5 Pro SEO Tips for Real Estate Websites
How can real estate agents capitalise on local SEO?
For such a niche, it pays to optimise for local search – no doubt about it! With the growing usage of mobile and voice search, it is more important than ever to ensure your result appears as highly and attractively as possible on the SERPs (search engine results pages) to cater for the exponential expectation of immediacy. A solid local SEO strategy should include a constant stream of great reviews, NAP (name, address, phone number) consistency and highly authoritative backlinks with great website content to boot.
1. Reviews You want to aim for a credible Google+ My Business profile for local results. This aids CTR (click through rate) and search results page real estate...just like in the real estate industry; you want your property to look the most attractive! It’s also a good idea to be present on at least one other review platform such as Reviews.co.uk or Trustpilot. Once you gain some excellent reviews, you can apply Structured Data to actually display these star ratings as icons in the search results pages (SERPs) – consequently increasing your click through rate. This can also be utilised to display a click to call icon in search results within the Knowledge Graph. While it is against Google’s rules to entice or direct people on what to say in reviews, the more context surrounding your niche, the better. So, if the client included a paragraph of content about your ‘real estate expertise in South Florida’...that would be very cool ;-) Check this: 88% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations!
2. NAP consistency It’s a good idea to ensure your company name, address and phone number is the same everywhere online. To verify this, use advanced searches in Google:“company name” “city” _Then use:“company name” “zip code”Next, just enter the zip code inside quotation marks:“zip code”_This will ensure you find all listings and iron out any incorrect spellings or other errors. It is critical to display your NAP inside your website and on your contact page, along with company registration number and trademarks.
3. Authoritative backlinks Inbound links to your site from the right places are extremely powerful. Google recently publicised the fact that links are the most important ranking factor (although really, we already knew that!). To maximise the benefits of such links, you will want all anchor text to be varied using a blend of branded, branded+locality and naked URL links. It is also healthy to have ~5% exact match+locality links pointing to your site. So, in this case, your anchor text would be ‘best real estate agents in South Florida’. These links should definitely come from the most authoritative websites, not low-level directory listing sites. Another great tactic is to gain the help of a local digital influencer – ideally, someone with local presence online; both on social media and their own website.
4. Exceptional, optimised content Just gaining inbound links isn’t the answer – you need excellent content for the links to point to! Your material should be tastefully optimised for local search terms including your title and H1 tags as well as your Google My Business listing. When creating content, research anything else that’s been written by niche competitors or blogs and simply outdo that content in every way possible, in both length and value.
1. Consideration of long-tail search queries I wrote a very in-depth guide on discovering local long-tail keywords, which also includes heaps of technical SEO tips. I’ll also be covering the topic further on my website, launching soon. It’s also helpful to put yourself in your customers’ shoes. What would they search for? Verify there is search volume for your ideas using tools I explain in the link above.
What are the big DON’T’s of SEO?
Don’t: - Attempt to do everything yourself. Hire a specialist. I always compare it to hiring an accountant – I would never try to run my company accounts myself! - Pay $50 for SEO and expect to rank. If you pay that much, prepare to get wiped off the face of Google!
What are some of the SEO tools out there that real estate agents could use?
What’s your biggest SEO success so far?
My website! It’s never been live, only a single splash page since early 2016. Despite this, I’ve gained a remarkable backlink profile which includes sites like Muck Rack, The Huffington Post and The Next Web: When I do eventually go live, these links will have strong impact on my rankings thereafter. To achieve this, I have leveraged social media and strong relationships instead of using my website as the initial selling tool. Personal branding is a must – that certainly applies to real estate agents too.People want to engage with people, not faceless companies. Even more so for local biz!
Sam Hurley is a lateral-thinking digital marketer holding 6+ years’ self-expedited experience in both agency and client-side settings before launching his own digital consultancy venture: OPTIM-EYEZ. He has achieved successfor SMEs, national to international blue chip organisations while being ranked as the World’s #1 digital influencer by Webinale and #2 most influential digital marketer by Onalytica. Catch him on Twitter for heaps of helpful tweets on entrepreneurship and marketing!