Search engine optimization is about making it easy for new online leads to find your business online via search engines (like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing). It takes some strategy, but it's a great way to get new business – so we've put together this guide to improving your website's SEO.
When moving from your current website to your new Zap website, you’ll want to continue to rank well in search engines, so that you continue to see organic search traffic. A crucial step in the success of your new website is making sure that you map your old URLs (that Google is familiar with) to your new site’s URLs.
Option 1 (More time intensive, but better for SEO, no cost):
Map your office & agent URLs to your new Zap URLs to allow us to rewrite your URL mapping rules. You’ll want to complete our pre-filled spreadsheet with your old website’s URLs. Copy the link below for your brand and insert your company's Zap ID, then press enter. This will download a spreadsheet. Once you've filled it out, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
https://www.era.com/sem/redirects?companyId=INSERT ZAP COMPANY ID HERE
https://www.coldwellbankerrealestate.com/sem/redirects?companyId=INSERT ZAP COMPANY ID HERE
https://homesforsale.century21.com/sem/redirects?companyId=INSERT ZAP COMPANY ID HERE
https://www.bhgrehomes.com/sem/redirects?companyId=INSERT ZAP COMPANY ID HERE
Once the Zap team sets up the URL re-directs, you’ll need to work with your hosting provider or IT team to point your DNS server's CNAME to redirect.myzap.com. You will need to go into the system used to manage your DNS to change your "A" record to "CNAME" record to be able to put in this URL.
If your URL was obtained through GoDaddy, you can read their instructions here: https://www.godaddy.com/help/edit-an-a-record-19239
If your URL was obtained through Network Solutions, you can read their instructions here: http://www.networksolutions.com/support/a-records-ip-addresses-2/
Option 2 (Easier, but not as effective, and may come with a cost):
Point your custom domain name to your Zap company website. Make sure to forward without masking.
Updating directories is a great way to let the rest of the web know where to find your business. You’ll want to update these directories and other sites with consistent contact information for each of your branch offices, making sure that all of your branch office information is correct and consistent across all of the directory profiles.
Use your full company name as it appears on your company’s Zap site.
Your office address
Make sure you set up a profile for each of your company’s branch offices and include the distinct address for each office. Use the same format that your Zap site uses:
1508 21st Street
Dallas, TX 77627
Your phone number
Include the local phone number for your branch office.
Your website URL
You can’t build SEO without something to link to!
Copy your company’s website URL from your Company Configuration page. You’ll want to have each branch office associated with this same URL. Don't use your vanity URL as it won't be as effective for SEO.
Don’t forget to verify that all of your information is identical and accurate across every major directory! Always include name, address and phone number and website URL.
We’ve identified three main directories you’ll want to keep up-to-date.
You’ll also want to update your contact info in all of the places you’re social: Facebook, Yelp, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube. The more paths to your website, the better.
Unique content doesn’t just make you stand out to consumers – it makes search engines wake up and pay attention to you, too.
With Local Insights in Zap, you can share your perspective on the local cities and neighborhoods your company covers. When consumers see your insights, they get to know your company as a knowledgeable asset in the areas they’re interested in – and they get relevant information they can use to decide whether a location is right for them.
Encourage your agents to write Property Insights. Agents can post comments and tags to properties they’ve shown. This markets their local activity and knowledge to buyers and sellers on your company website.
Remind your agents to ask for Agent Reviews regularly. When clients write Agent Reviews, you get unique content on your company website that’s specific to your agents and their service. It’s sort of like crowdsourcing your SEO – and it’s easy for agents to request reviews directly in Zap via the Contact Profile.
From a search engine’s perspective, Local Insights and Property Insights are full of keywords that consumers are familiar with – if you’re doing them right.
Here are a few of our top tips for search-engine-friendly content:
Ready to create some content?
If you’ve got Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Yelp, YouTube, or Pinterest, you’ve got plenty of opportunity to drive traffic to your website – and to show search engines that you mean business in the process. And if you don’t have any of those, you might want to join the party! Your social media strategy can also make a huge difference when it comes to your search engine rankings.
Linking to your Zap site on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and other outlets doesn’t just get your company’s name out there to customers – it also gets the behind-the-scenes wheels turning for search engines. When there are plenty of links back to your Zap site, search engines recognize your company’s name, too – and they’ll be more likely to promote your site to visitors.
If you’re already on social media and your followers don’t know that you have a website, it’s time to start spreading the news. You’ll increase your website’s relevance in the eyes of search engines – and you’ll leverage the business opportunities waiting for you within your list of followers.
Don’t have followers? Get some! Tell all of your current and past clients, as well as friends and others you do business with that you’re social. Friend them on Facebook, connect with them on LinkedIn, and follow them on Twitter.
Knowing your platform is just as important as being active on social media! Here are our top places to link back to your Zap site – and what kind of links to post.
Yelp – for reviews and to show off what it’s like to work with your business, this is the place to be.
Twitter – for timely updates, hashtag campaigns, and quick real estate goodness!
Facebook – for content that’s relevant to your local community
Pinterest and Instagram – a haven for all things visual
If you’re making the effort to drive traffic to your website, you’ll want to make sure that all leads you generate are attributed to you. To do that, make sure you follow these important steps when sharing a page from your website on social media.
Whenever you’re sharing a link to your website, always remember to follow the steps above so that new visitors you generate via social media count as your company leads.
Social media might take some getting used to if you’re new to it, but the best way to learn it is to get started! Remember, even the experts learn from watching how other users engage with social media and keeping their eyes open for what gets results.