What is SEO? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of designing and updating a website so it is likely to show up in the organic (free) listings of a search engine for relevant user searches. Optimized pages and listings are ranked higher by major search engines, which are especially critical because many people rely on search engines, such as Google or Yahoo!, since they deliver the most traffic and only look at the first page of the search results. Check out our Top 10 Tips for Optimizing Your Website….
Keyword Research: Conducting keyword research is a key component to your overall SEO strategy. Effective SEO is based on relevancy, so you should choose keywords that best describe what the site offers. Relevant keywords will raise consumer interest and ultimately drive more traffic to your website or Internet listings.
Insiders Only: Use tools such as the Google Ad Words Keyword Selector Tool to submit a list of keywords or key phrases, and in return, you receive suggested key words with their search volume.
Use keywords in Meta Title Tag: The Title Tag defines the title of the document and appears in the browser toolbar. It displays as the hyperlink text for the page in the search engines and provides a title for the page when consumers add it to their favorites. Search engine listings are just lists of titles and descriptions of sites – which consumers evaluate when they are searching for the website that will best fit their search criteria. The search engine spiders – which is software that ‘crawls’ the web for relevant information to index pages – deem this as the most significant Meta tag. It is recommended to have no more than 12 words and your top keywords should be included. Keep in mind that the search engines truncate the title.
Insiders Only: Do not use a URL as the Title Tag. Every page that you want indexed on your Website should have a different title. Be sure to also optimize the titles in your ForRent.com Internet listing ads via the Management Console.
Use Keywords in the Meta Description Tag: This tag allows you to influence the description of your page, and it should be twice as long as your title tag. Remember that the search engines will truncate the title as well. It is recommended to have the same keywords in your title appear in the Description Tag for continuity and to have no more than 24 words (repeat words max of two times). This tag should utilize keywords and key phrases, and the copy needs to entice users to click the link that gets indexed in the search engines.
Insiders Only: Short descriptions will actually pull into the descriptions on search engine results pages, so you want consumers to click on your listing. Be sure to optimize your long, short description and floor plan descriptions on your Internet listing ads to increase the likelihood of your listing appearing higher in the search results. Not sure how to do this? Reach out to your account executive and they can have customer service assist you!
Use Meta Heading Tags: Heading tags (i.e., H1, H2, etc.) appear in the body section of a page and they add weight to your keywords. Your most relevant keywords for that page should be used within these tags (preferably close to the start of the page). The H1 tag is one of the most important tags. It is recommended to have no more than 5 words.
Insiders Only: It is recommended to bold your major keywords in the Heading Tags.
Use Keywords in Your Site Links (Anchor Text): Anchor Text is the hyperlinked words on a web page or the words you click on when you click a link. Search engines care more about the keywords in the anchor than the actual URL. Anchor text usually gives your visitors useful information about the content of the page you’re linking to. Avoid using words like “Click Here,” “More,” “Next,” and “Back.” If you use “Click Here” as the words people are going to click on, you’re telling people the page is about the subject “Click Here.” Your goal should not be to rank highly for the term “Click Here.”
Insiders Only: Be sure to also optimize your Web site link text on your ForRent.com Internet listing ad. Go to the Management Console and make edits to the text in the “Web Site Link Text” section.
Link Popularity is Key: Link popularity is one of the key factors in determining your search ranking, and search engines boost your rankings for the number of links that link back to your website. The more links you get, the more likely you will rank higher in search results. Examples of authority websites include: .edu, .gov, .org and Web sites that have a high Google PageRank. Try to avoid sites that have a PageRank 0.
Insiders Only: ForRent.com is seen as an authority site with a high page rank. Link your social media profiles to your ForRent.com profile page to help increase traffic to your Internet ad and increase the rankings of your listing in the search engines.
Include ALT Tags: Using alt tags on images is an important aspect of web design. The alt attribute is meant to be used as an alternative text if the image is not available. More importantly, the function of an ALT tag is to explain to a blind user what an image is displaying. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) says that ALT Tags are important, so search engines accept them as a parameter. This also affects the keyword density.
Unique Content is King: Fresh content helps increase your search rankings. The more unique your content is, the more visitors you will likely attract visitors, links and search engine spiders to your site and Internet listing ads. Your content and pages should be keyword dense. This means your specific keywords should appear frequently within the page but be sure to not overload your pages with keywords as this does not look natural to the search engines. Strive for 8% to 10% keyword density, but remember to write engaging content for the user.
Insiders Only: A good way to check your keyword density is to use an online keyword density checker – such as SeoQuake.
Utilize Social Media to Engage in Universal Search: The days of your website being the only site to get indexed is a thing of the past. Google’s Universal Search blends listings from its news, video, images, local and book search engines among those it gathers from crawling web pages. In addition, Google’s Real Time Search Results includes data from Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Yahoo Answers, and other social networking sites. This means that your status updates, tweets, blog posts, MySpace updates and the like are now being included in the “latest results” on Google. The search engines are using blended results, so you should too!
Insiders Only: Create content in multiple media platforms to set your site apart from the competition and increase your search engine ranking.
Use the Meta Keyword Tag: The Meta Keyword Tag allows you to provide additional text for crawler-based search engines to index along with your body copy. Your Keyword Tag should typically be twice as long as the description. It is recommended to have no more than 48 words (repeat words a max of four times, no repeated phrases). Although these don’t guarantee higher placement in the search engines, they are still worth mentioning.
Insiders Only: Separate your keywords and keyword phrases. In addition, be sure to optimize the keywords you use in your bullet points on your Internet listing ads via our Management Console.