Real Estate SEO I The Complete D.I.Y SEO Guide for Real Estate Agencies
This guide is going to tell you all you need to know to perform your own Real Estate SEO campaign.
Think about this situation for a moment.
You have been at home on a quiet weekend when you hear a loud sound.
“What was that?” you ask.
A pipe has burst in your kitchen, and it’s leaking water.
If you can’t fix this yourself – you’ll need a plumber immediately!
If you didn’t know a plumber and can’t get a recommendation from someone you trust – how would you find someone to help?
The chances are you would pull out your phone and start searching online for plumbing contractors in your area.
If this is the approach you would use – you are not alone.
When looking for a local business – 97% of all consumers start with an online search – source: HubSpot
This is an example of how a local business can drive customers into their business by using search engines.
The opportunity to make money from the search engines isn’t only for plumbers. This opportunity is available for anyone if their customers might going online when looking for the product or service you provide.
If you’re a Real Estate Agent or own a Real Estate Agency – your customers are those people in your local area who’re looking to sell their property or have it rented and managed.
These people are turning to the search engines every day to see who options they have available when they need the services you provide.
No longer are they going to the newspapers or Yellow Pages.
They are turning to places like Google which now gets 75% of all search engine traffic globally and 90% of all mobile search engine traffic – source Search Engine Land
You and your business need to be showing up even to be considered as an option.
Ideally, you want to be showing up in the “organic listing” (the ones you don’t have to pay for) because these listings are visited by 70% of the people searching online while the paid listings only get 30%.
If you’re not showing up, you are giving money away to your competitors. Fact!
It’s time to stop leaving money on the table, and that is what this guide has been designed to show you.
This is a crash course in D.I.Y Real Estate SEO to get your businesses website showing up online when your ideal customers are searching for your help online, have their wallets out and are ready to do business.
Implement these steps, and you will see an increase in search engine performance and, hopefully, more seller/renter leads coming into your business every month.
Please let us know how you went in the comments below or if you have any questions.
WHAT IS REAL ESTATE SEO?
Real Estate SEO or “Search Engine Optimisation” according to search engine land is”
“SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimisation. It is the process of taking actions to get traffic to your business from the “free”, “organic”, “editorial” or “natural search results” on the search engines” according to Search Engine Land.
What this means for your business is that you are performing a series of actions to make your website appear valuable in the eyes of Google so your business shows up higher in the search engines when people are searching for specific search terms that could make your business money.
WHY YOU NEED SEO FOR YOUR REAL ESTATE COMPANY
SEO is a vast marketing and lead generation opportunity for any business that works in a local area.
This specific type of SEO we refer to as “Local SEO”.
The goal of Local SEO is to have a local business showing up in the area that it services when potential customers are looking for the product or service they offer.
Local SEO can increase a business’s revenue in many ways.
Let me explain…
All customers must move through the same psychological journey on their way to working with a business.
This psychological journey is one of “awareness”.
This “awareness” journey is called many names, but at XESIV Digital we refer to it as “UPSYD”, and this acronym explains the psychological journey that all customers go through before making a buying decision.
P: Problem Aware
S: Solution Aware
Y: You Aware
D: Deal Aware
UPSYD describes the phases each person goes through before deciding to do business with someone.
The more aware the potential customer is, the closer they are to making a buying decision.
It doesn’t matter how quickly they move through these phases but, what is important is that they do move through the phases and in order.
Walking your audience through UPSYD with your marketing strategy is essential if you want to be effective in converting people who don’t know who you are into leads with your marketing efforts.
The easiest person to sell is someone who is already aware of a problem they want to solve, and they are aware of the exact solution they need. They are looking for a business that can provide that solution and what “deals” (or offers) that are available.
A “deal” doesn’t have to be a discount or something such as that – a “deal” is just what your business can offer this individual (to be honest – we think that offer is more appropriate, but UPSYO wouldn’t sound as good)
When you’re looking to get a listing to sell a property – the “deal” you might want to make your customer aware of is that you offer a free appraisal and then use this opportunity to show them your past results, your testimonials, present your businesses Statement of Value (SOV) or Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
If you’re speaking to a lead about selling their home and talking to them about an appraisal – they are close to deciding to work with someone.
This is a lead. This is what you want as a Realtor. You want to have the opportunity to speak to a potential customer and present why you are the number 1 choice for them to work with.
Now, how does this relate to SEO?
Well, let me tell you…
SEO allows you to put your business in front of people who are more “aware” in their buying journey.
Let’s use an example.
If a customer is searching into Google for “Real Estate Agents in Sydney” – what level of awareness would you say that they have?
If you answered “solution aware” – you would be correct.
This person understands that they have a problem they need to solve. We can make some assumptions about what this is regarding – they are either looking to buy a property, sell a property, rent a property or have a property rented.
Most customers, in Australia, when looking to purchase or rent a property they have the option of going to large “hub” websites where all these properties are listed such a Real Estate.com or Domain.com
The chances are that someone who is looking to make a purchase or rent is more interested in the property itself and not the real estate agent selling it. It would be safe to bet that someone looking for a Real Estate Agent specifically in Google needs a service that they provide.
This person searching “Real Estate Agent’s In Sydney” is telling us through their Google search that they are “solution” aware.
They are looking for businesses they can work with.
If they click on your website – they are now “You” aware.
They will be exposed to your business for the first time. You want to tell them who you are, how you can help them and why they should care as fast as possible. Give them all the information they need to determine if they:
1. Like you
2. Might be able to trust you
3. Could be interested in getting to know you
If someone is going to do business with your agency they need to know, like and trust your business.
The goal of your website is to make someone “You” aware and convert them to “Deal” aware.
Your website should be moving a visitor through these two stages of awareness, “you aware” & “deal “aware, while also provide enough supporting information that they like you and potentially trust you enough to get in contact.
If they contact you, then they will have the opportunity to get to know you.
The ideal journey of this person searching “Real Estate Agents in Sydney” would be moving from:
1. Solution-Aware: Searching “Real Estate Agents in Sydney.”
2. You Aware: Clicking on your websites Meta information
3. Deal Aware: Reviewing your website and becoming aware of your “deals” while also providing enough supporting information so that they like and trust you enough to get in contact.
SEO is different from other marketing channels because typically, you can target people who are further along in their “awareness” journey.
SEO is also different because your potential customers are coming to you rather then you reaching out to get them.
The relationship is different.
They don’t feel like they are being advertised too. They feel like they are searching for assistance and they have found someone who they would like to get help from.
They come to you, they have found you in a popular search engine, and these two factors change everything.
WHAT IS THE SEO PROCESS FOR A REAL ESTATE AGENCY?
Each Real Estate Agency is different but, if you copy what we do here at XESIV Digital, the process for each SEO campaign is the same.
Our 7-Step SEO Process Is:
6. Link Building
STEP 1: THE SEO AUDIT
All our SEO campaigns for Real Estate Agencies first start with an in-depth Technical SEO audit.
An audit is the essential first step we use to determine where your website & business’s online presence is currently.
This the first thing we do for our clients at XESIV Digital, and we believe that this is also what you should do if you’re looking into doing a Real Estate SEO campaign for your own business.
Why is this important?
Well, this is important because an SEO campaign is a lot like travelling.
When travelling, you might know where you want to go…but if you don’t know where you are it is difficult to use a map and figure out how to get there.
It’s the same with any SEO campaign. We always start with a discussion to define where your real estate business wants to go then we perform an in-depth technical SEO audit to determine where your business is currently.
We then use this information to map out our journey to get to our ideal destination, and we know what to do during the SEO campaign.
Complete technical audits can be very in-depth and have many, many steps. Due to this – for this “Complete D.I.Y Real Estate SEO Guide” we will only be covering the fundamentals of a technical SEO audit.
