As the world has gone digital, it is important for realtors to keep up. Having a real estate website is just not enough. If you are a realtor that wants to rank at the top, you have come to the right place. This ultimate guide to setting up your SEO strategy covers everything. Even SEO agencies can take advantage of this guide for helping their real estate clients rank better.
The truth is that the internet is filled with hundreds of real estate SEO guides. However, most of the guides tend to be too amateurish and simply to prove any useful. On the other hand, there are some that can be too complex and long to understand. However, this guide provides you with intermediate knowledge so that you can start optimizing the real estate site. Read on to learn more.
What Is Real Estate SEO?
The first thing that you need to understand is what real estate SEO is. In the simplest of words, it focuses on activities that help your website appear on the search engine whenever someone searches for an online property. With more and more real estate investors and tenants using the internet to find the perfect property, you simply cannot afford to overlook real estate SEO.
What Makes Real Estate SEO Important?
Diving deeper into the importance of real estate SEO, you need to fully understand the potential of SEO. The truth is that SEO and lead generation in the real estate industry can be quite tricky. Since you are not selling a product or service that costs a few dollars, customers are likely to conduct extensive research online before deciding to visit the listed property. Besides, digital explosion has led to marketers exploring all types of online avenues. This means that it is more expensive to generate leads than ever before. Hence, it makes no sense to opt for paid marketing in the real estate sector.
The wide availability of smart devices and internet access means that anyone can search for a property on the go. They are no longer bound and do not need to visit a realtor’s office to discuss their plans. Instead, they are likely to search for everything online. Therefore, real estate companies have no option but to use online marketing. But, it is becoming more competitive. Hence, SEO is extremely important.
How You Can Set Up Your SEO Strategy?
Now that you know more about SEO in real estate, you will have an easier time understanding the tips and tricks for establishing your SEO strategy for optimizing your real estate site.
Think about the times that you have looked up something using your smartphone and tapped on the result that was the nearest. Businesses are highly dependent on location. Ranking at the top requires a mastery of local SEO. It allows Google to share their valuable details. The Google 3-Pack is location-based and experiences significant competition.
To set up the perfect SEO strategy, your first focus should be on local SEO. The reason why it is important is because Google does not show the same results to everyone. The search results that appear when you search for something tend to be personalized based on your location, preferences, and search history. It means that someone looking up apartments in New York, NY will come across different results as compared to someone looking up apartments in Burlington, VT. Therefore, you must identify those regions where you would like to rank at the top. Then, you need to know which pages should be displayed for those results.
Besides, it is pointless to rank for New York listing when users are searching for a property in California. The secret to a successful SEO strategy is ranking for the targeted location. This is possible with local SEO.
So, How Can You Optimize for Local SEO?
When it comes to optimizing for local SEO, there are certain things that you can do as mentioned below.
To optimize for local SEO, you need to claim your Google My Business listing. It would enable Google to list all your business details such as business name, address, phone number, email, opening hours, and so on. Everything has to be accurate and consistent when you enter the information. You can even include your social media profiles. After you have successfully claimed your listing, your business would appear on Google Maps and the search results.
Only when the listing is verified will you be able to create citation accounts on different platforms like Foursquare, Yellow Pages, Yelp, Facebook, and so on. It allows your listing to appear when a user searches for your real estate firm.
- Real Estate Keyword Research
To set up an effective SEO strategy, you need to focus on real estate keyword research. Look up keywords for real estate investors to ensure that you use the right keywords. Generally, the following real estate SEO keywords will prove useful.
- “City” home for sale
- “City” real estate
- “City + State” homes for sale
- “City + State” real estate
- “Property Type” for sale in “City + State”
- “Property Type” for sale in “City”
- “Property Type + Action” in “City + State””
- “Property Type + Action” in “City”
To research and use the right keywords, you first have to study your target audience. Then, you can create a list of real estate keywords for which you need to rank. But, it is important that you bear in mind that Google is focusing more on search intent than keywords. This should be good news for you as ranking for keywords would not be as important. The main purpose of creating content should be to satisfy search query and nothing else.
- Craft City Specific Content
Next, you need to create city specific content. This is possible in the form of interviews, transcribed videos, and blogs. By focusing on creating such content, you will be able to rank higher for real estate. Although you might think to yourself that it requires a ton of research, writing, and publishing, you will be beyond satisfied with the end result. Make sure to created content based on the E-A-T concept. It is a popular acronym that stands for Expert, Authority, and Trustworthy.
