What Brokerages and Agents Need to Know About Real Estate SEO
Over 90% of real estate brokerages have a website. Chances are good that statistic holds true in your market. Because it’s such a competitive industry, you have to know how to do SEO for a real estate website to get to the top of search results pages. Without it your website will get lost in the crowd and leads will go to your competition.
The silver lining is the nature of the real estate industry. Real estate agents serve clients in their local market. With a local SEO strategy even a "one-man" shop can rank alongside the biggest brokerages in a city and get highly targeted leads that generate business, not just traffic.
What is SEO Services for Real Estate?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is used by businesses in every industry. How a business goes about using SEO depends on their market and customer base.
Real estate SEO takes into account that it’s a hyper local industry that’s service-based. Reviews and recommendations heavily impact client decision making. Each lead is potentially worth a substantial amount of money, and because clients are spending a lot of money they are risk adverse. It’s also a highly visual industry where images play a huge role.
Local SEO for Real Estate
Any sound real estate SEO strategy is going to focus on local search engine optimization. Real estate agents are licensed in a particular state, but their service is typically much more granular. Most agents only work in a metro, city or even specific neighborhood, which means ranking for general terms isn’t ideal. Being too generic means your website won’t show up when someone searches for a home or agents in your target market.
You want to get in front of people who are searching for properties and real estate services in your market area. The way to do that is with local SEO. Your entire website design, keyword selection and content should based on your local market. Whenever possible, geotargeted terms should be used to make it clear that you serve a specific area. These local SEO practices apply to both the residential and commercial real estate industry.
What is SEO Services Benefits for Real Estate Agents?
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has determined that 93% of buyers use online websites as an information source. Local SEO services are aimed at helping you capture more of that market share by targeting searches for your area.
Traffic may not increase much but the quality will.
What Do SEO Services Include for Real Estate Websites?
Since every SEO campaign should be unique, it’s hard to say what SEO services will be included to boost ranking. It largely depends on what condition your website is in and what SEO efforts have been implemented so far.
SEO for real estate agents should always include:
Technical SEO Audit
SearchRPM starts by applying technical SEO. We’ll evaluate dozens of factors related to how the website is built in order to make it as search-friendly as possible. The evaluation will uncover whether a few things need fixing or a complete overhaul is needed to help the website rank and function better.
Local Keywords and Content
Keyword targeting and content generation is another key element for local real estate SEO. Keywords should include local terms as well as geotargeted terminology like “near me” and “nearby.”
Real estate leads are looking at images. It’s a great opportunity to optimize your website using local terms and show up in image searches. You can do this by utilizing localized keywords in the title, meta descriptions, hashtags and ALT text.
Nearly half of all real estate search are now done on a mobile device. Every year more and more buyers are using mobile devices to search for homes and gather information on the go. Your SEO strategy should include a responsive design that displays properly in mobile format, fast loading pages, easy site navigation, site search and a user-friendly experience.
Linking With Local Thought Leaders and Influencers
Real estate leads value other people’s opinions when it comes to working with an agent. In this industry you’ll want to get as many good reviews as you can. It also helps to be recommended by industry leaders and influencers. A PR outreach program that makes connections and gains links from authority websites should be a part of your overall SEO strategy.
Real Estate SEO Service Should Be a Business Investment
How much SEO services cost isn’t as important as the value that’s gained. Mastering local real estate SEO isn’t easy. It requires the understanding of a real estate SEO expert to identify action items, implement them and measure the success so that strategies can be fully optimized.
The goal is to not simply move up the search engine rankings and increase traffic. Those are two nice outcomes, but they don’t mean much if the traffic isn’t primarily the people who are looking for your services. What we always strive to do at SearchRPM is use a local SEO approach built around your market so that traffic becomes leads that convert into clients.
SearchRPM specializes in real estate SEO and has handled major campaigns for some of the most prestigious builders and brokerages in the country. If you’re a real estate agent or brokerage that needs help putting together a local SEO strategy, let’s connect!
Michael Ramirez is the Founder of SearchRPM, an Austin, TX based search marketing company that’s well-versed in Search Engine Optimization best practices. You can follow Michael Ramirez on Twitter @searchrpm to see what he’s up to next.