The Ultimate Guide to Harnessing SEO for Realtors
We live in the digital age of instant, highly visible information. Hence, standing out from the crowd can be quite difficult. As an aspiring realtor, you need to be ahead of your competitors all the time. Billboard and print ads aren't enough anymore. You need to be on the first page of Google to be relevant.
Luckily for you, the internet can be used to your advantage. With real estate SEO, you'll conquer the web and the real estate industry. Search engine optimization will push your site first whenever a potential customer Googles real estate keywords.
So, how can you get there? We’ll show you everything from the basics of SEO to how your specific listings can appear on your target audience's social media and inbox with just a click of a button. Let’s get started!
The Importance of SEO for Real Estate
Your success is no longer measured solely in dollars (or Bitcoin) but also in how powerful your real estate brand is, based upon its SEO. You need to build trustworthy relationships with your clients, and you also need to position yourself as an authority in your niche. Show them you're the expert, and they will work with you! That's the main goal of real estate SEO.
To grab the attention of your perfect audience, you need to build a digital bridge between your website, visuals, content, blog, and videos. This will make your listings and brand recognition skyrocket. Why chase customers when they could be chasing you?
When your marketing campaigns are engaging and built with SEO, your website will get more traffic. And more traffic leads to more leads! People who are typing real estate keywords in search engines are your potential buyers. You don't want traffic from curious people without buying intent. You need a lead generation strategy that will bring only potential customers to your website, and search engine optimization is the way to go!
It's time to create a stunning marketing strategy that combines all of your inspired content and maximizes SEO so everyone online knows exactly what you offer during their real estate journey.
Now, let's take advantage of the most powerful tool for businesses: real estate SEO.
Create a Local SEO Strategy
When it comes to real estate SEO, you need to remember our favorite mantra: It's all about location. For your listings and brand recognition to strive, you first need to have a localized strategy. If you're selling houses in California, you don't need customers looking for homes in Texas, right? You need people interested in what you offer, and local SEO will bring only them. The more locally specific you're tailoring your pages, the better!
The most efficient way to create your niche SEO strategy is to organize it by your listings. Create a grid or document of those, which you'll use to build your strategy from the ground up. If you are handy with an Excel grid, you'll love this idea. Or you can simply create a document and insert a table in it.
Sort your listings into groups, and create a page for each group. It's best you group them by the city or district so you can niche down your content. For example, if you're selling homes in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego, choose long-tail keywords like "buy a house in Los Angeles," "San Francisco real estate agents," "real estate companies in San Diego," and create the content around them. (We’ll dive deeper into keywords in a minute.)
Seems easy, right? Search for local real estate keywords and build your website around them. From blog posts to landing pages, all your marketing efforts should rely on these specific keywords. Naturally, to find the phrases that your target customers are using, you must conduct thorough keyword research with either free or paid online tools.
Here are the basic steps of designing your local SEO strategy.
- Create a plan for every aspect of your SEO strategy. Think about your target audience, the tiniest details about each specific listing, down to the very street and neighborhood, and your local walkable (or close-by) special stores, restaurants, cafes, etc. Put everything together and create a standard content marketing plan, but make sure to pay attention to keyword research you've performed previously.
- Know each listing. This includes details of the listings and also the neighborhood, schools, and local hot spots, including the best take-out, coffee shops, etc. Take some time to poke around the area and make notes about what makes it special. Write this all down. Every unique listing is an opportunity for a new niche SEO plan.
- Treat every listing like your favorite celebrity. You want to attract specific clients for specific homes, right? So, find what makes those homes shine! Be sure to take well-lit photos and videos, not solely of the property, but also of the street at sunset or the local cafe where moms are talking with their lattes, etc. Set the scene as if it's a movie you're shooting, and every listing will look like a superstar.
- Folders are your friend. Organize every single piece of content from words to photos to videos in one folder, and name the folder with your listing address. This keeps everything in one neat home so you can grab information speedily when you need it. You can organize the folders by specific keywords you're targeting so you always know what content should be used for which pages.
- Use Google. Be sure to search for all the historical and fun facts about every single listing. Not only will your content be interesting, but it will also be Google-friendly, which means better SEO.
- Organize your homework. Once you have completed this work, create a document with all the details, with a top heading that includes your marketing assets, such as content, photos, videos, location, hot spots, etc. We can't stress enough the importance of good organization. Everything will flow much more smoothly when your real estate listings and backup content is nice and sorted.
