Are you a real estate agent or real estate investor trying to get found in Google search engine results? Do you want to get more exposure for your real estate listings? Or maybe you want to generate more leads and potential clients? If so, then effective real estate SEO is important for your real estate business.
Whether you are in residential or commercial real estate the industry is super competitive and oversaturated. And real estate is truly a numbers game. So in order to thrive you need to get a boat load of leads and exposure. You also need brand awareness so a potential client thinks of you when they come into the market. That’s where real estate SEO comes in.
But at the same time search engine optimization can feel intimidating and mysterious. That’s why we made this real estate SEO guide. We’ll explain what SEO is, and then provide some areas you can focus on to get started
Introduction: What is SEO in Real Estate?
Most folks are not familiar with SEO. And even people that know what it is are not experts in it. It is complex and wide-reaching. But at the same time it is extremely effective if done right.
But in order to do it right you need to first know what it is. So before we dive in to what to do we start off by giving you an introduction to what SEO is.
What is SEO (search engine optimization)?
At a high level search engine optimization is one way to do real estate marketing. While there are lots of different ways to market your real estate business SEO is a type of digital marketing. It is a set of activities aimed at improving the ranking of your real estate website on search engines.
Most people think of Google when they think of search engines. But SEO, if done correctly also helps you rank better on engines like Bing, DuckDuckGo and others.
SEO is not one activity. It is a large number of activities. This is why many digital marketing agencies focus solely on SEO or even just one part of it.
To help you understand SEO its helpful to break it up into its different components. While no perfect SEO can be broken up into three main buckets. These include:
- On-page SEO – these are the actions you take on company’s properties, such as your real estate website. This category of work is wide ranging. It includes SEO optimized content marketing for website pages and blogs to titles and even things like writing an effective meta description.
- Off-page SEO – off-page activities are centered around promoting and building the authority of your site and individual pieces of content. This includes things like building links to your content and promoting your content on different social media channels.
- Technical SEO – these are things that are meant to ensure your real estate website is working correctly from a technical standpoint. Some technical activities include doing an SEO audit and implementing technical fixes and schema markup. Another part on-page includes implementing. These activities help your site perform better. They also help search engines understand your site and content better.
Your SEO strategy should include a well-rounded set of SEO activities. In other words you want to make sure all three are done adequately.
For example, focusing only on content without promotion or technical SEO is not the most proper seo strategy.
Organic SEO vs Local SEO
We also think it’s important to clarify between organic and local SEO. These are two types of SEO that are sometimes mistaken as being the same thing. But they are not the same. In fact, they are very different in terms of the activities and the results.
Organic SEO helps your real estate website and business rank in the organic results of a search engine.
Local search engine optimization is different. It is aimed at ranking for two sets of local search engine results:
- Local map results, such as showing up as a search result on Google Map Pack, etc.
- Organic rankings for local search terms. In other words, search queries for a keyword with a local search intent. These would be searches such as Real estate agent Miami or a “real estate agent near me” search queries
The distinction between the two types of SEO is important when you are creating your SEO strategy. After all, you want your SEO strategy to achieve the specific results you want. Most likely, this means getting your business the most leads in the specific locations you service.
8 Step Plan: How to do SEO for Real Estate
It should be noted that SEO is an ongoing process that involves a substantial amount of work. So while we can’t cover everything in this guide, we do try to include the foundational work/basics and real estate seo tips that will get you started.
You can follow the steps below to get going.
1. Create Your Real Estate SEO strategy and tactical plan
We get it. Planning can be difficult and might seem like a waste of time. But with that being said, it does help you succeed.
But while its important to plan we realize time is limited. That’s why you don’t have to go overboard. There is no need to create anything ultra fancy and complex. It is also important to note that the plan should be dynamic. In other words, it shouldn’t be set in stone. But you do need to have a strategy in place for what you want to achieve. This includes targets (goals), a plan of action for how you will achieve it, and how you will measure your effectiveness.
If you want to focus on local seo you should create a local SEO strategy. If you intent to do both organic and local then create a plan accounting for activities for each. This is because the two will have unique activities from each other. As we mentioned above, local and organic are different.
