The first page of Google is the Holy Grail for anyone wanting to find new clients. After all, this is where most internet users go to find information, and most users don’t go past the first page of search results. So, what do you need to do to get your brand name and website in poll position?
To attract more customers to your real estate agency, it is crucial that your business appears on this all-important first page.
First of all, it’s important to understand what options you have available to you for appearing on the first page of Google search results. You have two primary options: paid vs. unpaid search results.
If you look at my screen shot below, and complete the same Google search for “real estate agent Mosman” you will see that there are seven Google ad spots available, four at the top of the page and three at the bottom. Depending on the user’s settings, there may be more or fewer ads displayed, so it is important to note that this is just an example.
The search results displayed with ‘Ad’ in front of the web address are the paid search results. This means that the particular business has paid for the privilege of having their link displayed for the chosen search terms. You can see in my example above that there are 3 referral websites showing first, then a McGrath agent.
In between the ads, there are 10 organic search results that are unpaid. Basically, these are the websites that Google has carefully chosen using its algorithm, or magic recipe as I like to think of it. Google is constantly making changes and tweaks to its algorithm, so there are no set rules as to how to get your website to appear. However, there are several strategies that you can employ to boost your chances, which we will discuss below.
So how do you increase the odds of appearing on the first page?
Before we get into the details, it is important to know that there is no guarantee. Don’t believe anyone that says they can guarantee that you will appear, or even worse, tell you that you will ALWAYS or CONTINUALLY appear on page one. That is just not true.
However, there are still two ways to increase the likelihood that your website will appear:
- Paid ads, using Google AdWords or a tool such as Adwerx, that will place ads on Google for you (those seven spots we mentioned above).
- Organically, using search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques (those 10 spots we highlighted above).
Start with popular real estate search terms
For either method, you’ll need to research search terms and phrases that potential home buyers and sellers are likely to type into the Google search bar. According to SEO expert Aidan Beanland from Digital Unity, you’ll need to get into the minds of your desired customers and think about which terms they are likely to use when searching for real estate information in your area.
You can try things like:
- Real estate agent ‘your neighbourhood’
- ‘Your neighbourhood’ real estate agency
- Homes for sale ‘your neighbourhood’
- Other similar words and phrases
Of course, you would include the specific name of the city or suburb that your real estate agency services in place of ‘your neighbourhood’. You should also try swapping the ‘your neighbourhood’ between the front and the end of the search phrase.
Do some real estate related keyword research
Once you have identified the most popular search queries for your suburbs, check them out and see who is paying for ads to appear and who is appearing on page one without needing to buy an advertising spot. You’ll likely see some of your competitors in the bunch, alongside the real estate portals and referral websites.
Unfortunately, a lot of real estate referral websites are now purchasing the search term ad spots, thus diminishing your chances of appearing. However, the more specific your search terms, the greater your chances that they are not yet over-subscribed.
Set up your own real estate agent website
So, you have a profile page on your main company website, but that page sits in a directory of other agents from your company, so if you advertise that page there is nothing to stop people from checking them out too. My advice is, that if you are going to pay for an ad to appear on Google’s first page, you don’t want your ad dollars to help a potential customer find a colleague of yours instead of yourself.
Plus, if others in your real estate agency have the same idea, they could block you from showing up altogether, if they are willing to pay more for their ad than you are for yours. Only one page from a particular website can appear in the ad results at any given time. To boost your chances, you’ll need to have your own website outside of your organisations.
To show up in the 10 spots saved for non-advertised information, you’ll have to work hard to build and shape your website so that you have the best information for home sellers and home buyers in your neighbourhood.
It’s important that you:
- Continually build the pages on your website over time by writing and sharing great real estate know-how and market insights.
- Optimise your content pages so that they look highly attractive to Google’s search algorithm.
Whether you are paying for an ad or trying to appear on page one organically, here are the things that the masters of SEO believe that Google’s algorithm cares most about:
- Strategic use of keywords, not too much and not too little.
- Having the suburb or neighbourhood name, of your focus area, written in page headings. Avoid generic regional terms like Eastern Suburbs or Inner West as people tend to search for an exact suburb rather than the area. But do your research first to confirm!
- Heading and subheading tags to break up the content, preferably with keywords included.
- Internal links to related pages on your website.
- External links to highly-recognised authority sites in the real estate industry.
- Links back to your site from those same highly-recognised authority websites.
- Fast page-loading speeds, particularly for mobile since most people will look at your site on their smartphones.
Don’t go it alone
Obviously, there’s both an art and a science to building a web presence and attracting new clients. Digital marketing specialists research and test their website or client websites, as well as their content performance and advertising ROI continually to ensure they stay ahead of the nearest competitor.
If online marketing is new to you, it’s great that you’ve taken an interest and want to learn more. And, if your first impression is that this is going to be hard you are absolutely right! If you think about it, it’s the same as selling a property i.e. it’s a lot harder than your clients might first think. There’s a lot of skill that goes into building a digital presence, so engage the professionals to help. Yep, that’s where we come in! Get in touch with us today to learn more!