The real estate agent’s dream is to have quality local leads on autopilot.
This person is saying that they don’t cold call or meet with unqualified prospects anymore because it doesn’t result in revenue.
How do you make the dream a reality?
The answer: real estate SEO.
having a strong presence on Google so that you appear often and stand out when people search for the services you provide
Almost all home buyers look online when they are searching for a house, so real estate agents who are good at SEO will be successful.
The best part of real estate SEO is that it’s always working to generate leads, even when you’re not actively trying to get them. You don’t need to make calls, buy ads, or put in extra work to make it happen.
Ready to step off the lead generation hamster wheel?
If you follow the guide, you will understand what is necessary to improve your ranking in the local market, as well as having a plan to make it happen.
Let’s jump in.
What is Real Estate SEO?
While there’s a lot of jargon floating around online, real estate SEO really boils down to:
You want to be sure to show up in the search engines when people are looking for someone to buy or sell a property.
Try to imagine that you are the customer and you want to buy a new home. You have already decided on the location and what type of property it is that you want. So, what are the next steps that you should take?
Why is SEO Critical for Real Estate Agents?
The National Association of Realtors stated that 44% of buyers look online for property listings before doing anything else.
The most popular resource for buyers has changed dramatically since 1981, when 22% of buyers used newspaper ads.
Almost half of buyers start their searches for properties directly on Google. Therefore, it is essential your property listings are optimized for keywords that are relevant to the local area. This will help ensure your listings appear in search results for potential buyers who are looking for properties in that area.
Just check out how much traffic this Madison realtor gets from a few local keywords:
Every month, hundreds of people use search engines to look for homes in the local area. This is done by entering a small set of keywords into the search bar.
Wherever you look, no matter the location, there’s going to be between hundreds and tens of thousands of prospects searching for real estate in that local area every month:
- san antonio homes for sale is searched 7900 times every month
- studio apartments chicago is searched 1700 times monthly
- houses for sale in florida with pool gets 600 searches monthly
Then ranking #1 for
- San Antonio homes for sale = 2875 targeted leads visiting your site every month
- Studio apartments Chicago = 618 targeted leads visiting your site every month
- Houses for sale in Florida = 218 targeted leads visiting your site every month
These keywords do not accurately represent the mindset of all buyers. Some are not ready to purchase a property yet- they are still addressing legal or financial questions that are slowing the process down.
13% of users are looking for more information before making a decision. These users may not be as sure about what they want as those who search for something specific, but they are still valuable leads that should be nurtured.
You can grow your lead list by targeting informational keywords and providing searchers with helpful content.
The website brings in around 1,100 organic visits a month from ranking for 250 different keywords.
The post includes a call to action that converts casual readers into leads:
In the past, people used personal computers to do online searches.
But the emergence of mobile devices transformed how users search online. Data from the last five years shows a clear trend of mobile steadily taking over PCs in the search sphere:
The internet has taken over every other lead, information, and sales source that came before it.
The vast majority of young real estate buyers go online to search for properties, compared to other age groups.
And, even the older demographics are turning to online search in the home buying process:
If your only focus is on paid advertising, you’re likely not going to see as high of a return as you would if you also implemented an SEO strategy. Across all industries, the average conversion rate from Google ads is 3.75%. However, in the real estate industry, that number drops to 2.47%. This means that real estate marketers have a harder time converting leads into sales via paid ads.
Your competitors are not doing well in terms of SEO, which provides an opportunity for you to succeed in the market.
And, it’s time for you to capitalize.
10 Real Estate SEO Tips to Drive More Traffic, Leads and Sales
1. Start with an SEO Audit
An SEO audit will help you determine which pages are already doing well and where you could make some improvements.
An audit can take up a lot of time, but it can help you track your progress and figure out what you need to do next.
- Does your site rank locally?
- Are you getting any organic traffic?
- Are you generating leads or converting clients?
If you answered no to any of the questions, the SEO audit can help you understand why.
Key areas to focus on include:
- Site Structure: XML sitemap, robots.txt, redirects.
- Page Structure: Titles, meta descriptions, heading tags, alt tags, URLs.
- Content: Structure, keyword and link placement, visual elements, duplicates, redirects, and canonical tags.
- Links: Outbound and inbound links, interlinking with other pages on your site, broken links.
- Usability: Accessibility, mobile-friendliness, site speed.
