Real Estate SEO 101 – An Ultimate Guide For Realtors And Agents

October 21, 2020
Real-estate-seo

Are you a realtor looking to rank your real estate website on search engines? If that’s the case this blog is for you.

According to the extensive report by The Digital House Hunt, 53% of home buyers start their search online. The report of Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers states that 86% of home buyers consider real estate websites the most useful source of information when buying a home.

More than ever, people do an online search when they are finding homes and realtors. For professionals in real estate, SEO is now more important than ever.

Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has also drastically changed how realtors market themselves. Many real estate brands are turning to digital mediums like SEO as their traditional marketing efforts and other key acquisition channels are no longer a viable option.

The real estate SEO experts at ColorWhistle will also advise you to carve out your niche in the online space and expand.

Real Estate SEO Statistics

Here are some more compelling real estate SEO statistics that highlights the importance of search.

real estate seo statistics - search engine buying process

Read on to find out how you can leverage SEO to capture quality leads and grow your real estate business.

Why Is SEO Important for the Real Estate Industry?

Here are some interesting reasons that will allow you to understand the major benefits of SEO in real estate.

Lead Generation

SEO is one of the best ways to increase your real estate client base, improve sales & revenue, and keep your business growing. When you implement a tailor-made SEO strategy, you’ll be able to generate more qualified leads as you get a chance to appeal to your target audience.

Simply having a website won’t suffice. In order to really drive leads, you have to implement a proper SEO strategy. By doing so, you will be able to increase rank in the search engine results page, which means more exposure for your brand. This will lead to more website traffic, and eventually, more sales. Check out our blog on What is the Role of SEO in Lead Generation? to learn more.

Cost-Effective

Long-term profits are the overall goal for most businesses. Making quick bucks is good, but having constant cash flow will definitely give you peace of mind. When you dive into online marketing, taking the same approach is advisable. You can make fast cash using pay-per-click, but it can also be a risky process.

This is where SEO comes into play. SEO can be crowned as one of the most cost-effective ways to do online marketing. It is one of the best ways to generate income. All the other marketing tactics fall short of the long-term potentials of SEO.

Guaranteed Business Growth

As a person running a business, we are sure that you must be on the lookout for increasing business visibility and sales. Through SEO this can be achieved. Not only in real estate, but SEO is also the key to success for any modern business.

SEO can help to boost sales by driving more traffic to your website and give you excellent opportunities to convert leads into customers.

Real Estate Marketing Stats - Areas To Concentrate

real estate marketing stats

How to Increase Real Estate Sales Using SEO?

If you are feeling overwhelmed by real-estate SEO, then don’t fret. There are some common techniques you can implement. In this section, we’ll give some great tips about the best ways to use SEO for your real estate business.

Real Estate SEO Techniques

1. Keyword Research

Keyword research is one of the most important SEO factors. The keywords you choose for your real estate business will decide if you’ll be able to get more organic traffic.

Search engines like Google get billions of search queries in a month. For everything from ‘realtors near me’ to ‘best real estate SEO company.’ In order for you to show up in organic search results, you have to optimize your website for relevant real estate keywords. If your website is not optimized for the right keywords, you will draw more unqualified traffic.

So, investing in the right keywords will help your real estate website to appear in front of more consumers, receive more engagement, and generate more sales and revenue.

Here are some tips you can follow when you do keyword research,

  • Build a localized list of keywords and phrases to target local audience
  • Find out the keywords that your competitors are using to target customers who are searching for those keywords
  • Take advantage of ‘Google suggest’ to find additional keywords
  • Find out the questions that your customers ask and use the Google Keyword Planner to check the frequency and competition
  • Make use of ‘People also ask’ section to get additional keywords
  • Use keyword research tools to like Moz or Ahrefs as they will help you figure out a good keyword combination in terms of demand and relevance to search results
  • Maximize the usage of long-tail keywords as people who use that have a specific problem

To know more about keyword research, take a look at our blog about Search Intent Keywords – A Complete Guide.

