After years of trying different marketing plans, you might be feeling overwhelmed. Perhaps, it's time to try something new and exciting like real estate SEO!
This strategy can work wonders for your business. How? By increasing traffic through better search engine results pages (SERPs).
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That means more potential customers, browsing on their phones or computers, can find you easily when looking up information about what products/services are available.
Real estate SEO also helps generate leads that could eventually turn into paying clients if given the correct guidance from an expert skilled enough to convert them over the phone or email.
Many real estate agents erroneously believe that creating an official website is all that's necessary to get in the face of those they want to attract. But all too often, many real estate websites only get crawled without being indexed.
In a world where nine out of every ten homebuyers search Google for properties, the benefits of driving organic traffic to your website through the Internet can't be overemphasized. Almost half of all home buyers search for properties online. You need a viable real estate strategy today.
By excelling in real estate SEO, you significantly increase your chances of winning qualified real estate leads. Don't know where to start? This guide presents ten tried and tested real estate SEO tips to help you. In it you'll find both on-site and off-site real estate tips, plus other tricks to up your real estate SEO game. Afterward, you'll find a helpful guide on getting the best real estate SEO expert to help generate high-profile leads from Google.
Real Estate SEO for Real Estate Websites
Search engine optimization is a technique that helps you show up on search engines when people search the type of products or services you offer. For realtors, this means appearing higher on search engine results pages (SERP) when people need someone to help them buy a home, apartment, or condominium.
For instance, the more Internet-savvy home buyers would type something like this in their Google searches – "Naples Fl homes for sale"; "Los Angeles Condo Apartments for Sale"; or "Real Estate Agent around Downtown Houston, TX."
On the SERP they're 45% more likely to click one of the top three search results. If most potential buyers and renters end up on your real estate website, there's a higher chance of converting them into leads and eventually long-term clients.
However, today, Google's search engine results page is filled with instant answers, Google ads, and maps at the top, making it more difficult to rank organically for common search keywords in search results. Add that to the fierce competition in the real estate business, and you'll see why you need a solid real estate SEO strategy for generating leads from the internet.
Is Real Estate SEO Difficult?
Understanding real estate SEO can be challenging. Additionally, driving organic traffic via local SEO to your real estate website is more problematic–though highly rewarding–than most other digital advertising programs.
On top of that, the internet is dominated by big nationwide firms such as Trulia, realtor.com, Zillow, and large real estate brokers. The bottom line is that you need expert SEO services to overcome the fierce competition online and get a sizable share of online searches for your services.
Our results-driven team at Ardor SEO understands the ins and outs of real estate marketing. We’ve helped small real estate firms multiply their leads and helped large property companies boost their website’s organic rankings.
If you want quality real estate digital marketing from the best SEO experts in real estate, contact Ardor SEO today to transform your real estate business' visibility and earning power. Give us basic information about you and the company, and our dedicated marketing team will take it from there.
Best Real Estate SEO Tips for Real Estate Websites
Although real estate SEO is quite competitive and challenging, most of its steps are similar to traditional website search engine marketing. Here are ten well-explained real estate SEO tips to help you drive organic traffic to your website and generate leads.
1. Conduct Proper Keyword Research
There's this erroneous belief among some realtor website owners that adding real estate keywords to your ‘keyword’ meta tags can help outrank the local competition. That is entirely untrue – Google no longer considers the ‘keyword’ meta tags to rank websites.
However, there's no denying that keyword research is a significant aspect of any search engine optimization strategy, including real estate SEO. You must understand what keywords you want to rank, and these keywords typically include target keywords for specific pages. So, for instance, you might want to rank for ‘*your city* real estate’ or ‘*your city* real estate company’. But how do you know what keywords to pursue?
But too many companies use these keywords, so they may not be the keywords to target when planning an effective real estate SEO strategy. To beat the competition, you'll need to concentrate on the low hanging fruit keywords. By "low hanging fruit keywords", we mean specific keywords with less competition from other real estate websites.
These could include specialized terminology that your municipality or city uses, such as "Boston Brownstones" or "Shotgun apartments" in New Orleans. You could also vary between "residential" or "commercial" properties when applying keywords. If you carefully research potential clients' interests, you can find some keywords that the prominent players are yet to colonize.
