Real estate SEO tips to target location-specific users with the right content to increase your organic traffic, leads, sales, and revenues.
The recent pandemic has upturned most businesses and the real estate business is no exception. If you’re scratching your head over how to recover and get back to a profitable business scenario, real estate SEO strategies are your top bet.
For any business, organic SEO services are crucial to reach the right target group and increase traffic organically. For real estate, it is even more so as properties are fixed in a particular location and searches are very location-focused.
To appear on location-specific searches organically to collect as many leads as possible, real estate SEO services can help you formulate strategies to reach your business goals.
What is Real Estate SEO?
Real estate SEO is simply having your real estate business website appear on top of searches on Google and other search engines without any paid ads. SEO for real estate encompasses content optimization on your website and social media accounts.
A major part of it involves local real estate SEO because the location of the property is directly related to both the searcher’s location and the property location.
Why is Real Estate SEO Important?
According to 2019 research, 90% of potential homeowners in the USA search for their new abode online. That’s a massive reason to eye SEO for real estate.
Other reasons why real estate SEO is important are:
1. Increase in organic traffic and leads quality.
The right real estate search engine optimization translates to higher-quality organic traffic to your site. This automatically increases the number and quality of leads. When you can walk your leads through the sales funnel, you get higher conversions and that means more revenues.
2. Increases EAT.
If you have adopted the right SEO strategy for your properties with useful content and the right keywords, your website will score higher on expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. Other sites will backlink to your content and help your website ranking to go higher.
3. Builds your brand.
When your property business appears more often in search engines, your brand name awareness increases. With a sustained real estate SEO, it won’t be long before your business transforms into a top-of-mind brand name. This increases the brand equity, leading to more authority, more backlinks, and more customers.
4. Builds better relations with customers.
When you’re using the right real estate SEO tips, you are attracting leads and customers who have a genuine interest in what you have to sell, buy, or rent.
It becomes easier to nurture and maintain relations with this group instead of having a wide circle of potential customers most of whom may or may not be serious about going the last mile.
Whether you’re an agent, a broker, or a realtor, real estate SEO services can make your business stand out in the sea of property owners and dealers. This will help grow your business as you will get a flow of targeted leads who can be nurtured to convert into customers.
How to do SEO for Real Estate Websites: Top 13 Tips
Follow these real estate SEO tips to get the most out of your website.
1. Do A Competitor SEO Analysis.
Start by doing a thorough analysis of your competitors’ SEO techniques. Note down the keywords for which they rank and the type of their content. For example, do list-type contents have a better CTR?
A look at your competition website analysis will point out what are the best practices and which are not. You can tailor your content based on the analysis for greater SEO success.
2. Conduct Customer and Keyword Research.
Know your target customer group and what they look for when searching for real estate. Check out the keywords and phrases they look for and do thorough keyword research. Look for localized keywords with a moderate search volume to start with.
Make a list of these keywords and be sure to have a single page on your website for each of these keywords.
Target those keywords and try to rank high on these. Remember to aim for long-tail keywords as these would be less competitive and easier to rank. Plus, since realtor businesses are location-centric, more specific long-tail keywords are easier to target.
You are already competing against real estate behemoths like realtor.com, Zillow, and Trulia, so picking the right keywords is crucial. Use semantic keywords and make your content useful to rank high.
Consult answerthepublic.com or Google search autocomplete, Google related searches, and Google people also ask sections to get sufficient keyword hints.
Any real estate SEO expert will advise you to include the main and the related keywords naturally throughout the content. Ideally, you should include these ten to twenty times for 1000-word content or 1 – 2% of the total word count. More than this would be considered as keyword stuffing and Google will not appreciate it.
3. Create Useful Content.
Google places the most emphasis on content that is useful to its readers. Keyword stuffing and backlinks from plenty of non-related websites no longer hold water.
Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and try to answer all that they are looking for regarding real estate. Carefully place the researched keywords in your content to make it look natural.
Your aim should be to hold the interest of the user and provide all the information so that they don’t bounce from your page and look for info and insights somewhere else.
A real estate SEO consultant would advise you to use the following types of content:
Write in detail about the neighborhood and the city of the real estate you want to promote. This will satisfy the user’s search intent and increase the authority of your site.
