If you're a greenhorn in the real estate industry, you might have overheard more established agents or brokers extol the virtues of SEO. But what does the abbreviation mean and how can you use it to benefit your real estate venture? Keep reading for all the insights about real estate SEO you need to boost traffic to your business website and send your sales figures soaring.
What is SEO?
If you launch a real estate website with no SEO strategy, chances are slim that your target market will even find your new website in the sea of search results let alone enlist your services. This is where search engine optimization, or SEO for short, comes into play. SEO is the process of optimizing the structure and content of a website to rank it higher in search engines. A search engine ranking refers to the position of a website both in terms of which search engine results page (SERP) it appears on and how high up on the SERP it appears when you search for a given set of keywords related to the website.
Why is SEO important for real estate?
As a real estate professional, you might be asking, "Why does SEO matter to me?" Simply put, the more effective your real estate SEO strategy, the earlier and the higher your website will appear in the SERPs for keywords in your niche. This translates into more clicks and a greater likelihood of converting those clicks into revenue. The type of traffic you get from search engines is especially beneficial because it consists of visitors who show a strong interest in the type of services you offer to search out a real estate firm that provides them. These visitors are often warm or qualified leads with a curiosity about. Or have a concrete goal of buying or selling a property, which are the most valuable types of real estate leads.
6 tips to improve real estate SEO
Landing that coveted number-1 spot in Google SERPs, or even making it to page 1, is no easy feat. But you can climb the search engine rankings with time, patience and the following real estate SEO tips:
- Do an SEO audit Evaluate how SEO-friendly your real estate website is now. Use tools like Screaming Frog to assess how accessible your site is to search engine crawlers and whether or not all pages are currently indexed and returned by search engines. Also look for opportunities to optimize on-site (i.e. HTML and source code) and off-site elements (e.g., inbound links from external sites, social media marketing).
- Think beyond high-volume keywords Keyword research is an essential component of on-site SEO. But keywords that get a high volume of searches shouldn't be your only target. In fact, you may find it more difficult to rank high on a SERP for a competitive keyword (e.g., "real estate listings") than a less sought-after local keyword (e.g., "san francisco real estate listings") or another long-tail keyword (e.g., "foreclosure real estate agent near me").
- Get on-site elements in order Be sure that site and page structure are navigable, that page URLs, HTML tags, text and images target your chosen keywords and that internal and outbound links provide value and are neither too numerous nor too scarce.
- Perform off-site SEO to Build authority Getting inbound links from authority websites in your niche can do wonders for your own website's reputation and search engine ranking. The best way to get inbound links is organically by building a website with value-added content. Then, increase your website's visibility by running a social media campaign. Another method involves writing a guest blog post for an authority website and getting linked from that website.
- Create a real estate blog and/or newsletter Maintaining an authoritative blog or newsletter is a great way to get onto people's radar and gain quality inbound links. The key is to create content that is brand-tailored, timely and relevant and informative and/or entertaining enough to make people come back for more.
- Hire an SEO pro Undoing a poorly conceived SEO strategy can be more work than implementing it right the first time. Get help navigating the complexities of SEO by hiring a part- or full-time SEO professional who uses "white-hat" SEO techniques. "White-hat" SEO techniques comply with search engine guidelines. "Black-hat" SEO tactics potentially violate these guidelines that can get your site penalized and lower its search engine ranking.