- Use a grid or make a document. Create a title for each property, giving each its own paragraph. Excel is very useful for real estate SEO strategizing since it allows you to sort by various filters. This document will help you keep track of all of your listings and the important info on each one.
- Create a social media and content calendar. This can be set up on any type of chart. Simply write each listing name in a column on the left. Then, to the right, be sure to have columns labeled with each type of info you are adding, such as zip code, notes on hot spots, the listing's best features, etc. Make sure to include an ongoing calendar with dates, and follow it to post every two days until your listing is sold. Some tools can automate content posting so you can schedule all your posts in one day. That's much more convenient, but make sure to check the responses on each post. It's all about audience engagement. Even though you're focusing on real estate SEO, you mustn't forget about the basics of social media marketing - responding to comments, messages, tags, etc. You want to create long-lasting relationships with your clients, and being responsive is always a plus, whatever business you're running.
Keep track of house tours. As a real estate agent, you have your own methods of keeping track of who visits your listing. However, try to ask how your potential clients heard about you and your listing. This is vital information for your strategy! If, for example, if more than half of the people who book a house tour come from Google, you'll know that your SEO strategy is working. On the other hand, if people come from Facebook, use your Facebook strategies to get your property listings more traction.
Find the Perfect Keywords to Reach SEO Success
You can have a gorgeous website filled with lovely curb appeal pics and fairy-land backyard shots. But if you don't include engaging content, your real estate website will just become part of the very busy real estate chatter.
In order to stand out, you must harness all the real estate SEO you can, plus offer something to attract specific buyers or sellers in very particular locations. If you want to get that double-whammy of SEO magic plus irresistible content, it all starts with your keywords.
As noted, keyword research must be the first step on your SEO path. You don't need to create the content that nobody is searching for! Instead, you need the magic content, the stuff that draws home buyers to you.
Follow our real estate agents' tips to create the perfect keywords.
- Think small. Use words that refer to your specific location and listings.
- Localize your business and improve your SEO with long-tail keywords.
- Match your website URL to specific keywords.
- Use keyword phrases in your titles and all content. Make sure to optimize and use the main keyword in Heading 1 and secondary keywords in others. Don’t forget to add keywords into captions, meta descriptions, and other background content, too.
- Use keywords in your listings descriptions.
- To acquire the strongest search engine optimization and ranking for your SEO, be sure to keep your keywords and keyword phrases specific, not general. You can't rank for "buy house." Even if you do, it will bring less relevant traffic. Hence, it's better and easier to rank for "buy a single-family house in LA."
- Google popular terms for your local neighborhood and use them in your keywords, too. Also, if you find out a local building or person is famous, it's great to dedicate some pieces of content to them as well. You can use these types of informational posts to broaden your content options.
Turn Your Website into a Great Story
People love stories and respond to an article, social media post, or video that has a clear story to share. Every time you create content for your pages, make sure to tell a story. Even a brief one can be strong if it includes stunning, well-lit photos and pithy content.
SEO works well with storytelling. Every post, website article, video, and photo must include colorful, locally tailored keywords that support your story. For example, you can show a photo of an older home and describe its history across the decades. Include details about the roof, the style, the architect, or any interesting feature that sets it apart from other more modern homes.
Better yet, tell a story about a family looking for a perfect house. Show personal struggles, give advice on what should be avoided, and lead the reader to a happy ending. Since potential customers are also looking for a home, they will identify with the story's heroes. Remember that your clients are heroes in their own story, so treat them as such. They should always be put first!
Real estate websites must show realtors as guides, not heroes. Your website shouldn't tell a story about you. You're not the hero - your clients are. In fact, you're just a guide that's ready to lead them to new lives in perfect new homes.
Be sure to feature stories on your real estate website and on all of your social media. You can also create a video that is about two minutes long and reinforce the story. Your website and social media will be joined together to build your SEO quickly.
Add a Landing Page for Every Listing
Real estate marketing is always successful when you take the time to offer readers something engaging and powerful. What better way to sell a property than to set it up as a gorgeous, unique listing? Creating a page for every specific listing is now one of the best, speediest ways to hitting your real estate goals.
Your real estate marketing must attract everyone in your area that is involved in a home search. This builds your SEO and will drive your brand to a high Google ranking. You will increase your website's visibility, and your listings will shine when you create and publish an individual landing page for every listing. Before you know it, you'll be the top realtor in your area.
Here are our tips on creating individual pages for listings.