Examples are videos and live streams to give a virtual tour of the properties; images and infographics of research and industry news updates create backlinking opportunities that pay off handsomely for your real estate SEO efforts.
Write in-depth blogs on your website that give a holistic picture of the properties you want to buy, sell, or rent. Useful content includes informative and descriptive articles on the neighborhood and surrounding amenities like
- shopping malls
- outdoor activities like museums and parks
- cafes and restaurants
Don’t forget to add a section that talks about the downside of the neighborhood also like crime rates or any infrastructural issues.
Local business owners’ points of view.
These can be captured on an interview and posted on your website and social media. These interviews provide a genuine take on the neighborhood and work better to convert leads to customers.
Another advantage of this type of content is that interviewees share these on their social media accounts and organically extend the target market reach for your business.
Add simple tools like a mortgage calculator.
Such tools on your website make it easier for customers to plan real estate purchases. Customers appreciate your thoughtful approach as they don’t need to go off the site for extra chores.
4. Structure the Content for Real Estate SEO.
To structure the content well, use the right title to convey what the content is about. Example: The Top Real Estate Under One Million Dollars in Providence. Include the keywords in the title tag and keep it within 65 characters.
Put headings in a hierarchical order and highlight them by using H1, H2, and other headings as relevant. This will give structure to the content plus make it an easier read.
The URL must contain the keyword and be short and descriptive so that a look at it will let the search engine and the user know what the page is about. For example, https://www.xyzproperties/providence-real-estate.
The meta description should be within 130 characters, contain the keyword at the beginning, and show the benefit to the searcher instantly to encourage higher CTR. For example, “A list of real estate in Providence under a million dollars that spans North, East, and Downtown Providence.”
Remember to include the city, state, and town names in the meta description, title tag, and throughout the content. This improves local real estate SEO and makes it easier to be found by searchers.
Don’t forget to include relevant images, charts, and infographics as these not only help users grasp complex information better but also invite backlinks.
Be sure to add titles and alternative texts to your images containing the keyword.
5. Run a Site Audit.
Good quality content and targeting the right keywords are all good but they won’t work unless you have a technically sound website.
Run your website through Ahref’s or any other tool to check for:
- Broken and/or harmful links
- XML sitemap
- Web security through HTTPS, not HTTP
- Pages without links
- Website architecture
- Canonical tags and identical URLs and content
- Temporary and permanent redirect codes
- Organic traffic rate
- Local ranking of the website
- Customer conversion rate
- Cross-linking to both internal and external pages
You can also use Google Search Console and Google Analytics to find out any technical issues that need to be fixed.
6. Use a Schema Markup.
Schema markup on your page tells the search engine crawlers what your content type is and how it is organized. To get the most out of real estate SEO, make sure you have a schema for your website and all the pages.
This increases the chances of your website information appearing as a rich snippet on the top of the search result pages. Rich snippets like maps, video thumbnails, recipes, reviews, top news, and others improve the CTR by 50% according to research.
Use question-based paragraph titles so that short answers can feature in the Rich Snippets section. Similarly, charts, infographics, lists, and tables of information have more chances of occupying this coveted segment on SERP.
If you use WordPress, there are plug-ins to add the schema markup. For those who don’t want to use a plug-in, you can either do it manually using code or use JSON-LD.
SEO for real estate agents should include a Google map for your business. This increases the chances of getting into the Google 3-pack knowledge box. It also legitimizes your business as it points to a physical location.
If you’re not sure about how and where to start, any real estate SEO services agency can help you.
7. Optimize Page Speed.
If your webpage doesn’t load within three seconds, the user will go back to the SERP and try some other website. Make sure your page loads fast.
Trim the images so that they don’t hamper the page speed. Choose a good host for your website so that you don’t face speed issues.
Keep the design simple to avoid page load problems. Plus, a simple design also facilitates easy navigation.
8. Make your Website Responsive.
Image Source: statista.com
61% of the searches happening nowadays are from mobile phones. Make your website a mobile-first site so that it has a responsive design that users find friendly and navigable.
Use the Mobile-Friendly Test tool on Google Search Console to find out if your website is mobile-friendly. The test will show you what to do to make your site pages responsive.
Whether from a phone or a tablet, your website should load quickly and show full information as it is on your main site. Make sure that images are not abruptly cropped or texts are missing.
