In today's digital age, it's important for real estate agents to have a strong online presence to attract buyers and sellers. One of the best ways to improve the visibility and ranking of your website is through Search Engine Optimization (SEO). In this guide, we'll explore the world of real estate SEO and give you simple strategies to boost your online presence and attract more targeted traffic to your website.
Understanding SEO for Real Estate
What is SEO and how it works?
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the practice of optimizing your website to increase its visibility and organic ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs). The goal is to improve your website's chances of appearing at the top of search engine results when potential clients search for relevant keywords.
Why SEO For Real Estate Agents Is Important?
- Boost Website Traffic and Drive Revenue: A compelling SEO plan with top-notch content can significantly boost your website traffic, which is the primary advantage. An increase in traffic means more potential clients, especially when your published content and targeted keywords align with your audience's interests. By incorporating effective conversion points strategically, you can convert the traffic into new revenue. As a real estate agent, this strategy can help you attract potential clients who are genuinely interested in your services.
- Increase Brand Awareness And Trust: For real estate agents, creating quality SEO content not only helps establish their business as a reliable source of information, but also builds trust with their audience. When potential clients read valuable content from a real estate agent, they are more likely to view that agent as knowledgeable and trustworthy. This positive interaction with the agent's brand can lead to increased brand awareness and ultimately, a higher conversion rate.
- Enhance Brand Protection: For real estate agents, there's an extra advantage to SEO that may not be immediately apparent: it can help safeguard your brand. By optimizing your website and content for search engines, you can have more authority over how your brand is portrayed online. This can come in handy if you participate in an affiliate program to boost your earnings. While these programs are effective, you should be cautious about affiliates who may dominate traffic for your brand keywords, since you don't have much control over how they showcase your brand. SEO can help address this issue.
Tips to Improve SEO for Real Estate Agents
To provide you with a helpful starting point, here are some practical and easy-to-understand tips that are crucial for achieving SEO success.
1. Conduct an SEO Audit
Firstly conduct an SEO audit to see how your real estate website is performing. The purpose of this is to determine which pages are doing well and which ones have foundational issues affecting organic search performance, site ranking, and conversion of clients. An SEO audit is a standard routine checkup that is supposed to be conducted regularly. An audit can expose the following SEO issues:
- Technical SEO issues like redirects, page speed, and XML Sitemap.
- Page structure problems like meta titles, meta descriptions, alt tags ad URL.
- Content improvements - structure, keyword research, and user experience.
- User experience problems- mobile-friendliness, site speed, and accessibility.
2. Fixing Crawling and Indexing Issues for Your Website
Once you've checked your website's technical elements, it's time to address problems that can affect how search engines crawl and index your site. Even if you have amazing content, it won't help your SEO if search engines can't find and include it in their results. Common issues that impact crawlability include broken links, outdated URLs, missing or incorrect sitemaps, duplicate pages, and slow loading speed. By resolving these issues, you can make sure search engines can easily find and showcase your website in their search results.
50% of the worldwide web traffic comes from mobile devices. Hence your website design must fit mobile and tablet device screens. Google has started mobile indexing, which ranks websites through the mobile view. This is one of the few times Google has let out its strategy, so real estate web admins need to gear up, as 89% of home buyers use mobile search engines throughout their purchase process, according to NAR. The following key website features need to be optimized:
- Page responsiveness
- Page speed
- Search optimization
A tool we recommend: You can use Google’s free mobile-friendly test to check if your website is mobile-friendly.
4. Find the Right Keywords
Your website might be filled with gorgeous listings and breathtaking views, but your target audience won’t discover your content if you don’t use the keywords people search for. Use specific keywords combined with engaging content to harness SEO for real estate.
- Your keyword research should be a combination of long-tail keywords with low search volume but are specific to your locality and fat-head keywords that are highly searched for.
