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SEO Tip – Don’t Forget to Optimize Your Interior Pages

fake building frontYou need more than just curb appeal to make Google happy

Welcome back, time for another SEO Tip.

Is your Web site like a Hollywood back-lot?  All snazzy looking up front, but nothing on the inside?  More importantly, does Google think that’s what it is?  I’ve hinted at this a couple times before, but it is very important that you don’t ignore the interior of your sites.

It’s nice to have a pretty front page that displays some good content, and maybe shows your blog posts when you add them.  But what happens to those posts when they roll off the front?  Are they doing you any good?  Does anyone link to them? Can anyone find them?

Do you have other “static” pages on your site that contain information that might be useful to your potential customers?  Does anyone link to those?  Can these be found?

Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself…

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WHY do you need to optimize the inside?

Your web site functions much like your “real” office.  The front page is the lobby, from there prospective customers follow a set path to get to the place they need to be, to get the information they desire.  Want commercial property?  Go see Bill in room 7.  Want to rent out a room in your house? Go talk to Sally in room 3.  Want to buy a new construction home? Tom in room 4 is who you need to see.  What if your web visitors could go straight to the place on the site they need to be – without going through the “lobby” first?  That would probably make them much happier.

How do you optimize the inside pages?

When you started the process of creating, or optimizing your Web site you (hopefully) did a considerable amount of keyword research.  Many of those keywords probably apply just fine to your site’s home page.  Others, however, really belong to your interior pages.  If your agency handles multiple forms of real estate – or even multiple geographic areas – it is IMPOSSIBLE to fully optimize your home page for all of the required keywords.  Sure, you have can short blurbs of text and links, but that won’t do much for you.  The best way for you to  make use of those additional keywords is to create a place for people (and search bots) to go and read them.  Create individual pages for each area.  Describe the area using as many details (and keywords) as possible.  Of course, you should avoid sounding spammy.

After you have the great content, do your best to start getting links to those pages – remember that Google LOVES links.

What can you expect from optimized interior pages?

I found a couple sites in the Atlanta area that have optimized interior pages with some success.

atlanta real estate info serpAbove are two results for the Google search “atlanta real estate info”.  I realize that may or may not be a phrase these sites, or anyone is optimized for – it just popped into my head (searchers are funny that way).  Notice anything different about these listings?  Google found enough good content on, and/or links to some of the internal pages that it created supplemental links – directly to those pages.

The first site is laid out nicely, does a god job of providing information.  It has just under 1,000 incoming links, but only about 40 of those are to interior pages.  Clearly, Google likes the content.

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The second site…well, honestly it’s a mess. I can’t believe that any reasonable human would choose to hire them based on that page.  They do use a few spammy SEO techniques, but not enough to get them in trouble – just enough to look bad.  However, they have enough content and links that Google thinks they are an authority.  They have around 1,700 incoming links, 400 of those are to interior pages.  Our friend backlinkwatch.com reveals that many of those links use keywords as the anchor text.

If I were in Atlanta, I’d be hoping that this company didn’t hire a real designer, or discover WordPress.  In either case, this little site could rule the rankings easily.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday next week – I will be too full and tired to move, never mind write.  There will not be an SEO Tip for November 28.

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Written By

Jack Leblond is a SEO/SEM professional working for a large corporation full time in Austin, TX. He is not a Realtor, he is our in-house SEO expert. Jack is the Director of Internet Strategy and Operations for TG (www.tgslc.org). In addition to managing the team that develops and maintains the company's multiple Web sites, he focuses on Search Engine Optimization (SEO), e-marketing and Social Media. Jack's background ranges from Submarine Sonar Technician/Instructor for the United States Navy, technical writer, pioneer in internet/intranet creation for McGraw-Hill and Times Mirror Higher Education, former Adjunct Professor for two Universities teaching web-related courses, has served as a city council member and co-founded Net-Smart, a web design and hosting company, where he managed networks and oversaw the development of hundreds of Web sites. As a free-lance SEO consultant, Jack performs SEO Site Audits for small/medium businesses that want their web sites to perform better in the search engine listings.

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Ken Montville

    November 21, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    Jack,

    I love your SEO tips. It sounds a hell of lot like work to me, though. 🙂

    What I’m getting is that hyperlocal helps and neighborhood or town pages really help. Good, readable copy with lot of rich keyword content isn’t always the easiest thing.

    Thanks!!

  2. Colorado Spirngs Real Estate by Kathy Torline

    November 22, 2009 at 7:02 am

    Good reminders for me — Thanks for sharing

  3. AmyBSells Cincinnati

    November 22, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    The first site’s keyword ranking is a direct result of the domain name:

    atlantarealestateinfo.com

    It does have good info, and is well designed, but Google gives a lot of juice to those exact keyword-domain name matches.

  4. Bob Wilson

    November 22, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    No it isnt. There is far more going on there than a keyword matching domain.

  5. KnoxvilleTN

    December 18, 2009 at 11:26 am

    I am in the works of optimizing my interior pages. Keep posting these great tips. I really enjoy reading them!

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