SEO is something that every home stager knows they need to have for their website. But most home stagers are just not sure how to get it.
There are truths about how to give your website great SEO, but there are unfortunately a lot of incorrect assumptions made by home stagers.
Here are some assumptions that we often hear about SEO:
“SEO will take too much of my time”
“My website guy can just add SEO to my website”
“Once I write the blog post, my website will show up first on Google tomorrow”
“I need to make sure my website uses keywords a lot.”
“SEO is easy”
“SEO is hard”
What are you to believe? Let’s clear up those assumptions. Here is a list of five truths about SEO for home stager websites.
Truth #1 about SEO. A website developer can only do so much for your SEO.
A good website developer can lay the groundwork for your website having good SEO. But there is nothing a developer can do to guarantee your website will have good SEO.
Here are three things that you should check with your website developer to ensure that you have the basics of good SEO.
Your website should be built using WordPress.
Using a website builder, like GoDaddy, Wix, Squarespace, or VistaPrint won’t hurt your SEO, but they certainly won’t help. WordPress websites include structure that inherently helps your SEO a bit more than the website builders. That doesn’t mean that the website builders are bad for SEO, just that WordPress is better. If you plan to make your own website, then the user friendliness of the website builders can’t be beat. But if you hire a website developer to make your website, then they don’t need the shortcuts of the website builders, and should make your website on WordPress.
Your website should be submitted to Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
Submitting your website to the search engines is free and straightforward. The benefit is that Google, Bing, and Yahoo will recognize your website exists right away, and will know how to index it (this is where “sitemaps” are important). If your website doesn’t get submitted to the search engines, they will still find it, and eventually index it, but it will be on their own schedule. You can submit the website yourself. But the reason you’re having someone make your website in the first place is so that you don’t have do this type of technical stuff, right?
You should have SEO explained to you.
Since you own a website, you should know how SEO works without having to much research on your own. A good website developer will explain how SEO works. This includes things like how to use the title and alt-tags to help with SEO and meta descriptions so that your web page descriptions explains to the “searcher” why they should click on your link.
There is so much more to SEO than what is written in this article, so ideally your website developer explains it to you.
Truth #2 about SEO. SEO is ultimately up to the home stager.
As you might expect from Truth #1, you are responsible for the quality of your SEO. You can’t just have a website built, and expect people to visit it. Your website needs to be updated with new information (new clients, new certifications, new news, etc.), and content needs to be added to it in the form of pictures from projects, testimonials, blog posts, videos, and anything else that your website visitors would get value from.
The most important factor to helping your website’s SEO is content. And only you or someone you hire can create the right content for your home staging business.
Truth #3 about SEO. Content is king
The content on your website’s home page, about me page, services page, and every other page is important for SEO. The content in your blog is important for SEO. The projects that you add to your portfolio and the pictures and descriptions are important for SEO. Do you have videos? Those are important too.
Since content is so important to SEO, let’s dive a little deeper into how to get the most SEO benefit from your content.
The better the quality of your content, the more valuable it is to your website visitors. The more valuable it is to your visitors, the more it shows Google that they should feature your website high in the search engine rankings. Google will only show your website in the SERP when they are confident that the people visiting will get good, quality content.
A website with good SEO has a lot of quality content. You can’t just write one blog post and wonder why people aren’t visiting your website. You need a lot of blog posts and home staging projects so that Google can understand what your website is about.
For example, if you write one blog post about how home staging helps to sell houses faster and for more money, Google won’t know whether to rank your website for “home staging”, “selling faster”, strategies to make “more money”, “real estate”, or anything else included in your article. However, having a large number of articles around different home staging topics, then Google will clearly understand that you are a home stager, and provide a lot of value as an authority.
Just as important as having content is making sure that it is described accurately. Your images should have good titles and descriptive alt-text, as this will help Google know what your images are about. Your blog posts and projects should have clear meta descriptions to give people a reason to click on the link to your website when it appears in Google searches.
Truth #4 about SEO. It takes time to prove your website’s value to the search engines
SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. Building good SEO for your website takes time. The content that you put on your website today will take months to have an effect on your website’s SEO. This blog post by SEO Mechanic explains that content you add now will see SEO results after 4 to 8 months.
The time it takes to develop good SEO shouldn’t discourage you…
Picture yourself one year in the future. You have been after adding content to your website on a regular basis. You will probably see your website near the top of the searches for home staging in your service area. Your website will have traffic, some of that traffic will turn into leads, and some of those leads will turn into clients. Won’t you be glad that you got into a rhythm of adding content?
Now picture yourself one year from now, but this time you haven’t been adding content to your website. Your website will probably be showing up in the same place in the rankings that it is today, which is low. Future you will be saying how you wished that you had started writing content for your website a year ago. Trust us, we see it all the time.
Truth #5 about SEO. Keywords are important, but too many can harm your website
Keywords, keywords, keywords. It’s important to have keywords. The more keywords you have, the better the keywords will help your website for those keywords, right? Google likes to see lots of keywords, so they know the keywords to rank your website for. Keywords.
If I were trying to get this post to rank for the term “keywords”, I just shot myself in the foot. Google is smart, and knows when you are trying to do “keyword stuffing” on your website. Keyword stuffing worked in the olden days (like pre-2011), but Google got smart and will now penalize your website for doing it. I probably got penalized by Google for the term “keywords”, but those are the sacrifices I make for you to prove a point – you’re welcome. A general rule with keywords is to use them enough to where your readers understand your point, but don’t overdo it.
Final Thoughts on SEO for Home Stagers
Making your website have good SEO is hard, but it’s not that hard. Fortunately, most home stagers who have websites don’t spend the time to give their website the SEO attention that it needs. That is a great thing for you! That means that once Google recognizes that your website is about home staging in your area, you don’t have many websites to compete with. However, if you do nothing for your SEO, your website will have the same poor SEO as your competition.
Websites from Stager Sidekick are built on WordPress, get submitted to Google, Bing, and Yahoo, and come with free SEO training. We want you to succeed, and for your website to be a large part of that success.