- In the world of SEO, keyword difficulty (KD) tells you how hard it will be to be ranked for a specific keyword. So look for words with moderate keyword difficulty ranging from 30% - 70%.
- Make sure your website URL has the right keywords.
- Your focus keyword should be used in your titles, first sub-headline, first paragraph, meta description and a few times in the rest of the content. You can also include secondary keywords on the website.
A tool we recommend: Ahrefs is a free keyword generating tool that will give you keyword suggestions along with their respective search volume and keyword difficulty. Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest is also a good tool to consider.
Also Read: 10 SEO Keyword Mistakes Real Estate Agents Need To Avoid
4. Embrace Local SEO
Local SEO is a powerful tool for real estate agents to gain visibility and attract clients within their target geographic area.
To do so, Create a business profile on Google, and fill in your profile with your business name, category, location, address, contact detail, and website URL. Include photos and videos to make it believable to searchers. This will ensure you rank high up in Google search results.
Remember, local SEO is about connecting with your local audience, so make sure your online presence reflects your expertise and relevance within your specific real estate market.
5. Landing Pages for Listings
Creating a specific landing page for listings can go a long way in selling them. Individual landing pages will give your real estate business a higher google ranking and increase website visibility.
- If your listing is a luxury property or a mansion, feature a single listing per landing page. Otherwise, you can group area-specific listings into a single landing page.
- Fill in listing descriptions with the right keywords. However, remember not to stuff them in as it can have the reverse SEO effect.
- Market the landing page through email marketing and social media. Include landing page links wherever possible to maximize your clicks and reach.
- Include your contact details on every landing page to make it easier for clients to reach you.
- Add beautiful images of your listings. Hire a professional photographer and get your listings virtually staged so that viewers get a clear idea of the size and feel of your listing. You can also try Virtual staging which is the process of digitally decorating your listing with furniture and home accessories. It is economical, time-saving, and flexible. Staged homes sell 73% higher than non - staged ones.
- Virtual tours are 360-degree videos showcasing every nook and corner of the listing. These are great to be added to your landing pages to give an immersive walkthrough experience for clients. 67% of people want more businesses to offer virtual tours, according to digitalintheround.com.
A tool we recommend: Unbounce is a landing page software that helps users build beginner-level and advanced landing pages. It has a dynamic text replacement feature that replaces landing page keywords based on search queries.
6. Publish Valuable Content on your Blog
Blogs are a great way to up your SEO for real estate game. Publishing quality content over quantity will make you stand out from the chaos online. Prioritize the content you should include in your real estate blog. It should be a mix of informative, visual, and problem-solving content. Write about the schools in your locality, ‘10 Popular Restaurants in (your Area)’, and include images, infographics, and gifs to spice up your blog. Conduct interviews with residents and business owners in the neighborhood to offer their unique perspectives on the quality of life there. Write about your area of expertise and make it a combination of evergreen and topical content. Finally, remember to flesh out keyword-optimized content as mentioned above to ensure readers find your blogs. Add compelling headlines and optimize image names and alt tags.
7. Internal Linking & External Linking
As seen in the diagram above, internal links are hyperlinks that direct readers from one webpage to another on your website. They provide a clear path for visitors and keep them engaged with your website for longer. These links establish your business in readers’ minds and encourage them to become your followers and eventually customers. Internal links improve your website’s visibility, site authority, and rankings. As your churn out new blog posts, update your old ones by adding the latest links in relevant places.
External Links direct you to a reputable page on a different website. These links might seem counterproductive, but linking well-ranking, authoritative websites will help your website gain glory and help Google with SEO for real estate. However, ensure your links are credible; otherwise, it can have the opposite effect and pull down your page rankings. If you publish a blog with valuable content, you can ask another relevant authority website to link your page to theirs; this is called backlinking.
8. Check for Broken Links
A broken link is a link that is no longer working because its destination has been changed/ removed or the URL is invalid. Broken links are not just detrimental to user experience but also SEO. This is because Google’s web crawlers go from link to link to collect data for ranking. Hence audit your website often to fix broken links.