These fundamentals have a significant impact on the performance of a website in the search engines and are what you should be focusing on if you’re executing your SEO campaign for your Real Estate Agency.
We will be covering:
– The Tools You’ll Need
– Duplicate Content
– Duplicate Meta Information
– Meta Description
– Meta Title
– Thin Content
– 404 Errors
– Site Speed
Duplicate content is when the same content appears on more than one page on your website.
This matter because of Google Panda algorithm update targets onsite signals that are hurting the user experience.
If your website is filled with a ton of content which is the same, Google sees this something that can negatively affect user experience (UX), so Google’s Panda algorithm will demote your website and significantly reduce the organic search engine traffic your site is getting.
The number 1 thing that Google cares about is the user’s experiences.
If your website does anything that they believe will negatively impact their searches experience or by not giving them a positive user experience then google is going to decrease significantly the amount of organic search engine traffic they send you or hold your website back.
It’s essential that you avoid duplicate content just for this issue alone.
Note – duplicate content is an internal issue – not an external issue – meaning that duplicate content matters mostly if there is the same content more than once on your Real Estate website. While it isn’t advisable to ever copy content from another site – when are focusing on duplicate content which is on the same site for the remainder for this section.
It is a widespread problem for most Real Estate websites to have duplicate content issues. The significant places where we see duplicate content showing up is on:
– Location pages
– Agent information content (mentioned – multiple times on the same site)
– Listing information and listing snippets
– Blog content and blog snippets
– Category Pages
– Author Archive Pages
Finding Duplicate Content
How to determine if it is affecting your website:
Step 1: Visit Siteliner
Step 2: Enter Your URL and click “Go”
Step 3: Once The Scan Is Complete – Click On The Duplicate Content Tab
Step 4: View And Assess The Results
As you can see here – there is 10% duplicate content on the XESIV Digital URL and we are missing some meta information. At the time of this guides writing – we are in the process of redesigning our website so we’re ok with the errors that have been identified by Siteliner.
Long-term though – we would like to get this duplicate content (as low as possible while now disrupting the user experience)
How To Fix Duplicate Content Problems?
There are a number of ways to fix content issues.
The most obvious of all is to write the content of these pages that are duplicated.
While that is simple – it is not easy.
It will be necessary for some situations (such as, keyword targeted location pages, but there are a number of other strategies that can be used to reduce the amount of duplicate content on your Real Estate Agencies website.
If you are using WordPress for your website – you can “no-index” the pages that have duplicate content and that you don’t want to drive organic search engine traffic to.
For example – you could use “All-In-One-SEO” or “Yoast SEO” to “no-index” your tags, category pages and author archive pages. All the pages that you wouldn’t want showing up in the search engines.
To fix location pages – it is recommended that you write unique content for each of these pages.
I know this can be a lot of work but it’s worth it in the long run. It will improve the experience your website visitors have but also reduce the amount of duplicate content you have one your website.
You could “no index” your “properties hub” and “blog” page so it is removed from the search engine but keep the individual property pages and blogs listed on your website in the search engines.
If you have any questions about how to identify or fix duplicate content on your Real Estate website – leave them in the comments below and our team will get back to you.
Duplicate & Incomplete Meta-Data
What is meta data?
Meta date is the information that shows up on Google after you type in a search query.
There are 2 components. The Meta Description and Meta Tag
This is the information searchers see BEFORE they click on your Real Estate website.
This information is an opportunity to lure someone into your site. This information should be written so it attracts “clicks” from searchers but also for SEO.
While reviewing meta information during a technical SEO audit – we are looking for missing or duplicate meta information.
To check for missing or duplicate meta information – you will need a fantastic tool called “Screaming Frog SEO Spider”
The Screaming Frog SEO Spider is a website crawler, that allows you to crawl websites’ URLs and fetch key elements to analyse and audit technical and onsite SEO
Download and open up this tool.
We will be using this to crawl to your real estate agencies URL and finding any duplicate or missing meta information.
Screaming Frog SEO Spider is a free tool for up to 500 URL’s.
If it’s over 500’s URL’s – a licence will need to be purchased.
If you don’t want to purchase a licence – reach out to an established SEO agency who already has this tool and you can work with them to perform this component of your technical SEO audit.
To maximise our SEO performance – you want to ensure that you’re website doesn’t have any duplicate or missing meta information.
During this scan if you notice that there is meta information missing, note it down and them go to these pages in your Content Management System (CMS – WordPress, Wix, Squarespace etc.) and fix this problem.
Let’s start with searching for duplicate & missing meta descriptions on your website – what you need to do it:
Step 1: Open Screaming Frog SEO Spider
Step 2: Put Your Real Estate Agencies URL Into The “Search” Bar And Click “Start”
Step 3: After The Analysis Is Complete – Click On The “Meta Description Tab”
Step 4: Click On The “Filter” Tab On The Left Hand Side And Click “Duplicate”
Step 5 – Note Any URL’s With Duplicate Meta Descriptions
Step 6 – Click on the “Filter” Tab On The Left Hand Side And Click “Missing”
Step 7 – Note Any URL’s With Missing Meta Descriptions
Now you should have a list of all pages which have duplicate or missing meta descriptions.
If the pages showing duplicate or missing meta descriptions have been “no-indexed” then you have nothing to worry about.
We are only concerned with duplicate & missing information that is actually being indexed in the search engines.
You should be concerned with duplicate meta descriptions if you notice actual pages on your website that are in the search engines and have the same meta descriptions or very close meta description.
You want to make sure that any page that you are trying to rank in the search engine and drive organic traffic to is has a completely unique meta description and complete unique on-page content.
Taking this extra effort to ensure that everything is unique is going to pay off in the long run.
Meta Tags/Page Titles
The same points are made in the “meta description” section above are still valid for “meta tags”
Step 1: Open Screaming Frog SEO Spider
Step 2: Put Your Real Estate Agencies URL Into The “Search” Bar And Click “Start”
Step 3: After The Analysis Is Complete – Click On The “Page Titles” Tab
Step 4: Click On The “Filter” Tab On The Left Hand Side And Click “Duplicate”
Step 5: Note any URL’s with Duplicate Meta Tags/Page Titles
Step 6: Click on the “Filter” Tab On The Left Hand Side And Click “Missing”
Step 7: Note any URL’s with Missing Meta Tags/Page Titles
Now you should have a list of all pages which have duplicate or missing meta tags/page titles.
If the pages showing duplicate or missing meta tags/page titles have been “no-indexed” then you have nothing to worry about.
If there are duplicates or missing information on live pages. Change this.
The effort made to make sure all your meta tags/page titles are complete and unique will pay off in the long-run.
Thin content is content with a low word count or content which is unoriginal or scraped.
This is bad for SEO because of Google PANDA algorithm update. To learn about the details of Google’s PANDA algorithm update – click here to review a link from Moz.com which will give you all the details.
All we need to worry when we’re trying to improve our Real Estate SEO is that thin, un-original or “scraped” content (copying content from another website) is bad and we don’t want it on our Real Estate site.
The first step is to perform a website content audit to see if there are “thin pages” on your website. Any page that has less than 400 words of content on it we would class as a “thin page” and this is something we want to fix.
To find “thin content” what you need to do is:
Step 1: Open “Screaming Frog SEO Spider”
Step 3 – Once The Crawl Is Complete – Click On The “Internal Tab”
Step 4 – Export This Information To A .CSV File
Step 5 – Open This .CSV File Then Scroll To The Right Until You Find The “Word Count” Column.
Step 6 – Review This Column And Note Any URL’s That Have Under 400 Words Of Content On Them.
