Many industries that used to be driven by traditional marketing methods like print ads, direct mail, and broadcast are now seeing a gradual shift towards digital marketing. One of those industries is real estate.
An increasing number of consumers use the Internet as their primary source of information before making any serious investment. In fact, according to the National Association of REALTORS® Research Department, 44% of people look for properties online first, which makes real estate search engine optimization (SEO) a must-have strategy for realtors.
If you're unfamiliar with online marketing, SEO is a crucial part of any digital strategy for real estate agents. If you are serious about attracting leads and business online but don't actively do SEO on your site, it's time to get started with SEO for real estate.
Keep reading to learn more about SEO for real estate agents, plus get four helpful real estate SEO tips! If you’re looking for some professional guidance or help with real estate SEO, WebFX offers SEO services, which provide you with a complete digital team for optimizing your website and growing your business.
Contact us online or call us at 888-256-9448 to learn more today!
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What is SEO for real estate?
SEO is how you get found online. It's using the right search terms and strategies on your site to gain more web traffic. Considering that most Internet users rely on search engines to direct them to websites, it's important that search engines like Google not only list your site, but rank it highly in the results.
With effective real estate SEO, this is possible.
What makes SEO challenging, however, is that search engine algorithms, or the way that they determine how to deliver results, are constantly changing. Your site should be nurtured and maintained as a constant work in progress. It takes patience, but the results are well worth the effort.
4 real estate SEO tips that really work
The following strategies will help you make sure that search engine users looking for real estate agents in your area can find you. And once you've taken these steps on your website, you may want to check out our page on SEO for individual listings.
Use these four real estate SEO tips to get started:
1. Research keywords
Before you implement an effective SEO strategy for your real estate site, it's crucial to do your research. Specifically, keyword research. You need to know which keywords will attract the right people to your website. Local keywords are crucial for realtors, and using the right ones is the backbone to any successful SEO strategy.
One of the best tools for this is Google's Keyword Planner. By making an account with Google Ads (Google's paid advertising service), you can see which keywords are frequently searched and how many other businesses are attempting to rank for them.
You can also get ideas from Google's auto-complete feature in the search bar.
You've probably noticed while doing your own searches that as soon as you start typing, Google attempts to finish your search with suggested phrases. These suggestions are based on what other users frequently search for, so they can be a helpful tool when identifying what your target audience might be looking for.
2. Add keywords to your site
Now that you know what your target audience is searching for, you can move forward with the next step of SEO for real estate websites: Including those words and phrases on your site. This doesn't mean just pasting them into random places and hoping for the best, though. Putting too many keywords, or even just irrelevant keywords, is a tactic called keyword stuffing, and can actually hurt your rankings if Google takes notice.
Instead, focus on putting your keywords in places like your title tags, headers, and body copy. By including them where users would logically look to find out what a page is about, you can be confident that Google will associate those words with your page, which will improve your real estate SEO.
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3. Engage users with compelling content
In addition to using keywords on existing pages, you should also make an effort to consistently create new content for your site. Content that is interesting to your target audience is a great way to generate organic traffic, and one of the best ways to keep your site updated is by blogging.
If your company doesn't already have a blog, you should consider starting one for your real estate SEO strategy.
When coming up with blog content, keep in mind that the best posts are informative. People in the market to buy homes are typically interested in learning about more than the current state of the real estate market. Yes, offer them information about the market, such as statistics and useful tips. But above and beyond that, consider offering home repair tips, design information, and other tidbits about home upkeep and maintenance.
Alternatively, you can also create posts that are purely entertaining. Consider posting about the most expensive homes sold in the last month, and include pictures, or write about something engaging, heartfelt, or sincere. Even though these posts won't necessarily lead directly to new clients and sales, they will attract visitors to your site and increase awareness of your business.
In addition to blogging, there are other ways to provide your audience with engaging content while supporting your real estate SEO initiatives.
Consider creating informational guides, such as "How to Sell Your Home in Less Than 30 Days" or "A Guide to Home Buying for Beginners." Put together useful guides and offer them to potential clients via your website. As an added bonus, you can use this type of longform content to get leads by requiring users to enter an email address before downloading.
4. Integrate high-quality multimedia
Selling properties is highly dependent on potential buyers' perceptions of your offerings, so images and video are especially important in real estate. People in the market to buy a home have come to expect pictures of properties online. Not having any images or showcasing less-than-helpful images will likely drive traffic away from your site, which can have a negative effect on your rankings.
Aim to present high-quality images and virtual tours of properties. Doing so will entice potential clients to contact you and learn more. Providing pictures and video helps ensure that potential clients only see properties they're truly interested in, which saves you and them time.
When including images on your site, the most important thing to consider from an SEO perspective is image descriptions and alt tags.
Keep in mind that your site is indexed by bots than can't process visual information, so Google has no idea if your photo is of a property or something entirely irrelevant to your site. In order to help them understand your images, give them appropriate filenames and include alt descriptions that tell exactly what is in the photo.
Get professional help with real estate SEO
As you consider the many real estate SEO tips out there, be sure to keep one thing in mind: Effective SEO takes time. You won't see success overnight, but you can get started right away. Be patient, and your efforts will pay off. Provide potential clients with useful information before anything else, and in turn they will turn to you when they're ready to buy.
Need help getting started with SEO for realtors? Our dedicated team of SEO professionals is more than happy to help, so don't hesitate to contact us!