If you do not have the time or desire to create one it may be money well spent to pay an SEO expert or SEO agency to create one for you. If you are impressed with plan then you can always work with them. Or if you prefer you can execute their tactical plan yourself. Either way, it is important to have one to work from.
2. Create or recreate your real estate website and continuously optimize it
It’s okay if you don’t have a huge website budget. You don’t have to build an expensive website for your business to get results. But at the least make sure your real estate web design presents your business well and that your site is SEO optimized.
Some tactics to help your real estate website perform better in local SEO results include:
- Do effective keyword research. This goes beyond finding real estate seo keywords with a high search volume. It includes topic cluster research and finding relevant keywords that have the right user intent and help you build your authority within larger, target topics.
- Create and optimize your website’s foundational pages. These include your home page, about us page, location pages and contact page.
- Create and optimize pages for your key services, products and offerings. Each web page should be optimized for optimal keywords.
- Implement a IDX solution that adds to your search engine performance. Your IDX software is critical for promoting your properties and allowing your clients to search real estate listings. So pick an IDX provider that is powerful, user friendly and works well with your website builder and theme. But just as important you should pick an IDX plugin that lives on your website vs one that lives off your site (typically an iframe). You also want to pick one that allows you to add content to pages with real estate listing so you can boost their SEO performance.
- Use your own images (vs stock images) and include proper Alt tags to help users and search engines better understand them.
- Create blog posts to target specific keywords and build authority on specific topics
- Create local content that helps build proximity for search engines
- Implement proper structured data on each page
If you don’t have a site you can hire an agency that specializes in seo optimized web design. While it is true that SEO needs to be done consistently the initial design and build of your site is important. There is no point of redoing everything late.
And if you have an existing site that needs to be optimized you can hire an agency that offers SEO services to optimize it.
3. Submit your site to Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools
In order for your website to show up on search engines they have to know it exists. That’s why these two tools are critically important. Verifying your website with these free tools allows you to submit your sitemap, see which pages are indexed in Google and request indexing. But it is also an amazing analytics tool that allows you to see how your site is performing, where your clicks are coming from and how and what you are ranking for, uncover technical SEO issues, and more.
Start by creating an account with Google Search Console. Once you do, you will need to verify your property. This can be a bit complex if you aren’t familiar with the back end of your website and host. You may need to hire a web developmentfirm to help with this.
Once you get your site verified on Google Search Console you can sign up for Bing Webmaster Tools. This will allow you to sync your Bing Webmaster Tools account with the Search Console property you already verified. In other words, you can import your Google property into Bing.
4. Claim your Google Business Profile and Bing Places Listing
Your Google My Business profile (now called Google Business Profile) is critical to local SEO performance. So in turn, its critical to your marketing efforts as an agent or agency.
You want to make sure you claim your business listing for each location you own. And if you don’t have a physical location that is okay. You can classify yourself as a service area business.
Google uses the information in your profile to understand what your business is, what services you provide, and what locations you serve.
You will need to verify your business. This usually involves a postcard with a code on it.
Once you verify your business your listing will go live. And then all of the information, edits and photos you added will be visible.
All of the information will be visible on your company business listing. Your listing should appear in your brand search engine results. It will also appear when someone clicks on your listing on Google Maps.
Setting up and optimizing your Google Business Profile is a project in itself. So while we don’t go into it in painstaking detail in this guide we do give a few tips below. If you need help you can always hire a Google My BusinessOptimization Service.
- Select the category that best describes what your business is
- Only add additional categories that are relevant and accurate
- Complete every available field and section available to you
- Add high quality images that you own and took of your location, team, products, customers, and other relevant images
- Add your services and products to your GBP
- Add relevant posts to gain additional search engine exposure and “catch potential customers’ eyes”
Once you set up and verify your Google listing you can sign up for Bing Places. The reason for doing Bing second is that they allow you to import your Google listing to Bing Places. You will have to fill in certain pieces of information, but a lot of it does import automatically.
