Is Trump Tower Philadelphia SEO Friendly?

Today I would like to look at SEO in the eyes of a web designer. Before becoming a full-time SEO specialist I studied web design and worked on designing professional websites. Since those days, and after many years of experience with search engine optimization, I find myself looking at websites from an SEO point of view. So then my question today is, “is it possible to have the best of both worlds?” Can a website that has an amazing professional design also be SEO friendly? Or can a website that is very SEO friendly also have the “perfect” professional design? My answer is yes.

To explain how this is possible, I am going to use a specific website for an example. Donald Trump is known to take pride in having the best of what is offered when it comes to golf courses, resorts, hotels, and luxury high-rise buildings. He complements these establishments with clean and professional looking websites. But are these websites both professional in design and SEO friendly? Let’s take a closer look at this question with a specific example: Trump Tower Philadelphia.

My initial impression of this website was similar to my impression of each of Mr. Trump’s sites. It has a clean professional look that gives a great user experience. I was able to find a lot of good information about the tower and the accommodations offered there.

But is Mr. Trump’s website SEO friendly? I only found the website because I knew exactly what I was looking for, “Trump Towers Philadelphia.” If I didn’t know about Mr. Trump building a tower in Philadelphia, I might search for something more general like “Philadelphia Luxury Condos” or “Philadelphia Resort.”

Although the website does rank number one for “Trump Tower Philadelphia,” when I searched for the other key terms I did not find similar ranking results. In fact, the website was not even listed in the first page of results.  By only searching on those related terms, I would not know about the prestige and lavishness that the Trump Towers has to offer.  So, it appears that the website is not SEO friendly.

To maintain this site’s professional look while making it SEO friendly, here are a few things that I would change.

  • Flash: Flash is not very SEO friendly. I would not have the entire site in flash and I would not make the index page of the site be a flash introduction movie to the website. Flash movies can still be used as elements on the pages of the site.
  • Content on index page: I would make sure there is plenty of good content on the index page and all other pages outside of the flash movie.
  • Static text links: I would make sure that the main navigation of the site was coded as static text links to make it possible for each page to be able to be crawled by search engine spiders.

Combining these changes with the optimization of various other elements on the site pages will have a great effect on search engine rankings. These changes will take a site that has a professional design and make it SEO friendly as well, thus giving the website the best of both worlds.

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5 Comments

  1. Jeff Tomlin says

    I think Trump has an unusually strong personal brand so people in Philly might search for Trump Tower Philadelphia more than “Philadelphia luxury condos”. The google search suggestion tool actually shows that the average search volume is higher for Trump Tower Philadelphia so for this example, I would have to disagree that the site is not seo friendly.

    For the general case, however, I clearly understand your point and agree. A site has to target both your personal brand and appropriate keyword phrases. Not everyone has a brand like the Donald…

    Another benefit Donald has is that his name isn’t that popular, that is, there are not a lot of other people with his name. Online, his brand dominates. Unfortunately, a lot of us have a fair amount of competition because there are a lot of people online with our name – increasingly so. Whether you are Trump or small time Joe, it’s important to monitor and promote your personal brand.

  2. Dustin says

    Setting aside the strong personal brand that goes with the name of Trump and looking at the site with an SEO point of view, it is not SEO friendly. Trump might be able to draw plenty of traffic for his name brand but besides that the site isn’t showing up well for any other searches. Whether you are Trump or someone else with out the name brand recognition you have to look at the big picture. Someone searching for luxury condos in Philadelphia might not be thinking about Trump Tower at first but after finding the website they might discover that Trump Tower is exactly what they are looking for.

  3. Jeff Tomlin says

    I shouldn’t have said that I disagreed. The site is not search friendly for relevant keyword terms. The flash site isn’t friendly to indexing content and the site isn’t well optimized in general. I guess my point is that SEO if most likely not a priority for the Trump team. Everything goes into the brand. The brand is so strong that everyone in Philly would know that Trump is building a tower. He is certainly missing out on the relocation people that would search for ‘Philly condos” rather than Trump however. Regardless, he’ll sellout (maybe now so quick in this market though). This is a great example of a site to breakdown, but it’s hard for a guy like me to say the marketing team missed the mark if search was specifically not a priority.

    Interestingly, it’s cool to see how strong his personal brand is for search. The names of all of his new condo and hotel towers are “Trump Tower [city]“. Sometimes the word ‘hotel’ is in there. He’s been building a lot of them so people are increasingly aware that he’s all over. If you search for “Trump Tower”, all of his towers come up including images in the universal search. As he expands and builds more projects, these interlinked sites will help him rank for terms like “toronto hotel”. (current title of that site is “Trump International Hotel & Tower, Toronto”)

  4. Dustin says

    So then in Trump’s case of SEO friendliness he would need to decide if his strong personal brand is enough or if he wants his sites to also rank well for other related terms. Thanks for your comments, Jeff.

  5. Alex says

    Real Estate in general is local and searched on by users in a fashion that is consistent with the location of a user/visitor/searcher

    Example: NYC condos or Philadelphia condos for sale.

    The website should have the content in an indexable format for googlebot to index it

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