Many real estate agents out there have at least heard of the term “SEO,” but the number of agents who fully understand the meaning is few and far between.
Most at least know that SEO stands for “search engine optimization” and that it has something to do with getting a higher ranking on Google, Yahoo, Bing, and various other obscure search engines.However, beyond that is where things tend to get a little hazy for a lot of real estate professionals who have yet to embrace today’s tech-driven world.
So for those out there needing a crash course on the very basics of search engine optimization, I’ve compiled a list of the 8 most common SEO terms that every Realtor® with a website should know:
SEO/SEM: Of course by now, you already know that SEO stands for search engine optimization, but its process involves working to naturally get a website or web page to rank higher among search engines. Similarly, SEM stands for “search engine marketing,” which is simply the name for applying these types of web strategies and services.
Search Algorithm: A step-by-step method for search engine’s to locate the most relevant websites and pages. Major search engine algorithms use hundreds of factors such as website content, title tags, Meta tags, and how long the domain has been active to determine what web pages will rank during a simple search.
Title Tag: Arguably one of the more important aspects of SEO, a title tag is the actual title of a web page. When determining what to use for your title tags, always use the keywords for what that particular pages happens to be about. In most web browsers, the title tag will appear in each tab you have open.
SERP: SERP stands for “search engine results page” and is pretty self explanatory. If you Google anything, the results that appear with relevant and suggested pages is the SERP.
Keyword Density/Keyword Stuffing: Keyword Density is found by dividing the number of times a keyword is used by the total number of words on that page. While the answer can vary on what an acceptable keyword density is, generally your keyword density should be around 5 percent. Using a high number of keywords and significantly boosting your keyword density is referred to as keyword stuffing, and can actually penalize you in terms of SEO-so don’t so it.
Duplicate Content: Any content that is used on multiple websites or web pages is known as duplicate content. If you own multiple domain names and are using each site for a similar purpose, don’t get lazy and re-post your content. Having duplicate content will most definitely get you penalized among major search engines, so be careful as to what you post on your site.
Backlinks: Backlinks are basically just hyperlinks directing visitors back to your site. And despite what you may have heard, having quality backlinks over the quantity of backlinks is the name of the game. Make sure backlinks pointing to your site are on high-ranking websites with similar subject matter. Poor backlinks will penalize your site tremendously.
Blog: Most of you likely know what a blog is on a website. But with the rise of social media and sharing, blogging on a regular basis and updating your site with fresh new content is absolutely critical in achieving a high traffic volume and keeping your site relevant with major search engines.
Joe Heath is a graduate of Indiana University and also holds a Graduate Certificate in Real Estate Development from Drexel University. After working in the market research sector and authoring published Market Snapshots for Hanley Wood Market Intelligence, Joe now works as a Web Marketing Specialist and co-owns Real Estate Web Creation with his partner, Ted Guarnero, a 25+ year real estate veteran.