The real estate industry is one of the most complex industries on Earth to gain market share in. The reason for this is the fact that hundreds of real estate agents are all competing against each other in their local market every day, yet they remain united as team members under the umbrella of a larger brokerage. What this means for individual agents is that to promote & gain new real estate business, they have to rely strongly on brand recognition of their main brokerage, team branding and most importantly personal branding. This can be a tricky task for the inexperienced agent.
Why Is SEO So Important?
A study conducted by National Association of Realtors found that over 90 percent of homebuyers, both new and elite, usually begin their real estate search online. This means that those few real estate firms that have massive internet presences with great visibility are likely to succeed amidst the strong competition seen in the industry.
The very nature of the real estate marketplace requires that agents and brokerages websites be optimized for local search. Furthermore, these websites are usually large and complex and experts in SEO and SEM should be consulted in order to achieve your campaign goals and produce a positive ROI for your business. A well-optimized real estate website will rank higher and in turn pull more traffic potentially translating into more leads and sales for you. Please review my previous article about what characteristics a high converting real estate website should have.
To complicate matters even more, the local keywords for real estate markets are usually very limited and therefore highly competitive. Both brokerage firms and individual agents tend to use the very same keywords (usually location + homes for sale or location + real estate). Thus clever research is needed to find the right keywords, which is essential when designing your SEO campaign and is also vital to optimizing your website to it’s fullest potential.
Important SEO Strategies You Need To Know
In order to rank your website favorably on Google and the other popular search engines, there are several tactics and techniques that must be used when optimizing your website. The most important include the following:
- Geo-targeting and local SEO: It is important that the website contain the right set of keywords that clearly defines the geographical location of the homes for sale. i.e. Philadelphia homes for sale, Seattle homes for sale, etc…
- Use of proper URL structure: You have to ensure that the URL should be as clean as possible and very well optimized. Use hyphens (-) instead of underscores (_) etc…
- Very high quality local, optimized content: Search engines especially like Google put a lot of emphasis on the quality of website contents. It should be unique, specific, relevant and fluent. Stay on topic! Don’t be a jack of all trades be a master of one.
- The performance and the usability of the website: Because of the complex nature of the real estate business, consumers may find their websites difficult to navigate. #1 rule when building a website…make it so easy to use/navigate that your 5 year old daughter can’t get lost! Also make sure your website loads quickly, you need great hosting.
- The other important strategies include advanced keyword research, using social media signals, link building and connecting your website with other industry RELEVANT websites and content.
Pro Tip: It’s always a good idea to add your phone number to your websites title. This can help add that extra oomph to generating some online calls.
There are literally dozens of other strategies but those are for another time and a more advanced post. Please if you have any questions leave them in the comments I’m happy to help. If you find yourself really stuck, contact me I am always available for free advice and guidance. Hope you guys enjoyed!