Best Search Engine Optimization Strategy for Real Estate Companies in the US (and abroad)

Best Search Engine Optimization Strategy for Real Estate Companies in the US (and abroad)
Flying V Group Digital Marketing Agency Logo

Written by Robb Fahrion

Robb Fahrion is a Co-Founder and Partner of Flying V Group. He is passionate about helping businesses grow using the power of the internet. Robb graduated from Chapman University in Orange, CA and currently resides in Costa Mesa, CA. Robb enjoys writing about digital marketing, helping his clients turn their dreams into reality, and he is a HUGE Mike Trout fan.

October 1, 2019

Best Search Engine Optimization Strategy for Real Estate Companies in the US (and abroad)

Reading Time: 12 minutes

50% of buyers between the age of 37 and 51 found their homes online, claims a trends report by the National Association of REALTORS® Research Department.

first-step-taken-during-home-buying-process.png

While you’re reading this, thousands of people from all walks of life either want to buy a new property or sell an existing one online.

How much of this potential client base will you attract today? Next month? By the end of the year?

How easy is your real estate website for these prospects to find?

is-your-real-estate-website-easily-navigable.jpg

Is your website easily navigable, enabling visitors to find what they’re looking for, sort through multiple results, compare listings, and finally buy from you?

How fast, secure, and mobile-friendly is your website?

Do you have a proven email funnel, and follow-up system in place to build a strong connection with prospects, while converting them into raving customers and referrals, who will continue to return?

There are five technical skills that every real estate marketer should be familiar with. SEO is arguably the most important, and assists with all the points mentioned above.

But wait! After 18 years in the ever-evolving and ultra-competitive digital marketing space, I can assure you that what you think you know about SEO (aka search engine optimization) it is not a magic wand, but a lifelong commitment requiring continuous effort because…

It is imperative that you adequately maintain your real estate website like the indispensable business asset it certainly is… not just a lead generator, or a convenient place for your property portfolio.

Prepare to launch your optimal search engine optimization agency strategy with this approach and vision in mind.

Real estate SEO challenges in 2020 and beyond: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Paid-Organic-Zero-Click-June-2019.png

When it comes to real estate SEO, you should know that Less than Half of Google Searches Currently Result in a Click. That means driving free passive traffic from the search engine visitors is becoming increasingly challenging, and you cannot afford to rank below the top 3 results on any given page anymore.

These days, Google featured snippets (position 0) is the ideal, and the most difficult to attain.

But that’s not all, you also need to ensure that your content is properly optimized, on Google’s own platforms, including YouTube, Maps, Images, AMP, and others.

Yes, competition is fierce, and your adversaries are desperate to divert increasing numbers of potential buyers from your website to their digital domain. This means that you either have to take SEO seriously, or you will continue your struggle to generate traffic, leads, and revenue.

Real estate sites such as REALTOR.com, Zillow, Trulia, and Homes.com are the current industry leaders, attracting enough search engine traffic to reduce even the most superior real estate SEO expert teams to a jealous heap.

domain-overview-realtor-com.png

(Screenshot taken via SemRush)

Additionally, the large real estate companies such as Keller Williams, Remax, and Coldwell Banker also receive massive amounts of traffic from Google.

realtor-competitors-traffic-statistics.png

(Screenshot taken via SemRush)

Plus, just about every REALTOR in the country has a website, and each and every one of them are fighting over the same keywords in the SERPs (search engine page results).

Let’s fast forward 12 months. Imagine 10x your website traffic (and revenue) with the right SEO strategy – combined with a consistent content marketing AND social media marketing plan, having the best execution team at your fingertips.

If you can picture that, then you absolutely have to…

  1. Keep up to date with your ideal target audience, and pay close attention to their specific requirements, in order to provide them with a stellar, tailor-made service that supersedes the efforts of your opponents…
  2. Update your site with the best, most recent and insightful content, in your quest to position your real estate agency as the #1 trusted source of real estate content. This ensures that potential buyers and sellers become familiar with you, building a relationship of trust, prompting them to always recommend you as the leader in your field…
  3. Gain experience in the latest technology and digital marketing trends, and make optimal use of the platform they provide, in order to proactively out-smart and out-rank your competitors.

For example, Google My Business (GMB) is an overlooked local business listing service.

When comparing Google My Business insights from 2017 to 2018, a BrightLocal study found that direct searches grew by 38%, while discovery searches were 6% higher. In addition, businesses received 29% more website clicks from their GMB listings in 2018, and 22% more calls.

