SEO for Realtors: Best Practices for Real Estate Websites

Home Value Leads | November 8, 2021 | Search Engine Optimization For Real Estate

Table of Contents:

  1. Real Estate SEO: The Statistics
  2. Benefits of a Real Estate SEO Strategy
  3. Manage Your Time & Expectations
  4. Best SEO Practices for Real Estate:

Becoming a real estate agent can be very rewarding. Real estate agents are their own bosses. They answer only to themselves, meaning anyone who becomes a real estate agent essentially runs a private business.

Business owners must always be aware of their competition. In the real estate agent industry, competition is fierce. Real estate agents are, to quote the cliché, a dime a dozen.

So how can real estate agents stand out? Search Engine Optimization (SEO), is a great way to get noticed ahead of your peers. is the process of getting traffic from free, organic, editorial, or natural search results from search engines.

Real Estate SEO: The Statistics

Real Estate SEO statistics point to a single fact. Nowadays home buyers search Google rather than the local newspaper, their friends, or the yellow pages (which are like the hard copy version of Google Search).

Learn how to get seller leads with our home valuation landing pages

The yellow pages are in the past. The fact is that most people on the hunt for a home won’t see your website unless you’re great at SEO. The Internet is where it’s at. Check out specifics on where home buyers discovered the residences they purchased:

  1. Internet – 50%
  2. Real Estate Agent – 28%
  3. Yard Sign / Open House Sign – 7%
  4. Friend, Relative, or Neighbor – 7%
  5. Home Builder or Their Agent – 5%
  6. Directly from Sellers / Knew the Seller – 3%
  7. Print Newspaper Ad – 1%

Notice how only 1% found their home by searching in the local newspaper? It means that real estate agents must be aware of how SEO works. They must also know how to use SEO specifically for a real estate company. By doing so they will drive potential home buyers to their website instead of to their competitors’.

86% of potential home buyers consider real estate websites the most important tool to find a home.

Benefits of a Real Estate SEO Strategy

One way real estate agents can generate more leads through their websites is through SEO. Although we’ve mentioned some of the benefits, the following state the main ones more clearly.

Gain More Traffic

This is the largest benefit of real estate website SEO. Attracting a large amount of traffic to your website is like casting a huge net. You may not turn every visitor into a lead, but converting just 10% of them can be substantial with a large enough audience.

Become an Authoritative Voice

Having great content on your website is very valuable. So is getting that content seen. Employing the right real estate SEO strategy can make your content visible. Eventually, your business will become the go-to source for those seeking quality listings and education. The more your consumers interact with the content the better.

Control Your Image

If you employ the right strategy you can put the best you have to offer higher up on any search results from any search engine. You can even put slightly less than ideal search results about your brand much lower down than they originally are.

There are many more benefits involved, and if you’re not yet convinced take a look at this comprehensive list.

Now, let’s talk about the management of your time and expectations before getting into the best SEO practices for real estate websites.

Manage Your Time & Expectations

While there are many search engines that exist, most people favor Google. If you’re a complete novice when it comes to realtor SEO, who better to learn from than the developers of Google themselves?

They provide a comprehensive starter guide to explain the basics. It makes sense to educate yourself from the source as their algorithm is ever-changing, and this way, you can remain up to date.

You can also make use of a professional real estate SEO company or a real estate SEO consultant if it all becomes too overwhelming.

As you would imagine, SEO will differ depending on the product or service you’re trying to promote. Keep in mind that advice around general SEO practices will have to be adapted slightly to suit Real Estate SEO.

1. SEO takes time

You could end up spending a ton of time getting your real estate agent business higher on Google. The key to optimizing time is organization. If you know you have to search for houses to list, call clients, build your sphere of influence and spend time on your website and SEO, you need a system.

Set up an SEO/online marketing schedule. Spend 1/2 hours daily on your online marketing. Then, schedule around your online marketing.

2. A higher ranking doesn’t mean you’ll get calls and/or emails…and that’s okay

Don’t expect a higher ranking to automatically produce results. That’s all right. You’ll know through Google’s optimization tools, which keywords lead to hits on your site.
Get the hits first. The calls and emails will come. You’ll want to write a blog, use video and post great photos. Those are the things that lead to calls and emails once you’ve ranked. We will talk about those things later on in this article.

3. Understanding Page Experience in Google Search results

Page experience is an algorithm developed by Google. It has recently (August 4, 2021) experienced an update. Page experience is a way of measuring how well viewers can interact with your webpage.

This algorithm will check your webpage against its criteria giving it a score. This score will influence your ranking in google search results. If you and your competitors have similar content, the one with a better page experience will probably rank higher.

Here are some of the signals that indicate a great user experience:

  1. Core Web Vitals – The page loads quickly, is visually stable, and responds to user input (button clicks, personal data entry) quickly.
  2. Mobile-friendliness – The page loads equally well on a mobile phone as it would on a PC.
  3. The page is secure and served over HTTPS – HTTPS or Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure is a way of keeping user data secure on the internet. It will make your webpage trustworthy and maintain user privacy.
  4. Non-intrusive interstitials – Interstitial adverts are ones that require interaction from the user and block the entire screen. To not fall foul of this update in the algorithm, your advertising techniques should not bombard/distract the user.

