November 26, 2010

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What is SEO?

SEO is also known as Search Engine Optimisation and is the practice of making your website as attractive as possible to the search engines (like ) so that when a user does a search, your website is displayed on the first page, preferably at the top.

SEO is one of the dark arts. It is not easy to write about in a few short paragraphs and there are many people out there that have written volumes on the topic. However there are a few things that should be pointed out.

SEO and the optimisation of sites is not for the faint hearted. There are many different things that need to be considered for a site to be attractive to a seach engine.

One of the most important things to do is get as many pages as possible indexed by the search engine. What they do is look at your site and systematically click on the links on the site and index each of the pages. Your objective is to give them as many pages as possible to index.

Some of the things you should do to make your site attractive to search engines and therefore have as many pages as possible indexed are:

  • The use of meta tags - these are key words that don’t appear on the site however they are embedded in the HTML code that runs your site. These tags should reflect what your site is about.
  • The use of headings - in HTML there are different title level tags (H1, H2 etc) and the use of these tags and the words you place in them are rated higher than general content by the search engines.
  • Making your site readable to a search engine - many property websites have a search on the home page however the search engines don’t know how to do a search and therefore rely on directories to crawl through your listings. A directory is a series of linked pages that reflect all searches (at least the major ones) that can be done on  your site.
  • Good local content - the more content you have on your property site that is local in nature the more pages that will be indexed by the search engines. They crawl through all your pages and look for relevant content.
  • Non-repetitive content - the more repetitive your content is, the more it is going to be discounted by the search engines. Therefore it is important that as much of your content as possible is unique.

To see how many pages have been indexed by for example: go to and enter the following in the search box: (so for this site I would type This then tells you how many pages have been indexed.

Once you have lots of page indexed, the next important thing is links to your site. Simply having a page indexed doesn’t mean it will be displayed near the top of a search. What the search engines do is work out how authorative your site is on the particular topic and what helps them determine this is how many links there are to your site from other related sites. The more links you have, the more authorative you are.

To work out how many links you have, go to again and type in (so for this site I would type

Of course this is just a very high-level overview and if you are serious about getting “free” traffic to your site, you should engage an SEO consulting firm to help you improve your free traffic.


Related posts:

  1. Top 10 Tips for SEO
  2. On-Site Tips for SEO: Part 2
  3. Real Estate SEO Part 4
  4. On-Site Tips for SEO: Part 1
  5. Gives SEO Tips
  6. Long Tail Changing the Landscape



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