How to Make Search Work for You

In this post, real estate advertising and e-marketing expert Tom Nelson shares more on how website searches are used by prospective homebuyers and how you can make sure your website is as close to the top of their list as possible.

Last time, I gave you some hard facts about the importance of search engine optimization for new home sales websites, like the fact that 84% of homebuyers start their new home search on the internet. So you understand WHY you need to be concerned about making sure search engines rank your website as high as possible. Now, here’s the HOW. Below are some fundamentals you must consider when creating your website in order to help search engines connect you with the right prospects who are searching for new homes.

It is estimated that 47% of all website visits come from direct navigation (that is, a user typing the website address or URL directly into the address navigation box). Therefore, your website’s address or "URL" should be simple and intuitive — as close to the community’s name or brand as possible. The closer your website address to your actual property’s name, the easier it will be for prospects to locate you online and for search engines to connect your website with the right prospects.

A website’s architecture (the pages of content and how they are structured together) and the actual content of the website’s pages themselves have a direct impact on the way search engines interpret the site’s information and determine its relevancy. So, the better your content, the more relevant it is to your prospects, and the fresher it is, the easier it will be for prospects to find your website via search engines. When you update your website often with news, events, and more detailed information, the search engines notice this and will boost your ranking higher so that you can be found more easily. Websites that never change will begin to fall further down the list. The lesson: Stay fresh.

Websites use special "tags" in the actual programming code to help search engines understand the content of your website. The Title Tag is one of the most important factors in achieving high search engine rankings. Limited to 68 characters including spaces, the title tag description is what appears in the clickable link on the search engine results page and is incredibly important in helping your website get better search rankings. Each page in your website can have a separate title tag that describes the page’s content. Remember, the title tag determines what your prospects will see when they’re searching for new homes online and find your website’s listing, and will help them determine whether to click your link, or to skip it and move on. So make sure you take advantage of this simple but most important programming tag to connect with your prospects.

Having other websites link to your website can boost your ranking with some of the search engines and substantially increase the flow of traffic through your site. Just as having new and fresh content regularly added to your website will help improve your ranking, the more links you have between your website and others the more search engine optimization benefit you’ll be able to realize.

There are many, many more methods and strategies for helping your website achieve better search engine results rankings, but the ones we’ve discussed today are among the most fundamental and a good place to start. My company, NDG Communications, has helped countless clients boost their rankings to get more qualified leads, increase registrations, and help establish communities with our effective SEO services and e-marketing capabilities.

Stay tuned for more new home sales insights from real estate e-marketing expert Tom Nelson.

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