7 Ways To Instantly and Greatly Improve Your Real Estate Blog
The following are tips that will instantly improve your website’s SEO, Aesthetics, and Visitor Experience.
The goal of this article is to quickly and significantly improve your site’s visibility and user experience. If you have been actively blogging for a while then I can guarantee that you will find great value in it.
I’m not here to shove keyword density, PageRank, or backlink strategies down your throat. Here are just a couple of simple (and easily overlooked) tips for improving your website’s SEO.
1. Run A Check For Broken Links
Broken links refer to any link on your site where the destination is an error page. This can happen when URLs that you link to have changed, been removed, or they were entered incorrectly in the first place.
Broken links on your site can not only be embarrassing to you and frustrating to your visitor, but they can also have a detrimental affect on your SEO. The good news is that it is easy to search for and repair your broken links.
Here are 3 options:
2. Online Web App: BrokenLinkCheck.com
3. Desktop App: Xenu Link Sleuth (hint: use the Direct Download Link)
Funny name, but this is the original power search for broken links.
Broken Links are going to continue to happen. It is part of owning a website full of content. So another (bonus) suggestion here would be to have a custom 404 page (the page that loads when a broken link is clicked). A functional 404 page will offer clear calls to action, a content search box, and sometimes something clever – just for fun. A quick Google image search returns some examples of what I am referring to.
2. Link New Articles To Relevant Older Articles and Vice Versa
Linking one article to another is one of the easiest ways to improve the performance of your website.
Improvement is twofold.
First, your are now providing a link to additional content on the topic to your engaged audience. This keeps your visitor on the site longer, improving your chances of conversion.
And secondly, there’s great SEO value when linking in this manner. The more you link around your website, the more the search engines are able to index deeply into your pages. Linking to old posts allows them to be reindexed, in turn giving them new life.
3. Clean Up Your Sidebar(s)
If you’re not careful your website sidebars, because they are widgetized, could end up being as cluttered as your attic. Your general rule of discard should be, if you haven’t used it in a year get rid of it.
Revisit your choice of categories. If there is one you haven’t been using delete it, or hide it. If you have two that are similar, combine them. Consider renaming categories if they’re not descriptive or keyword rich. Click to read a more comprehensive blog category strategy.
If you haven’t already, change your Archive list to a drop-down menu using the standard WP widgets.
The goal of your site it to make your site as simple as possible for your visitor, clutter causes confusion.
Toss outdated badges, awards, affiliations, chiclets, groups, ads, and other completely unnecessary items.
4. Clean Up Your Footer
Like the sidebar, it’s time to remove items that offer no value to your visitor. Common useless items I see in there are badges for (now defunct) blog directories, blog rankings, and webrings.
The very bottom of your site should have, at most, a selection from the following items:
Contact profile, including a business address
Your DRE #
Real estate affiliations
Equal housing and REALTOR® logos
A reprise of your branding/logo/company logos
Text navigation matching your header’s nav.
Simplify the Visitor Experience
Certainly the above items could fall under this heading, but the following are specifically geared to making sure that your visitor’s experience is as good as it can be.
5. Improve Your Fonts
First of all, you have a blog, right? And you want people to stay and read your articles? MAKE THE FONT BIGGER! Make it easy on our eyes to read your writing. But, do not do this in the text editor. All your font changes need to be done in the CSS Stylesheet. For more on this, Learn To Use The WYSIWYG Properly.
Secondly, Google now allows us to choose from hundreds (and growing) of unique fonts for our web content. Break out of the Arial/Verdana/Tahoma funk and spice up your fonts! This touch of personality will make a difference in first impression and overall attractiveness for your content.
6. Reconsider Your Calls-To-Action (if you even have any)
What are the first action items that your visitors see on the site? Make sure that these are in consonance with your visitors’ expectations. But most importantly, make sure that your CTAs are driving your visitors one step closer to doing business with you. This is all that matters: Are you giving them the experience that they are anticipating, and does that experience lead to working with you?
OK – so this might not be an “instant improvement” but it is something that you really need to take care of immediately. Otherwise your site is not going to perform to its potential. Contact us on this if you are not sure how to make the most of this consideration.
7. Re-evaluate Your Niche – Have You Strayed From Your Intended Audience?
A formula for successful real estate blogging is hammering a niche. But if you have been blogging for a while, there is a tendency to waver from that focus and just publish to publish without much consideration for who you are reaching.
Every year, every month, every week, every day there is a new audience visiting your site. They rarely dig deep into your archives. This means that they are not reading all the great, relevant, niche posts you published over the last few years. Start that niche again – dig in and publish on the same topics/neighborhoods/niches that you have built your site to satisfy.
There is more than one way to pin a tail on the donkey. Just because you said it once doesn’t mean that there isn’t another way to say it, and there’s a whole new audience that has yet to hear it from you.
Some of these tips might require working with a designer to accomplish, and if you find that you need this level of support, contact us first – we’d love to help!