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.
I know a lot of real estate agents who are fixated on how they rank in Google, Yahoo and MSN for their company name and/or their own name.
From an SEO standpoint, this is usually a waste of time. These agents could spend their time better doing any number of things - publishing articles, writing new web content, posting to a blog, acquiring inbound links.
"Don't sweat it, " I say to them. “Don't bother Googling yourself. "
Don't Sweat It - Reason #1
You will almost always rank #1 for your company name, because (A) it's probably unique and (B) it's probably all over your website. For instance, if you Google my company name ("Arming Your Farming"), you'll see I'm #1 for the phrase. Why? Because I'm the only “Arming Your Farming" company around, so it's easy to rank first.
Don't Sweat It - Reason #2
You should focus your real estate SEO efforts on those people who don't already know who you are. If somebody knows you, they'll find your website easily enough. But there are plenty of strangers out there looking for an agent like you by searching generic phrases such as “Dallas real estate agent" or “Tallahassee real estate. " Use your search engine optimization program to get in front of those folks. There are a lot of them!
Your Real Estate SEO Toolkit
Once you've kicked the self-Googling habit, you'll have more time for the kinds of SEO efforts that are worthwhile - like key phrase research, link building, and learning. Here are some tools to help you in each of those departments.
Research Tools - WordTracker
The key to search engine optimization is finding out how your target audience is using the search engines. When you discover the kinds of phrases people are using to find the real estate services you provide, you can incorporate those phrases into your SEO program.
On the flip side of that coin, if you optimize your website for phrases people aren't using, your SEO program will be a wasted effort.
There are a lot of keyword research tools online. WordTracker.com is one of the most popular and trusted of these tools. I use it every day as part of my SEO job. It costs about $200 per year to subscribe, but if you're serious about optimizing your real estate website for the search engines, it's well worth the price.
* Learn more at: www.wordtracker.com
Link Building Tools - Yahoo Site Explorer
Inbound links (from other websites to yours) contribute to your overall ranking. So you'll need a way to track your link-building success. With Yahoo Site Explorer, you can quickly and easily find out which websites are linking to yours. You can also export this information into a spreadsheet for further use.
* Learn more at: http://siteexplorer. search. yahoo.com
* Notice there's no “www" on the above address.
Educational Tools - SEO Books & Websites
Search engine optimization is an ever-evolving practice that requires constant education. Fortunately, there are a number of online resources to help you stay up to speed. Some of the resources below cover general SEO topics. The last resource covers real estate SEO specifically.
* SEO Chat: www.seochat.com
* Search Engine Watch: www.searchenginewatch.com
* High Rankings Advisor: www.highrankings.com/articles.htm
* Real Estate SEO Guide: www.armingyourfarming.com/search
I hope this information helps you improve your website's visibility. If you'd like to learn even more on this topic, refer to the resource below.
* Copyright 2006, Brandon Cornett. You may republish this article online provided you keep the byline, the author's note, and the active hyperlinks.
Brandon Cornett is the author of the “Agent's Guide to Search Engine Visibility, " available for immediate download at ArmingYourFarming.com. Learn to practice real estate search engine optimization the right way. Download your guide today at: http://www.armingyourfarming.com/search