Real Estate Websites and SEO
There are many Real Estate Website Companies and the vast majority of them claim to include SEO. The claim is usually that the site will be SEO Optimized or Search Engine Friendly. That makes perfect sense, since it doesn’t do you any good to have a great real estate website, if it doesn’t get any traffic. When looking at these products what you mostly get are great technical website designers that stumble through SEO. They may get some of the basics in place, but that’s it. The customer, who is usually happy with the look and feel of their new Website, eventually seeks out an SEO Company to drive traffic after they are not satisfied with their search results. Feel free to check out our FREE SEO Website Audit Tool to gain some valuable insight on YOUR sites SEO.
Different Skill Sets
As a general rule, web designers do not do SEO. By the same rational, SEO people generally don’t build websites. Although good SEO, especially in real estate where you display listings, the structure of the website is extremely important. The website has to be easy for the Google bot to crawl and the internal linking needs to make sense. This is a form of web design, but not the same thing as making a real estate site “pretty”. As a general rule, web designers are extremely proficient in the technical side of web building. They usually have expertise in graphic design and a large portion of what you are paying for is to create custom graphics and get the site to look exactly like you want it, while being responsive, fast and hopefully have a high level of usability so its easy to navigate. An SEO company, on the other hand, focuses on some of the same things, but has more of a focus on:
- Optimizing Headers from H1 to H4
- Optimizing the copy on your site to have the correct keyword density
- Optimizing the meta title and meta description
- Internal linking
- Siloing the site — creating a good site structure that is easy to crawl
- Creating high quality backlinks
- Adding new, original content in the form of blog posts
- Socially syndicating those blog posts to drive traffic to the website
- Keyword research
- Creating and submitting XML sitemaps
- Disavowing bad back-links
- Creating AMP pages
In some instances, the SEO guy and the web designer play in the same field. Things such as “calls to action” and site speed come to mind.
SEO is Ongoing
One thing that one must understand when purchasing a real estate website is SEO is NOT a one time thing. It is not something that gets completed during the building of the website. SEO is an ongoing process. In some instances the web designer can may do the on page SEO during the web build, but that is usually not the case even when advertised. Even if the web designer is knowledgeable in real estate SEO best practices, there is a big difference between on page seo and link-building. Be leary of anyone who claims that your SEO is “built into the website”.
Which Came First? SEO or Web Development?
At DEAN Knows, we came about this a little differently. We started out as SEO Experts. We have worked on some extremely large real estate websites that receive a lot of traffic in highly competition verticals. We implemented many cutting edge techniques that were extremely successful. With years of Real Estate Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing Experience behind us we would find that we would have to restructure the website when we were to pick up a new client for SEO. This involves an enormous amount of work to create a new, more search engine friendly, URL design and create a spider friendly link structure. In doing this, we became quite proficient at website design. Over time, we found that it was much easier to build a website from scratch, with great SEO bones, than it was to SEO an existing site. We still do quite a bit of SEO on existing sites, its simply that building from scratch is more efficient.
SEO Has Many Parts
To effectively gain in Search Engine Placement (SERPS), many tactics are used. We start with keyword research to truly understand what keywords your website should be found by. We “silo” or “theme” the website so Search Engine Spiders can easily make sense of your structure. We utilize Social Media to drive traffic and create social signals. We submit to many sites for link building and Social Citations such as reviews. We monitor all of our sites with cutting edge SEO Tools and provide our clients with reports that show tangible results. We work hard to make our website design easy to use, following Usability Best Practices and create Calls to Action that entice visitors to convert.
True SEO Services From The Ground Up
Today, we can truly say that when we custom build a website, we provide real SEO from the ground up. This is not to say that you may not need ongoing SEO Services, especially if you are in a super competitive web vertical. What we can commit to is that your new website will be designed like an SEO Consultant would do.
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