Now that 93% of vacation home shoppers report using the Internet during their home search, it’s becoming even more essential for realtors to make use of SEO in real estate. Home hunters often hit the search engines to search for category keywords like:
- Vacation rentals
- Vacation home rentals
- Rental homes
- Rental vacation homes
- Rent vacation home
Over the past decade, real estate-related searches have increased by a whopping 253%. With so much opportunity to grab from search engines, it’s wise for realtors to use SEO tactics to ensure they don’t miss out on this web traffic and potential customers. But, why call in an SEO expert to grab online traffic when you can do it for yourself cheaper?
SEO works differently for different kinds of business. For instance, eCommerce focuses on selling products and blogging focuses on increasing subscribers. SEO in real estate takes on a unique approach to reaching customers in the market for buying a home and directing quality leads to your realty website. Below we’ve created a detailed real estate SEO guide to help you start doing it yourself.
1. Target Local Keywords
Real estate businesses can easily target their audience by using local keywords. Local keywords are much simpler to rank because there’s less competition and average demand. Realtors should use on-page factors and local keywords with their location to optimize the website for search engines. Great local keywords could include:
- [Location] real estate
- [Location] homes for sale
- Real estate in [Location]
- [Location] realtor
- [Location] real estate agent
- [Location] real estate homes sale
Take advantage of keyword planners to check the demand and competition for popular real estate keywords in your location. Also, ensure that every location has a unique page that comes under your website’s subdirectory. This will help search engines and your potential clients easily navigate through your site.
2. Produce Unique, Descriptive Content
For SEO in real estate, content is king. The more unique content you add into your website, the higher chance you have of driving traffic and getting linked to by other bloggers. Write descriptive, informative, and engaging blogs of at least 300 words in your real estate niche to crank out great content. Don’t forget essential SEO practices, like meta descriptions, title tags, photo file names, and alt tags. Users often surf real estate websites for:
- Learning general home information
- Comparing home facilities
- Finding rokers’ phone numbers
- Watching online videos
- Checking reviews
- Contrasting price ranges
- Getting directions
- Choosing a listing agent
- Locating financing options
While there will likely be some standard content running through your site, add in these key points to make it as unique as possible. Google automatically takes care of standard texts, but including fresh new content will definitely help your rankings grow.
3. Insert Clear Call to Actions
There are two types of call to actions that can be included on a real estate website. First, “call outs” involve text that emphasizes your company’s phone number for online visitors to call. On the other hand, “call ins” offer an online contact form or subscription field for visitors to reach you. Creating a sidebar with a contact form for queries on your targeted page and adding a phone number in your website’s header is the best approach for clear call to actions that generate leads.
4. Include Photos and Videos
If there’s one thing that users love more than engaging content, it’s images and videos. In fact, 90% of online shoppers prefer videos for making up their mind before a purchase. That’s why it’s essential for you to add appropriate, original photos and videos on your website. Don’t forget to add descriptive content for search engines to take notice too.
5. Use Structured Data
Structured data, also called schema, helps search engines better understand the meaning of content placed on a website. Using structured data on your site will create rich snippet on SERP, which will increase your click-through rate (CTR) and boost your chances of earning quality leads. In real estate, structured data should include a review markup, video markup, address markup, and person markup.
6. Create Subdirectories, Not a Subdomain
Making your site structure easy to understand is the best approach. It’s recommended that you keep all state data in a subdirectly with respective cities under it (http://xyz.com/state/), rather than using a subdomain (http://state.xyz.com). According to Matt Cutts, subdomains are considered to be different entities, so the value of the domain won’t add much extent to your website. Subdirectories have the benefit of creating good site structure and ease of navigation for online visitors.
7. Build a Mobile-Friendly Website
In 2015, responsive design is the next big thing for SEO in real estate. Google recently launched a global mobile-friendly tag on all websites for users searching the Internet from their mobile devices. A report from “Digital House Hunt” stated that:
- 89% of Internet users search from their mobile device.
- Tablet searches have increased by 300% for real estate brokers year by year.
Thus, it’s critical that you make your real estate mobile-friendly to ensure viable clients can easily find you across all of their electronic devices. Separate URLs, dynamic serving, and responsive design are ways to keep sites mobile-friendly. Mobile responsive designs are recommended above all to keep all of your content, images, and site structure the same.
8. Showcase Testimonials
Testimonials are the second most important item on your website, after your service details. The majority of users will check for testimonials before making any purchasing decision online. Add positive reviews from previous clients right into your website. Having these testimonials will help gain online visitors’ trust and generate more leads.
9. Optimize Your Bio
If you’re a realtor working for a real estate agency, then optimize your biography on your agency’s website. Keep your webpage completely optimized with your name and keywords in the URL, such as http://xyzrealestate.com/arthorjon or http://arthorjon.xyzrealestate.com. Also, be sure to include a title, meta description, unique content, images, and person markup. Since new clients often Google names to find out more about past work, having your webpage optimized will build your reputation.
10. Get Listed in Real Estate Directories
After all the on-page SEO in real estate factors, you’ll need to settle things outside your website too. Get yourself listed on all local real estate directories, such as Realtor, Trulia, and Homes. In these sites, users will easily find insight about your past work and reviews from valuable clients. Due to their high authority and massive depths of informative data, these directories generally rank much higher than other websites and can give realtors better visibility.
11. Take Advantage of Google Places
Google Places listings are the easiest way to draw in business quickly. With it, you’ll get listed in seven-pack results on SERP to generate genuine local traffic to your website. Google Places can be even more beneficial when you use it wisely. Most realtors rank on seven-pack results by submitting their site onto citation sites and directories. You should also politely ask your happy customers to review your real estate services on the official Google Places page, and you’ll watch your leads soar.
12. Incorporate Social Media
Last but certainly not least, create social media profiles on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Tumblr to start attracting more customers. Interacting with users through social media can create great long-term benefits and bring in more clients through word-of-mouth publicity. Social media will allow you to crowd source your link building and quickly multiply your online presence. Never underestimate the power of social media for SEO in real estate because many realtors are generating more and more revenue through it daily.