04 Sep SEO Real Estate 2018: 7 Ways Realtors Can Generate More Leads, Traffic & Home Sales 🏘️🏘️🏘️
As digital technology and homebuyer expectations evolve, so too does your real estate marketing plan, especially Real Estate SEO. Specifically, you need to start thinking more digital. According to the Digital House Hunt, 53% of buyers start their search online while 86% percent of home buyers consider real estate websites the most useful source of information when buying a home. Unlike other paid advertising strategies most realtors use, such as Facebook ads, Google AdWords, & direct response marketing – SEO works better.
Why? The simple reason is due to search intent. A simple search such as “real estate agent near me” could be your next deal. The chances of a homebuyer stumbling across your company or your properties and becoming a lifelong customer are slim to none (sorry). If you really want to increase leads and sell more homes, your real estate firm needs to—literally—pop up in front of a homebuyer’s face at the moment they’re searching for properties. It’s doable, and how you do it is with real estate SEO. So if you’re currently an agent/broker who is struggling to get more seller leads, consider using these 8 tips below.
1. Optimized Website (Preferably WordPress)
44% OF ALL HOME BUYERS FIRST LOOKED FOR A PROPERTY ONLINE, AND 72% OF HOME SEEKERS USE A MOBILE DEVICE OR TABLET TO CONDUCT HOME-BUYING RESEARCH.
Modern homeowners frequently use mobile devices to look for houses, which means if you want to capture the attention of today’s homeowner, you need to solve all their home-searching problems and you need to do it online. Not only that, but most home buyers look for homes on-the-go. That means your website needs to flow seamlessly from a desktop to a mobile device. All of your content from videos, photos, and landing pages need to be optimized for mobile viewing. and you need to tailor your content for on-the-go consumption with features like easy-to-find photos, neighborhood information, and property listings.
To make lives easier, we recommend all of our clients and others to use WordPress as their website platform. This open source platform has plug ins (especially for realtors) to ensure that your website is fully optimized as well as adding some cool bells & whistles to make your site really stand out.
In addition to optimizing your website, you need to make sure your content is SEO friendly. With WordPress, there is a free SEO plugin called Yoast SEO which allows you to easily incorporate the necessary keywords to your website without touching the daunting back-end code. This plugin will inform you what steps you need to take to make sure your website/content is search engine friendly as well as readable.
2. Website Security (SSL Certificate)
Google recently announced that the security of a website has a major ranking factor/signal in Google. The reason being is that if your website is not protecting customer information it is not trusted in Google.
If you’re using WordPress, you can easily install a plugin like Real Simple SSL. The Real Simple SSL makes it super simple to convert your site over to a secured website.
Alternatively, you can contact your host or your domain provider like:
To convert your site over for you. We’ve seen that most SSL Certificate transfers cost around $60-$90, but the rewards are more than worth it. As a real estate broker, you want people to feel safe on your website. Start by adding an SSL certificate to jump-start the process.
3. Research Your Competitors
Real Estate SEO has always been a data-driven approach. Because of this, it’s easy to tell what it takes to beat a competitor. To get started, use a free SEO auditing tool like Neil Patel’s.
In the tool, you can analyze your competitors by simply putting them into Neil’s tool. Some important things to note:
- Neil’s tool analyzes data but it is not 100% accurate
- You can analyze up to 4 competitors
- The tool is completely free so you don’t have to spend any money on it
Unlike most SEO tools, such as ahrefs, SEMrush, Leapfrog – Neil Patel’s SEO Analyzer is a completely free tool to use. There is no longer a need to spend upwards of $300 per month on an SEO auditing tool.
4. Optimize your Website Content for the Right SEO Keywords & SEO Practices
We already discussed how the modern homebuyer’s preferred method of finding new homes has changed—90% of buyers now turn to the internet to solve all their housing needs, from finding out how to get a mortgage to making that final decision. In fact, 53% of buyers start their search online, frequently on a search engine. Since 55% of searchers click on one of the first three entries of Google’s search results, if your website isn’t in the top three, you’re losing listings to your competitors.
Search engine optimization was built around keywords, but not all keywords are created equal. Take a look at the difference in the search results for “find a realtor to sell my home,” and “homes for sale, Washington, DC”:
5. Utilize Local SEO
58% OF MILLENNIALS AND 46% GENERATION X FOUND THEIR HOME ON A MOBILE DEVICE COMPARED TO 33% OF YOUNGER BOOMERS.