These URL’s are to be reviewed and then 1 of the 3 options below should be implemented to fix any “thin content” issues of your Real Estate Agencies website.
The 3 strategies to fix “thin content” issues are to:
- Consolidate similar pages (combine 2 into 1)
- Delete outdated thin pages and “thin” pages is they don’t have backlinks, social signals or any user engagement.
- Make the page more “content rich” and get the word count up above 400 just to be safe
If you fix all thin content issues you are going to have a much better website.
You’re going to make your visitors happier and you will make Google more happy as well.
A “404 Errors” or a “HTTP 404 Not Found Errors” are shown when a page on a website cannot be located on the server.
This typically occurs when a URL is manually changed or a page is deleted. A “404 Error” indicated to Google that we no longer want that page in the search engine and that Google should remove it from indexing.
If a page is supposed to be removed from the search index – this is fine.
“404 Error” are not a problem in themselves – we care about “404 Errors” when the pages that are giving back these 404 errors have backlinks pointing to them.
We want to identify any 404 pages that have “link equity” then 301 redirect these pages to either or homepage or another relevant page on our website so we can retain that backlink equity. The same goes with pages that have been deleted but are still getting traffic. Want also want to 301 redirect these pages back to another relevant page on our website.
There are a number of ways to see if any of your websites 404 pages have backlinks pointing to this website.
We are going to use 2 tools to identify existing 404 errors that have backlinks equipt pointing to them. These tools are:
- Google Search Console
Step 1: Identify 404 Errors Using Google Search Console
Open Google Search Console → Click “Go To Old Version” → “Crawl” → “Crawl Errors” → “No Found” → “Download”
Now you have downloaded all 404 Errors on your Real Estate website to a .CSV file.
Open this .CSV file → copy all the URL’s in the first column
Step 2 – Search For Backlinks On Pages With 404 Errors Using Ahrefs
Open Ahrefs → Click on “Tools” → “Batch Analysis” → paste copied URL’s from .CSV file here → ensure that “URL” is selected in the drop-down menu and once this is done click “Start Analysis.”
Once the analysis has been completed look at the results → go to the referring Domains Section and click on “total” so you can see which URL’s have backlinks pointing to them.
Note any URLs that have ANY backlinks pointing to them.
Step 3 – Redirect URL’s That Have Backlinks To Homepage Or Other Relevant Page
As a general rule, we now want to 301 redirect these pages to either our homepage or another relevant page on the website.
There are situations where this isn’t advisable such as if your website has been hacked or you don’t recognise these URL’s so if this is the case – leave a question in the comments below and we will have someone get back to you to help.
To learn what a 301 redirection in and how to properly implement this – click here
Site loading speed is something you need to care about, and it is incredibly vital for your SEO but also the overall performance of your businesses website.
The first reason why loading speed matters is because it is the first and most critical element of positive user experience.
No other technical factor matters more than site loading speed because it is the first thing that a user is going to experience when coming into contact with your real estate website.
For example, if a potential lead lands on your website and it takes 10 seconds to load, then they are not even going to get past that point. They are going to leave your site and go somewhere else.
You are not even going to have the chance to turn that user into a lead.
I would say out of all the technical element of SEO – improving your site loading speed is the most important and after that, it would be making your website mobile friendly.
The first thing you have to do before any of these other technical factors in this guide is to make sure your website loads quickly.
You don’t have a tonne of time to make a first impression on your user so you want your website to load as quickly as possible so you can start building a relationship with this website visitor.
Increase or decrease your conversions and online revenue.
A faster website will increase your conversions. People do not wait for sites to load. If this user is searching for “Real Estate Agents in Perth” and they click on your site…but it’s taking too long to load…they are just going to click back and go to another agency. There is plenty of competition. People do not have patients. You will lose leads by having a slow website, and it will also hurt your search engine rankings.
Try to keep your website speed under 3-seconds, and you can check your website speed using a tool called the Pingdom Website Speed Test
How fast is your website? Use Pingdom website speed test to find out.
Is it above 3-seconds? If it is, there is some work to do.
There are many, many ways to speed up your website. Too many for us to cover in this guide but Crazyegg has written an article around 20 ways to speed up your site and improve conversions. You can check it out here
STEP 2 – RESEARCH FOR YOUR REAL ESTATE SEO CAMPAIGN:
For a Real Estate SEO campaign, it’s important to conduct some research before taking action.
We want to know:
– Who your ideal customer is
– What keywords might they be searching that could make the business money
– Who the competitors are for these keywords.
Define Your Ideal Customer Avatar
It’s important to define who you’re targeting when developing a marketing campaign.
If you’re not sure who you’re targeting then how will you know what to say, what to offer, what to do to move a potential customer along their awareness journey?
People respond to marketing messages that are relevant to them.
It pays off to get a deep understanding of who your ideal customer, what they are feeling, what do they fear, what problems do they want to solve, where do they put their attention, how much money do they earn etc.
The more information you know about your ideal customer, the better because you’re can tailor your marketing message around this specific individual you want to work with.
This applies to any SEO campaign because it assists us in determining what keyword this person would search but also what we should focus on in our marketing message to effectively move someone through different stages in their customer buying journey (UPSYD).
Ask questions like:
– Who is your ideal customer?
– Where does this person live?
– How much do they each per year?
– What’s their family like?
– Why do they want to sell their house?
This is all valuable information. Fill out the “Customer Avatar Worksheet” created by Digitalmarketer.com below to begin forming an image of who your ideal customer is.
A “keyword” or “keyword phrases” are the words that a search engine user types into Google.
Your real estate agencies current “keywords” are the words and phrases on your website and these words make it possible for people to find your site via. search engines.
A website that is well optimised to make money from the search engines also “speaks the same language” as the websites ideal customers and there chosen keywords help connect searchers to your site.
Keywords connect searchers to your site because in an online search – only websites that have terms on it that are closely related to what was searched will show up in the results.
When we perform keyword research, we find out what “words” your ICA uses when searching for the product, services and solutions your business offers online and then focus our efforts in our Real Estate SEO campaign on getting your website showing up when these specific words are searched.
Your Real Estate Agency will have a number of “current keywords”.
These are the words that you’re website is already showing up in the search engines for.
These often happen by chance because of what is written on the website.
What is different about keyword research find “target keywords” which are words you would LIKE to show up in the search engines for that are also in alignment with your business strategy so it makes sense how you can make money off showing up for these keywords in Google.
Localised SEO Keywords
Does your Real Estate business only sell or manage properties in select locations? Or do you sell property anywhere in the world?
Let’s be real here.
Your business will only work with homeowners in specific locations.
Let’s say that you’re a Real Estate Agency based in Parramatta, Sydney Australia which both manages and sells properties BUT will only travel 25km from their head office to do so.
This business only wants to receive calls from people who are in the locations they service and in need of their help.
Targeting the broad keyword “Real Estate Agent” might seem like a good idea when trying to get more leads on the surface but if we look deeper into what would happen if you’re Real Estate Agency targeted this keyword – it tells a different story.
Even if you were to get the #1 ranking spot (which is unlikely because you would be competing with every other website on earth who mentions real estate agent) it is doubtful that the leads coming into this businesses team would be from the locations they are willing to work in.
If your business is based in Sydney and your team gets a call from a homeowner based in Perth (3900+km away) but they contact you to sell their property because they found you on Google when they searched “Real Estate Agent” then that is a useless lead.
You can’t help this person.
If your business has invested resources into ranking for “Real Estate Agent” then most of the investment that was made into that keyword would have been wasted as most of those leads you will not be able to convert into clients.
If you don’t have qualified leads, you don’t get the opportunity to manage or sell property, and your business doesn’t make money.
There is no ROI from the leads coming from this keyword and the primary focus for any Real Estate SEO campaign is to make more money!
