Social media, search engines, and the Internet in general have disrupted the way people search for products and services. This is especially true for the housing market, where many professional service are set to compete with privately-run social media pages and sales bulletin boards. This is why property and real estate SEO is more important than ever. It can supply real estate agencies and small realtors with the ammunition they need to get the word out before their competitors.
First the basics: Real estate SEO is a means of improving your visibility on search engines to show up on search engines. It can help you get ahead of your competitors and maintain your online presence to find clients. This guide can be helpful for realtors, real estate SEO services planning, and data driven decision making.
We’ll look at some practical measures you can implement to boost your business’ SERP visibility. However, it would be useful to first look at how important digital transformation is for real estate SEO. Whether you’re trying to improve your visibility as a realtor or looking to improve SEO for real estate investors, this article has handy tips for you.
Do SEO & Social Media Go Hand-in-Hand?
Chances are you already have social media channels set up. Every business does these days. A common question is whether your social media can help improve your SEO and the answer is: not directly. Social media posts have low authority and lag behind in a lot of factors Google emphasises in searches. Google searches don’t prioritise social media posts themselves but these posts can have other benefits.
Lyfe Marketing has noted that while it won’t impact SEO, there is a benefit in terms of searches. By increasing brand exposure, there is a higher level of searches directed towards you which makes Google take note as a tertiary effect. It also allows for extensive content distribution, better lifespan for posts, more organic traffic, and can help local SEO.
The numbers back this up, showing a heavy correlation between SEO and effective social media activity. Note: Correlation, not Causation. It’s important not to conflate SEO and Social Media marketing as they are distinct in what aspects they benefit. They have benefits that cross over from one to the other.
However, we will give some small bits of helpful social media advice that can improve search engine performance.
Some Handy Real Estate SEO & Social Media Stats
The numbers don’t lie. In case there was any doubt, most people are searching for and finding property online. This includes a mishmash of professional and crowd-sourced pages that provide listings. This highly competitive market has is a billion dollar industry with a lot of opportunities for those who can seize on them.
As our infographic shows, email and mobile communication is a crucial part of this market. This means that you need to optimise pages for multiple formats, particularly mobile devices and tablets. Moreover, realtors are interested in investing in tech solutions, with nearly half believing keeping track of big tech is a major challenge. This means that the sales market is going to evolve with new tech, especially when it comes to larger firms that have the capital to keep up.
Email marketing is going to be a crucial venue for B2B communication, while social media is fantastic for lead generation. This means having an optimised social media presence and a multi-channel approach to go with it.
SEO shouldn’t be the only horse you’re willing to bet on but it is a crucial one. When it comes down to SEO and PPC, you should be doing both. Yes, PPC is very targeted, often surefire in its ROI (if done correctly), and requires less maintenance. SEO can be competitive and, in certain industries, require more vigilance.
On the other hand, SEO is really cheap. It also offers organic searches can be beneficial to the website in the long run in terms of establishing presence. PPC stops working the second you stop paying, while SEO can keep attracting customers on auto-pilot.
It also has its own particular purpose in terms of the customer journey. PPC will only target people who have already decided to buy a house. SEO, on the other hand, can reach people in the early stages of the purchase funnel. Uncertain buyers will gravitate towards organic searches and that lets you target a wider quality of customer.
Moreover, when someone isn’t looking at sponsored posts on a search engine, they practically have tunnel vision. Most people will only look at the first 3 or 4 results on the first page. You need to be performing sufficiently well to target this group of people, which means having your SEO on point.
Local SEO Tools
If you run a physical real estate agency, it’s important to have a proper listing on Google My Business. the more details you provide, the better, as this can improve your ranking. We’ve previously covered the advantages and processes for Google My Business. It discusses the advantages in local SEO for retail and small businesses, but their is a lot of stuff that may apply to real estate as well.
SEO for real estate agents and businesses is going to be highly local. Most people will click on things within their vicinity, which means Google will prefer to show them such results. Slotting your business into this category is, therefore, essential.