This is a superficial look into the algorithm update. There are countless other benefits to improving page experience apart from ranking higher in search results.

Best SEO Practices for Real Estate

Every real estate agent should have a website.

According to the National Association of REALTORS® 2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 92 percent of home buyers used the Internet in some way during their home search process.

Information about SEO best practices is always evolving, so here are a few tips we learned from a recent conference to help you employ the latest.

Create a Great Homepage

Your homepage is like your online business card. Whether you are targeting home sellers or home buyers you must make sure that your homepage is not only optimized for search engines, but also for searches.

You’ll do nothing with a fully optimized page if the navigation is super confusing for searchers or if there isn’t any call to action in sight. Remember, searchers need to get told what to do next and what to read next when they land on your homepage.

When it comes to a seller’s market, you know they’ll be looking around to see how much their home and the homes in their neighborhood are worth. If this is the case, one of our real estate seller landing pages would work perfectly.

These landing pages are clean, simple, and to the point. They will offer those searchers exactly what they are looking for (a report on their home’s worth) and provide what you need to get them as a client – their contact info.

If you’re in a buyer’s market, then you’ll need an awesome homepage that shows the houses you have for sale along with a search filter. When it comes to homepages, remember to think about the users and how your homepage can be relevant for what they’ve searched for.

Create Great Content

Google strives to connect users with the most valuable content related to their search queries.

Try your best to produce articles/general real estate content that is high quality in both the eyes of your audience and Google.

You probably get hundreds of questions from clients about real estate. These are good clues as to what’s on prospective clients’ minds.

Be available online to answer those questions and turn each one into a detailed blog post. Just remember that great content and optimal keywords will work wonders in tandem. Neither will work alone.

Define KPIs for your real estate SEO strategy

You need to know how to measure your success. KPIs or key performance indicators will allow you to see how well your real estate SEO strategy is working. Look at the following list for some inspiration to start:

  1. Google rankings on key terms – You need to track how well your page is ranking for specific search terms. If someone uses Google to search a keyword you have in your content, does your website show up on the first page of results? Work at either maintaining a good position or improve a poor one.
  2. Google impressions  – An impression indicates that a person using the search function has seen your website on the results page. You want a larger number of impressions as it means you’re getting in front of more viewers.
  3. Google traffic – This is traffic that comes from users typing search terms into the Google search bar and clicking on a link from the results page. It is organic traffic that relies heavily on your content showing up early in the lists of results for the search terms in your niche.
  4. Interactions with your Google My Business profile – If you haven’t created a Google My Business profile, it’s a good idea to do so. It is completely free and allows you to become part of the largest business directory on the internet. You’ll also want to monitor interactions with this profile and make improvements if the interaction is low.
  5. Click-through rate (CTR) – This metric lets you know what amount of people actually click on your link/advert after seeing it. You want to monitor this as it might be the weak link in the chain of events. If you’re getting a lot of impressions, but your Click-through rate (CTR) is low, you may need to adjust the images on your adverts or improve your meta description/URL.
  6. Conversion rate – This is essentially how many visits to a webpage convert into a lead. This helps in calculating advertising/paid software costs per lead. There’s a wide variety of conversion rates and you can have several KPIs for this metric alone.
  7. Time on page – This is the time a viewer spends on your page before leaving it. Sometimes a short time is a good thing as it can mean the viewer got what they were looking for quickly. However, this, coupled with other metrics, such as bounce rate can give you great insight into the user experience.
  8. The number of pages viewed per user session – This is a way of measuring how engaging or relevant your content is. It shows how many pages of your content were viewed by a user over a specific amount of time.
  9. Bounce rate – This is the percentage of visitors to your website that leave without checking your other pages or engaging with your content. It is not inherently bad and a high bounce rate needs to be analyzed alongside other metrics before you make any deductions.

Monitor how your keywords are ranking (SEO Tools)

Some keywords will help in your SEO plights while others will not do much for your content. It’s important to see which ones help you gain traction and to experiment with new keywords if you’re still not ranking well.

Managing to get on the first page of search results is a great achievement, but you also need to think about maintaining that position.

There are many tools you can use to monitor how well your keywords are performing. They all have a dashboard that displays KPIs pertaining to whatever search terms you put into it.

Some popular options include:

  • SEMRushThis tool allows you to view metrics like visibility, estimated traffic, and average position. You can monitor keyword rankings for a specific page or a competitor’s page. You can see how your website performs on desktops, cellphones, and tablets. If you want to see how you perform in different regions you’ll be able to monitor the search volumes you get from region to region.
  • Moz Pro – With Moz Pro, you select a set of keywords and run tests against this selection. You will get information on each search term. These include average monthly search volume, difficulty, an opportunity score, a potential score, and click-through rates (CTRs). You are also able to see how your website is ranking for the chosen list of keywords.
  • Ahrefs – This package has several tools, but the one you care about is the Keywords Explorer. It has a database of literally billions of keywords. You’ll be able to get data on your existing keywords as well as generate new ideas for ones you may want to add/replace.

