Real Estate SEO: 20 Tips to Improve Your Search Engine Rank
Real estate in Australia is a highly competitive sector.
You probably know this from the thousands of realtor sites offering property buying and selling services to local clients.
As such, you need to find a way to distinguish yourself from all the competitors in the industry.
The answer? Real estate SEO.
Today, nearly 90% of home buyers start their real estate search online. With so many people browsing the internet for homes, showing up at the top of Google can be a game-changer for your agency.
That’s why real estate SEO is a must – it drives qualified leads for realtors without the need to run ads or make cold calls all day.
So how do you start?
Follow this guide to learn everything you need to know about real estate SEO, including how to use different SEO pillars to stand out on Google.
Let’s start with real estate SEO’s meaning.
What is Real Estate SEO?
SEO, or search engine optimisation, is an umbrella term used to describe everything you do to generate attention for your brand through the search engines.
If your buyers and sellers can’t find your real estate firm within the first few pages of Google, you’re going to miss out on crucial business.
Optimising your real estate website design for the search engines should help you to attract more leads, not just by placing you in front of local customers, but by giving you the thought leadership presence to establish trust with buyers and sellers.
SEO for real estate agencies can be a little tricker than optimisation for just any website, however. This is because of the recent changes in the layout of the search engine result pages, which have pushed down the visible organic results featuring businesses.
Now Google Ads, local map packs, and instant answers rank above the organic search results.
Fortunately, there are still plenty of ways you can capture the attention of online visitors using the right keyword, links, and on-site strategies.
20 Real Estate SEO Tips: Optimising for the Three Pillars of SEO
There are multiple pillars to consider for modern search engine optimisation. Everything from the intent of your target audience to the things you do both on your website and externally will make a huge impact on your ability to find real estate clients.
Let’s look at some specific tips based on the most important SEO pillars: search intent, on-page, and outreach.
Search Intent (Content)
- Consider home buyers’ search intent
First, think about what clients might look for when searching for a real estate agency like yours. The chances are they’ll be asking specific questions, like “where’s my closest real estate agent?” or looking for specific things like, “best real estate agent in Sydney.”
There are plenty of ways to learn more about what your customers look like online, such as:
- Checking your site analytics: Where do current customers spend their time? Which pages receive the most visits?
- Examining tools: Ahrefs, Buzzsumo and others can give you an idea of what kind of terms are trending.
- Competitor analysis: Look at what competing real estate agencies in your area are trying to rank for. Tools like SimilarWeb can help you with this.
You could even make a list of commonly asked questions from people searching for real estate services. Check the “People also ask” snippet in Google to get an idea about them.
- Understand the basics of intent
To succeed with intent-driven targeting, you’ll need to optimize your content for hidden and active intent.
Active search intent is obvious within the search query, such as “best real estate agent in Melbourne”. This search clearly wants to find real estate agents in Melbourne.
However, it’s also worth looking at the other kinds of “passive” intent hidden within these queries. For instance, your customer is also looking for insights into the “best” agency. How do you show you’re the best? Photos, credentials, testimonials, and even articles about your latest client activities could all help to position you correctly.
When you’re ranking for intent-based queries, make sure you’re considering both the active and the passive elements of intent.
- Optimise for multiple search engines and platforms
If you really want to appeal to customers at all stages of the intent cycle, make sure you’re optimising for more than one search engine. Although Google is the most popular choice, it pays to be active on Bing and even YouTube.
Aside from experimenting with which phrases rank on different search engines, you can also invest in other platforms where you might find customers looking for real estate help.
For instance, sites like Facebook and Instagram represent an incredible opportunity for real estate agents. You can attract customers through video tours, pictures, and shared content. Spread your strategy beyond Google to ensure you’re finding your customers wherever they are.
Pro tip: If you have a lot of happy clients, make sure to actively ask them for reviews on Trustpilot, Google, Yelp, and other third-party review websites.
- Map user intent
Buyers and sellers in the real estate landscape have all kinds of “intent” to consider when they’re searching online. But, unfortunately, it’s not always easy to know what customers mean when looking for things online.
For instance, you don’t know if the person looking for the best real estate agency in Melbourne wants to buy or sell a house.
Try mapping out the hidden and active user intent in each query that’s ranking in your area.
For example, think about the different ways people might ask questions when using a search engine and look at previous conversations with customers to ascertain their tone of voice.
Also, consider using different pages to rank for all possible intents, like a page that ranks for “best real estate” with semantic terms like “selling” and one for those who want to “buy a new home.”
Mapping a series of terms and their potential outcomes will help to boost your site’s performance.