You want to have all of your information present, including opening hours, getting reviews, and filling out the category of services. Your aim should be to appear in the auto-selected 3 businesses that Google displays on a search query. These appear under the map as we’ve shown in the image below:
The businesses shown here achieve incalculable amounts of visibility for appearing in certain search words. However, as you can see, locations can get mixed up with certain keywords. I sought restaurants in New York but got a restaurant ranking in the seed keyword all the way in Rotterdam. Google’s wires can sometimes get crossed, so it’s important to check your location rankings once in a while.
Another means of improving local SEO is to keep track of keywords, topics, and content by location on SEMrush. We’ll cover this in the next section.
Understanding SEMrush Metrics
We’ve done an in-depth look into how best to employ SEMrush statistics to your business’ needs. While we recommend reading that original article to understand all of the metrics, here we’re going to dive into the crucial info. Moreover, we’re going to relate it to the Real Estate business and contextualise it.
On the practical side, you need to check the keywords in SEMrush by location since housing and real estate are all about location. You can try to home in on certain countries if you offer houses to a lot of foreign clientele, which could be the case in bigger cities like London or Amsterdam. Either way, it’s a good idea to check how keywords perform in different regions.
Here’s a brief rundown of a few rules of thumb to get you started:
- You need to look for keywords with lots of click potential and higher volumes, yet also ones with easier keyword difficulty.
- Also, use the listing management option in SEMrush. It specifically helps local SEO.
- Using it’s sensor, Semrush can give you a precise breakdown of what content, keywords, tags, and questions users find most engaging.
The SEO sensor will also help you make high-performance content (if needed). Speaking of which…
Content Strategy for Real Estate SEO
If you’re operating in a certain area, you should be working on area specific content. Content not only attracts people to your site and builds your brand, but it also gives you authority. If Google views your website as an authority on certain subjects, it will favour your listings as well. Having diverse content is also a great way to attract both consumers and business clientele.
Good content for real estate will build into your local SEO, if done properly. Suppose you list properties in New York: having NY-specific content will then allow you to find people who are looking up location-based info about the city. Due to how the Internet works, if they click on your content, they may a) check out what else the website does or b) start receiving your PPC ads in response to their interest.
Examples of content could be:
- Best restaurants in an area.
- Add a mortgage calculator to your website.
- Optimise alt-tags in your images and videos.
- Discuss landmarks and history.
- Trends in housing.
- What makes it a great area for families (schooling, amenities, etc.) or conversely single people (night-life, job opportunities, higher education, etc.).
- Transportation features.
And so much more….
Building Better Real Estate SEO
A few quick notes:
Use schema mark-up
We have a dedicated article about this, so we won’t cover it in detail. You’d be surprised how many companies are running websites without it. It’s a crucial part of ending up in that “top 3” that Google auto-generates and enables a nice format for easy reading. Most potential customers will pay attention to these entries and they allow for additional details like images which make them stand out from the standard text on the SERP.
This is another area where the SEMrush sensor comes into play. It can help you check for fixes and lags in your website performance. If there’s a lot of SERP volatility, SEMrush can help find the culprit if you know what you’re doing. But it’s also crucial to understand that sometimes this may not be up to you and your on-page optimisation. Volatility can be a result of competitors or changes in how Google operates.
It’s not enough to simply link your social media
Everyone is on multiple social media channels, but better performance requires more that just linking your socials. Implement Facebook and LinkedIn pixel for better data gathering. Look at how your ads and posts are performing and then follow through with the customer journey through your website. Where do they click and where do they lose interest.
Avoid the Biggest SEO Mistakes
The best real estate websites for SEO are not putting all their eggs in one basket. They have a content plans, they use schema, they do PPC, they list their businesses, they market their storefronts, and so much more. Any real estate SEO expert worth his salt can confirm. SEO alone will not drive success.
The ultimate rule of thumb is redirecting everything to sales. For real estate SEO, company websites are a crucial hub that needs to translate into the sales portal. If SEO is not feeding conversions directly, make sure your landing page, whatever it might be, does a good job of leading the consumer to a sales portal in as few clicks as possible. They may lose interest otherwise.
Note: Number icons used in images courtesy of icons8.