Beginner’s Real Estate SEO Guide: How to Rank in Real Estate
Just so we’re all on the same page—what is real estate SEO, exactly? It’s the process of making changes to and refining your real estate website so that it ranks higher in search engines.
SEO is a way to gain traction for your site and inch your business forward, slowly but surely. It improves your chances of selling the properties you’re handling. It could also be a way to connect with sellers who are looking for some help in selling their property. Similarly, it could connect you with buyers who would love some assistance with choosing the right property for them.
There are many other reasons why real estate SEO should be something that you invest in as a real estate professional. Here are three of the most important reasons for SEO.
Header image source: Unsplash
Why SEO is Important for Real Estate Agents
Stronger Brand Positioning
Real estate SEO helps you rank high in search engines like Google and to a lesser extent, Bing or DuckDuckGo. It’s a straightforward way to give your site more exposure and reach a wider audience.
Organic search is the digital marketing channel that’s free (aside from your time investment). There’s no better news than that, especially for individual realtors or small real estate agencies who might not have the extra budget. However, it’s worth noting that the more competitive your region is, the more difficult it is to rank on Google. It’s best to contact a real estate SEO expert to get a good bearing on what resources it will take to achieve the results you want.
It may take some time and effort to come up with the best SEO strategy that works for your business, but it’s all worth it. There’s nothing like seeing your content on the first page of Google when you search for important keywords. But we’ll get to that later.
Why stand idly by, waiting for people to inquire about your properties when you can actively work towards a lead generation machine?
It usually takes quite a bit of resources to generate leads for your real estate business. And even with spending on Google or Facebook ads, some of your leads are low quality and unlikely to convert.
Real estate SEO is a way to get relevant, high-quality traffic on your site and see the value you bring to your clients. It’s important to make sure that you have great content so that more people will want to visit your site.
While we’re on the topic of creating high-quality content for your website, it’s also important to note that real estate SEO will help improve your brand reputation.
One of the primary goals when doing real estate SEO is to have other sites—preferably well-known ones—citing you in their articles and linking to your content and website. As more reputable websites cite your content, your domain will strengthen, making it easier to rank for keywords.
And when you rank high or have a lot of other sites linking to your content, your reputation improves. It gives off the impression that you’re reliable and can therefore be trusted. The more that reputable websites trust you, the more likely it is for you to get leads for your business.
Maintaining a good brand reputation increases your chances of having clients come to you for assistance or advice. Being a reliable realtor also makes it more likely that past clients will want to avail of your services again.
How to Do SEO for a Real Estate Website
Now that we’ve covered the importance of SEO for real estate agents, it’s time to explore how to do SEO for your real estate website. There are three major categories of SEO to talk about here: on-page, off-page, and local SEO.
Let’s look more closely at each of them.
On-page SEO refers to the content and code of individual pages on your real estate website. This covers everything from keyword usage, page titles, meta descriptions, heading tags, image tags, captions, alt text, internal links, and page URLs.
Part of on-page SEO is also content planning and formatting it so that it ranks more easily. Think about what types of content your audience would actually find useful and then make sure these topics align with your brand and style.
Real Estate Blog Topic & Keyword Ideas
- things to do in [region]
- [region] community guide
- [region] property taxes
- buying a rental property in [region]
- [region] real estate market projections
- best [region] home builders
- best [region] interior designers
- best [region] moving companies
Off-page SEO is often associated with link building, but it’s not just about that. Link building is arguably the most important tactic for off-page SEO. Having high-authority websites linking to your content—especially naturally—will significantly boost your rank.
There are many, many factors to consider when backlink building, even if you’re building links via guest blogging.
Local SEO for Real Estate
Local SEO refers to the process of making your website more visible in a search engine’s local search results. The best thing about local SEO is that the market and competition becomes a much smaller playing field. You won’t have to compete with all the other real estate websites around the world, just those that are locally in your region.
Local SEO focuses on making your content rank when people search for specific keywords that cover your area. For example, when someone does a Google search for “homes for sale” or “homes for sale in Calgary,” your goal is to have your listings appear in the top results or on the first page of Google.
I’m sure you’ve searched for “x near me” at some point in your life. Ranking for “near me” keywords comes with strong local SEO.
One of the most effective ways to do local SEO is by writing localized blog content or resources. If your listings are in Calgary, you might want to write an article about moving to Calgary or things to do in Calgary, and many other topics. Someone who’s looking to move into the city would most likely want an idea about what they can expect to see or experience even before they actually move.
Tips for Succeeding in Real Estate SEO
We’ve roughly covered the ways in which you can do SEO for real estate. But if you’re still not that confident that you can do it right, here are some tips for succeeding in real estate SEO.
The most important element in real estate SEO success is keyword research. If you’re writing an article about the best neighbourhoods in Calgary, do a Google search for the keyword, “best neighbourhoods in Calgary”. Here you’ll be able to see different articles about the topic. Read through the content and try to identify areas of improvement that will make your content stand above the rest. You can also check out the People also ask section for content ideas.