How to Conduct Keyword Research
Expert real estate SEO professionals go beyond the traditional “ABC city homes for sale” form of Internet searches. Instead of focusing on “your city homes for sale,” you may want to tweak as follows:
- “Your city + state abbreviation + homes for sale”
- “Homes for sale in your city + state abbreviation”
- “Your city real estate”
- “Your city real estate for sale”
- “Local real estate for sale your city”
- “Real estate your city”
- All of the above with the state abbreviation
- Similar search keywords with subdivisions
- Similar search keywords with counties
Each of the above search keywords has a number of monthly searches on Google and other search engines, with differing competition levels. More importantly, the "user intent" for searching the keyword varies from one person to another.
However, the Google algorithm helps to establish a correlation between keyword searches and user "intent."
Here's the catch. The individual "real estate" search might be seeking statistics on the local real estate industry or other information concerning the city. Meanwhile, "short-term rentals in your city" are likely to see active real estate listings.
Include Vital Long Tail Keywords to Your Real Estate Website
Here's another angle to effective real estate keyword research when planning a fantastic local SEO strategy. Long-tail keywords are phrases that searchers utilize in finding specialized search results. One benefit of such long-tail keywords is that it helps you sift out more qualified searchers seeking your realtor company website.
For instance, instead of merely targeting "homes for sale in your city," you could target "affordable luxury homes for sale in Uptown Dallas." By optimizing your website for long-tail keywords, you inevitably increase your chances of ranking higher for more specified and qualified searches.
Finally, Segment Your List of Real Estate Keywords
Once you have a list of accurate state keywords, it helps to segment them into different categories based on the common intentions of the searchers. For instance, there's a high likelihood that someone who typed "condos in Naples, Fl, for sale" wants to buy a house. In contrast, someone searching for "how to purchase a vacation home" is most likely seeking informational content.
There are three categories of keywords that you'll often come across. They include informational, navigational, and transactional keywords. Informational keywords provide information, such as "how to find the right real estate agents."
Navigational keyword searches are where the searcher seeks a particular brand or realtor company website, such as "home prices across Georgia, Zillow". Meanwhile, searchers use transactional keywords when they want to buy or rent a property. A good example is the above "condos in Naples, Fl, for sale”. With this keyword, you can further determine what you want to focus each page of your website on.
At Ardor SEO, we understand that the technical aspects of keyword research, Google Analytics' usage, and complex SEO terms could be daunting for people untrained in real estate SEO best practices. Our goal is always to relieve our real estate clients of the tricky waters of effective search engine optimization strategies.
We've helped hundreds of real estate professionals multiply their income. Let us do what we know how to do best while you save your treasured time, energy, and resources for what you love to do best. Schedule a consultation with us today.
2. Understand Site and Page-Level Structure
After you've concluded what keywords to focus on, the next crucial step is to understand how to structure your site towards a highly-converting real estate SEO campaign. You can arrive at an optimized website structure by organizing your navigation appropriately and ensuring that each page has a proper format.
How Do You Structure Your Real Estate Website for SEO?
A typical organization's website should have the homepage at the top, navigation pages below that, and individual pages at the bottom. The good thing about this arrangement is that it makes it very easy for users to navigate around your real estate site. Moreover, it helps search engines like Google better understand your site's structure.
Title Tags, Meta Descriptions, and Heading Tags
Here's another group of things to pay attention to when formatting an optimized website structure. When writing the meta title tags, ensure that the target keyword is near the beginning of the title. Also, explain how your page will provide the information the searcher needs. An excellent example of an effective title tag is "homes for sale in Harris County, Texas."
Meta descriptions help to compel readers to click your page. Consider including several relevant keywords when writing a meta description. However, ensure that your meta description falls between 150-160 characters to comply with Google's rules.
Lastly, it's essential to use header tags structuring your real estate website. Also called "H tags," heading tags help structure your web page into sub-headings. Additionally, numbers usually designate the header's stratum, as in H1, H2, H3, etc.
While the H1 indicates the page's title, the H2 would head the first-page section, and the H3 would head a subsection of the last H2 tag. One common rule is to include relevant keywords in the header tags. Of course, you want to avoid keyword stuffing in the headers to ensure that they read naturally throughout the website.
Internal linking is another crucial tool to assist search engines, and help users to navigate your site. Here's how to go about that. When linking between two pages, use a descriptive anchor text that tells readers and search engines bots what to expect when they follow the anchor link.
An anchor text helps search engine bots attribute ranking value to the page on the other side of the link. Suppose you link to another webpage where the focus keyword is "agricultural land for sale in Ohio." Utilizing that anchor text in connecting to that page would help improve your organic rankings for that keyword.
