Land broker SEO (Search engine optimization) is not rocket science but it’s not a walk in the park either. It requires constant monitoring, lots of leg work, and keeping up with current trends among others.
This land broker SEO 101 article will cover optimizing just one page of your site. After reading and applying what you’ll learn in this article your page will have a better chance in appearing on Google search results.
For the sake of this article we will be optimizing the homepage of RanchmanProperties.com, a brokerage website offering ranch properties for sale in and near Denton, Texas.
Selecting your Keywords
Probably the most important step in optimizing a page is choosing the right keyword. Optimizing for the wrong keyword could lead to low conversions or low traffic and thus wasted effort.
Before proceeding to the actual keyword research, have a list of “common sense” keywords that would act as your starting point. Below are some pointers on creating this list:
Avoid industry jargon/lingo. You may know what valuation means but your potential client may not.
Put yourself in your client’s shoes and ask yourself: what would I search for if I am looking for properties in my area?
Avoid keywords that are too broad and focus on keywords that are specific to your land brokerage, listing types, and geographic area. For example, it’s tempting to target “texas ranches for sale” however it may be better to target “austin texas ranches for sale”.
Applying this to our sample page, the common sense keywords we have now are:
- Denton ranches
- Denton ranches for sale
- Ranches for sale in Denton
- Ranches in Denton
Once you have your initial list of keywords ready, it’s time to find out if people are actually searching for them and what the competition looks like.
Another much more accessible option is Google Ads’ Keyword Planner. You need to have a Google Ads account to use it though (you don’t have to be an actual paying advertiser to have an account) but you can use it as many times as you want.
Inside Keyword Planner, choose “Find new keywords” and enter the keywords in your list:
The next page will be a list of not only your seed keywords but also related keywords along with their monthly search volume and competition level. You can export the list or just work on it from the planner.
From here you can now choose the best keywords for your page. The keywords you would want to consider are those with high (or decent enough) search volume and low competition.
However you should also put into heavy consideration the relevance of the keyword to your land brokerage web page. For example we won’t choose “horse property for sale in denton texas” since this particular page does not offer horse properties.
With all of that we finally have the following keywords:
- Denton ranches
- Denton ranches for sale
- ranches in denton
A page should be optimize for one to three keywords at most. As much as possible, the keywords should be as closely related to one another as possible. This land broker SEO 101, we’d recommend optimizing a web page for just one keyword.
Optimizing your Page Title
A Page Title is one of the most influential on-page SEO factors that you can control directly. It essentially tells search engines the topic of a page, thus it is vital to mention your keyword phrase here.
The Page Title will also appear in search results along with a description of your page making it important for it to be written to entice click-throughs as well.
With those in mind, the following are best practices when creating your Page Title:
- Don’t spam your Page Title with keywords. The main or primary keyword is what is important, and there would be more opportunities to optimize for other keywords later.
- Make it sound natural. This goes hand-in-hand with the first point. The more spammy your Page Title is the more unnatural it will sound and look especially on search result pages
- Aim for 60 to 65 characters (with spaces) to maximize space in search results
- Do away with branding if needed
Here now is our Page Title:
Denton Ranches for Sale – Ranchman Properties – Keller Williams
Notice we mentioned two of our target keywords: “Denton ranches” and “Denton ranches for sale”. Notice as well that we didn’t force a third keyword since that would read spammy. We added branding to extend the character count to the limit mentioned above.
Optimizing your META Description
Even though the META Description is not a ranking factor anymore, optimizing it still has some value. For one, it appears on search result pages along with your Page Title, thus it is an opportunity for you to entice users to click on your page.
Also if the user’s query is mentioned in your META Description it will be bolded making it stand out more on Google’s search result.
Almost the same best practices for Page Title applies when writing your META Description:
- Don’t spam with keywords
- Make it sound natural and written for people not search engines
- Aim for 130 to 160 characters
Optimizing your Page Headings
The headings or H tags of a page further signals the topic or theme of the page. Imagine you are writing an outline and the H tags are the sections of the outline. Keywords ideally should then be mentioned.
