Did you know that 90% of homeowners are using online sources to find their next home?
That’s why it’s more important than ever for real estate professionals to build an effective online presence. Search engine optimization, or SEO, plays a vital role in enabling your real estate business to reach and engage more customers online.
But real estate SEO requires specific strategies that differ slightly than SEO tactics that other businesses might use.
If you want to reach your particular audience – those who are looking to buy or sell their home – then you need to focus on the SEO strategies that will best help you reach this unique target population.
Below, we’ll discuss why real estate SEO is so important for agents and other real estate professionals. We will also provide some of the top best practices you’ll need to start using if you want to capture more leads and clients online. Let’s get started!
Why Real Estate SEO is Important
With 90% of homebuyers using online sources when searching for a home, it’s never been more clear that the Internet plays an important role in your audience’s buyer’s journey. If you want to reach more of your audience online, you’ve got to boost your visibility on search engines like Google. The best way to do this is to improve your search engine optimization.
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of optimizing your site and blog content to make it more attractive for the search engines. The more helpful and relevant your content is for search engine users, the more likely they are to see your web pages and blog posts at the top of the search engine results page.
The Internet has become an important part of the homebuyer’s journey.
As you can see from the statistics above, Google searches relating to real estate have grown by 253% over the past 4 years, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Those looking to buy a home are on average making 11 different searches before they even contact the real estate agent or take another desired action. That’s why it’s vital for your real estate business to improve your search engine optimization.
Real estate SEO helps you reach more prospective home buyers or sellers online. By emphasizing certain keywords and ensuring that your content is optimized for the search engines, you can work to improve your reach online.
This, in turn, helps you drive more relevant traffic to your site, increasing the number of qualified leads.
Top 8 Real Estate SEO Best Practices
Now that you know why real estate SEO is important, let’s talk about how you can improve it for your own site. We’ve put together a quick list of the top 8 best practices for SEO that you can use for your real estate business.
Use these tips to get started on improving your site structure and content to reach more homebuyers and sellers through the search engines:
- Target local SEO keywords.
One of the best ways to improve lead generation online for your real estate business is by targeting local SEO keywords. Local SEO is a variation on typical SEO that focuses on boosting visibility online for location-based searches.
Since nearly all prospective homebuyers are using location-based searches to look for properties in a particular area, it is vital that real estate agents use local SEO for their business.
Nearly half of all searches in Google are local, and most local searches end with a phone call.
Though there are other aspects of local SEO that you should be focusing on – such as making sure your name, address, and phone number are correct across all sites and listings – local SEO keywords are an important part of improving your real estate SEO.
Typically, local SEO keywords contain keywords that are relevant to your services but include location information. Some examples of local SEO keywords might be “Boston Real Estate,” “Homes for Sale in Boston,” “Boston Real Estate Agents.”
When developing your list of local SEO keywords for your real estate website, you will also want to consider long-tail keywords. These are keywords that are longer and more specific.
Not only do they typically have less competition, but they can also bring you more qualified traffic. Search engine users that type in long-tail keywords are often looking for more specific results, which means that they could be a better fit for your business.
Here’s an example of some related searches that a prospective home buyer might make when searching for properties in Boston:
Don’t forget to find additional related long-tail keywords to reach as many buyers as possible.
These related searches show you just how different a search engine user’s intent may be when looking for “homes for sale in Boston.”
If you want to target homebuyers that are looking for a particular type of real estate that’s relevant to what you can offer – such as luxury real estate or homes in the suburbs – then using long-tail keywords can help you narrow down your target audience to bring more qualified leads to your site.
- Make your website mobile-responsive.
Real estate SEO isn’t just about the keywords. It’s also important that the structure of your site is optimized for search engines. And with so many local searches taking place on a mobile device, it’s vital that your real estate website is optimized for mobile.
If your site is difficult to load, read, or navigate on a smartphone or tablet, you may be turning potential leads away without even knowing it!
The majority of local searches take place on a mobile device, making it vital for you to have a mobile-friendly website.
As you audit your own website, keep the following in mind for making your site mobile-responsive:
- Keep your site content simple and easy to read, prioritizing the content that your visitors will need most.