- Always optimise content
Real estate SEO is about providing the best possible answers to questions and concerns presented by your target audience. The more relevant and optimised your content is, the more likely it is that they’ll click on your website and take the next step in their consumer journey.
Regularly go back and audit your real estate website to see whether your content has the right image. The best content needs to:
- Address pain points
- Be easy-to-digest
- Answer people’s questions
- Follow a thought-provoking narrative
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different kinds of content too. Videos and images can be just as compelling as blogs and articles in the real estate world.
On-page SEO refers to the actions you take within your website to boost your chances of ranking.
You tweak the SEO elements you have direct control over such as meta title, image descriptions, etc.
Below are some tips to help you nail this aspect of real estate search engine optimisation:
- Address on-page SEO elements
On-page, or on-site SEO requires you to think about more than just the words on your website – but the structure of your content too.
Ensure your NAP details (Name, address, and phone number) are all correct throughout your website. They should be the same details as used on local listing and citations throughout the web.
Use state, town, and city names from throughout Australia in your meta descriptions, tags, body copy, and so on where it makes sense.
You’ll want to ensure all of your listings have an XML sitemap and are fully indexable too, so choose a website platform that makes it easy to generate Schema local markup (like WordPress).
- Don’t forget mobile discovery
The number of real estate customers using mobile devices to start their real estate search is growing drastically.
Google even prioritizes websites with proper mobile optimisation. If your customers can’t find the realtor guidance and homes they want on their smartphone, they might abandon your website entirely.
To check your mobile performance, you can find various sites and tools online. It’s also worth checking your site’s performance just by browsing through your website from your own smartphone.
Look at things like:
- Site load times
- The ability to use buttons and links
- Navigation (is it simple?)
- Master your keyword research
Perhaps the most important aspect of on-page SEO is finding the right keywords to rank for. You can only build a website around your user’s intent if you know what they’re searching for.
Keywords determine which customers find your real-estate website, and how you convert them into dedicated, paying customers.
Used correctly, the right keywords will ensure you’re getting the biggest return on investment from your content marketing efforts.
Find keywords by:
- Using Google: Simply typing a few words into Google like “Victoria realtor” will bring up a list of commonly searched terms in your area.
- Try Google Ads: If you have Google Ads, you can use the built-in keyword search functionality to find potential keyword opportunities.
- Track customer conversations: Keep an eye on how customers talk about you when speaking to realtors, or just mentioning you on social media.
- Consider long-tail keywords
Speaking of keywords, remember that being specific can often help you to earn more customers looking for specific things.
There are different kinds of keywords in real estate SEO. The simplest options are “head keywords,” which are competitive and short.
Head keywords can attract a broader range of customers, but they’re very hard to compete for, and there’s no guarantee the customers that find you will convert.
Long-tail keywords like “Nearby real state agents in Melbourne” are more likely to attract the customers that actually want to buy or sell with your brand.
Get specific by adding more context to the keywords you want to rank for. Local terms are particularly valuable as they make it more likely you’ll attract people in your area.
- Optimise site speed
If your website pages don’t load quickly, or customers can’t conveniently navigate through your listings, they’re not going to stick around for long.
Google measures things like page speed when determining where to rank your website. A site that takes more than 3 seconds to load can lose more than half of its visitors.
To ensure your site performance is up to scratch, look at things like loading speeds, ease of use, and even navigation. Does your entire page load in less than 3 seconds? How easy is it for your customers to find specific listings in their area? Can they find your contact page and book a conversation within a matter of minutes?
For speed performance, you can use a tool like GTMetrix or Google Page Speed to see where you stand. Go ahead and click the link and see how your real estate website performs.
Tips to speed up your real estate website:
- Reduce the file size of your images
- Clean up your website’s code
- Minimize the use of third-party plugins
- Use a content delivery network (CDN)
- Create location-focused content
The real estate landscape is particularly well-suited to localised content. After all – the chances are your company is only focusing on buying and selling homes in a specific area.
With that in mind, it makes sense to populate your website with content that’s tailored to a specific community.
Localised content often mentions the name of the cities and locations you want to sell in, like Melbourne or Perth. However, it should also provide specific insights into those areas, like how the current property prices are doing or what customers might want to know about buying and selling certain real estate types.
Check out your competition’s blogs for inspiration, but don’t be afraid to speak to your audience too. Ask them what they’d like to see most on your website.
- Experiment with enticing visuals
Real estate companies often make the mistake of thinking that SEO optimisation relies exclusively on content and keywords.
However, all kinds of web content can help you to stand out online. According to Aberdeen, video marketers get around 66% more qualified leads per year.
