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What is Real Estate SEO?

Real estate SEO is steadily becoming more lucrative. Compared far back to the 1990s, newspaper ads were the predominant lead generation channel for real estate companies.

Much has changed with the remarkable explosion in the global adoption of the internet. Today, over 80% of prospective home buyers are online and candidly seeking information and guidance from the internet regarding their home purchases.

ad spend decline for real estate ads newspaper

The big question now: is your website (or your business content) showing up in the search engine results (SERPs) for these potential home buyers? This is essentially what real estate SEO is about. Let us dig deeper into how you can get started, touching on the best-winning estate SEO tips.

What does SEO mean in real estate?

SEO – as you would agree – is a relatively expansive space. Specifically, real estate SEO entails ranking higher for keywords related to real estate. This is you gaining more prominence or visibility in the SERPs for queries related to real estate.

Let us say a prospective home buyer searches on Google "how to sell a house fast in California". With targeted real estate SEO, your business content (or your website) should be appearing at the top of the results for such searches and consequently getting these prospects to visit your website. These are viable leads, aren't they?

Relax, the internet is not the complex enigma it may appear to be. Search engines real estate are more like libraries. This is typical of your college libraries that store huge shelves of books.

What search engines do is sift through these libraries when you need information. This is achievable by running a quick search through its index and returning the most relevant information for your search.

Manually searching these billions of pages (as you would in a physical library) would be exhaustive if not impossible for the volume of queries that these search engines receive per second. To put it in perspective, Google executes 7 billion searches every day in 2020.

So a top search engine for real estate, like Google, Bing, and Yahoo are actively crawling the web. Their algorithms are relentlessly searching for top-value content to feed their audience in their search queries.

Basically, they search for specific keywords in the content laden online (across millions of websites) that denote that a specific website is perfectly streamlined to a particular niche – which in our case is real estate.

These algorithms are a set of parameters that automatically determines which website content best contain information that could assuage the specific queries for each searcher. Many factors make up these search engine algorithms aside from the keyword.

A number of other determining factors (which we will be learning down this guide) include how recent a particular content is, the authoritativeness of the content in terms of the source's credibility, the website loading speed, and location.

Now, with such content optimized to strategic keywords related to real estate, these search engines can accurately decipher that your website is a befitting destination to pass these searchers to by showing your website in their search results. Do you understand how websites get traffic from SEO?

Effectively, this is not you just getting just any traffic to your website content – of course, that is terribly wasteful – but you getting your exact target market coming to your website. For this exclusive community, they are far more likely to be converted in terms of taking purchase-related actions on your real website.

This is what you want as a real estate player. Considering that SEO real estate is organic, relatively cheap, and more sustainable, it is an absolutely delightful bargain for inbound marketing, swelling your traffic.

Get more Real Estate Leads now!


Why is SEO Important for Real Estate Lead Generation?

Real estate companies spend loads of money on generating traffic and consequent lead generation. But in reality, very few channels promise them the magnitude of ROI they gain from real estate SEO.

The spectacular performance of SEO for real estate isn't completely unnatural, considering that 44% of contemporary home buyers search property listings on the internet first before proceeding to buy.

Here is something even more exciting. Almost 95% of homebuyers under 36 years have their purchase decisions directly influenced by content they consumed online.

But this is where it gets tricky. 75% of internet searchers don't scroll past the first page they get from their search queries. In fact, according to Backlinko, the first result in a Google search result gets a massive 32% of all total clicks.

If you put all these insightful statistics together, you get one thing: you are in serious money if your website content can get into the first page of your prospective customers' search results.

This is what SEO for real estate is all about, pushing your website to your targeted market's uppermost search results. If you aren't there, you can be sure that your rivals who appear on these results are looting tons of customers – and consequently millions of dollars – from you.

Here is a question for you: are you going to allow this robbery to continue? No, and you terribly need SEO for real estate today!

why is getting real estate leads important

The big question now: is your website (or your business content) showing up in the search engine results (SERPs) for these potential home buyers? This is essentially what real estate SEO is about. Let us dig deeper into how you can get started, touching on the best-winning estate SEO tips.

Is SEO still relevant in 2020?

