If you’re ready to grow your real estate agency in 2021, you need to master the art of online marketing. Unfortunately, many real estate agents attempt to do their own marketing without having the knowledge in real estate SEO services or luxury real estate ads necessary to do so. This leads to common mistakes that drastically impact results and give competitors an advantage. If you want to make the next year your best yet, you need to understand the biggest mistakes agents are making online and what to do instead. Here are five of the most common.

Mistake #1: Not Using the 80/20 Rule on Social Media

The 80/20 rule in social media (also known as  jab jab jab right hook) is that 80% of your posts focus on giving value to your followers in the form of educational, amusing, or informational posts while 20% are about your agency. Unfortunately, many agents use social media only as a platform to sell, posting only about new homes on the market, open houses, or why their agency is better than their competitors’. Social media should be about giving value—not about constant selling. You need to earn the right to ask for something from your followers, whether that ask is to visit your website, attend an event, or list their house with you when they’re ready to sell. The way you earn that is by giving as much value as possible through your social media posting schedule. The easiest way to check if you are adhering to the 80/20 rule is to schedule your posts ahead of time. That way, you can look them over and make sure only 20% of those posts have an “ask” involved.

Mistake #2: Thinking Free Social Media is Enough

It’s tempting to think you can use social media as a free form of advertising and put your marketing budget in other areas. However, if you’re only using free options, you’re missing out on many of the benefits of the social media marketing machine. More than  140 million businesses use Facebook and its related apps, which means you will easily get lost in the shuffle if you don’t have a strategic plan incorporating luxury real estate ads. When you use the Facebook ad platform, you can market directly to your target audience and send each interested individual to a custom landing page designed to convert them into clients. This alone is reason enough to put a social media  advertising and lead generation service at the top of your marketing budget.

Mistake #3: Not Using the Right Images

Whether you are designing a website or creating a campaign using luxury real estate ads, you need to have the right images to both appeal to your target market and stay out of trouble. Here are the biggest mistakes agents make when using images:

Not using images at all. Social media strategist Jeff Bullas discovered that Facebook posts with images receive 37% more engagement than those without. If you’re not using images in your posts, blogs, and landing pages, you’re losing potential clients.

Using copyrighted images. Not all images on the internet are up for grabs. Most photos have a copyright and, even if you give attribution to the photographer, you are in violation of that copyright if you use the image for your own purposes without paying for it. To avoid issues, use free sites like Unsplash or buy images from Shutterstock or another reputable site.

Using poor-quality images. There’s no excuse for using unprofessional or low-quality images. Your potential clients will judge your agency on the images you use on social media, on your website, and in your brochures and other materials. Work with a professional photographer when it comes to team images and photos of homes, and use only high-quality stock images for other purposes.

Mistake #4: Having a Website That Isn’t User-Friendly

Some agents mistake real estate SEO services for plugging their website full of keywords. While this may have an impact on your searchability, it will also turn off potential clients. Your website needs to be easy to read, easy to understand, and easy to navigate. This means high-quality content, updated information, and a site where clients can find exactly what they need in the form of buttons, navigation tools, and landing pages with clear CTAs. No matter how good your marketing campaigns are, a poorly designed website will keep prospects from converting into customers and will send them to the sites of your competitors.

Mistake #5: Not Using SEO Best Practices

According to Hubspot, 75% of those who Google search a potential service will never go past the first page of results.That means using SEO best practices to rank above your competition is key when it comes to getting new clients and building your agency. These are the best practices to use to get results:

Use internal linking. When writing blogs or updating content on your site, link to other pages of your site for an SEO boost.

Publish long-form content. Gone are the days when 400-500-word blogs were ideal for SEO. Today, search engines favor longer pieces of content in the 2,000 to 3,000+ word range.

 Improve website user experience. Using white space, subheadings, and visually pleasing imagery is not just respectful to your users—it’s also valuable for SEO. Make your website user-friendly and avoid annoying pop-ups or ads to rank higher.

 Optimize your page speed. The longer your site takes to load, the lower your user satisfaction and your rankings. To find out your site’s speed, use a free tool like Google’s  PageSpeed Insights, and work with a pro if your load time needs help.

Online marketing is a powerful ally for real estate agents in 2021, but it must be done right to deliver results. By using professional real estate SEO services and a marketing agency focused on your industry, you can thrive in the digital age.