If however, this same Real Estate Agency selected a localised keyword at the start of their Real Estate SEO campaign such as “Parramatta Real Estate Agents” then if their team got a call from someone who found them on google by searching “Parramatta Real Estate Agents” how much more likely is this lead going to increase the revenue of the business?
Many, many times more as it is a qualified lead.
For most businesses – localised keywords are there bread and butter.
Firstly, these local keywords qualify the person searching it as a potential lead that the business is interested in.
Secondly, these keywords are more specifics, and there generally is less competition for them.
Fewer websites globally will be trying to rank for these terms;, therefore, you should be able to appear in the search engine results quicker and easier.
The sooner you can appear in the search engine results for your target keywords, the sooner you will be able to get a return on your investment.
Finally, because your business is located in the area that the searcher is looking, Google is more likely to give your website and your Google My Business listing more visibility. This increased visibility in the search results means more traffic to your site and more opportunities to generate revenue.
For most businesses – localised keywords are there bread and butter.
These localised keywords could include:
– Best Real Estate Agents in (INSERT YOUR CITY)
– (INSERT YOUR CITY) Real Estate Agents
– Real Estate Agents in (INSERT YOUR SUBURB)
– Real Estate Appraisals in (INSERT YOUR POSTCODE)
General Real Estate Keywords
The first type of keyword that you should target with your Real Estate SEO campaign is very general with a location specifier.
These “general” keywords should include the most common terms that searchers will use such as “Real Estate Agents” or “Real Estate Agency” with your location either at the beginning or end of the phrase.
By targeting these general real estate keywords with a location specifier you’re trying to get your business showing up on Google for, typically, the highest volume local keyword terms available.
A lot of volume means a lot of potential customers, but it usually means more competition.
More competitions usually means it takes longer to see results.
We would recommend targeting a variety of these phrases that include your keyword and a location specified.
There might be many of these keywords that are searched less frequently, but they might also have less competition meaning you could get rankings and a boost in your organic search engine traffic sooner.
These keywords with location specifier can bring very targeted traffic to your real estate website. These people have already proven to you that they are interested in your services because of the types of keywords they’re searching.
Therefore you’ll see a high conversion rate from traffic to customers from this organic traffic.
Organic search engine traffic converts higher than any other traffic on the internet.
Specific Real Estate Service Keywords
The second type of keyword that you should target is service specific. Some customers are not looking for a Real Estate Agency but the specific services that a Real Estate Agency offers.
An example would be a Google user searching for “property appraisals in Melbourne.”
What’s great about these keywords is that it’s a step beyond a general keyword because the customer knows what service or offer they need. These potential customers are even more eager to work with a real estate agency and therefore tend to convert from lead to listing as a very high rate.
With this information, you can prioritise the types of service keyword that you want to target so you can utilise your resources most efficiently to bring in the right clients to your business. Depending on what services you offer and which are most profitable, you can create a Real Estate SEO strategy that is focused on getting your website showing up for these keywords.
If you get to the end of this guide – you will have a good understanding of what is involved in a Real Estate SEO campaign so you can begin work on this yourself or work with an SEO company at https://swiftturnmarketing.com/blog/seo-expert-singapore/ and understand what you’re getting with your budget.
Specific Real Estate Structure Keywords
Depending on your ICA and the types of clients you service – it might also make sense to target keywords that segment specifically what your agency offers out from the general keywords.
The most straightforward example of this would be between a Real Estate Agency that focused only on selling residential properties and a Real Estate Agency that only sells commercial properties.
As a commercial real estate agent, it might make sense to target keywords like “commercial real estate agents in Sydney” because the more general keywords like “real estate agencies in Sydney” will typically be used by residential property owners.
That being said, if you offer service to individuals and families, it might be worthwhile to also target specific keywords like “residential real estate agency in Sydney” because some people might use these more specific search queries.
Keyword Research Tools/Strategies
Creating an extensive list of keywords through the three different categories detailed above will result in your business having some great keyword targets that cast a wide but also specific net to ensure that you bring as many of the right people as possible to your website.
Coming up with these types of keywords isn’t overall complicated, but you can quickly run out of ideas. Not only that, you’re going to want to evaluate these keywords to make sure that people are searching for them, so you don’t waste your time, energy and money.
We use a variety of “keyword research tools” to find keywords that are regularly searched in your industry. While using these tools – you will often find keywords that you would never have thought of, and these keywords can easily double your potential reach.
The more targeted people visiting your website the higher the chance for leads and profit coming into your real estate business each month.
Selecting the right keywords is critical to the success of your Real Estate SEO campaign. The chosen keywords will either make or break the campaign. Target the wrong keywords, and there isn’t any chance of making an ROI from your efforts.
For this reason, many businesses choose to work with an agency that knows what to look for, has years of experience and already has access to powerful tools that make this process more effective. If you looking for an agency that can assist with this then check out GlassBox Marketing & Consultancy – SEO & Digital Marketing Agency
Finding keywords is only one steps of many in the “Keyword Research” stage of any SEO campaign.
You also need to figure out how competitive these keywords are so that you can get an idea if your website can realistically rank for them, how long it will take and what you’ll need to do to get the number #1 spot.
Keyword research is a critical component of any Real Estate SEO campaign, but it does require knowledge, experience and paid tools to get the best results possible. Again, it is worth paying for an agency to handle this part of your SEO strategy as they already have the tools, knowledge and experience to do this correctly.
That being said – if you want to perform some of your keyword research – the tools listed below will help you with this.
There are a variety of paid and free tools that are available for keyword research on the internet.
You can type in a keyword click search, and you will get information about how many times this keyword is searched each month, the SEO difficulty, the PPC difficulty and the average cost per client. This data is valuable to review a keyword to see if it had commercial value for your business and if it’s worth looking into further.
Ubersuggest will also provide a variety of “Keyword Ideas”. Click on the “Keyword Ideas” tab on the left-hand side, and you will be shown a range of keyword ideas. You should review these keywords also to see if ranking for these keywords could be valuable for your business. Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.
It is possible to get keyword suggestions directly from Google. To do this – type in the keyword that you would like to target.
Scroll down to the bottom where you will see “searches related too…”
In these “searches related” section you will find keywords that are typically searched along with your target keyword.
Evaluate these keywords for ideas which might be commercially viable to your real estate business then input these keywords into Ubersuggest to get the search volume, difficulty etc.
Ahrefs is a paid tool allow you to see how many backlinks you’ll need to rank on the first page, the monthly search volume the keyword has, the estimated CPC (cost per click) of that keyword and the global search volume.
The main point of difference that Ahrefs has to Ubersuggest is that it provides information about how many backlinks the competition for the target keyword have and lots of other important information about those competitors.
Ahrefs is fantastic and our personal favourite when it comes to SEO tools at XESIV Digital.
If you’re looking for the best information about the value of a keyword to figure out if you should invest in it in your Real Estate business then using the Ahrefs tool is essential.
Ahrefs is the tool of choice here at XESIV Digital. It is a paid tool but to get all the information you need to develop a successful Real Estate SEO strategy. It is difficult without Ahrefs. We would recommend getting the 7-day trial while you are building your Real Estate SEO strategy and work fast.
Research & Analysis Of Your Real Estate Competitors (H3)
“Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster” – Sun Zhu
We believe these words spoken by Sun Zhu and view an SEO campaign as a battle to win the top spot in the search engine results.
The final step in the Research Phase of our SEO campaigns is to evaluate the competitive landscape and get to know “our enemy”.
The goal primary goal of any SEO campaign is to increase the business’s revenue.
An increase in revenue will occur for real estate businesses by increasing your website’s visibility in the search engine, so qualified people visit your site.
