Attracting Buyers and Sellers to Your Website
Once you have a Web site, how will people find it? You'll receive all kinds of e-mail from companies that offer to get your domain listed and ranked near the top in popular search engines like Google and Yahoo! They charge a hefty fee. Don't bother clicking the links they send you because there is nothing they can do for you that you cannot do for yourself.
Alert People who use the Internet want action — now. If you don't respond to them right away they'll likely move on to someone who will. Check your e-mail as often as possible and respond to queries immediately, even if it's with a note that introduces yourself and says you'll send more information later that day.
One of the first things you should be aware of when you enter the Web is the phrase “search engine optimization,” called SEO for short.
It refers to the steps you take to get search engines to recognize your site and give it the highest ranking possible.
One way that is accomplished is with the use of meta tags. The term
Every Web page should have a meta title that describes the page content. This is not the title that people see within the text on your page; it's a title that's placed in the meta tag area of your document. You should only use letters and hyphens in your title, not special characters such as & and +. It's not always possible, but try to write your title to include words that you know people are searching for such as:
Florida Condominiums for Sale — Beachfront Property For Sale
Homes for Sale in North Carolina — Near Asheville and Blue Ridge Mountains
Homes for Sale in Wyoming — Real Estate in Wyoming
Use terms that work for your area. Pretend you are a consumer looking for real estate and search for current listings in your area to see which local Web sites are ranked highest and how they use titles. The meta title is visible at the very top of individual Web pages.
How will I know what terms people are searching for?
There are several Web sites that allow you to see how many times a word has recently been searched on its system. You'll find Overture's word tool at
Predesigned Web sites sometimes do not allow you as much flexibility with title tags and page content, but most do offer at least a basic way to optimize your site for search engines. Your meta title is one of the most important parts of your page, so put some thought into its wording.
Description Meta Tags
A meta description is a short paragraph that tells people what they can expect to see on the page. It is sometimes displayed when a search engine lists that page. Write descriptions to repeat the important words you used in your title and try not to repeat the same phrase over and over again. The computer that reads your meta tags will put you at the bottom of the list if you are too redundant.
Meta keywords are words that you place in a specific field for search engines to browse. They should be words that describe the document. Each phrase is separated by a comma, as in the following example:
real estate new york, homes for sale, new york homes, buffalo real estate
Do not repeat the same word more than five times or the search engine's automated information gatherer (called a robot) might think you are trying to “spam” it (trick it into thinking you have content on the page that you truly don't have).
Keywords in Text
Links to and from Other Web Sites
Link popularity helps your search engine placement. That means your ranking can go up if other Web sites add links to yours. Getting links is sometimes difficult for real estate agents, but you can try to get links from:
Your local Chamber of Commerce or visitor's center
Organizations you are a member of
Web sites of the people you do business with: home inspectors, surveyors, etc.
Your friends and family's Web sites
The newspapers and other advertising companies you use
Offer to trade links with other area businesspeople. It will help you both rank higher in the search engines. Search engine optimization is an ever-changing topic. There are hundreds of Web sites devoted to teaching you the best methods to use to promote your domain. The majority of these Web sites charge you a fee, but you can get a feel for what they are selling and what they offer by checking a few such as
Being sure that your Web site is found on all the search engines is a start, but there are other ways to direct people to your Web site. Be sure your URL is listed on all your marketing materials including your business card, your advertising, your mailers, and your property flyers.