Real Estate SEO: The Ultimate Guide

SEO for Real Estate: The Ultimate Guide

Real estate SEO strategies, tips & tricks to get more leads, clients & listings

Every business needs to have a strong online presence these days, no matter your line of work. A company website is typically the first thing that buyers see before they interact with you directly. If you are a real estate company, you need to make sure that every listing is online with great photos and descriptions. You will get more interest this way than by people passing by a window in a brick-and-mortar establishment. The right real estate website needs strong real estate SEO. However, many companies fail to provide this and see sales slump compared to technologically savvy competitors.

This guide aims to provide a comprehensive view of precisely what you need to improve SEO for real estate. The first section will focus on the quality of the website itself, from the first impressions to the content and navigation. From there we will discuss the importance of the right real estate keywords, links and listings to boost your ranking online. Finally, we will talk about the impact of social media on real estate SEO and mobile optimization. Once you have a better idea of all these components, you can then consider the potential of an SEO audit for your website.

Pro tip: Make sure that you approach SEO as a part of your overall all digital marketing strategy.  It shouldn't be the only thing you do.  SEO takes months to be successful and see sustainable results, so its wise to include multiple tactics.  You may want to consider hiring a marketing company to help with your overall strategy.

Make sure that your website creates a good first impression with prospective home buyers and sellers

First of all, we need to talk about the importance of a good first impression on your homepage. Imagine you are a young professional or couple looking to buy a home in your area. They know little about their options but an advert appeared online or through a related search term. Once they click on your link and open your page they need to stay there. You need something welcoming and professional to invite them to take a look around and view the listings. If the don’t trust what they see they can soon turn to a rival company.

The best way to create that great impression is with a great design. With the right layout on your real estate website, you can draw people in and show them that you have the content they need. Be careful with the number of images and videos you have on your pages. Less is more. You don’t want to bombard people until they are no longer sure where to look. Choose engaging relevant content (preferably something that doesn’t have any copyright restrictions) and tie in some relevant keywords. Avoid using pop-up videos and mailing list prompts on the homepage because this can be very off-putting.

This first impression and the presence of those annoying pop-ups can have a massive impact on your bounce rate. This is the rate in which people close your site right after opening the link. Google pays close attention to this and you don’t want them to see that people are bouncing over to competitors too quickly.

Speed is essential when building the perfect real estate website

Another potential reason for this increased bounce rate is site speed. How quickly does your site load? Is your page load speed more than 6 seconds? If so, homebuyers may turn to another directory and give up. Online consumers are anything but patient.

On the subject of a lack of patience, you also need to make sure that there is simple navigation between your pages so users can find what they need. There should be clear pages for your current listings, contact information, blog and any neighborhood pages. We will discuss the importance of those localized neighborhood pages more below. Navigation also means creating a site map. A skilled SEO auditor can help you create this so you can maintain your site with greater ease.

Link building and navigation help you improve user interactions

Good navigation between listings and pages relies on the quantity and quality of your links. Too many sites suffer from broken links. Internal links and backlinks are all essential for building a good presence and reputation online. You can get a local business to link back to your site. Perhaps a local establishment or community centre would like to help you sell homes in the area for local families. create backlinks with guest posts on other sites and add internal links on your content to improve views and navigation. The bottom line here is that these links must all work. Broken links are a nightmare because it stops users dead in their tracks and looks unprofessional.

Creating a contact page that actually works

Make sure that all your contact information is up to date. If these hopeful homebuyers like what they see and want to view one of the properties, they need to be able to find you to talk about their options. First of all, this means that you need a local address schema on your website for Google Maps. This provides an accurate pinpoint of where you are in relation to other locations, such as the property in question, as well as the precise business address. This content page must also include your phone number and this number must be consistent in its formatting across the site. After all, you want visitors to call a make an appointment for a viewing.

Take advantages of any customer reviews you have to boost your reputation

Some sites underestimate the potential of online reviews as an SEO tool for real estate but they are critical. You can use pre-existing customer reviews to your advantage on your site. Add links to Yelp and Google place reviews to show all the positive feedback. You could also create a page dedicated to positive testimonials from users so build trust even further. Sites that take advantage of the Google directory can benefit from these reviews even further.

Real estate SEO can improve with a little help from other sites and directories. The best option for those getting started is to get listed on Google. There is a helpful 3-part package that includes Google My Business, Google Maps and Google+. This listing provides homebuyers with instant information about who you are, where you are located and your reputation with customers. This sense of location will also indicate the possible location of your properties. They can then click the link and search for specific homes.

It is also important to create plenty of content that serves more than one purpose for the reader

Trends have changed in recent years when it comes to written SEO content for real estate websites. It is no longer enough to put out lots of 500-word pieces and expect to improve your ranking. Google wants to see larger articles with more in-depth information and points of interest. To be honest, so do users. 500 words may be too short to give the detail and insight they are after. But, if you go too long and ramble away from the point, they may lose interest. A common rule is to aim for something over 1000 words where readers can gain valuable information during a coffee break.

Having great content is critical not just for SEO, but also lead generation.  Your content should inform and educate the reader to position you as the authority in your local market.  This helps visitors bond with your brand and encourages them to contact you as a new lead.  Be sure to include good calls to action within your content so visitors take action and you can convert them to leads.

Some of these articles should be in the form of blog posts

You should also create plenty of blog posts so that you appear to be the authority site on your subject. There are two approaches here: different pieces on a similar theme or a sense of taking readers through the customer journey of your services. The latter means that you can take a new homebuyer with no previous experience and talk about every aspect of their journey from viewing a property to making an offer. You might not think that a blog post belongs on a site focused on seller houses. However, these posts can help you connect with people and answer important questions. You can ease their mind about the process of buying a home or talk about the perks of a particular neighborhood.

