The Ins and Outs of Good SEO for Real Estate
Now that we’ve established the important role SEO can play in growing not only a real estate agent’s online presence but their business overall, it’s time to take to examine the components that make up a well-built SEO website.
First and foremost, it’s important to note that a website should be designed for humans first and the search engine second. It won’t do you any good if potential clients have a hard time navigating your site or they get so frustrated waiting for a listing image to load that they go find it somewhere else. Be sure to design with personal experience in mind first.
A number of other elements also go into a site that search engines favor. Chime offers intelligent IDX websites that are easily customizable, so we’ll discuss some of the most important SEO-friendly features built into those pages to give you an idea of what to look for on your current site.
Page Load Times
An often forgotten, but crucial element of a well-optimized site is the amount of time it takes for your website pages to load. Not only does Google reward faster load times, but it can be the deciding factor of whether a client stays on your site or goes to find the listing they are interested elsewhere. Chime uses two tricks to ensure that agent’s websites have the fastest load times possible, the first is to cache static content so it appears first and only new content is re-loaded. The second optimization Chime utilizes is using dynamic page loading which enables images to load to the size of the device being used. Both save valuable time compared to competitor sites which makes web searchers and search engines happy.
When it comes to the images on your site, this is one of the easiest ways to help improve your SEO. Chime’s IDX websites include editable alt-text for all of the images which give agents the ability to add a text description of the image so the search engine will know what is being displayed on your site. This is a great place to include your keywords, without overstuffing the text and being sure to describe the actual picture. Along with alt-text, it’s also a good idea to limit the amount of stock photography used on your site in favor of high-quality, original images whenever possible. Remember your goal is to design for the human eye first.
Having a regularly updated site map lets Google know that whether your site’s content matches a particular user’s search. Chime uses an XML sitemap on it’s IDX websites, allowing search engines to quickly discover the site’s contents. For example, if a client searches “Homes in Santa Fe” then Google will know that your IDX site has a section of homes for sale in Santa Fe and can direct users there.
Another component of a well-built SEO is how the URLs within your site are written. Chime’s IDX pages use a simple structure that allows Google web crawlers to easily determine page rank and are easy for humans to understand as well. For instance the home page URL structure is agent_name.chime.me while listings reside at agent_name.chime.me/listing. Having a simple URL structure easily accessible to humans and search engines alike are invaluable to a well-built SEO site.
Hand-in-hand with a well-built site for SEO comes a scalable content strategy. Chime’s IDX sites include a WordPress backend with easily installed SEO plugins to make posting SEO-friendly content simple and easy. Determine a posting strategy that you can stick to. If you can only post once a week, post the same day each week rather than trying to post something every day and falling behind and not posting anything. A great way to scale content is to reuse and recycle various bits of content. If you put out a monthly market report, choose a few of the highlights and turn it into a blog post. Got a great new listing, write a blog post about why it’s so spectacular and the selling points of the neighborhood.
Want to learn more about how to take advantage of Chime’s SEO-friendly IDX websites for real estate, let’s talk. And be sure to stay tuned for next week’s post where we will cover more examples of how to create SEO-friendly content for real estate.