What are long-tail keywords?

Long-tail keywords are longer than average keywords/phrases and aim to target a niche audience. The people they target will have a higher conversion rate. This is because such a specific search term will attract people that are further along the buying/selling process.

This is why some of the best real estate keywords will have low competition but also a much smaller reach.

Long-tail keywords are highly specific. They will target a person who has already conducted a lot of research regarding the product/service they want. For example, a user may type:

‘Dallas real estate agent highly experienced’

This is specific to their needs. The added benefit of using these types of keywords is that there is far less competition surrounding them. In that way, you can rank much better for them.

Avoid Keyword Stuffing

It might seem like a good practice to include as many keywords as possible in an article in an attempt to manipulate the ranking algorithm.

This will backfire. Thoughtlessly including keywords out of context is known as keyword stuffing. It also accounts for using keywords too often even in context.

This is known as keyword density. Google has an excellent example of poor practice here.

SEO Competitor Analysis

If a competitor is ranking highly for certain search terms/keywords it makes sense to observe what they may be doing right. You essentially want the same traffic that is going to their website, to come to yours instead.

To analyze your competitor’s SEO strategy, try to observe what keywords and links they’re using. You can do this by conducting organic searches, or using browser extensions that can highlight such keywords.

You may be coming up best for a few important search terms, but your competitors might dominate feature snippets and FAQ-related content. This can make them appear more knowledgeable. Reverse engineer what makes them successful and mimic or better their approach.

Make It Mobile and Fast

Most people these days do searches through their smartphones, so make sure your website is optimized for smartphones/tablets. Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to check how your pages are loading and if there are any improvements that can be done to bump up your website’s speed.

Here are some key areas to focus on:

  • Responsive Design – This means that your website is set up to adapt to whatever device is viewing it. The opposite of this would be separate websites for mobile users, desktop users, or tablet users. Always check responsiveness while developing each page.
  • Page Speed – With an increasingly impatient audience, page speed has become a factor in how well your page will rank. It is how quickly your page loads.
  • Hosting speed – Choosing a web host provider that ensures your website loads quickly will improve user experience and help you rank better. It is best to choose a great host before development.
  • Site navigation aka internal link architecture – The way your web page is set up can enhance user experience. You should guide the user and allow them to effectively get to the information they’re searching for. You can achieve this by using internal links.
  • Site Search – You can also learn about your viewer base from seeing what they search for most frequently on your website. Such a simple feature has had broadly proven improvement in conversion rates.
  • Usability – This is a measure of how user-friendly your website is. You need to cater first and foremost to your viewer base and make sure they’re satisfied. However, you must still strike a balance between SEO and usability as the 2 don’t always coincide.

Improve Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness (E-A-T) & YMYL

Website SEO E-A-T is a way of letting Google know that you are a trustworthy source of knowledge and expertise.

The metrics for E-A-T will essentially rate the quality of your site. These will differ depending on the content type. That means the judgment of a real estate page will differ from that of a health and wellness one. Some common ways to improve your E-A-T score include:

  • Quality content that is up to date – Try to include content devoid of waffle or incorrect information. Display the date clearly on your page to show that you consistently keep information fresh.
  • Niche Down – Keep your content focussed on a single topic to show that you’re an expert in the field. Don’t try to cover too many bases.
  • Have credible authors – Your authors should have relevant experience and have their names and credentials displayed on all content.

YMLM is an acronym for ‘Your Money or Your Life. It sounds sinister but it isn’t. It does, however, address a serious issue. The majority of people rely on the internet to educate themselves on literally anything. If the knowledge they gain is incorrect it could adversely affect their lives.

Google takes misinformation seriously, which is why YMYL was created. It exists so that content meant to advise and educate the public is treated differently by the algorithm. This is how it ties into E-A-T. If you have a better E-A-T score then your YMYL content will rank better.

Improve Your Listings

Google Business, Yelp, and other directories are at your disposal to display your information for people using these sites to search for real estate professionals.

They help you rank higher because they are tried-and-true platforms that search engines already like. Your name, address, phone, and website information should be consistent across all platforms.
This is a must regarding SEO optimized real estate listings specifically. List as much information as you can and provide images of homes you’ve sold.

You can also ask clients to leave reviews for you. Reviews are especially helpful to strengthen your directory listing and to provide more unbiased information to those conducting searches.

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Home Value Leads

Home Value Leads offers optimized lead generation for real estate agents using lead capture websites to grow home listing pipelines. We continually test all aspects of our lead websites to ensure high conversion rates at the lowest cost per lead. New features are added regularly to enhance the experience of potential sellers and listing agents.