According to the National Association of Realtors, 92% of homebuyers start their search online, and 50% of buyers find their home through the internet. More and more people are using the internet to search for homes and real estate agents. Real estate-related searches increase every year, and SEO is now more important than ever before. SEO is not just a one-time thing. The internet is always changing. Google and social media platforms continue to update. So how can you improve your SEO as a realtor? Here are 6 SEO tips for real estate agents:
Before I had optimized my website, started blogging, and using social media properly, I had on average less than five vistiors a day who found came to my site by searching organically. Now I have anywhere from 15 to 25 a day.
It would be great to rank for broad search terms or certain areas such as the Twin Cities. The problem with that is you probably won’t rank very high and get a lot of traffic. At least not right away. You should really focus on the main city you do business first. You have a much better chance to rank when your website is more targeted. You should use your main city as a keyword when optimizing title tags, meta descriptions and the content on proper pages. As I mentioned above, people are not just searching for homes online when looking to buy or sell a house. They are also searching for real estate agents. This local strategy applies when searching for a realtor as well. When using Google to find a real estate agent, most people would type in ‘realtor’ or ‘real estate agent’ and the location. They would then click on a real estate agency site and find them on there. I did this search multiple times using different cities. Almost every time the first three result pages were mostly made up of real estate broker sites or aggregator sites like Zillow. I have optimized my website for important local search terms. Take a look at these two searches when I used Google in incognito window. I am now listed on the first page when searching for my job title and the main city I do business in. I am also the first organic map listing and the first page listing under the map section.
I am the only real estate agent whose own website ranks within the first few pages. Now, when searching for an agent by my city (Edina), my site stands out right away because I am the only individual site listed on the page and they don’t have to click on a company site to find me first. This is very effective for buyers living in a different location looking to purchase a home in Edina, MN. I have already gotten phone calls and gained clients, because of this SEO advantage.
You should think: what topics would my target audience be searching for, and how would they search for those terms? Homebuyers and sellers don’t just search for “Realtors” and “homes for sale.” People also don’t buy and sell houses every day. First-time home buyers might use Google to research the home buying process. If you are selling a home, you might research moving tips online. People who have bought a home and don’t plan on moving yet may search for design trends, decorating tips, or home tips on maintenance or remodeling. You should be blogging about important topics for your target market and including keywords in the titles. This includes blogging about the city you are trying to rank for. Blogging is very important for SEO. Blogging can help you provide value to your customers, establish yourself as an authority figure, drive traffic to your website, and accomplish your long-term business goals.
Social media, SEO, and public relations seem to blur more and more every year. Social media continues to have more of an impact on SEO every year. Social media impacts SEO a lot more than most people think. We see social profiles and posts show up in the results. Even Pinterest boards are now showing up in the search engine results. But that is just the beginning. Yes, it is nice to have your website listed on the first page for important keywords relating to your industry and location. But what is going on when that happens? You are waiting for people to find you. The beautiful thing is you don’t have to wait for others to find you. With social, you can find them first. You can create highly targeted ads that look organic and reach the audience you like. You can raise brand awareness, drive tons of highly targeted traffic to your website and even have them become brand evangelists. Still, that is not all. Link building is very important for SEO. With paid-organic amplification, you can target publications, journalists, bloggers, and many other media roles. Have them write about you and your content and then link back to your site. If you do this the right way and have the ads look organic, you can make them think that it is their idea to write about you.
The design of your website plays a bigger part than you think. Let’s imagine, you are a new visitor on a site. The page is not visually appealing, doesn’t look professional and is not organized. Will you trust or even stay on the page? Will you want to explore other pages on the site? Chances are you will exit out. Your website must be visually appealing, easy to navigate, provide valuable information and be engaging. I spent almost a half a year putting together my new website to ensure that the visual appeal and content was at the highest echelon for the real estate industry. That’s what it takes to retain visitors and create a favorable impression.
Reviews / Testimonials
It is one thing to get people to your website, but it is another thing to have them convert. When choosing a real estate agent, people are going to try to find information about you and what past clients have said about you. Reviews can be the difference between a customer coming to your website and converting or leaving your website. This is also true with reviews on social. People might find you on social first. If you have bad reviews there, or no reviews, people might not like your page or want to do business with you. So it is important that you have good reviews on both your website and social profiles if you can.
89% of new home shoppers search using a mobile device during the home buying process. Your website should be optimized for SEO using responsive design. This is Google’s preferred mobile configuration.