As realtors, there is no denying the hugely localised nature of the business. You may have branches across the country, but everyone has their own little nook to concentrate on. Which is why optimising your website for local SEO is not only beneficial, it’s an absolute necessaty.
Here are some of the things you need to keep in mind whenever you’re looking to optimise your website for local SEO:
Conduct a Site Audit
First things first, you need to identify and isolate everything your website does wrong in order to make it right. Which means you will need to audit it. Often, this can feel like it would be a long winded and difficult process. But, it doesn’t have to be so long as you know what you are looking for when it comes to local SEO optimisation.
For local SEO, the key factors you will need to look at include:
- Site architect (sitemap, URL redirects, etc.)
- On-page optimisation (meta descriptions, heading tags, URL, etc.)
- Content (keyword optimisation, non-duplicated and good quality)
- Link profile (internal, external and broken links)
- UX factors (how well the website works for users)
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it is sure to help.
Optimise for Local
Optimising for local SEO can take many different forms, but importantly there are a number of ways that you can optimise for local which can have an instant impact. This is largely in relation to the way you optimise the page meta, i.e. the title and description. This means ensuring that you include plenty of local variations to the keywords you’re targeting.
For example, if you’re looking to target the keyword ‘new builds’, to make it local you need to target ‘new builds in Manchester’. This makes it likelier that people searching in your area for new builds will find your site, as they are bound to be more specific in their search. It is also far less competitive to do it this way.
Make Your Website Optimal for Mobile
Mobile traffic is becoming more and more the norm in the modern world. Which is why as a real estate or any website, it is impossible to ignore this all-important factor. The changeover to mobile-first indexing, where Google now calculates your rankings on the performance and optimisation of the mobile version of your website, has cemented this fact even more since 2018. So, realistically, you cannot afford to ignore mobile aspects of your site.
Even if you have your own real estate app, having a mobile-friendly website is still vital. So, don’t overlook this key factor!
To make your site more optimal for mobile users, consider:
- Minimise page size, the smaller your page the faster it will load. The faster your site is, the better the user experience which does have an impact on rankings.
- Make sure your site is mobile responsive for better mobile experience.
- Use AMP if you want your news pieces to reach users faster.
- Optimise or cut down on images, videos or similar large assets. As this can slow down the experience overall.
- Remove or redesign pop ups, as they’re annoying!
Ultimately, you will probably need an actual developer to have a look at the site in order to have a real impact. But, it could significantly improve your sites overall performance.
Submit to Directories
Directory submissions are one of the biggest factors which can be used to affect your local SEO in 2019. The fact is that directories can help to solidify your NAP – that is, your business Name, Address and Phone Number. Having this information collaborated across the internet tells Google that not only is it correct, but up to date as well. And like having regular, fresh content, these listings help to signify your business activity to Google.
Often, a good number of directories to your business can help support your attempts to rank better in Google’s 3 pack. As the NAP data can collaborate what is on your Google My Business page, which then strengthens your local rankings.
Target Google Map Listings
The main aim of local SEO is to reach something called the Google 3 pack. This is the results box which shows up for local searches, showing a map and typically three listings underneath that map. This is the golden goose of local optimisation; click through rates are much improved once you find placement here. However, doing so can be difficult.
Not every business will be able to appear in the 3-pack. In fact, you will find it quite difficult at first until you build up the rest of your local SEO offerings. This can mean that without the proper optimisation efforts, you will likely find that doing so is quite difficult and may even be impossible for your site in its current iteration. In which case, you must work on the other aspects of local SEO first before aiming for 3-pack placement.
At the end of the day, your local SEO optimisation needs to be one of your biggest priorities as a realtor in the digital world. As, realistically, this is where the majority of people will be searching for real estate–both commercial and residential. Not utilising these resources could be to the long-term detriment of your agency. So, learn and apply some of these local SEO techniques today – you could be surprised by the outcome!