We know how important it is to be found on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.com. Especially in real estate as most of today’s buyers start their initial research for a new home online. But as we started looking at the platforms available for real estate broker websites, we noticed many of them had undefined URLs that Google and other search engines would never index. In particular, these platforms had URL hyperlinks for property pages that had little-to-no value in the URL string.
What is a URL string and why is it important?
When search engines index web pages, they look at the page’s content and all the links on those pages. It uses those links to build up a sense of all the other pages out there, and what they’re about. That’s why it’s important that URLs of the content that is published is accurate. What does it mean to look accurate? Well, it’s pretty simple. Imagine you’re looking at a property in southern California and the URL is http://sharprealty.com/page.aspx?pid=123. Does that tell you anything about that page? Not really. But imagine instead that it was http://sharprealty.com/malibu/ryan-sharp-123-main-place. Now, if that were the URL, then search engines such as Google would know a few things – like the content had to do with Malibu and maybe even with someone called “Ryan Sharp”. If that’s you, and you have other pages with that name, Google is going to start connecting those dots. Or if someone searches for “Malibu real estate”, there’s a good chance you’re page is in the running. What we know for sure is that pid=123 won’t be.
What about all the keywords related to my business?
There’s a lot of talk about keywords and the ways people use these words to suggest to search engines that the topic of the page is something other than what it really is. The truth is that your content, the real words on your site and on your pages is what’s critical. That’s why we’ve designed our software to review your content and automatically create the keywords for the page that make the most sense. In this way, we’re reinforcing the content already there and search engines appreciate that.
What about flash?
Maybe you’ve heard that you need flash to make your site look sharp and current. But what you may not have heard is that flash isn’t as easily indexed by search indexes as the pure HTML tags on the page. So if you have a great flash site, but all the content is in the flash code, then Google/Bing/Yahoo don’t see most of that. How have we gotten around it? Simple. We use flash controls but we don’t develop an entire site in flash. This lets users experience the movement they want, while ensuring that search engines can access all the content they need, in order to properly understand your content.