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Real Estate SEO 101: How To Boost Your SERP Appeal

Put yourself in your client’s shoes: What do you do if you want to buy or sell a home? You go online. So if that’s a seller or buyer’s first step, you need to make it easier for them to find you. In this article, I’ll share the value of SEO for real estate agencies and realtors and provide tips on how to implement SEO best practices to increase your chances of getting found online.

May 9, 2023

10 m read

As a real estate agent, you understand the challenges of standing out in a highly competitive industry. But did you know that search engine optimization (SEO) can help you grow your business and attract more clients? By leveraging the power of search engines, you can reach a wider audience, establish your brand, and generate more leads. 

If you’re struggling to drive web traffic to your listings, dealing with stiff competition in your market, or having trouble reaching your target audience, these SEO tips can help bring you the search visibility you need to propel your business forward.

Understanding SEO for Real Estate

SEO refers to the process of improving your website’s ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs) so you can drive more organic traffic — and leads — to your website. 

SEO involves optimizing your website’s content, structure, and performance to make it more relevant and appealing to potential clients who are searching for real estate-related keywords or phrases. This includes using relevant keywords in your content and metadata, improving your website’s structure and navigation, and ensuring that your site is mobile friendly and fast loading.

The vast majority of homebuyers and sellers start their real estate journey online. By optimizing your website for SEO, you can increase your visibility in search results and attract more targeted traffic to your website. This can help you establish your business as an authority in your local market, build trust with potential clients, and ultimately score more leads and sales.

Sounds good, right? So how can you get started?

You can opt to work with a real estate SEO agency or follow these tips to create your own real estate SEO strategy.

Start With Keyword Research

Keyword research is an integral part of any successful SEO strategy. By conducting thorough keyword research, you can ensure your website appears at the top of SERPs when potential clients search for real estate-related terms.

To start, brainstorm relevant keywords related to your business, location, and services. Consider the specific types of properties you specialize in, the neighborhoods or areas you serve, and the types of clients you’re looking to attract. This will help you identify the most relevant keywords for your business.

Next, use keyword research tools like Ahrefs or Semrush to find relevant and profitable keywords. These tools allow you to analyze search volume, keyword difficulty, and other important metrics to determine which keywords are worth targeting. You can also use these tools to identify related keywords you may not have considered.

When conducting keyword research for real estate SEO, focus on long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are more specific keyword phrases that are often less competitive than broader keywords. By targeting long-tail keywords, you’ll have a better chance of ranking higher in search engine results pages and attracting more targeted traffic to your website.

Let’s say you’re a real estate agent in San Francisco specializing in selling luxury homes in the Pacific Heights neighborhood.

Here’s an example of how you might conduct keyword research for your real estate website:

1. Brainstorm Relevant Keywords

  • Luxury real estate
  • San Francisco real estate
  • Pacific Heights real estate
  • Luxury homes
  • High-end properties
  • Real estate agent
  • Luxury real estate agent
  • San Francisco real estate agent
  • Pacific Heights real estate agent

2. Use Keyword Research Tools

Using Ahrefs, you find “luxury homes for sale” has a high search volume and relatively low competition. You also discover that many people are searching for “Pacific Heights homes for sale” and “San Francisco luxury real estate.”

3. Focus on Long-Tail Keywords

Instead of targeting “real estate agent,” you might focus on more specific long-tail keywords like “luxury real estate agent in San Francisco” or “Pacific Heights real estate agent for luxury homes.”

By conducting thorough keyword research and targeting relevant long-tail keywords, you can optimize your real estate website for search engines and attract more targeted traffic from potential clients looking to buy or sell luxury homes in your area.

Conduct an SEO Audit

An SEO audit evaluates your website’s current SEO performance to identify areas for improvement and develop a strategy for optimizing your site’s search engine visibility and performance. Here are some key steps for conducting an SEO audit for real estate:

  1. Evaluate your website’s content. Review your website’s content to ensure it’s high quality, relevant, and optimized for your target keywords. Make sure that your website’s content is unique, well-written, and provides value to your target audience.
  2. Analyze your website’s structure and navigation. Evaluate your website’s structure and navigation to ensure it’s well-organized and easy to navigate. Make sure your website’s pages are structured in a user-friendly way and that they’re linked together logically and intuitively.
  3. Check your website’s technical SEO. Review your website’s technical SEO to ensure it’s optimized for search engines. This includes checking your site’s speed and performance, mobile friendliness, URL structure, and XML sitemap.
  4. Evaluate your website’s backlinks. Review your website’s backlinks to ensure they’re high quality, relevant, and from reputable sources. Identify and disavow any low-quality or spammy backlinks to prevent them from harming your website’s search engine visibility.
  5. Review your website’s analytics. Analyze your website’s analytics data to gain insight into your site’s traffic, engagement, and conversion metrics. Identify areas for improvement and develop a strategy for optimizing your site’s performance and driving more targeted traffic and leads.

