SEO is short for s
ptimization, which is a mouthful. What this really means is making your web pages easy for search engines, particularly Google these days, to find and understand.
Of course Google doesn’t really understand your pages, at least not in the way we humans think about understanding. Search engines deal and what are known as key words
and key phrases
. For example the term real estate
is a keyword. So actually is your name although from a search engine’s point of view your name may not be highly ranked because it is used very often on webpages.(If you haven’t tried googling your own name give it a whirl – you never know.)The name of the real estate brokerage you work for is also a keyword or phrase as is the town where you live in the area where you practice real estate.
Back in the day, web developers used to put a ton of key words both in articles and behind the scenes in the coding of webpages in hopes of bringing their pages to the top of the results when those key words were used by the public to search. That technique was known as keyword stuffing and the developers of search engines quickly began to write code that would penalize pages that were stuffed with keywords.
Changes to the computer codes for search engines, known as a logarithms, are changed frequently. Major iterations are given names like panda or Hummingbird. When a major changes is made you’ll hear people complain bitterly because there website knowing longer ranks as highly as it did before the change. Listen closely and you’ll find others who are celebrating the fact that the change brought them higher rankings.
Ranking highly is highly desirable. Think about it – if someone wants a condo in Kansas City Missouri, they are likely to type exactly that into a search engine. If you have a listing for a condo in Kansas City obviously you want your listing to come to the top of list.
Keywords show up in several ways. Some are hidden behind the scenes in code, and are known as meta tags. Others are in the text to copy you actually write.
For example, when you write your about page you should have your name in the title and your designation like Susie Jones, San Diego real estate agent. That title actually is all keywords and phrases and since it’s in the title location, search engines will understand it as a title and index it as such. The title is a meta tag and search engines recognize it.
As you write about yourself it only makes sense to repeat your name two or three times in the body of the text as well as the factor real estate agent and any specialties you might have. You want to do this in as natural way as possible. There really is no percentage anymore in trying to put your name or any other keyword in more than you would normally. Believe it or not, computer programming, the antilogarithms, are now smart enough to detect what’s known as natural language
. While it might be okay to reread your page and decide you could add your name one more time legitimately, don’t push it. You don’t want to be penalized.
Accessing your meta tags
You can’t see your meta-tags unless you go behind the scenes. To do this, click on administration for your site, choose settings and from there choose meta-tags that will bring up a window with boxes for your title tag your description and your meta-keywords. Fill them out accordingly.
Another meta tag is the description of both your site and your page. You want your description to be short but accurate. You might try something like “expert agent for finding homes in Providence Rhode Island” or “condo specialist in Kansas City, Missouri.”
If you’re writing a blog post the description would describe the content of the article you wrote.
What you want to enter in the box for keywords is a list of 10 or 12 words that people are likely to search for. You probably probably want your name, real estate, maybe the name of your brokerage and any specialties you might have.
Do pay some attention to your meta-tags at least when you first set up your website. Be willing to change them down the road as it seems necessary, but don’t get too caught up in the search engine game.
What Google and the others really want is fresh content that informs the reader. This is why it can be such a good idea to start a blog. If you post weekly or every other week you’re providing a fresh content that is being of true service and is likely to boost you higher in search engine ranking bringing you more customers. It’s not rocket science. In fact Google and the others make it really clear what they want.
Provides fresh content that is helpful and you’re well on your way.
If you have any questions about meta-tags and search engine optimization ask them in comments and I’ll get you an answer.