It is laughable when people ask us if SEO is still relevant today. Here is the befitting answer we give them: what is more relevant than SEO? Social media? Definitely not!

Considering the relative affordability and sustainability of SEO in 2020, we guarantee you would struggle to find a more viable inbound marketing generation channel than real estate SEO.

Here is a meal of powerful statistics to show you that SEO is still winning today and why you should get started:

According to Search Engine Journal, 49% of marketers credit organic search (SEO) as their best rewarding marketing channel.

78% of location-targeted search queries result in customers buying offline from a vendor.

53% of American buyers first search about a product on the internet before deciding to buy or not.

Businesses allocate an average of 41% of their marketing strategy to SEO.

34% of businesses allocate more than $1,000 monthly to link building (an SEO tactic)

Are you now convinced of the formidable power of SEO for your marketing? Here is the truth, if you doubt the relevance of SEO for real estate, it is because you have not seen tangible results.

This is most likely a (allow us to say deserved) consequence of not doing your real estate SEO the right way. To help you accrue delectable results, we will be exploring some of our best working on-site real estate SEO tips.

Ready for the ride?

Get your keywords research right

real estate seo keyword research

Keyword optimization remains a fundamental pillar of real estate SEO. You just can't adopt a scattergun approach of spraying random content about your website and expect to pull in the targeted traffic you need.


Due diligence is needed to discover key terms your potential customers are typing in their search queries. Specifically, you should aim to uncover less competitive keywords that the bulk of your rivals aren't fighting tooth and nail to rank for. This is almost free traffic if you optimize you rank your content for these strategic terms correctly.


The good news is that there are quite a handful of keyword strategies to adopt. You could go for location-specific key terms or rather more national or global keywords but this time, tilting towards long-tail keywords.


There are many premium tools to accrue powerful keywords with impressive search volume and reasonable competition.

 

Tools like Ahrefs, SEMRush not only give you an idea of the SEO viability of the key term you are ranking for, but they can also give you more estate SEO tips like executing a game-changing competitor study.


This gives you a clear picture of their content format, content topic, the tonality of your content, and the specific subheadings their content is covering.

This way, you can steal keywords and powerful insights from your top-ranking competitors' content.

Agreed, the likes of Ahrefs are paid (and well worth the dollars), but there are other free keyword research tools like UbberSuggest, Google Ads, and even your Google console. 

In the case of Google Ads, you can pick out powerful key terms that have been pulling in your targeted audience. Admittedly, the data on these keywords are not very specific if you are not paying for Google Ads as they give you in a range. 

Unfortunately, the formidability of real estate SEO (in terms of the weight of results it accrues) is no longer a secret. Many of your rivals are already investing heftily in real estate SEO, hunting gluttonously for real estate SEO tips that give them the edge. 

Therefore, it is expected that ready terms like "buy house" have overwhelming competition. Those broad and shorter phrases – most times, using one or two terms – are called head keywords.

It is even more likely that the biggest titans in your industry with loads of moneybags to spare would be battling for such terms. 

Most of them are already well-established sites with higher domain authority. It would be better to leave that fierce frontier of the SEO war to them.  

Now to weed off as much competition as possible, you could go for longer tail keywords. These are strategic phrases that combine three to four words. 

So instead of ranking for something as generic and ultra-competitive head keywords as "buy house", you could adapt that term into something more specific and less competitive like "buy a new house in Florida". 

Here is another advantage of long-tail keywords over head keywords. The latter only pull 18% of overall traffic from total searches. On the other hand, long-tail variants account for 70% of Google searches. 

What more, given the significant genericness of head keywords, a relatively meager slice of these people get converted.

This is because many searchers looking up these head keywords don't have a firm intention to buy. Most times, they are just satisfying their curiosity, not making a targeted search aimed at influencing their purchase decision. Let us get practical with these real estate SEO tips, shall we?

Let us assume I input a one-term query on Google like "realtor". I may not necessarily be aiming to buy a property. More probably, I may be looking up the specific definition. Now, let us assume I search for "cheap condo in Miami". 

It is evident that for the latter, I have intentions to buy or spend money on a condo in Miami. As a real estate company, the searchers using the latter query (which is the long-tail keywords) are far more attractive. These are the people with the money you want, right?

