Real estate is an industry that takes more than knowledge to break into. This highly specialized field is cutthroat, and the ability to stand out takes time and experience. New methods like real estate SEO have a learning curve that any agent or broker should learn.
Traditional techniques like brochures, flyers and other physical items can promote your brand but are slowly being overtaken by modern methods. Digital marketing is now preferred over cold calls and meetings. As many as 90% of home buyers use online search engines to kickstart their buying journey. If you know anything about realtor search engine optimization, you’re definitely a step ahead of the game.
The best part is that SEO for real estate never sleeps. Your opportunity for lead generation is endless.
BUILDING REAL ESTATE SEO
Realtor SEO is a strategy that allows your real estate business to show up on online search results of people planning to buy or rent properties.
Realtor SEO can be competitive, but there are tried and tested strategies that work like with bigger, more established brands.
1. Specify your niche
SEO experts niche down, and this is the usual practice in digital marketing. Specifying your niche helps you compete against other leading agencies, and give you an edge SEO-wise. This is done by targeting keywords that are more detailed.
For example, from the general niche “real estate”, you can come up with a sub-niche that’s relevant and unique. You can specify to “buy and hold investor” or “buy and hold investor mobile home park” and outperform competitors on relevance. The same is done when you choose a smaller area or particular neighborhood as your target location.
While this may narrow your reach, you would also tap a highly relevant audience. Most of them would likely be needing your services.
2. Strategizing Keyword Placement
As soon as you do your keyword research and come up with a list of key phrases you want to rank, find their place on your SEO score. Some of the vital areas are the Page Title, few lines within the page, Image Title and Alt Tag for Images.
For instance, if your main keyword is “buy and hold investor mobile home park”, this is how each one would look like:
Page Title: HOW TO FIND THE BEST MOBILE HOME PARK FOR INVESTORS
Within the Page: place the key phrase at around 1-2% of the total word count. If you have a 2,000-word content, you need to repeat it at least 2-4 times. Avoid going overboard because Google will consider keyword stuffing, which can hurt your SERP (Search Engine Results Page) ranking.
Image Title: buy-and-hold-investor-mobile-home-park.jpg
Alt Tag for Image: you can set this when you upload on WordPress for example. You can use “mobile home park investing” or other versions relevant to the keyword.
3. Improving your pages
Targeting unique keywords and ensuring they have the right place within your page is only half of the effort. The other chunk is ensuring that your content outshines other big players in the industry.
You need to tailor your web page so that it conforms to SEO standards. Put out valuable, reliable and relatable content that’s SEO-rich. This includes publishing original and plagiarism-free texts.
You also need to be conscious of on-page images. Have them geo-tagged and include relevant keywords and neighborhood locations in alt tags and filenames. Prepare the links to all nearby locations to help users navigate and for SEO crawlers to identify you.
The user interface can also help engage prospective buyers. When a reader finds your site easy to use and with good content, chances are they will stay to view your other pages, too.
4. PR and Brand Promotion
Choosing the right distribution channels is as important as providing great SEO content. In real estate, digitally promoting your service is as effective as handing out business cards to prospects.
Link building is another important tactic that real estate SEO efforts should include. It’s a wide topic, but for the sake of summary, these are either internal or external links that feature pages from your site.
Backlinking is an example of external linking that happens when a reputable site features links to your website. Links like this can help increase your ranking and brand awareness.
5. Explore Local Options
Real estate is mainly local which is why local real estate SEO is important. You need to be listed on appropriate sites. Claim a Google My Business listing, because this will make you easier to be found. This officially publishes your Name, Address, Phone Number or NAP online. Make sure that this data is consistent everywhere (i.e. social accounts) so prospects know where to find you.
You can also tap local influencers within your target location. They can be bloggers, photographers, organizations or any prominent person who can help you secure a footing in the locale.
GENERATING LEADS AND CLIENTS IN REAL ESTATE SEO
Generating leads can change like the seasons—it’s livelier in months of favorable weather and lowers interest rates, and a bit lulling during market fluctuations. A good real estate agent can adopt regardless of such changes.
Building a network. Establishing partnerships with other businesses can give you a world of difference. Even just a simple shoutout from a local lender or banker can open you up to a new audience. Aligning yourself with other industries widens your network and opens up better possibilities.
Create a website. These days, having your own business’ website is necessary. This strengthens your web presence and introduces your brand. The best part of having a site is being in control of your page design and content. Write blog posts with long tail keywords that will enable home buyers to stumble upon your site.
Capture emails. Set newsletter signups on your site. This is to add potential clients to your email newsletter. If you don’t have one yet, you better consider making one right away. Around 59% of users say that email marketing influences their buying decisions.
Develop a niche. It’s enticing to offer a one-stop-solution for home buyers, but there is a better reputation building in specializing in a particular neighborhood. Finding your niche and developing expertise on it can increase your brand’s trustworthiness.
Invest in paid ads. There are so many channels to place an ad campaign on, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Google and more. Paid advertising can help drive more traffic to your website and potentially increase your conversion rate.
Use social media. In recent years, social networking sites have become a very powerful tool in business. This is where you will find interested users and potential clients. Having a social media presence enables you to reach more people that you otherwise won’t be able to meet outside the digital platform.
CREATING A TAILORED MARKETING STRATEGY
Now, you might wonder why and how real estate SEO counts. It’s simple—this strategy will catapult you on the top page of buyer’s searches. It’s also going to help you convert leads to customers successfully.
