Is your web site being found?

Education & Training with Summit Web Design and Long & Foster Realtors

Google search results screen shot

Good techniques to achieve "organic" or "natural" rankings (being listed in the search engines because the they like your web site - not because you are using "pay-per-click" ads) are really not hard to understand. Yet they can be time consuming to accomplish. And they can be much more difficult to achieve in a template website vs. custom, depending on how much control the site owner has in putting these techniques inside the template itself. Some templates allow considerable customization, while others only offer the minimum ability to add these necessary techniques in order to achieve great search engine positioning.

In helping to get many of my real estate clients into top positions for Google, Yahoo and MSN, here is what I've found that you'll need to achieve top results -

1. Have well targeted and unique titles - the <title> tag - there is one for each and every page of your site. If you look at the graphic above in the Organic results section, the most promenient hyperlinked text in each listed web site in the search results (for example, "Alexandria Homes for Sale Real Estate in Alexandria Virginia") is really coming directly from the Title tag in the head of that web page's HTML code. This is also being displayed in your own web browser window up above your back and foward buttons and where you would type in the web address of a site that you want to go to. In my browser window right now in that area above my buttons, it says "Real Estate Blog - Is your web site being found?" - obviously the Title tag of this page when I finish writing this post.

2. Description tags - the <meta name="description"> tag - should be concise and to the point, used mostly to determine the topic of the page. The content of the tag is used by search spiders to determine the topic and context of words and phrases found within the text of the site. It is also often used to phrase the short paragraph that appears under links from search engine listings - ( for example, "Find the Alexandria Virginia homes for sale that you are looking for...:).

3. Body text - One of the most important aspects of the site in relation to SEO is your body text. Search engine spiders thrive on text (they don't see your pretty graphics or your Flash intro at all), and it is important to have rich, relevant text, as close to the top of the page as possible. A strong focus on primary and secondary target keyword phrases is essential in the text of the site.

4. Heading tags - <h1>, <h2>, etc, are important for increasing the strength and focus of particular keywords. Try to include instances of keywords within heading tags, but don’t over do it. I suggest a maximum of one instance of any given phrase in a specific heading tag. For example, you should have only one instance of “(My Town) Real Estate” in an <h1> tag, but you may use this text again in other <h2> or <h3> tags. You should not have more than one occurrence of a heading one <h1> tag on any given page.

5. Alt tags - Placing keywords in "alt" tags is also important. Alt tags, used to describe what your graphic is, “create” the text that appears when a mouse is dragged over an image.

6. Backlinks - Relevant incoming backlinks are essential for top rankings, especially when it comes to Google. Although they do not place as much attention on links as Google, Yahoo and MSN rankings will improve with increased numbers of quality backlinks too.

By incorporating these basic techniques into your web site, you will achieve better "organic" search engine rankings to bring in more visitors to your site. Being found can generate thousands of dollars in real estate brokerage fees for you. With millions of web sites screaming, "Look at me!", it is important to be found if you really want to increase your business from the Web.

Win Singleton, CRB, e-Pro
Summit Web Design

Comments (4)

June Mellor
Century 21 All Islands - Kailua, HI
Hi Win - Thank you for the informative posting. I appreciate it.
Feb 06, 2007 02:27 PM
Agent Web Design
Specialists Real Estate - Las Vegas, NV

Win: Thanks for posting to this group. I look forward to more great info! Oh yeah, feel free to add comments to any of my posts.

Feb 08, 2007 04:19 PM
Salt Spring Island real estate agent Scott Simmons
One Percent Realty Vancouver Island - Salt Spring Island, BC

Good article on the basics of SEO. I can never read enough on SEO.


Jun 21, 2007 04:44 AM
Roy Giordano - Top Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Central, Marlboro, Manalapan, Freehold, Old Bridge NJ - Marlboro, NJ
Top Agent Marlboro NJ, Marlboro/Manalapan Homes

Hi Win. Good blog! Lots of great info here for SEO.

Thanks for posting.


Dec 07, 2009 08:11 AM