An Easy Guide to Creating an Effective Real Estate SEO Strategy
The online world is a very competitive landscape for realtors, just like a hot real estate market. According to the 2019 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers from the National Association of Realtors, 93% of buyers considered websites the most useful source of information during their home search. Additionally, looking at properties online was their first step in the homebuying process for 44% of recent buyers.
It goes without saying that for real estate agents to succeed in today’s internet-first world, they will need a strong online presence. But what exactly can you do in order to make that presence felt?
The truth is, it’s less about how you find new clients and more about how you can make it easier for them to find you.
This is where real estate search engine optimization, or SEO, comes in.
What is SEO?
There are a lot of technical terms associated with SEO, but the most important thing to know is that it’s what drives traffic from search engines right to your website.
Many people think of SEO as a single tool or process, but it’s really a combination of several techniques that help search engines locate sites, organize information properly, and deliver relevant results to users looking for them.
Why do real estate agent websites need SEO?
Search engine optimization can boost your real estate business toward greater and more sustained success. It is an essential tool to have in your portfolio to increase your presence and impact on the competitive online landscape.
As an agent, you want to generate as many warm leads as you can out of the 44% of buyers who begin their home-buying journey by looking at houses online.
You also want to make your expertise known to homeowners looking for professional assistance when they sell their homes.
Real estate SEO is your path toward maximizing these opportunities.
A properly optimized real estate website can help you get hundreds of unique visitors every month. Without SEO, your website and all of its content can easily be overshadowed by those from competing local agents and experts in online searches.
Targeting a specific audience
SEO plays a significant role in real estate websites due to the industry’s hyperlocal nature. Any company — big or small — can take their business to greater heights just by optimizing their real estate website for local searches.
With an excellent SEO strategy, content from your real estate website will appear at the top of the list of results whenever a potential client looks for homes for sale in your area, or for a local expert who can help them turn a big profit from selling their property.
Creating and promoting consistent quality content
The more quality content you create and publish on your website, the greater your chances to direct attention to your website’s listings and professional services. But pushing content without taking SEO into account will be an exercise in futility. Quality content should always go hand-in-hand with a sound SEO strategy.
SEO can also help you produce the content that you need to draw attention to your website. With SEO, you can perform keyword research to determine what prospective home buyers and sellers in their area are looking for. From there, you can devise an effective strategy to incorporate those keywords in your website content in a natural way.
Your use of SEO strategy will come full circle as your SEO strategy becomes a crucial piece in promoting your content and maximizing its exposure. SEO makes your content easier to find, share and/or reference, helping you gain greater authority in your field.
What benefits can real estate agents get from incorporating SEO on their websites?
As a marketing technique, SEO works inbound. This is one of the biggest advantages you can gain as a business seeking leads. This approach is a major contrast to common outbound marketing methods such as spam emailing, cold calling, and popup browser ads, which most consumers find intrusive — or even downright annoying.
Inbound marketing methods like SEO are more customer-centric. These involve creating helpful information that benefit your target clients and, more importantly, making it more accessible.
This is a great benefit for real estate agents — whenever home buyers or sellers need information, SEO makes it easier for them to find your website, increasing your chances of generating leads and sales through your website.
TracyTutor.com is an excellent example of how relevant information can be packaged into a convenient and elegantly designed resource. From featured listings to per-neighborhood listing catalogs to a variety of rich media, this website is loaded with interesting and engaging content. Anyone looking into the luxury Southern California real estate market is sure to find what they’re looking for — and perhaps more — here.
When you attract users who are actively seeking information, you gain the opportunity to reach prospective clients right at the start of their home buying or selling journey. To them, you instantly become the reliable go-to resource for their real estate needs as they move forward.
Better brand awareness
Having an optimized site is also an excellent way for you to build your brand. Search engines play a major role in building brand awareness for businesses, and the real estate industry is no exception.
If your website’s content consistently ranks high on Google search results, potential clients will likely have more trust in your brand compared to others that are not as prominent online.
Staying relevant in a dynamic and competitive field like real estate is crucial to success and longevity in the business. This is why SEO is a smart investment for today’s real estate professionals.
Kofi Nartey and Rob Wilner are top-producing agents serving the prestigious Las Vegas real estate market. As professionals who deal with high-profile personalities in the sports and entertainment industries, they place a premium in presenting themselves as dedicated and trustworthy experts that celebrities can turn to for any real estate need.
With their expertly optimized website, Nartey and Wilner are easier to find online. More importantly, the structure and content of their website capture the duo’s distinctive brand as powerhouse agents to the stars.
Enhanced user experience
Maximum visibility and great organic rankings are two of the best benefits you can get as a real estate professional, and you can earn them by offering an optimal user experience on your website. An effective SEO strategy should be a win-win for both you and your target clients.
