Remember the last time you needed something? You probably went online and typed what you need into Google and checked out a couple of results. That’s the world we now live in, the digital world. Millions of people search for products and services online and if you don’t have an online presence, you’ll be missing out on potential customers that can grow your business.
Having an online presence is more than having a website. Potential customers must be able to find you with ease online and as someone in the real estate and auction business, you’ll need a good understanding of real estate SEO to achieve this. Perhaps knowing that 90% of homebuyers use the internet will motivate you to take real estate more seriously.
What is Real Estate SEO?
SEO means Search Engine Optimization and refers to the process of increasing the visibility and visitors to a particular website by ensuring the site ranks high or appears among the top results returned by a search engine. For people in the real estate industry, real estate SEO is the process of appearing at the top of search engine results when people are looking for agents or quick home buyers to help them sell or buy property.
Most people, yourself included, are more likely to check out one of the top 3 or 4 results. But ranking this high demands intentional SEO work. You already know how fierce competition is in the real estate industry so you’ve got to put in effort if you want to have an edge over your competitors. Done right, real estate SEO can give you this edge. Below are important components of real estate SEO.
Important Components of Real Estate SEO
1. SEO Audit is the beginning of your journey
Your real estate strategy should start with an SEO audit to analyze how well your online presence relates to SEO best practices. The aim here is to identify foundational issues affecting the performance of your website in search engine results.
SEO audits tend to be time-consuming and unless you have a good knowledge of how to go about it, you should consider hiring an expert. Key areas to focus on during the audit include site structure, page structure, content, links, and usability (site speed, mobile-friendliness, accessibility). You should receive actionable recommendations at the end of the audit.
2. Content is King
Content is one of the most important parts of SEO because web pages with relevant information tend to rank high in search engine results. And this brings organic traffic to your website.
The real estate industry isn’t exactly known for producing inspiring content so you can leverage this. Your first step to creating relevant content is to carry out keyword research to find out what people are searching for. Think about what buyers and sellers in your area would look for and create content to address their needs.
Use compelling headlines to encourage people to click your links and use video. Videos build trust, educate better, and engage even the laziest buyer. Yes, they require more effort and budget but they are totally worth it.
3. Optimize for Mobile Devices
About 52% of global internet traffic comes from mobile devices and if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you are shooting yourself in the leg. Your website needs to operate smoothly on all platforms – mobile, tablets, and desktops.
It’s also important your pages load fast since most people aren’t patient online. When your website is taking too long to load, they exit and check out other websites. There’s a mobile friendly tool you can use to determine how mobile-friendly your website is.
4. Local SEO is important
When a search is related to a local need, search engines prioritize results that are closer to the searcher’s location. For example, when someone types ‘home for sales in San Antonio’, Google will include top real estate businesses (about there) in San Antonio at the top of the results.
So, if you are focused on a particular region, you should use local SEO to rank for that region. Start by adding your site to Google My Business and complete as much of your profile as you can. Remember to use a schema markup to point out important information like address and phone number to Google. Also, sign up on other relevant directories like Yahoo Homes, Realtor.com, Yelp, Local.com, and so on.
5. Use Internal Linking
Internal linking is used to connect a page on a website to another page on the same website. The purpose of internal linking is to improve site navigation, define the hierarchy of a website, and distribute page authority and ranking power throughout a website.
To create lots of internal links, you need to create lots of content. Use anchor text when internal linking and remember to link deep. Also, use relevant links by linking pages that relate to each other. This improves the time visitors spend on your website and increases your page rank in search results.
6. Backlinks Are Unsung Heroes
Backlinks are links from one website to a page on another website and what they basically tell search engines is “this content is valuable, relevant, and useful.’ To get the most out of backlinks, focus on getting them from trusted, authoritative websites.
You can earn backlinks if you have great content (an article or infographic) on your website and other websites cite you when using your content. However, a guaranteed way to get backlinks is to reach out to bloggers with a large following to publish guest articles on their websites. The guest post will include a link to your website and the many backlinks you have, the more credible and trusted your real estate website will be.
7. Social Media and Reviews
With billions of people across several social media platforms, your current and potential customers are on social media. So, sign up on social media platforms and share your content. This improves your online visibility and provides Google with one more website to find you on.
Remember to ask for reviews from your customers. People tend to read reviews before making a purchase online and having your happy customers endorse you is a great way to boost your credibility.
There are several components to SEO and we’ve listed some of the most important ones in this article. Real estate SEO is an ongoing process. It’s not something you do once and just stop. But the results will make your effort worth it if you do it right.