3. Conduct Proper Competitor Analysis and Apply the Results to Your Real Estate SEO
Next on our list of best SEO tips for real estate businesses is conducting the proper analysis. The real estate market is highly competitive. However, having fierce competition has its good sides. Here's why. It's pretty easy to analyze what keywords your competitors are targeting and, in turn, target those exact keywords in your SEO plan. Moreover, you can target what your rivals are doing correctly on their website to improve your site's search results.
You can also find out what's not working with your competitor's websites and avoid the same thing in your local SEO strategy. It could also help to execute a SWOT analysis of your own company, outlining your firm's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
4. Create Landing Pages for Your Crucial Keyword Categories on Your Realtor Website
Remember the transactional and investigational keyword categories discussed in tip #1? Now's the time to utilize those keywords groupings you made during your keyword research. Work towards creating landing pages that will drive users to a specific conversion. Here's what we mean.
The essence of these web pages is to collect users' contact information. SEO experts achieve this through introducing value, such as offering freebies like the current local market report, relocation packages, or email alerts for listings, with accompanying discounts. Let's go over how to curate a landing page for any of these three areas: your home page, location-related pages, and neighborhood/building pages.
Setting up an Effective Homepage
Your home page should be the most convincing part of your real estate website. Search engines often attach the most value to the home page as it's the center of your site. Therefore, it's best to concentrate your most competitive keywords on the home page.
How about having "the best Oregon Real Estate Agency'' on your home page? The goal is to communicate information that gets searchers curious, entertains them, or challenges them enough to want to know more about your firm. Additionally, ensure you include high-quality images of your best homes on the homepage for a positive first impression.
If users find an image that draws their attention, there's a higher chance that they'll explore your website. Ultimately, they're more likely to contact you afterward if they find a property that speaks to them. Include reviews or press mentions on the home page to build credibility and trust.
Lastly, it helps to have a compelling call-to-action (CTA) that invites users to take action and schedule a consultation with you. The CTA often helps to drive users to view your carousel of homes. Next, you should request them to contact you if they want to know more about a particular property.
We've seen how to create a homepage that drives visitors to want to know more about your properties and ultimately become a new client. The second category of landing pages on your site includes location-specific pages. These target keywords include subjects around the city, county, or other geographic areas you noted during your keyword research.
For instance, with a keyword like "New Jersey homes for sale." You'll want to create a page that lists homes available for sale in New Jersey and see that the page has specific metadata that targets the right keywords. You may also consider including an interactive map of the area to further accentuate your page's user-friendliness.
5. Optimize Your Site for Lead Generation
The bottom line of your SEO efforts is to generate leads. If your website isn't generating leads, nothing else will make sense in your real estate SEO strategy. But to generate leads from your site, you need to optimize it. Here's how to go about that.
First, introduce lead generation forms and CTAs into every page and at different places, depending on the page's length. With a form within and at the bottom of every page on your website, you have ample opportunities to capture the contact details of people seeking to purchase properties from your website.
Next, use free offers as bait to generate more leads from your pages. Everyone likes free stuff. As a real estate agent, you can provide a lot of value through free eBooks or reports as gifts to visitors in exchange for their email addresses.
Also, consider including a site-wide chat functionality on your pages. More than ever before, clients want businesses to be reachable around-the-clock. Site-wide live chat functionalities allow you and your team to respond immediately when potential clients want to make inquiries about your business.
Moreover, you can readily cover the around-the-clock period of availability to your potential clients by hiring freelancers overseas to ensure that you're available whenever clients need you.
Execute A/B tests
Your messaging and call to action should be as effective as possible to capture leads. One way to find out how compelling your CTA's are is with A/B tests. During an A/B test, users randomly view two variations of a webpage. After gathering sufficient information, you can decide which variation was more effective and can take the right action accordingly. Specific aspects of the website to conduct an A/B test on include:
I. Compare different variations of the same message. For instance, "Schedule a Free Consultation!" vs. "Get your free E-Book Now!"
II. Contrast the image and video contents, for instance, using a video vs. an image to see which works best.
III. Compare different web copy. There are various ways to create compelling web copy. If you have other ideas you wish to compare, don't hesitate to test them.
IV. Measure the performance of leads generated from the source.
It's essential to determine which pages on your website generate the highest quality leads. Concentrate real estate SEO efforts around these or even create more similar ones so that you can get even better results from them!
