In simpler terms, SEO entails assisting businesses in attaining organic rankings on search engines like Google. Essentially, it ensures that a business appears exactly when a buyer or seller is seeking an agent’s services.
Ranking highly in search engines is crucial for your business as 97% of homebuyers search for real estate listings online. However, it is important to note that Google, although dominating the search engine traffic, is not the only one to focus on. Other factors and alternative search engines should also be taken into consideration.
- Apple’s Search Engine.
Agents cannot afford to ignore the opportunity presented by billions of daily searches. Given that Bing is much less competitive than Google, it is logical to aim for maximum acquisition of website visitors.
There are three core categories that SEO can be defined and divided into.
- On-page SEO.
- Off-page SEO.
- Technical SEO.
In order for SEO to be effective, every aspect of it should be optimized. Having a real estate website with a weak technical base serves no purpose. It is impossible to produce high-quality content on a page that has a 15-second loading time.
To truly succeed in real estate SEO, it is crucial to comprehend the necessity of providing search engines with what they desire.
Can SEO still work for real estate agents
Absolutely, SEO has the potential to enable significant growth in your real estate business. However, achieving supremacy in local search results requires a considerable amount of time. It is not as straightforward as utilizing Google ads; it may take several months to establish depending on several factors:
- Your budget.
- How competitive is your local area?
- What resources do you have in-house?
- Your patience.
Agents miss out when they fail to rank at the top of local search results, as demonstrated by the fact that the keyword ‘houses for sale in Boston’ receives more than 1,200 monthly searches. The majority of that traffic is captured by the top 1-3 organic positions, meaning that if you don’t rank among them, you will lose potential business every month.
By estimating the click-through rate, it can be predicted that approximately 30-40% of those searches will convert into visitors on your website. In this particular instance, this could result in as many as 480 (potential) leads per month.
Tips for effective real estate SEO
1. Always do keyword research first
Understanding what keywords you want to rank for is the crucial initial step prior to anything else. This process, known as keyword research, involves the categorization of keywords based on their intent.
- Commercial: I want to buy something.
- Informational: I want to know something.
- Navigational: I want to go somewhere.
- Investigation: I need to compare two options.
Understanding what you can rank for, the timeframe involved, and the implications for your real estate business is crucial in order to establish a clear direction for any real estate SEO strategy.
Many ‘real estate SEO experts’ focus on ranking for numerous long-tail keywords, neglecting your specific commercial objectives as a real estate agent. While this may result in increased website traffic, it hinders your conversion rates.
Google is providing valuable information on the desired keywords by showcasing which websites currently dominate the search engine rankings in your specific location. This allows for effortless keyword research.
To begin, start with your seed keyword ‘service + location’ for any real estate agency. The commonly used commercial local keywords are:
- Realtor + location.
- Real estate agent + location.
- Real estate agency + location.
If your operations are limited to a single area, such as Miami, your homepage will be the page you should focus on to achieve a higher ranking. However, if you have multiple locations, it is crucial to have separate landing pages in order to rank in those specific areas. This is because Google relies on the content provided to understand the nature of your business.
Therefore, you are now aware of the information.
- How to find your main target keyword.
- Break your website up if you want to capture Google searches in different neighborhoods.
Don’t dwell too much on your informational keywords. Many real estate websites cover content on highly similar subjects. Subjects such as:
- How to sell your property for above market value.
- How to make your property look more appealing.
- The best things to do in ‘X’ neighborhood.
Your job is not to come up with a completely new concept for your informational content. Rather, your job is to create content of superior quality compared to other players in the real estate industry. This is the simplest method to achieve a higher ranking in search engine results.
2. Start with an SEO audit
Performing an SEO audit involves conducting a regular evaluation of your website and its SEO performance. Thorough audits require 40-60 hours of research and should be conducted no less than two times annually. The findings will provide you with a roadmap and assist in determining the areas of focus for enhancing your site’s rankings.
The following should be included in an SEO audit.
- Testing your site’s speed
- Checking whether Google has indexed all of your pages
- For multilingual sites, ensuring that hreflang tags have been implemented
- Making sure your site has not been penalized by Google
- Grading mobile-friendliness
- Making sure your meta descriptions, knowledge graph, Google Business Profile, and reviews are appearing as they should
- Making sure you’re not missing essential pages and navigational links
- Checking for crawling issues like broken links, errors, redirect issues, or markup issues
You shouldn’t worry even if conducting an audit may sound complicated since an experienced real estate SEO team can easily perform a competitive assessment for your site. This includes evaluating your site’s performance compared to competitors, identifying keywords that you may have overlooked, and discovering any missed backlink opportunities. They would then provide recommendations based on their findings.
