In our previous post, Local Search Ranking Factors for 2017 Revealed, we shared the latest survey on what it takes local businesses to rank in the top 10. Now, let’s see how agents can reflect on the new changes in their everyday real estate local search strategy.
Real estate local search recap: 2017 top ranking factors
What can you do to start ranking higher?
1) Optimize Google My Business
A properly optimized Google My Business listing is the No.1 search ranking factor for getting into a local 3-pack results. Everything matters so make sure to carefully check:
- primary category and related categories;
- keyword in a business title;
- logo and photos (upload at least 3 photos);
- correct brick and mortar address;
- correct opening hours;
- correct phone number,
- informative business description, etc.
You might also want to list your brokerage in Bing Places to catch up with people who prefer this search engine to Google.
2) Fix your on-page SEO
On-page signals are among the most important ones for ranking in both local packs and localized organic search results. Fortunately, this is something you can fully control and tweak anytime.
Title and meta description tags are as essential as ever. Every page, post or property on your website must have a unique title and meta description. Many site owners don’t bother to optimize these tags so most pages on their websites display default titles and descriptions, same for every page. If you want to boost your local rankings, avoid this at any rate.
Before you can do your on-page SEO work, build a good list of keywords you want to rank for. Use Google Keyword Planner to put together a list of popular short keywords and work your way to find long-tail ones with Ubersuggest or keywordtool.io.
In 2016, Google increased the width of the title tag so now you have 50 to 60 characters at your disposal. As for the meta description, it gives you about 160 characters. Don’t waste this valuable real estate on unnecessary words like ‘Home’ in the title tag for your home page. Rather, pick a unique keyword for each page.
To simplify things, follow this checklist:
[Related post: How to Find Hyperlocal Real Estate Keywords for Your Website]
3) Earn more online reviews
In 2017, customer reviews are gaining more traction than ever. They impact your search rankings and sales alike. Here are a few stats to showcase their value:
- when judging a local business on its reviews, 60 per cent of customers say the overall star rating is the No.1 factor they pay most attention to;
- 68 per cent said positive customer reviews make them trust a business more, even without visiting their website;
- 51 per cent of customers select a local business if it has positive reviews.
Search engines like Google recognize the importance of reviews and admit they favor sites with more reviews as these clearly provide more value to a searcher:
High-quality, positive reviews from your customers will improve your business’s visibility and increase the likelihood that a potential customer will visit your location.
For more info on how to get online reviews, go to these guides:
- Real Estate Agent Reviews: Are You Missing Out a Crucial Ingredient?
- 10 Nifty Ways to Maximize the Value of Your Real Estate Reviews.
4) Get backlinks consistently
Another prominent search ranking factor for both the local pack and localized organic results is the backlinks factor. Having links on the third-party sites is essential because it:
- signals your website is a credible resource representing a credible vendor;
- creates more exposure for your brokerage;
- drives more traffic to the site;
- directly impacts your rankings.
Here are the guides to use:
- SEO for Real Estate: a Definitive Guide to Local Link Building
- Struggling with Your Local Real Estate SEO? Ramp It Up with Citations
Dominating real estate local search in 2017 is going to take lots of work and dedication. The above strategies are just a few examples of what is bound to work and it’s a good place to start today.