative to device design also helps users to navigate on mobile more intuitively.
Send Google your sitemap
Although web crawlers will get to your webpage eventually, it may take some time before they do so because of the sheer number of new websites launched daily. You can cut this time short by sending Google a copy of your sitemap and telling them which of your pages you think are valuable enough to serve their search user base. Be sure to send updated versions of your sitemap if you ever decide to offer your website in multiple languages or make huge changes to it.
Start planning your next SEO strategy
Remember to plan for the future too. SEO is a never-ending process of optimization. Stay on top of the latest algorithm changes with Google and other search engines to see which elements on your website need to be changed to keep you ranking highly.
The top-ranking result for “Manhattan real estate agent” belongs to Noble Black—and rightfully so, considering their domain strength, age, and keyword relevance to the query. His website also has a great load speed: it clocked in at under 1 second to a Chrome webpage display. Most importantly, the site has pages specific to luxury real estate in Manhattan, making it more valuable to those searching for this query.
The immediate landing page features a simple design and includes three main things a user would be looking for: a selection of realty options in Manhattan, the exact, mapped location of each of these options, and filters to allow the display of specific properties within budgets and home types. Rather than a text-heavy layout, he’s gone for more images on his pages. Home and property buyers are predominantly interested in seeing pictures of the places they intend to buy, so this is a smart move to help add value and interest to your content.