Usually, a homepage would be one of those top spots for generating new clients, but other areas may also hold potential if utilized correctly and efficiently. Check out what else is working well before deciding where best to invest time/money next.
6. Conduct Speed Optimization on Your Real Estate Website
Google has been transiting from ranking content based on quantity to quality for several years now. That means that filling your website with thousands of primarily duplicate content pages that shouldn't be on your site ultimately dilutes its quality.
Besides, a website's speed is undoubtedly a crucial aspect of its quality ratings, more reason to optimize your site's speed. Beside the site's structure, the hosting you employ for your website will play a significant role in determining its speed.
Moreover, optimizing your real estate website to better suit mobile users is vital for your site’s speed optimization strategy. With about 90% of Internet users operating mobile devices, it's only rational to ensure that mobile users have a stress-free time surfing through your website's pages on their mobile devices.
AMP Pages for Real Estate
One new technology that can help speed up your real estate website is Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). AMP enables you to create a stripped-down version of your website for AMP compatibility. The good news is that Google's servers deliver AMP pages directly for lightning-fast search results.
Having AMP pages on your realtor's website can supply a super-fast experience for your website's visitors. However, note that you can't place real estate directories from IDX (Internet Data Exchange) on an AMP page, and that means you'll need to have those pages load fast without AMP.
Looking to optimize your real estate website for an overall impressive user experience as part of an effective real estate SEO plan? Contact Ardor SEO today and get the best SEO services in the industry for your realtor website.
7. Employ Real Estate Blogs and FAQs to Build Engagement
Another on-site SEO trick is to create blog content and FAQs that center around the informational keywords you researched in point #1. You could capitalize on keyword terms such as "What is it like to live in Fontana, CA?" Also, you could provide answers to frequently asked questions via quality content on your pages, such as answering questions about your company or the local housing market.
Other information that prospective home buyers might be curious about include schools, things to do, local businesses and attractions, restaurants and shopping, and anything exciting about living in the city.
Consider creating neighborhood pages on your site that tell visitors everything they ought to know about a particular neighborhood. These pages often include long articles, between 1,000 to 2,000 words, with details answering questions a first-timer would likely have about the community. You could also share this information via social media handles. Content to provide on the page includes:
- Image and video content of outdoor areas like parks, local events, or biking trails.
- Local statistics include information on the average temperature throughout the year, annual rainfall, population density, etc.
- School rankings by grade level with links to relevant authority sites.
- Local attractions, such as local events, parks, malls, theaters, museums, sports centers, and restaurants.
8. Attract High-Authority Backlinks to Your Real Estate Website
One of the ways Google identifies you as a credible source of information is the quality and quantity of backlinks that point to your real estate website. There are several ways to acquire backlinks, but it's crucial to remember that all backlinks do not have the same quality. The more authoritative and relevant the site links to your page, the higher the backlink quality.
Too many spammy backlinks to your website can be detrimental to your search engine optimization. Additionally, having a profile page on Realtor.com, Zillow, and many other prominent real estate sites – won't necessarily bring much authority to your website. The reason is apparent - anyone can get their real estate website there. But what are the best backlinks for your website?
The most prominent authority accrues when otherwise big real estate websites backlinks to you from within their content. For example, if Realtor.com linked to your site through an anchor text like "discount real estate companies," that link would be effective in ranking the term discount real estate company. Below are some exciting ways to create and upgrade your backlink profile:
- Content marketing
- Study your competitors' backlink profile
- Guest posting
- Social Media Syndication of Original Content
- Creating citations for local SEO
- Finding broken links from sites you want a link from
- Web 2.0 Sites
While backlinks are the most important factor for earning organic rankings on Google, it's also readily abused by many other search engine optimization experts. In previous years, merely increasing the number of backlinks would raise the authority and visibility of your website.
But it's a different story today - Google pays keen attention to every backlink. Too many backlinks from the wrong sites could harm your SEO activities and get you a ban or "de-indexing" from Google.
8. Create a Search Engine Optimized Google My Business Profile
Having an up-to-date Google My Business (GMB) listing is one of the most vital off-site real estate SEO tips to get ahead in the property business. Google gathers information from these directories when displaying results for local searches, and they pull information like your business address, name, phone number, and website from your GMB page. Your Google My Business profile reviews can also affect your search engine rankings.