Increasing visibility in a search engine means showing up higher in the search results.
The higher your website in the SERPS, the more visibility, the more qualified people that see you and the more opportunity to do business.
The first position for any search result is the best “real estate” in the search engine.
The current occupant doesn’t want to move, so it is going to take work to force them out and for your Real Estate Agency to take over that location.
The businesses occupying the current search engine results are your competition, and we need to review them to see how we can force them out and take over that real estate.
Website Checklist – Look For Weaknesses
When reviewing a competitor – start by reviewing their website.
Google wants to show the “best” (most helpful and credible) search result to their customer (the person using the search engine). So with our Real Estate SEO campaign, we are working to prove to Google that our website is the “best” option for their customer out of everything else on the internet.
The major strategies we utilise to prove our worth to Google involves on-page optimisation, off-page optimisation and content marketing.
When we review a competitors website – we’re looking at their “on-page optimisation”, overall website design and content marketing.
Is there a way we can meet the needs of Google’s customers better than the current website that is ranking highly in Google?
Ask question’s like:
– Is their site secured
– Do they have keyword rich content on-page
– Are they using images
– Do they have video?
– Do they have testimonials and other trust signals for their website visitors?
– What is their page speed like?
– Do they have useful information?
– Is the layout easy to follow?
– How are their URL’s structured?
– Are their Alt tags completed?
– Is the page responsive? (looks good on all devices)
– How often are they blogging?
Questions like that will highlight a page’s strengths and weaknesses.
It is essential to look at competitors and think “what could we do better” on-page before starting to develop content or optimise the existing website.
Once this research is completed and you have a list of opportunities with on-page optimisation – you now know what to pay attention to and focus on when developing (or optimising) your website.
The second tool we use at XESIV Digital for competitor analysis is Ahrefs. Again, this is a paid tool, but it provides essential behind-the-scenes information about what a competitors off-page optimisation looks like.
We like to get an understanding of how many backlinks/referring domains our competitors have on the pages that are ranking for the keywords we want to rank for, what their DR (Domain Rank – How “authoritative” the website is), where they are getting their backlinks from (are there any opportunities for us to get backlinks from the same places) and how many “social shares” they are getting (how active they are on social media)
We like to get the average of the top 10 competitors for our target keywords for:
– Backlinks/Referring Domains
– Social Shares
With this information, we will know, at a minimum, how many of each of these signals we will need to be ranking in the top 10 if we have great on-page optimisation.
If you would like more information on how to do this for your Real Estate SEO campaign – reach out, and one of our team will be happy to help you.
STEP 3 – DEFINING YOUR REAL ESTATE SEO STRATEGY
“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy are the noise before defeat” – Sun Zhu.
Without a defining Real Estate SEO strategy – you will not succeed in ranking your Real Estate Agencies website for keywords that can increase revenue.
All the work to this point has been analysis and research, so you have the information necessary to create a detailed strategy to take your website from where it is to where it wants to go.
To develop a successful Real Estate SEO strategy, the following information is required:
– A deep understanding of your current website’s layout and content
– Your current websites keyword rankings
– What pages are currently keyword targeted
– What technical issues your site is now facing
– What keywords you would like to rank for to increase your revenue
– The strengths and weaknesses of your competitors on-page SEO & website design
– How many referring domains are needed, on average, to rank for your target keyword
– The average authority of the websites you want to rank for
– The average amount of “social signals” that you want to rank for your target keyword
With all this information at our fingertips – the next steps are to execute keyword mapping (so you know what pages to create and what keywords are going to target what page), identify any on-page optimisation that needs to take place then develop a social content plan, a content marketing plan and a link generation plan.
This information should be executed over 6-months and broke down into monthly deliverables.
Then create an action list and schedule in the actions that need to be taken each month. Then move forward to begin executing on each of these tasks.
Strategy creation is another essential component of any Real Estate SEO campaign. Creating a correct Real Estate SEO strategy could be another guide in itself. If you reach this point, have the information listed above – reach out to us at XESIV Digital, we will schedule a FREE 30-minute strategy session to help you with this step.
Click here to make contact with us.
STEP 4 – OPTIMISATION OF YOUR REAL ESTATE WEBSITE & SETUP FOR YOUR SEO CAMPAIGN
It’s essential to approach your Real Estate SEO campaign in a structured manner. Keeping organised and establishing ways to measure your progress as you begin to work on improving your agencies SEO will pay off in the long run.
Install Google Analytics
If you haven’t had it installed already, the first thing you should do is to install Google Analytics.
For a guide on how to set up and install google analytics on your website correctly – click here
Install Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a free service offered by Google that provides a tonne of useful information. You can use Google Search Console to find out things like how many people are visiting your website, how are they finding it, whether more people are visiting your real estate website on a mobile device or desktop computer and which pages on your site are most popular.
It can also help you find and fix website errors, submit a sitemap and create a robots txt. File. etc.
Moz created a great article that explains how to get the most out of this tool and how to set it up for your website. Check it out here
What is important for us right now is that Google Search Console should be set up for your website before we move on any further.
Defining & Benchmarking KPI’s
A KPI is an acronym that stands for “Key Performance Indicator.”
An example of a KPI would be your businesses total revenue, your businesses total profit, or your businesses total organic search traffic.
KPI’s are essential for understanding the health of your business in many areas, but they are critical to understanding the success (or failure) of your Real Estate SEO campaign.
At XESIV Digital, we stay focused on only what the most important KPI’s that drive the most growth from both an SEO and Business perspective.
These are the top 5 high-impact SEO KPI’s that you should be tracking:
– Revenue from Organic Search
– ROI from SEO investment
– Organic Search Traffic
– Unique Linking Root Domains
– Individual Keyword Rankings
These 5 KPI’s are what we recommend you measure throughout your SEO campaign.
Benchmark Where You Are Currently
A benchmark is a starting point or a reference point.
After deciding what KPI’s, you want to measure – you need to benchmark these KPI”s so you will be able to track your progress each.
If you’re following our SEO strategy for your Real Estate SEO then you’re going to want to benchmark:
– What your current organic search engine traffic is
– What your current revenue is
– What are your current keyword rankings
– How many unique root domains are pointing to your website?
A straightforward way of doing this is capturing the data and storing it in Google Sheets or an Excel Spreadsheet.
Review your KPI’s at the end of each month and enter this new information into your document.
There are many options available when it comes to finding the data to measure these KPI’s so if you require assistance – post a comment below, and we’ll have someone get back to you.
Technical Improvements On Website
As a Real Estate agent – you live and die by the leads that are coming into your business.
Regardless of what other online and offline marketing your business participates in before a lead chooses to work with you, a potential customer is going to review your website.
97% of consumer purchases (choosing to work with a real estate agent is still a purchase) start with an online search, so your website is so crucial if you want to make money online.
If you’re following along and have reached this point – we now have:
– Completed a basic technical SEO audit of your existing website
– Identified and selected keywords for your real estate website.
– Creating a customer strategy to get your website rankings for its target keywords
– Benchmarked the performance of your current site so we can record progress.
The next step is to begin optimising all the digital assets that impact your businesses website and your SEO.
The 2 x areas we are optimising for in this stage are:
Let us begin.
Optimise Your Current Real Estate Website For Conversations
A website is just a tool. It’s a valuable and vital tool for any modern business, but it is a tool nonetheless.
This tool serves many purposes but, fundamentally your website exists because you believe it can make you more money for your business.
Why would you invest in your business if you don’t believe it has the potential to make a return more than the money invested over time? Doing so would be illogical.
The primary goal of a website is to increase revenue for a business and how it does that is by converting website visitors into leads and supporting all other marketing activities.
