We know how important SEO is. It plays an even bigger role when it comes to the real estate business. As per a recent survey, about 95% of home buyers use the internet for information during the home buying process. Buyers begin their search online at least six to twelve months prior to making any purchase decision.
If you’re a real estate business who is looking for tips on how to improve your brand’s online presence, then you have landed on the right post. This article will unfold the key components of real estate SEO strategy implemented by SEO experts to ensure that no matter what search engine your audiences use, you can propel your real estate website to the top rankings of any Search Engine Result Page (SERPs.) This will not only bring you more online traffic and sales but offline as well.
With a real estate business like yours, it becomes absolutely necessary to capture the online audience. One has to consider the key elements that Google is looking at as it’s the largest search engine on the web.
What Does Real Estate SEO Mean?
Well, it’s the work that goes into proving to search engines that you’re the most trusted source of information and providing the most definitive answers to a searcher’s questions related to buying and selling of homes.
Let’s dig deeper to unleash the potential of SEO in the real estate market.
The three elements; Expertise, Authority & Trust (EAT) is actually an updated Google Guideline that encourages content which is backed by author names and their biographies. It also takes into consideration several other factors to determine the authenticity of your real estate website.
So, Does EAT Effect Real Estate?
As a business, what is more important for you and your customers? Expertise, Authority, and the Trust that you eventually gain with the previous two.
But the question is, what will make the target audience choose your real estate business when there are so many others that already exist in your location?
If you have established offline authority on a location, then customer loyalty, trust, and sales inevitably pour in. However, how can you rank #1 on Google search?
Google considers your website’s authority in an area based on several factors. The most important factor that Google considers is the credibility of the information you provide to your audience.
The elements of EAT together contributes to the reputation of a brand, and this is exactly what Google is looking at. Are you a reputable source of information on real estate in a particular location? If you are, then you’re can rank higher than someone who might not have a similar or better reputation. So, expertise, authoritative, and trusted are those key elements around which reputation plays along.
Get Your Domain Fixed
But before any of these, remember your real estate website needs to work first. Good hosting, right code, excellent speed, and flexible template are all essential components for every website.
The backend website elements like site structure, Schema, XML sitemaps, robots.txt, etc., constitute an integral part of SEO too. This is where the role of a developer becomes extremely crucial since, at this point, someone who understands technology, make sure that part is taken care of.
He or she will also take care of the plug-ins for WordPress, and other CMS’s that make it worthwhile and easy to do, but this is really the bare minimum. It’s only after this can you build your EAT. So, let’s get down to the stuff you can actually do if you are not a technical whiz.
- Business Listings should be the basis of your content marketing. Make sure you have as many listings as possible. Particularly ensure that you’re listed on your local directories. Be expressive in your description. By this, it doesn’t mean you will keep repeating the same text over and over again. Go to different listing sites and give as much description as possible. Optimize the text as per the context of your site. Try to add great photos and videos along with your description. This is eligible only when the listing site allows you to do so.
- Google needs to know you are legit. Google My Business is the best as it verifies your location and makes sure you are real. Make sure whatever business listings you do, you syndicate your NAP (Name, Address, Phone.)
- To establish a sense of expertise in all your communication, ensure the information you provide in your descriptions consists of details like the kind of businesses that may be around, the malls, the restaurants, the distance to the nearest public transport, or the number of schools that are in the neighborhood. This shows that you’re an expert and you have some really good information about what is happening in that particular area.
This will also separate you from your competition who might be putting out anything over the web just to attract a larger audience.
Getting There: A Few Basic Steps Involved In Local SEO
Before optimizing anything, you will have to know how people are searching for properties in the area that you’re representing. So research those “search terms” that people use to search online.
- To dig out these terms that people are using, you can use free tools like Google Keyword Planner and the Chrome extension ‘Keywords Everywhere.’
- There are a few paid tools as well that can provide a better insight into these keywords, such as SEMRush & Moz.
- You can also look for trending search terms in your area and compare them on Google Trends.
