Ground Zero: Launching a New Website with SEO
Launching a brand new website is exciting, but ensuring it's SEO-ready can often seem like a daunting task. To help you get started, we've provided a "ground zero" overview of how to plan your site and start building out content!
Start Small: Choose Your Focus Communities
When working with a brand new site, it's best to start small and expand realistically. Begin by identifying your primary target areas and choose five focus communities to start with. Set your IDX settings in the backend of your site to only display the cities you plan to start with. We want to focus on starting small and building up from there.
Often we'll see brand new sites launched with numerous skeleton pages - pages with IDX snippets but no content. This isn't ideal for SEO, so we recommend starting with only a few area pages that you can realistically fill with quality content, and once those are complete, begin to create additional pages with content.
Plan Your Site Layout
It's important to develop a plan for your site's layout, and a strategy for adding future pages. Make a list of all the pages you want to eventually have on your site, including city pages, community and neighborhood pages, property type pages, areas of specialization, etc. It can also help to create a list of blog topics you'd like to write about, so you're fully prepared to blog once your new site is launched.
When planning your site layout, it can help to create an organizational chart to put the pages in a hierarchy and determine the main pages and sub-pages. Start at the top with your home page, and begin to narrow down to more specific pages. Check out our REW University post on Information Architecture to learn more about structuring your site.
Build Your Home Page
When writing a home page, introduce the company and the area, and most importantly, demonstrate to the user how the website will benefit them. Think about who your target audience is and what they'll be looking for, and provide them with that information. Make sure your home page is easy to navigate, and users can quickly find other pages they may want.
One of the most important functions of a home page is to tell users where to go next. Ensure your content guides your visitors to the next step, whether that's a link to another page, or a Call-To-Action (CTA) such as a contact form, to get more information.
Write An About Page
There are a few things that can really help make your About page a success. First of all, make sure your About page not only introduces your company, but also creates solutions for your users. Start with the reason they visited your website in the first place, and demonstrate that you have their needs in mind.
Let your users know what makes your company unique, and why they should choose you over other real estate companies. This can include information about specialty areas you work in, awards you've won, the company's core values, and the services you provide.
Finally, it's nice to add a personal touch to help users get to know and trust you. A short biography, photos, or a video can help to give your About page a friendly, approachable touch.
Write Unique Content For Focus Communities
When you're ready to start filling in your primary area pages with content, you'll want to ensure the content is 100% unique (meaning not found anywhere else on the web), relevant to the page, and informative to the user.
Keep your content primarily real estate related, and include information such as location, characteristics of the area, and property types available. You can also include information about amenities such as nearby schools, commercial areas, and recreation facilities, but this should only make up a small portion of your content. A real estate website should talk about real estate first and foremost.
Be sure to include a CTA on your community page so that visitors have a way to contact you for more information, and you have the opportunity to capture a lead.