It helps to maintain updated information such as your business address, property listings, services, and phone number. Also, responding to customer reviews, adding posts, and uploading images and video content can give users more insight into your agency's practices.
A practitioner listing exists for a professional rather than a company. A practitioner listing would be a directory for the specific agent in the global real estate space, and a practice listing would provide information about the real estate company. Users who have some knowledge about the local market will often search for a real estate agent’s name instead of their associated company.
If you're planning to create a practitioner listing, you'd want to heed the following rules from Google.
- Google doesn't consider practice listings duplicates so that they won't be removed or merged.
- The exception to the above rule is when a business has one practitioner. If that’s the case, Google merges the listings. Solo practitioners should therefore only have one listing in the format of [brand/company]: [practitioner name]
- If there’s a review on a practitioner listing, Google won’t transfer it to the practice listing.
Socially Syndicate Your Original Real Estate Content
It's virtually impossible to succeed as a real estate agent today without a social media presence. Your social media pages should contain or link to all of the community pages and blog content from your real estate website. While most real estate agents post articles from other real estate websites like Inman or Realty Times to their social media accounts, it's more appealing if you push your real estate content so readers end up on your website.
Create plans to have active Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram profiles. Many applications can help you socially syndicate original content from your website, such as Hootsuite. Moreover, well-optimized social media pages can also boost your real estate company's visibility on search engines.
Get Positive Reviews on Google, Yelp, and Your Directory Listings
Word-of-mouth remains one of the most important forms of advertisement - and one way that happens is through your online reviews. Online reviews help build trust and social proof for your business. They're also constantly crucial for search rankings, whether on Google or other search engines.
Multiple 5-star reviews to your business' name mean users are more likely to click on your real estate website and reach out to you. Let's see some strategies to get more positive reviews for your Google, Yelp, and other business listings.
Request from Your Clients
Where you've recently assisted a client in purchasing a home, settling in a new city, or getting finance for their property, it's part of a great real estate SEO strategy to ask them for online reviews. You could communicate with the client via email, thanking them for working with you, and requesting they share their experience on your review page. If you have a good relationship with your client, they will most likely gladly oblige.
Use Special Tools to Automate the Review Generation Processes
There is different software available online that can assist with automating the customer feedback process. Podium, GatherUp, and BirdEye are a few such tools. This software handles follow-up review requests, providing more free time for more crucial tasks. However, these work best with a large client base. If your customer base is still tiny, manually ask for reviews until you've established a solid foundation.
Include Review Links on Your Site
Sometimes, past clients may return to your site frequently – perhaps for answers to their questions about their new home or condo apartment. If that's the case with your business, it can help to have a section on the site where past clients can leave a review. Clients optimistic about your services will follow these links to write testimonials about their experience with you or your company.
Hiring a Real Estate SEO Expert
We've seen vital real estate SEO tips that can help with driving leads and generating traffic to your real estate website. However, one question you likely have on your mind is how to go about executing these real estate SEO tips. Although it's possible to rank your website yourself, the complexities and the unique challenges in real estate SEO make many choose to hire a professional.
However, you want to hold them accountable if you pay someone to increase lead generation from driven traffic to your website. You need a real estate SEO expert who clearly understands the technicalities of real estate SEO, with a track record of helping many real estate agents earn more money through optimized websites.
You might think that a real estate SEO specialist is someone with knowledge of traditional, organic, and local search engine optimization. But there are many other things they need to know about like:
- Understanding of IDX and local listings display
- The real estate sales cycle
- Working with listing data
- REALTOR board and MLS rules and regulations
- Real estate lead generation
- Working with MLS boards
- What marketing works for buyers vs. sellers
- Real estate business models and their value proposition
- History of real estate online advertising
- Broker vs. agent vs. REALTOR
- Real estate CRMs
If your online marketing partner is not proficient in the above list, they are not experts in real estate SEO. Ardor SEO doesn't just have the working knowledge of all the technicalities and legal implications in the real estate industry, we have a track record of generating massive leads for clients while turning their websites into an effective source of income.
Move your real estate agency from where it is now to where you want it to be with expert real estate SEO services from our motivated team at Ardor SEO. Give us a call today, and start on the journey towards transforming your income through the best real estate SEO strategy in the world of realty. Contact Ardor SEO today.
In today's world, digital experts are affordable and employ teams of experienced professional IT and content professionals. Our team is a vibrant mix of talented real estate professionals and writers who live, breathe, and create an all-things-real estate. 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 - discover real estate SEO experts.