Solutions By Dave Digital Marketing and SEO Search Engine Optimization

I participate in a forum for SEO advice. Mine isn’t always in the professional vernacular but I focus on clearing up major issues fast for websites. Real estate websites are close neighbors of Bed and Breakfast websites so I thought I’d share some observations on this particular website just for people in real estate to gain some perspective into what should and shouldn’t be happening on their sites as well. I hope you gain some benefit from this review of a B&B website.

I have a client at http://www.shorecrestbedandbreakfast.com/ with a blog at http://www.shorecrestbedandbreakfast.com/blog/ I could use some advice on how to get this site up in rankings.

… I want SEO recommendations for both the blog and the main site. Thank you for your help in advance.

  

Answers

Hey, Dave Keys here again. We’ll just start out with the main website then I’ll touch on the blog and how to leverage it.

I have some initial observations that don’t require much formal “analysis” at all. The site is on page one for its title, “Long Island bed and breakfast.” Nice. You’re ahead of a lot of competitors in organic search but your owner needs to get their focus squarely on the social factors starting with Google reviews. They have two and one is a negative review so they need to start soliciting reviews. They can even ask people who are willing to do a review right there at checkout. Happy people will be happy to oblige and they need to fix whatever was wrong if anything that caused that negative one and then bury it deep under a bunch of positive reviews.

A little imagination can go a long way. You could even ask people to review the website after some design changes. Why design change? I’m known to frequently say ugly websites sell, (I don’t mean this one is ugly but that message and communication done right will outperform competition in nearly any design) but there are a few key things that people would like that would also keep them on the site longer, improving visitor metrics.

  1. Large format photos. What’s there now are almost thumbnails by today’s standards. People want to see everything large as life. It doesn’t have to be spectacular but get some size into the photo tour. Check out my website about everything atdavekeys.com and see what I’ve done with photography. If they can’t deal with site redesign, that’s fine, get an account on Smugmug and put the photos there so people can see large format views to their heart’s content. It has free account options and albums give killer layouts like this with full screen slideshows and embed codes for websites so there’s little excuse to leave it looking like the last site build was in 2004.
  2. Video. Get out the iPhone or the latest $189 HD Flip equivalent (Flip went out of business but you get the idea) and get some slow steady pans and get some video on the website. Talk in the video about what’s nice there. Attract the kind of customers you want by accentuation of what you like and what your best customers like.

Many competitors won’t bother to do video and especially frequent video updates. I have a feeling that a well optimized video might show up in organic search as well and help the marketing along.

More in a bit…

Posted by Dave-Keys 1 hour, 50 minutes ago

Comments

Let’s look at Google itself again. This is critical. Competitors are all over the top of the fold because their Google Places is preferred. Let’s review what makes it count.

Dave’s own educated philosophy on the matter:

Two important Google “properties” Places and Plus

Places

See? I used an H1 tag in the middle of a post because this is so important. The big G is relying heavily on its own validation schema now and a large part of that is Places and Plus combined.

101% completion of the Google places profile data. Every photo, every allowed character of description and narrative, every video, every description, everything Google will let you fill in, fill it all in and make sure the name address and phone match the website exactly. I can’t stress this enough. Make it complete and leave out nothing.

Be sure not to spam the Google Places with over-reaching keywords but describe the business completely. Don’t go into repetition, Don’t put the words bed and breakfast over and over but do some variations for sure. B&B, honeymoon suites if they have them, Weekend getaway. Describe the services and benefits in glowing details.

This gets results. I have a places result for real estate SEO expert no matter where in the country you look it up. The map with red pushpin, the mini sitemap, the address and phone, the whole shebang. It’s worth tweaking the places profile absolutely perfect.

Plus

The same goes for Google Plus and your Google profile. Get it waaaaayy completed. Everything. Use every bit of space to build this profile and then crosslink your site and Google Profile using the rel=”author” tag or rel=”me” tag. I like author best and it works well for me. Get it onto both the website and the blog and sooner or later Google will give you a thumbnail of the Author avatar in search results. See mine as an example A photo of a person is not mandatory but that always works well if there is an owner who is a central personality. My photo is in my logo but it shows up and blows away my competition no matter where I am in search. Get it done and reap the benefits. People click on results with that avatar image. It’s still a bit of a surprise and gets attention.

Posted by Dave-Keys 1 hour, 33 minutes ago

OK, while I’m on the layer of top level observations of the obvious, let’s switch over to the blog.

1 consideration of content is the title.

This blog’s title is “blog @ shorecrest bed and breakfast” That’s clever but it’s wrong. Nobody is going to search Google for that title except people who already know about it. Not a lead gen at all.

The description would be a far better title: A North Fork, New York Bed and Breakfast, but I’m thinking that may not be a well searched term either. I don’t know.

Remember, your title and description metas are what show up in Google and what tends to rank in search, so let’s presume they want to rank for “Long Island Bed and Breakfast” then your title and description should end up looking like this on Google:

Find new adventures Every Day | Long Island Bed and Breakfast Blog

Book with us and never forget how wonderful an enchanted getaway can be. Call 888-333-4545. Visit now. We serve Anne’s Famous Pies daily.

Next for the blog, turn it into a keyword and marketing machine that happens to be a lot of fun. Blog about the things people want in this B & B. Don’t be boring. The owner needs to figure out this one thing fast: Why should people choose this B & B above any and every other option available? Get that reason into every part of the website and blog. There should always be a call to action. Phone number. Call us. Book today. Reserve a week, etc.

