Are you are realtor that is looking to get more traffic on your site but not sure how well it is optimized or where to begin? Let's quickly review what meta tags are and why should you care about them
What are Meta Tags?
Meta tags are snippets of information in the form of text or images that describe what your realtor website is all about! They are called "Meta" because they are information regarding the information on your site. That is what it means for something to be "meta". In other words meta means referring to oneself. These meta tags are help Google and other search engines decipher what your site is really about. They can help Google better index your site so you can show up better on Google search.
Types of Meta Tags
There is many different meta tags but the ones that have the greatest impact are your title, description and image meta tags. Lets take a short dive on what each of these are:
The title tag is the most important one and the one that search engines view as the Title of your page. It is absolutely crucial to have title tags on all your pages for the most basic SEO. The title tag should describe the page you are on in a couple of words and a maximum of 60 characters. As a realtor an example title tag on your home page could be "Austin Dundeil - Real Estate Agent in Edmonton Alberta", which come in at 54 characters.
Next is the meta description tag. This tag is a summary or excerpt that goes into describing in more detail what your page is about. Meta description tags optimized for SEO are between 80 and 160 characters long. Not only do these help Google search engines understand what your page is about but meta descriptions are often featured as information snippets on Google Search and other search engines and have a great influence on user click through rates.
Title and description tags are the most basic SEO tags that you as a realtor need to be aware about and ensure they are implemented on your website. Image tags though are also very crucial especially if you anticipate your content being shared as links on social sites or via text message. While sharing and receiving links you may have noticed that sometimes these links come with an image while other times they don't. You may have also noticed that sometimes the image does not represent the associated content of that page and is just a generic image of the websites homepage. What is responsible for these images and how they appear in social sites like Facebook and Twitter is the metaImage tag. These image tags make a shared link more appealing and drive higher click through rates. Users are more likely to click a link with a relevant or intriguing image than a just a empty link with no image at all. Having unique image tags on your web page, especially if you are running a blog or showing MLS listings is an important part of SEO image optimization for realtors.
Meta tag checkers
As realtor you can check your meta tags using a variety of free online sources. If you see errors are some issues you can try to read the description and fix yourself or talk to your developer or agency about it. If you are looking to start doing SEO and implimententing tags on your website, I recommend using a plugin called Yoast SEO which greatly simplifies this process for you. Here is a list of met tag checkers you can use to see how your site links will show up and if you are using best practices.
Metatags.io has a very clean and easy to use interface. They are make it easy to preview the image tags, description tags , title tags and how your url is displayed on Google Search, Facebook and Twitter.
Meta Tag Analyzer by Small SEO Tools
Another great meta tag analyzer. Will give you a meta tag analysis on all import tags and tell you if you are using them or if you are over a certain character limit. For example have more characters in your title than recommended. They also analyze other important SEO metrics like page size and urls on page.
Facebook Sharing Debugger
What is a better way to make sure your shared url information is showing up correctly and as intended on Facebook and messenger than the official sharing debugger tool.
This of course is not a comprehensive overview of meta tag checkers, just a couple of my favorites that I have come across that are reliable and have no annoying ads or ad blocker warnings and are simple to use.
If you are a realtor with a website, meta tags checkers ensure that your technical SEO and meta tags or properly implemented and in place. You can easily check this simply by putting in a few url pages of your site into the following free SEO tools above. For realtors with MLS listings having a unique property SEO image tags is great for SEO optimization. If you are using WordPress, Yoast lets you easily add meta tags to your site.
You can always talk to your developer or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a complimentary SEO audit for your website.