Search engine optimisation is becoming increasingly vital for effective online marketing, as it allows us to easily reach the people who want to see our content, but are not aware of the particular project or schemes name. But what is it that we actually do when we SEO the socks off of your website??
Well, lots of things, but here is our top 10.
1. KEYWORD RESEARCH
This is the seed that your entire website, marketing campaign and SEO strategy should grow from. It is important that we work with our clients to thoroughly understand every last detail of their scheme and what they think their scheme represents. More vital then this however for SEO is how would our target market describe a property they desire which our property would be able to satisfy. Which searches are more popular then others? People may take great interest in the fittings and decor of the property once they are on the website, but would they use those things to search for it in the first place? Are they not more likely to search for specifics such as number of bedrooms, floor space, location, logisitcs or loading bays first and then look into the nitty gritty detail of the building on the website itself once it has peaked their interest.
Knowing the key words and phrases that people are searching for to find a warehouse, office space or flat such as yours is a pivotal first step in building an effective campaign, as it then ensures you are targeting the right searches to reach as much of your target market as possible. It is especially important to target longer search phrases, as these can be the most effective in terms of click through rates and low bounce rates. These phrases are known as longtail SEO, and the evidence for their effectiveness can be looked at here
How do we find out these keywords? Well, common sense and well over a decade of property marketing experience certainly helps, but there are also many tools available to marketing agencies such as ours, provided by the search engine companies themselves, that give fascinating insights into this.
2. LINK BUILDING
The algorithm that search engines use is constantly changing, sometimes openly, sometimes secretly. One constant feature however has been link building.
If other websites are linking to your content, then it proves to the search engines that your content is obviously relevant and engaging enough that other users are reading it and sharing it with others. This in tern, increases web traffic to your site, which again, proves that your site is popular, relevant and helpful for people who are concerned with its particular subject matter. It makes sense therefore for the search engine to rank you highly for this subject matter.
Building links can be done in many ways, with the most popular being guest blogging and social media
3. SOCIAL MEDIA
This is a fantastic way to show search engines that you are active on the web, that you are engaging with other people, and that your content is being shared and distributed into the wider world. All of these are things that search engines look for in high quality websites, and by sharing your content, you will naturally drive more people to your site, showing the search engines its popularity and that it deserves to therefore be ranked higher. This can be particularly vital in property, as you can connect with and engage with your target market in a two way stream. Whilst you share your marketing material with them, they can in turn offer direct feedback and request certain further information, helping us to create better and more effective marketing material in the future.
4. DEEP LINKING
It is important that you do not just build links to your home page. If you can get relevant links to relevant pages then it helps to show search engines that you have solid and reliable content across your entire site. Linking only to your homepage gives the impression you have a shallow website with very little content, or that you are perhaps paying other sites to just link randomly to your website, lowering your ranking.
Creating a blog of your own, or a news feed, with regular updates is an extremely effective way of creating deep links, but only when done right. The articles will need to be optimised in the right way to allow the search engines to read them properly, aka, tell what the main topic of conversation is in the article and what relevance it will have to the search engine user. When done right however, it shows the search engines that you website is alive and active, consistently updating your viewers with relevant and engaging content. In property, this content does not have to be solely about your property, but can also be about the benefits of being located in the local area and what that area has to offer. Content that is of interest to people who are viewing the site with a genuine interest in becoming a tenant or occupier.
The site map is an important tool for increasing the ease of navigation across your site. It allows search engines and users to quickly and efficiently search every page of your website. Every page of content is therefore easier to immediately find for the user via the search engine results, reducing the number of clicks users have to make before reaching the required content.
There is another version of the sitemap that is also used by search engines. XML sitemaps consist of a list of all pages and include the dates the pages were last modified. XML sitemaps are submitted to search engines to help them find and link to all of the content on your site, and can also be used to prioritise your pages. For SEO purposes, you will want search engines to prioritise pages on your site that have the most relevant and interesting content for your target market to engage with on their first visit, rather then the contact page for example.
6. RELEVANT CONTENT
This may seem obvious given the points above, but it is worth reiterating that relevant and engaging content is VITAL to SEO success. Search engines know when you are trying to take cheap short cuts and they punish you for it. They want to rank websites that are helpful for the users search as highly as possible, and so you need to make all your content as relevant and helpful to the user as it can possibly be, whilst ensuring that the content is optimised properly so the search engines take notice. Updating your site regularly with new relevant content is also very important to maintain your rank. Although there may not be regular news to do with your property, especially if it is a ready to build industrial site, that does not mean there is not content out there that people who are interested in the scheme would not be interested. News on improving logistics, local employment, government policies and international trading linked to the area will also be of great interest to any potential occupiers.
7. META TAGS
The first important meta tag to add goes into the coding of the website, and suggests to the search engine the key words your website is linked to as well as a short written summary of its content.
It also has an effect on what the description tag of each of your web pages will be, which for Google, is the text that appears in black under the link and URL of the web page.
As you can see here, by altering the tag, you can give the user a much better idea of what the website is about in general, instead of what this specific page is about. Often, you will want the tag to talk about the specific page, but in this example what they searched for is actually more relevant for the building and website in general, but the link in its original format could mis-lead the user into believing it is actually a news website, as it links to a news update we made. By altering the meta tag, we can avoid this confusion, and ensure they will engage with the site. This can be common in property marketing, as much of your new content will be news articles, and you will want to avoid people mistaking you for a news website.
8. ALT IMAGE TAGS
Search engines cannot actually see images. Not like we can anyway. It recognises they are there, but it does not know what they show unless you tell them. If you code your images to show how they support the keywords and phrases that your site represents, it helps give another little boost to the overall relevance of your site.
9. DOMAIN NAME
You do not need to pack lots of keywords into your domain name, but a few carefully chosen keywords to highlight the topic of the website are useful. Too many keywords in the domain name can make a site look like it is spam based, but the name of the scheme, and perhaps the location will be fine. Avoiding the overuse of hyphens is also a key element in getting the domain name right.
10. PAGE HEADINGS
The page title will be the first thing a search engine will look at when determining what the page is about. It is also the first thing visitors to your site will see when they get to your page. Therefore it is important that coded headings contains the keywords that are relevant to the content on the page and provide appropriate targeting.
Headings have an important role in the organisation of information on a website, but also provide aesthetically pleasing aspects to a site. It is recommended to use the appropriate page heading tags through out the site as these enable webcrawlers to access the site easily.
All these tips are important for the process of achieving SEO success, but what is perhaps most important of all to us is client satisfaction. Therefore, a secret little 11th point we would like to make is…
By using various online tools and compiling our own performance test, we are able to track the progress different sites are making, page visits, bounce rate, time on site, what’s working best, what isn’t working, which keywords and phrases are out performing others, which links are work best etc. This is massively important to us not only because it gives us evidence to show our clients, but it also gives us constant feedback on the most effective ways to improve the SEO campaign and make it more efficient.
All of this, when done properly can be very time consuming, and nearly impossible for any receptionist, PA or property agent to do themselves properly along with everything else that their job requires. So feel free to get in contact with us, and see how we could help you out!