- Also, ask real and local people what terms they look for properties online so that you can know what they use. Your target is to not only promote your real estate website but also to tell people what makes your area so appealing and why your properties are the ideal in the city.
Whatever descriptions you write for business listings or blogs for content marketing, ensure that you describe the property to the people. Your write up should also be answering about the things that might be of interest to your audience in that area, but they are not aware of that yet. Which means you have to do your share of research of the surrounding area.
Answer the most common questions: Try to answer the most popular enquiries like, “Why is the area a good place?”, “What are the things around?” and “How would it be like to stay here?” You can also use social media to collect the most pertinent questions asked by your target audience.
Using vernacular: Some people look for ranch style bungalows in the downtown area vs. the main street. The vernacular used locally is going to differ here. You need to make sure that you’re well aware of it before using it within a website, descriptions, or any other content. After all the research, you will find yourself to be an expert at choosing and positioning your words in the listings, blogs, and website content that you create. Since Google can understand the intent of these terms, it is easy to rank your real estate website.
Optimizing page titles: Choose your page titles and h1 tags with terms like “NEAR” or “NEARBY”, for example, “homes for sale in Germantown.” Such terms add context to your content. It’s like saying this property is near this school or bus stand or the nearby restaurants. Terms like these also give an expert view of something. It’s like when you go up to someone who lives in a town, and he tells you about everything in the corner. Think about those terms, think about the colloquialisms that give the impression and the understanding of expertise.
Creativity is the mother: Be creative in any blog post you do. Think about different situations that relate to your core business. Like where is the nearest park, supermarket, or parking space? We are only 10 minutes from IBM, Downtown China, etc.
These are the little details that, when all put together, give one an idea and understanding what people are searching. And as said previously, it’s important to provide them with the best answer. Also, ensure that the author of the blog is somebody who is an expert in the real estate industry. Adding the author bio to the blog will help in better ranking in Google search.
Add graphics wherever you can: Adding maps, drawings, and diagrams can add value to your content. And yes, never forget to give your map or an image and alt text containing proper details of it. Ensure that you customize the alt text for the location.
Ask for citations and reviews: Encourage third parties and real people to review you and give citations. This will automatically establish your authority in that area. If you’re being quoted in the local online publications, you might as well add to your reputation in the area.
Market for Backlinks: Inspire local businesses and local schools to give your blogs backlinks from their websites. Sponsor competitions that are held locally in your area.
Creating content that goes viral and attracts links isn’t easy. Sadly, as per the Search Engine Journal, 71.9% of content writers today are more focused on creating content, but they ignore the very essence of it. Content is meant to serve a purpose. It has to be valuable and relevant to the query raised by the audience. If you can create something that is unique and can convince more and more people to share it, most of your job is done. You automatically receive backlinks.
The competition of creating the best content is fierce. You’re competing with blog posts, podcasts, infographics, videos, and so on that are already trending.
Just ask yourself, “What makes you different from your competition?”
Most often, fabulous content is outperformed by something mediocre.
Why? Because it wasn’t marketed well.
The content you create is your asset. It has the potential to generate valuable links that will improve your Real-estate SEO.
But this is only half the battle.
Establish Relationships with Local Influencers
If you’re creating amazing content and nobody links to it, does it make a difference?
Unfortunately, great content doesn’t guarantee you links.
Therefore, you need to establish relationships with influencers. Influencer marketing is the hottest trend right now.
When a local influencer endorses you in the location that you’re targeting, you are almost doubling your network because the influencer’s followers will see you and give you attention. You acquire this attention since their role model is recommending you.
Ensure that the influencer you work with is able to fit your purpose. It will make more sense to your audience and the influencer’s audience. An endorsement from an influencer with lots of followers will instantly make your brand more appealing to a whole new audience. When it comes to identifying influencers, think in terms of relevancy and look for micro influencers.
Real estate SEO is the cub from a different pack. Any ordinary website can be optimized to bring in leads and then convert them into a long-term source of lead generation, but for real estate SEO, you need to work repeatedly to get it done. Only then will it constantly bring in traffic and leads and convert them into your new clients.