You may also want to note the places that people can visit in the neighbourhood, the services they can avail of, and the special things about the neighbourhood. Then, you can slip in some of your listings in the neighbourhood to get people to view them. This helps you generate leads that have a better chance of being converted to sales.
For example, check out this closing section of an article we published on Calgary dog parks.
Place Keywords on Title, Meta Description, Tags, URL
Once you’ve found related keywords to your topic, plan out how you can place these on your title, meta description, tags, and URL.
This helps your page become more visible and searchable. Try to keep your title and meta description concise. The title shouldn’t exceed 60 characters and the meta description should only be around 120 to 160 characters. This makes it easier to “read” for search engines’ crawlers.
Your page’s URL should also be short and to the point. If your blog title is “What You Need to Know About Moving to Calgary,” your URL can be something as simple as “domain-name.com/blog/moving-to-calgary.” You don’t need to include the full title on the URL as it only makes it harder for search engines to find and harder for people to remember.
Make Sure All Links are Working
It might not seem like that big of a deal, but you have to make sure that all your links—whether internal or external—are working. Trust us, you wouldn’t want to give your readers a bad experience by clicking broken links on your website.
If you’ve made changes to your website, make sure you fix the internal links to your other articles. The easiest way to do this is to create a 301 redirect so that it still links to the article even when it’s on a different or new live page.
Optimize Your Website for Mobile
Most people search for things using their phones. This is why it’s important to have your website optimized for mobile. Text and graphics should be adjusted accordingly.
Your website should also load reasonably fast. One of the most annoying things when browsing through the web is having a site that doesn’t load or that takes too long to load. Make sure your graphics aren’t too large and sized to correct dimensions.
Create Local Content
It’s important to create lots of local content for your users. People looking to move to your area will want to know as much as they can about the place before the big move.
Write articles about the best restaurants or parks in the area. Some people might also appreciate reading about the best moving companies or internet providers. You may also want to write about house prices or mortgage rates.
There are a lot of things you can write about in your area. Just make sure to post articles regularly so that your website maintains its topical authority.
Put Useful Tools on the Site
Speaking of mortgage rates, you may want to add useful tools like a mortgage calculator on your website. This helps your visitors get a grasp of how much their monthly mortgage amortizations may be. It greatly helps put things into perspective.
You might also want to provide things like a cost of living calculator which your users can customize depending on their lifestyle and their expected expenses. It will roughly give them an estimate of what their monthly budget should be. This helps them prepare for the move better.
These tools make your website more reliable and useful for people. Even if the leads that they bring don’t get converted to sales, at least you’ll rank higher and improve your brand reputation.
Add Schema Markup
Don’t get overwhelmed with the technical terms! Schema markup simply refers to the additional tags you can put on your website’s source code so that it becomes easier for search engines to understand your content.
Schema markup makes your content have a better impression for both search engines and users. It is an extra step in the SEO process, but it will benefit your site a lot.
Most people don’t bother with schema markup as the process is a little technical, but it can be done with basic coding knowledge. Or you can always ask for help from real estate marketing experts like us. Take our word for it—it’s worth the investment.
A great off-page SEO strategy is to build local citations from reputable business directories. Would you trust a company that’s approved by the Better Business Bureau? Absolutely!
Local citations come in many forms and varying degrees of impact. Here’s a few local citations that we recommend (at least to Canadian realtors):
Get Google My Business
Google My Business is a platform where you can create and personalize your business profile as it appears on Google Maps. This greatly helps in local SEO. When your profile appears on Google’s 3-pack, users will be able to find your business more easily.
With Google My Business, you can appear in map results when people do a local search. A well-designed business profile coupled with great reviews instantly boosts your reputation and makes your business more trustworthy.
Ask for Online Reviews From Clients
While we’re on the topic, you might also want to ask for online reviews from your past clients. When you’ve provided excellent service, your clients will most likely be willing to leave a good review on your Google My Business profile.
Ask them to also add in a few good words about why they liked best about your work. This would be great in giving interested clients more insight into your business and the services you provide.
Make sure to do your job well and build lasting relationships with your clients so that they can refer you to more people in the future.
Earning Page 1 Rankings
Real estate is one of the biggest industries in the world. With all the realtors and websites out there, ranking in real estate SEO might seem like a complicated task. But with careful planning, some marketing finesse and reviews from your clients, you’ll start seeing results in no time.
If you don’t have time to do real estate SEO yourself, you can always bring in some help from those with a proven track record.
To recap, here are some tips for succeeding in real estate SEO:
- On-Page SEO:
- Research related keywords and add them to your title, meta description, content, tags, and URL.
- Make sure all internal and external links are working.
- Add schema markup to make it easier for search engines to understand your content.
- Build useful tools on your site to help direct more traffic to it.
- Optimize your website for mobile and make it accessible to all kinds of people.
- Off-Page SEO:
- Get citations from high-authority sites.
- Write guest blogs or design infographics that others can reference in their articles.
- Set up your business profile on Google My Business and ask your clients to give you online reviews.
- Local SEO:
- Create local content that your users will appreciate.
- Your Google My Business profile will also be of great help when people do a local search in your area.