How to get SEO on your side
On the off-chance you still underestimate the power and importance of search engine optimisation (SEO), here are some figures to bring you onside, courtesy of Hubspot:
- 97% of people learn more about a local company online than anywhere else.
- 92% of searchers will choose business on the first page of local search results.
- Four out of five consumers use search engines to find local information.
- 88% of searches for local businesses on a mobile device result in either a call or visit to the business within 24 hours.
In light of those statistics, any business that isn’t actively working on SEO should at least be mildly concerned.
If your business isn’t appearing on the first page of results, you’re appealing to just eight per cent of those using search engines to find services. That figure, combined with the next finding – that four of every five consumers are using search engines to find local information – makes for serious cause for concern for any local business not putting some time and effort into their online presence.
Once you’ve recognised and acknowledged the importance of SEO, the next step is to understand how to make it work in your favour.
Keywords are key
For Google to display your site in its list of results, it first needs to find your site using a process called crawling, and then index your pages, which involves reading and analysing your content. For Google to accurately learn what your business is about, it scans your content for keywords and keyword phrases.
Work out a list of keywords and phrases that directly relate to your business, and be sure to use them as much as possible in your page titles, headlines, and content. Real estate, property, homes, houses, rentals, investments, etc. will get you started, but it may pay to have some that are more specific to your business, such as location or any unique services you offer.
That will not only make it immediately apparent to Google what kind of service you offer, but those keywords and phrases will hopefully align with what people’s Google searches are.
A typical search looks like “real estate agent South Brisbane”, so you want to make sure that all of those words appear on your site multiple times.
Keep it moving
Search engines respond positively to websites that are dynamic and update regularly with new content. New listings is one thing, but written content is preferred. Consider maintaining a blog, or posting articles driven by data and research, developments in the real estate sector, or anything else relevant to your business.
Short press releases about your team’s activities, such as community involvement, is enough to keep the SEO train moving along. Some agencies also do profile pieces about their local area, in formats like “five things to do in your suburb”, which can work well, both for keywords and for maximising localisation.
Ultimately, anything that lets you get your message out while including as many keywords as possible should suffice.
Google is constantly active. 24 hours a day, in every corner of the web, Google’s robotic crawlers are seeking out new webpages to be indexed. Google doesn’t, however, index your page every day searching for new content, so the process of pushing your page to the top of Google’s results could take time – have patience and be persistent.
Your website might have a heap of great content, with accurate keywords, good locality, ideal readability, and everything else you want content to have, but if you simply let it sit dormant on your website without ever updating it, your content will start to lose its timely relevance, and slip down the order of search results.
The previous point was to keep it moving, but it’s not enough to just keep updating your site for the sake of it, you need to produce all your new content with SEO in mind, which is why persistence is so important. Quality content makes all the difference.
Stay on top of those keywords – adjusting them as trends change or as your business changes. Include links to your prior content, and links to other high-performing websites to grow credibility. Advertise your content through your social media portals to get more referral traffic through those links.
It’s never a good idea to sacrifice your service or let your business suffer in the pursuit of excellent search engine optimisation, but if you can put aside the time to make a concerted effort towards improving your online presence, your business will benefit for it.