As a realtor, you want potential buyers to visit each property and you want each property to be as attractive as possible. The same principles apply to your real estate website — the goal is to drive as many visitors as possible to your website which is an attractive, convenient, and inviting part of your business. SEO for real estate is one of the best ways to help provide value to your potential customers with engaging content along with your real estate listings, all while increasing traffic and elevating your position in the search results pages.
Real Estate SEO can help increase the visibility of your business and serve as a beacon to potential new clients. Keep reading to discover how Real Estate SEO can work for your real estate company.
What Is SEO?
Simply put, search engine optimization is a digital marketing practice that leverages specific keywords to improve a website’s ranking on the search results pages of Google and other search engines. This is done by doing extensive keyword research into the search terms that your target audience are using to find your product or service (in this case, real estate websites and real estate listings), and using those keywords in quality content on blog posts, as well as the content and meta description of each page on your real estate website. If you want to rank on the major search engines to reach home buyers where they are searching for your service, search engine optimization is the way to go — and On The Map is here to help.
Effective Keyword Research Is Key
In-depth keyword research is the first step to get started on an effective SEO digital marketing campaign. This first step starts by identifying your target audience — in this case, home buyers searching for local real estate listings — and understanding their search habits. What do they want from a real estate agency? SEO for real estate prioritizes providing relevant and engaging information about the home buying process, specific real estate listings, and more.
There is a dual benefit to SEO for real estate in that you are able to improve your ranking on search results at the same time that you are showing your potential customers that you are knowledgeable, honest, and helpful instead of just trying to funnel homebuyers through the sales process. Research keyword relevancy before taking any other steps, no matter how excited you are to start driving new visitors to your property listings as soon as possible.
Content is King
Your content is the backbone of your local SEO strategy and will incorporate the short-tail and long-tail keywords you’ve identified in your keyword research as effective to the organic search results you wish to gain more visibility on. Unfortunately, many real estate agents who wish to utilize local SEO will get started by writing a single blog post with the hopes of making an impact on their lead generation and site traffic, and ultimately abandon their strategy prematurely. The key to long-term success is to make sure that you develop a strategy and stick to it by writing a new blog post each week.
Another major mistake made by real estate websites is that they may engage in a term called “keyword stuffing,” which is the practice of using the same keywords over and over or using duplicate content to “game” the search engines. This practice might provide a quick boost, but Google and the other search engines quickly catch up to this practice and penalize the real estate websites using this tactic.
Other Tactics to Maximize SEO for Real Estate
Another pitfall that many real estate agents fall into is ignoring the whole range of real estate SEO tips, such as optimizing the real estate website for things like site speed, making a mobile-friendly version of the site, using a relevant meta description on each page, leveraging internal linking, and more. In addition, taking advantage of the built-in boost provided by Google my Business can be a major help. Make sure that your contact information such as your phone number, name, address, and other details are up to date on this public business page
Google does not disclose their metrics for what makes the “perfect” real estate website for local SEO, but the team at On The Map, Inc. has years of experience both studying and implementing effective strategies that are proven to work. We will make sure that we improve your site’s quality score as part of our holistic approach to improve your website ranking and performance through search keywords, which is one indicator of how Google regards your site. Remember that Google is a business with a service, and each page they send their users to much be relevant to their search and provide them with a great experience. If a Google user ends up on a page that is spammy, doesn’t work on mobile devices, is slow to load, or is ultimately filled with low-quality content boosted by keyword stuffing, Google will suppress this website on their search page in the future.
What is Real Estate SEO?
Now that we have an understanding of what search engine optimization is, let’s get a better sense of how this digital marketing approach can significantly boost traffic to your website for the local real estate industry. Homebuyers are looking for real estate agents they can trust, and when you make your website an authority source, you can be confident that they will keep coming back to your blog posts and real estate website as they continue their independent research. When you make sure that visitors can find the information they need on your website, you improve the chances of them choosing you as their real estate agent as a result of your helpful content marketing.
- SEO can increase your website’s profile — Search engine optimization is a way to increase the visibility and ranking of your website through the use of keywords related to your real estate business.
- SEO can connect you with clients faster — An effective real estate SEO campaign can result in your website being one of the first that users come across in a search engine query when they use search terms related to your business.
- Keywords are important for an SEO campaign — Those search terms are keywords and their strategic implementation can help drive traffic to your site, increase its ranking, and lead to new clients.
