The Secret to Estate Agent SEO….

The secret to SEO is that there is no secret. It’s all common sense. Agencies and brands that rank well on search engines have engaging and interesting content, address the search intent of their target audience and invest time and money on optimising the site from a tech perspective. Here are 8 idiot proof points that will haul your brand up the rankings.

1 – Stop overthinking it, over reading it, over not-doing it….

The biggest challenge with SEO is that it’s ambiguous territory—but you shouldn’t let the uncertainty get the best of you. Everyone’s trying to figure out SEO’s ‘hidden secrets’ with little direction, there are about 6 people in the world that understand how Google ranks the way it does and they all work for Google. The best thing to do is to keep your mind off the complexities and instead, focus on delivering the best possible user experience. Don’t read to many blogs (like this one) we are all telling you the same thing, just GO AND DO IT!!

2 – Keep content fresh…

When users conduct research, they want up-to-date, accurate information. That’s why it’s important to keep content updated. Recency is becoming an increasingly important ranking factor in Google’s search algorithm and for good reason—your audiences don’t want to waste time reading dated content. And that means across all your platforms, don’t neglect your Social Networks it makes you look sloppy and lowers your referral traffic opportunity. You have enough time to faff around on on your own Facebook at work, take some time to keep your business page current too.

3 – Prioritize usability…

Make sure to optimize your website to be mobile friendly and to ensure that it has a quick load time, check out Google Site Speed to help you with that. In addition to providing audiences with helpful and informative content, you’ll want to make sure that your website is easy and enjoyable to browse, if it’s slow and the photos don’t load people will leave and never come back.

Just recently, Google announced that more than half of its searches are now coming from mobile devices. This stat, coupled with the recent ‘Mobilegeddon’ algorithm update provide strong signals that even greater emphasis is going to be placed on businesses mobile websites in the coming years. There is NO excuse not to have a responsive site in this day and age.

4 – Build relationships, not links…

“Link building” is a term that SEO ‘experts’ use to describe the process of building credibility. The idea is simple: people link to your website when they perceive your brand as a source of authority. Often, however, SEO specialists take the expression ‘link building’ too literally. Throwing links to your site around scatterbrained will do nothing but waste your time and return nothing. Use Blogs, Social Media and Advertising Portals to build trust in your brand and a relationship with the people who are interested in your service and they will come.

5 – Prioritize long-tail search terms…

Search engine experiences are becoming increasingly personalised. That’s why it’s important for businesses to focus on long-tail and location-based keywords—so that audiences can find your company based on the exact value and service that you provide.

Ranking highly for a vague search term like ‘Manchester Property’ might be an ego booster, but it puts you in direct competition with all the property services in Manchester, regardless of the area of expertise. A top rank for a more specific term, such as ‘3 bedroom homes in Manchester’ will generate a lot more qualified leads.

6 – Use the right keywords in the right places

Get specific by taking a structured approach. It’s not enough to focus on the right keyword – you need to make sure that you’re communicating the ‘right’ information to Google in a structured way.

In order to improve rankings for long-tail keywords, make sure that they’re present in your main body copy and page titles. If your website structure doesn’t allow for this, attach a blog or news feed to your site and create content around these topics, with the long-tail keywords in the titles and copy. If you don’t write any words on the pages of your site your going to do badly, any site that you want indexed is going to need more than 300 words of UNIQUE copy.

7 – Replace keyword research with customer research

People turn to search engines when they have questions. When they’ve arrived at your website, they’re likely looking for immediate  and complete answers.  Think of your brand as a publisher and source of high-quality information. When you produce helpful, informative content like blog posts, how-to articles, info graphics and research, you’ll get in front of searchers and earn their trust. If you think you don’t have enough time to do this then how do you seriously think you will measure up against your competitors who do?

8 – Don’t ignore Meta Titles & Descriptions

Often, marketers will focus on optimizing elements that are direct SEO ranking factors. In doing so, however, they’ll overlook a very important detail—meta descriptions. Your meta descriptions provide previews of your website. It’s your brand’s chance to stand apart from competitors on search engine results pages and encourage click-throughs to your website. A well-developed meta title and description, in a few short lines of text, will drive more traffic to your website.

Final thoughts

The days of self-serving, scammy, and spammy SEO are long-gone. And that’s a good thing. The ‘secret’ to success with SEO is no secret at all. Just focus on serving your audience’s needs and answering their questions in a thorough and thoughtful way. Focus on your customers, and take the right logical steps to make sure that search engines can find your content. Focus on the ‘road less traveled’ with long-tail opportunities, and you’ll be set.

And don’t tell me you don’t have enough time… I set up a landing page for ‘ Villas for Sale in Calpe ‘ in Spain on Monday, it took me 20 minutes and already and its in the top 30.

Alex Evans

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