Milwaukee SEO: Keywords for Real Estate Web Sites

by demtron on Wednesday, January 14, 2009 04:38 PM

Real estate agents can achieve significant exposure on the Web through their Web sites and blogs.  According the National Association of Realtors 2006 survey of Internet use (http://www.realtor.org/press_room/news_releases/2006/01/hmbuyersellersurvey06), 24% of all buyers first learn about a home they purchased through the Internet, and a whopping 77% of all buyers used the Internet to search for homes.  An increasing number of home buyers (and sellers) are savvy with technology and conduct their initial investigation of homes real estate web sites. 

Unfortunately, there is a surprising number of real estate Web sites that don’t rank well in search engine results, even for properties in their own communities.  The agents who own these sites likely don’t know much traffic and Web visibility their missing. 

Real Estate Location Keywords for SEO

So, how do we go about determining which keywords will work well for an agent’s site?  First and foremost, it’s critical to know the specific cities to target, the size and relative importance of each, and what variations exist for each name.  For example, let’s choose Waukesha County, Wisconsin for as a sample.  Here’s the list of most populous cities in descending order according to the 2000 U.S Census:

Waukesha

Brookfield

New Berlin

Muskego

Oconomowoc

Pewaukee

Delafield

These should be the core of the keywords used for a Waukesha county real estate site as most buyers and sellers will target specific communities when conducting searches.  Variations should be included such as Saint and St., Mount and Mt.,  directionals such as North and N., and Fls. and Falls.  Don’t forget to include Waukesha County itself!

Subject Keywords for Search Engine Optimization

The next sets of words and phrases to consider are subject words.  These represent the subject matter of the site (and their derivations) for which visitors would look.  Typical phrases that should be a the top of the list are:

Real Estate

Realtor

Realty

Homes

Homes

Home Selling

Foreclosures (if these are important)

Properties

Properties

Real Estate

Condominiums

Again, this is a standard list that immediately comes to mind.  Consider using a keyword suggestion tool or using the services of a Milwaukee Real Estate SEO Expert to help you determine which ones are most valuable or others that belong on the list.

Secondary Real Estate Keywords for Long-Tail Searches

The last set of words to consider is secondary words that will likely be part of long-tail searches.  Those are searches that go beyond the typical two to three core words that were already chosen and they’ll generally be a part of the majority of search traffic that will come to a real estate site.  A few examples are:

Values

Agents

Listings

New Homes

For Sale

Financing

Relocation

 

Selecting keywords is one of the steps required in creating a strong organic search engine profile for real estate Web sites.  For more information on optimizing real estate web sites for search engines, contact Demtron, your Milwaukee and Waukesha SEO Experts.


SEO for Title Tags Tip 5 Brand Building

by demtron on Sunday, November 09, 2008 12:49 PM

When considering how to modify page titles for a site, it’s important to recognize the significance of brand awareness for your products and services.  Your brand may be just as important, and perhaps even more important, than anything else.

Let’s say that you operate Crazy Cutters Hair Styling.  Your “claim to fame” is short waiting times and quality hair care products that sold in your salons.  Crazy Cutters is a pretty catchy name, and, depending on the nature of your other marketing and advertising efforts, it may be well known.

This is where some investigation is in order.  When they visit your salon or Web site, ask your customers how they found out about you.  If they found you in the Yellow Pages or a newspaper, ask them why they decided to come to your store.  If your brand name or slogan is mentioned often, it’s a “must use” on your site!  For example:

Haircuts and Family Hair Care at Crazy Cutters

Crazy Cutters Hair Styling - Cut Out the Wait!

Hair Conditioner - Treat Your Hair to Crazy Cutters

Each one touches on a different aspect of the products, services or customer experience.  Search engines will pick up on the coupling of these phrases and others prominently identified on your page and associate them with Crazy Cutters.  Alone, it isn’t clear that the term Crazy Cutters has anything to do with hair styling.  By integrating your important keywords with your brand, search engines will more readily identify Crazy Cutters with the hair styling theme, and your site ranking will rise, especially for long-tailed searches.


SEO for Title Tags Tip 4 Filter Words

by demtron on Wednesday, October 08, 2008 05:11 PM

Filter Words are a common issue that affects title tag quality and SEO. What are Filter Words? They're words ignored by search engines due to their common use and offering very little value toward making a page appear to have valuable content. Some examples of filter words are a, the, best, all, name, not, and new. There a several hundred words that are generally considered to be filter words.

Why are they a problem? First, to conserve disk space and assist in search performance, stop words are filtered out of a search engine's database and not cataloged. Therefore, no matter how many times filter words appear in your text, they'll be completely ignored.

Second, and perhaps more important, is that these words take up valuable space in a page title and dilute the importance of the other words. Consider these two titles:

Acme Brothers Offers the Best Custard, Shakes and Burgers in Milwaukee

Acme Brothers Milwaukee Custard, Shakes, Burgers

The first example has 11 total words, 4 of which are stop words and one (Offers) that is of questionable value to searching. Contrast that with the second example, which has six total words, all of which are valuable to searching and pertinence to the page and the site. After removing the filter words, we're left with a title tag that's highly optimized.

One important point to note is that removing stop words typically results in title that appear stiff to a human reader. A compromise like "Acme Brothers - Milwaukee's Favorite Custard, Shakes and Burgers" creates a more excitement, only has two lesser-quality words, and fits in 64 characters. As a personal preference, I occasionally add filter words into titles that need to appear more natural or if I have many titles o a site that are stripped of filter words. That little bit of variety won't seriously impact page positioning but will make the titles more appealing and more likely to be clicked on.


SEO for Title Tags Tip 3 Keyword Phrases

by demtron on Monday, October 06, 2008 09:21 PM

Like any advertising campaign, it's important to understand your target audience and know how you are most likely to be found in a search.  For example, if your company is "Knutson Pools Inc." and your target audience is pool and spa shoppers in Naperville and Chicago, your title tag should be more than just "Knutson Pools, Inc."  Ideally, your page should show up in searches such as "Naperville Pools" and "Chicago Spas"

One way to construct your title tag would be:

Knutson Pools – Chicago Pool and Spa Store – Naperville, Illinois

Notice that this phrase title includes some key elements: company name, target audience, and specific city location.  This type of phrase has a greater chance of ranking highly among many phrases due to the variety of important keywords contained that describe the store.  If your store is a dealer for specific brands or trade names that have recognition in your marketplace, consider using them as well.  For example:

Solana & Hot Springs Dealer – Knutson Pools – Naperville/Chicago

This title tag offers instant recognition that your shop is a dealer for these brands with a location in Chicago.  With this additional information, a search engine user is more likely to find your content relevant to his specific request and therefore click on your link.

Remember that your title shows up in a large font at the top of each search engine listing.  As a user is skimming his search engine results, your title, and sometimes only a few words of it, will need to catch the user’s eye.  A title must serve two masters: SEO for positioning and attractiveness to a visitor.  Crafting titles to satisfy these two objectives will increase the quantity and quality of visitors to your site.


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