Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of improving the quality of a website to generate more inbound traffic and increase its rankings on the search engine results pages (SERPs). This technique is widely used in different businesses. With no solid online presence, you’ll miss the opportunity to reach more customers and make more sales.
One of the industries that benefits from SEO is real estate. It is commonly used by a lot of real estate agents to attract more potential home buyers. After all, a study by the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) reveals that 44% of buyers first look online when searching for properties for sale. So, whether you own a real estate agency or you’re an independent agent, here’s a real estate SEO guide you can follow for your website.
How Important Is SEO for Real Estate Investors?
When you read an article about real estate SEO, you’ll learn that this strategy plays a vital role in the performance of real estate businesses. According to the aforementioned study of NAR, a typical home buyer not only browses search engine results but also uses apps that show property listings in particular cities and neighborhoods. In the past, websites just posted pictures to give home buyers an idea of how properties for sale would look like. Today, online virtual tours are available. It’s like bringing buyers into a tour without the need to be physically present at the property.
Using SEO for real estate investors is important because most people today rely on the internet to compare properties on the market. Also, it is through the web that people contact agents. You’re missing a lot if you don’t include SEO in your digital marketing campaigns.
Your real estate SEO guide should include the most important elements to achieve higher SERP rankings, better organic traffic, more leads, and of course, more revenue!
Targeting the right keywords for your website’s content will absolutely help you land a higher ranking on the SERPs. To identify these important words or phrases, you have to perform keyword research.
In this SEO strategy, you’ll analyze valuable keywords or search terms that fit your business. Then, these will serve as a guide on how to go about your site’s content strategy.
Keywords can be used for different SEO goals. Some may have the same amount of volume and difficulty, but it all boils down to the user intent. For real estate keywords, you can dig deeper into the level of intent of each keyword you’re considering by using three distinct markers: generic, local, and hyperlocal.
Generic search terms do not direct online users to property listings but, instead, act as informational search terms. For example: “how to buy a home.” This keyphrase is rich in monthly search volume. However, it can be very competitive to rank for and may just lead to a low conversion rate.
Adding in local markers is better. Such terms have high search volumes. A good example of such keywords is “house for sale in New York.”
But if you want to compete in less crowded markets, you can target hyperlocal keywords. These terms use references to particular streets, neighborhoods, property types, and more. Compared to generic and local keywords, hyperlocal markers may have a smaller monthly search volume. However, homebuyers who search for such terms are more likely to convert. An example of a hyperlocal keyword is “2 bedroom apartments for sale in New York.”
Another important aspect of SEO is content. With quality content, you can be sure that your website will gain quality organic traffic. Properly strategizing your content will attract profitable site traffic and generate high-quality inbound leads.
In real estate, it’s not enough to just mention interest rates or a diverse inventory. Yes, these terms may attract potential customers. However, what draws their attention the most is content that heightens curiosity. These are tactics you can include in your real estate content strategy:
- Banking on visual content and using images with high resolution
- Creating interactive virtual tours
- Organizing events, like open houses, real estate seminars, meet and greets with brokers, block parties, and more
- Sending real estate newsletters containing new listings, blog posts, infographics, short videos, and more
- Developing mobile applications
- Displaying success stories, video testimonials, or even quotes from customers
A meta tag is a fragment of text describing what the topic of a certain page is all about. You won’t see meta tags on the page itself but rather on the page’s source code. Different kinds of meta tags can be applied to a website, including:
Don’t confuse a title tag to be similar to the title of your page. However, incorporating part of your page title or the exact match keyword you’re trying to rank in the title tag is helpful. For instance, you’re trying to rank for “sell house fast in New York,” you can incorporate that phrase in the title tag, as in “Need to Sell My House Fast in New York” or “Sell House Fast in New York with Our Help.” The suggested character count should be within 68 to 70 characters.
Description meta tags
You’ll see meta descriptions right below the URL in Google search results. They are created to encourage online users to click through a website. Similar to title tags, they include the exact keyword you’re trying to rank for. However, just mention the keyword once. Overdoing it might hurt your rankings.
Meta descriptions should be within 160 characters. For example: “Need to sell your house fast in New York? We buy properties at competitive prices. Call us today!”
You’ll see these meta tags when the image on a web page doesn’t load properly. Images will become more searchable when you fill out more fields, including the alt-text, description, and caption. Aside from adding keyword phrases to these tags, it would be helpful to add geographic words in your real estate image tags. You may use keywords like “modern Buffalo home” or “two-bedroom apartment in Central New York.”
Google My Business
Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool that helps businesses become more visible online. This application allows you to manage how your business appears on Google Search and Maps. Google requires that all your business information, such as its name, location, and category, should be accurate to confirm that your business is not a duplicate.
Real estate agents who set up a GMB account have a competitive edge over those who don’t. First of all, a GMB profile can increase your visibility among home buyers and sellers. Another advantage is that you easily appear on Google Search and Maps when online users type in search terms related to your business. Overall, setting up a GMB account provides more of a guarantee to rank higher on the SERPs.
As per Datareportal, more than half of the world’s population today uses social media. With the popularity of this communication platform, it’s no surprise that businesses have taken advantage of the trend to promote their brands.
Social media marketing greatly boosts SEO results in various ways. It opens the opportunity for content linking, increases positive brand mentions, and builds relationships with influencers, strategic partners, and fans who can be your potential customers.
Social media also plays an important role in the world of real estate. According to the latest Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report conducted by NAR, 38% of home buyers are millennials. And we all know that these individuals are the ones most connected to social media these days. When looking for property listings, the first thing they will do is to go online. Part of this process is crowdsourcing through social media to find a real estate agent to work with. This just shows the importance of using social media for business. It’s something you shouldn’t take for granted in real estate.
This is considered one of the most essential parts of a real estate SEO guide. On-page SEO involves various techniques to improve the quality of your website. In essence, it makes your site more attractive and easily navigable.
Here are the most important factors to include in your on-page SEO plan:
These days, almost everyone uses mobile phones. And according to the 2018 report of NAR, 73% of home buyers use these devices to search for property listings. This is why you have to give importance to your website’s mobile version. Google has an easy mobile-friendly test page so you can confirm if your site is indeed mobile-friendly. If it’s not, you should focus on fixing this aspect first.
This refers to how fast the pages of your website load. If your site takes too long to load, users will opt to go back to the search results to find a better website. This will cause you to lose potential customers.
Internal links work by connecting one page of your website to another. One good example is Wikipedia, wherein you’re reading about a topic. When you see an unfamiliar term, you click on it, and you are directed to another Wikipedia page. Internal linking not only offers users a convenient browsing experience but is also good for your overall SEO campaign.
Don’t disregard the potential impact of creating internal links on your neighborhood pages. Of course, most potential buyers are interested to know about the place they will be relocating to if ever they push through with the purchase.
Another factor that can drive away potential customers is the presence of broken links on your website. These links may be from other relevant sources that perhaps have changed their URL or were simply taken down already. These can also be your website’s internal links. Either way, remove any broken links from your website right away to avoid negative results.
As previously mentioned, if a user has a hard time accessing your website, they are most likely to navigate away from it. While you can check your website by yourself, it helps to have an extra pair of eyes just to be sure. Hiring a real estate SEO agency can be a great idea since they will examine everything on your website to find out if there are issues that affect user experience.
SEO is vital in real estate. The application of SEO puts your business in front of potential home buyers and sellers. Build your name in the industry by implementing SEO techniques on your website. With an SEO partner like Ardor SEO, you can implement the best SEO practices and quickly be on your way to seeing good results.
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