What Is SEO and Why Is It Important for Real Estate Agents?
How can real estate SEO help you and your business? SEO, or search engine optimization, is the method of increasing the quantity and quality of site traffic through organic search engine results. In other words, SEO, and local SEO in particular, is how your customers find your business online. It helps you rank higher on search engines, namely Google. The higher a real estate website ranks on search engines, the more likely potential customers are to find your real estate business. This guide on SEO for real estate agents will cover tricks for real estate agent SEO. It will also discuss real estate SEO tips that agents can use to optimize their websites and generate more leads.
On-Site SEO Tips for Real Estate Agents
When it comes to real estate SEO, the first step is on-site SEO. View this step as the foundation of your SEO strategy upon which everything else is built. Without on-site SEO, any other SEO efforts will not matter. On-site SEO refers to the titles, content copy, meta descriptions for the key pages on your real estate website, including internal and external links, keywords, design, photos, photo descriptions (titles and alt tags), site speed, and page SEO. For your site to rank well for various search terms, be mindful of the keywords and phrases you’re using, and keep your page loading time as fast as possible. Using long-tail keywords is another great marketing strategy as these terms don't have a lot of competition, making it easier for your site to rank. Following these practices can tell Google that you’re an authority in the real estate industry over time. But what other real estate SEO tips should you adhere to when creating your site?
Fulfill User Intent
User experience is crucial to great SEO for real estate agents. This real estate SEO tip pays major dividends, but it often gets overlooked in the course of real estate marketing. Does the customer get what they want from your site when they want it? Is your website easy to use? Look at it like this: Homebuyers obviously want to do business with you since they’re on your site. Don’t give them a reason to not do business with you, such as failing to fulfill their intended purpose for visiting your page. This is why on-site SEO is so important - by utilizing SEO best practices on your real estate website, you make it easier for users who want your services to find you, which reinforces your page’s value to Google search and the other search engines.
Target Real Estate Keywords
Now that you understand the basics of on-site SEO and user intent, you need to target the right keywords. And that includes long-tail keywords with specific phrases that users use when they’re utilizing a search engine. There are primary keywords and secondary keywords.
Primary keywords are words and phrases that are searched for most frequently in regards to a specific topic or service, like “real estate agent” or “how to sell a house”. Secondary keywords are searched for less often - something like “Denver real estate agent” or “how to sell a ski house in Aspen”. It’s important to note that you shouldn’t use keywords just to have them on your site; that’s not good real estate agent SEO. Keyword research is a strategy used in digital marketing, and you can use tools like MOZ to determine which primary and secondary keywords you should use in both your site content and your site structure.
Optimize On-Page Content
One of the best ways to get your site to rank higher on search engines and secure lead generation is to produce high-quality content. From the homepage to secondary pages and your blog, if you crank out great content that visitors find useful and knowledgeable, you’ll nail SEO for real estate agents. High-quality content is one of the factors Google uses to rank sites. If executed consistently, you’ll give Google and the other search engines no choice but to rank your site well. This strategy is commonly referred to as content marketing. But it's not just about the content on your real estate website. It's also about the content you send through email and put out on social media. Marketers view consistent messaging as the gold standard when employing this methodology.
If your keyword phrase is “real estate agents in Denver”, for example, you would structure your on-page content to mention Denver, real estate, Colorado, etc. You can also fulfill user intent by not only providing readers with the information they were looking for, but also by inspiring them to take action on your site. Making reader-friendly content that inspires readers to take action doesn’t have to be scary or stressful - check out our blog on making marketable content if you’re looking for inspiration. The end goal is to get as much organic traffic to your site as possible, and optimizing your website is a key ranking factor for the various SERPS.
Create Local Content
Real estate SEO follows the industry closely in terms of the importance of locality. This is where modifiers on your keywords can really help drive up your ranking. If you add your city and state to your desired keywords, the competition over more specific keywords will decrease, and the reward will increase exponentially.
