Table of Contents:
- Best SEO Practices for Real Estate:
- Create a Great Homepage
- Create Great Content
- Define KPIs for your real estate SEO strategy
- Monitor how your keywords are ranking (SEO Tools)
- What are long-tail keywords?
- Avoid Keyword Stuffing
- SEO Competitor Analysis
- Make It Mobile and Fast
- Improve Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness (E-A-T) & YMYL
- Improve Your Listings
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.
Learn how to get seller leads with our home valuation landing pages
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- SEMRush – This 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.