Real Estate SEO - How to Boost your Organic Ranking on Google
I’m a Realtor, Do I Really Need SEO?
The main goal of investing in a real estate website is to get more leads and close more deals. Sure, it can help improve your online image. It can give you a chance to show off local knowledge and industry achievements. It can also be a platform to extend your inventory to include that of other trusted Realtors in the region.. But the main goal, the most important piece, is whether it is helping your business grow. That is why you need SEO. More specifically, you need to optimize and maintain a strong presence on search engines.
An investment in SEO helps ensure that your realty site gets maximum exposure to potential buyers. Odds are, your site is already plugged into an aggregate service such as Point2Homes, or a local MLS.. Although these larger sites will often feed traffic and leads to you, it is important to make sure that users have relevant content, links, images and other elements to engage with once they arrive at your site. Not only will SEO help attract customers to your realty site, it will help get them to come back. It will also help to harness some of that traffic and make sure that you get credit for it.
What is SEO and How Does it Apply to My Real Estate Website?
SEO is Search Engine Optimization. It ensures that Google, Dogpile, Bing, Ecosia, and others, have basic information about your real estate website. This information is shared with people who are performing a search in your local area or half a world away. SEO info will naturally include a few basic details, such as your location and the type of service you are providing. It also includes more specific things, like keywords and a meta description for each page. These piece of information might not seem like much, but they can make the difference between whether your site is thriving or invisible.
A realty site is like most other sites. It has pages that share background and area information, pages that offer products (homes, rentals, etc..), and background on the company and team members. It is important to remember that people could search for any one of these things. For example, have you taken the time to make sure you SEO optimized for basic terms such as (My City) real estate? How do you rank for more specific terms like Condos for sale in (Local Neighborhood)? There are lots of keywords and phrases that people will search for when they are looking for a new home or a local expert. It is important that your strategy takes all of these into account in order to perform well against your competitors.
SEO Optimization: Where Do I start?
#1 Get a Good URL - A good URL will make it easy for Google and your potential customers to know what you do. For example: www.PuertoRicoHomes4Sale.com. Can you guess what that site is for? The idea is to remove all doubt and establish confidence before asking the user to click. A good URL should be simple and straightforward, so people can make an informed decision. No wonder this is one of the top performing sites in Puerto Rico. Feel free to take a look at some of the other internal pages to get an idea for why it does so well.
A bad URL does not clearly imply what the site is for. For example: AgentName.com. Although your name might be good as a domain for an online resume, or a portfolio, it is not good for a realty site. Unless someone knows you personally, or is searching for your name, they will not be impressed by that URL in the search results.
#2 Get Rid of Black Hat SEO Tricks - There was a time when you could trick a search engine. Keyword stuffing, blind redirection to other sites, links on unrelated pages, and shady data collection methods were common obstacles. Thankfully, the internet has evolved. Google and the others are now smart enough to tell the difference between a good site and a bad site. Google has a list of black hat (bad) practices that will be penalized and white hat (good) practices that will be rewarded.
Want to learn more about Black and White Hat SEO? This blog article from the Search Engine Journal provides a simple, summary of both.
#3 Update Your Site to the White Hat SEO Standard - Search Engines want to send their users to the best possible site. But how do the search engines know what sites are the best? A good site will have links that point to it from other reputable sites. Think of these as references on a resume. The site should be easy to navigate. This means that the realty site should have a menu that points to all major pages. You can also link to other pages within the content itself. This is useful when you mention specific topics such as price ranges, neighborhoods, or a specific housing type like homes or condos throughout the page. Making it easy for a user to click from one page to another is essential to SEO.
Some of the most important aspects of SEO optimization are keywords and meta descriptions. When a stranger performs a search for a term, it is important that you either use that term, or a close variation of that term on one of your pages. You should also use that term in the meta description for the page. This will help both the search engines and your potential clients identify that your site has exactly what they are looking for. To complete the connection, use part of the meta description and the keyword or key phrase in the page headers or at the top of an opening paragraph.
Boosting a Realty Site in a Competitive Market
There is no substitute for research. Taking the time to identify and rank keywords will go a long way. While some keywords may have higher search value, they are also likely more competitive. This means it will be harder to get on the front page of results. While competing for the main market terms should be a part of your long term strategy, there are other keywords that will help generate traffic, and organic reputation in the short term.
Take the time to search out every term for your business. There are likely several that are missed by competitors, but still searched by potential clients. Certain sites offer free tools, like SERPs Keyword Rank Checker. Just type in a few keywords for your market, and enter your URL to see where you rank. You can even search based on a specific location to focus on a target market.
In the end, you still need to make other efforts and investments to draw traffic to your site. Even franchise real estate companies will feed traffic to their local pages from a blog or social media. Many use Adwords, email newsletters (link to our blog about email) and other methods of targeting an interested audience. Once your real estate website is SEO optimized, the search engines will credit all traffic toward your ranking for page specific keywords.
I’m not Tech Savvy, Help!
If you’d rather just stick to selling houses, we understand. Taking the time to learn SEO, come up with a strategy, and create content is a lot to take on. Lucky for you, there are service companies that exist for this reason. We happen to be one of them.
As we all know, nobody looks on page 2. So, take a look at what we have done for others, and what we can do for you: