According to the National Association of Realtors, more than 90% of home buyers begin their search online; this indicates how important search engine optimization (SEO) and online marketing is for a real estate agent. Nearly all customer inquiries are made through primary search results via major search engines and other popular advertising platforms. Put simply, higher rankings in search engines can help an agent generate sales, and the real estate industry is often considered the most complicated market to promote on the web.
Real estate SEO can be more confusing than other known forms of online marketing for several reasons. To constantly perform well on search engines like Google, you need to possess and/or perform the following:
- A clean-coded web site
- A fast-loading web site
- Effective engagement on social media
- Content marketing
- On-page optimization of your web site for SEO purposes
- Constant web site auditing
- A solid internal linking structure
- A natural backlink profile
We have compiled some SEO and online marketing tips for brokers and real estate companies to effectively market their web site and establish effective real estate SEO practices. These methods will improve visibility on the web and drive traffic to your site.
Keyword Phrase Research
Everyone in the real estate market is competing for similar set keyword combinations, with huge competition for generic phrases like “houses for sale,” “homes for sale,” and the like. Most real estate agents and brokers will be competing with popular estate portals and web sites like Realtor.com, Zillow.com, and Trulia.com for these keywords, while failing to break through the top 10 ranking positions on Google and Bing. The following guidelines can help in such situations:
Try Targeting Long-Tail Keywords
Optimizing a web site for niche/long-tail target keywords (like “budget homes in Brampton”) can draw more traffic and profits over time. These keywords also have lesser competition and a greater conversion rate.
Focus on your local traffic, as most real estate agents or brokers cater to multiple locations. Start with your primary target, which is the area in which you do most of your business. From there, you can focus on other regions you want to serve. Optimize your real estate site for various search terms, such as:
• (Target city name) estate broker
• Home for sale in (target city)
• Luxury homes in (target city)
• Budget homes for sale in (target city)
• Condos for sale in (target city)
Such keyword sets can be targeted on your web site. For instance, a real estate site that focuses on Mississauga-area luxury homes can use targeted keywords like:
• Mississauga real estate broker
• Luxury homes for sale in Mississauga
• Homes with a pool for sale in Mississauga
• Detached homes for sale in Mississauga
• Condos for sale in Mississauga
Throughout your pages, organize local keyword sets, introducing them into web content that is beneficial for potential home buyers. On a web page like “Mississauga Listings,” offer information on free home evaluations, a market watch, a list of homes for sale, and more.
Write a Blog Post on Homes You Especially Want to Sell
A realtor represents many property listings at a given time. Doubtlessly, some of these prime properties promise a high commission after their sale. The best way to draw visitors to your web site for such properties is to write blog posts. The content must aim at a particular property address that a potential buyer should be able to look up online using Google; the property’s address will serve as your main keyword. Try using your keywords in:
- The title tag or meta title (the text that appears in a browser’s tab)
- The meta description
- The content
- The alt tag on pictures
- The file name of an image
As for your blog content, write 200 words detailing the property features along with additional standard information. In addition, don’t worry about posting duplicate content.
Promote on Real Estate Aggregator Sites
If you can’t beat them, join them. Realty web sites like Zillow and Trulia receive millions of visitors a day; this high viewer rate notably enhances the probable visibility for your property listing. However, this comes at a price, as such sites require an agent to have an account or pay a certain fee to promote their listings. Google Analytics plays a vital role in determining the traffic quality from such sites. If these sources constantly refer potential buyers who visit your site or show interest in one of your properties, then using such traffic sources can be fruitful.
Add a Video to Your Content Strategy
No matter what business you are in, videos have become an essential aspect of content strategy. Of course, this includes realtors who sell physical spaces. Here are some potential content ideas for your videos:
- Property tours
- Neighbourhood tours
- Interviews with local businesses
- Customer testimonials
- Support staff testimonials
- Interviews with influential people
Share Content on Social Media
Speaking of customer relations, social media is a wonderful platform on which to begin relationships. An agent should have a social media presence on platforms like Twitter, Google+, and Facebook. Besides strengthening their current relationships, a broker can easily interact with clients every day, no matter where they are. The real estate industry is all about building strong relationships, so any that an agent builds on such platforms are crucial.
When an audience visits you and discovers an alluring, professional presence on a site such as Facebook, they will be more likely to trust you. And as pictures and videos are the main elements of real estate sales and marketing, brokers can also use Instagram or Pinterest. Google+ users can become quite active in the local communities, as well. Finally, introducing certain hashtags into your social media strategy, such as #budgethomes, #luxuryhomes, or #realestate, may also prove useful.
Enhance the Listing with Additional Information
One of the several benefits of hiring a digital marketing company is your chance to further customize your property listings beyond what you have shared in the Multiple Listing Service. This generally includes optimizing the title of the page, with the exception of the address. Effective ways of boosting your listing include offering a video tour of the entire property and optimizing the URL for a higher click-through rate. Additional information also makes your listings more link-worthy and sends more signals to Google to influence your ranking.
Make Your Site Mobile with a Responsive Design
There has been a rise in the number of home buyers searching for their dream property on mobile phones. These people prefer visiting real estate web sites from the comfort of their home or workplace, while waiting for their turn in a line, when enjoying a coffee at the local cafe, and more. Potential home buyers visit such sites to compare prices and features, read standard property information, call an agent, e-mail or contact a broker, and so on. With these facts in mind, it’s obvious that making a site mobile is an essential part of real estate SEO.
Use Paid Search Advertising
Agents having property listings on their official site should consider pay-per-click ads, which can help drive traffic to a particular page. If all the listings are similar in rates and amenities, then brokers can create just one ad to target potential buyers. For those brokers with an array of property listings, from condominium units and townhouses to single-family homes and multiple family listings, it becomes more difficult, since they have a wider audience to target, plus people may end up visiting only the pages for those home types they are interested in. In these instances, agents can consider ads that target these different home types and build several appropriate landing pages. This is a wonderful way of assuring page-one visibility to help lure audiences when you want them the most.
In conclusion, when it comes to driving traffic for a real estate business, using the best SEO practices can result in profitability and a much greater customer base.