This is a Roadmap that will lead you through all the steps to have your IDX tools fully optimized for search engines. Search Engine Optimization is very important for making sure your customers can find your website when they search for properties online. These articles comprise all of the SEO instructions currently available from within IDX Broker.
The Custom Subdomain is possibly the most important addition you can make to your IDX account for boosting your SEO. That is because until you establish a Custom Subdomain, any IDX pages that are indexed by search engines will return SEO credit back to our website, idxbroker.com, instead of yours. Once you've created a Custom Subdomain for your IDX pages, all of the credit for the IDX pages will go back to your root domain, instead of ours.
Title, Meta and Og tags
Search engines look at your page titles and meta tags to see what kind of content is on the page. "Og" tags are used by Facebook to do the same thing. The IDX Broker system will use these tags in your website to inject relevant information into all of your IDX pages. Make sure your wrapper has these tags present in the <head> section so that your pages will be fully compatible:
<title>your title here</title>
<meta name="description" content="your description here">
<meta name="keywords" content="your keywords here">
See this article for more information about wrappers.
Once you have made sure that the tags above are present in your wrapper, you can address the content that will be injected into them on your Details Pages. Details Pages are the individual listing pages and, depending on the size of your MLS, there are potentially hundreds or even thousands of properties to be indexed by search engines. To give them a boost of good unique content in the title, keywords and description, use the SEO Settings for Details Pages section in your IDX Control Panel. You can also add dynamic H1 tags for additional SEO benefit.
Saved Link SEO
Saved Links are themselves great content for your website. They are concentrated with very specific keywords for a particular place or type of listing. You can give each Saved Link unique Meta tags for Keywords and Description that will further spotlight that specific information. Pages that are highly saturated in specific keywords and phrases are deemed more useful and ranked higher in searches.
Search Pages are the pages from which a website visitor may initiate a search for properties. Give them a boost of good unique content in the title, keywords and description. Use the SEO Settings for each of these pages in your IDX Control Panel.
Subheaders are built into all of your IDX pages; they are a free space at the top of each IDX page where you can add custom content. Subheaders are a great opportunity to add extra indexable content to your pages. Add in a paragraph of text that includes keywords or phrases, or add images or embedded videos for more rich content. While you cannot add unique subheaders per individual listing page, you can add them on each individual Saved Link.
Adding a link to the IDX Sitemap somewhere on your website will help search engine crawlers find your IDX pages faster and index them more thoroughly. Your Sitemap is created automatically by the IDX system to include categorized links that lead to all of the active listings from your MLS. This means potentially hundreds or thousands of indexed property details pages.
The traditional placement of the link to a Sitemap is somewhere in the footer of the website. You can find your Sitemap in your IDX Control Panel under the Designs button in the Pages section.
While an XML sitemap is not strictly required, in the last couple of years it has become best practice to submit an XML sitemap to popular search engines. The XML file supplied by IDX Broker makes it easier for search engines to find all of the pages on your website.
The HTML sitemap will automatically be crawled by search engines, but IDX Broker also offers an option for an XML sitemap that can be submitted manually to search engines.
For submission to Google, click on 'link' and copy only the path for the XML link from your IDX account.
NOTE: The path is everything following the domain name.
Read this article for further information on submitting your XML sitemap to Google.
An XML sitemap is no substitute for good links on your site and a well defined structure, but it's another tool in your belt that IDX Broker provides to get you more business.
There has been some concern that the robots.txt file is limiting search engine crawling and hampering site indexing. Please note that the crawl delay is actually ignored by Google, but we would recommend that you change your crawl rate in Google console to the lowest setting available.