If we continue to use the UPSYD methodology and specifically talk about the role a website plays in a lead generation strategy that involves SEO – the website goal is to talk to visitors who are in the “Solution Aware” stage of their customer journey, make them “You Aware” (so they know your business) and hopefully “Deal Aware” so they know what you want to offer them.
If a website visitors searchers “Location + Real Estate Agent” and end up on your website we can assume that they are seeking assistance with either managing or selling a property.
It makes sense, given that we know the intention of our website visitor, that we design the site with this in mind.
This process goes by many names, but we say we are “setting up your website for conversions.”
Your business lives and dies by the leads that come in.
Each person who visits your website is an opportunity to qualify this visitor as a suitable lead for your agency.
You don’t want to miss any of these opportunities so by setting your website up for conversions makes sense because we want as many “conversions” as possible.
The following information highlights eight tips on how you can optimise your existing Real Estate website for conversions:
Tip 1: Make Sure Your Real Estate Web Design Is Up To Date
You have seen it before.
You visit a website. It looks old. Things don’t work. It has old photos, images, information. It was built years ago, and you can tell.
What impression does this give you about the business?
A poor one – am I right?
You’re not alone here. This would give anyone the wrong impression of the business. If their website looks like this then what is their business like?
An outdated website isn’t doing any business any favours.
It doesn’t create trust, give you the experience you’re looking for, and you’re not going to do business with them.
That business is leaving money on the table by having an outdated website.
Make sure your business website is up-to-date so that it’s functionality works, it accurately expresses information about the business, it looks “modern”, it’s easy to use and created with the user in mind.
Overall, you want your business to be represented as well online as it is in real life.
Your website is outdated and broken is losing you money. Review your site. Could it use some work?
If so, get it done. Fix this problem as soon as possible.
Tip 2: Make Your Phone Number Visible From The Home Page
The attention span of people is short.
We won’t wait for a website to load so what makes you think we want to remain or even work to find out key information about a business such as your contact details?
When someone visits your website, immediately provide an easy way for them to get in contact with you.
Make it as easy as possible for people to do business with you. Remove the friction.
The more friction there is in a business relationship, the less business you are going to get.
Don’t make someone have to work to get in contact with you. You want their call! Make it simple and painless.
Have your phone number shown on your menu and have your menu shown at all time. Whenever someone wants to get in contact with you – the information is right there. Ready and waiting to be used.
Tip 3: Add a FREE CTA To The Top Of Your Real Estate Website
What is the primary goal of your website?
I’ll repeat it for those of you who have scrolled down to this section.
The primary goal of your business real estate website is to assist in generating revenue for the business. It does this by walking website visitors through the different stages of “awareness” in their customer journey.
In the context of SEO – the keyword searched can be used to identify a website visitors initial state of awareness.
For a searcher from the keyword “Location + Real Estate Agent” – we can assume that they are aware of the fact that they need a service your agency provides.
This person has come to your website to qualify your Real Estate Agency as a potential solution.
It’s your job to make that process as easy as possible for your website visitor and then make is visitor aware of your business.
Convert them from “Solution Aware” to “You Aware”.
The next step in the journey is to make them “Deal Aware.”
Make your website visitors aware of an offer you have for them.
If you’re specialising in selling property – include a CTA (call to action) in your menu highlighting that your real estate agency offers free appraisals.
Include a CTA at the top of your website to increase your chances of converting a website visitor into a lead.
Tip 4: Have A Picture Of The Team Or Owner On The Homepage And Other Pages
People like to do business with other people. Show your website visitors that REAL people work with your organisation.
Put a face to a name. Personalise the website.
Include a photo of your founder or of your team on the homepages and other pages.
Showing personal photos builds trust and people work with businesses that they like, know and trust.
Build as much trust as you can by personalising your real estate agencies website with founder and team photos.
Tip 5: Show Photos and Videos Of Your Real Estate Work
There are many differences between real estate agencies…if you look for them.
What most clients might see if the difference is costs. Make them see the value.
Show the quality of the marketing material you gather for their property. Show photos and video of happy clients and successful sales. Show the image of yourself or your business in the community Show your work!
Give your potential customer more to look at, so they are looking at something other than just price.
It is excellent to “tell” someone about why you’re different, what your process is like, the successes you have had in the past, but it’s a game changer once you start showing them.
Collect photos and videos of everything in your business. Capture this content and display it (where appropriate) on your website, during your sales process and all over your social platforms.
This will help potential customers visualise what it’s like to work with you, and if they can begin to see a future with your organisation, it increases the likelihood that they will turn that vision into a reality.
Tip 6: Put Your Reviews On Your Real Estate Website
Nobody wants to be first…
They don’t. They might want to be first to win a race or an award but how about being the first to jump from a cliff into the water? Or be the first one to investigate a noise you heard in the dark?
Think of a situation in the past where you would rather have not gone first. You would have felt more comfortable if you followed after someone else.
Have you got one of these situations in your mind?
Well, not wanting to be “first” is natural for humans in many situations where there is a degree of risk involved.
For most people, their property is the most significant asset they will ever own, so they want its sale or management to be handled correctly. There is just a level of seriousness or concern that comes with the process.
Help ease the concern of a potential customer by showing them all the excellent reviews you have received by people who have gone before them.
Post the reviews you have from Google or other review sites all over your website.
You should be receiving new organic traffic from your Real Estate SEO campaign, and these people are not coming from review sites. They have never seen them before! Show them what other people think of you.
This is a significant form of social proof and showing where the 3rd party reviews have come from is a significant trust signal. Including this information alone on your website should increase your conversion rate and help you bring more leads to your business from your new SEO traffic.
Tip 7: Optimise Your Real Estate Website For Mobile
Can you guess how many people, on average, will be reviewing your Real Estate website through a mobile phone as opposed to a tablet or on a computer?
For a client of ours – they were getting 60% of their website traffic from mobile devices.
This % is going to be different for every business, and it is unique to your situation but what’s important here is that potential customers are going to be visiting your website off a mobile phone.
Your website needs to look professional, well designed, easy to use on mobile and any other device that people can use to search the internet.
This is done through “Responsive Design.”
Responsive design is an approach to website creation that makes use of flexible layout, flexible images and cascading stylesheet media queries.
The goal of responsive design is to build web pages that detect the visitor’s screen size and orientation and change the layout accordingly, so the website looks good on that screen size.
There is also something called “mobile-first indexing” that is coming to Google.
Mobile first indexing means that the mobile version of your website will be considered the primary version of your site.
What does this mean? Could this have an impact on my search engine traffic also?
Look – this is another topic in itself and if you want to know the details – check out this article
If you want to keep it simple and maximise your chances of showing up in the search engines and getting conversions from visitors coming to your website on mobile – get a responsive design. Make it look good and usable on all devices.
Get help if you need it to make this happen, but the key here is to MAKE IT HAPPEN.
On-Page SEO Optimisation
We’ve spoken about what should be done to your real estate website to increase your conversions, but now it’s time to cover what should be done to your real estate website to increase your search engine traffic!
There’s a lot to cover so let’s get started.
On-Page Optimisation Plan
The right time to begin optimising pages on your existing website for SEO is once:
– The technical issues with your current site have been addressed.
– You know what keywords you want to target.
– You’ve created a detailed SEO strategy to rank for these target keywords.
– Keyword mapping has occurred, so you know what URL’s you want to use to target these keywords (if they don’t exist already – you are going to create these pieces of content later)
– The existing website is optimised for conversions, and now we’re going to optimise the current pages on your site for SEO.
Once the above steps have been completed – it is time to optimise your existing pages to target keywords.
A lot of SEO on-page optimisation is about keyword placement, and this is important as it sends signals to Google about what that page is about.
There are several spots which your target keyword should be placed, and these are:
Spot #1: Target Keyword In Your URL
The first place you want to get your target keyword is in your URL.
