Thorough search engine optimization (SEO) isn’t just for traditional eCommerce merchants and bloggers anymore.
People turn to the Internet whenever they need information of any kind, including service recommendations for professionals like real estate agents.
According to research from the National Association of Realtors, 95 percent of prospective homeowners look for homes online.
Of course, some of those people will ultimately complete that process independently, but the vast majority still prefer to work directly with an agent.
And unless you make real estate SEO a top priority for your website, you run the risk of losing all that business to one of your competitors.
Here’s a closer look at everything you need to know to become the SEO ace you need to be to succeed.
What is Real Estate SEO?
You can create the slickest, most user-friendly real estate website in the world and fill it with exactly the kind of great content your prospective clients would love to read.
But none of that will matter if no one can find you in the first place. According to Hubspot, the top source of traffic for websites is an organic search. SEO determines the ranking you get in those searches.
If your web link appears on the second page, your chances of a click drop significantly. In fact, the top position on the search page, which is the sweet spot, gets 39.8% of all clicks.
Real estate SEO management meets the unique needs and goals of real estate professionals by design. More than 200,000 real estate agents are likely doing business in the U.S., so it’s a highly competitive market. The right SEO could put you ahead in your region.
SEO is what gives you a competitive advantage over other real estate agents and agencies in your area. It puts you at the top of the search page when potential home buyers and renters do a search.
To get that sweet spot, you have to be on top of the keywords, key phrases, and industry-relevant questions your target audience might ask.
4 Benefits of SEO for Real Estate Companies and Agents
Still not convinced? Let’s break down some of the exact benefits real estate professionals can see with good SEO practices.
Growing website traffic
“A picture is worth a thousand words” takes on a whole new meaning in the real estate industry. The best way to ignite interest in a property is through pictures. That won’t happen without effective real estate SEO.
Successful SEO helps drive targeted traffic to your pages so that you can dazzle them with glorious images of properties. You need the right people, though.
If you sell homes for a living, having individuals who only want to rent clog up your bandwidth doesn’t do you much good. To be successful, you need people looking to buy a house to form the majority of your website visitors.
SEO can help you target your audience, so the right people in the right place click your links on search pages. For example, most potential buyers and renters know what city they want to live in or even the area of town. SEO can target those people and bring them to your pages.
More targeted traffic means more conversions. When you have serious viewers on your website, your chances of a sale grow exponentially.
Improved brand awareness
Few industries rely so heavily on word-of-mouth advertising as real estate. You can use SEO to get referral links that bring people to your website.
It will also help raise brand awareness. So, that mom whose daughter is buying her first home might remember your brand name. When the time comes to help her daughter find a realtor, your brand comes up because she sees it all over the internet.
Authority in your region
Along those same lines, successful SEO helps build up your brand as an authority in your city or state. When deciding who gets that top ranking, Google looks for authority and value in a website. Developing informative articles and blogs that contain good SEO will get you noticed by the search engines and move you up in the rankings.
ROI, or “return on investment,” refers to getting something from your online ads and website. The right ROI may mean increased traffic to the website. That, in turn, can mean higher sales. That small investment brought in money because of effective SEO, so it had a high ROI.
Must-Know SEO Tips and Strategies for Real Estate
Now that you know why real estate SEO is a crucial part of your future business success, it’s time to learn how to put together a winning strategy.
Here are some essential tips to help you get started in the right direction.
1. Choose the right keywords
Whether you’re brand new to SEO or are simply looking to make an existing SEO campaign more efficient, it’s essential to make sure you’re targeting the right keywords.
Keywords are an integral part of how search engines like Google match information seekers with websites that might meet their needs, so choose wisely.
Although there’s no law against trying to rank for broad key terms like “realtor” or “real estate agent,” most independent agents and small business owners will have better luck targeting niche keywords and long-tail key phrases instead.
Think “condos for sale in [your city],” “homes using solar energy,” and similar options.
A good keyword research tool can help you pick the right ones.
2. Optimize your site for mobile devices
If you know anything about SEO, then you’ve probably heard at some point how important it is to make your site mobile-accessible.
After all, it’s been a while since people exclusively used laptops or standard desktop systems to shop or conduct research online.
Many people prefer to do those things via mobile devices these days, even when they’re at home, so websites need to be mobile-friendly to succeed.
It’s not just crucial for the convenience of your web visitors, either. Not optimizing your site for mobile can hurt your search engine rankings, as well.
And yes, people are absolutely using smartphones and other mobile devices to find real estate agents, browse listings, and more.
In fact, nearly 75 percent of recent home buyers used the internet to search for homes at some point in their journey, and roughly half of younger homeowners actually found their current homes online.
3. Make quality a top priority
Search engine algorithms are a lot more astute than they used to be years ago.
It’s no longer possible to trick Google into ranking your site by stuffing short, lackluster content chock full of keywords.
Quality is king, and Google definitely knows the difference these days.
Quality also speaks for itself when it comes to search engine rankings. Focus on creating truly helpful, high-value content that digs deeply into topics prospective buyers and sellers want to learn about.
4. Work on your backlink catalog
A robust backlink catalog is an essential part of any thorough real estate SEO campaign and with good reason.
