If the title of this home staging blog was already making your head swim with technical terms, then you aren’t alone. It’s OK. We have all been there (and sometimes I’m right there with you, but one step ahead, trying not to talk alone). This morning I read a great article in the G+ Real Estate Community that I moderate for. How You’re Helping Zillow and Trulia to Outrank You demonstrates how adding widgets to bigger websites like Zillow and Trulia, on your website are actually hurting your rankings. Reading through the article I learned some interesting things. The one that practically jumped off the screen and landed in my lap yelling, “LEARN ABOUT ME! LEARN ABOUT ME!” was the part about Microdata.
How can Microdata help my home staging business compete in SERPS?
First of all, microdata, according to Google, is
The HTML5 microdata specification is a way to label content to describe a specific type of information—for example, reviews, person information, or events. Each information type describes a specific type of item, such as a person, and event, or a review. For example, an event has the properties venue, starting time, name, and category.
Microdata uses simple attributes in HTML tags (often <span> or <div>) to assign brief and descriptive names to items and properties.
So, what does that all mean? Well, let’s look at it this way… Let’s say that you have decided to use local events as content to drive consumers to your website and rank for the keyword of your city. So, you write a lot about events in Tacoma, WA. Instead of your search looking like any other blog, what if it could look like:
One, Google will believe because of the mark up contained in this blog that those looking for this event are more likely to instantly get what they need that they will likely bump it up much higher in SERPS. Two, it is likely that if those looking for this even see this, THEY are more likely to click on the event than any other random typical looking result. I actually just did a search for Tacoma Dome Events just to see what they look like today…
If you knew that someone you wanted to see was coming to concert at the Tacoma Dome and wanted to know which dates they would be there, which link would you click on? Which do you think is more likely to give you the info you are looking for? While stubhub doesn’t have the top ranking link, for me, unquestionably that would be the link I would click on to find out about concert dates. I feel pretty good that they have the info I’m looking for. If I happened to be looking for information on Bob Seger or Sesame Street Live, I would just be able to click directly on those links. I wouldn’t even have to search their site. I would have immediate gratification, making me happy – which is what Google loves!
What do I do with Microdata and Rich Snippets?
Right, so now you kind of know what they are and how they work, but what do you do with it? On hyperlocal pages, where you are discussing events – an upcoming Easter Egg Roll, Fireworks display, etc. you should add the appropriate code so Google has a better understanding of what you are putting out there, and allow better SERPs display for those looking for that event.
Based on the original article about Zillow and SERPS that started me on this path this morning, you should also look into:
The question is, can we as home stagers and real estate professionals begin using microdata format when we write about our areas. If we write about a community or area, should we be adding the same type of microformat data markup that Zillow employs to outrank us in SERPS using our own websites?
I don’t know about you, but learning more about microdata and microformat is now high on my to-do list. I’m already one of the only home stagers and home staging training companies that uses Authorship. Why not work on another way to compete in my market using Google online tools?