How do you win at a game where the rules are constantly changing? Simple, by staying ahead of your competition.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of those games in which the rules change on a constant basis and when you think you see a finish line, it moves. Since businesses want to win, many have created keyword creator platforms and linking farms to help them beat the SEO game. But giants like Google are making sure that everyone gets a fair chance to lead the game by creating algorithms (like Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird) to catch those who try to trick search engines. By paying attention to industry trends and applying them to your SEO strategy, your real estate business can rank above your competitors in Google searches.
Trends in SEO
Good keywords and relevant content have been major factors in SEO ranking for years; now user experience has joined them as a major factor determining your placement in search results. When a searcher clicks your website, Google tracks how long your visitors stay on your page to determine how well your site met their search needs. The longer your visitors stay, the better ranking you receive. Utilize keywords, relevant content, and user experience in your website and start noticing your site rise above other websites in search results.
Keywords have been a big part of a great SEO strategy since the beginning. Search engines analyze which keywords a website uses as well as how many keywords it has to determine which order to display websites in. So, to get ahead, many SEO strategists started overstuffing their sites with keywords. Search engines caught on to this trend and started penalizing those sites. There are 3 kinds of keywords that should be included into your SEO.
Broad keywords are those which allow your website to show up when someone searches for a particular keyword or a variation of it. For instance, if your keyword of choice is “Selling Homes,” your site will also show when someone searches for “homes for sale,” “homes sold,” “house for sale,” and so on. The variations include singular or plural forms, misspellings, synonyms, stemmings, and other relevant variations.
Long Tail Keywords
Long tail keywords are longer strings of keywords or phrases that answer a more specific inquiry. When a user searches for this type of keyword, they typically know exactly what they are searching for and tend to have a higher conversion value. Google and other search engines even give you a list of suggested phrases when you start typing in the search bar to help you narrow your search. For instance, if a user types “2 bed 2 bath home for sale in” Google will pick up their geo-location and give the user different options like the state or city they live in. Planning your content around long tail keywords will make your site more relevant to these searches.
Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) Keywords
LSI keywords are words or phrases that have semantically similar meanings to one another, but not limited to just synonyms or similar meanings. LSI keywords can change over time to reflect current market or culture trends. This gives your site the ability to use fewer keywords and maintain maximum reach while minimizing the risk of receiving a negative rank due to keyword overstuffing. For instance, let’s say someone is searching for ‘homes with Tesla power wall’ and you sell homes with solar panels. Because the power wall and solar panels are semantically similar, your site will show on their search.
High quality content is a must have to rank well in any search engine results. So, instead of forcing keywords into your website’s SEO strategy, let the right keywords flow into your content. This will make your site appear more natural and feel more organic. Check the content on your website and make sure that it is what your audience is expecting to see, what they want to engage with, and is of value.
Adding links to other websites, blogs, or news articles is a great way to help with ranking on searches. However, just as much as they can help you, they can weigh you down. When adding links to other websites, try adding authority domains instead of low-quality links. Do a little research yourself to see where these particular sites or URLs land on searches.
Photos, blogs, and even pages on your website usually have a title associated with them. This is a great chance to add quality keywords that can help with your SEO without overstuffing. Make sure that these headlines are relevant and describe the image.
Linking your social accounts to your website is a great way to boost your SEO ranking. However, just like any other types of links, the content on your social sites need to be high quality and relevant to potential customers(so leave out your personal Facebook). Engaging with customers via social media to create open communication is also looked upon favorably.
- User Experience
Search engines also rank sites based on user experience (UX). Many experts in the field believe that since search engines like Google are ranking your site based on keywords and content, it is also tracking user experience within your site. This could mean that if users are going onto your website and quickly leaving, then your content isn’t of value or relevant compared to the keywords used to search or your website might be taking too long to load, overall affecting the value of UX.
Search engines also started accounting for the fact that users are looking for ways to communicate with humans on websites they visit. Adding features like chat to your site will increase your UX and encourage visitors to stay longer, thus raising your SEO ranking.
Mobile Friendly Websites
The number of mobile web searches surpassed desktop searches years ago; you need to design your website with a mobile friendly mindset rather than creating elaborate desktop designs. Introduced February 2016, Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs) are already being favored by Google on search ranks. AMPs are an open source initiative that publishers can use to “ create mobile optimized content once and have it load instantly everywhere.” This means that websites will load in an instant—making user wait time practically non-existent and creating a higher chance that users will interact with websites longer. All of these factors help to create a higher UX, which then values higher in search results.
Many online users are becoming more aware of safety on the websites they visit, along with the type of information they are sharing with others. As a real estate pro, when you ask someone to fill in a lead form online, you are asking users to share personal information with you and risk the chance of anyone obtaining that information. Users will feel more secure sharing this information with websites that are secured through the use of Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS). This will give users the confidence to interact with your website longer, improving UX value, bringing your overall SEO ranking higher.
SEO is a game in which the rules are constantly changing, learning, and improving. It tends to feel like a never ending battle that you may not want to play. However, Homes.com’s SEO Fuel handles all the changes and updates for you, helping you stay in the game. Our experts go through a 2-phase process to get your website content ready for promotions to give your site the boost it needs to beat out the competition. Call us at (888) 651-8956 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how Homes.com’s SEO Fuel can help you achieve the SEO ranking you desire.