When other sites link back to your content, it’s a signal to search engines that it’s resonating with people and deserves a higher ranking.
However, it’s important to understand that not all backlinks are equal in value.
For instance, you should never pay for services that claim to be able to get you hundreds (or even thousands) of backlinks for a fee.
Those links almost always come from low-value link farms and can wind up hurting your SEO more than they help it.
Instead, work on building a collection of unique, valuable articles others in your niche will want to link to and share with their own audiences.
You should also consider building amicable partner relationships with other content producers in your industry, as well as local media partners.
5. Localize your efforts
Naturally, real estate as an industry is highly location-specific, so effective real estate SEO is, too.
After all, most of your potential clients will be looking for properties in a specific city, neighborhood, or another set area — especially when they’re getting close to converting.
Google also loves giving information seekers results that are as specific as possible, so localizing your content is very good for your SEO.
Build dedicated standalone pages for each one of the locations you cover and fill them with informative, keyword-rich content and crucial information about your business.
Update your site’s blog regularly with entertaining, helpful, or otherwise valuable articles, guides, and more.
It’s the best way to show Google that you’re an expert on your unique area’s real estate scene.
6. Register your site in the right places
Think back to the last time you used Google to search for a particular type of local business or service.
Your organic search results likely started with a map followed by a list of companies in the specified area.
Those businesses are there because they’re attached to Google My Business profiles, so you’ll want to set one of those up for your real estate business, as well.
You’ll also want to claim business listings in important directories like Yelp, Yellow Pages, Realtor.com, Angie’s List, and CitySearch.
Register your business on as many reputable directories as possible, starting with Google My Business.
Add additional content like photos and videos where appropriate. Keep your listings up to date and make sure they all match one another.
This helps Google see you as a legitimate local business in your area.
7. Start and maintain a real estate blog
We may be living in the age of social media, but blogging is still alive and well.
Plus, adding a blog to your company website is one of the best ways to maintain a steady stream of keyword-rich, industry-relevant content that search engines will love.
Just be sure to give enough thought to the types of content you’ll be posting. Here are some great suggestions for boosting real estate SEO.
- Informative articles about your neighborhood that might appeal to prospective homeowners, including info on restaurants, nightlife, schools, walkability, and cost of living.
- Visual content that helps people picture the life they’d be living if they purchased one of your properties — video tours, professional photography, virtual tours, etc.
- Detailed videos and infographics designed to deliver deep dives into key topics at a glance.
- Interviews with business owners in your area, profiles on local companies, and so forth.
Set a content production and posting schedule, and stick to it. Do the same with your social media channels of choice, and use them to share your content around.
Not only do your potential clients need to know when they can expect to see new content from you, but search engines love websites that are frequently and consistently updated.
8. Geotargeting and local SEO
Geotargeting refers to delivering content to the right local space. So, if you are selling a home in Chicago, the content doesn’t appear on pages for Los Angeles users unless it is part of the search, for instance, if a Los Angeles searcher looks for “homes for sale in Chicago.”
Geotargeting and local SEO are critical to real estate professionals looking to further their business growth in a predictable way. Real estate is not a one-size-fits-all industry.
Geotargeting and local SEO tighten the response area even down to one or two neighborhoods, so the right people see the marketing. It gives you high-quality leads.
How does geotargeting work? Start with keywords. You can focus your keywords, so they reflect your target. For example, you might write an article about fixing up homes on the East Side of Chicago.
You could increase the geotargeting by adding East side Chicago in various forms on your keywords:
- East Side Chicago real estate
- East Side Chicago homes for sale
- East Side Chicago homes to buy
By targeting your SEO, you help increase your search engine ranking in the correct location. At the same time, optimize your website for local SEO. Make sure it works well on mobile devices, loads quickly, and has a proper geotargeted meta title and description.
Don’t forget to optimize individual pages, too. Each page should have your address and content information.
You can add to your local SEO efforts in other ways, too. Get involved in local community programs and like them on your social media pages.
Maybe write guest blogs for companies in these areas, like banks providing mortgages. You could also partner with construction companies that do remodeling or landscaping in that neighborhood. Let them create a guest blog for your site.
Next, list your company in all local and national directories, both business and industry-specific. For instance, create a Google business profile.
Joining industry organizations such as the National Association of Realtors will also expand your local internet presence. Make sure to check for state and local chapters while you are at it.
Wrap-Up: Take Your Real Estate SEO Campaign to the Next Level
Putting together a successful real estate SEO campaign isn’t a “set it and forget it” type of deal.
As the internet, the world, and the tastes of modern consumers evolve, so does the running list of best practices for effective SEO.
That’s why it’s essential to keep track of current SEO trends and update your real estate SEO strategies accordingly.
Ready to take the next step in the right direction? Check out our comprehensive list of must-know SEO trends!
You’ll learn about first-party data collection, omnichannel digital campaigns, interactive experiences, and many more up-and-coming practices set to be big this year.
Still wondering how to do SEO for a real estate website? When it comes to SEO, quality matters. Hiring a professional writer can give you the quality you need to be noticed.
WriterAccess can help you scale your content production. Get a 14-day free trial today to get the feel of it. Let WriterAccess help grow your real estate business with good SEO practices.