Also, make sure to include your company’s contact information. That typically means listing your address, phone number, and daily hours on your website. And make it easy for the user to find this information. Don't make them dig around on your website to find how to contact you. If you want their business or more property listings, this information should be on the first page of your website. When it comes to real estate SEO tips, you may think this is obvious, but you’d be amazed at how often this step gets overlooked. By thinking locally and pursuing more specific keywords, you’ll reduce the number of competitors fighting over these keywords, which can improve your website's ranking.
Incorporate Real Estate Keywords Into Headers
One of the best ways for sites to rank for specific keywords is through their headers. Like a headline in a newspaper, a title tag is your first interaction with visitors to your site. It's also the first thing search queries show in the various search engine rankings. The goal is to keep this person on your site, and the better/more relevant your header is, the more likely the reader is to read your content. Remember: When it comes to real estate SEO, always think about user intent. Does your header help the reader become a client? It’s nice to rank for keywords, but one of the best real estate SEO tips is to always think like a customer and to structure your web design around the headers with your potential clients in mind. But proper headers are also crucial for SEO services to reach your target audience.
Off-Site SEO Tips for Real Estate Agents
When it comes to real estate SEO, off-site SEO is one of the more challenging aspects to undertake because there’s only so much you can control. Off-site SEO touches on link building to help you get more backlinks, reviews on places like Yelp and social media, and the utilization of these tools to help you build brand authority in your space.
Build Local Citations, Backlinks, and Reviews on Popular Sites
When it comes to off-site SEO, backlinks and testimonials will take care of themselves if you enact our real estate SEO tips for on-site content. Remember the high-quality content that you’re creating for your webpage? Other sites will want to use it and link to it - and when they do, this is called a backlink. This strategy is another of those real estate agent SEO tips you can use to really grow your company, particularly if sites with high domain authority link back to your content.
Of course, the best way to drum up interest in your website is to quote local experts and local businesses in your content. Doing so lends further credence to your site from Google’s point of view and can also lead to the local expert sharing your content on their social channels, thus exposing your brand to a new audience. Another similar method involves reviews and testimonials. Whether these are on-site reviews or through a third party, Google loves reviews. The better reviews and more stars you get, the better your real estate SEO will be, and the more potential customers will be able to find you in your local real estate market.
Optimize Social Media Platforms
The easiest off-site SEO for you to control is social media. But just like keywords, you need to be mindful about how you use social media for real estate SEO. Creating your social media posts with user intent in mind is critical. Is the information you’re posting relevant and useful? If not, you shouldn’t share it. For example, if you’re looking to improve your REALTOR® SEO and typically post about real estate, randomly sharing a photo of the best cannolis from your trip to Italy probably won’t fulfill your user's intent. Also, use social media to make connections with the major players in your area. These people or companies can help build your local social media following and, in the process, your business.
SEO for Real Estate Listings
Of course, when it comes to real estate SEO and real estate in general, it’s all about the property listings. It’s hard to make money in real estate if potential customers can’t or don’t find what you’re looking to sell. To get the most of your real estate listings, it’s important to optimize your images and headers while including local keywords that target the right customers. In terms of the images, think back to the user experience again. What does the photo show? Is the photo blurry? Again, this real estate SEO tip might sound simplistic, but photos that don’t “sell” the property to a potential buyer aren’t useful.
It’s also important to take advantage of the real estate marketplaces that are out there. Think Zillow, Trulia, and Redfin, to name a few. When it comes to marketing and SEO for real estate agents, every little effort will help. After all, it’s about growing your business over time and reaching new customers.
Hiring a Real Estate SEO Expert - When to Outsource
As an agent, you may already be at capacity with your day-to-day tasks. That may mean real estate SEO is too much to handle since optimizing a website can be time-consuming and tedious. If you have the relevant experience and knowledge for real estate agent SEO, you may be able to tackle it on your own. But for those who don’t have the time and/or experience, it may be worth the investment to find an SEO expert, who can conduct an SEO audit of your site. However you make it happen, real estate SEO is paramount to a prosperous company.