Search engine optimization (SEO) for real estate allows real estate businesses to appear on search engines whenever someone searches for a residential property online. Research indicated that last year, half of the homeowners found their desired residential property through online sources.
Lead generation and SEO for real estate shouldn’t be taken for granted. Customers do extensive research for real estate online before they even think or plan to visit a property. The digital boom has helped digital marketers go through all online channels.
Hence, paid marketing for generating leads for real estate businesses may not be a viable option for real estate businesses.
A renowned Toronto SEO Services agency reveals smart devices & all-round internet access helps users search for homes when they are on the move. Hence, both digital marketing and SEO for real estate businesses are of paramount importance.
There are two main reasons for SEO becoming increasingly important for realtors and real estate businesses alike:
- Paid marketing is a short-term tactic effectively targeting customers in the final purchase stage.
- Organic marketing is a long-term tactic that will lead to top quality leads.
Best practices in SEO for real estate
Now that we have found out why SEO for real estate holds paramount importance, it is time we do it for improving the digital side of real estate businesses.
The following tips are helpful in improving the real estate site’s architecture and content to reach more buyers, sellers, shoppers, and surveyors through the internet.
They are as under:
1. Targeting local SEO keywords
Targeting local SEO keywords is among the best ways of improving lead generation. Why? Because local SEO is a variant of SEO itself as it focuses on raising online visibility for searches based on specific locations.
Most prospective home buyers use location-based searches to look for residential properties in a particular area or suburb. For real estate businesses, it is vital that they use local SEO to improve their business.
Other aspects of local SEO real estate businesses need to check are ensuring their name, address and contact details are correct & updated on all sites, pages, and listings. Local SEO keywords are an important component of improving SEO for real estate.
Local SEO keywords contain terms and keywords relevant to services and include the location for the information. Examples of such keywords can be Toronto Condos, El Paso Real Estate, Homes for Sale in North Vancouver etc.
When real estate businesses and SEO agencies develop a list of local SEO keywords, they should also consider long-tail keywords (as they are long and specific). They have less competition, bring in more traffic and bring in specific search outcomes. An example of such is a residential home for sale in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
2. Creating websites responsive to the mobile platform
It is important that real estate websites be optimized for search engines and for the mobile platform too. If the website takes time to load on a tablet/smartphone, is hard to read and hard to navigate, then this turns away potential leads without the business realizing it.
When real estate firms audit their site, the must keep the following in mind:
- Site content should be simple and readable.
- Font size should be large, legible and readable on all screens.
- Colors should be easy to look at.
- Create landing pages that are clean, clear & concise.
- The page’s buttons should be easy to find and click upon from small device screens.
- The contact information & form should be visible and clearly accessible across the site.
- Provide users a pleasant experience by letting them scroll and read content without the need for zooming in or out.
- Re-size and compress images so they can load fast on mobile devices.
3. Publishing helpful content on a real estate blog
Real estate businesses can bring in more qualified leads by consistently publishing new blog content on their websites. A fact worth considering; businesses having blogs generate 126% more leads than those without them.
Businesses publishing more relevant and quality content emphasizing relevant SEO keywords are likely to appear in high rankings in the search engine results page.
This boosts the website’s SEO but also helps them create trust and build a good relationship with prospective home buyers. A considerable number of individuals place their trust in advice and information coming from blogs.
4. Optimizing the website’s content for search engines
Real estate SEO is more than just the content written. It is also about optimizing such search engines. If search engines are unable to crawl (read) the content, they may not be able to help connect that blog and the site pages to those who are searching for that content.
There are elements of content other than keywords that should be considered. Those elements are as under:
- Meta Title.
- Meta Description.
- Image ALT text.
- NAP (Name, Address and Phone number) information.
The first three should have the keyword that is emphasized in the content. The meta description should describe such content briefly too. In terms of headings, the content must have H1 and H2 ones (H3 if necessary) with a target keyword used when needed. Each heading should be accurate as per the section of the content.
Each image should have an ALT text which describes the image briefly while containing the target keyword. Name, Address and Phone number should be included on either the site’s header or footer. It should also be consistent across all pages.
5. Creating valuable content on video
Video is among the most engaging forms of content. It is also an effective way of educating the target audience and showing them what the firm has to offer. As a matter of fact, 85% of customers online prefer content based on videos.
But, only 15% of real estate businesses utilize videos. It means that videos having content that captivates and convince users to buy is something that can help a real estate firm move ahead of the competition.
In short, a video well-produced and relevant can help a firm establish the needed image whilst creating trust among buyers and sellers
Real estate businesses can create video content on the following:
- The properties that are being sold.
- Virtual tours of property in the spotlight.
- Educating prospective buyers and sellers in general.
- Educating website visitors about the website.
- Creating awareness on how to buy a home, home renovation tips & hacks, etc.
6. Optimizing the social media pages, listed NAPs and about us info
As mentioned earlier, the importance of having a correct NAP on all pages and listings cannot be overlooked. At times, real estate businesses do not realize that such information can be either incorrect or outdated on some social media pages or directory listings.
They should start by checking all online assets to ensure that their NAP information on all such places is correct and up to date.
Another way to improve real estate SEO is optimizing profiles across social media channels and directory listings. Real estate firms must also ensure that their ‘About us’ information on all platforms should be up to date and contain important details.
Also, the about us info on each platform should be about their brand and must have crucial details individuals need to understand about it. This is helpful in boosting online visibility.
7. The clientele should be encouraged to provide online reviews
Online reviews are good for both online reputation and boosting SEO. When a person searches for a real estate business, the reviews appear which as well helps the brand make the right impression at first instance.
In the digital marketplace, online reviews act as a word-of-mouth marketing mechanism. People trust them as much as they trust personal recommendations. They are vital as they help prospective leads understand what the real estate business has to offer and what sets them apart from others.
Real estate businesses should always encourage their satisfied customers to leave positive reviews online. Review platforms like Trulia and Yelp as well as Google are good for leaving reviews. This, in turn, helps boost real estate SEO through the reviews.
8. Optimal use of social media
Real estate businesses must be active on social media as everyone turns to it in finding out more about a business. When prospective buyers and sellers look for a new real estate agent, they start searching for them on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter while checking for them on search engines.
55% of real estate professionals state that they are comfortable with the usage of social media.
If real estate businesses are using social media, they should be active on it. Prospective buyers and sellers prefer working with those real estate businesses that are active in communicating and connecting with community members.
Real estate businesses should be posting helpful and related content consistently, share links to their own site and blog posts, whilst also sharing external content helpful to the user on their social media pages. If they have pictures, infographics or videos, they should share these with their fans and followers as well.
The social media content and profiles will be visible when people search for the real estate business. Hence, a presence on social media for any real estate business is equally important as an online presence.
Real estate businesses must often take SEO into consideration and maintain an active online presence on all channels. Not only should their information be up to date but also their content should be correct, relevant, helpful and useful. This helps them gain visibility on the right channel and thus brings them more qualified leads, sellers and buyers.