Prioritize on-page optimization

real estate on page optimization

Real estate SEO requires an emphasis on the strategic adaptation of specific on-page elements. This is particularly true for businesses targeting real estate SEO in their locality.

To optimize your website content for increased search engine visibility (in a specific locality), you need to equip your site with personalized details like your business address and active phone numbers, and of course, your business name.

You must replicate these specific details across your citations and local listing. On-page elements—like meta descriptions, title tags, body, copy, town, and state names – are important.

We recommend you maximize your Schema local markup to make sure your search engine visibility is more localized. This way, when search engines crawl your site, they can accurately tell that your content is specifically relevant for an exclusive demography.

Businesses in the real estate space need to make sure they have an XML sitemap, ensuring that search engines can index their listings.

One crucial on-page element you need to get right is your title tag. Best practices demand your title to be furnished with your primary keyword. Yes, this is your <h1> tag.

When you have this primary keyword inserted at the beginning of your H1, it is significantly easier for your site to rank than when you have the primary keyword in the mid-region of your H1.

Next on our list of estate SEO tips is your meta description. You may see meta as trivial, but search engines don't. When containing the right keywords, your meta gives search engines a more accurate glimpse – in terms of the snippet – of your site.

Google always says that your meta doesn't directly affect your ranking, but it directly affects your clickability in results your potential website visitors get from their queries.

Indeed, this would be the information Goggle would be presenting when that page is indexed. To a reasonable extent, your meta's attractiveness (and clarity) determines how attractive that page is to searchers.

This means your meta significantly affects your clickthrough rates on SERPs. Do you now see why you should invest in making your meta attractive?

Given that you need your meta to catch your prospective visitors within seconds, it pays to keep it as brief as possible while being appreciably descriptive. It is recommended that you keep your meta (the description) anywhere from 50 to 160 characters.

Broken links are a killer

Broken links not only question the integrity and reputation of your site, but it also disrupts your user experience when they browse your content. Critical broken links can trigger a slump in your conversion rates and a consequent drop in revenue accrual.

Broken links could result from outdated content, a change in domain CMS, restriction of external access by website admin, or removal link page from the site. Eventually, a pile of broken links scattered across your site will hurt your real estate SEO.

Screaming Frog SEO Spider and Google Search are two powerful tools for scouring your real estate website content and picking out broken links. Of course, there is a free version of screaming frog, so you wouldn't have to increase your real estate SEO overhead cost.

Using Screaming Frog is simple. All you need to after downloading the tool is inserting the URL (of the site you want to crawl for broken links) into the crawl box. When you hit "Run", screaming Frog executes a comprehensive search through your directory of links, analyzing for 4xx error filter, denoting pages that users can't access at present.

Leverage video marketing for your on-site SEO

Video content is a powerful digital marketing element. Sadly – and fortunately for you – many real estate agents have not yet realized the tremendous impact of video content in their search engine rankings.


Isn't it interesting that only a meager 2-9% of real estate agents today utilize video content in their digital marketing today?

Studies have discovered that by incorporating a video on your page, you can enjoy an astronomic 157% leap in your organic traffic from your search engine rankings. Want something more enticing?

Here is one more: by adding video to a page, you reduce the bounce rate and increase visitor dwell time by 200%.

Expectedly, video greatly enhances your SEO rankings. Aside from SEO for real estate, video significantly boosts your user experience and consequently increasing qualified lead accrual.

When you create and integrate a lovably crafted video in your content, more people would be linking to you, simultaneously amplifying your real estate SEO and brand awareness.

Increase the load speed of your website pages

Few things kill your SEO for real estate as brutally as slow loading pages. Do you reckon the weight of disgust you feel when a website takes forever to load when you browse the internet? Do you remember how quickly you jump off that website?

The same applies to your website visitors who are notoriously impatient these days. In fact, 53% of today's website visitors will exit a page that takes more than 3 seconds to load.

Page loading speed is a strong determinant of the volume of conversions you get from a page. It has been found that just a second delay in your page load speed will unforgivably trigger a 27% drop in conversion.

Google particularly detests slow loading pages, with page speed a significant algorithm for ranking your SERPs. Make sure that your real estate website loads fast and is mobile friendly.

