Our company creates it’s own products, like PromoterZ, and we also do custom web development. I recently completed a site for an Arizona real estate company, The O'Keefe Group, that sells remarkable homes in the Scottsdale area, most of which are in the luxury golf communities of Desert Mountain, Estancia, Mirabel, and others. They need a site that provides credibility to their expertise, portrays the properties/product that they list in a good manner, and gets found in search engines. A fairly common need for many businesses.
There are many factors in web design and development that affect these issues and some of them are conflicting. One of the big conflicts is between beauty and word content. Have you seen CraigsList? Lots of words, no beauty. If you want to be found in the search engines here are three simple things to keep in mind:
- Have relevant content. There is no substitute for this. If you want a search for real estate in a particular area to list your site among the most relevant, your content better state it—in words. In this case pictures are not worth a thousand words, in fact they can be worth nothing. The more relevant content you have the better.
- Use URL/addresses the engines can get to. You need to make sure that all of your pages can be found by the search engines. You do this with a site map or other linking techniques. Poorly formed dynamic urls like http://yoursite.com/?q=bad77399ykkkahjhdyyy7&poo=oops77778888884444333/more-stuff-here/umptysquat=777777 (you get the idea) are hard for the search engines to eat and many don't get indexed and stored by the engines so the content on those pages are unknown by them. There are exceptions, but solutions that offer better formed urls are the way to go.
- Get links from related sites to your site. This one takes some time to perform. You want to get links from related sites back to your site. Again, more is better. If 10 is good, 100 is better, and 1,000 is better yet. How many do you need?, more than your competitor. You can get these by asking webmasters and site owners, writing articles and posting them to ezines, etc. Some will occur naturally, particularly if your're creating content regularly with a blog, provide RSS or other sydication means, and develop a following with it.
There are a lot of tools out there to help you create a great site. If you have a lot riding on your site you probably want to use a competent web developer to create your web presence and get your site in front of people. The web can be a powerful tool for your business.
If you are a real estate agent check this out at the Real Estate Tomato.