People nowadays shop for a new home differently. Newspaper and television ads were the norm in the past. Today, internet usage continues to grow.
Google is the starting point of online search, and home shoppers enter their queries to look for prospective properties.
Let’s face it: Moving into a new home is stressful enough, which makes the convenience of the internet an appealing choice to ease the process of research. With the information that’s readily available in a few clicks, people can fulfill any specific purpose and make better decisions.
Are you a real estate agent looking to attract visitors to your site who can become instant paying customers? If so, you should use strategies to boost your visibility and increase your relevance to your target home buyers.
This is where real estate SEO comes in.
What is Real Estate SEO?
You already have an idea of what real estate SEO is. It’s the implementation of search engine optimization strategies to make your real estate website rank higher on search.
It involves on-page and off-page techniques – from creating great content to actively engaging on social media. We’ll get into those methods later in this article.
SEO gives realtors or real estate agents a massive potential to acquire their target prospects. This opportunity for online success can be demonstrated by the following stats:
- In the home search process, 86% of buyers find online websites as the most useful source of information.
- Online searches on real estate increased at a rate of 253% between 2008 and 2012.
- 88% of online consumers rely on online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
These facts reveal that you can use the internet to your advantage and maximize what you already do to promote your real estate property offline.
How to Attract Buyers to Your Real Estate Website
I’ll help you win at real estate SEO so you can push yourself to the top of search results. Below are the best tactics you need to know.
1. Research and optimize for local real estate SEO keywords
Potential property buyers initiate their online search by entering specific terms or keywords. Keywords are important because they reveal the what people are interested in.
If you want to draw in as many qualified customers as possible, every piece of blog content or landing on your website needs to contain these keywords.
Local keywords have a geographical component attached to them.
For example, a person who’s looking for a house in Cleveland may type into Google the keywords “Cleveland OH homes.” As you notice, the words “Cleveland OH” are what made the search term local.
You get faster results when you optimize for phrases that reveal a more specific intent. These phrases are comprised of at least 4 words are called long-tail keywords.
Long-tail keywords have less competition and are likely used by people who are about to make a purchase. Utilize them and you create content that better connects with them and increases your sales.
Plan and build your list of local keywords with the help of keyword research tools. Here are the ones I recommend:
- Google Keyword Planner – To use this classic keyword research tool for local search, just enter terms related to your real estate service while specifying your location.
- SEMrush – This is a great tool for researching long-tail phrases. You’ll also know your competitors for the same keywords in local search results and uncover opportunities.
- Ubersuggest – Use Ubersuggest to expand on the search terms you’ve already gathered. It’ll give you more ideas which it sources from Google’s autocomplete engine.
Now that you have your list of keywords to optimize, make sure to place them in strategic areas of your pages.
These areas are your title tags, URLs, the body text of your content, meta descriptions, and image file names. Remember these 5 locations when inserting your local keywords.
2. Write superior content
The keywords that you researched are your guiding light to write content that’ll show up on search. But real estate SEO is not just about content that’s optimized for the right keywords.
Your content has to be the kind that entices people to take action. Each time you’re about to write a blog post for your audience, let’s say, a post on tips for first-time home buyers, think about your goals.
What do you want to accomplish through your content? Are you aiming to offer guidance? To generate brand awareness? Establish trust with your readers?
Being clear on your goals will also help you craft a better, more effective call-to-action that gets results. Most of all, it makes your content engaging so it is more likely attract repeat customers and be shared with others.
Superior content is one that answers people’s objections. It emphasizes the benefits of your offer and paints a picture of a positive life with your product or service.
3. Get more real estate reviews.
Since people’s perception of a local brand or website is influenced by the reviews they read, make sure you have a lot of them.
Online reviews don’t have to be all perfect, though a ton of positive reviews instantly boosts your credibility. By the time online searchers read reviews, they have already figured out whether to trust and do business with you.
How do online reviews help with your real estate SEO? Based on Google’s 2017 Local Search Ranking Factors, review signals comprise 7% of how Google ranks your business.
Reviews are a form of social proof and also improve your authority in the eyes of Google. When placed on your website, they allow you to rank for long-tail keyword searches.
Now, where to focus getting more reviews on? Concentrate on specific places that help your real estate business. These are the following:
Again, don’t forget to get more reviews for your site. Your site home page or testimonials page is an important section to feature client testimonials. The more reviews you have on your site, the better people’s response.
Ratings and reviews on your site are helpful for your real estate SEO because they send Google the message that you are catering to local areas. You can garner reviews from clients through email or leave a link to your social media profiles.
Zillow Profile Page
This website is dedicated to real estate. Zillow allows real estate agents to create their own profiles for free. Your profile will basically serve as your business card that’ll help clients prospective buyers know more about you.