More than half of your target audience is searching for new homes and properties on a mobile device, which means you need to focus on local SEO tactics. Local SEO for realtors is slightly different than regular real estate SEO because of the emphasis on making it into the local pack of the search results:
Here’s a rough summary of how to optimize your website for local SEO:
- Create content targeting local real estate keywords and search terms –
- [City] homes for sale
- [City] realtors
- [City] real estate listings
- homes for sale near me
- real estate agent near me
- Clean up your NAP citations – Be sure your business’s name, address, and phone number are EXACTLY the same across all of your online assets like your website, social profiles, and Google My Business/Bing listings.
- Local directory listings – Claim and verify all listings on local directories including Yelp, Superpages, Foursquare, Yellowpages, etc.
- Localized onsight content – The more relevant your on-site content is to the searcher, the more likely it will show up in search results. This means creating pages for each neighborhood, having local resources, and featuring listing maps.
- Schema markup – Ask your web developer to implement local business schema on your website. It gives the search engines a clearer supply of local information about your business.
Consider these statistics:
- In 1981, 22% of home buyers read newspaper ads to find a home. In 2016, 44% looked for properties online first
- The typical buyer used a mobile device to search for properties online. S/he looked at websites with photos, home listings, and information about the home buying process. S/he then contacted an agent and visited a median of 10 homes over 10 weeks before purchasing a home
- 57% of all US online traffic now comes from smartphones and tablets
- Mobile searches for “best” have grown over 80% in the past 2 years
- 3 in 4 smartphone owners turn to mobile search first to address their immediate needs
6. Use Google Reviews as Leverage
Now that you’re on the maps, you may want to start leveraging Google reviews. Here is a pro tip, ask every customer you associate yourself with to leave you a Google review. You can do this easily by creating a review link from your website.
The review link will allow anyone who clicks on the link, to leave you a review. Making it much more time efficient for you. To do so, just follow this link: https://www.grade.us/home/labs/google-review-link-generator
Grade.us gives you an easy way to create this review generation link for free. You can also check them out if you want to create a local review generation campaign. Their tool allows you to access their reputation management software. This software allows you to add an image to your web pages asking your customers to review you.
7. Create Content on your Website
70% OF HOME BUYERS PREFER TO GET TO KNOW A REAL ESTATE AGENCY THROUGH ONLINE CONTENT OVER PAID ADVERTISEMENTS.
You need to invest in content marketing like blogs, 360-degree guides, and relevant resources. Not only do you need this content on your website, but you also need to get the word out through channels like social media and email marketing. Write blogs on what to expect as a first-time homeowner, or create an infographic that sums up the homebuying process. Instead of creating your run-of-the-mill “Find Your Home” ads, share homebuyer stories from past clients in the form of a video. Consumers trust online testimonials almost as much as a recommendation from a friend, so creating videos highlighting happy customers is a smart bet.
Consider these statistics:
- Adding a blog to your site will increase your chances of ranking on search engines by 434%12
- 94% of realtors prefer to communicate with clients via email1
- 90% of realtors like to communicate through text messaging1
- 34% of realtors prefer to communicate through instant messaging1
- 91% of realtors use social media to some extent2
- 67% of realtors send email marketing campaigns more than once a month4
8. Use Social Media to Distribute Content & Generate More Online Web Traffic
When your website is shared throughout social media, it gives Google a sense that your website is popular. By doing so, your website gets ‘s more traffic, more eyeballs, and higher rankings.
One of the easiest ways to doing this is to use BuzzSumo once again. You can quickly find people who are willing to share your content if they’ve shared real estate content in the past.
Politely reach out to them, and ask them if they would kindly share your new blog post on social media. Repeat this process with every post and page so you can get social visibility with your content.
Get More Clients With Real Estate SEO Services from SEO Experts SphereXV
In order to sell homes, you need to be found. In order to be found, your real estate SEO strategy should make sure you dominate all the places homebuyers look for information: in the search engines, on social, media, and on your website. About 52% of home seekers say finding the right property is the hardest part of buying a new home. Make it easy for them with the help of our real estate SEO experts!
People are searching the web right now for a new place to call home. Will they find YOU or one of your competitors? Contact us here to make sure it’s you.