3. Optimize for fast search
Ensuring that your site is lean and easily loadable is essential for optimizing fast search. Every fraction of a second matters when it comes to speed, both for your site and the data it retrieves from databases like IDX.
If content takes three seconds or longer to load, you will miss out on 53% of potential visitors. Moreover, for each fraction of a second that visitors wait for your articles or listings to appear, conversion rates decrease by 8.3%.
To accelerate the performance of your website, begin by evaluating its speed using Google’s PageSpeed Insights analyzer. This tool will present a list of problems that require resolution.
One can consider various strategies such as optimizing code, eliminating unnecessary code and plugins, and implementing web page caching as common solutions. It may also be beneficial to collaborate with professionals specializing in real estate SEO to guarantee a fast-loading website that offers customizable search and IDX capabilities.
4. Optimize for mobile devices
Having a mobile-friendly website is essential due to the fact that sixty percent of searches occur on mobile devices. Furthermore, it is crucial to prioritize this aspect, as Google automatically places importance on the mobile version of your site when indexing and ranking it.
By beginning with a responsive website design, your page will load according to the device of your visitor, resulting in fewer redirects and quicker load times. Moreover, employing a single URL for loading helps in minimizing the likelihood of visitors encountering error pages or encountering unreadable content.
5. Be accessible and ADA-compliant
All website features need to be accessible to all visitors since sites are considered as public accommodation. Approximately 25% of Americans have a disability, which can range from difficulties in navigating website menus due to mobility issues to challenges in interpreting images due to visual impairments. The utilization of assistive devices can help fill the gap and ensure that a site adheres to ADA compliance.
Below are some practical methods to ensure accessibility on your website.
- Make links descriptive. Avoid phrases like “click here,” which does not tell users what kind of content they’ll get when they click.
- Use alt text on all images. This helps Google understand your page’s content and also helps your images rank in the Google Images tab.
- Use accurate title and heading tags. This helps readers recognize they’ve landed on the right page.
6. List your business on Google and other relevant directories
Online directories are highly effective in boosting local real estate SEO as they bring together similar companies, showcase reviews, and foster community trust. This is evident in the tremendous popularity of platforms like Yelp, receiving approximately 194 million monthly views, and Zillow, attracting 60 million.
To make the most of that traffic and enhance your website’s credibility, begin by creating a free Business Profile on Google to include your business information.
When readers search for a “real estate agent in [my city],” your presence will be visible in the local search results. Additionally, your Google listing guarantees visibility on the Google knowledge panel, Google Maps, and the Google three-pack, which showcases the top local search results according to Google.
In addition, it is advisable to include your company name, address, and phone number on various platforms such as Facebook, Foursquare, the Yellow Pages, Yelp, as well as real estate directories. Furthermore, it would be beneficial to explore the possibilities of showcasing your business on highly regarded real estate websites.
- The National Association of Realtors (NAR) directory
- Neighborhood Scout
Consider the possibility of including your business in local directories, such as the chamber of commerce, in addition to the aforementioned suggestion. Certain directories have a strong reputation and it is relatively easy to obtain backlinks from them, thereby giving a boost to your SEO authority.
7. Get active on social
With 82% seeking to enhance their social media marketing, social media has become the second-largest channel for real estate agents to generate leads. Additionally, 30% of realtors connect with clients through their presence on social media platforms. As a result, numerous agents compete for potential customers across various social media channels.
Avoid the temptation to dominate all channels, instead, consider the channels you frequently use and where your potential customers are likely to be. If your target audience prefers Facebook over TikTok, then focus your efforts there. Similarly, if they are avid users of YouTube or Instagram, prioritize those platforms for posting. Additionally, take into account your level of comfort with each platform when deciding where to actively engage.
If you lack the time or interest to manage your social media, it is worth considering the option of hiring a professional to handle it for you.
By collaborating with social media experts, you can guarantee favorable outcomes without having to invest significant time in learning or managing campaigns, considering the numerous social media platforms and dynamic algorithms. The value of obtaining a single prospective customer through social media justifies the utilization of these services.