October 2, 2023
Real Estate SEO Crash Course for Brokers and Builders
Real estate SEO is the process of making adjustments to a website to make it compliant with Google standards. Adhering to standards results in being eligible to appear and have a good position in organic search results. The ultimate goal of search engine optimization is to attract potential home buyers or sellers who use search engines (also called organic traffic) to find properties, real estate professionals, or information.
This crash course will provide you with adequate knowledge of real estate SEO and ensure that you're well-equipped to enhance your online presence and attract more clients. Get your cup of coffee and let's get started.
Benefits of real estate SEO
As you know, the real estate industry is very saturated so the importance of having a solid presence in search engines cannot be overstated.
A well-optimized website will have a greater chance of getting dominant positions in search results than competing real estate businesses that neglect SEO. Having good positions means reaching more potential buyers and sellers and in turn, more sales and profit.
A prominent position in search engine results pages has a snowball effect on other aspects of your business as well. Being in the top 5 of search results can enhance brand awareness, ensuring that potential clients recognize and eventually trust your real estate business. This is a big deal since consumers are more likely to transact with a recognized brand.
Good rankings in search results also have a positive effect on your marketing budget. There's a saying that SEO is always "on". You don't have to continuously pay to get visibility and traffic to your website. Real estate SEO will reduce your reliance on paid advertising channels (like Google Ads) and positively affect your bottom line.
How to get started with real estate SEO
While it may be daunting, search engine optimization can be performed by brokers and other professionals in the real estate industry. Just follow the steps outlined in this part of the crash course. Trust us, we've applied these steps before on other real estate websites and got great results.
Put yourself in your client's shoes
Even though it might not seem directly tied to search engines, understanding your customers' pain points will guide you on how to present your real estate website as the solution to their needs.
For instance, a common pain point for home buyers is the long buying process. A fully optimized landing page that highlights and addresses this concern will do wonders for real estate agents and conveyancers. They can market their availability and say that they can work around the client's schedule and find a time that is convenient for both parties.
There are many ways to learn about your customers and their concerns. You may ask them directly (verbally or via surveys), read reviews about your company or competitors, or ask fellow real estate agents about the feedback they get from their clients.
Conduct keyword research
Keywords are important as search engines match the keywords used by a searcher with the content of a website. Let's say that a user is looking for "penthouses in new york". Your website won't appear in search engines if they can't find that phrase on your website.
There are some super handy SEO tools out there, like Moz and Ahrefs, that will help you spot the main and long-tail keywords in your niche. These keyword research tools will also tell you how many people use a certain term every month (search volume) and also the level of competition.
Pro tip: Choose relevant keywords but less competitive and have a decent search volume to enhance your website's search engine rankings. Sprinkle those real estate SEO keywords to your page titles, meta descriptions, headers, alt text, and page copy for maximum effect.
Publish high-quality content
Content is critical for on-page SEO as it acts like a magnet for search engine crawlers. The more fresh and relevant content you have, the more pages search engines can index, enhancing your chances of ranking higher.
To craft quality content that resonates with your target audience, pair the results of your keyword research with the solution to every pain point.
Relevant content isn't limited to page copies or meta descriptions. Your clients will definitely appreciate blogs, social media posts, and video content pertaining to your services. Be very detailed with your content. For instance, publish city-specific content on your blog or the complete details of real estate listings.
Audit your website
A technical SEO audit is like a health check-up but for your website. The purpose is to not just find problems but also to pave the way for improvements. A thorough check will show you how your real estate website is showing up on search engines, how user-friendly it is, and how it’s performing overall.
A technical SEO audit will look into your website's structure, content, backlink profile, and load speed. It's a long and complicated process that is discussed in another article we wrote. It's best that you download our website audit template and then work with your front-end developer to check and address each item in the checklist.
