Most people looking to buy a house or sell their existing home start their search on the internet. Search engines are usually the place they start.
If your business is more visible than the others in the search engines, it follows that you can get a lot more leads and potentially a lot of business.
This is possible by working to get a high ranking in the search results in all the search engines. We cover how to do this in this article.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process where you optimize your website to rank in the search engines. It involves making sure your website ranks highly for selected keywords or search terms that people use to look for your services.
The higher your keywords rank, the higher the search engines rank your website - and you receive more visitors, leads and business.
Search engine optimization involves two aspects:
1) On-Site search engine optimization
This means making changes to your website to achieve better rankings in the search engines. For better ranking in the search engines, the content must be relevant to the search keywords.
For this to happen, you must make sure your keywords appear in the following areas:
Title tag - The relevant keywords must be included in the title tags. In search engines, this usually appears in bold.
Meta description - In the search engine results this appears below the title; usually a short phrase in the meta tags. It must be friendly to read, describe your services and contain relevant keywords.
Content - You must have the relevant keywords in the content. Avoid stuffing keywords or your website could get penalized.
Domain name - Keywords that appear in your domain name will give you a better ranking in the search engines.
2) Off-site search engine optimization
The second step to effective SEO is off-site optimization. This involves building one-way links from third party websites to your website.
The more links pointing to your website, the more popular search engines consider your website to be and the higher they rank you.
Building links involves writing relevant content such as
Articles - when you post an article in an article directory, they allow you to put a link back to your website. You do need to include relevant keywords in the article to be more effective.
Blogs - similarly, blogs and web 2.0 properties allow you to put your link when you post. Remember to submit all your blogs to RSS directories.
Directories - some classified directories are very popular with SEO.
Social bookmarks - there are numerous social bookmarking websites that also double up as article sites and blogs. Search engines can index your content i=on these sites in a matter of minutes.
Press releases - press releases get your name out there and they are also important in SEO. You can get a lot of business if you do this right.
Advantages of search engine optimization
1) Little competition
Once most real estate investors get a website, they just stop there. They do not do anything about their search engine ranking.
Just a one-time effort can keep your website at the top for months or even years without further input.
2) Long-term benefits
Once you optimize your website, you continue getting traffic and new business for years. People will easily find you whenever they need your services.
3) Low cost
Considering the long-term benefits and income potential, search engine optimization is very affordable. An investment of just a few hundred dollars can bring you lots of business for years to come.