Is Paypal stealing your SEO? Why you need to know a little HTML

A few months ago I was undergoing some renovations on SAR’s online home staging training website. I was moving Paypal embed codes around on the page when I saw that I had accidentally broken the form. In trying to paste it back together I realized something…. something BIG! I was letting Paypal steal my SEO with copy and paste script.

*disclaimer the use of Paypal as an example is not meant to encourage you to change your Paypal embed code, especially if you don’t know how to write it, but rather to take a hard look at the names and alt images you utilize on your websites and blogs. I also use the phrase “stealing SEO” tongue in cheek for emphasis, not to imply that Paypal is actually stealing your SEO*

You need to know some HTML to maximize your SEO

If you are a home stager or a real estate professional, you are probably thinking, “I don’t have Paypal” on my website so I don’t need to know this. Here’s the thing, I only realized this because I know a little html. I don’t know a lot of html. I write just about everything in a WYSISYG (What you see is what you get) visual blog. I only know enough to usually get me in trouble… and help me rank better in search engines.

Here’s what the copy and paste script from Paypal looks like (with my information blocked out)

learn how to manage seo html

If your are like me, most of that looks like a foreign language. There are a few things that I want you to scan and look for, however.

What’s in a NAME? Very frequently the answer is SEO.

Real estate professionals and home stagers add photos to their blogs all the time. When you do, there are two fields that you need to be sure contain your keywords. The first is “name” and the second is “alt” or “img alt”. I’ve highlighted them both in the screen shot below.

html for marketing online seo

In the red and green highlighted boxes, the words between the quotes tell Google and other search engines what the image is about. These are the details that search engines look at when you do an image search. Example, right now, in another window, Google the phrase home staging + your city. What comes up? If they aren’t your photos then chances are you have already left search engine money on the table.

Paypal has kindly, in their script, left SEO linking every paypal button with this code out there for Google to find and link back to them. When you are adding your photos, or editing blogs that already have photos in them, by simply inserting your keywords and longtail phrases between the quotes, you get a little SEO boost. You must be careful about how you add your keywords however. The purpose of a name and alt image is to describe the image, not just insert random words or phrases. Remember, I said that this is how Google figures out what the image is and how to index it.

When you look at the Paypal script, they use the phrase, “the safer, easier way to pay online” which is their marketing tagline. It also contains a combination of keywords and phrases. Most real estate professionals and home stagers label their image, “123 Main Street dining room”. Instead, consider naming your image, “Staged dining room Main Street subdivision” and an alt tag of “Main Street dining room staged by ProStaging Co”. Be sure that each name and alt tag is different and that you aren’t cutting and pasting these repeatedly or Google may actually penalize you for keyword stuffing.

What does Paypal script have to do with your website and blogs?

If you have a WordPress or Active Rain blog, go to one of your pages and find a blog that has some photos. Open the HTML window and start scanning for <input type= “image” scr=. Now keep scanning and look for “name” and “alt” or “img alt”. What do you see? If you see anything other than your keywords or long tail phrases then you are missing out on SEO.

Change your SEO rankings with just a little HTML knowledge

Rather than spending hours writing more website pages or more blogs, go through your current ones and maximize your SEO.  If you want to know other ways you may be missing out on existing SEO, read 5 Common Blogging Mistakes costing you SEO. If you want to learn more on how to maximize your online presence, consider taking our Master your Online Marketing course, a two day workshop.

Melissa Marro

About melissamarro

Melissa Marro is an international award winning home stager and professional speaker for the home staging and real estate industry. Founder and CEO for both SAR, Staging and Redesign Training and MRRE, Market Ready Real Estate's online home staging consultation program, Marro continues to help inspire and empower new and existing stagers as well as move the industry standards forward.

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