Optimize your web pages for mobile devices
Everyone is on their phones these days. According to a study, 55.5% of all internet traffic in 2023 originated from mobile devices. You’re missing out on a massive audience if your web pages aren't displayed correctly on mobile devices.
Like the technical SEO audit, the mobile optimization process is a long one. Sit with your website developer again and tackle each subtopic discussed in a separate guide on how to optimize a landing page for SEO we've written just for you. You have to make sure that your design and every element of your web page translate well on small screens. Partial optimization won't get any results.
Create a Google Business profile
Adding your real estate business to Google My Business, Moz Local, Bing Places, Yelp, and other relevant directories will enable you to appear on Google Maps and local search results. Local SEO, as this process is called, is specifically geared towards local businesses looking to grow their local presence and attract nearby target audience.
This heightened visibility translates to additional referral traffic to your website and foot traffic on your physical location, leading to more leads and sales.
Get backlinks for your website
Backlinks are citations from one web page to another. It's like giving a shout-out to another website and saying, “Hey I trust this website, check out their information!”. Backlinks are important because they help show Google and other search engines that your real estate website is trusted by its peers.
Google's algorithm is based on trust. The more backlinks (or shoutouts) you have from other reputable websites, the more search engines will think it's a good site and will show it to more people in search results. And as we've mentioned before, good rankings equals to more organic traffic.
Getting backlinks, also called off-page SEO, is a core component of a holistic real estate SEO strategy. There are several ways to earn a backlink but arguably the best method is by creating content so good, that other websites have no choice but to link to you. You may also leverage the organizations you're a part of. If you're a member, try to get a backlink from the National Association of Realtors, for example.
Pro tip: Use target keywords, like "real estate listings", as anchor texts as this is more effective than using naked URLs for backlinks.
Need help with real estate SEO?
The real estate SEO tips we just taught you should be enough to get you started and cover the most important parts. Putting the acquired knowledge into action will markedly boost the online visibility search and organic traffic of your real estate business.
But should you need help with real estate SEO, feel free to get in touch with us at Serphead. Our squad of experienced SEO experts is on standby to assist you with complex issues and craft the perfect solution. Be it a website audit, technical SEO, content writing, local SEO, or link building; we have the ideal professional ready to work with you.
Frequently asked questions from real estate businesses
How long does real estate SEO take to work?
SEO is a long-term investment; the time it takes to enjoy the fruits of real estate SEO can vary greatly. Think of an SEO campaign as a marathon rather than a sprint.
There are many factors that affect this. First, you're not the only one making site improvements, other real estate websites do that too. The quality of your content, backlinks, and indexability of your website can also improve your website's position in Google Search and result in more organic traffic.
For local SEO, the results can come in more quickly than general SEO because it targets a smaller, more specific audience. Generally, you might start seeing initial improvements within a month and substantial growth in succeeding months. However, the exact timeline depends on various variables including the competitiveness of your industry and the area you are targeting, or your Google Business profile.
Can real estate agents do SEO?
Absolutely, a real estate agent can handle SEO tasks as long as they have the willingness to learn. SEO is not exclusive to tech experts or marketing professionals. A good place to start is with local SEO optimization. Learn to manage the Google Business profile and make sure that its NAP (name, address, and phone number) is consistent with other local directories.
However, it may take years to master real estate SEO as there are some technical aspects and nuances involved.
How much do real estate SEO services cost?
While we can't speak for other SEO professionals or agencies, we guarantee a comprehensive real estate SEO service package for a monthly investment of just $4,000 (four months minimum). Trust us, outsourcing SEO to experienced professionals is more efficient than sending a real estate agent to workshops to learn SEO.
What does a typical real estate SEO package include?
At Serphead, our work starts with an exhaustive analysis of your industry and full keyword research. This is followed by a meticulous website audit, on-site enhancements, structured data implementation, and content creation. Complementing our on-page SEO work, we empower your online presence with a robust link-building strategy. This holistic approach ensures your real estate website not only reaches the summit but stays there too.