Members frequently look for simple changes they can make to improve SEO (Search Engine Optimization) on their websites. Universally, the following five changes can be made. These guidelines are not the final solution to maximizing your SERP (Search Engine Ranking Position), but instead they are easy changes you can make that will yield large benefits.
1. Register Your domain for longer Than One Year
Top search engines run a sort of background check on every domain they index to make sure it isn’t listed on any spam blacklist, as well as perform WHOIS lookups to make sure each domain is not registered by any known spammers. They also look for length of registration, and registering for longer than a year shows the search engines that the owner is committed to the domain, and that there is a lower likelihood that it is a spam website
(Most spam websites are registered for short periods of time.)
2. Beware of Canonical domains
This is the most common killer of SERP. It sounds very technical, but it is really a rather simple idea. If your domain name is not configured properly, search engines will treat your site, “http://example.com” and “http://www.example.com,” as two different sites, seriously hurting your rankings! This issue occurs when there is no Permanent Redirect (301) found at the root level of your domain. Luckily, the fix is relatively simple. The easiest way to test if your site has this issue is to run it through one of the following analyzers:
Both sites will tell you very clearly if there are any canonical domain errors, as well as provide you with other useful SEO information about your domain that may be overlooked. Also, for code snippets on how to fix the issue, check out MAR’s new blog, http://www.themarreport.com.
3. Utilize Free Tools—Monitor and Track Your Changes
It is essential that you track your stats from the very beginning. The best free tools to analyze your site performance are both from Google:
When you are making changes to your page in order to improve your SERP, you need to be able to track the results. Use Google Analytics to do comparisons before and after you follow tips mentioned in this article. You will be able to see increases in traffic, but the tracking also provides invaluable information about your site’s audience. Webmaster Tools gives you Google’s view of your site. It shows how Google crawls and indexes your site and about the specific problems they’re having accessing it. It also allows you to view, classify, and download information about internal and external links to your site. There is also a section that shows you which Google search queries drive traffic to your site. Additionally, you can let Google know how you would like the URLs they index to appear.4. Choose the Right Target
As real estate is a very competitive business, when you are building your page you should focus on what you think your potential clients will be searching. Small changes can make big differences in the number of searches. For Example, according to Google’s Keyword Tool (https://adwords.google
. com/select/KeywordToolExternal), “House for Sale in Cambridge” gets 6,600 searches per month, while “Cambridge MA Homes for Sale” only gets 720. Decide which market you are focusing on, use the keyword tool for suggestions on target keywords, and then provide content with that target in mind. This tool also allows you to see the search trends and information based on potential clients’ geographic information.5. Be Patient
Many beginner webmasters expect changes to happen overnight—this is hardly the case. Do not get discouraged; while your site may become indexed by search engines within a few days, it can often take weeks to see the real benefit from these SEO tips.
David Conroy, IT Manager for the Massachusetts Association of Realtors®