5 Fundamental techniques to design your website for Google
26 November, 2009 | Web design
Search Engine Optimisation or SEO is vital for any estate agent that wants to naturally promote their website. Ideally estate agents would want their website to be page one position one as this generates the most traffic, but it is not always possible.
So how do I get as high as possible in Google? A good analogy is to think of your estate agent website and its design like a house.
Firstly, you need to lay the foundations and the foundation of a website is its domain name. The most popular way is for estate agents to use their brand name as the domain name. This means that it is easy for property searchers to remember and also web designers do not need to integrate the brand name into SEO.
The other way is to use Geo-Location domain name. Geo-location domain names use targeted words or 'keywords' within your domain name. This is picked up by Google and can help towards your SEO. The main problem with this is that domain names such as 'propertyforsaleinhendon.co.uk' is not very user friendly and can be difficult to remember.
Next you need to create the structure of your house which means that general design, navigation, Meta tags and a site map needs to be properly completed. Many lazy web designers have failed to fully implement the proper SEO techniques that estate agent websites require. Therefore they have doomed the structure of the website before it has even been finished.
Once the structure of your house has been built, you need to fill it with things or 'content' that people will want to see. Search engines are also looking for website content that is relevant to your audience. Estate agents that simply load up their properties onto their website are filling this criterion.
One major design mistake found by Resource Techniques' own web review is that an estate agent's properties are hosted by another domain name apart from their own or they just have a frame that shows a property portal within their website. This does not give any SEO benefit to the estate agent as search engines will only use the information that is hosted by their own website.
Other ways of filling your website with content is to include staff profiles, local and area information and the services you provide. The more information you put on your estate agent website, the more search engines can learn about your business.
Now your house is built on solid foundation, has a beneficial structure and the stuff inside your house is full of content that people want to see, it is time to regularly change your front garden. A regularly changing front garden entices people and search engines to see if the house has changed inside (estate agents will not want to change the front garden too much or people will not recognise the house!)
Instead estate agents should have two major areas that need to be habitually changed so keep returning; featured properties and a news section. Frequently changing featured properties will give users the impression that the estate agent's portfolio constantly changing. While a changing news feature will be popular for users and something new to scan for search engines.
Lastly estate agents need to become a trusted expert. Once people realise that the owner of the house is an expert in their field, they will return purely for the knowledge that the expert possesses. Once a trusted expert in your field, estate agents will gain credibility and have increased online presence.
Would you go to the house of a madman?
Troy Stanley, CTO of Resource Techniques remarked, 'Designing an estate agent's website is serious business. Here at Resource Techniques, every single step is taken to ensure that the design will be beneficial. Any advice given will be designed towards putting each estate agent website higher in Google.'
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