9. Generate Video Content
Google recognizes how difficult it is to create videos, so it ranks them differently than web pages. Therefore, there is a greater chance of your videos showing up in Google search results. So churn out video content to distinguish yourself from the competition. Consider launching a YouTube channel and consistently upload videos. Optimize video descriptions, headlines, and hashtags using the right keywords and share them on your social media sites. You may embed them in your blog articles too. Here are a few video ideas for real estate:
- Listing videos and virtual tours
- Open house videos
- Q&A live streams
- Neighborhood Highlights
- Interviewing locals and fellow real estate professionals
10. Feature Client Reviews
A whopping 87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses. Real estate is a locality-centered business, so customer reviews can have a significant impact on potential homebuyers as well as Google. Getting positive reviews on as many online platforms as possible will establish your business as an authority in the eyes of search engines. Google trusts your clients more than you. So, testimonials are an essential factor in making your business look reliable.
A tool we recommend: Invite customers to review your business on platforms such as Google My Business, Yelp, Zillow, your website, and social media handles.
11. Ensure ADA Compliance for Your Website
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandates equal access and services for individuals with disabilities. Just as you would remove physical barriers in your real estate office to accommodate everyone, it is crucial to make your real estate website ADA compliant. By doing so, you can avoid legal issues and ensure inclusivity for all users. Here's how you can make sure your website meets ADA compliance standards:
- Check for Accessibility Issues: Perform an accessibility audit of your website to identify potential barriers for users with disabilities. Look for issues such as non-compatibility with assistive technologies like screen readers, improper color contrast, missing alternative text for images, and non-navigable keyboard functionality. This evaluation helps pinpoint areas that need improvement to enhance accessibility.
- Utilize Automated Accessibility Checkers: Use automated accessibility checkers, to scan your website for common accessibility issues. These tools provide insights into potential violations and offer recommendations for resolving them. While automated checkers are a helpful starting point, manual review is still necessary to ensure comprehensive ADA compliance.
- Implement Accessibility Best Practices: Adopt accessibility best practices to make your website more user-friendly for individuals with disabilities. Some key considerations include:
1. Providing alternative text (alt text) for images, allowing screen readers to describe visuals to visually impaired users.
2. Ensuring proper color contrast between text and background for easy readability.
3. Making website navigation accessible using keyboard-only navigation options.
4. Adding captions and transcripts for multimedia content, such as videos and podcasts.
- Offer Accessibility Support: Include a dedicated accessibility statement on your website, outlining your commitment to providing an inclusive user experience. This statement should provide contact information for users to report any accessibility issues they encounter and request assistance. Promptly respond to user inquiries and address accessibility concerns to demonstrate your commitment to accessibility.
- Stay Updated on ADA Guidelines: Keep yourself informed about ADA guidelines and accessibility standards to stay current with evolving requirements. Regularly review your website and make necessary updates to ensure continued compliance.
By making your real estate website ADA compliant, you create an inclusive environment that welcomes all users, including those with disabilities. This not only helps you meet legal obligations but also demonstrates your commitment to accessibility and fosters a positive brand image.
12. Harness the Power of Real Estate Agents Schema Markup
Schema markup, also referred to as structured data, is a special code that can be added to your website's HTML to provide search engines with accurate information about your real estate business. By implementing schema markup, you can help search engines better understand and display relevant details to potential clients. In the real estate industry, there are two types of schema markup specifically designed for real estate agents: RealEstateListing and RealEstateAgent schema. Let's explore the benefits and application of schema markup for real estate agents:
- RealEstateListing Schema: RealEstateListing schema allows you to provide search engines with detailed information about your property listings. By including this schema markup, you can clearly communicate to both search engines and potential clients crucial details such as the listing publication date, location, price of the property for sale or lease, and the duration of the lease. This enhances the visibility and accuracy of your property listings in search results.
