Buying a home has always been part of a person’s vision of the future. It is a symbol of financial security and stability won by hard work and saving. Over the past decade, people are turning to the internet to find everything they need, and recently this includes homes.
As a major decision, homebuyers usually go online to look for information that will support their buying decisions. They need to know that your real estate firm is trustworthy. This is why many companies put effort into their digital marketing efforts, particularly SEO.
If you run a real estate website, you should have heard about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It is the process of improving your website to increase its organic traffic. Without SEO, your website would rank below the search engine results page. This means that your website is practically invisible and would be perceived as having less credibility.
SEO can help increase your visibility and improve your ranking. As your ranking rises, the number of clicks to your site will increase, and the trust in your firm and the content you produce.
Here are some basic tips and strategies to keep in mind when you’re working on the SEO of your real estate website.
Target Local Keywords
Every SEO starts with keywords. These are the words or short phrases people enter the search bar of search engines like Google. Websites target specific keywords to match the ones their target audience search for.
Most real estate websites usually target words or phrases such as a house, realtor, house for sale, real estate agents. However, sticking to those generic keywords isn’t ideal as they usually come with massive competition. If you want to reach your target audience, your real estate website must rank well on the search engine results page (SERP).
Choosing short-tail keywords can make it extremely difficult and quite costly to reach the first page. It is also most likely that they won’t deliver qualified leads or attract actual buyers.
Your best bet is to use more specific keywords, particularly ones that are geographically focused. Try ones in less crowded markets like hyperlocal keywords that include references to specific property types, specific streets, neighborhoods, etc. If you still can’t narrow down your list of keywords, use tools such as SEM Rush, Ahrefs Keyword Explorer, and Google Keyword Planner to find these keywords.
Using local keywords based on your service areas is generally the right move to attract more visitors to your website. This would also ensure that your marketing efforts won’t be wasted on unsuccessful leads. After all, you don’t just want to be found but by those who might actually use your services.
When you’re putting in keywords, do not paste in random keywords to random places in your website and hope for the best. Putting too many keywords, especially those not relevant, is called keyword stuffing, which can harm your rankings if Google notices.
Place those keywords in locations like the title tags, headers, and body copy. When put in places that actually make sense, Google is more likely to positively associate those words with your page and improve your real estate SEO.
Maintain a Blog
Content quality is the core and critical driver for SEO performance. There is nothing search engines love other than websites that consistently post original content. That’s why creating blog posts is an opportunity to increase your ranking on the SERP and attract quality traffic.
However, it is not enough to just come up with just any content. Keep in mind that the best content would be informative and valuable for your target audience. Sometimes, this means more than just the current state of the real estate market. Include blog posts about neighborhoods or listings, post guides on the home buying process, or anything else that you can work your chosen keywords into.
You can also post purely entertaining content. Highlight your most expensive homes sold for the month or features on local schools, events, and landmarks. You should also consider posting non-text-based content like images, graphics, and videos.
These posts won’t always lead directly to new clients and sales. However, it can attract visitors to your site and increase awareness of your business. As a result, clients engaged with what you have to offer.
Keep in mind that it’s not just about posting high-quality content. Websites that post content on a schedule have a greater chance of being seen on the rankings and bring in potential clients.
Provide Online Tools
Valuable content is not limited to articles, blog posts, images, and videos. In real estate, in particular, tools such as maps and home loan calculators are in high demand with a high search volume. When you install these tools on your website, it will increase the chances of driving your traffic and allow you to engage with prospects earlier in the customer journey.
Some of the widely searched tools and calculators that help drive real estate SEO include:
- Mortgage calculators
- FHA loan calculator
- Investment property calculator
- Real estate calculator
These calculators can be installed online for free. However, numerous sites offer calculators that you can embed for free. If you use WordPress to manage your website, widgets such as maps, quizzes, and calculators are available.
Make Sure Your Site Is Mobile Friendly
Smartphones have changed the way how brands and potential buyers or renters interact. In 2020, the National Association of REALTORS found that home buyers are split to 50-50 when choosing the platform to conduct internet searches for their new homes. Younger people are more likely to use mobile devices. Meanwhile, those in the older generation are more likely to use a desktop or laptop.
Due to this customer behavior, it is clear that you need to optimize your website for mobile devices, or you may be left out of the game. Additionally, Google has been using mobile-first indexing. This means that Google prioritizes brands with mobile-optimized websites than desktop versions when determining the ranking in the search results.
Make your website mobile-friendly by optimizing your content and web design for mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Buttons should also be properly sized that people can tap easily, even on small screens or big fingers.
You should also keep important information like call-to-actions (CTAs) above the fold so users won’t need to scroll to find it. Some brands go even further and create mobile apps for Android and iOS users.
Improve your Website Speed
Speaking of a better web design, make sure that the pages load quickly, especially on mobile devices. Users have a typical habit of pogo-sticking, which negatively influences your position in the search engine results. SEO professionals use this term when people search for something on the search engine, click on the first listing, and go back to Google and click on the following destination site.
This going back and forth usually means that the user didn’t find the answers they are looking for from just the first page. However, another huge factor would be the page load time. According to the Magazine for Customer Service Managers and Professionals, more than half of mobile users do not want to wait for longer than 3 seconds for the website to load.
The longer they need to wait, the chances that mobile visitors bounce increases. This delay can cost in terms of lost traffic and customer satisfaction. Another negative impact of pogo-sticking is that Google will drop its ratings if this frequently happens to a page. This is because Google uses page speed directly as a ranking factor.
Make The Most Of Social Media
A solid social media is a must for those who want to stay relevant in today’s real estate market. Real estate firms commonly used social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest to develop and build relationships with their clients.
With big decisions like buying or selling a house, clients will be looking for a trustworthy middle party or a good realtor. An active social media is the perfect trust-building tool for doing exactly that. When you’re active on social media, you have an opportunity to interact with your audience and build authority.
In addition to this, sharing blogs and web pages through your social media channels can redirect this traffic to the website. So, don’t just post a blog and forget about it. Quality content is more likely to be shared on social media, bringing potential clients to your website.
SEO is a complicated process that can be overwhelming, especially with a competitive industry like real estate. Still, the most important thing is to start right away with the SEO tips outlined above. This can help you build a strong foundation that will help you improve your rankings and visibility to attract quality leads.
However, not everyone has the knowledge and skill to keep up with an evolving and ongoing search engine optimization process. In that case, make sure to consult an SEO professional to help you develop and improve your current SEO strategies implemented.
Jomer B. Gregorio is a well-rounded expert when it comes digital marketing. Jomer is also known as a semantic SEO evangelist and practitioner. Check out our Digital Marketing Services today and let us help you in achieving positive and profitable results for your business.