- Optimizing your website improves SEO — Our work also takes your site’s structure, content, and link profile into account; each of those features helps the search engines to better navigate your website and increase its ranking.
- SEO can also involve social media integration — The use of social media and making sure that your website is mobile-friendly are also important factors in helping to increase the visibility of your website with one-click sharing.
Simply put, real estate agents can leverage the power of search engine optimization by thinking about how their target audience can benefit most from their page. As a real estate agent, you know that your clients’ needs are tantamount to all else, and if you translate this ethos to your digital marketing strategies you will greatly benefit from increased traffic to your site, as well as conversions like contacting you for followup information and ultimately increasing your loyal customer base.
How can SEO help my Real Estate Business?
Any time someone uses a search engine, they tend to regard the highest-ranking sites they find as being more authoritative and will tend to click on those sites more often. Our real estate SEO experts can get your website to a high ranking position on the SERP (search engine results page) by using strategies customized for your real estate business.
An effective SEO campaign means that whenever someone searches for real estate-related keywords, the search engines will determine that your website is most relevant to their needs. Once your SERP rank is increased, your website traffic will increase and that can lead to several prospective new clients.
What ROI Should I Expect?
- Set realistic expectations — Your return of investment, or ROI, depends on the size of your business, the size of your investment, and your expected goals.
- Your ROI should have a noticeable effect — A good ROI will increase the clientele and the overall profitability of a company.
- The scale and ambition of your company determine your ROI — Set your expectations based on the size and scope of your company.
- New clients are always the best ROI — You will want to get a higher ranking in the SERP but your ultimate goal is to get new clients; that is the barometer of success in an SEO campaign.
How Long Does Real Estate SEO take?
Generally speaking, it can take SEO three to six months to start generating results. It is important to keep in mind, however, that there is variability in how long each company’s SEO will take.
Those results should ultimately be a higher SERP ranking and an increase in client numbers. Those numbers should steadily increase and then reach a plateau, at which point your SEO campaign is about maintaining those numbers.
Remember also that SEO is an ongoing strategy to continuously boost your own rankings against your competitors’ rankings. If you start enjoying more local business after three to six months of dedicated SEO output and decide to end the campaign entirely, you are giving your competitors an opportunity to improve their own rankings by following real estate SEO tips and committing to a long-term content strategy. To keep people clicking into your real estate listings, it can be very helpful to have either a dedicated member on your own staff, hold yourself to a concrete content calendar, or outsource the writing to a proven SEO company like On The Map, Inc.
Assessing your Real Estate Company’s Key Performance Indicators
Creating a successful site is gauged by the use of Key Performance Indicators, or KPI’s. KPI’s are how we determine whether the SEO strategy is working or not. These are the KPIs we look out for:
- New Clients — The more of them you get, the better your website is doing.
- Organic Traffic — These are the people who visit your site from the SERP.
- Keyword Ranking — The higher your keywords rank, the more visitors your site will attract.
- Visitor Duration — How long visitors spend on your site before they leave.
- Pages per Session — The number of your site’s pages each viewer visits.
How to Optimize On-Site SEO for your Real Estate Company
On-site SEO is the process of how well search engines and users can access and assess your site’s content. A well-structured website with good keyword integration will help to increase the effectiveness of your on-site SEO.
- Choose the Correct Keywords — In order to increase your page’s visibility, you must choose the right keywords. Those keywords should be relevant and targeted towards any potential users.
- Optimize Your Website Structure — Having a well-structured website means that it is easy to navigate, has pages that link to each other, and that each page is clear and distinct from the rest.
- Create Custom Content — This includes press releases, correspondences from satisfied clients, and other items that show why clients should choose you.
- Add Google Analytics — This program is free and has the ability to calculate, measure, and gather valuable website data for you.
- Add a Sitemap — Increase your site’s navigability by including a sitemap, it puts all of the pages on your website in a file and ranks them according to their relevance. For the best results, your sitemap should be submitted to different search engines.
- Increase your Website Security — A good cybersecurity suite will prevent hackers from defacing your website and stealing the private information of you and your users.
- Increase Website Loading Speed — Slow loading speeds on desktop and mobile dissuade users from staying on your website.
How to Optimize Off-site SEO for your Real Estate Company
Off-site SEO is when you link to other reputable websites relevant to your business or have those websites link to you. Those links should use anchor text containing targeted keywords.
- Relevant Link Building for your Real Estate Business —The links included on your real estate site should use appropriate anchor text and go to high ranking, high authority pages that are relevant to your business.