5. Claim and complete your free listings on Yelp, Expertise, Zillow, Homelight and other review and listing sites
Potential clients may use sites like Yelp, Expertise.com, Zillow, Nextdoor, and others to find and see reviews. If you
Your business can claim and complete your profile for free on all of these sites. This will help you to show up and look credible when folks are looking for your business or your services.
6. Get Reviews
According to Moz and other authority sites, reviews are “considered to be a key local ranking factor.” They also help build credibility and convert potential customers.
7. Invest in content marketing
Content marketing is critical for SEO. The practice of content marketing as a whole is broad. In simple terms it involves creating strategic content aimed at helping you achieve your marketing goals. At the same time helpful, people-first content helps your potential client by answering their questions and providing them withvalue.
For SEO marketing purposes, optimized, high quality content can help you rank for target keywords.
One of the most effective forms of content for SEO is consistently creating high quality content via blog posts. Blog posts are a powerful way to rank for keywords, build authority, and capture leads.
Each blog post should work to build your site’s authority and relevance for a larger topic that you want to rank for. Researching and developing topic clusters is a strategic way to achieve this goal. Each topic cluster will have a set of relevant blog posts correctly tied to it (through internal linking). Topic clusters and their individual blog posts build your site’s authority on the larger topic you are trying to rank for.
You should also produce local blog post content if you are trying to rank for local search results.
There are also other forms of content that are helpful. While they are not direct ranking factors they do work harmoniously to help you improve your SEO. These include things like social media content, which we discuss below.
One thing that should be noted
8. Get Social
Social media is not technically SEO. And it doesn’t directly affect your SEO rankings. But it helps you boost your SEO rankings in some complimentary ways.
For example, it gives you several platforms to promote your on-site content (as well as build brand awareness). Content promotion is important for getting traction for your content and getting backlinks. In other words, promoting your quality content helps drive traffic to your site. It also helps you build backlinks and gain more exposure for your content.
So while social media isn’t a direct ranking factor it does produce results that are beneficial for improving your SEO. When you combine this with the brand awareness benefits, it is definitely worth doing.
Real Estate SEO FAQs
What is SEO in real estate?
SEO in real estate is a set of activities aimed at improving your exposure on search engines. SEO can be done to improve the ranking of your real estate website on search engines. It can also be aimed at improving your search engine ranking in local search results, such as on Google Maps.
What is SEO for real estate agents?
As we mentioned earlier, SEO is a set of activities that are aimed at improving your organic and/or local rankings on search engines. Real estate agents can use on-page, off-page and technical SEO to improve their rankings. They can also use specific local SEO techniques to improve their rankings in local map pack results and organic results for local searches, such as “real estate agent near me” or “real estate agent Miami”.
Why is SEO important for real estate business?
SEO is important for every type of business. This includes real estate businesses. When people have a real estate related question they turn to Google or Bing for an answer. When they are looking for a real estate professional they also search for one online. People do a lot of research before ever reaching out to any real estate professional. In order to be found and considered you need to show up when someone searches for a relevant search query. SEO are the strategic activities that help you show up for these searches (when done effectively). If you do not rank on search engines your chances of being found are much lower.
Who does real estate SEO work?
You can choose to do your own SEO. You can also hire a digital marketing agency that specializes in real estate marketing services.
In-House vs Paying For Real Estate SEO Services
Is SEO right for you as a real estate agent, agency or real estate investor?
That decision is up to you. But if you are ready to get going you really have two options. You can either hire a digital marketing agency that specializes in the real estate industry. Or you can opt to do the work by yourself (in-house).
If you want to implement an effective Real estate SEO strategy you should pick the most effective choice for you. But it is important to keep in mind that running the day-to-day operations of a business is time consuming. And while Real estate SEO is effective it is also time consuming. In other words, not everyone has the time, capability or desire to do their own SEO. The time you spend trying to learn, set-up and master digital marketing could be used on more productive tasks.
A firm specializing in seo services (especially local SEO services) has the expertise to step right in and get you started without wasting a lot of time and money. From a holistic marketing view, the right agency can also customize a package of real estate marketing services. This means they can include other critical digital marketing activities that will meet your needs and budget.
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