- Make sure that font size is large, font type is legible, and all colors are easy to look at and read from any size screen.
- Design landing pages that are clean, clear, and concise, making buttons easy to find and click on from a smaller device screen.
- Make a clear path to conversion by making your contact information and phone number clearly accessible across the site.
- Provide a pleasant user experience by making it easy for users to scroll and read your content without having to zoom in.
- Remember to size and compress your photos so that they are quick to load on mobile devices.
These are just a few ways that you can improve your website structure and content to make it more responsive for mobile devices.
If you don’t have a web designer in-house, you may want to partner with an agency who can help you design a more responsive website. Learn more about our WordPress design services to see how an agency can help improve this part of your site user experience.
- Publish helpful real estate blog content.
Another way that you can capture more leads through improved real estate SEO is by consistently publishing new blog content on your website. Businesses with blogs generate 126% more leads than those without.
That’s because the more relevant and quality content you post that emphasizes relevant SEO keywords, the more likely you are to appear higher in the search engine results page.
Not only does relevant blog content boost your SEO, but it also helps you establish trust and build relationships with potential home buyers and sellers. With 81% of individuals trusting advice and information that comes from blogs, blogging has become an effective way to educate your audience on important topics that are relevant to your industry.
The statistics show that blogging can help you generate more leads and build trust with your audience.
To get started blogging for your real estate business, start by thinking about the topics that are most important for your potential clients.
What do home buyers need to know about working with a real estate agent?
What should home sellers consider before putting their home on the market?
Questions like these are a great starting point for developing relevant and useful blog topics that potential leads might search for when they start looking for a real estate agent.
If you don’t have the experience in-house to create relevant and well-written blog content, you may benefit from partnering with a digital marketing agency that provides blog writing services.
Outsourcing your blog content to an experienced agency helps ensure that you are getting the quality and consistent SEO-optimized content you need. Not to mention, it allows you and your team to work on what matters most to your real estate business.
- Optimize your site content for the search engines.
Real estate SEO isn’t just about the content you write. Some real estate companies make the mistake of creating a lot of great content but failing to optimize this content for the search engines.
If the search engines can’t crawl or “read” your content, then they won’t be able to serve relevant blog and site pages to leads who are searching for content like yours.
There are other elements of your content that you’ll need to consider besides just keywords. Here are some of the elements that you’ll also need to consider before publishing your content:
- Meta Title: This is the title that will appear on the search engine results page. It should contain the keyword you are emphasizing in the content.
- Meta Description: This is a brief description of the content that appears below the title on the search engine results page. This should also include your target keyword along with some text that encourages search engine users to click on the link.
- URL: Your URL should include the target keyword while also describing the content that can be found on the page.
- Headings: Your content should also include H1, H2, and sometimes H3 headings. These should include a target keyword but also accurately describe the content in each section.
- Image ALT text: When you include images on the site page or blog post, you need to include an image ALT text for every image. It should describe the image while also containing a target keyword.
- NAP Information: NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number. This contact information should be included on the header or footer of your site page and should be consistent across pages.
This real estate SEO checklist is a great place to start for your on-page SEO tasks.
The real estate SEO checklist above offers a great breakdown of the specific details you’ll need to be aware of when publishing your content. If you still have trouble ranking your content and reaching new leads, you may want to consult with an SEO agency that has experience optimizing content for the web.
- Develop quality video content.
Video content is not only engaging, but it is an effective way to educate your audience and show them what you have to offer. In fact, 85% of buyers and sellers want an agent who has video marketing.
However, only 15% of real estate agents actually have a video presence. This means that compelling video content is one of the best ways to set your real estate brand apart from the competition.
Relevant and well-produced video content helps you establish a professional image while building trust with prospective buyers and sellers.
Video marketing goes a long way in helping you attract and engage the right audience.
So what should you create video content about? Start with the properties that you are selling. One of the best ways to use video content for real estate is by giving virtual tours of the homes you are selling.
This is a great way to attract the attention of potential buyers while also getting them excited for attending an open house or meeting with you to talk about potential properties.