9. Use the Same NAP Everywhere.
Your name, address, and phone number or NAP should be consistent across your website and social media accounts if you want to score on real estate SEO.
Remember that Google will use your phone number to verify your contact details and other information across the web. It won’t show your map or content if there’s a mismatch in your given info.
Use the correct parentheses in the phone number so that someone who’s browsing the web for property agents or owners can click on it to make a call.
10. List Your Website on Google My Business and Other Real Estate Directories.
Get your real estate business listed on Google My Business and other property directories in your locale to get spotted easily online.
With your NAP, videos, photos, and virtual visits, you can rank high on relevant directories to get more leads.
You should enlist on the following directories:
- Yahoo Homes
- Yellow Pages
- Better Business Bureau
- Merchant Circle
- Neighborhood Scout
- Angie’s List
Create your business profile on these directories and always update your information.
Plus, get online reviews on Yelp and other popular review sites to up your local SEO game. Approach satisfied customers who would leave a positive review on your site or Yelp.
11. Make Your Presence Felt on Social Media.
Social media accounts for realtors are necessary to ensure a strong presence on the web although it won’t affect your website ranking directly.
As the image above shows, searches for local businesses have increased by 23%. Therefore, local SEO for real estate will ensure your business bubbles up to the top.
As more and more people have accounts on various social media like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram, you should not be left behind to avoid missed opportunities.
Besides sharing links to your blogs on your website, these social media accounts can help promote your videos, industry snippets, research links, and more. It’s another avenue to drive organic traffic to your site.
However, it’s important to customize your social media posts as per the platform. Instagram and Pinterest are best to showcase your property with images. Twitter can be put to its best use if you post a link to research or throw a question to start a conversation.
On Facebook Story, you can post images of your real estate while on the Feed, you can post images plus descriptive captions.
YouTube is best preserved for good-quality videos of properties, live Q&A sessions, or live streaming of the property and its surroundings. For easier crawlability and indexing, add a transcript of the video in the description. Remember to regularly upload fresh content on YouTube to keep the views and comments coming.
With location hashtags and geo-targeted keywords in the title and description, you are likely to get more local traffic instead of a lot of views and visits without any local leads.
12. Build Quality Backlinks.
Good quality and relevant backlinks from other sites to your website will dramatically increase the CTR and organic traffic. This is a vital part of real estate SEO.
The better your content quality and optimization, the higher the chances of getting inbound links that will up your organic traffic, and therefore, Google ranking.
Reach out to local real estate bloggers and influencers with customized emails asking for your guest post to be published on their platforms or for a backlink to your site. Check from your competitor analysis who backlinks to their sites so that you can contact them too.
Publish round-ups and lists of realtors in your area of operation so that it’s useful for searchers and other businesses who will backlink to it.
13. Make Your Website ADA Compliant.
ADA or Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant websites ensure all the information and images are accessible and comprehensible by people with disabilities.
Your website should have certain features like prompts when, for example, a customer has not filled in the required fields.
The images should have image alt text written for screen readers. Both audio and video content should have transcripts, captions, and descriptions.
Plus, audio functions must include an option to stop the player instantly.
There are other requirements of ADA that real estate websites should consult and ensure all of them have been addressed.
Best Real Estate SEO Keywords for 2021
The following are the best real estate SEO keywords to rank on:
- “city name” + real estate
- “city name” + “state abbreviation” + real estate
- “city name” + homes for sale
- “city name” + “state abbreviation” + homes for sale
- “property type” + for sale + in city name. E.g. condos for sale in Boston
- “property type” + for sale + in city name + state abbreviation. E.g. condos for sale in Cambridge, MA
- “action” + property type + in “city name”. E.g. want to buy apartment in Providence.
- “action” + property type + in “city name” + state abbreviation. E.g. want to sell apartment in Providence, RI.
Real estate SEO is a waiting game. Things will not do a 360-degree turn overnight. You need to invest time and patience in search engine optimization and wait for results to crawl in.
In your hurry to see quick results, don’t use black hat SEO techniques. It will only downgrade your website authority and trustworthiness and undo all the hard work.
Continuously optimize your content and fix all technical issues on your website to get more and more organic traffic and a higher ranking on Google.
Sujan Sarkar is the Co-founder of OnelittleWeb, a leading SEO agency specializing in helping businesses improve their online presence and search engine rankings.