SEO for your BrokerIDXsites Website
SEO = Search Engine Optimization = The ability for your website to be found in search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc) by consumers.
This guide is intended to show you how to optimize your Broker IDX Site by utilizing the built in SEO Functions included with your site as well as some basic outside Search Engine Optimization techniques.
1) IDX Integration – This is one of the main reasons you purchased your Broker IDX Site & is included with your site. Search engines will visit (crawl) your website and index listings, (Remember with the listingcentral.org System every listing has its own unique URL that is on YOUR website, so YOU get the credit for having the information directly ON your website, as opposed to a link to some other website, or as a “smart” frame.) When a user does a search for information that appears in the listings that have been indexed your site will display among the results on that search engine. We suggest utilizing the feature “Featured Front Page Listings”, (located under the “Website” link in the Control Panel) so IDX listings display on your front page. Search engines will find the front page listings more frequently and index these more often. In addition, search engines love content that changes and updates on a regular basis.
2) Key Word Phrase – A key word phrase is a phrase or group of word(s) that a user or customer will type into a search engine when they are looking for a website. An example of this is would be if a customer is looking for a home in San Diego, CA, they would go to a search engine such as Google and type in “Homes for Sale in San Diego CA” – that is a key word phrase. We suggest you make a list of 15-20 key word phrases that you think customers will be using to find your website. You will need to work these into your content pages, title, description, etc – explained below.
3) Page Title, Meta Descriptions, and Meta Keywords – These are 3 SEO items that should be included on each of your content pages. When you create a new page on your website, these 3 items are listed on the top of that page.
+ Page Title - The title should be 1 line and include the main ideas and keyword phrases for that page. An example of a title for the above example would be “Homes for Sale in San Diego CA, MLS Listings, Property, and rental houses in San Diego California” – A title like this will cover search terms such as Homes for Sale in San Diego, MLS Listings in San Diego, Houses in San Diego CA, rental property in San Diego, etc. If the word is in the title it will matched to the words the user types in for their search.
+ Meta Description – the description for the page should be a short paragraph and should be written for the user – not for the search engine, & include your key word phrases for that page.
+ Meta Keywords – Here you will type in key words separated by commas. An example would be “Homes, houses, golf course properties, waterfront homes, rental properties” – this is to give the search engine an idea of what the page is all about.
4) Add Pages to your site – you have the ability to add unlimited pages to your Broker IDX Site. As they say, “Content is King!” Here is what we suggest as a plan for adding content to your website.
+ Identify your key word phrases that you would like to include for each page, Two to four key word phrases per page is fine. You will want to use each phrase or keyword a couple of times on the page but in no event do you want them repeated more than 3 times on the page as this is called keyword stuffing and is bad for your site’s ranking. Be sure you write for the real live person that is visiting your website, NOT for the search engines. The text should be well written, informative and engaging to the reader.
+ Identify the specific area you work in and what you do. Don’t assume that your website visitor knows that “Mayo” is located in Florida. Use the complete description of your geographic area. Example, “Hernando County, Fl” or Tampa, FL” as opposed to “Tampa” or “Hernando County”. You will want to create a new page for each of these items. On each page you will want to include a title, description, and keywords. You will want to include 250-600 words of custom content that you write on each page. Do not, under any circumstance, copy and paste content – not only is this very bad for the rankings of your site, but it could also be copyright infringement. An idea would be to make pages for the 5 cities that you work in, a page about what you do for buyers, a page about what you do for sellers, a page about why they should choose to work with you, a page for each subdivision you specialize in, a page with places to go and things to do in your area, a list of local schools, utilities, cable tv, golf courses, etc, etc. The more accurate and up to date content that you have on your website, the more of a chance you have to be found by consumers doing a web search.
5) Blogging – Consistent, informative, accurate, blogging is one of the best things you can do to help your site rank high in the search engines. We suggest blogging at least once per week with the understanding that the more blogging you do, the better your site will perform over time (so if you can do more than once per week that is even better). We suggest blogging about current topics. After you post a blog be sure to use the social media buttons in the blog area of your website to share with your social media sites, including your Facebook page. Each blog post that is shared on social media will have a link back to your website which will accomplish 2 goals:
+ A back link to your website from a high ranking site which is good for SEO.
+ Each time a viewer clicks on the link they will be taken back to your website where they can search for property and gather real estate information. Each visitor to your website has the chance of becoming a customer.
6) Permalink Property Pages – a major benefit to Broker IDX Sites customers is individual web pages for each listing. The property detail page (this is the page with all of the property details, Google Maps and street view, Social media links, etc) of each listing has its own permanent URL or website address (permalink). You can copy and paste this link in emails to customers, on craigslist, or on any other site to advertise the property & the link will take the customer right back to that listing on your website. We also recommend sharing your listing with your social media such as Facebook & will describe that process below.
7) Social Media – We have integrated Social Media into your Broker IDX Site to make it easy to share listings, blog posts, and virtual tours with your friends on your social media networks, including Facebook, etc. Each time you create a virtual tour we suggest sharing with your social media sites. You can do this by simply clicking on the link for that particular social media site. You can also ask your friends to share the link with their friends if they know anyone in the market for a home. When the customer clicks on the link it will go to your virtual tour and they will have all of your contact information. We also have built in social media buttons on each property on your site. A good idea would be to share 1 listing a week on your social media so you don’t overwhelm your friends but at the same time they all know you are in the business and will recommend you to others. Again, when the customer clicks on the link on their social media site it will go directly to your website where you have the chance of gaining a new customer. In addition, the links you post to social media will all link back to your site, which the search engines love.
8) Incoming Links – The last item we will discuss here is incoming links. These are links from other outside websites that go directly to your website. The search engines like to see these as it makes them think your site is important if people are linking to it. A couple of ways to do this is to post your information on real estate directories and also to post articles about real estate on places such as Realtor.com, Trulia, Zillow, or any real estate related site. Just be sure to include your website in your signature line to provide a link back to your site. As a side note, DO NOT ever submit your website to a site that promises to submit your link to thousands of sites at one time. This could blackball your site from search engines. The only way to submit your information is manually to each individual site.
We understand that building and maintaining your website takes time and effort. We are firm believers that the work you put into your website will pay off with more customers and more sales. With about 90% of all home buyers searching on the internet for homes, your website should be an important part of your marketing and business model. By utilizing the information provided, you have taken the first steps to gaining website traffic and customers. We are pleased to have you as a customer and are confident we can help your career be a great one!