Being online is the best way to market a real estate business. There are no doubts about this. The numbers tell a clear story: 97% of US home buyers research online before making a purchase. Real estate companies have realized this too—69% of them have a website, but this number should be a lot higher. Deciding to be online is easy; making it work is a whole other game.
For real estate websites, there is intense competition for space on the search engine results pages (SERPs), because, with paid ads and Google’s instant results, the number of organic results that show up is dismal. There will be multiple local and large businesses competing for these spaces too.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is what can really help. SEO is not a one-time process. It takes time and also a great deal of effort to get the best results. Google’s algorithm has laid out some key aspects that need to be taken care of, and also an SEO strategy that will work.
FVG has been working with real estate organizations for years and has been successfully helping them rank at the top of the search results and get a TON of organic traffic. There are some specific strategies that we use to ensure sustainable and tangible results from real estate SEO. Here are the highlights from our strategy.
Local SEO: Rank for Searches Locally on Google
For real estate establishments, there is nothing more important than local SEO. Local SEO deals with ranking in local or area-based searches. Like real estate agents in San Jose or realtors in Miami. Google shows a bunch of results of local businesses for such searches but, more importantly, it gives out quick contact details and locations on the map too. These are important things to note to make local real estate SEO work.
Organic search traffic that comes from these searches is very valuable as you can focus your attention on specific areas, making sure your business shows up there. Optimizing your Google My Business page is the first step in this process. The page basically has all the relevant information about your business and, most importantly, ways to reach you. Be sure to include your website details, phone numbers, and addresses to make sure that the target audience who are searching for you can reach you. The Google My Business page needs some special focus as it is easy to make a mistake here.
Make sure you have citations and listings in directories and local publications. These citations should also have information that matches that submitted to the Google My Business page. It is also important to have reviews and ratings from your customers on the page. This will increase the credibility and have an impact on conversion rates from the Google My Business page.
Local SEO ensures local rankings and puts your business on the map, quite literally. The competition here is also going to be intense as many real estate agencies will be serving the same area. So your SEO efforts need to be consistent and also strategic to ensure that your website is ranking on the top of the page consistently.
On-Page SEO: Get Your Pages Optimized to Rank
On-page SEO is basically everything you have to do to make sure that Google indexes your page correctly and also to make sure that your page is ranking as high as possible on SERPs. There are many things to consider here. Keyword research is critical. You need to look at the top keywords that people are searching for and the keywords that are strategically relevant. You can then begin to include these keywords in the website copy, to begin the SEO process.
Having a focus on long-tail keywords would be a smart strategy here. Long-tail keywords are basically phrases that are a bit more complex, but are associated with higher buyer intent. Terms like 2 bedroom apartment for rent New Jersey are long-tail keywords.
One of the most important aspects of on-page SEO is content marketing. You have to create good localized content that informs and educates the target audience. You should not consider content purely from an SEO standpoint too. Content works everywhere. Digital marketing does not work without good content, and the same is the case with social media marketing.
Content can help in both SEO and digital marketing efforts. The key here is to focus on content that adds value to your user’s real estate problems. Quality content is the real differentiator and can make a difference for your site. Ultimately, the lead generation from your digital marketing and SEO efforts will be determined by the content you have on your website. Having irrelevant content is likely to lead to higher bounce rates on the website and ultimately a lower ranking for your website.
There are several other parameters to consider for on-page SEO too. Making your website easy to load and access on mobile devices is important. Google hates slow page load speeds for mobile and will penalize your website if it takes too long to load the page. So work on each page to ensure that load speeds are within the limits and people can access content easily. A properly mobile-optimized site is also great for the overall user experience on the website.
Other aspects of on-page SEO include ensuring proper tagging and optimization of images like including alt text, having title tags and meta descriptions for pages, and having an XML sitemap for the website. One of the important things would be to not use duplicate content on the website. Google does NOT consider duplicate content so your efforts will be wasted anyway, so relying on original content is the best bet.
Finally, you have to also use Google Analytics to track the key metrics and ensure that your SEO efforts are staying on track. Google Analytics can track each search result and will give you insights into who is searching for your content, and which keywords are giving you the best results. For on-page SEO optimization, having a sense of these metrics is important. Have a look at the various ranking factors to understand what the important aspects are and you can deliberately target these aspects to make sure that your SEO strategy is on track.
Off-page SEO is also an important aspect of Google’s page rank algorithm. Google determines the credibility of a website by looking at the quality backlinks that point to the website. Often, these backlinks bring in considerable website traffic too. Off-page SEO mainly deals with this aspect.
The keyword here is ‘quality’ backlinks. Gone are the days where you could simply spam your way into getting a few backlinks. You need to work for it now. Referrals from review platforms like Yelp, real estate listing platforms, and local forums are all great places to get a backlink from. You also have to make sure to not have paid backlinks as Google can usually figure this out, which could do more harm than good.
Other aspects include having credible and active pages on social media channels. Your target audience is looking at social media platforms for recommendations, so it makes sense for you to be present there anyway. But it also helps to increase the credibility of the page and make sure that your page rank goes up.
The real estate industry is a highly competitive space. There are a lot of important aspects to real estate marketing that make it quite a challenging domain. SEO should be an important part of your marketing strategy. You may think that PPC or other paid campaigns are good enough, but there is a major problem here. The click-through rates and conversion rates are quite abysmal for the real estate industry. This will make this effort unsustainable.
SEO is a great bet because it opens up opportunities to bring in low-cost organic traffic to your web pages. Ranking your site for terms with good search volume will give you a steady stream of organic traffic to your website. SEO is also great in increasing the brand awareness around your brand and attracting potential customers to your website without really spending a lot on expensive ad campaigns or in-person events.
Implementing an SEO campaign is no easy feat though. The effort ranges from technical tweaks to content optimization and design optimization. And at the end of it all, there is no guarantee that your search engine rankings would actually go up. The best bet for you is to rely on an expert agency who can work with you in making sure that your website ranks as high as it can.
FVG has been working with real estate companies from across the country in making sure that they meet their goals when it comes to SEO and achieves top Google ranking for critical keywords. Talk to us today!
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