In the image below from GOTCH SEO – Nathan GOTCH wanted this blog post to target the keyword backlinks and as you can see the target keyword has been added into the URL.
Spot #2: Target Keyword In Your First Sentence
The next place you’re going to want to have a target keyword is in the title of your page. This is in your H1 Tag. It’s not a bad idea to front-load the keyword in your, but it isn’t completely necessary. Make sure this title makes sense for your reader.
Spot #3: Target Keyword In Your First Sentence
The third spot you want to place your target keyword is in the first sentence. Continuing with the example from GOTCH SEO you will see that the target keyword “backlinks” has been stated immediately in the first sentence. It isn’t necessary to have the keyword the first word but try to make it the first sentence.
Spot #4: Target Keyword In Your First Image
The next place you need to place your target keyword is in both the file name & alt text of your first image. Make sure you only do this for your first image; otherwise it will just end up being over optimisation.
Spot #5: Target Keyword In The First Header After The Title
We recommend placing your target keyword in the first title/H2 tag after the title/H1 tag on the page you’re trying to optimise. In the GOTCH SEO example, he used the title “What Are Backlinks” as the first H2 tag to target the keyword “Backlinks”.
It’s recommended to only use your target keyword in the H1 tag and first H2 tag on your page. All other headers can use variations of your target keyword or LSI’s. This will ensure that you stay under-optimised, but it will also help you rank for different keywords.
Spot #6: Target Keyword In Your Meta Information
The next spot you want to place your target keyword is in your meta title and meta description. Your metadata is the information that will show up in Google when people search for your target keyword.
It’s recommended to only use your target keyword in the H1 tag and first H2 tag on your page. All other headers can use variations of your target keyword or LSI’s. This will ensure that you stay under-optimised, but it will also help you rank for different keywords.
So these are all the critical spots that you need to place your target phrase. To further optimise your page also make sure that you keep your keyword density (how many times that you mention your target keyword in the content) between 1% – 3%, your page is mobile optimised, and it’s optimised for speed.
Also, ensure that you don’t have thin or duplicate content on this page. We have just made an effort to solve this problem elsewhere on the website so keep it that way.
Utilising these tips for keyword placement and on-page optimisation will give you the best chance to rank for your target keyword in your Real Estate SEO campaign.
Pro Tip: Use Yoast SEO To Make On-Page Optimisation Easier
If your website is built using the WordPress CMS (content management system) you can install a plugin called “Yoast SEO”. Yoast SEO makes the process of on-page optimisation very easy. Simply, input your target keyword into “Focus Keyphrase” and then do as instructed until you see all green.
Foundational Links/Off-Page SEO for your Real Estate Agency
After optimising your current real estate website, you need to start considering the “off-page” factors that Google takes into consideration when determining which pages to show in its search engine results.
For a local Real Estate Agency – you care about ranking for terms which can make you money in your local area.
The following information details what “off-page SEO” you should perform in your Real Estate SEO campaign.
Google My Business
Google My Business (GMB) is a Free tool that was released by Google in 2014.
This tool allows your business to manage how it appears on Google in the Search and Map locations.
I’m sure you have seen these. GMB listings are these listings shown below:
These listing allows you to add your business name, category, location, opening hours, photos, information about your story, the services you offer, which areas you service, it’s a place to capture reviews and it allows you to post content (just like on a social platform)
As a local real estate agency – if someone searches your category such as “Real Estate Agents” you want you business to be showing up in those map listings. Ideally, you want you business to be showing up in the Top 3 (so you are always visible) and the #1 stop is the goal.
Your agency showing up as the number 1 spot in the Google Map listings will increase your business visibility (dramatically), get more people contacting your business and reviewing your website.
More visibility, more call and more traffic is a great thing if you’re looking to generate more leads for your Real Estate Agency.
To learn how to setup your Google My Business listing for maximum results then watch “The Deep Ends” video on this here
The name, address and phone number used in your listing should match exactly the information shown on your website. These business details are referred to as your NAP (name, address & phone number)
This information is the information that should be used whenever your business is mentioned elsewhere on the internet.
A “citation” is an online reference to your business’s name, address and phone number (NAP) and occur in online directory sites.
Sometimes other information can be listed on a citation such as business information, links to a website & social platforms, photos of the business etc.
Citations are important for local SEO because Google uses them (along with links and reviews) when deciding on which order to rank businesses in their local search results.
It is crucial that the information used in these citations exactly matches the NAP on your website and your Google My Business listing because using these listing to verify the accuracy of the business’s information.
If the Google presents poor search results (listings of businesses that are not active, have incorrect information, addresses that are out of date etc.), it looks bad on them and causes their searchers to question the reliability of their search results.
If the same NAP information is listed on 50+ websites, then it’s highly likely to be correct information and Google can be more confident in showing that NAP (GMB listing) to its searchers.
What this means for you is that if you have consistent NAP in many places on the internet, Google is more likely to trust your business and show you Google My Business listings for a local search that’s related to your business.
In any city or country around the world – there are places online that any business can list their information. These are directory sites and they can be used to build up citations.
These directory sites can be found using a simple google search.
Here’s a link to the Top 50 Local Citations Sites that any local business should be on.
These citations can be built manually (very time consuming) or be outsourced to one of the thousands of businesses online that have a citation building service.
Using 3rd parties such as Brightlocal to build your citations can drastically reduce the effort required to build these essential listings for a small cost.
Niche Specific Directories
General directories are great but your real estate business should also be listed on “Niche Specific Directories”
These type of directory sites are only available to people in real estate.
Find niche specific directories for the Real Estate industry by typing “Real Estate + Directory” into Google and looking through the search results.
Another method of finding niche specific directories is by evaluating the backlink profile of competitors in your space using Ahrefs.
To do this copy a competitor’s URL – open Ahrefs – paste URL into the search bar – once the search is complete then click on referring domains – evaluate these domains for any potential websites that you could also submit your real estate businesses NAP to.
Location Specific Directories
Another type of directory is a directory that only serves people in a specific location.
Find Location Specific Directories by searching “Location + Directory” and evaluating the search results.
These location-specific directories can also be found by performing competitor research with Ahrefs. Follow the instructions listed in the “Niche Specific Directories” above to evaluate a competitors backlink profile and find a location-specific directory.
Social media has changed the world.
It has changed the way we communicate, how business is conducted and how we interact as humans.
These social media platforms are doing to traditional marketing what T.V did to the radio in the middle of the 20th century.
There is a large list of benefits that come from consistently executing even a basic social media content strategy which is “documenting” what your business is doing and sharing this with the world such as:
– Building awareness of the brand
– Building an audience
– Developing a relationship with this audience
– Supporting word of mouth marketing
– Promoting offers
– Highlighting services or products
– Sharing testimonials
The list goes on.
In summary – social media marketing is powerful, and it should be utilised by all Real Estate Agents who want to win in the years to come.
That being said – having established social media platforms, being active on these platforms and getting engagement here (likes, comments, shares, saves, views etc.) can have, debatably, a positive impact on your Real Estate SEO campaign.
I say “debatably” because whether “social signals” like Instagram likes and Facebook shares have a direct impact of your Real Estate Agencies search engines rankings is often debated but what is certain is that social media provides many benefits to a local business and it provides a “no-follow” link which assists with building Trust in the eyes of Google. It is also another location where your NAP can be listed.
Establish the “Big 5” (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest & LinkedIn) social platforms for your business, complete the information as much as you can, input your businesses name, address, phone number, and website and be active on that social profile.
Ensure NAP Consistency
Google understands how frustrating it can be for people to look up the address of a business, go out of there way to drive to that location to find out that it is no longer there or it’s permanently closed.