By conducting an SEO audit for your real estate website, you can identify and address any issues or weaknesses in your site’s search engine optimization, and develop a strategy for improving your online presence and driving more leads and sales.

Technical SEO for Realtors

Technical SEO refers to optimizing your website’s backend structure and code to improve its search engine visibility and performance. While technical SEO may seem daunting, it’s an essential aspect of real estate SEO that can have a significant impact on your website’s search engine rankings and overall user experience. 

Here are some key technical SEO factors to consider:

  • Site speed and performance: Site speed and performance are critical ranking factors in Google’s algorithm, and they can have a significant impact on user experience and engagement. Make sure your website loads quickly and smoothly, and use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights to identify and fix any speed or performance issues.
  • Mobile friendliness: In today’s mobile-first world, it’s essential that your website is mobile friendly and responsive. This means your website should be optimized for all types of devices, including smartphones and tablets, and should provide a seamless user experience across all devices.
  • Site architecture and navigation: Your website’s architecture and navigation are crucial for both search engine crawlers and user experience. Make sure our site is well organized and easy to navigate, with clear categories and subcategories that help users find what they’re looking for quickly and easily.
  • URL structure: Your website’s URL structure can also impact its search engine visibility and performance. Make sure your URLs are clear, descriptive, and contain relevant keywords, and avoid using unnecessary characters or parameters that can confuse search engines and users.
  • XML sitemap: An XML sitemap is a file that provides search engines with a roadmap of your website’s pages and content. Make sure that your website has an XML sitemap and that it’s updated regularly to reflect any changes or updates to your site’s structure and content.

On-Page Optimization

By optimizing your website’s content and structure, you can make it more search engine friendly and attractive to potential clients. Here are some tips for optimizing your website’s on-page elements for SEO.

Create Original, High-Quality Content 

One of the most important on-page optimization tactics is to create original, high-quality content that provides value to your target audience. This can include blog posts, property descriptions, market reports, and more. By publishing informative, engaging content on your website, you can attract more visitors, improve your website’s authority, and increase the chances of ranking higher in SERPs.

Here are a few examples of blog post topics that a San Francisco real estate agent specializing in luxury homes could write about:

  • The Top 5 Most Expensive Homes in Pacific Heights: This blog post could showcase some of the most luxurious and expensive properties in the Pacific Heights neighborhood, providing high-quality images, videos, and descriptions of each home.
  • A Guide to Luxury Home Design Trends in San Francisco: This blog post could explore current design trends in luxury homes in San Francisco, providing tips and inspiration for potential buyers and sellers.
  • The Best Schools in San Francisco: A Guide for Families: This blog post could highlight some of the top-rated schools in San Francisco, providing information about enrollment, academic programs, extracurricular activities, and the neighborhoods that feed into those schools.
  • The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Luxury Home in San Francisco: This blog post could provide a comprehensive guide for potential buyers of luxury homes in San Francisco, covering topics like financing, property inspections, and closing costs.
  • The San Francisco Real Estate Market: Trends and Predictions for 2023: This blog post could provide an overview of the current state of the San Francisco real estate market, including trends, predictions, and insights for buyers and sellers.

Check out our post on creating a real estate content marketing plan for more ideas and tips!

Optimize Images & Videos 

Images and videos can add value to your website, but they can also slow down your website’s load speed if they’re not compressed and optimized correctly. Use an image compressor plugin to manage the size of your visuals. To optimize your website’s images and videos, make sure to use descriptive file names, alt tags, and captions that accurately describe the content. Videos should also have transcripts. This will make it easier for search engines to understand the content of your website and improve your website’s ranking in SERPs.

Use Meta Titles & Descriptions 

Meta titles and descriptions are HTML tags that appear in SERPs and provide a brief summary of your website’s content. These tags are crucial for SEO as they can influence whether a potential client clicks through to your website or not. When creating meta titles and descriptions, make sure to include your target keywords and accurately describe your content.

Use Static Pages for Ongoing or Recurring Events

If you have frequent open houses, rather than creating a new page for each event, use a static page that’s optimized for a keyword like “San Francisco open houses.” This will help you build up more link equity over time and improve the page’s ranking potential. You can always link to individual pages for open houses.

Off-Page Optimization

Off-page optimization involves optimizing external factors that impact your website’s visibility in search engine results. 