If you want to see an increase in your organic traffic, you should improve everything in these five areas.
To improve your website, use Google Analytics to see which pages need the most attention, and use the Google Search Console to find any issues that need to be fixed.
You can also find the Mobile-Friendly Test tool and PageSpeed Insights tool on that website.
If you are having trouble keeping track of all the things you need to do for your audit, this SEO audit checklist by Search Engine Journal may be able to help you.
2. Optimize for Search
After you have finished your audit and have a list of the issues, make a plan to address each one.
A step-by-step approach is the best way to make sure you don’t miss anything.
When you have dealt with the areas that need improvement, look for other ways to optimize your page as a whole.
- Keyword research and analysis
- SEO-friendly URLs
- Optimization of titles and meta descriptions
- Image optimization
- Proper outbound and internal link placement
- Broken links
- Site speed optimization
- Content optimization
- CTR and bounce rate optimization
- XML sitemap
- SSL certificate
- W3C validation
3. Make Sure Your Website Is Accessible
Everyone deserves to be able to access the internet easily, regardless of any disabilities they may have.
If a website isn’t built with accessibility in mind, screen readers that help the visually impaired will have a poor user experience.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was created before the widespread use of the internet. Therefore, many people do not realize that the ADA applies to online media.
Basic guidelines for ADA compliance include:
- Any media players or PDF documents should contain a link to where the necessary software can be downloaded.
- Users must be notified of any invalid information entered. For instance, if a form requires an email address and the user fails to enter one, they must be alerted.
- The website’s appearance doesn’t rely solely on color.
- Buttons and links are clearly named.
- Implementing a “skip navigation” function to ensure users can easily access the content.
- All images need to contain alt text so that screen readers can read it.
- Video content needs to have text captions.
- Audio and video content need transcripts or descriptions.
- Any audio that plays can be stopped immediately.
- Page titles should describe the page content and not mislead users.
- Users are notified of any time limits.
- The site contains no empty links or heading tags.
- “Em” and “strong” are used instead of “b” and “i” tags.
- Headings appear in a logical order.
4. Optimize for Mobile Devices
More than half of global internet traffic comes from mobile devices.
This means that your website needs to operate smoothly on smartphones and tablets in order to keep Google and your potential customers happy.
When it comes to mobile optimization, the key areas to focus on are:
- Responsive design
- Page speed
- Hosting speed
- Site navigation
- Site search
AResponsive design automatically adjusts your site to fit any device’s screen, which is crucial for usability. This is especially important as more and more people are using mobile devices to surf the web.
If a website’s page loading speed is too slow, visitors are likely to abandon the site in favor of a website with faster loading speed.
The simpler something is, the easier it is to understand.
The less steps a user has to take to accomplish their goal, the more likely they will be to follow through to the end.
This tool will help you figure out if your site is mobile friendly and if not, it will give you a list of things you need to fix.
To improve your website’s loading speed, reduce the size of your code and images. Use an emulator to test how your content looks on different devices.
5. Add Your Site to Google My Business & Other Relevant Directories
Local citations are important for local SEO.
The better your site is listed in various places with consistent contact information, the better.
Make sure your business’s profile on Google My Business is up to date.
Make sure to include as much detail as possible in your profile.
Make your text more interesting by adding photos, videos, and other relevant content.
To improve your chances of ranking higher in Google’s local searches, be sure to sign up on sites like Zillow and Trulia in addition to taking other measures.
Other directory websites to list your business on are:
- Yahoo Homes
- Neighborhood Scout
Search each platform you want to use to get more information.
If you have a business profile on a social media platform, you just need to claim it.
If you verify the information, you will be able to have more control over it.
By promoting your business on platforms where people do a lot of research, you can improve your SEO and create more opportunities to generate leads.
6. Get Social
While social media may not have a direct impact on your search engine rankings, it is still an important element of your digital marketing strategy.
It helps to:
- Connect with your targeted audience.
- Increase exposure.
- Build authority, trust, and awareness.
- Drive more traffic to your website.
- Drive conversions.
It will be difficult for businesses in the real estate industry to increase their online presence without having active social media accounts.
It may be tempting to try to have a social media presence on every platform, but it is better to focus on a few platforms and do them well than to try to maintain a presence on too many platforms and produce inferior content.
