Thorough search engine optimization (SEO) isn’t just for traditional eCommerce merchants and bloggers anymore.
People turn to the internet whenever they need information of any kind, including service recommendations for professionals like real estate agents.
According to research from the National Association of Realtors, 95 percent of prospective homeowners look for homes online.
Of course, some of those people will ultimately complete that process independently, but the vast majority still prefer to work directly with an agent.
And unless you make real estate SEO a top priority for your website, you run the risk of losing all that business to one of your competitors.
Here’s a closer look at everything you need to know to become the SEO ace you need to be to succeed.
What is Real Estate SEO?
You can create the slickest, most user-friendly real estate website in the world and fill it with exactly the kind of great content your prospective clients would love to read.
But none of that will matter if no one can find you in the first place.
SEO is the key to making sure your content is search engine-friendly enough that it’s readily available to those you’ve written it for.
Real estate SEO, in particular, is SEO adapted with the unique needs and goals of real estate professionals in mind.
It’s all about making sure renters and prospective property owners can easily find you online by Googling associated keywords, key phrases, and industry-relevant questions.
What is the Importance of SEO for Real Estate Agents?
Attracting plenty of inbound traffic is essential for any business professional.
However, it’s also worth pointing out that there are industry-specific benefits associated with good SEO for real estate agents.
Here’s a look at just a few of them.
Better Conversion Rates
A great real estate SEO campaign does more than boost your traffic. It raises the likelihood of reaching would-be buyers or sellers at just the right time. This, in turn, leads to higher conversion rates and a better return on your original investment.
Better Brand Awareness
Buying or selling a home is a huge decision, so people often start looking for information long before they’re really ready to finalize a decision or contact an agent.
When they are ready, they’re much more likely to do business with a name they recognize, and thorough real estate SEO helps you build the brand recognition you need to make that happen.
Higher Industry Authority
Great SEO is about more than increasing the profitability of your real estate business. It’s also about building authority and leadership cred within your industry. The better respected you are in your field, the more successful you’ll ultimately be.
Must-Know SEO Tips and Strategies for Real Estate
Now that you know why real estate SEO is a crucial part of your future business success, it’s time to learn how to put together a winning strategy.
Here are some essential tips to help you get started in the right direction.
1. Choose the right keywords
Whether you’re brand new to SEO or are simply looking to make an existing SEO campaign more efficient, it’s essential to make sure you’re targeting the right keywords.
Keywords are an integral part of how search engines like Google match information seekers with websites that might meet their needs, so choose wisely.
Although there’s no law against trying to rank for broad key terms like “realtor” or “real estate agent,” most independent agents and small business owners will have better luck targeting niche keywords and long-tail key phrases instead.
Think “condos for sale in [your city],” “homes using solar energy,” and similar options.
A good keyword research tool can help you pick the right ones.
2. Optimize your site for mobile devices
If you know anything about SEO, then you’ve probably heard at some point how important it is to make your site mobile-accessible.
After all, it’s been a while since people exclusively used laptops or standard desktop systems to shop or conduct research online.
Many people prefer to do those things via mobile devices these days, even when they’re at home, so websites need to be mobile-friendly to succeed.
It’s not just crucial for the convenience of your web visitors, either. Not optimizing your site for mobile can hurt your search engine rankings, as well.
And yes, people are absolutely using smartphones and other mobile devices to find real estate agents, browse listings, and more.
In fact, nearly 75 percent of recent home buyers used the internet to search for homes at some point in their journey, and roughly half of younger homeowners actually found their current homes online.
3. Make quality a top priority
Search engine algorithms are a lot more astute than they used to be years ago.
It’s no longer possible to trick Google into ranking your site by stuffing short, lackluster content chock full of keywords.
Quality is king, and Google definitely knows the difference these days.
Quality also speaks for itself when it comes to search engine rankings. Focus on creating truly helpful, high-value content that digs deeply into topics prospective buyers and sellers want to learn about.
Incorporate relevant keywords in natural, logical ways. Add multimedia options like images, infographics, or marketing videos when and where it makes sense to do so, as well.
4. Work on your backlink catalog
A robust backlink catalog is an essential part of any thorough real estate SEO campaign and with good reason.
When other sites link back to your content, it’s a signal to search engines that it’s resonating with people and deserves a higher ranking.
However, it’s important to understand that not all backlinks are equal in value.
For instance, you should never pay for services that claim to be able to get you hundreds (or even thousands) of backlinks for a fee.
Those links almost always come from low-value link farms and can wind up hurting your SEO more than they help it.
Instead, work on building a collection of unique, valuable articles others in your niche will want to link to and share with their own audiences.
You should also consider building amicable partner relationships with other content producers in your industry, as well as local media partners.
5. Localize your efforts
Naturally, real estate as an industry is highly location-specific, so effective real estate SEO is, too.
After all, most of your potential clients will be looking for properties in a specific city, neighborhood, or another set area — especially when they’re getting close to converting.
Google also loves giving information seekers results that are as specific as possible, so localizing your content is very good for your SEO.
Build dedicated standalone pages for each one of the locations you cover and fill them with informative, keyword-rich content and crucial information about your business.
Update your site’s blog regularly with entertaining, helpful, or otherwise valuable articles, guides, and more.
It’s the best way to show Google that you’re an expert on your unique area’s real estate scene.
6. Register your site in the right places
Think back to the last time you used Google to search for a particular type of local business or service.
Your organic search results likely started with a map followed by a list of companies in the specified area.
Those businesses are there because they’re attached to Google My Business profiles, so you’ll want to set one of those up for your real estate business, as well.
You’ll also want to claim business listings in important directories like Yelp, Yellow Pages, Realtor.com, Angie’s List, and CitySearch.
Register your business on as many reputable directories as possible, starting with Google My Business.
Add additional content like photos and videos where appropriate. Keep your listings up to date and make sure they all match one another.
This helps Google see you as a legitimate local business in your area.
7. Start and maintain a real estate blog
We may be living in the age of social media, but blogging is still alive and well.
Plus, adding a blog to your company website is one of the best ways to maintain a steady stream of keyword-rich, industry-relevant content the search engines will love.
Just be sure to give enough thought to the types of content you’ll be posting. Here are some great suggestions for boosting real estate SEO.
- Informative articles about your neighborhood that might appeal to prospective homeowners, including info on restaurants, nightlife, schools, walkability, and cost of living.
- Visual content that helps people picture the life they’d be living if they purchased one of your properties — video tours, professional photography, virtual tours, etc.
- Detailed videos and infographics designed to deliver deep dives into key topics at a glance.
- Interviews with business owners in your area, profiles on local companies, and so forth.
Set a content production and posting schedule, and stick to it. Do the same with your social media channels of choice, and use them to share your content around.
Not only do your potential clients need to know when they can expect to see new content from you, but search engines love websites that are frequently and consistently updated.
Wrap Up: Take Your Real Estate SEO Campaign to the Next Level
Putting together a successful real estate SEO campaign isn’t a “set it and forget it” type of deal.
As the internet, the world, and the tastes of modern consumers evolve, so does the running list of best practices for effective SEO.
That’s why it’s essential to keep track of current SEO trends and update your real estate SEO strategies accordingly.
Ready to take the next step in the right direction? Check out our comprehensive list of must-know SEO trends!
You’ll learn about first-party data collection, omnichannel digital campaigns, interactive experiences, and many more up-and-coming practices set to be big this year.