While content is critical to creating an amazing real estate website or blog that internet users will want to visit again and again, there is more work to be had behind the scenes...primarily keywords. Keywords are the specific words or phrases that internet users type into the search field when looking up information. Each search engine uses their own algorithm to determine what websites will provide the best information that the searcher is looking for based on these keywords. When it comes to keywords, though, stuffing's for turkeys, not websites!
Search engines frown upon the practice of adding thousands of keywords to a website or blog (known as "keyword stuffing"). You can actually be penalized for this. Instead, it is recommended that you find a few key words or phrases that you want to focus on.
When narrowing your choices, think of how you typically search for things online. For example, let's say you heard about a balloon festival in Sonoma and want to know more about it. You wouldn't just type in "balloons" or even "balloon festival", would you? That would give you tons of extra websites ranging from party balloons to the annual Albuquerque Balloon Festival, none of which is what you are actually looking for. You would instead type in something more specific like "Sonoma balloon festival" in your search engine's search field and hit enter. Then, your search engine would look through all the sites it had in its database to list the best sites for you to visit to find the information you are seeking.
Most people get as specific as they can when typing in the search field. Searchers typically look for a specific thing (person, company, event...in this case, "balloon festival") and then a specific location (in this case, "Sonoma"). Instead of focusing on a generic term for your site, such as "real estate", you want to get specific so that you get those people really looking for your services in your particular area. These terms may be searched less, but they increase the likelihood of a cold prospect turning into a hot lead.
There are several tools available to help you create a list of keywords to focus on your real estate site or blog. One of my personal favorites is Soovle.com. Soovle allows you to compare top keyword searches on multiple search engines at one time. You can choose the search engines you want to compare (anywhere from 7 to 15 at one time). All you have to do is start typing in the keywords you would like to use and you will instantly see the most searched words/phrases on each search engine. You don't even have to finish your word before Soovle begins offering suggestions. This can help you optimize the keywords on your site/blog so you can find your audience and they can find you.
Don't fall for the "if one is good, more is better" way of thinking. Stuffing's for turkeys, not websites...or blogs. Keep a few key words or phrases in mind when working on your real estate website or blog and you'll find yourself at the top of the search engines soon enough. Best of all, potential clients will find their way to you, too.
Originally posted on my Real Estate Support blog here: http://real-estate-support.com/2012/01/stuffings-for-turkeys-not-websites/.