- Feature only one listing per page so each one is the “star.” You don't have to do this for all listings, of course, just the ones that are most attractive. Maybe you have a luxury apartment or a mansion available? That listing definitely deserves a separate page. Other "minor" listings can be grouped by neighborhoods, districts, or cities.
- Post gorgeous photos with captions. Pictures are a must in the real estate business, so you should bring your A-game. Hire a professional photographer to get high-quality pictures that SELL.
- Don't forget about keywords! Include them whenever you can, but avoid keyword stuffing at all costs.
- Include a spectacular video tour of the home. Even those that don't look great in pictures can shine with the help of virtual tours. And in today's world, where live viewings have become sparse during the pandemic, video tours have become a necessity.
- Use email marketing to nurture prospective leads and get the word out about new listings. When you create a separate page for individual listing, make sure to advertise it separately, too!
- Have a clickable link to make an appointment to view the house. Be reachable and make it as easy as possible for potential clients to contact you. They shouldn't spend energy on finding your "contact" button - put it right in front of them!
- Share each listing page on all social media. Remember that you don't have to be everywhere, however. It's better to choose two to three platforms and be active than to have ten accounts that you don't use!
- Announce a new page as if it's a celebrity making a debut. Have fun with it! Create social media posts, videos, tweets, snippets - anything that can attract potential clients to the new landing page. In combination with realtor SEO and star-level social media marketing - the page will be an absolute winner!
- Show off the website to your clients. Always point the clients to your website, and specific landing pages, even after you've closed the sale. They can leave reviews and comments to recommend your services, which will build trustworthiness and credibility.
- Build links! Create a link network with links that go from landing pages to your blog posts, the home page, etc. You also need some backlinks, which can hugely boost your search engine ranking. Backlinks lead from other websites to your page, and you can create them in collaboration with other creators. You can offer a link for link trade to a credible website owner. You'll both benefit from the traffic!
Social Media and Real Estate SEO Go Hand-in-Hand
As previously noted, social media in combination with SEO is a winning combination for any site. It's an important tool you must master in order to be successful in your real estate business. Nowadays, if you're not online, it's like you don't exist. It goes from the simplest Google My Business account to Facebook and Twitter. People must be able to find you online because nobody is using yellow pages anymore.
Everything you create and publish works together. You must connect the dots between all of your content across the web, including social media, to see sales skyrocket. The good news is you don't need brand-new content every time. Most things can be recycled, so you can create tweets from blog posts, Instragam stories from promo videos, etc. It's about staying fresh with the form! Add new bits of info here and there, bring your creative mojo, and be consistent - you'll rock social media platforms in no time.
Keep your website as well as your social media pages colorful, welcoming, and uncluttered. Every time you publish an article, a photo, a new listing, a blog, or anything, make sure it's vibrant. Websites that consistently publish engaging content should simultaneously share on all social media, reinforcing keywords in every post.
Note that you should keep your social media clean and uncluttered, so make sure to delete old irrelevant listings and out-of-date posts. Some general posts can (and should) stay, but a lot of things are for one-time use. Nobody needs to read about your Christmas promotion in July, right?
Here are some tips to help you with social media.
- Your real estate social media accounts should be regularly updated. You should post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and other accounts you consider relevant for your target customers.
- It's vital to remove old content that isn't relevant. Staying up-to-date and being active will show your clients that you're responsive and knowledgeable about current real estate trends.
- Make sure every photo and video is professional, well-lit, and engaging. As mentioned, consider hiring a professional photographer, videographer, and a stager to get the best visual content.
- Edit any video that is wobbly or looks unprofessional. Better yet, delete it and create a new one. Visual content might not affect rankings directly, but it can be a deciding factor in whether a person decides to look further into a house or not.
- Review all of your written content and delete grammatical errors, logical inconsistencies, etc. Even a simple misspelling can cost you leads since it looks unprofessional and sloppy.
- Don't share everything at the same time. Leave some time between posts, so there's constant activity across all your social media platforms plus the landing pages of your site.
The key to SEO and content creation is creativity. Don't hesitate to enlist the help of talented writers, photographers, and videographers since one person can't do everything alone. You're a realtor, not a content creator, so leave the latter to the professionals. Outsourcing tiring tasks to an SEO agency can lift the weight off your shoulders, so you can focus on what you do best: selling houses!
If you find yourself too busy or overwhelmed by the things you must do to soar to the highest visibility to both buyers and sellers in your area, don't be shy - get in touch with our real estate SEO experts. Your real estate website is the first impression most people will have about your business. So, make it a good one and become a top leader in your industry.