Ever since Google learned how to detect and interpret it, user experience has become a major element that determines the success of any website. Users want quick and easy access to the information they need, so you must design your website so that it organizes and delivers info effectively.
One clear example of this is how Google has slowly transformed itself into more of an “answer” engine. By displaying sought-after data directly on its results pages, Google allows users to get the information they’re looking for quickly, easily, and using fewer clicks.
Complement Google’s continuously improving search engine experience by crafting a website that is as easy to navigate as it is loaded with helpful content. In other words, give users a seamless transition from search to result. When Google leads visitors to your website, these readers should be able to find what they need in a snap.
Take QuianaWatson.com’s sleek design. It effectively combines vivid images, large text, sophisticated dark backgrounds, and smart use of negative space to lead users’ eyes to the website’s essential features. One quick look is all it takes to find what you need from Quiana’s suite of real estate services.
Long-term marketing strategy
SEO can create a noticeable impact on a website within just the first year of optimization. Many of the steps taken to optimize the site will also create a positive impact that can last for several years.
Even a website that doesn’t have a large amount of SEO recommendations implemented can experience significant improvements simply through basic SEO best practices, especially if it already provides a decent user experience. More effort, time, and budget invested in SEO can make any website a worthy contender in its respective market for years to come.
When Tracy Tutor sought to improve her impact and reach online, one of her goals was to make her branded keywords rank first on page one of all search results. Tracy got the result she wanted, thanks to an effective SEO strategy. TracyTutor.com now ranks at the top of search pages whenever people search her name alongside commonly searched keywords — for example, “Tracy Tutor real estate,” “Tracy Tutor home for sale,” and “Tracy Tutor realtor,” just to name a few.
This enhanced visibility and prominence in search results will benefit Tracy’s real estate business for the long term. She is now in an excellent position to be recognized as the leading expert when it comes to Beverly Hills luxury real estate.
No need to pay for ads
Organic search rankings are all based on algorithms that determine the top results for any given query. Properly optimized pages and content are prioritized by search engines, enabling them to attract traffic for months (sometimes even years) after they’re published. You will not need to depend on paid website ad campaigns to capture attention in online searches.
This will require quality content, however. You need to take into account the keywords that your target customers are using when they search for information, as well as how well your competitors are using them in their own websites.
You also need to consider regular updates to your site every few months. Adding new content and/or updating your existing pages help keep your website optimized for relevance and appeal.
And while you can certainly research and write content by yourself, there’s no denying the fact that it’s a time and energy-intensive process. You can hire a digital marketing agency like Agent Image instead. With a team of expert content creators helping you out, you’ll have more time to focus on other crucial aspects of your business.
How real estate professionals can integrate SEO into their agent websites
Having the right real estate SEO strategy will give your website a higher chance of attracting more potential clients, but how do you start?
In this section, we offer a few helpful SEO tips to improve your real estate website:
Run an SEO audit
An SEO audit is one of the first things you should do to optimize your website for local searches. If your site has low rankings or does not attract organic traffic or generate leads, an SEO audit will tell you why and how you can remedy the situation.
Local SEO audits examine specific areas in your website, including:
- Site structure
- Page structure
Improving these particular aspects will help you get higher rankings in local searches, increasing your chances of driving more traffic into your real estate website.
Performing a thorough and effective SEO audit takes more than just an eye test and a manual review of your website’s features, however. As SEO techniques become more sophisticated, so do the tools required to assess your SEO strategy’s effectiveness. Prominent examples of these include SEMRush, Moz, and WebCEO.
Of course, advanced tools require advanced knowledge. This is why when you aim to maximize your website’s potential through SEO, it always pays to seek the expertise of trained and experienced professionals. With reliable SEO specialists looking into your website’s SEO audit, you will have an easier time addressing the essential fixes that your website needs to perform better in search results.
Optimize your website
When you have already identified the specific areas you need to improve on your site, it’s time to fix them.
Your SEO expert will consult you and walk you through a number of crucial steps involved in this process. These include:
- Keyword research and mapping
- Meta tag creation
- Local search setup
- Content creation and optimization
- Setup of website tracking tools
Investing in a long-term SEO engagement is ideal. This way, you can follow through with important maintenance steps such as regular ranking and site performance reviews, competitor analyses, digital consultations, and other necessary site improvements.
Looking for experienced web developers who can help you with your SEO needs? Agent Image is one of the best when it comes to creating effective SEO strategies for real estate professionals and their websites.
Learn more about our SEO packages by visiting this page.
Make it mobile-friendly
Mobile optimization is an integral part of any real estate website SEO strategy, as nearly half of all real estate-related searches are now being made using a mobile device.
With that in mind, your goal is to have a website that looks good and works perfectly, regardless of what device is being used.