- RealEstateAgent Schema: RealEstateAgent schema focuses on providing information about you as a real estate agent. By implementing this schema markup, you can highlight your professional details, including your name, contact information, areas of expertise, and any accolades or certifications you possess. This helps search engines understand your role and expertise, enabling them to present you as a relevant and trustworthy real estate agent to potential clients.
By leveraging real estate agents schema markup effectively, you not only improve the visibility and accuracy of your real estate listings but also increase the likelihood of obtaining a featured snippet in search results. This can significantly enhance your online presence and attract more potential clients to your website.
Remember to incorporate schema markup appropriately on your website, ensuring the code is correctly implemented and follows the guidelines provided by schema.org. By utilizing schema markup, you provide search engines with valuable information, making it easier for potential clients to find the details they are seeking about your real estate listings and your professional expertise as a real estate agent.
13. Obtain Local Backlinks to Boost Your Real Estate Website
In the digital realm, just like in the offline world, word-of-mouth referrals can be incredibly valuable for your business. One way to achieve this online is through backlinks. A backlink is essentially a link from another website that directs users to your own website. When it comes to local SEO for real estate, acquiring local backlinks can play a crucial role in establishing your local authority and driving targeted traffic to your website. Here's why local backlinks are important and how you can obtain them:
- Importance of Local Backlinks: Local backlinks serve as signals to search engines, validating your local authority and credibility as a real estate professional. These backlinks not only improve your search engine rankings but also drive referral traffic from relevant sources in your local area. By earning local backlinks, you increase your chances of connecting with potential clients who are actively seeking real estate services in your specific location.
- Sources of Local Backlinks: To acquire local backlinks, focus on sources that are relevant and geographically targeted. Consider reaching out to local business directories, community websites, local newspapers, neighborhood blogs, and other local publications. Engaging with these platforms and securing backlinks from them can significantly enhance your local visibility and attract qualified leads.
- Strategies to Obtain Local Backlinks:
- Network with local businesses: Establish connections with complementary businesses in your area, such as home improvement companies, mortgage lenders, or interior designers. Collaborate on content or sponsor local events to earn backlinks from their websites.
- Contribute guest posts: Offer to write informative articles or blog posts for local publications or industry-specific websites. In return, request a backlink to your website within the content or author bio.
- Participate in local events and charities: Sponsor local events, donate to charitable causes, or actively participate in community initiatives. Often, event organizers or charities will include a mention or link to sponsors on their websites.
- Engage with local bloggers and influencers: Identify influential bloggers or social media personalities in your area who focus on real estate or related topics. Connect with them and explore opportunities for collaborations or mentions that can lead to valuable backlinks.
Remember, the key to obtaining local backlinks is to provide value to the local community and establish genuine relationships with relevant sources. Focus on building a strong local network and delivering high-quality content that resonates with your target audience. By securing local backlinks, you not only strengthen your online presence but also increase your chances of attracting local leads and driving business growth.
14. Gain Valuable Insights into User Behavior with Web Analytics Tools
To enhance the performance of your real estate website, it's crucial to gather and analyze data on how your clients and potential clients engage with your site. Web analytics tools, such as google analytics, provide invaluable information about user behavior and help you understand the typical user journey. By utilizing these tools, you can set goals and events related to user actions on your website, segment your users, and deliver targeted content and information. Additionally, implementing heatmaps on key pages allows you to visualize how users interact with your real estate listings. Here's why web analytics tools are essential and how they can benefit your real estate business:
- Gather User Behavior Data: Web analytics tools enable you to collect data on how users navigate and interact with your website. This includes information on page visits, time spent on each page, referral sources, bounce rates, and conversion rates. By analyzing this data, you can gain insights into user preferences, popular content, and areas that may need improvement.