Make sure that you get exposure on Zillow by creating a profile. Maximize your profile. Add a photo of yourself, your professional details, and active listings.
It can be a struggle to ask for client reviews on Zillow but think about what more reviews would mean to your business.
Google My Business
Boosting your real estate SEO, Google My Business is an extremely important resource for new clients looking for agents using Google search engine.
For example, if someone wants to search for a real estate agency, Google automatically shows results of the agencies nearest to him. Let’s say I’m that online searcher and I decide to type in the keywords “real estate agency california”:
Once you claim your listing, get your clients to write a review. As long as they have a Google account, they should be able to do it.
Here are more websites where you should get more reviews on:
4. Acquire plenty of quality backlinks.
Backlinks make the biggest impact among the many ranking factors of Google. It’s hard for your real estate website to rank without a good backlink profile.
A high-quality link has a high domain authority score and comes from a website that has great content and high engagement.
Think of links “votes” that tell Google that your site has great content and makes a valuable resource for home buyers. So, how do you go about acquiring backlinks?
Comment on other blogs
Look for sites in your niche where you can leave comments that provide unique insights. I’m talking about comment marketing here.
The benefit of commenting on sites that have a wide readership and high level of engagement is the boost in brand awareness and referral traffic you get.
When it comes to link building, avoid making commenting your only strategy to build your links. As long as you’re doing it naturally and offering value, you shouldn’t be worried.
Publishing content on third-party sites for link building is an old but solid real estate SEO strategy.
Before you proceed, make sure the site you are to guest post on allows do-follow links. A do-follow link gives your website link juice. Site links are, by default, do-follow. However, double check using Moz’s SEO Toolbar.
Broken link building
This real estate SEO tactic entails reaching out to websites that have broken links. Consider broken link building as a way of helping site owners retain or improve the quality of their content.
Find broken links on prospective websites and let the site owners know about it. At the same time, suggest one of your better resources. You may not always get a response but this technique is definitely worth a try.
5. Invest in mobile optimization.
Chief Marketing Officer Jeremy Wacksman of Zillow Group states that there is an overlap between real estate marketing and mobile marketing.
Since people search for properties using a mobile device, real estate websites must go mobile. And besides, Google prioritizes mobile-optimized websites.
A very simple way you can go mobile is to pick a ready-made website theme that’s responsive. This means that your theme of choice will beautifully fit all screen sizes. One theme for everything.
Your visitors also expect your mobile-optimized site to load fast. Speed is a critical factor to improve your conversions and other engagement metrics.
Check your real estate website speed using the PageSpeed Insights tool. The tool will analyze your speed performance and suggest possible optimizations.
6. Ensure correctness and consistency for all your local listings.
Most local businesses listed on different directory sites have inconsistent details (name, address, phone number).
Does consistency in data really matter? Will it affect your real estate SEO performance? Absolutely. Google makes an effort to always provide relevant, updated information to online users.
Wrong, outdated information and information that differs in various places give Google mixed signals. Google might display the wrong details. You can just imagine losing your customers because they weren’t able to reach your number, address, or website.
As you claim all your local listings, keep an excel file or simple spreadsheet of these listings. This will help you or your freelancer track your listings.
Also, you’ll be able to make quick updates should you decide to move your real estate office to a new location or change your contact number.
7. Be active on social media.
I can’t think of any reason why any business won’t optimize their social media presence.
Social media and real estate SEO share a relationship in a way that social media drives website traffic. This is achieved through the links to your site that you include in your social posts.
For example, if you’re going to promote a new landing page or share one of your blog posts, people who are interested will follow the link to your resource.
Another way to use social media attract visits to your real estate website is to link back to your site from a description in your YouTube video and bio/about section of your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.
Don’t limit your social media use for inserting links to drive traffic. Take time to interact with your followers. Since buyers rant about their concerns on social media, take it as an opportunity to give great customer service.
You can intervene to thank loyal fans or resolve client concerns.
3 Real Estate Websites/Brands You Can Learn from
This real estate website has a blog section which a lot of real estate sites lack. Aside from pages, blog posts help drive traffic and customers to your site through keywords.
Real estate testimonials on your site create a positive first impression on your visitors. Seaside Executives created a page dedicated to their client testimonials. Here, visitors will learn exactly how this real estate company helped buyers find a home.
Instagram makes a great platform of choice to boost real estate SEO. Since real estate agents need pictures for showcasing homes, Instagram helps you beautifully display these images.
Christie’s International Real Estate made sure to include a link to their website in their Instagram bio section.
Search engine optimization is a wonderful world that opens doors for real estate brands. I hope that you will try out the seven SEO strategies we just discussed so you can see more traffic and conversions soon.
Google wants the most relevant businesses to show up, and all you need to do is follow the best SEO tactics to get more home buyers.