Posted by: realestatewebtrainer | December 27, 2010

The Title Tag and Real Estate Websites Vendors

Real Estate Websites Vendors are not in the business of SEO, in fact I claim they should not be… A good vendor focuses on providing the tools and ease of use so the brokers and Agents can tailor their SEO strategies to compete locally. It is quite important that these vendors understand the fundamentals of Search Engine Optimization or they won’t be able to offer the right tools; in fact it is my contention that except for a couple of vendors the field is mired in a sea of incompetence. I have reviewed many websites where every page has the same title – horrifying!

The post today will focus on how vendors can open up their Content Management Systems to the simple lonely <Title Tag> – this is part 2 (see Part 1)

If you remember the Title of a Web/Blog Page, also known as the Title Tag, is the text that is displayed in the top of your browser above the URL address bar. this is an important signal for Search Engines, it allows them to formulate a sense of your content and starts them on the journey of indexing and ranking you. For simplicity sake think of your Web or Blog Pages as stories and make sure you give each the proper title.

Now let’s talk about how vendors can do a better job to offer control over this important Tag:

1. Offer both a CMS and a Blog Platform. A CMS stands for Content Management System and is usually driven to add Web Pages that will either appear in Primary or Secondary Navigations. These are called the anchor pages of your website; many such pages are also called landing pages, or search-based pages. In addition, vendors should also offer a Blog Platform; these pages are for journaling purposes; story telling focused on specific topics. Blog Pages behave similarly to Web Pages and many advanced users do not see a difference between them but I contend there is an enormous difference for the user.

Let me delve a little deeper on this distinction; a good CMS, or Web Page Manager, will offer the user the ability to produce content that is navigationally available and therefore forces them to think on multiple levels. It is rare when anchor web pages are created without a plan that cohesively brings them together; for example say you wish to create a section in your navigation for Foreclosures; well this page may need to spawn several pages that are focused on Search Results in the 10 neighborhoods the user works in. Bottom-line: a Good CMS allows dimensional and architectural management of Web Pages – not a daily task.

Now let’s look at a good Blog Platform; it allows agents to focus on one idea, link it to primary pages, and then post it – a simple task that does not require navigational expertise; nor should it. Think of a scenario where a Real Estate professional attends City Council Meetings and shares his or her views on zoning issues and how they affect their primary Real Estate Markets; a blog will be perfect for that. in addition a powerful blog platform like WordPress allows the users to categorize and tag their content, so a pseudo navigation is created without thinking dimensionally.

2. Try to make the CMS and the Blog Platform behave similarly. this is easy; make sure the places in which the user inserts the title, the box where the content is typed, and the tools used for editing are exactly the same. As to the rest well they will behave differently depending on which one is used – I will not get into the other Page Tools in this post (see upcoming posts…)

3. Make the URLs generate automatically from the title of the Blog Post or the CMS Page. There are many ways of doing this but a look at say WordPress will reveal that once a user types in a title a Permalink is generated and conforms with proper index-able URLs. So if your title is “Foreclosures Solutions in Lansing Michigan” you end up with a URL: http://www.yourdomain.com/foreclosures-solutions-in-lansing-michigan if it is a CMS Page or: http://www.yourdomain.com/2010/12/27/foreclosures-solutions-in-lansing-michigan if it is a blog post. Of course these are only examples – there are many permutations and solutions that a good website vendor understands.

Very few vendors offer such controls over the Title Tag, and very few yet understand that a Good CMS alone is not enough; but a new crop of smart vendors are realizing that their job is to offer tools that are Real Estate SEO friendly. The new generation of Internet Marketers know how to use such tools and excel at their own Internet Visibility. Gone are the days when vendors ask you for a title when you are first building your website and spin all your pages with the same title with no controls.

PS: WordPress is a Blogging Platform and some Real Estate Professionals have used it as a primary website; it must be noted that such a platform without the full integration of IDX will limit the agent ability to create internet scale and visibility in the Real Estate Field.

Happy Blogging Smile – Key Yessaad

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