- Understand the User Journey: With web analytics tools, you can track the typical user journey on your website. This involves understanding where users enter, which pages they visit, and where they exit. By identifying patterns and analyzing the flow of user behavior, you can optimize your website's layout and content to guide users towards desired actions, such as contacting you for inquiries or viewing property listings.
- Set Goals and Events: Web analytics tools allow you to set specific goals and events tied to user interactions. For instance, you can track when a user fills out a contact form, subscribes to your newsletter, or requests a property viewing. By defining these goals, you can measure their conversion rates and make data-driven decisions to improve user engagement and increase conversions.
- Segment Users for Targeted Marketing: By leveraging web analytics tools, you can segment your website users based on various criteria, such as demographics, behavior, or referral sources. This segmentation enables you to tailor your marketing efforts and deliver personalized content to different user groups. For example, you can create targeted campaigns for first-time homebuyers, property investors, or individuals looking to rent.
- Utilize Heatmaps for User Interaction Insights: Implementing heatmaps on key pages of your website provides visual representations of user interactions, including where users click, scroll, or spend the most time. Heatmaps help you identify user preferences, optimize your real estate listings pages, and enhance the overall user experience.
By leveraging web analytics tools, you can gain valuable insights into user behavior, optimize your website's performance, and deliver a more personalized experience to your audience. This data-driven approach empowers you to make informed decisions, improve user engagement, and ultimately drive the success of your real estate business.
15. Enhance Your Expertise, Trust, and Authority (EAT) Factors
Your Expertise, Trust, and Authority (EAT) factors are vital for establishing credibility and trust with users seeking reliable sources of information. Search engines increasingly prioritize these factors, and lacking them can negatively impact your website's ranking and traffic. The good news is that you can optimize your website to enhance these crucial factors. Consider the following strategies to boost your EAT factors:
- Optimize Relevant Pages: Ensure that important pages, such as your About page, contact pages, and homepage, are optimized with up-to-date information and high-quality content. These pages should showcase your expertise, experience, and local knowledge, positioning you as a trusted authority in the real estate field. Provide comprehensive details about your qualifications, years of experience, and any specialized certifications or accreditations you hold.
- Display Accreditations and Awards: If you have received accreditations or won awards within the real estate industry, prominently display this information on your website. Highlighting such achievements helps establish your authority and expertise in the eyes of visitors and search engines alike. It instills confidence and demonstrates your commitment to excellence.
- Showcase Testimonials and Reviews: Include testimonials and reviews from satisfied clients on your website. Positive feedback serves as social proof of your expertise, trustworthiness, and ability to deliver outstanding service. Display testimonials prominently to reassure potential clients that they can rely on you for their real estate needs.
- Develop High-Quality Content: Create informative and valuable content that showcases your expertise and provides useful insights to your audience. Publish blog posts, articles, or guides that address common real estate questions, offer market updates, or provide advice for buyers and sellers. By consistently producing high-quality content, you can position yourself as a knowledgeable resource and attract both users and search engines.
- Engage in Thought Leadership: Participate in industry events, conferences, and local community initiatives to establish yourself as a thought leader in the real estate field. Speak at relevant events, contribute guest posts to reputable publications, and actively engage in discussions on social media platforms. These activities help build your reputation as an expert, boost your online presence, and increase your EAT factors.
Use the above SEO tips to generate hyperlocal SEO in real estate to help you navigate the fierce competition online and rank well against your competitors.
Styldod is a design tech company that aims to simplify real estate marketing and help agents present homes in their most favorable light online by reimagining and automating the listing photography process. Having begun as a virtual staging company, today, Styldod has affordable and best-in-class products and services for every facet of real estate marketing and photography. Styldod’s suite of services includes virtual staging, image enhancements, floor plans, virtual renovation, 3D renders, 360-degree virtual tours, and Matterport virtual staging, to name a few. We're trusted by over 10,000 realtors from all over the US and from companies like ReMax, Coldwell Banker, Keller Williams.