Google Friendly Websites

Is your website a Google friendly website?
One of the most important things to consider when looking at your website is to determine how “Google friendly” it is.
If you want to rank better on Google, you need to make sure that you are “playing their game” and giving them the information they are looking for, so that they favour your website over your competitors.

Take a look through the simple tips below, and use this blog post as a checklist of tips for creating a Google-friendly site.

Make sure your site is easily accessible:

Build your site with a logical and usable menu structure. Every page should be reachable from every other page, by at least one static text link. This is normally done via the Navigation menu, but can also be achieved by adding internal links into your page content. Make sure to keep the links on a given page to a reasonable number

Also offer a site map to your users with links that point to the important parts of your site. If the site map has an extremely large number of links, you may want to break the site map into multiple pages. One great idea is to use a text browser, such as Lynx, to examine your site. This will show you how the search engine spiders see your site. If features such as JavaScript, frames or Flash keep you from seeing your entire site in a text browser, then spiders may have trouble crawling it & indexing it.

Give visitors the information they’re looking for:

This is probably the single most important thing to do. Make sure you provide quality content on your pages, especially your homepage.
If your pages contain useful information, their content will attract visitors and entice others to link them, thus creating a helpful, information-rich site.
You should aim to write pages that clearly and accurately describe your topic. Think about the words users would type to find your pages and include those words on your site, but within a natural flow of information.

Try to use text instead of images to display important names, content, or links. The Google crawler doesn’t recognize text contained in images. If you must use images for textual content, consider using the “ALT” attribute to include a few words of descriptive text.

Make sure that other sites link to yours :

Links help search engine spiders find your site and can increase the ranking in search results. When returning results for a search, Google uses sophisticated text-matching techniques to display pages that are both important and relevant to each search. Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote by page A for page B. Votes cast by pages that are themselves “important” weigh more heavily and help to make other pages “important.”
Keep in mind that Google can distinguish natural links from unnatural links. (Only natural links are useful for the indexing and ranking of your site.)
Natural links to your site develop as part of the dynamic nature of the web when other sites find your content valuable and link to it.
Unnatural links are those placed there specifically to make your site look more popular to search engines. Some of these types of links can be found via Link Exchange programs or on pages set-up specifically to attracts search engines (called ‘Doorway Pages’)

Things to avoid
Don’t fill your page with lists of keywords or attempt put up pages just to attract the spiders.

If your site contains pages, links, or text that you don’t intend visitors to see, Google considers those links and pages deceptive and may ignore your site.
And do not stuff words onto pages in the hopes of attracting search engines, such as has been done under the footer, on this site :  Red Pepper Realty

Don’t feel obligated to use companies that claim to “guarantee” high ranking for your site in Google’s search results. While legitimate consulting firms can improve your site’s flow and content, others employ deceptive tactics in an attempt to fool search engines. Be careful, because if your domain is affiliated with one of these deceptive services, it could be banned from Goggle’s index.

Don’t create multiple copies of a page under different web addresses. Many sites offer text-only or printer-friendly versions of pages that contain the same content as the corresponding graphic-rich pages. To ensure that your preferred page is included in our search results, you’ll need to block duplicates from our spiders using a robots.txt file.

Places for Real Estate

If you don’t already know what Google Places is all about, it is basically Google’s attempt to provide relevant local search results to searchers based on their geographic location.

So when you search for something like “Real Estate Agent Capalaba”, Google assumes (and rightly so) that you are looking for Real Estate Agents in Capalaba.

If you do not already have your office set-up with a Google “Places” page, now is the time to do so.
Why? Well, here are three simple reasons :
•    It is free.
•    It will help people find you more easily.
•    It makes Google happy.

Why get a Google Places listing now?

Recently, Google has rolled out changes which emphasise how serious they are about the Places search and helping  users quickly finding local business results.

Places is now a search type of its own, found in the left-hand column on Google, along with other common search categories.

The current order is:

•    Everything
•    Images
•    Videos
•    Places.

What’s different about Google Pages listings?

Places Listings have far more prominence than they used to, dominating the results page.  They also provide more information than before, including an image if images were provided with the listing.
To understand the impact of this change, consider your search engine optimization efforts.  If you used to be on page one of Google for a search term that is local in nature, your business might be relegated to page two with this change.
As well, the map works differently now too.
It has been moved over to the  right-hand column above the AdWords ads and it will now scroll down the page as you do. Places is so important to Google, that the map will actually cover up those AdWords ads which are also so valuable to Google.
This says a lot about how important local business listings are to Google.

Google Places: Tips to Optimize Your Local Business Listing

  • Create a Places listing for each physical office you have.
  • Complete as much information as you can in your Places listing.
  • Make sure your business name, address and phone number is the same as you have it listed on other local listing sites.  (Google is looking for consistency)
  • Ensure you’ve listed your business in as many categories as are applicable.
  • Add links back to your main office website.
  • Add photos and videos (as appropriate)

Tips on using Twitter for Real Estate

Have you taken the plunge & joined Twitter? Perhaps you have and you are not getting the results promised to you? Well, don’t worry – what you are experiencing is completely normal. Getting social media (including Twitter) to work for you is not an easy thing to do, so we have put together a few tips to help you.

1.    Twitter is not a competition

Do not try to get the most followers possibly in the hope that they will all be hanging off your every tweet, chomping at the bit to list or sell with you. You need to be conversational & let your follower count grow organically.

2.    Twitter is not a marketing medium.

At least not in the way you may expect it to be. It is a social medium, which means it works best when approached as a conversation.
Marketing is generally a one way conversation, where you share information about your services. Twitter needs both sharing AND listening.
Give updates and talk up your services. But also take time to respond to questions, or to join in a friendly conversation.

3.    It is not just all about your business.

When you tweet, you may be representing a brand, but you are a PERSON who is placing the tweets online. So act like a PERSON. Take the time to discuss things that are not just about your office or even industry. Share interesting stories, links or pics. They do not always need to be realestate related.

4.    Keep your re-tweets interesting & useful.

If you have found the Retweet button, then keepthe things you are repeating interesting. You could retweet local news, realestate stories or even cricket scores! Make your RT’s useful information-packed tweets for your followers. If you do, your followers will retweet them too, which helps attract new followers.

5.    Stay consistent.

If you are going to start, keep your twitter activity consistent. Don’t go crazy for a day or two, then share nothing for weeks on end.
Try to space tweets out throughout the day  or week, to reach the widest possible audience and so that your followers recall who you are.

So, give it another go, but just remember that Social media is not just a short term thing. If you want this medium to help enhance your business and create profits for you, treat it like any other business tool. Stick with it and pay attention to how you use it.