- Directory listings for your Real Estate Business — If your business is listed on a high-ranking web directory in the appropriate category then that is another way for potential visitors to find your website.
- Cleaning your Website’s Link Profile — This involves making sure that authoritative, relevant sites link to your website and that the links to or from your site are active and up-to-date. Dead links will hurt your SERP ranking.
Social Media Integration for Real Estate
Use of Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, and a host of other social media is a marketing tack that allows you to communicate with intended customers. This will increase your brand recognition and foster brand loyalty.
- Youtube Management and Optimization — Youtube is helpful for businesses because it allows them to be promoted or demonstrated to potential new customers. Your real estate business can use features like virtual tours to entice prospective clients.
- Management of Major Social Media — Understandably, you might not have the time to make constant social media updates. Our Real Estate SEO experts can help to keep your company relevant by updating your social media accounts with relevant and engaging content.
Tracking your Real Estate Company’s Growth
There are an array of analytical tools that can provide you with feedback that lets you know how your Real Estate SEO campaign is progressing. They can be used to determine which strategies are the most or least successful so that adjustments can be made to strengthen your campaign where necessary.
- Phone Tracking — Discover how many visitors to your website decide to call your phone number and where they are calling from.
- Form Tracking — When a client fills out a contact form online, you will get a notification that can help you to create a strategy targeted to specific regions.
- Traffic Reports — There are a variety of tools to determine website traffic comparisons on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis, provided by Google and a range of other platforms.
- Ranking Reports — These can show you where you rank in each search engine and show you which keywords are most or least effective.
Any digital marketing campaign that is executed without comprehensive tracking (or focusing on the wrong metrics) is simply not worth the time or the effort, since you will not be able to recognize which areas are succeeding, which need more improvement, and which are not effectively converting traffic at all. Many people mistakenly focus on clicks into their site, which only provides a limited view of how their campaign is performing. If 100 people click into your site and nobody converts, there is clearly an issue somewhere along the user funnel. With comprehensive analytics throughout your entire site, we will be able to identify key dropoff points in the sales funnel and focus our efforts on reducing this friction. Beware of what are known as “vanity metrics” to ensure that you are getting the most out of your efforts and your marketing budget.
Real Estate SEO Experts — A proven digital advertising solution
Your real estate business provides an important service to people who want to buy or sell their home but your efforts are for naught if clients do not even know that your business exists. Our Real Estate SEO experts can increase the visibility of your business through a thorough, detailed, and extensive SEO campaign.
This campaign will allow a wide variety of new clients to discover you on Google and other major search engines and contact you for your services. Our real estate SEO experts’ only goal is to help businesses prosper by achieving their full potential.
The Benefit of Working With On The Map, Inc. For Your Real Estate SEO Needs
As you can imagine, following these tips to improve traffic to your real estate listings can feel like a full-time job — and for the SEO experts at On The Map, it is. Our team has been helping clients achieve their SEO goals for over a decade, with many of our individual teammates boasting even more experience in the SEO industry and Google marketing on their own. When you have a trustworthy team of engineers, data analysts, researching, and in-house writers taking on the entirety of your SEO campaign, you can focus on what you do best: providing home buyers with a memorable and enjoyable experience as you get them into the home of their dreams.
On The Map’s SEO Process
The following is a general idea of our SEO process and how we can provide such consistent and impressive results for our clients in a wide range of industries. With this tried-and-true framework, you can sit back and watch as your traffic and conversions improve and your website rises above the competition.
This is a great opportunity for you to sit with one of our specialists to get a clear understanding of your needs and how are SEO expertise can support you on your digital marketing journey. During this consultation, we will be happy to show you our previous work (seriously, we love showing off!) and giving you an understanding of what you can expect with your own unique local market, goals, and industry. We want to be certain that you are confident in the partnership we are entering and that you know how glad we are to have you as a valued client.
SEO Audit & Report
Once we’ve concluded our consultation, shaken hands, signed papers, and gone through the rest of our intake process, we will set one of our data analysts to the task of auditing your existing site and historical performance. This will give us a benchmark to understand where we will go from here, and is a great opportunity to extract valuable information such as your current audience, their browsing habits, your historical Google rankings, and what tactics are either highly successful or need to be retired in order to boost your conversions and traffic rankings. Once concluded, we will present you with a comprehensive report of our audit to give you an understanding of the strategy we will develop for your unique situation.