2. Competition Research

Competitor research is something that every real estate website owner must be doing. It can be a roadmap of what you need to do to be as good as your competitors. This research will help you identify the areas where your competitors are weak and help you capitalize on that for your own advantage. Through competitor analysis, you can take a step back and look at where you stand and the landscape for competitive keywords. It will help to prevent complacency, encourage innovation, and help you focus to do better in every aspect of your business. Here are the main pillars of SEO competitive analysis.
  1. Technical SEO
    To find out the site structure, hreflang, site speed, and mobile-friendliness
  2. On-page SEO
    To find out content quality, keywords, and conversion strategy
  3. Of-page SEO
    To find out backlink analysis, linkable content types, link building strategies, and backlink gaps

3. On-Page Optimization

These days, obtaining a good search ranking is getting tough as search engines are becoming smart. It takes more than just useful content to outrank your competitors. As a real estate website owner, you must understand on-page optimization as it is one of the very first steps of carrying out proper SEO.

On-page optimization is the process of making some changes to your website to improve search engine ranking. If it is done properly, it will have a good impact on your page’s search visibility.

Here are some tips to do proper on-page optimization.

  • Check if the content written on your website is unique and relevant
  • Make sure you have used proper heading tags (h1,h2, h3, and h4 ) are used to highlight your headings, subheadings
  • Title tags should not exceed 65 characters
  • URL must be short, self-descriptive, and have keywords
  • Add unique and relevant meta description related to the post or page
  • Website must have proper HTML and CSS validation
  • Use proper alt tags for images
    Formulate a good internal linking strategy to in

4. Off-Page Optimization

The main focus of off-page optimization is to increase the domain authority of your real estate website by procuring links from other websites. It is time-consuming and involves getting backlinks to your webpage from authority websites.

It plays an important role in the backend and without applying these techniques, you cannot get a good ranking for your website.

Keep note that if you are involved in buying links in order to manipulate SEO rankings, your website will be penalized. It is considered as a black-hat SEO practice.

That said, here are some off-page optimization tactics you can use.

  • Use blog directories, forum signatures, comment link, article directories, shared content directories, and link exchange schemes to acquire backlinks
  • Make sure you actively post on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook
  • Promote your blogs on famous websites such as Reddit, ScoopIt, Digg, Mix etc
  • Try guest blogging to get quality backlinks

5. Measuring and Improving Results

Like every area in a business, SEO is also about constant measuring and improving. However, measuring SEO is easier said than done. There are lots of components, variables, and SEO metrics that are needed to gauge success.

If you are new to SEO, it will be hard to figure out what’s working. For example, if you track a single metric like keyword ranking, you may see a few improvements and you will be relieved.

But, here is the problem, just checking on a single metric will not give you a view of the entire picture. It can be compared to saying that a puzzle is complete by just adding one piece to the board. So, you have to track multiple metrics.

Here are some tips to measure and improve your SEO performance.

  • Identifying for the keywords which you rank will help you figure out if you are targeting the right keywords and if your site is actually growing
  • Monitor the quality and quantity of the backlinks. Check for the trust flow, citation flow, and domain authority to check for quality
  • Keep track of changes in organic search by using Google Analytics
  • Check for the bounce rate, time spent on the page, mobile traffic, click-through rate, returning visitors, and direct visitors

Real Estate Local SEO Strategies

Local SEO is the process of optimizing your website for local search. For the real estate industry, local SEO is one of the most powerful ways to promote your services to an audience of a particular geographical location. In fact, we’d say that you have to majorly concentrate on local SEO.

In this section let’s take a look at the local SEO strategies you can apply for your real estate website.

1. Consistent NAP Details

The most important information that you need to make sure is consistent across all the areas including online citation is your business’s NAP (name, address, and phone number). Also, make sure NAP information is present on every page of your website (best place is footer) and on your ‘contact’ page.

2. Google My Business

Google My Business (GMB) gives companies a great opportunity to appear on Google Maps and local search results. And the best thing is, it is absolutely free. You can display information about the opening and closing times of your business, contact phone number, the physical location of your office, and a link to your website. You can optimize your GMB by,

  • Writing a clear description of your business
  • Adding your latest blog posts to your GMB
  • Including photos and videos of your business
  • Collect reviews from your satisfied customers and respond to both positive and negative reviews

Additionally, if your business is affected by the COVID-19 situation or if there are any changes in the working hours, make sure to update it in GMB.

3. Schema Markup

A few years ago, major search engines joined hands and implemented a markup language called schema. This will help search engines to understand what the page is about, so it is important to add it inside your real estate website. These snippets will provide a better understanding of your business to users as well.