Don’t limit this written real estate SEO content to your own website

Another strategy here is to add content to other authority sites. This is where you can share ideas on a more reputable site such as a leading real estate site like Zillow or a popular blog. This creates backlinks to your content, which is something that Google likes a lot. The more of these you have, the better the chance of improving your rankings. Look out for local businesses and other sites that may be open to a guest post.

All of these pages need the best meta descriptions possible

SEO auditors will always tell people to fix their meta descriptions to increase organic traffic to the site. However, some small-scale websites don’t employ this tool at all. The meta description is a snippet of information about what to expect on the page. This helps users decide if it is the right page for them. A lack of a description can be a turn off as it suggests a lack of professionalism. Front-load your description with the right location and service keywords. Do this for every page you have so viewers can’t miss you. From there, you also need the best meta title to stand out from the crowd. A strong meta title helps a business stand out on search engines and you can rank higher with Google analytics.

Improved SEO for real estate websites also means adding the right keywords into your content

Keywords are both a blessing and a curse for SEO rankings. If you use the right ones in the right way, you can see a big improvement in search engine rankings. It can also improve the flow of your written content. Choose the wrong ones in the wrong places and you might end up with awkward sentences and some red flag with Google’s bots.

Ideally, there should be no more than a 1% keyword ratio per keyword to prevent what is known as “keyword stuffing”. Google doesn’t like this and searchers are pretty wise to it too. It makes the page sound as though it was written by a bot. Authority sites with high rankings need natural-sounding articles written with the reader in mind. But, they still need the right search terms in the right places. A good place to start is to make sure that there are real estate SEO keywords in the URL, page title and meta description so you can stand out.

Making sure prospective clients can search for you

If you are unsure on which long-tail keywords to use, take some time to undertake some keyword research. Look to see which similar search phrases appear when you search for one of your main keywords. You can use a broad range of these phrases and common questions to make your content stand out. It also means that you don’t run the risk of keyword stuffing and repeating yourself.

Don’t forget to take advantage of local search tools to enhance your local real estate SEO

One of the best ways for a local business to rank on search engines is with local real estate SEO. This way you can target property listing and specific pages to those with more specific search phrases. Don’t forget that there will be many people performing a local search for your area to find the ideal home. They want the best information on “family homes in [insert name here]” or “new [neighbourhood] apartments”. Google tends to focus in on local results to provide searchers with the best result for their needs. Lean into that with location-related keywords.

Also, don’t forget to create neighborhood pages with local SEO keywords to build content. This trick is perfect for real estate businesses online. First of all, these individual pages let you create content specifically tailored to a district that you cover. You can talk about the landscape, amenities, transport links and more to inform readers. These pages then create opportunities for more local SEO search phrase to improve your rankings. Finally, this quick increase in content can create the appearance that you are an authority site with a lot to talk about.

The next trick to consider is to build upon your social media presence

Social media is an important tool for any real estate business because it allows realtors to reach a wider audience. You can use all kinds of platforms to showcase properties, get involved in local events and jump onto trends.

  • A Facebook page is a great way to communicate with local homebuyers and renters in your area. These interactions may help you to expand and adapt your content in the future.
  • Twitter is full of daily trends and hashtags to get involved with. Maybe local couples have that #FridayFeeling to search for a new property over the weekend. Maybe they wish they lived closer to work on #HumpDay. Whatever the day or occasion, you can link it to a new promotion or new listing.
  • An Instagram post is ideal for posting great shots of interiors and new locations. Add a couple of filters and get followers to share it across the community.
  • Pinterest is one of the best options for traffic and backlinks because of the lifespan of the pins. Create a neighborhood board and get others to share ideas about the area and the properties.
  • LinkedIn is also surprisingly good for generating leads so create a profile here too.
  • Youtube videos are a great tool for those with the skill and confidence to pull them off. They don’t need to be long masterpieces. Just take some time to film a short video on a new listing. This visual content can bring in more eyes and showcase a property with ease. With enough views, it can rank with authority. Make sure to add geotags to the listings and plenty of links and contact information in the video description.

Finally, you need to make sure that you have a mobile-friendly website

Google’s mobile-first index now prioritizes mobile versions of websites. Therefore, mobile optimization is essential for success. It is claimed that 78% of home buyers search for their new home on a mobile device these days. Mobile search functions will lead to a lot of traffic so the site needs to be easy to read and navigate on this device. If we look at Zillow as a major competitor and/or source of inspiration, they perform the best in mobile optimization.

Why does your real estate website need an SEO audit?

As you can see, there may be a lot of problems that you need to fix on your site. The good news is that you don’t have to suffer real estate SEO problems alone. You can take advantage of a comprehensive website audit to help you fix these issues. Marketing experts can use analytics and clear data to locate issues like broken internal links, missing meta descriptions and more. Regular audits from professionals also mean that you can adapt your site to suit the ever-changing rules of Google and other search engines. When you work with our team you can be sure of the very best results for improved real estate SEO for your site. This means the best real estate SEO keywords, no more broken links and a cleaner design.

Strong real estate SEO lets us create more organic traffic with visitors that will engage with our listings and posts. With time, these tools can improve your rankings and sense of authority as a website. This, in turn, will improve your reputation with Google, enhance lead generation and bring in even more visitors. With the right local search terms, written content and social media marketing you can thrive as a leading real estate company in your area. But, you can’t maintain this position without those regular audits. Stay in touch with us and we can make sure you stay at the top of the ladder.