It can be difficult to know where to start with SEO. But, higher rankings almost always translate into more business, it’s important to start somewhere! Here are five things you can start working on to improve your rankings.

1. Optimize Your Title Tags, but Do It Strategically.

The title tag of a page is the single most important on-site factor in getting that page to rank well for your targeted keywords. So, your keywords need to be in the title tags of your site.

One thing to keep in mind when optimizing your title tags, though, is that you only want each keyword to appear in one title tag (and taking it further, only be targeted on one page.) If, for example, your main keyword is “Pittsburgh real estate agent,” you only want to optimize one page’s title tag for that phrase. Having many pages on your site with the same keyword causes internal competition. Instead, you want to concentrate your targeting of a keyword to a single page.

2. Create Landing Pages for Neighborhoods and Towns

One concept that isn’t necessarily intuitive when first learning about SEO is that you want different pages to rank for different keywords. A common assumption is that Google will always display your homepage in search results. But, you can only target a few keywords per page so you should try to group keywords logically into multiple landing pages. In real estate, a perfect example is to create landing pages for neighborhoods and towns that you serve. Many people search by town and neighborhood. Most likely, you can’t possibly target all towns and neighborhoods you serve on one page. So, for example, if you have houses for sale in Pittsburgh, you might want to try targeting broad Pittsburgh terms on the homepage, and then featuring pages like the following:

• Monroeville page – Houses for sale Monroeville, Homes for sale in Monroeville, Monroeville real estate
• Sewickley page – House for sale Sewickley, Homes for sale in Sewickley, Sewickley real estate
• Squirrel Hill page – Houses for sale Squirrel Hill, Squirrel Hill homes for sale, Squirrel Hill real estate

These are just a few examples, but you get the idea. Dividing your site by neighborhood or town in can help you rank for a wide range of terms.

3. Create Individual Pages for Houses

People often search for houses by address. So, in addition to listing homes for sale on the appropriate neighborhood page, the listing should link to a page for each house. On that page, you can optimize the title tag by simply using the complete address of the house.

Combining with number #2, a possible site structure might look something like this:

Homepage > A Page Listing Neighborhoods > Individual Neighborhood Pages > Individual Home Pages

This type of structure will allow you to target a wide variety of keywords that people will use when searching for homes.

4. Make sure all of your pages have enough content, AND that All of It is Original

One of the more time-consuming SEO tasks is making sure that all of your pages have a significant amount of content. I would shoot for 200-300 words, though it’s never bad to go over (from a search engine’s standpoint, at least). Google likes sites that are content-rich, so that’s one reason to add content. Another is that people often search for things in unexpected ways. The more content you have on your site, the more phrases for which you can potentially rank.

Related to this, it’s VERY important that all content on your site is original. Duplicate content from other sites can cause ranking issues, so, for example, you don’t want to copy the descriptions of all of your houses from MLS listings or other sources. Though it can take time, you’ll be much better off writing original content for all pages of your site, even if you have to do it in sections to get it done.

5. Get People to Link to Your Site.

Links are very, very important in how well your site ranks. (See this earlier Tech Savvy Agent post for an explanation of backlinking.) While ‘getting links’ is easier said than done, it’s not as difficult as it may seem to get started. Google is very serious about devaluing any manipulative links, so avoid anything spammy. Instead, think of things you could do that would make people naturally link to your site. If you have an especially noteworthy open house coming up, spend time making a list of local news sources that may cover it and then contact them. You may be surprised who writes you back! Or, you could host an event, like a dinner or networking event, and publicize it. You could create a totally unique tool for your site that helps prospective buyers to find their perfect house.

If you start brainstorming, you WILL come up with ideas and, though you might not hit a homerun every time, you WILL get links!

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