Now, you must be thinking how it is tied to local SEO. Let’s look at an example to understand it better. Imagine you are Emily who wants to move from Chicago, IL to Portland, ME. You will be searching for an apartment to rent in Portland. To start your search, you might look up “Moving to Portland, ME”.
As a real estate agent, if you created useful and actionable content that satisfies the query and promotes your website, you will be able to establish trust and generate a lead. Creating useful content allows you to generate leads. Make sure to create useful and local content around each city for which you want to rank. Obviously, some of the cities will be much easier to rank for as compared to others due to competition.
When you create top-funnel content, you get to hook users. If you want to know what to write about, the following topics will come in handy.
- Things To Do
- The Local Transportation
- Shopping and Restaurants
- Neighbourhoods and Schools
- Top Employers, Jobs, and Economy
- Attractions and City Landmarks
When we talk about on page optimization from an SEO perspective, website improvements and technical fixes are covered. On-page optimization allows you rank higher. By making necessary changes, you get to create a killer real estate SEO strategy. Optimized content and keyword research come under the on-page optimization umbrella. Let’s take a look at how you can optimize for on-page SEO.
The first thing that you need to focus on for on-page optimization is being mobile-friendly. Since most people use their smartphones for searching, it is important that you create a website that is mobile-friendly. It pays to have a mobile version of the website. Moreover, Google does mobile-first indexing which means that having a mobile version of your website give your website preference over websites that only have a desktop version. It should be reason enough to create an SEO strategy that focuses on being mobile-friendly. Research reveals that about 73 percent of people that search for real estate used a smartphone. Hence, you have to be mobile-friendly.
- Optimize the Meta Description and Tags
Next, you need to optimize the Meta description and tags. Always use the right town, city, and state names in the main body, Meta descriptions, and title tags. Go through your website and optimize these to rank better.
- Upgrade to HTTPS
Gone are the days when you could use HTTP on your website. Now, you have to make the switch to HTTPS. If you want to know what the “S” in HTTPS stands for, it is “Secure”. The reason why you need to make the upgrade is because it will help ensure that all of the information that is transferred between the site and the browser is SSL certificate-encrypted. Thus, Google trusts websites that have HTTPS more than those that have HTTP.
- Implement Schema Mark-Up
With schema local mark-up, you help the search engine crawlers know what they look at. Thus, all the information displayed on the site would be catalogued. By using schema mark-up, you basically tell the search engine how your page information should be displayed.
Real estate sites need to have all their listings indexed. In addition to this, an XML sitemap is also required. It will allow you to stand out from the competition. You can research more about schema mark-up to take advantage of its potential.
- Include Real Estate Tools like Mortgage Calculator
A great way to improve your real estate SEO is by including tools on your site. A mortgage calculator is a popular tool that you can add to your site. Users that have just started their research will use a mortgage calculator for getting an idea about the type of property they can afford. When you add such a tool to the site, you get to include these users in your sales funnel.
- Image SEO Optimization
Another great tip that you can consider is optimizing for image SEO. Optimize your real estate listings by adding alt-text. It will boost your traffic in no time. Whenever you add a new post or page, you should optimize all the images for SEO.
- Fix Broken Links
Finally, you also need to audit the real estate website from time to time. Go through all the links to see if there are any broken links. You can run small sprints to check the links. If there is a broken link, it is crucial that you fix it immediately. Otherwise, users will not trust your site. Broken links boost the bounce rate and reduce the number of leads generated.
Lastly, you also need to focus on off-page optimization. Earning backlinks will help you gain authority and boost your ranking. It is important that you use platforms like Zillow for listing your properties. It will help boost views. Other tips that will help you with off-page optimization are mentioned below.
- Write Guest Posts
The best way to improve your SEO performance through off-page optimization is by writing guest posts. All you have to is identify well-known publishers in the real estate sector and convince them to post your content. Thus, you will be able to earn backlinks.
- Earn Online Reviews
Another thing that you can do is earn online reviews. Organic reviews improve your brand image and help boost online presence. As long as there are organic reviews, you will make a good impression.
Once you have finished reading our guide, you will know how to create the ultimate SEO strategy. Make sure to consider all the tips mentioned above to improve your real estate SEO.