Using our SEO audit, our SEO strategists will set out to develop a long-term strategy that will include a range of tactics, both content-based and tech-based to execute a holistic approach to your digital marketing goals. Once approved, this strategy will be our North Star through our work together, and over the course of our work, we will stop to re-examine our strategy as goalposts change and your SEO needs evolve.
Technical SEO Improvements
One of the most overlooked aspects of SEO is the technical, back-end tweaks and adjustments necessary to provide visitors with an optimal customer experience and improve your conversion rate. These improvements include things like updating all existing metadata to target your specific location and keywords, improving load time by compressing images, disabling unnecessary add-ons, fixing broken links, one-click calling, and installing Google analytics tools to keep track of our work.
Once we’ve got your site ready to welcome new traffic, we will begin rolling out new content with our targeted long-tail keywords. All of our writing is done by in-house writers who specialize in a range of topics, including real estate SEO. By utilizing our content team to produce blog posts, articles, and guest posts on other sites (see Backlink Strategy below), you can trust that you are publishing proven content from seasoned writers while providing valuable and engaging information to your current and prospective clientele to climb the Google ranks.
Part of our content strategy is called backlinking, which is a practice that involves writing guest posts and placing them on other authority pages in the real estate industry. Search engines like Google like to see that websites are adding to the interconnectivity of the web, which means that the more links pointing to your site from other reputable pages (as well as links pointing out to reputable sites from your pages), the better the search engines will regard your site. We will engage in outreach with other websites in your industry that are not your competition and provide the content. A win-win for both sites, and a major boost for your SERP rankings!
The key to any digital marketing campaign is effective analysis and reporting, and each month we will provide you with custom reporting provided by your Accounts Manager so that you understand every metric and the progress being made on your rankings with Google and the other major search engines. If there is anything that you do not understand, want to know more about, or want to put additional focus into, we can find it on your reporting dashboard and fine-tune our approach to provide you with the exact output you want.
Frequently Asked Questions About Search Engine Optimization
The following are just a few of the many questions that we are happy to answer during our initial consultations and throughout the work we do together. The following questions and answers are generalized, so the sooner you get in touch with our team, the sooner we can provide you with specific, in-depth answers as they relate to your unique situation.
What results can I expect once I start working with On The Map, Inc. for my real estate marketing?
In order to properly answer this question, we will first need to get an understanding of the current state of your digital marketing and metrics. For first-time SEO efforts or under-saturated markets, there may be a quick improvement in your search engine results page rankings as we begin to introduce targeted strategies. However, in highly-competitive markets, or if we are taking over an ongoing SEO strategy, there will likely be a period of time where there are few changes before we can start gaining momentum. You can typically expect to see tangible results within 3-6 months, but again, this is entirely specific to the many variables we will examine together.
Do I need to work with an SEO agency to get the results I need for my real estate business?
There is absolutely no rule saying that you are required to work with an SEO agency to drive new and meaningful traffic to your website, but our results show what you can gain by doing so. Our in-depth understanding of Google and the other search engines is our full-time job, meaning that you can focus on your full-time job selling real estate without having to learn about SEO, devise a strategy, and then stay accountable to a never-ending and continuously-expanding content calendar. Outsourcing your marketing efforts can give you valuable time back to chase new leads and provide your customers with an exceptional experience, all while enjoying the benefits of a professional campaign driving traffic to your real estate website.
How much money should I be spending on SEO marketing?
This is a notoriously difficult question to answer, but the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has stated that companies with gross annual revenues of less than five million dollars should allocate seven to eight percent of their revenues to marketing. However, if you find that your ROI is exceptional and you would like to increase your budget, either short-term or indefinitely, we will be happy to discuss the additional benefits of increasing your spending so that we can continue to improve our marketing efforts and provide you with exceptional results.
Why are there SEO services that are so much cheaper than On The Map?
Platforms like Fiverr and Upwork are host to many individuals offering inexpensive marketing services that claim to achieve excellent results. While many of these individual contractors may likely be great at their work, there are many other “black hat” marketers that use banned practices to get a quick traffic boost to your page before taking your money and disappearing. These practices include things like keyword stuffing, recursive databases of links, and other tactics meant to “trick” Google. Once the Google algorithm recognizes these tactics, your page will be penalized and it will take a lot of work to get back up to where you even began.
Famed tattooer Sailor Jerry once put it best: “Good work ain’t cheap, and cheap work ain’t good.”