The most important of all the H tags is the H1 which should be the main headline of your “outline” (i.e. web page). The main or primary keyword should be mentioned here.
The sub-headlines can then be H2 and H3 depending on your content.
Finally, don’t use H tags for styling purposes. Often times H tags are used to achieve styles or designs in place of CSS or even span.
Making sure your images are optimized is especially important for land brokerage websites since it will help listings appear on image results. It will also add to the relevance of the keywords to the page.
Understand that search crawlers read all the code of the web page …even the images (file names and alt text). So, aligning your images on the page with the target keyword phrase for this web page can be key in land broker SEO 101 for on-page optimization. We’ll explain …
First make sure the filename of your image is short, descriptive, and if possible the same or similar to your target keyword phrase for the page. Instead of DSC_01291.jpg rename it to denton-ranch-for-sale-001.jpg instead. If you can rename the image to the target keyword phrase for the page, it is better but not required.
The ALT attribute of an image is meant to be displayed if the image can’t be loaded however it is room for optimization as well. Same with filenames, make sure to be concise and also actually describe the image. When possible use your target keyword phrase in the image alt text IF it aligns with what the image actually is.
As with everything do not spam or overdo the optimization.
Linking to External Sites
Linking your page to external or other websites is neither good nor bad. It depends on your page and its purpose. When optimizing a homepage of core page, we don’t recommend linking to external sites or content. On the contrary, if we are optimizing a blog article then two or three outbound links can be good. Keep in mind, too many outbound links or linking to low quality websites will have a negative impact on this web page and your overall website authority.
If you are to reference another website, make sure it is reputable, has solid domain authority or authoritative such as .GOVs, .EDUs, and similar.
Also as much as possible don’t link from the first few paragraphs of your page as this would risk users clicking and leaving your site. As land brokers you work hard to get quality visitors to your website and last thing you want to do is invite them to leave by clicking an outbound link.
Now that your page is optimized, it’s time to give it some link equity. This means linking from other pages using your target keywords or variation of it as anchor text.
First thing to check is your navigation and footer links. Assuming that your page is important enough then it should be linked from these sections.
Next is to go over your secondary web pages or key pages and determine if you can link from them to your optimized page. If you can tweak existing content to match your target keyword phrase then that would be better.
For example, if your brokerage About Us web page mentions your keyword phrase “Denton ranches for sale” or a sentence that can be modified to include this target phrase and remain a natural read, then you can place a link on this phrase. In the code it will look like this:
<a title=””Denton” href=””https://ranchmanpropertiels.com/””>Denton ranches for sale</a>
Did you catch the attribute “title” in the code just above? Just like image alt text, links can have a title attribute that search crawlers will read. Is it required? No, but it is yet another signal you can give search crawlers to explicitly let them know what the linked page is about.
By creating internal links to this optimized web page, it makes it easy for search crawlers to discover the importance of the web page and easily determine what the destination web page is about in order to potentially list it on Google search results.
Wrapping Up Land Broker SEO 101 : On-page Optimization
With this, your page should be primed and ready for the extremely competitive land broker SEO. Note that this is just the start though and it was only one web page. It is recommended you do this for all your web pages or at least the main pages. Additionally, there are numerous other aspects of SEO such as link building, local search, schema markups, length of content, and many others.
So if you’d like to start by optimizing one web page, the simple steps are:
- Consider, research and select a keyword phrase you can rank for.
- Optimize the page title to include your target keyword phrase.
- Write your META description for users and include the target keyword phrase.
- Use your keyword phrase target in the page heading.
- Work to include the target phrase in the image file name and ALT text if possible, otherwise name the image what it is.
- Limit external links on primary web pages, but carefully chosen external links are natural and can have some value.
- Create internal links on other web pages within your site to this newly optimized page using the keyword phrase target as the anchor text.