Relying solely on paid advertising isn’t as effective as it used to be. Google ads conversion rate for all industries averages is at 3.75%, but it comes down to 2.47% for real estate. This shows that a paid ad campaign might not work on its own. Applying SEO principles steers you in the right direction online.
Set up an SEO-rich real estate website because this will serve as your home base. Don’t just reveal your prices and leave readers wondering what you can offer. Give them informational content, because this begets trust and loyalty from customers. Tell your story and stick to your identity as a brand.
Also, SEO for real estate should be presented on a web design that enhances user experience. It should be easy to navigate and is mobile-friendly. Have a call to action (CTA) button that will convert readers to leads and hopefully buying clients.
EFFECTIVE MARKETING STRATEGIES IN REAL ESTATE SEO
• Set your social networking accounts and be active. Your online presence must be felt by users, and this could be done by interacting with them and endorsing your properties through well-placed ads and content.
• Make yourself available for readers. Have your contact information on the website and your company’s social profiles.
• Add a “share to” button for your on-page content. Some users are eager to repost pleasing and informative emails, photos and infographics, which will create more user-generated content (UGC) like testimonials and reviews.
• Do a competitive analysis. It’s always a good thing to monitor the competition and find unique and creative ways to stand out from them.
• Use local images when showcasing a property. Readers will be interested in seeing a bird’s eye view of the locale.
• Give away irresistible freebies. For instance, you can offer a valuable e-book about real estate in exchange for a user’s email address and zip code. This can capture leads more effectively.
• Take professional photos. You can hire a real estate photographer to produce quality pictures that you can highlight on your website. Visually pleasing images can influence a home buyer’s decision-making.
• Take your visitors on a virtual tour. Any potential client would want a comprehensive glimpse of the property before agreeing to an on-site visit.
• Create newsletters to build a relationship with your leads. Email marketing is and will always be an effective marketing tool towards a successful sales funnel. Treat them with helpful content, whether it be real estate tips or open house notices.
• Put your name on the map and be recognized easily. Create a Google My Business profile and be officially listed on Google Maps.
• Host Webinars that use emotional storytelling. People love success stories and will give you interactive video content that can live forever on your website.
• Guest post on reputable sites. If you volunteer helpful and relevant content to readers, you are also extending your expertise to a wider audience. This can further your brand awareness and trustworthiness.
• Stick to SEO and be consistent with it. For example, meta titles and headers are on-page techniques that contain your keywords and aid you in ranking on SERP.
DELVING ON BUDGET-FRIENDLY ADS
If you are short on resources but still want to place an ad campaign out there, consider upping your social media promo game. Most of the tactics in this strategy are low cost or even free. Popular sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are all free to register.
Highly publicizing your social profiles sends a message to online users that you are a credible brand in the industry. You can use your social networking presence to interact with your target audience. You can also use your accounts to share valuable multi-platform content.
In social media marketing, you can educate and nurture clients through articles and posts which are free to share on your feed. It will also allow you to listen to opinions and react accordingly. Also, paid ads on social networking sites are a lot cheaper than traditional advertising.
Other cost-effective means of advertising are link building and guest blogging. These involve coordination with other authoritative websites to feature links to your site placed strategically within their pages.
OPTIMIZING REAL ESTATE PPC CAMPAIGNS
Real estate SEO sometimes cannot stand on its own, so you might need to venture in PPC (pay-per-click) ads to increase your ranking in searches. Data shows that real estate manages a decent conversion rate for paid advertising.
While each conversion doesn’t necessarily mean a sale, it still gives you the great advantage of interacting with leads that are highly likely to convert.
Here are ways to optimize your AdWords PPC:
1. Bid on brand terms to improve your visibility. Discovering real estate brands is unique, and bidding on your brand terms means you appear at the top of search results for your keywords.
2. Do geotargeting to make sure you reach people who may not be located in your locale but are interesting in buying property within your area. For city targeting, try selecting the largest metro near the target location.
3. Exclude your ads from negative keywords matches. Since states and cities can have similar abbreviations and names, applying a negative keyword list weeds out untargeted and duplicate searches.
4. Make use of ad extensions like location, sitelink, call and price extensions. These will all help you drive greater traffic and improve your rank in search engines.
USING FACEBOOK LEAD ADS
Facebook is a really huge platform, and it’s also teeming with potential home buyers. By using a Facebook lead ad, you can meet people right within the site who are already interested in buying a property.
These ads can look like the usual FB advertisement except that it also includes a signup button and lead form. This helps you capture lead information easily.
To optimize Facebook leads ad, take note of the site’s ability to determine demographics and behavioral patterns. It can determine a person’s intention of buying property, location, age, income, job title and recent life events (engagement, moving to different cities, etc.). All these things can help you focus on a very specific audience for whom you can use lead ads.
Facebook also has a lookalike and custom audiences feature that allows you to target users who have similar demographic or behavior patterns. These people can become your solid leads based on your existing database.
Timing is another way to optimize FB ads. once you place an ad and a user decides to click on it, they expect you to answer within the next five minutes. Any longer than that and you might have just lost a potential customer.
You have to write killer content for your Facebook lead ad. You can be creative and try different styles, but never forget to prepare an effective CTA that directs them to the next step you want them to be taking.
Lastly, automate your lead ads. You can use a third-party app that notifies you when Facebook captures lead information in real time. You can also choose to have other automation categories such as creating a lead database, subscribing leads to an email list, or rolling out text messages.