Real estate SEO is the number one way to automate your leads, gain traffic, and make Google do your real estate marketing work for you.
Studies have shown that 95% of home buyers begin their home buying journey online. For an agent or Realtor, this means that your real estate website should be up to date and optimized for SEO (search engine optimization).
The most successful real estate agent is no longer the one who knows how to find customers, but rather the one who gives clients more ways to find them. That’s where real estate SEO comes into play.
We know that not every real estate agent is naturally an SEO wizard. That’s where this article comes in. Follow along to figure out what all this SEO nonsense is about and how to use it to your advantage when marketing your real estate business.
What Is Real Estate SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. The acronym refers to the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.
For real estate agents, this means showing up at the top of Google and other search engines' results when people are looking for someone to help them buy or sell property.
Consider the way you search for things on Google. You type in your search query and are likely to click on one of the top 3 or 4 results. Your potential consumers function the same way when searching for homes.
In order for your page to come up as one of those top results, you’ll need to put in intentional SEO work when creating your community pages, blog posts, and landing pages.
Real Estate SEO Tips
Search Engine Optimization can be very stressful, and outranking all the real estate firms on Google may never happen, especially if you use a home search with iFrames or subdomains. The good news is that doesn’t have to be your story. You only need to rank for local SEO in your area.
Here are some helpful tips you can implement to make sure you’re more competitive in the eyes of search engines, buyers, and sellers.
1. Do the Keyword Research
Keywords are at the center of SEO strategy. Many of the tactics you’ll see in this article are dependent on knowing what local keywords to use. This doesn’t just include inserting generic keywords like “real estate in New York”, it also includes appealing to what your audience is specifically looking for.
Keywords guide you on the kind of content to publish on your website. Think about what buyers in your area would look for, and make sure you have relevant pages on your site that will lead them to you. Your keywords should always match the needs of your local market and appear on your different site pages, including:
- Blog Posts
- Landing Pages
- About Me/Bio Page
- Community Pages
- Page Titles
- Meta Descriptions
- Alt Tags
Remember to use a different keyword for every page because you don’t want to compete against yourself.
Here are two categories of keyword research to consider.
- Broad keywords. These are the keywords that you’ll optimize for your major pages, such as the about us page and home page. They include simple keywords, such as “Tampa home search” or “Miami real estate”.
- Long-tail keywords. These are the keywords that determine your blog content. They include answering the questions the home buyers in your area may be struggling with. For example, “the cost of a three-bedroom condo in San Jose” or even “how much do I need saved up before buying a house”.
Google changed several years ago to focus on “searcher intent”, and Google is able to use all of the information they know about someone combined with the terms they’re searching for to deliver their unique search results.
As an example, someone could search for “condos in Atlanta”, and Google knows that the searcher is a single mother, into crossfit, and is really looking for a condo within walking distance of Ponce City Market. If you build a hotsheet or community page titled “Condos within walking distance of Ponce City Market” with good content and a modern IDX, you could rank for that search.
Don’t Overuse Your Keywords
Keywords are like your favorite dessert - you may be tempted to stuff your website full of them, but they are always better in moderation. Google penalizes sites for keyword stuffing (too many keywords fitted unnaturally to cheat your way to ranking).
However, given that your keywords should be directly related to the topic of your page, weaving the keyword through the copy shouldn’t be too difficult. Try not to overthink it, your page’s content should feel natural to your visitors (and Google).
Pro-Tip: The best judge of how natural something sounds is to read it out loud to yourself. If it sounds strange or unnatural while you’re reading it, chances are likely your site visitors will have the same experience.
2. Make Sure Your Website Is Mobile-Friendly
If you started your real estate business a long time ago, you might have overlooked the need for website compatibility with mobile devices. However, research shows that over 50% of web traffic comes from mobile devices. Google has picked up this trend and is now using mobile compatibility as a factor for ranking.
Search your website on your mobile and see how it behaves. Make sure it loads fast and is easy to use. If not, make the appropriate changes.
There are available options, such as making a responsive site that works well on desktop and mobile. Regardless of how you go about making those fixes, it’s critical that you do so. If a mobile user clicks on your site and discovers that it isn’t mobile-friendly, they’ll be clicking that back button and onto another site within 3 minutes.
Pro Tip: Make sure you are using a modern IDX that avoids iFrames and subdomains. Those can break even the best website theme.For some guidance, here is a blog post on which WordPress themes are best for real estate websites.
3. Improve the Speed of Your Website
Internet users have a very short patience threshold. Similar to how people function on websites that aren’t mobile-friendly, mobile users love websites that take only a second to load. If your website doesn’t have the speed, many of your web visitors will leave as soon as they click on it, and you'll lose that traffic.
