For real estate ventures, bringing your business to the internet is undeniably important for improving customer reach and acquiring a base competitive advantage. But things haven’t really been the same before the first property sellers went online.
On one hand, the sheer frequency of real estate businesses currently catering to consumers and potential homeowners digitally makes it difficult for newcomers to stand out. On the other, not everyone looking for real estate wants what you’re offering, even if it’s promising.
So, how do you look for ideal customers in a sea of web users? And more importantly, how do you distinguish yourself from a plethora of competitors so that the ideal customers find their way to you? Let’s discuss how real estate vendors can use search engine optimization (SEO) to their advantage.
For online businesses selling real estate, SEO rankings can be even more effective than most paid promos like TV ads or awareness promotions.
For one thing, most traditional advertising methods are fairly expensive and not always effective. Even online, with compelling video marketing or sponsored social media posts, getting noticed can be challenging. Plus, individual sellers might have limited control of assets when crafting campaigns.
With SEO, you get results by immediate and wide-ranging reach. By getting your website or listing featured on the very first pages through search entries, your chances of getting to customers go up exponentially.
Plus, with the level of recognition you get, the techniques involved are cost-effective and can fit your needs and preferences as a seller. From keyword research to building links to optimizing your website and content for indexing, the entire process is much better value for money.
Broadly, SEO falls in two major categories. On-page SEO is for businesses or sellers that have their own website or online front through which they must advertise and sell their property. Off-page SEO aims to offer your online presence more ubiquitous recognition beyond your own web pages.
In the context of location-based services like real estate, local SEO is an all-important third aspect which businesses must contend with.
Each approach has its requirements and yields certain results. We’ll discuss each in some detail to help you work out a way to improve your real estate SEO prospects.
As mentioned earlier, on-page optimization involves all the adjustments related to your site to make it search-friendly. Websites that meet the requirements for on-page or on-site SEO are more likely to appear favorable to Googlebot and other search engine crawlers for indexing. Once indexed, a site will enjoy better SEO rankings.
There are a lot of technical aspects involved in on-page SEO, including effective keyword research (we’ll discuss that later). For now, we’ll focus on and explain the steps that are pertinent to business owners.
A well-kept website will perform much better on search engine results pages (SERPs) than one that fails to keep up with all the relevant SEO criteria.
First of all, you need to ensure that your markup settings are in order so that your site can be found. This involves optimizing URLs and robots.txt files so that they don’t prevent crawlers from accessing site details. Plus, the addition of an XML sitemap will help guide Googlebot to your important pages, so take care of that too.
Make sure that your SSL certificate is verifiable, and that your site has HTTPS encryption and not HTTP for maximum security. Additionally, you need to make sure that your site’s performance and maintenance are in order. Crawlers assess site analytics and choose those with the most visits for indexing.
Slow websites or pages with dead links or outdated content lose traffic due to poor user experience. As a result, not handling these issues can be detrimental to your real estate website’s SEO ranking.
For real estate websites, it is important to keep tags and metadata consistent with property listings, local vacancies, contact information, and site descriptions and written content. When adding images, provide alt-text for each visual listing in order to improve your reach and your luck in gaining customers through listings.
Plus, for maximum user experience and conversions, you can add helpful resources and tools. Things like mapping services, loan calculators, booking options, and other dynamic add-ons can help advance your SEO ranking. Just make sure to avoid plugins or extensions that affect site speed.
Since the late 2010s, Google has been favoring websites with mobile-first features for indexing over those that don’t. This means that pages that aren’t optimized for peak responsiveness and performance on mobiles will be less likely to enjoy the SEO positions they desperately seek.
The rationale behind this is simple: no one uses Desktop anymore.
Okay, not “no one”, but it is true that the number of people using laptops and computers to consume content has been overshadowed by those using iPhone and Android devices. This is particularly true for people using the internet to order food, reserve hotels, and indeed peruse through real estate listings for their dream property.
This is logical since handheld devices are much more convenient for quick e-commerce activities. But if your site isn’t mobile friendly, it fails to perform well on phones due to the smaller screen space and power handling. In light of Google’s new guidelines, that will negatively affect your real estate’s SEO ranking prospects.
Because it relates to the website itself, even well-done on-page SEO has its limits. By contrast, off-page techniques offer a wide range of opportunities to web developers and online business owners.
Here, the success of being indexed lies in spreading your identity across other relevant platforms, but without resorting to suspicious or illicit “black-hat” approaches. Therefore, the key focus of off-page SEO is link-building. This is where you use high quality backlinks to improve your real estate website’s rankings.
