SEO, or "Search Engine Optimisation", is essentially everything you avoided doing in school. Carefully watching statistics, researching and tweaking your keywords until you find the magic formula... It's quite a drawn out process. However, as with any quest, the road may be long and arduous, but those who stick to the path will be greatly rewarded.

If your looking to take on Google (let's be serious it's definitely Google you want - when was the last time you asked someone a question and heard them say "I'm not sure, I'll Bing it"), SEO is your weapon and wielding it properly will leave you standing victorious at the top of the results page. So let's take a trip and explore what benefits this gets you, and more importantly the negative effects of not employing good SEO practices.

More traffic to your site

Think of the internet as a huge, over populated city and your website is a shop that's just been set up down a side alley. Your first job is going to be making sure people know your there, which is where SEO comes in. SEO is the treasure map to your website, your website is the treasure. If you want someone to find the treasure, you need to make sure that map is as detailed as possible.

It should go without saying, more people coming to your website will undoubtedly generate more leads. More leads turns to more sales, more sales means more money - more money means you smiling all the way to the bank in your new Ferrari. Thanks SEO!

And I can hear one or two of you estate agents muttering at the back "I'm on the big portal sites so I don't have to do my homework” but unfortunately, that just isn't the case. Many prospective buyers, even if they are looking though one of the major portals, will look to investigate the agent after finding an interesting property. If a client comes looking for you, you'd better be there! Nothing is more frustrating than searching for an agent and having to trawl trough pages of results, many users will quickly bore and go elsewhere.

And on top of that, generating more organic traffic to your services will, in time, reduce your expenditure on the portals, So what are you waiting for?

I have a website, that's good enough, right?

No. That's the short answer. Search engines don't just look to see if a website is there and chuck back any old result, they look for quality. Keyword management is a huge part of SEO but so is the actual website itself.

Search engines are always updating to return the most relevant content to the user, which means you have to make your website relevant. Constantly updating your website with fresh content is great practice. Perhaps you could do that through a keyword-rich blog post, with terms like Mobile, Responsive or Property Apps (you see what I did there?).

Talking of mobile and responsive, Google loves that stuff! And so they should. Mobile is already the most popular way to browse the web and Google knows that. It actually gives less priority to websites that can't keep up. Not only that, it actively tells users searching on their phone what websites will and won't work properly on their device. If the most popular search engine in the world was telling users not to go to my website, I'd want to fix that yesterday.

Ok I get it, SEO is important. Any tips?

Well I'm glad you asked! Reviewing your keywords can be quite a long process, and one that you can't always see next day results from. However, there's lots of things you can do right now to start helping your SEO.

Get your content on other websites. Search engines believe that the more websites that link back to your site, the more important your site is. For example, if two websites both upload the exact same video of a cat playing a piano, the one that'll get the most views is the one with the most external links heading back to it. Sounds obvious doesn't it? Yet this is one of the most overlooked SEO strategies, and it's pretty easy to do. Just look at this blog, if your reading it anywhere other than there's a lovely little link here working wonders.

Make sure every link on your website works. This can have a negative impact on your SEO as well as just being really, really annoying.

Set up a Sitemap. A sitemap lists all pages on your website, making your content easily accessible by both search engines and your users.

Do you have anything else to help me get started?

Seeing as we're such a lovely bunch here at Estate Apps, I'm sure we can help you out a little. If you've got something interesting you want to talk about, let us know. We're happy to post guest blogs on our site (as long as they're about property, technology or some delicious mix of the two). Just get in touch with us here and we will be happy to discuss what we can do for you.

So get looking at your SEO now. Not only will you make life easy for those looking for properties and to use your services, you'll see the benefits in your payslip.

Oh, and while I'm at it, I'm going to milk this keyword opportunity for all it's worth Property Apps, Mobile Websites, Apps, Websites, Estate Agent's, Letting Agent's, Responsive Websites... Ok, I'm done! :-)