For example, in some instances, Google will display rich snippets in search results.

Schema markups that a real estate website can use are,

  1. Real estate agents
  2. Offer
  3. Product
  4. Place
  5. Rent action
  6. Residence

4. Local Keywords

Local keywords have geographical location words in the keyword. For example, if you are looking for a dentist in your area, if you just search for ‘Dentist’ you will not get any results. Instead, you have to search for ‘dentist in NYC’. You can also add the name of your area along with the city name.

Likewise, when you use local keywords for your real estate business judicially and intelligently, it can do wonders for your real estate business. They are powerful in attracting local customers to your website,

SEO IS AN ONGOING PROCESS. Paying for just a few months of SEO is, in many cases, no better than throwing your money away!

Real Estate Agency SEO Timeline

If you think SEO is too complicated or you don’t have the time to do it by yourself, consider hiring an extended team to help you with the work. Professionals can create custom SEO packages to dominate search results.

Please note that agencies will require a commitment of 6 months to 1 year to help you get results. Also, the more competitive the industry and keywords are, the longer it will take to see results. Regardless, you will still see significant progress at every point.

Additionally, you have to be involved with the agency through every step of the process. You should not just sit back and relax once you have found helpful. Take a look at our blog,
Hiring An SEO Company? Ask These Questions to know how to interview an SEO agency.

Here is a sample of what you can expect from a real estate SEO agency like ColorWhistle.

1. Real Estate SEO Timeline - Months 1-3

Process

  • 20 hours / month​
  • Studying your online competition
  • Keyword research
  • Optimize each page on your site and update/fix any technical SEO issues we may come across.
  • Increasing domain authority

Results you Can Expect

  • Gain organic impressions with 100 -150 traffic from organic
  • Start getting organic traffic with 5-10 leads per month

2. Real Estate SEO Timeline - Months 4-6

Process

  • 20 hours / month​
  • Increasing domain authority
  • Local SEO  – Google My Business
  • Listing Submissions

Results you Can Expect

  • Keyword improvements
  • 200-250 organic traffic
  • Start getting organic traffic with 10-15 leads per month

3. Real Estate SEO Timeline - Months 7-12

Process

  • 15 hours/month
  • Create and implement content strategies to build more trust and relevance for your site.
  • Local SEO – Google My Business
  • Building authority via various link acquisition techniques

Results you Can Expect

  • Keyword improvements
  • 300-400 traffic
  • 15-20 leads per month

By following the above plan, a typical client will be able to experience around 400% or more ROI.and at least a 30% increase in qualified leads.

Getting Started with Real Estate SEO

The above best practices that we outlined are just the starting point in your real estate journey. It is important to remember that SEO is an ongoing process and it will take time to see results. Though you won’t see immediate results for your SEO efforts, all the above-mentioned tactics are well worth your time.

Also, remember that best practices also change over time. So, audit your website from time to time to measure your results and to figure out what changes and updates you can make to bring more relevant traffic to your real estate website.

Now that you have a decent idea of the type of strategies you have to follow, here are a few more additional things you must remember to gain the full benefits of real estate SEO,

  • Black hat SEO techniques will appear attractive, but they will eventually end up harming your website
  • Good SEO will take time, but the results will be long-lasting
  • Be careful when you are revamping your website partially or completely. If done wrong, all your hard work will go to vain. We have written a detailed website redesign checklist, take a look at it to learn more about how to revamp without losing SEO value

Additionally, if you want to get your hands on some proven general and real estate SEO strategies followed by industry experts, take a look at our collection of Best SEO Case Studies That Actually Worked. They will help you better understand how SEO works.

Need help to get started with your real estate SEO? As a real estate SEO company, ColorWhistle provides a range of custom SEO solutions and services for real estate. Visit our real estate SEO service’s page to know more about what we offer or call us for a consultation at +1 (919) 234-5140.

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About the Author - Sankar

The founder and mastermind behind ColorWhistle is Sankarnarayan, a professional with over fourteen years of experience and a passion for website design services and digital marketing services. At ColorWhistle, our team has a wide range of skills and expertise and we always put our clients’ satisfaction first. This is what sets us apart from the competition – an eye for detail and the best website development services from the start to the completion of your project.

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