SEO Basics for the New Real Estate Investor
Who knew that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) would have anything to do with real estate investment? When you got in to Real Estate investing, it probably didn’t occur to you that real estate investment would also entail getting some basic knowledge about marketing, digital marketing and having an online presence. The reality is that in this digital era, no business can make it without web presence.
OK; But, What About SEO?
You know you need a website. But then what? If you build a website, will they just come? Unfortunately, they won’t. If they can’t find you, the development of that beautiful logo and website will have been money spent on something nice to show your friends, family and perhaps the occasional client that you give your business card to. This is where SEO comes in to play.
SEO is an essential part of website development and ongoing site management if you want your website to be found by those who are searching for businesses and services like yours. In fact, SEO is something that you should be thinking about, and strategizing for, before you ever look at your first design ideas for the site.
Here are some SEO basics to keep in mind:
1. Start with a thorough keyword search and plan to build your website around your SEO. Even if you are utilizing a valuable business-out-of-the-box kind of investing tool like 1-800-SELL-NOW, you are going to want to utilize some long tail keywords for your local marketing efforts.
2. Make sure your site is mobile ready. More and more users are accessing the Internet from mobile devices and Google has made it clear that they will rank sites lower that are not mobile friendly.
3. Write content that is SEO centered. With your focus on the key words you’ve chosen, you’ll want to structure your website articles according to SEO best practices.
** Utilize titles that are optimized from an SEO perspective. Include your product or service related key words along with your company’s brand name, keep tittles under 70 characters, and make sure the title is sufficiently intriguing and informative to compel searchers to click through to your page.
** Use keyword rich headings. Your h1 and h2 tags should include your keyword in a natural way. In addition to search engines valuing these heading tags, the h2 tag will provide visual relief to your reader and make the content easier to read through quickly.
** Build internal links to other pages on your site, through the use of natural and diverse anchor text. Likewise, link to outside authority sites that will lend credibility to your content.
4. Make sure you ad alt tags to your images and optimize their properties. Every image on your site should be “original” in Google’s view. That means never before indexed. You can accomplish this by slightly altering an image if it is one that you’ve found in a web search or you can simply use original images. Optimize your image by going into the properties and filling out the information about the image. Alt tags tell the visitor what the image contains; originally intended for the visually impaired, these tags also help search engines “read” the content of the image. Remember, don’t keyword stuff your image alt tags; use your keywords naturally and in a varied way.
5. Make sure you have a sitemap. Search engine “spiders” are an important component of website analysis. New websites, new site pages and new content must be indexed in order for the pages to be displayed in response to user searches. You can help spiders crawl your website more easily by proving a sitemap that lists links to all the pages on your site. There are a number of terrific tools to create your sitemap for you, especially if you are using a good content management system (CMS) like WordPress.
6. Make sure your site content is dynamic. One of the best ways to “impress” search engines and help your site’s ranking is to make sure that your site content is interesting, relevant and fresh. Google periodically “pings” your site to see if there is anything new. You should make sure there is! The easiest way to keep your site content new and fresh is by creating a site blog, a featured article page or both. These content pages are dynamic rather than static, meaning that they change and update every time you add a new post or article.
While there is much more to SEO than what is listed in this article, this is a great place to start. With these basic concepts, you’ll be off to a good beginning in your search engine ranking efforts. Do keep in mind, however, that SEO takes a good deal of time and effort; there is no magic formula to get ranking fast. As with anything else worthwhile, you’ve got to do the work.