If this happens often enough – people will stop trusting Google as a resource that provides them with accurate information.
Google takings consistency of NAP (Name, Address & Phone Number) very seriously so if you fail to keep your businesses online listings consistent across the internet – google will punish you with poor researches in the search engine listings because they are unsure if they can trust your business.
NAP consistency matters so ensure that this is reviewed regularly.
NAP consistency can be reviewed manually using a free tool from Moz Local. This tool is only available in the USA.
If your Real Estate Agency is based outside of the USA, we would recommend getting a Citation Audit performed by a 3rd party service provided to ensure that your NAP is accurate and isn’t hurting your search engine rankings.
STEP 5 – Content Creation For Your SEO Campaign
As a general rule, you should only have one primary keyword you’re trying to target per page on your website. If you currently only have five pages on your site then there are only 5-keywords you can target. If these pages include the “contact us” and “about us” pages that most websites will have then you don’t have many pages that can be used for ranking.
What do you do?
You need to add “money” content to your website.
Adding “Money” Content To Your Website
At XESIV Digital – we call “money content” content that can make the business money. Surprising right?
What this means is that the keyword targeting this page is a keyword that can rank in the search engine results and the people who are searching this keyword COULD turn into leads for the business.
There is a number of ways to do this but a simple strategy that we use involves creating both service and location pages.
Adding Service Pages
Creating a separate keyword targeted page for each service that your Real Estate Agency offers enables you to add more content and look more credible to the search engines. It also allows you to go into a more in-depth explanation of each service such as “Property Management”. These services pages should also have a location specifier attached – for example – “Property Management + Sydney.”
This service page will allow you to rank higher for that specific service, the keyword specifier will enable you to rank higher in one particular area (qualifying your traffic), and an individual page with more content will also provide more information to the reader increasing the conversion rate.
Adding Location Pages
A location page is a separate page on your website that lists all the cities/areas/locations that your Real Estate Agency works in. For example, your page might include that you serve many suburbs in Sydney, Australia. You would include these suburbs on your location page and create individual location pages for each area. The more locations you list, the better your opportunity to gain higher local rankings in those areas. Location pages allow you to rank for multiple locations.
STEP 6 – LINK BUILDING
Link building is the 6th part of the SEO process at XESIV Digital. For your Real Estate SEO campaign, it is a critical component and ongoing. Link building should be happening every month to improve the authority of your Real Estate agencies website in the eyes of Google.
What Is A “Link”?
A link is merely a hyperlink on another website that goes to your site.
Why Does Link Building Matter
Links are critical in a Real Estate SEO campaign as they help helps build the authority to the page and domain the link is hyperlinking to.
A link is a vote of confidence. It’s a sign to Google that another website has voted that they support the content on that page.
If we look at link building like an election, it could be said that a link is like an endorsement for a candidate. While all endorsements have some impact, not all endorsements are the same.
The more credible, authoritative and influential the endorser the more power there is behind that endorsement and the great the impact.
It is the same with link building in SEO. The more credible, authoritative and influential the website the link is coming from – the more “weight” and “power” there is behind the link. The better the endorser – the more that link can influence the opinion of Google.
To be noted – the links being sent to your Real Estate Agencies URL also need to be relevant to Real Estate.
If you’re agency and get a link from a powerful blog dedicated to cat pictures – while it has authority in its space (cat photos) – it doesn’t have authority in your space, so it isn’t seen as influential or as powerful.
Authority is relative in the SEO world just like it is in real life.
In summary – we want to get as many links as possible for the most relevant and trusted websites on the internet to our Real Estate Agencies URL to improve the credibility of your URL in the eyes of Google.
Easy Strategies For Getting Links
There are 100’s of different strategies online which all describe how to get links to your URL. While each of them may have their own merits – most are not practical for the modern Real Estate Agent or Business Owner who is looking to improve their Real Estate SEO.
Below are some straightforward strategies that can be used to get the first few links in your Real Estate SEO campaign.
Unlinked Brand Mentions
Claiming “Unlinked Brand Mentions” is a simple strategy that only takes a Google Search and a few emails.
All you do is go into Google and type in your business’s name.
Search through the search engine results. Review each result and if a website mentions your business but doesn’t link our to your home page – reach out to the site via. Email and ask them to link back to your website from the brand mention.
Copied Images Without Permission
Another simple strategy that only requires a Google search and a few emails.
Search your businesses name into Google. Review the “image” search. Scan through the photos and look for your businesses branding/images that have been used on sites outside your own.
If you find some – reach out to these websites and ask them to link back to your URL.
Again – simple.
Guest Blogging To Build Links
Guest Blogging is when you add value to another person’s website by writing a blog article for them. There are lots of details on what you should do in this blog article etc., but fundamentally all you’re looking to do if you’re building links through Guest Blogging is to add content to another person’s website that will be relevant to that website’s audience. In exchange, they should send a link back to your site.
At a minimum – it will be a link from the “authority” description but, depending on your arrangement with the website owner, it might be in the text.
To find guest blogging opportunities – search in google your “industry + guest blogging” then look at the results. There should by many “blogs” or “sites” telling you of blogs that do accept guest blog posts but keep in mind that these sites might be many messages regarding guest blogging opportunities. Make sure your proposition/message stands out when you make contact with them.
The strategies detailed above are straightforward, easy and a great way to start building links in your Real Estate SEO campaign.
STEP 7 – REPORTING & ANALYTICS FOR YOUR REAL ESTATE COMPANIES SEO CAMPAIGN
The final, and possibly one of the most critical, stages of any Real Estate SEO campaign is to review your reporting and analytics.
“What gets measured gets managed” – Peter F. Drucker.
The five primary KPI’s for our SEO campaigns at XESIV Digital are to:
– Revenue from Organic Search
– ROI from SEO investment
– Organic Search Traffic
– Unique Linking Root Domains
– Individual Keyword Rankings
Each of these KPI’s need to be measured every month (at a minimum) to ensure that we are moving in the right direction. If we notice that we’re not progressing then the question then becomes why?
If we measure our activity and progress regularly, we can review the data set available and adapt our strategy/activity as needed.
We provide monthly progress reports to all of our SEO client here at XESIV Digital, and we would highly recommend that you create a report of your own for the SEO campaign for your Real Estate Agency.
Take corrective action, measure your progress, adapt accordingly and you can’t NOT reach your goal of occupying the most valuable real estate in the Google Search Engines.
When a customer doesn’t have a personal refferal that they trust – they turn to Google for a recommendation when they need help.
If you’re business can show up when your customers are looking for your help then you can start the sales process. You have are able to be considered as an option.
If you’re not showing up and your competitors are – you are giving away money! Fact!
SEO is a long-term process. It doesn’t happen overnight but because of this competition can’t show up overnight also.
SEO, when done correclly, can provide ongoing benefits for years to come.
If you have read everything that has been listed in this Real Estate SEO Guide then you are in a postiion that not many Real Estate Agency owners are in. You understand the SEO process, at least here at XESIV Digital, and much of what needs to be done to get your business occupying the premium Real Estate in Google.
If you’re not interested in build up your own digital assett and you would rather just buy leads (which is a real option that not many people discussion) then talk a your current marketing partner to see if they are open to an arrangement such as that.
If you have any question – please don’t hesitate to comment them below. One of our team will be happy to get back to you and help.
If you’re in the market for an Albany SEO Agency or Albany Website Design or are looking for a White-Hat SEO Agency that is able to assist your organisation with increasing its rankings in the Google Search Engines for keywords that can increase your revenue – then reach out to the team at XESIV Digital.
We offer a FREE 30-minute strategy session to anyone who is searching about growing their business. Click here to make contact with the team and secure your spot today.