WordPress SEO for Real Estate Websites-Validation

By Jim Marks on February 26, 2009

icon_bigOkay, I am a TAD fed-up, just  TAD… At almost every Real Estate Internet Marketing event I attend, someone…some Internet-marketing-SEO-real-estate-social-media-twittering-facebook-connected-expert, says something to the effect of “The great thing about WordPress, is that is has UNBELIEVABLE on page SEO, straight out of the box.

Now while WordPress is not BAD, and in fact is significantly better than MOST flash intensive, java-laden REAL ESTATE Websites, it is really not (in the immortal words of Dr. Evil) “Two clicks and a bag of chips.”  In fact,l it has drevilsome pretty significant issues, “straight out of the box….”

The Good News?  Almost nothing that can’t be fixed, with a few (8-10) plugins, a smidgen of PHP, a smattering of existing code changes, and maybe a rub of your lucky rabbits foot…  (although that wasn’t really lucky for the rabbit, was it…)

This started as one REALLY long post… but I think it may end up as a bakers dozen or so…  A series of bite-size pieced nuggets to clean up your WP install and make the lean, mean, ranking machine you hoped for when you launched it…  Lets start with the Obvious and SLOWLY journey to the esoteric.. well not so fast, lets start with the esoteric..kind of.. go directly to the basics, and slowly get more advanced..

Theme Validation

There is, and always has been an ongoing argument about the necessity of Theme Validation.  Validating Code simply ensures that your page (or theme) conforms to a agreed upon technical  specification, which usually include a machine-readable formal grammar (and vocabulary.)

The reason is simple: search engine spiders need to interpret your source code. And while the Internet Explorert and Firefox are very forgiving of your coding errors, search engine spiders, such as Googlebot aren’t quite as kind.  Most browsers are very forgiving of bad code. If the browser can interpret the intent or meaning of the site then it will likely display an agreeable page. But search engine spiders are often not as forgiving and something as simple as an overlooked “tag  close” can cause the spider to read the code structure  differen tthen how the page is displayed in the browser.

My opinion? Most validation errors will not affect your SEO at all…  but the really bad ones, absolutely will.

The only thing you really need to be sure of is that there are no problems in the code structure that would prevent the search engine spider from parsing the code correctly. Proper validation does this.

While a page may still get ranked for keywords, improperly developed code may actually keep  the page from performing as well as it otherwise could.

The solution here is to ensure the site you are building, buying or developing is  W3C XHTML and CSS Validated .  If you are purchasing a site, ask.  If you are starting with a theme, make sure the theme is documented as compliant. Solid programmers and theme writers validate their code…

With that said, in most cases, if a page doesn’t validate it  probably still will work for adaptive technologies and search engines, however depending on the errors within the code, it’s not a guarantee.  Due to this, it’s best to try and take one extra precaution and  begin your project with valid code.

Next post in this series?  Something simple.. or is it?  Permalinks

PS: If you’re interested in amazing world class SEO, let us know.