Homebuyers are using video to find out about communities while also getting a look at houses they’re interested in.
You can also use video content as a way to educate potential buyers and sellers in general. Think about what types of information leads might need before they contact you.
You might create a video about how to choose the best real estate agent or offer some tips for renovating your home before selling. Any type of content that resonates well with your audience will help you boost your real estate SEO while building trust with potential clients.
- Optimize your social media and directory NAPs and bios.
In an earlier section, we talked a little bit about the importance of having a consistent NAP across all of your content. While some real estate businesses are very careful about the name, address, and phone on their website, they may not realize that some of this information is outdated or incorrect on their social media pages or directory listings.
Start by auditing all of your online assets to ensure that your NAP is correct across them all.
It’s important for SEO purposes that your NAP is consistent across sites and directory listings.
Another element that will help you improve your real estate SEO is optimizing your profiles on social media channels and directory listings.
Make sure that your company bio is consistent across all of these online assets. You don’t have to use the same text across all channels. (In fact, you should try to make it unique to each profile.) However, each bio should be on brand and include the important details that individuals need to understand about your real estate business.
You should also include important keywords that individuals might search for online. Many people use social media channels like a search engine by looking for relevant keywords.
By updating your company bio to ensure that it includes important keywords and phrases that people might look for, you can improve your visibility on these channels.
- Encourage past clients to leave online reviews.
Online reviews not only influence your online reputation, but they can also impact your real estate SEO. Online reviews often appear when someone searches for your real estate brand on the search engines. These reviews offer an important opportunity for your brand to make the right first impression.
In today’s digital marketplace, online reviews have become the new word-of-mouth for businesses. The majority of clients trust online reviews as much as they would a personal recommendation from a friend or family member.
This makes it vital that you have customer reviews online that can help potential leads understand what your brand has to offer and what sets you apart from other real estate agents.
Clients use and trust online reviews to help them find the right real estate agent.
Encourage your satisfied customers to leave you a positive review online. There are a number of targeted review sites like Zillow and Trulia that are just for real estate agents. However, reviews on sites like Google and Yelp will help boost your real estate SEO as well.
You might also consider including reviews on your website. Including customer reviews on your site can help boost conversions by more than 20%.
- Get social!
Yet another way to improve your real estate SEO over time is by getting active on social media. Many individuals turn to social media when they want to find out more information about a business. So when potential buyers and sellers are looking for a new real estate agent, they may start searching on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram while also conducting research through search engines.
With 55% of real estate professionals stating that they’re comfortable with using social media, it’s clear that you’ll also need to be active if you want to stay competitive.
When it comes down to it, most buyers and sellers will be more comfortable working with a real estate agent that actively communicates with and connects with community members than someone who has no social media presence.
If you want to capture the attention of your audience on social media, you’ll need to post relevant and helpful content. Share links to your own site and blog posts while also sharing third-party content that might be helpful in the individual’s home search. If you have videos, images, or infographics, share these with your fans and followers as well.
If you want to keep up with competitors, you’ve got to start using social media to interact with homebuyers.
Social media engagement is not only important for your social media marketing, but it also helps improve your SEO. Every type of content that you publish online helps add to your overall online presence.
Your social media profiles and content will be visible when individuals search for your real estate brand, so it’s important that you have a presence.
Getting Started with Real Estate SEO
The best practices above are just a starting point for your real estate SEO. It’s important to remember that search engine optimization takes time, and it is an ongoing process. Though you won’t see immediate results from your SEO efforts, all of these tactics are well worth your time as they will help drive more qualified leads in the long-run.
It’s also important to remember that best practices change over time. Though the tips above provide some tried and true methods for improving real estate SEO, you should also work to stay on top of the latest trends in search engine optimization. Audit your site and content periodically and measure your results over time to determine what changes or updates you can make to bring even more relevant traffic to your real estate website.
Need help getting started with your real estate SEO? As an SEO company, LYFE Marketing provides a range of SEO services customized for real estate. Visit our real estate search engine optimization services page to learn more about what we offer or give us a call for a consultation: (404) 596-7925.