Posted by: realestatewebtrainer | March 10, 2011

What to ask an SEO company in order to know that they know?

Most Real Estate Brokers and Agents know that they may need help from time to time with their Internet Strategy; and there maybe a need for you to hire a Web Designer or an SEO Company to design it. When doing so you need to make sure they know the fundamental concepts of Web Design and SEO, but most importantly how these concepts connect with the Real Estate Business. Building a website that sells Ink Cartridges has little to do with one that helps Real Estate Buyers and Sellers work with you.

In this blog I will share a couple of questions that can help you probe their knowledge – this is by no means an extensive list… I just want to get you thinking about being more engaged in your website and SEO procurement process.

The most import question I like to ask a Web Design Company is:

How many Real Estate Websites have you built and can I have the name of 3 Brokers you have worked with?

You must make sure they understand the Real Estate Lingo and are able to translate it for you on the Internet.

 

If the Web Design company you are hiring doubles up as an SEO company then the task becomes a bit more tricky; how do you figure out if they know what and How Search Engine Optimization work; Well here are a couple of questions you may want to keep in mind:

1. How will you setup my IDX Database in order for it to be scalable? and can you show me an example of this?

2. This question is about testing their SEO Knowledge:

Explain the difference between the following items and how Google reacts to them – 301 code, 302 code, Canonical URL Tag, and Meta Refresh.

Here is the Answer so you can test the knowledge of the SEO Expert talking to you:

A 301 redirect tells browsers and search engines that a page has been permanently redirected to a new Webpage or URL. A 302 redirect indicates a temporary redirection that will change again or revert back in the future. Search engines such as Google and Bing interpret a 301 redirect by passing the link equity and ranking metrics from the 301’d URL to the target page. 302 redirects do not always receive this treatment and may show in the search results with the original URL/snippet even after the 302 redirect is in place.

The Canonical Hyperlink tag is: < link rel> item in the header of a document that serves as a suggestion to search engines, indicating the “original” or “canonical” version of that page’s content. It is intended to tell engines which Web page is index-able when lots of pages contain the same or very similar content.

The Meta refresh is a call in the header of a Web page signaling that, after a certain quantity of time is passed, the browser should redirect to a new location (or reload the page). Search engines appear to treat most short meta refreshes (a few seconds in length) as permanent redirects, passing the link juice and ranking to the directed page.

Happy Blogging Smile – Key Yessaad, Real Estate SEO Trainer

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Responses

  1. This is a fantastic post. Some rudimentary and basic questions that a real estate internet marketing vendor MUST have a firm grip on if they are to actually be helpful to you in your internet strategy. I especially like 301, 302, Canonical, and Meta-Refresh question. Our team at Onjax has been adamant about the proper use of these with our PureAgent Platform for a very long time. Using 301 permanent redirects are always the best option for passing all the link juice to the true destination page. Even though Google and others may see a Meta-refresh of 0-1 seconds as equivalent to a 301 redirect, I would highly recommend staying away from them, as there is no true benefit from them, and it requires the loading of the first page then the next page, which slows down the user experience. An automatic 301 redirect is definitely the better route to go.

    Also, Canonical tag is extremely useful with Real Estate websites, in order of the page rank to all be attributed to the main page of a property details page. For example, consider the following two links:

    http://www.example.com/real-estate/123-Main-Street/
    http://www.example.com/real-estate/123-Main-Street/?price_min=250000&price_max=500000

    Both URL’s display the property details page of 123 Main street, so they have the same content, but the second was passed from a property search results page, and it intends to keep the search criteria you used in your search so that you can page through each listings in the result. If you don’t use a property Canonical tag on the second URL above, then Google would index both pages, possibly splitting your pankrank for that content between them. By using Canonical, you combine all the rank into the main URL for that property.

    Enjoy!

    Luke
    Onjax, LLC


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