Many agents are aware that search engine placement can increase traffic to their sites. The process of making it onto the first page of search engine results is a long-term proposition, and is beyond the skills and available time for most real estate professionals. There are firms that specialize in search engine placement services alone.
The first step is to choose a website that conforms to modern Web 2.0 standards. Search engines literally "give up" trying to read websites built to older standards, and that includes many commercially available real estate websites. Modern sites with a CSS layer and hand-coded HTML (rather than auto-generated by a programming tool) make it easy for a search engine to probe the breadth and depth of the site.
The next is to focus on content. Search engines are programmed to look for content that is relevant to specific search terms, and also related to the page title, meta tags, and other arcane details of web pages. Years ago it was pretty easy to fool the search engines, but not anymore. The best policy today is to give search engines what they are looking for; relevant content that is as original as possible, and properly formatted.
You will need to build out your site with pages of original content that relates closely to the work you do. This could include pages of content about your area, specific neighborhoods you specialize in, your team members, as well as the services you offer. When you choose a website vendor, make sure they provide an easy way for a non-technical person to add pages of content. Whether a site is template-based or not is less important than having the ability to add a significant number of pages of content, and whether the site is structured so that a search engine can easily “crawl” the site.
Knowledgeable web programmers will set “metatags” on each page to highlight the terms that they want a search engine to index and point to that page's content. As a real estate agent or lender, you probably don't want to have to get into HTML programming in order to have a successful website. To that end, Real Pro Systems' websites provide an easy mechanism for you to set metatags without having to be a programmer. This will facilitate the content of your web pages being properly indexed by the search engines.
The points in this section only scratch the surface of all that is involved in search engine optimization (SEO). You will need to decide how much effort or money to invest in SEO to meet your needs. At some point, you would probably rather hire a service to do this work for you so you can spend more time selling houses!