On average, a business appears in 1,009 searches per month. That’s roughly 33 times a day. So, there are 33 daily opportunities to create a positive impression in the minds of customers with your GMB listing.

With the right SEO strategy, you will be rewarded for your dedication and reap the benefits made possible by your continued efforts. Still, the challenges presented by the real estate SEO space continues to increase and requires five key elements to facilitate success:

(1) Trust & confidence, (2) patience, (3) self-discipline, (4) tracking & testing, (5) learning from mistakes & adapting to new contexts and marketing approaches.

Make this 5-step guide your Search Engine Optimization strategy, and take action.

Before you do anything else, I strongly advise that you bookmark this post, print the entire document, and start working on it TODAY.

You should preferably move forward with an SEO agency that you can trust, who fully understands your vision, and cares about helping you get consistent results, rank higher in Google for hundreds of relevant key terms and searches, while fixing any SEO issues, as quickly as possible, if and when they arise.

Don’t just skim through this content… Absorb it, and TAKE ACTION!

Here is a simple 5-step SEO action guide to make the journey easier and less confusing:

Table of Contents

  • Local SEO
  • Keyword Research
  • Internal Linking
  • Leveraging Mobile Traffic
  • Scale Your Strategy

Step #1: Local SEO for Real Estate Firms. How to Get Discovered Online.

When it comes to local search optimization, search engines, as well as your target prospects want to know whether your real estate business is legitimate with valid NAPs – or rather, “Name, Address & Phone” listings for easy contact.

google-my-business-real-estate-results.png

These listings, called citations, need to be consistent across the web since search engines use them to determine where your business operates from, and how visitors can best reach you.

You want your business to stand the test of time and last for decades, while distinguishing yourself from your competitors. Therefore, you need to carve out a niche for yourself; think local, focus on the city you operate from, and transform your real estate business into a consumer-oriented agency.

Think of SEO as the car, and content as the gas, and how you can grab the attention of your target market.

If you want to generate a continuous stream of clients from an organic search, then start off by creating your Google My Business listing profile; is free, quick and easy. Once it’s done, you can begin the Google My Business (GMB) optimization process to improve your local search presence.

Ensure that you properly complete your profile and provide Google with everything it requires to accurately list your business in the right places at the right times (in local pack and Google Maps). Providing the correct data, as well as compelling information helps you grab the attention of potential customers, prompting them to visit your site or call your number in a bid to do business with you.

local-real-estate-seo-serps.png

An article on Spyserp states that Google considers three factors with regard to local rankings: relevance, distance, and prominence.

If you already have a digital presence, and your GMB listing is complete and fully optimized, then it is recommended that you perform an SEO audit for your website. However, you should do this only after you’ve read this entire guide.

Your listing will enable you to gather pertinent information about your visibility score across search engines, local directories, review sites, as well as social sites, while identifying how well you are positioned across all these channels to enhance the performance of your business in the local ecosystem.

Step #2: Keyword Research Best Practices for the Real Estate Industry

The keyword research process employed by some real estate agencies is too superficial, and touches on competitive key-phrases such as *your city* real estate or *your city* homes for sale. In many instances, these are not the keywords you should be targeting.

Experienced real estate SEO firms, on the other hand, will look for the best keywords to convert, taking into account user intent, while using latent semantic keywords and relevant synonyms.

Most often, they particularly target longtail key terms and additional key phrases to ensure that your website pages have a higher chance to rank on the first page of Google search results. Be sure to utilize a Google rank checker to maximize your understanding of your positioning.

Long-Tail-Keywords-seo.jpg

You will be able to out-rank even the big guys by properly targeting long tail keywords with your website content, instead of the medium to higher competitive key terms.

Longtails consist of a group of 3-5 words, which are ultra relevant, while targeting a specific market and customer need or search intent. Examples:

  • Home for sale in [city]
  • Real estate agent in [city]
  • Apartment for sale near me
  • Real estate SEO in [city]

Examples of potential keyword variables you can use to help generate free passive traffic from the search engines on a continual basis:

  • homes for sale in *your city*
  • *your city* real estate
  • *your city* real estate for sale
  • *your city + state abr* for sale
  • real estate for sale *your city*
  • all of the above with the state abbreviation
  • similar search phrases with subdivisions or counties.

A professional keyword discovery tool such as the one offered by Semrush for e.g., simplifies the process of gathering close to 400 keyword suggestions starting with one main keyword: “houses for rent in los angeles”.