These are all things that will increase your client’s bottom line without one single visitor more coming to the website.

I promise I’ll get to the technical SEO stuff but this is just as critical to succeeding in ranking as well as conversions.

Posted by Dave-Keys 1 hour, 16 minutes ago

SEO Observations techniques

That’s French for “what I just saw looking over your site.”

When you click the home link on the top menu the site goes tohttp://www.shorecrestbedandbreakfast.com/index.htm. That’s bad because you have aduplicate home page. Get rid of it. Everything should go tohttp://www.shorecrestbedandbreakfast.com

Look over all the page titles and get them in line with desired keywords.

Example: look at the rates page. The title is: Bed and Breakfast on Long Island: Shorecrest in North Fork

How many people are searching for “Long Island Bed and Breakfast rates” Hmmm? Get the keyword in the title. If the rates are really good then make the title say something like: Get best rates for Bed and Breakfast on Long Island: Shorecrest in North Fork

Same thing for the description which says: Shorecrest is a Bed and Breakfast in Long Island, New York. We have a bed and breakfast and a beach house on the North Fork.

Should be more like: Book now with Shorecrest Bed and Breakfast in Long Island, New York. Beautiful getaway in North Fork. Call now: 888-333-4444

Don’t repeat keywords the way they are now. Google knows it’s a bed and breakfast. You don’t need to say it twice in the same meta tag. Use the space for a better marketing message instead.

Posted by Dave-Keys 1 hour, 4 minutes ago

By the way, I want you to know I’m enjoying this because I love B&Bs. I just like mine to be in Maui
alt text

Quick break…

Posted by Dave-Keys 56 minutes ago

Links and a Warning

Since it’s a Long Island Bed and Breakfast and there are 880 phrase matched searches for that term and thousands of broad context searches (Google Adword Keyword Tool) and only two of your links to the site that I seen in Majestic’s or Moz’ site explorers, it wouldn’t hurt to have a few more links mentioning Long Island and B & B. etc.

WARNING. With Google’s latest strictness on overdoing anchors, don’t go crazy on this. Just a few can help a lot IF you get your site titles a little more aligned.

Posted by Dave-Keys 48 minutes ago

Your link profile is one of the more diverse and natural ones I’ve seen in some time, including some of my own clients’. Don’t go getting extreme. Keep links coming in from quality sources and incorporate some of the desired keywords in natural ways and slowly along with every thing else. Google is watching this so don’t let improvements in search results tempt you to go aggressive to get more faster. It won’t work.

Posted by Dave-Keys 46 minutes ago

The bloggity

The blog is doing very well for what is entered in it. Last post ranks #1 and #2 for its title.check it out.

Blog post #2 is a bit more competitive but is still on page 1 toward the bottom. It might do a little better if the word “vacation rentals” didn’t show up on the page 11 times in the many categories and the post tags, but nowhere in the actual post content.

Recommendation: Streamline posts to mean what they say and say what they mean. If post #2 is really about North Fork Long Island Vacation Rentals from Shorecrest BandB as the title says, then perhaps “North Fork Long Island Vacation Rentals should be in the post body as well but it isn’t. I think you’d do a lot better with the words in the content rather than only in the tags and categories.

Categories and Tags

Read Bruce Clay’s article on siloing.
The over-use of categories and tags on this blog is probably making it difficult to create silos of content. The claim seems to be that “This post is about everything I could think of.” This all amounts to keyword stuffing via the use of tags and categories. I would ease up on that a lot. The blog’s performance should improve if it’s a bit more focused on individual topics. If they have that many things to talk about then they should create posts for each topic individually.

Blogs are very powerful for exact match long tail topics. Get into the shoes and into the skin of your best potential clients. Think like someone who doesn’t know about your business and use titles that match the kind of searches they might use, even slightly less than completely logical ones. Think like someone might think when they’re not so familiar with search engine strategies. People will ask very direct questions in search. Example: “people my age who live in mountain lakes nj” That’s not exactly logical, but it is predictable. The type of person who would use this query would also be more responsive to a direct marketing message when they visit your website. The post for that result also ranks high for “ages of people who live in mountain lakes nj” a bit more logical and almost as likely to be a good lead. By the way, the red badge in the search result makes my result the likely candidate for a click. I’m competing in a vacuum. That’s why the Google profile is critically important now.

Posted by Dave-Keys 9 minutes ago

En résumé

You’ll notice I didn’t focus all that much on links. The link opportunity should be taken advantage of but the site is likely to perform far better with some focus on desired keywords. The blog should link back to the home page and use a lot less tags and categories. Use tags and categories to clearly define content and don’t use them to do keyword stuffing. The blog will perform wonders when it’s used as a well aimed rifle instead of as a shotgun. Geese, ducks and Google all hate shotguns so don’t use them. Geese and ducks may reward you if you’re looking for dead birds, but Google will more likely slap your shotgun and take away your hunting license so go to the website and blog and eliminate the excess keywords, get them focused on individual topics and primary goals and enjoy the results!

I hope I’ve helped you truly get better performance from the website and blog. If you have specific questions, please post them here and don’t forget to “accept.”

Thanks!

Dave Keys
Top of the game in Real Estate SEO

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