For a lot of customers, blogging sites and messaging platforms are a key resource for getting to know more about services like real estate. For that reason, contacting the owners of these sites to feature articles or blog posts pertinent to your business.
You can either look for these opportunities yourself or, to save time, hire professional services like WeLoveWeb to handle this process on your behalf. The aim is to create and publish quality content with strong backlinks to your online business.
With the right help, popular blogging pages with substantial followings are a great platform for sharing well-written, compelling articles with good link-building potential. With that achieved, your SEO rankings will be at an advantage.
Whether or not you have your own website, having your assets listed on major online platforms is a step in the right direction. Not only do you get better local listings (more on that below), but you can have your links featured on landing pages through which they get better recognition.
Many such sites allow businesses to earn and post ratings or reviews. If you’re confident in what you’re selling or if you have enough existing favorable citations, this is an opportunity worth seeking out.
Another benefit of listings involves the use of your NAP (name of seller, address, phone contacts) details to help find leads. On top of deriving local views, this helps business with a social media presence on Facebook, Instagram, or other platforms.
Today, social networking sites are becoming increasingly popular for people looking for or recommending goods or services through the web. Therefore, property sellers must have a presence on these sites in order to improve real estate SEO expectations.
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International enterprises like online stores and other web-based businesses generally benefit from on- and off-page SEO since their customer reach is quite vast.
However, like we’ve mentioned before, some cater to clients that are much closer to home. You’ll have noticed that every time you look for hotels or recreational spots without specifying a location, yet the top results are the ones closest to you.
For those dealing in real estate, local SEO tactics have pretty much the same intention. Usually if you’re listed as a digitally recognized local service provider of any kind, you should show up on the map. But as you’ve likely guessed, that isn’t the case for businesses without any competitive advantage.
And even among listed businesses, Google only ranks the three top businesses as determined by its algorithm. And these guidelines are always changing, which is why realtors and sellers must work extra hard to stay relevant and ahead of other contenders.
Earlier we discussed how NAP details help to boost your SERP rankings through off-page mechanisms. To recap, business listings are indeed paramount in affording your real estate business more a level of prominence across the web. But that’s not all.
Local listings are also important in getting your service or enterprise more visible on the map when someone puts a relevant term in the search bar. By verifying yourself through these listings, property dealers can readily feature your contact information and social media links through Google Search and Maps.
To do that, businesses have access to an easy to use, open-source tool in the form of Google My Business. By registering an account, you can add your NAP details to Google’s database and blend your online and local presence. The success of this, however, relies on people typing the right search terms to initiate a query. This brings us to our next point.
Selecting keywords to feature on your website as well as the pages you select for backlinks is an important part of SEO. But aside from entirely web-based marketing, locality-oriented searches can also work in a business’s favor by clever choice of terms and phrases.
It is no secret that, for keywords, the best choice for emerging businesses is to avoid overly competitive word combinations. This means that capitalizing on generic or popular examples like “nearby home”, “houses for sale”, or “properties for rent” won’t cut it.
But luckily, local real estate SEO gives businesses some leeway by opting for more specialized terms. For instance, you can modify the above examples by adding keywords related to location, property area, nearby facilities, and other terms that can help narrow down results.
For instance, depending on where the property is located, you can go for “homes near school for rent” or “three-bedroom property for sale” for better rankings.
We’ve established how the content of your web pages can determine a significant portion of your real estate SEO prospects. Therefore, if the city, town, or locality where your property exists has a lot going for it, your content can reflect that.
Home buyers moving from a different part of the country might be interested in quite a few things about what’s near their new property. This includes attractions, employment opportunities, educational institutes, excursion spots, local businesses, and much more.
Through a combination of on-page (videos, galleries) and off-page SEO (blogs, external links, social media stories, etc.), you can craft content that highlights the benefits of choosing this particular location to your clients.
If you’re new to the world of online business, you’ll likely find this article most reassuring. However, there is a key point to remember.
SEO is a worthwhile and budget-friendly endeavor, but it can be time-consuming and requires a lot of hard work. Business owners themselves either don’t have the convenience, skills, or all of the above in order to spearhead their own campaign. And hiring and training your own team of digital experts will just drain valuable resources.
Fortunately, the option to outsource is always there and it’s a great one. E-commerce agencies specialize in digital marketing and SEO, from keyword research to web design to off-page link building. Even for small businesses, these services promise great results for a small price, and you too should absolutely give them a go.
Managing an SEO campaign can be a test of your patience and imagination. But if you have faith in what you’re selling, the internet offers possibilities that paid marketing simply cannot promise.
With qualified help and well-thought-out strategizing, your real estate SEO tactics can help you attain the best possible rankings in no time.