Beyond Facebook, consider Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Use social media to share your blog content, videos, and other important information like statistics, news, and more.
Social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are great for promoting your website using visual content.
Showcase the best sales opportunities on Facebook.
If you want your content to be seen by people in a specific area, add hashtags and descriptions with geo-targeted keywords.
7. Publish Useful Content on Your Blog
If you have a blog on your website, you can target relevant keywords more effectively.
Since you have limited resources as a small business, it is more important to focus on the types of content you include rather than trying to compete with large enterprises.
Your blog should be a mix of:
These are the posts about your neighborhood, such as:
- Cost of living.
- Social life.
There are both good and bad aspects to living in this neighborhood. On the positive side, it is very close to the city center and there are a lot of shops and restaurants nearby. On the downside, the area can be quite noisy and there is a lot of traffic. Some people might view the closeness to the city center as a positive, while others may see it as a negative because of the noise and traffic. Some people might also appreciate the variety of shops and restaurants, while others may find them to be a nuisance. It all depends on the individual’s perspective.
This can include:
- Video tours.
- Virtual tours.
- Live stream videos.
Interviews with Local Business Owners
Local business owners can provide valuable insights, so it’s worth taking the time to interview them.
The interviews provide a different view of your neighborhood and show potential home buyers how attractive your area is.
If you’re being interviewed by a business owner, they may share the interview on their social media or business website to help increase your visibility.
Before posting content, take a few minutes to make sure it is optimized for search engines.
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8. Create Video Content
Content that is easy to produce is not always the best quality, so it is worth investing time to create better content. Video content is often more engaging and can be a great way to improve your website.
It can help you distinguish yourself from the competition.
- Launching and optimizing a YouTube channel.
- Consistently upload videos to that channel.
- Share or upload your videos to your website and social media pages.
- Run live streams on Facebook and YouTube to build a larger audience.
Need ideas for content you can create?
- Open house videos.
- Listings videos (10 Best Homes for Families).
- Q&A live-streams.
- Q&A Videos.
- Virtual tours.
You can use that video content to create other content for social media and your blog. This will help you get the most out of the video.
Spend time optimizing your video content for local search.
Add your geo-targeted keywords to headlines, descriptions, and hashtags.
For accessibility, add subtitles and a transcript.
If you include a transcript of the text in the description, it will be easier for search engines to find and index the content.
Include links to your social media profiles, website, and any related listings in the description. This will help people find you and connect with you online.
9. Use Structured Data Markup
Adding structured data markup to your HTML can help search engines understand your content and provide richer search results.
Rich snippets are a way to make your site’s search listings more informative and engaging, and they can help you attract more visitors. To take advantage of rich snippets, you’ll need to make sure you’re implementing them where possible.
Real estate businesses can benefit from:
What you’ll use depends on your site structure.
If you want to improve your website’s ranking in search engine results, speak to an SEO expert.
The tool will tell you if your code is properly implementing schema, and, if it’s not, will provide specific guidance on what needs to be fixed. If you want to check if your site’s code is correctly implementing schema, use the Structured Data Testing Tool. This tool will give you specific instructions on what needs to be fixed if your code is not properly implementing schema.
10. Try to Earn Featured Snippets
Featured snippets can be a game changer.
Grabbing a featured snippet can:
- Increases traffic.
- Attract users interested in your offers.
- Improves your search ranking.
- Increase conversion rates.
It can be difficult to earn good reviews, and only a few businesses have them in local search.
Instead of trying to compete with major websites that have already grabbed the top spots, look for queries that don’t already have a website in the top spot.
When searching on Google, take into account that the featured snippet will not be shown for queries that are geo-targeted.
To compensate, you can:
- Run a keyword analysis to find relevant, geo-focused long-tail keywords and phrases.
- Place these selected keywords in high-quality content.
- Structure and markup your content properly. Use question-focused heads and subheads, shorter paragraphs that could fit into a featured snippet section, H1-H2 tags, tables, lists, charts, images, etc.
- Create a Q&A section on your site. Specific answers are more likely to be displayed as featured snippets, especially if they include images and lists.
Despite the competition in real estate, there are still plenty of opportunities.
If you want to do well in local search, you should use these SEO tips.
By investing in SEO with these strategies, you can rank well against big names in the industry.
If you do not know about SEO it is advisable to either seek professional help or hire someone, so as to not make any errors.