Mobile optimization takes care of the following important elements of the user experience:
- Page loading speed
- Hosting speed
- Responsive design and interface
- Site search
Hollywood real estate specialists The Oppenheim Group banked on an important revamp of their website to incorporate a more responsive, mobile-ready design. Being top-producing agents in the City of the Stars, they know that their clients lead fast-paced lives with hardly any time to sit down and browse on a computer. Embracing high-quality website design that is both attractive and functional on mobile devices is an integral part of a strategy that will keep this firm relevant and prominent in the LA real estate market.
Optimize for Google’s 3-Pack
One nifty feature you might notice in Google searches when you search for local establishments is the Google 3-Pack. If you’re searching for a restaurant in a specific area, for example, the top three establishments related to your search will appear at the top of the results page, standing out over the rest of the results.
Google’s 3-Pack now includes a map which shows exactly where a business is located. This allows users to factor in distance when deciding which place to visit.
The 3-Pack also displays contact details, hours of operation, user ratings or reviews, and other helpful details for users’ quick reference.
Getting featured in a Google 3-Pack is without a doubt an excellent way to bring in more business. The higher you rank, the more you’ll be able to attract buyers searching for a home in your area. Satisfied clients will also be able to write reviews, which can help raise your overall ranking on Google.
Start your very own real estate blog
Putting up a real estate blog is an excellent way to establish your “voice” as the leading authority in your area’s local real estate scene. Blog articles help you maintain your SEO strategy while also allowing you to showcase your expertise.
With millions of people across the country looking for reliable real estate information every day, your blog can provide a free and easily accessible resource that can encourage visitors to explore more of what you offer in other areas of your website. With regular updating and proper maintenance, your blog can cement your reputation as your area’s go-to real estate agent.
Ernie Carswell & Associates add more life to their elegant luxury real estate website with an informative blog page. Visitors of CarwellAndAssociates.com can access a wide variety of topics that shed more light on the kind of lifestyle they can expect when they buy a home in Los Angeles.
Sarah Boyd & Company’s website is another great example. As a brokerage with a particular focus on equestrian properties in North Texas, their firm reinforces their leadership by publishing relevant and up-to-date blog posts that will appeal to their niche market. More than that, they also use their website as a platform to present useful resources for equestrian property owners.
Capture interest with compelling, high-quality visuals
Nothing captures the attention and imagination of internet users quite like stunning imagery. High-resolution digital imaging devices and video streaming platforms are more ubiquitous than ever. Capitalize on them by using high-quality photos and video content to add more life (and personality) to your real estate website.
As a real estate professional, you can get really creative with the way you present information on your website and real estate blog. Explore virtual home tours, captivating aerial drone footage, “top 10 list” videos, and even engaging livestreams as interesting new methods to reach and engage your target audience using your website.
Using edge-to-edge, high-resolution photographs on their website’s top fold, The Carroll Group truly captures the luxurious tropical paradise vibe of their Miami luxury real estate offerings. But the visual treat doesn’t stop there. Right below the fold are stunning images of the firm’s featured listings, inviting anyone who sees them to click through and learn more.
The Carroll Group understands the power of compelling images and, more importantly, puts them to excellent use.
Expand your reach using social media
Building your online presence through social media can work hand in hand with your SEO efforts. Practically everyone is on at least one popular social media platform — whether it’s Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or some other hot new channel — so use this knowledge to the advantage of your business.
Using social media to promote your real estate business provides a number of benefits, including:
- Increased traffic and exposure
- More chances of converting traffic into leads and sales
- Opportunities to connect and engage with your target audience in real time
- Building more awareness, trust, and authority for your brand
- Flexibility in terms of the type of content supported – from photos and videos, to blog articles and local area news, and everything in between
For your real estate website, highlighting a section that showcases your social media activity will not only add a visual focal point for the viewer, but also increase avenues for customers to engage with you. Websites like LouisePhillipsForbes.com and TheAltmanBrothers.com do a great job of emphasizing their activity and availability via more ubiquitous social media channels. With more opportunities to connect, you also gain more opportunities to welcome new business.
Looking for more real estate SEO tips? Visit our blog to learn more.
Get to the next level with a solid real estate SEO strategy
If you’re looking for the best way to increase your leads and bring more targeted traffic to your website, get in touch with Agent Image today.
Not only are we experts at designing and building exceptional real estate websites, we also make sure that you get maximum visibility so prospective clients can easily find you when they search for their real estate needs online. Our dynamic SEO packages are designed to boost your organic site rankings in top search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, Bing, and more.
On top of that, our expertise helps ensure that your website’s real estate SEO strategy always keeps up with the constant refinements that Google and other search engines make on their search algorithms. Count on us to keep your business relevant and authoritative no matter what new trends or changes come.
Want to learn more? Talk to our team of SEO specialists by calling 1.800.979.5799 today.
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