This bounce rate sends a signal to Google that people aren’t finding what they are looking for on your website. Since the satisfaction of the user guides Google algorithms, this could affect your ranking.
To help your website load faster, here are some steps you can take:
- Choose the right host provider
- Compress images
- Enable browser caching
- Reduce the number of plugins you’re using
4. Use Internal Linking
Linking is another key component of SEO. Putting backlinks on your website allows you to keep older posts relevant and helps Google find your posts. This boosts your SEO equity and keeps your web visitors longer on your website, which may lead to purchases as well as boosting your SERP position. There are two kinds of links you should use within your website’s content:
- Links to other relevant sites. These links help your readers find more relevant information, which makes you a reliable source they’ll keep coming back to. These backlinks also give search engines a chance to find your own blog posts.
- Links to posts on your own site. These links allow you to keep the traction going on older blog posts and pages. With each new page you create, think of where you can insert a link to an older, but still related, page on your site.
There are many places to add backlinks on your site, but you will find the most opportunities to insert those links on your community pages and blog posts.
Community pages are an easy way to include backlinks on your site, specifically links to your other pages. For example, if you have a neighborhood page for Brookhaven in Atlanta, there are several well-known surrounding neighborhoods that you can have pages for and show links to. This provides more information for the home buyer, and it keeps visitors on your page.
Blog posts provide a wider scale of backlinks for you to use. The topics of your posts can be anything from first-time home buyers to San Francisco Real Estate and everything in between. Find keywords and phrases to link to other relevant pages. If you can find places to naturally link your older blog posts, even better!
Pro-tip: Google and other search engines love to see statistics and facts within internet content. Using these facts are an easy way to incorporate credible backlinks on your real estate website.
5. Add Your Website on Review Sites and Relevant Directories
Make an effort to have a profile on popular sites such as Google My Business, Yelp, AngelList, and Trust Pilot. Also, create profiles on real estate websites like Realtor.com, Zillow, and Redfin. Remember to check if there are any local websites for real estate listings. The more local you can go, the better chances Google has of finding you.
The sites give you a chance to get a backlink, which is vital for your ranking, and it increases the number of places your customers can find you on the web.
Make sure you format your information with one style for all the listings. This will help Google know the listings are for one business. For example, if your business is New York, avoid submitting New York on one listing and NY on another.
6. Invest in Good Photos For Your Website
While good reviews and good content may drive home buyers to your website, the emotional connection they make with photos is what drives the sale.
Your real estate website will convert more web visitors to buyers if you have high-quality photos on your website. Since Google sees a certain way, remember to add optimized alt tags, so they play a role in your ranking factor.
Check out this article on Real Estate Photography for some pointers on how to get the most high-quality photos for your site.
If possible, go the extra mile and add video content. This can be a blog-turned-video created on Canva, a video tour of a new listing, or even a video of you sharing up-to-date stats from the real estate industry.
Here’s an example with this article that shows how easy it can be to turn one of your blog posts into video content:
Having written, photo, and video content on your site allows Google to find you in more ways than just one. It may be easier for your video to rank on Google than it is for your written blog, and those are views you don’t want to miss out on.
Similar to your photo tags, make sure to use optimized keywords in your alt tags on videos as well.
7. Promote Your Content on Social Media
In small cities, great real estate SEO puts you ahead of the game. Yet if the competition is stiff, sharing your content may boost your chance of attracting more traffic to your site.
Your current and potential clients are on social media, point-blank. According to Pew Research Center, 79% of 18-to-29-year-olds use Facebook and 67% use Instagram. 82% of 30-to-49-year-olds use at least one social media platform, with Facebook and Instagram being the favorites. The people within these age demographics are going to be your home buyers for the foreseeable future.
Sharing your content on social media gives it more of a chance of being seen, and it provides search engines, like Google, with 1-5 more websites to find you on.
This doesn’t have to be brand new content either! There are several ways to use the content you already have to create graphics, videos, and testimonials to post. For some tips on how to optimize your social media for your business, check out this article on Social Media for Real Estate.
Also, utilize your email list to get support from your loyal subscribers. Need help promoting your content? Talk to one of our Showcase IDX Certified Partners.
Do You Want to Know More About Real Estate SEO?
Optimizing content for real estate SEO ensures that your clients can easily find you. Having great content and answering the questions your customers can make you the leader of real estate in your area, which builds trust for your brand.
Take your time to implement the right strategies for your business. Improve your website’s user experience by trying out our free 10-day trial account.