Build High-Quality Backlinks

Backlinks are links from other websites to your website, and they play a significant role in SEO. When other reputable websites link to your website, it signals to search engines that your website is authoritative and valuable. To build high-quality backlinks, consider reaching out to other real estate websites, local news outlets, or industry publications to request a link. Make sure that the backlinks are relevant and valuable to your website visitors.

Monitor & Manage Your Online Reputation

Your online reputation can impact your website’s ranking in search engine results pages. To maintain a positive brand image, monitor and manage your online reputation by doing the following: 

  • Respond promptly to all customer reviews, both positive and negative.
  • Address any negative feedback in a professional and courteous manner, and try to resolve the issue.
  • Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews on your website or on third-party review sites.
  • Use tools like Google Alerts or Mention to monitor your brand mentions and respond to any negative comments or reviews promptly.

Maximize Your Use of Social Media Platforms

Social media can be a powerful tool for real estate agents looking to improve their website’s visibility and engage with potential clients. By promoting your content on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, you can attract more visitors to your website and build your brand reputation. Consider using social media platforms to showcase your properties, share market insights and trends, and engage with your audience.

  • Create a social media strategy that aligns with your business goals and target audience.
  • Use high-quality visuals like photos and videos to showcase your properties and services.
  • Engage with your audience by responding to comments, asking for feedback, and sharing useful information.
  • Use relevant hashtags to increase the visibility of your social media posts.

Local SEO

Local SEO is a critical component of SEO for real estate agents, as it allows you to target potential clients in your local area.

Claim and Optimize Your Google Business Profile Listing

Google Business Profile (previously Google My Business) is a free tool that allows you to manage your business’s online presence across Google, including in search results and on Google Maps. By claiming and optimizing your Google Business Profile with the steps below, you can increase your visibility in local search results and attract more local clients. 

  1. Keep the information on your Google Business Profile accurate and up to date, including your business name, address, phone number, and hours of operation. Additionally, consider adding detailed information about your real estate services, such as the types of properties you specialize in, your experience, and your credentials.
  2. Include high-quality photos and videos of your properties on your Google Business Profile to showcase your listings and services. Use descriptive titles and alt tags for your images and videos to help search engines understand what they depict.
  3. Include local keywords in your description to optimize your Google Business Profile for local search. For example, if you specialize in luxury homes in San Francisco, you might include keywords like “San Francisco luxury real estate” or “Pacific Heights real estate agent.”
  4. Respond to your Google Business Profile reviews to build trust with potential clients and maintain a positive reputation. Respond promptly and professionally to all reviews, both positive and negative, and use feedback to improve your business.
  5. Take advantage of Google posts to promote your listings, share market insights, and showcase your expertise as a real estate agent. Use eye-catching visuals and clear calls to action in your Google posts to encourage clicks and conversions.

Use Local Keywords

When optimizing your website’s content and meta descriptions, include local keywords relevant to your business and target audience. For example, you might include keywords like “commercial leases in Austin” or “top real estate agent in Philadelphia.”

Include NAP on Your Website

To help search engines and potential clients find your business, include your business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) in your website’s header or footer. This information should be consistent across your website and all online directories to avoid confusion and help users get in touch with you.

Don’t Forget: Analytics and Tracking

Tracking your website’s performance and measuring the success of your real estate SEO strategy is crucial for ensuring your efforts are driving tangible results, and it’s easy with the right tools.

  • Google Analytics is a free tool that allows you to track your website’s traffic and engagement metrics, including the number of visitors, bounce rate, time on page, and conversion rate. By setting up Google Analytics on your website, you can gain valuable insights into how visitors interact with your site and identify areas for improvement.
  • SEO tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush can provide valuable data on your website’s search engine rankings and insights into your competitors’ SEO strategies. Use these tools to track your website’s keyword rankings, identify opportunities for improvement, and track your progress over time.

SEO is an ongoing process, and it’s essential to continuously monitor and optimize your strategy to achieve long-term success. Regularly review your website’s content, keywords, and backlinks, and make adjustments as needed to ensure your website is optimized for both search engines and your target audience.

Elevate Your Real Estate SEO With a Dedicated Partner

With so much of real estate happening online, it’s critical that your site shows up ahead of the competition’s. Optimize your website and follow the above best practices to improve your search visibility and increase your chances of ranking well.

Ready to skyrocket to the top? DIY SEO is often a game of wait-and-see. When you work with a trusted SEO agency committed to a data-driven strategy, you capitalize on their expertise. Learn more about our real estate SEO services or schedule a free consultation today.

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