Every day, homeowners in your suburb ask Google to help them find the best or nearest real estate professional. They look for agents, property managers and property buyers. They search on mobile devices, Google Maps and desktops. How will you ensure your website appears above your competitors.
Google is still the best search engine for bringing leads to your real estate website. And, even though the search results pages have become crowded with property portals, agent rating sites and real estate referral businesses, as a local business you still have an advantage over these national players, because your website and its content is geared specifically to your suburbs.
If you’re not focused on Google Search or as its known technically; Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), it’s likely your competitors are, which is why they pip you to the post (or property seller) each and every time.
Optimising your real estate website for SEO requires a multi-faceted strategy. With a little strategic thought and effort, and some technical expertise from your developer you can make a big difference in how often your real estate website appears in the search results.
Here’s where you should start:
Run a real estate SEO audit
Wondering how your site is performing? There are a few tools which will tell you. The first, UberSuggest, will give you an idea of how you are ranking for real estate seo keywords. Enter your site address and it will tell you which organic keywords Google has listed for your site and how highly you’re ranked in Google search results. It will also suggest real estate SEO keywords to use.
Another free tool is SEOptimer. This will grade your overall SEO efforts, giving you an A, B, C or D. To help you improve, it will offer suggestions such as ‘Add alt attributes to all images’, or ‘Create and link and associated LinkedIn profile’. All the changes should be easy for you, a staff member or your web developer to make.
Create a Google My Business account
These days, Google loves local business and will position you front and center whenever it can. More and more people have in-home devices such as Google Home, Alexa and Siri that seek out information and the search terms ‘nearest’ and ‘best’ have become ever more prevalent.
In fact, when you sit at your computer or pull out your smartphone to find a business, Google will try to locate those closest to you first, or at least in your city. By setting up a free Google My Business listing, you’re making it super easy for people to find you from your local neighbourhoods. You can also share your business hours and encourage your customers to leave reviews helping potential clients (and Google) know you’re the real deal.
So, if you don’t already have a Google Business Listing follow my instructions on how to get yourself set up correctly on Google My Business which by default will put you on Google Maps too.
Google is a hungry beast. It loves fresh food in the form of content! Sharing regular blogs tells search engines your website has a busy and active business behind it.
Blogging for SEO is about more than simply uploading content. There are strategies you can employ to optimise your ranking in search results, including being specific with keyword placement, creating backlinks and ensuring your blogs are shared via email and social media.
Blogging requires a strategy and some help from someone who can come up with excellent topics and write in a friendly and professional manner. I’ve covered the topic of blogging in depth on my blog as its a service we provide to real estate agents and agencies. So if you want to learn how to generate more leads through your website – read more on the benefit of blogging.
Make sure your site is mobile responsive and secure
A couple of years ago, Google began to turn its back on sites not designed (or optimised) for mobile. Basically, if your website doesn’t look great on a smartphone it won’t get the attention it deserves.
We’ve built plenty of real estate websites and run social media and search marketing across them all. An important statistic to know is that 60% of your traffic will come from mobile devices. This is indicative of a business that deals largely with the general public. People will research and visit your site most often outside of office hours, from their mobiles which could be whilst commuting to or front work or couch surfing of an evening. Hence the mobile version of your website is slightly more important than the desktop version, so remember when creating pages or social content to always think mobile first!
What’s more, for good real estate SEO, your site needs to be https secure or it will lose its ranking. If your site starts with http:// instead of https:// ask your developer to upgrade you. This small change means Google will show your website in mobile searches and your users will know you’re a trusted site, and the only outlay is for an SSL certificate around $50.
Create video content
Another factor Google really likes is known as ‘time spent on site’. This means the longer someone spends on your real estate website, the more favour you’ll win with Google as it’ll consider your content as valuable advice.
Video can be a game changer in this regard, too. Scrolling through a property listing can take seconds. Stopping to watch a video can add minutes to time someone spends on your website.
As well as creating videos about your property listings, you can create customer testimonial videos, video market updates and professional videos that promote you, your experience and your brand. Embed your videos into a page on your website and send the link out to your contact database in your eNewsletter to help drive additional visitors to your website. Sending people to your site from online ads, social posts and email newsletters is an excellent way to ensure Google sees your real estate website is relevant and worth sharing in search results.
Be active on social media
Running an SEO audit will highlight whether or not you need to be more active on social media. This includes creating profiles and pages on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram, and linking to them from your real estate website.
Creating a social media strategy and regularly sharing updates, images, videos and blogs which encourage people to visit your website will help boost your SEO. Apply the following tips, plan ahead and remain consistent and you’ll achieve greater online visibility;
- Blog once a week
- Post on Facebook three times a week (but only once a day)
- Share on LinkedIn three times a week (but only once a day)
- Post on Instagram daily
- Tweet to Twitter daily
Create a social media schedule and hand the responsibility over to someone who knows how to optimise your results so you can improve your SEO ranking and generate inbound leads.
Run a website speed test
Nobody likes a slow site! Studies show most users won’t wait more than three seconds for a site to load. This can be tricky in real estate, where beautiful, high-res images really matter. Work with your web developer to make sure your pictures aren’t slowing down your pages.
Sometimes, large images can slow your website down. Your website may load quickly for you at work but you need to keep in mind that 60% of your visitors will be on mobile and often on 3G or 4G connections. Pingdom is a free tool you can use to check the speed of your real estate website.
Optimise your website for keywords
Yes, Google loves content, but did you know not all content is considered equal? There are certain sections of your site where search engines will look for keywords before anywhere else. This includes your page titles and the headings within your articles. Links, alt tags and URLs are also important when it comes to adding keywords. So make sure your best keywords are mentioned in these places, time and time again.
Getting professional digital marketing help
Real estate SEO rules change regularly so while these are current for 2019, you’ll need to keep up with the latest improvements and updates from Google on an ongoing basis.
If the tips above sound a little too technical and beyond you, why not seek out help from us professionals. My team and I design, build, optimise, and upload content to real estate websites on a daily basis. We’ve spent years perfecting our knowledge, specifically for the property industry. We’re familiar with real estate related keywords and search terms, but better still with the behaviours of homeowners and the website and social media advertising stats that ensure your name and brand is found over and above your real estate competitors.
So, if you’re grappling with the online world, don’t go it alone, reach out to us!