Video and visuals are excellent for the real-estate space because your buyers are often looking for insights into the kinds of homes they can purchase before they get in touch.
You can start by sharing images on social media or providing your customers with 360-degree pictures on listings. Videos are an even better way to showcase your real estate opportunities, and they can make your brand seem more human too.
- Write better page and post titles
Creating copy is one of the best ways to boost your ranking online.
However, many companies in the real estate industry can struggle with figuring out how to capture attention. Just because you have a great article about selling flats in Perth doesn’t mean that customers will click through and read it.
To attract the right attention (and hopefully future conversions), you’re going to need to get the headline right. Experimenting with different eye-catching headlines should help you to make the right impact.
For instance, you could try:
- Questions: Such as “Do you know how to sell your home in a down market?”
- Numbers: “10 top tips for getting your Melbourne apartment to sell”
- Secrets: “The secret rules to purchasing your first Perth home.”
- Master internal linking
Getting backlinks from other well-known companies in your area can help to strengthen your position online through credibility and authority. However, it’s also useful to give the search engines a hand with some internal linking practices.
Internal linking (when you link to other relevant pages on your website within a blog or article) shows the search engines to which parts of your site are connected. Internal links will help customers to find information, while helping Google to understand your site structure.
For instance, in an article about “Victoria home-selling tips” you might link to your Victoria listing page and other pages like “How to find a realtor in Victoria.”
- Optimise everything
Remember, it’s not just your blogs and articles that need to be properly optimised for the search engines – your images, videos, and even tags need the correct treatment too.
On a real estate website, you’ll be listing a large number of photos, stock images, and videos. These visual content pieces need alt descriptions, captions, and titles that help the search engines clarify what kind of content you’re sharing.
When used with the right keywords, your alt-text, captions, and titles can get you up to 37% more clicks through Google Image search.
- Constantly track performance
The only way to ensure you’re making the most of your real-estate SEO is to track performance constantly. An easy way to keep track of valuable metrics is to set up Google Analytics for your site. You can use this tool to check things like direct traffic volume, organic visitors, and more.
The great thing about Google analytics is it’s easy to use, and it can show you valuable information about which content your customers visit most.
- Use the Search Console
Google offers a wide selection of useful tools to help you rank higher online. For instance, with the Google Search Console, you can set up automatic notifications to let you know when any pages on your site aren’t loading properly. Broken links can significantly damage the user experience, after all.
Google Search Console is also where you should be uploading your sitemap. A sitemap provides useful information about the content on your site, so Google knows how to crawl through your web presence. In addition, there are tons of free tools online to help you create your own sitemap.
Once you have your sitemap, submit it to Google, and ensure it stays updated.
Outreach (Link Building)
The final phase of real estate SEO requires you to generate links for your website.
Although backlinks might not be as important as they were in the past, they’re still the holy grail of SEO. And the right links can soar your rankings in SERPs. In general, the sites with the most quality backlinks get the highest rankings from Google.
Here are some tips to help you build links for your site:
- Reach out to competitors’ publishing partners
One of the fastest ways to get backlinks is to reach out to publishers sending links to your competitors’ sites.
If you have Ahrefs, enter a competitor’s website URL in the Site Explorer field. This will show you the list of all sites linking to your competitors’ webpages.
Identify what strategies and content types are generating the most links for competing realtors, then try to outdo them. This is the most effective way to start building links to your site.
For instance, if a site is linking to a competing relator’s webpage because they’re described the house buying process in detail, see if you can improve upon their content and use elements like video to go one up. Then reach out to the site to see if they’d be interested in linking to you.
- Offer virtual tours
This strategy could skyrocket your social media mentions, gaining you recognition (and links from other websites too).
You can run promotions and tour offers to pique the interest of home buyers. Home listings with detailed visual descriptions are sure to catch the eye.
Your tours could be photography, video, or even virtual reality. See what your budget allows, but you’re to find tons of mentions of your real estate agency with the help of this technique.
- Provide local scholarships
To build links from local blogs and sties, set up a scholarship so you can include your site on renowned scholarship networks.
Although you’re offering local scholarships, they’ll get you featured in local news media and provide direct communication channels with local SMBs and schools.
Ask those interested in scholarships to mention your business on their website. That’s how you can build links from local sites in Australia, which should help improve the local SEO of your real estate website.
Great – you now know everything to improve the online visibility of your website.
As a recap, we looked at the meaning of real estate SEO, covered specific SEO tactics, and explained why agencies and agents need to get serious about search engine optimisation.
SEO can make a difference to your business – without it, your website is as good as invisible (unless it goes viral, but real estate SEO is a lot easier than any viral marketing strategy around). Get started with real estate SEO today.