48% of real estate internet searches are done from mobile users. For someone searching from his mobile device, Google will pump his search results with mobile friendly websites that load spectacularly fast.

Several free tools, like Lighthouse tools and PageSpeed Insights, can help you figure out to get your website loading faster, boosting the results from your digital marketing campaigns. 

Attractive headlines increase CTR

Many internet readers are impulsive searchers. If they see a headline catches them on the first glimpse, chances are they would be clicking on that website.

This is only natural as attractive things are always compelling, pulling us in almost involuntarily. Therefore, if you invest in spicing up the headline of your content with some excitement and suspense, you can trigger the searcher's curiosity, compelling them to click on it. This means larger traffic.


With over 2 million blog posts published on the internet, you can't afford not to stand out with your headline. What more, 80% of readers exit an article after scanning the headline.

Content with dreary and lifeless headlines is almost sure of being passed by and ignored. Losing traffic this way is hugely frustrating considering the bulk of effort you have invested in crafting that fantastic content.

Powerful and exciting headlines work best. So instead of going with a dreary topic like "How to sell your condo", you can inject some life into the headline and go with more compelling search terms like "Try these secrets and sell your condo in 24 hours!"

Of course, you would click the second one if you were a website visitor, wouldn't you?

Never ignore image optimization

Here is another nugget on our list of real estate SEO tips. Studies have revealed that 78% of on-page SEO issues arise from wrongly or improperly optimized images. You may even have been guilty of this.

Optimizing your images is far more than curating the most breathtaking photos from stock images on your website. Many webmasters don't count it worthy of filling up the image fields when they publish them.

How many of us are diligent enough to incorporate keywords in the alt text, or filling up the description, title, and caption of each image?

But it is important to input the correct details in the metadata for every image you publish. It is rewarding as appropriate image optimization increases your traffic from Google Images by 37%. ‍

Local SEO for Real Estate Agents

Local SEO real estate is a goldmine when maximized accurately. Let us assume you were ranking for a long-tail keyword like "real estate agent in Houston". If your online presence reasonably impresses a website visitor living in Kingwood (in Houston), he could readily connect with your company offline and seal the deal.

Here is something to blow your mind: according to Hubspot, 72% of buyers who carried out a local search would visit a store within five miles.

What more, a study from Nectafy revealed that 88% of search engine searches for local businesses on a mobile device would result in a call or in-person visitation to a company within 24 hours.

Now, how do you get your local SEO right as a real estate agent? We will tell you.

Make sure you are utilizing Google My Business

No disrespect, but if you are not already using Google My Business, you are not probably not serious about local real estate SEO. As a realtor, you should likely be concerned about grabbing a sizable chunk of the real estate market in your locality via local SEO.

Google leverages the 3-Pack method in displaying the first three businesses (or websites) for search queries related to the locality. Precisely, for localized search terms like "commercial realtor near me", Google would rank at most three businesses.

As a real estate company, you must make sure you are not missing from this 3-Pack. You will agree that searchers place a bigger focus on search results furnished with Google Map directions, snapshots, reviews, and ratings.

The first step to setting this up is visiting google.com/business and detailing your information. You would be requested to fill in details like your precise business location on the map, the hours you run, your accessible telephone number, business website, photos, and description.

We highly encourage you to have a 100% complete profile. Periodically, update your details to make sure the information there is relevant. Make sure to complement this with Schema markup.

This goes a long way in signally the crucial details that Google should allocate more emphasis. Google confirms accuracy by measuring Google My Business data against schema details like business address and telephone number.

Adding the Schema Markup

It is crucial to stipulate the format of your real estate website's code structure to search engines. This is specifically what Schema Markup does for Google.

With Schema Markup, chances are higher that your content elements, like property pricing tables, are integrated into Google's rich snippets. This way, Google's instant answers can contain more insightful details like your property's prices or the square footage.

With such details, you would expect your clickthrough rates (CTR) to be boosted. Specifically, pages leveraging Schema markup enjoy up to a 25% leap in their CTR.

Take note that Google is quite stringent in the use of Schema Markup. This is to avoid the increasing cases of spammy schema markups in SERPs. The massive use of spammy schema structured data is sure to get you on Google's bad books.

