The Quick Guide to SEO for Real Estate Websites
The real estate industry is bursting at the seams with people trying to do the same thing as you – generate leads and make deals. You must leverage your personal brand to stand out online so you can differentiate yourself from the crowd of competition. There’s one behind-the-scenes tool every real estate agent needs to learn how to use that can get a steady stream of traffic flowing straight to their websites. Search engine optimization. Below, we explore the basics of SEO for real estate websites.
What is Real Estate SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization, and it’s the first step to getting search engines to work FOR you, even while you’re sleeping. But what IS it, and what does it do?
Search engine optimization refers to all the different ways you can help search engines index your business so it shows up when potential clients look online for someone to help them buy or sell a property. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 44 percent of people looking to purchase a home search online first when they begin thinking about buying or selling a home. That’s why YOU want to be at the top of search engine results!
Most SEO takes place behind the scenes inside your website. If you’ve never given much thought to your SEO, now is the time, and you can start by performing an SEO audit. An SEO audit is a great way to discover how well your pages are performing and what you can do to make improvements. It is a simple way to measure your progress, and it gives you the insight you need to create a plan for success.
Why should I use SEO for my real estate website?
Every search engine does its job by going after content that matches the search keywords. Search engines use algorithms to identify the most reliable information for the keywords chosen. The algorithms are ever-changing and use different criteria to rank websites higher or lower on the search list.
If you want your pages to rank high in a search for certain keywords, you must optimize your pages to target those keywords. Sites that have better SEO will rank higher in the search. If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to SEO for real estate websites, these seven handy tips can get you started in the right direction.
Target the right keywords.
Keywords largely determine how potential customers find you in an online search. If done correctly, optimizing your website for the right keywords will drive traffic to you. Knowing how to do effective keyword research is a skill you need to learn. If you don’t have time, you can always hire an SEO to tackle this for you.
Keywords are a great way to target potential clients interested in the services you provide. Including your location in your keywords is a great way to ensure you direct your marketing efforts to the right crowd and aren’t attracting the wrong type of customer.
Leverage local SEO.
Optimize your Google Business Profile so potential clients can find you with the click of a button. An optimized Google Business Profile will have the following elements filled out correctly:
- Your exact location on a map
- Opening hours
- Website URL
- Telephone number
- Description of your business
- Primary and secondary categories (real estate, commercial real estate, etc.)
The more places you have your name, phone number, address and website listed, the better. Consistency is key.
Add schema markup.
Schema markup is how you structure your website’s code to indicate to Google what format it takes. Essentially it makes your page more friendly to Google and increases the likelihood of being featured in the instant answers or the eye-catching snippets.
Schema markup alerts Google to important information. It recognizes elements like address and phone number and uses it to check Google Business Profile for accurate information. Adding schema markup can increase click-through rate in searches 20-25 percent — That means you’ll get more eyes on your website and content!
With a shift to online search engines for people looking to buy or sell property, it is no surprise that mobile searches are popular. Potential clients literally hold the power in their hands to find what they are looking for.
If you want to appeal to mobile customers, who make up about 89% of new home shoppers, your website needs to run smoothly on smartphones and tablets. When it comes to mobile optimization, the key areas to focus on are:
- Responsive Design
- Page speed
- Hosting speed
- Site navigation
- Site search
A responsive design automatically adjusts your site to fit any device’s screen, which is crucial for usability.
Don’t forget about speed.
Google is not a fan of slow-loading sites, and neither are potential clients.
If something takes forever to load, you will be more apt to click off of it to find something that will load faster. Google uses page speed as a ranking factor.
According to Google, if a page takes over three seconds to load, 53% of visitors will leave before the page loads. The good news is there are ways you can tune up your load speed to be lightning-fast!
Lighthouse is a Google tool that gives you insight into the technical elements of SEO on your mobile website and your site’s usability.
Remember internal linking.
Providing multiple links on your site helps group your resources and provides a logical path for users to find what they are looking for. Internal linking increases the likelihood that the user will stay on your site to see what they are looking for. This creates a positive user experience as well as good SEO.
Leverage Google Analytics and developer tools.
The best way to improve SEO for real estate websites is to leverage Google Analytics. The metrics can tell you if your marketing is successful or if you need to restructure it. If you don’t have this function set up, prioritize it.
Some important key performance indicators to track in your Google Analytics dashboard include organic visitors, direct traffic, and organic goal conversions.
In addition to Google Analytics, you may also want to consider the following tools:
- Google Search Console – This provides insight into your search performance’s technical SEO issues and gathers link data to check how Google sees your content.
- Ubersuggest – This SEO tool helps you find keyword ideas.
- Yoast identifies where your business appears and doesn’t appear on the web and helps optimize current listing information.
- BrightLocal connects with thousands of local directories like Yelp, Google Maps, and Facebook. It is a great tool to use with Yoast to find additional local directories to submit your business information.
The real estate business is full of fierce competition, but there are still opportunities for you. Implementing a killer SEO strategy will push you past the competition and push traffic to you. To get potential clients camping out on your site, start with well-written content that contains the keywords they are looking for.
But we get it, you’re a full-time real estate agent. And some of us don’t have time to focus on perfecting our website for SEO. That’s not a problem! There are plenty of agencies out there who specialize in JUST THAT. Contracting with an SEO agency can take all the worry off of your plate while still helping you generate more organic leads.
More from Sell It Like Serhant
Want help making your personal brand a well-respected, trustworthy source for real estate expertise? Check out the Ultimate Personal Brand Course for Real Estate Agents. You’ll learn the Serhant Brand Strategy System plus much more about how to create a good website that helps you show up and stand out.