The real estate business is highly competitive. To be successful, you need to be relentless in all aspects of your business strategy and SEO tactics. With 97% of people searching for a service online, it’s paramount that you optimize your online presence.
The conventional Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices will only get you so far in this cutthroat industry. You need to tweak them and create a specialized real estate SEO campaign.
This post will talk about a few small businesses SEO tips that can be implemented to outrank competitors in search results.
1. Cutting down on Online Business Directories
Gone are the days when businesses with the most listings in online directories got ranked higher.
Today, Google and other search engines have adapted to factor in the relevance and authenticity of an online listing. In fact, Google’s John Mueller said that directory links don’t really influence rankings that much.
So, you need to consider a few things:
- Is the site popular?– Do users trust the site’s content as legitimate?
- Will users access the site? – Most people do not bother going through online directories.
Here’s a list of the top online directories that are still valuable:
If the site doesn’t add considerable value, get rid of it.
2. Customer Reviews
According to a survey conducted by Podium, 93% say online reviews do impact their purchasing decisions. This means you can leverage user reviews to bring in more leads to your business.
If you’ve created a Google My Business (GMB) profile, your business timings, contact information and location are already appearing with the search results.
Google also provides users with the option to review a service after their visit. As long as your customers are leaving happy and satisfied, you have nothing to worry about and you should leverage this tool to generate more traffic.
Encourage your customers to delve into details of what they liked and disliked. This will not only increase your ranking and organic traffic but also provide you the opportunity to analyze the feedback and work on your weak points.
3. Creating more Local Content
Every SEO marketer knows the importance of content creation for lead generation. However, many fail to take this idea to the next step: optimizing your content for the local audience.
For a real estate business, the majority of the traffic is generated with local intent. Google and other search engines algorithms consider users’ locations and personal profiles to provide custom search results. Strategies that work for some users may not work for others.
Study your target market and their online activities. For example, people from different age groups search differently.
Talk about things that resonate with your audience. Conduct local keyword research and optimize your content around those keywords.
4. Optimizing for Mobile Users
Use Google Analytics or other similar services to find out what percentage of your traffic is generated from phones. Chances are, more than 50% of your audience prefer smartphones.
Also, with the introduction of Google’s mobile-first index, it’s paramount that you optimize your website for the smartphone experience. A number of things need to be kept in mind for optimization:
- Perform diagnostics using Google’s Mobile Usability Test
- Research competitor’s mobile-friendly sites and response times
- Use the same content in a different arrangement
- Remove any Flash animations and replace them with HTML5
- Design a simple navigation bar to keep all pages accessible within a few clicks
- Make sure users don’t have to scroll horizontally to view the entire page
5. Producing SEO Optimized Video Content
According to a survey, 78% of users reported an increase in traffic after using video marketing.
And for real estate business owners, video marketing can be especially effective. Purchasing properties would be impossible without the visual factor. Marketers should produce videos that are engaging, descriptive and helpful for customers.
A walkthrough tour of properties with the highest demand, a review by a satisfied customer or a guide for buying properties are all brilliant ideas to engage users and generate more traffic.
It’s not enough to simply post videos and expect results. You need to optimize the content to be SEO friendly. Here’s a checklist of things to consider:
- Video Thumbnail – Use the Google recommended image size of 1280 x 720 pixels with a width of 640 pixels.
- Video Title –Make use of Keyword Planner to shortlist top keywords. Include these keywords and use catchy and original titles. Avoid stuffing the title with irrelevant keywords
- Video Description –Add keywords in the first 25 words so they appear in the snippet. Avoid lengthy descriptions of more than 400 words. Repeat the important keywords.
- Video Tags – Only use relevant tags, never stuff your video with the maximum tags allowed
6. Using Rich Snippets
What are Rich Snippets? Rich Snippet aka ‘Rich Result’ is the extra information that is often displayed with regular Google search results. Structured Data in the HTML code is used by Google’s algorithm to gather information about the product/service.
As stated by Google’s, John Mueller, using structured data has no direct impact on ranking, but it allows the algorithm to better understand and analyze the content. Indirectly, this results in increased relevance, improved targeting, and ultimately better ranking.
We’re going to talk about the ways you can implement rich snippets that will maximize your click-through rate.
Choosing a Rich Snippet Type – The first step is to choose the relevant snippets that would be most helpful for your target audience. As real estate business owners, consider the things that a customer looks for initially.
Reviews – Users are looking for authenticity and reviews are perfect for building that trust. A rating of 4.8/5 by an aggregate of more than 1500 users will definitely increase click-through rates.
Featured Snippets – These are actually difficult to get. They’re the direct answers provided on the results page. It’s a concise version of the answer using headings and subheadings. It provides a direct link to the website and can increase CTRs considerably. Use SEMRush to find out what content your competitors are featuring. Think like your target audience and post answers to questions they’re most likely to ask like “Things to look for before purchasing a house” or something more specific like “What Happens To Real Estate During A Divorce. Use headers and keywords to stand out.
7. Developing a Social Media Strategy
Even though Google does not factor in social media activity in SEO ranking, Bing’s algorithm considers social media shares and likes an important ranking factor. You need to analyze the sources of traffic generated and consider the time and money you’re willing to invest in your social media strategy.
For Google, the relationship between social media presence and ranking is complicated. Indirectly, the backlinks and referrals generated from sites boost your ranking. And if content associated with links is of high quality, the boost is more impactful.
- Consistent Brand Image–To get the most benefits, optimize all your social media profiles with a consistent image. Your contact information should be the same across all platforms. Often, businesses have different versions of the address on different platforms. This results in confusion and less effective SEO ranking.
- Post Regularly – All your social media platforms should be active and relevant. It’s not necessary to have a presence on each platform. Analyze your target audience and know that it’s perfectly okay to delete accounts from platforms that are not popular among your audience. No profile is better than an inactive profile.
- Visual Imagery – As we talked about before, property buying is incomplete without the visual element. It’s crucial that you make use of Instagram and Pinterest to post visually appealing and relevant content. Hire a professional photographer and graphic designer to communicate those key messages.
- Relevant Content – Stay on top of the latest developments. Inform your users about any new laws and regulations. Post an article or a guest blog with a catchy headline. Talk about the benefits in local neighborhoods. This will ensure that your content is being read by a relevant audience and increase the number of shares.
- Timely Posts – Research the habits of your customers on different social media platforms. There are certain time periods in a day when users are most active. Post during those periods and use the option of scheduling posts.
Following these tips will soon increase the organic traffic for your real estate business.
It takes some time for SEO results to become apparent; stay focused and patient. In the meantime, keep on top of any SEO related news to further optimize your online presence.
Some of these tactics require a lot of technical knowledge, so hire a professional SEO expert. It’s better to avoid mistakes than fixing them later.