Make sure your Schema accurately instructs search engines on details about that page. For example, a real estate website shouldn't be marking up a page meant for residential real estate as commercial real estate. 

Making the best of reviews

One of the best ways to boost your credibility as a realtor in your locality is by piling up positive reviews. Unsurprisingly, 72% of your potential buyers will only take action after they have read a positive review about your real estate company.

Don't blame them, trust is quite a scarce commodity in the online world, and fewer people are willing to give you that benefit of the doubt if you have not established your legitimacy (via reviews).

Indeed, reviews are critical determinants of your real estate SEO ranking on the SERP of buyers in your vicinity. Gathering positive reviews on Google, and even on third-party review websites like Yelp (and social media platforms like Facebook) will do your SEO ranking an incredible amount of good.

What does SEO cost in 2020?

Indeed, we have so resoundingly established the depth of importance of real estate SEO. Understandably, you should by now, be curious about how much real estate websites should budget for your SEO today.

The truth is there is no definitive price of search engine optimization. Your monetary allocation for SEO would naturally expand with the widening range of SEO services (and campaigns) you need. You remember we said SEO was expansive, right?

Search engine optimization for a small realtor website with say 10 pages will cost far less than SEO for a prominent real estate company with over 20,000 properties on their website.

Indeed, SEO costing would vary from one SEO agency to another. You should be wary of SEO agents parading ridiculously cheap SEO packages. Nonetheless, you wouldn't have to pay an arm and a leg for SEO either.

Averagely, depending on the kind of SEO campaigns the agency would run for you, you can expect to pay anywhere from $500-$10,000 on a monthly retainer. If you don't have to go on a monthly retainer service, you could pay for on-demand for custom SEO projects.

Real estate SEO abominations you should never make

Avoid keyword stuffing

So far, we have harped on the importance of optimizing your content with strategic keywords (with impressive search volume and difficulty). Nonetheless, it would be foul play if you dubiously heap a particular keyword on a specific page.

Google doesn't tolerate keyword stuffing. Keywords shouldn't be inappropriately loaded into one sentence or paragraph on a page. As opposed to what you would think, it is not the more, the better when it comes to SEO.

One variant of keyword stuffing is integrating the key terms unnaturally in your content such that it disrupts the flow of the content, hurting the reader experience.

Keyword cloaking is another black hat SEO tactic that will undoubtedly get you punished by search engines. Here, webmasters would manipulate the CSS of a page of their real estate websites by using the same color background for the page as the text.

This is mischievously targeted at making a bulk of text invisible to the reader but rankable by search engines.

Conclusion

Here we are. This was an encompassing guide on what you should know about SEO for real estate companies. We have expansively covered the hacks to get started and the mistakes you should steer clear off.

Rounding off, invest in quality, genuine, and sustainable real estate SEO building efforts. No one said it was easy. Yes, it takes effort, but it will always be exponentially rewarding at the end.

Ardor SEO is a leading real estate SEO agency. Across the years, we have made multitudes of realtors stinking rich by cementing their place at the top of potential customers' SERP, loading these real estate companies with qualified leads.

We invite you to come and have your slice of the fortune. Reach out to us today, let us discuss how we can get you appearing top on the eyeballs that matter.

Here’s what our customers are saying

Reed Goosens - Real Estate Agent

Reed Goossens

Sparrow Early Learning

" Kris and his team are the right people to hire as part of any business growth strategy."

It has been a pleasure working with Kris and his team at Ador SEO. They are extremely professional and knowledgeable when it comes to increasing online traffic to your website in order to generate new business leads.

Having the right type of SEO is paramount to your business success online. Kris and his team are the right people to hire as part of any business growth strategy.

Garuda Nicolle

Organic Turmeric

"...Definitely worth working with them."

Currently working with Kris. SEO is important for any business, and Ardor definitely know what they're doing and give long term strategies. Definitely worth working with them.

Emma Reynolds

iQmetrix

"Kris is very knowledgable about SEO!..."

Kris is very knowledgable about SEO! His team helped us through an extensive SEO audit and strategy. The audit was very in depth, and was very helpful for us to identify problems on the site.

Our Happy Real Estate Customers


Casmon Capital Group
The Short Term Shop
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self storage investing

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