Think local and branch out from there.
There are myriad different criteria that Google uses to determine the authority and relevance of your website and on-page keyword optimization is only one of these dizzying metrics, but let's start there.
Most online searches begin with local terms. For example, if you are a Nashua REALTOR®, you may optimize your site for terms such as,
- Nashua real estate
- Nashua homes for sale
- Nashua NH real estate
- Nashua Realtor
- Nashua real estate agent, and so forth.
Once you've determined which key words to optimize for, you can sprinkle these words throughout your site. In the above example, you can have pages such as yourdomain.com/nashua-homes-for-sale, yourdomain.com/about-your-nashua-realtor, yourdomain.com/nashua-real-estate-testimonials, etc.
Write for humans.
There are two audiences to write for when developing web content, humans and a google robot. The challenge is in writing for both, and this is both an art and science. You can stuff keywords on a page in the hopes to get ranked high for relevant searchers, only for humans to hit the back button when they start reading your page because you bore them with repetitive words.
Actually, Google can penalize you for too much keyword stuffing, so you can both alienate human readers AND get frowned about search engines if you are too liberal with keywords.
The key is to provide insight and resources on your site. For example, on a page titled "Living in Nashua", you can provide information on schools, walk time to attraction, statistics on their neighbors, different happenings, etc. In the words of Google's own Matt Cutts, a prominent software engineer for the search engine:
“the overriding kind of goal is to try to make sure that you’ve got high-quality content, the sort of content that people really enjoy, that’s compelling, the sort of thing that they’ll love to read that you might see in a magazine or in a book, and that people would refer back to, or send friends to, those sorts of things.”
Take a sniper's approach.
Local traffic is key, and you have to put a finger on competition. It is much easier to get ranked for "Nashua real estate" than "New England Real Estate". Easier to be found for "Riverside Realtor" than "Southern California Realtor". Taken a step further, if you have a niche in condominiums, better to be ranked for Riverside Condominiums For Sale, or lasering in on a specific community.
Narrower keywords will generate less traffic, of course, but less competition and more targeted traffic. Let's face it, you probably can't compete with Zillow, Redfin, and other elephants for the top results that appear for broad keywords. It's been said that there are niches in riches, and this is especially true for real estate SEO.
Cover your bases with similar keyword variations.
In your research, you may find that very specific keywords draw the most eyeballs. But don't be limited to those exact phrases and think in terms of synonyms. Take for instance, not just "homes for sale". A related set of terms might be "houses for sale" and "properties for sale". Google recognizes these related terms, and they should be used liberally throughout your site. This will also help you write unique content and avoid being overlooked or even penalized for repetitive phrasing.
Mention your keywords elsewhere.
You should integrate your desired keywords in the content of your site, of course, but it doesn't stop there. Google can dig deeper and recognize the name of your photos, ALT tag, meta description, etc.
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