What real estate agents need to know about search engine optimization to market their websites and gain more clients in 2021.
Marketing your real estate agency in 2021 requires a solid strategy that includes plenty of online options. Having a dynamic and user-friendly website is the first step in any successful online marketing strategy. From there, you can add on social media content and ad campaigns, IDX searches on your site, and, of course, search engine optimization so your potential clients can find you when they are ready to buy or sell. SEO for realtors can seem confusing when you first begin learning about it. It doesn’t have to be complicated, though. Once you learn the basics, you can easily incorporate SEO into your marketing plan. Here is what you need to know about real estate SEO services.
What is SEO?
SEO is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website. The first step in SEO is understanding what your target market is searching for when they go online. This helps you identify keywords to incorporate into your content. The second part of SEO is understanding how search engine crawlers or bots find and interpret information and use this to rank websites. Sites with optimized SEO will show up higher on a search than those with lower SEO.
SEO for realtors falls into two categories: unpaid and paid. Unpaid SEO is also known as “organic SEO.” Organic SEO is earned by using the right type and amount of content on your site, as well as using effective links and images. There is no advertising involved. Paid SEO, or Search Engine Marketing (SEM), involves advertising within sponsored listings of a partner site or search engine. It’s also known as pay-per-click because you are charged a certain amount each time your link is clicked.
Why is SEO Important?
Visibility and rankings are two of the most important reasons why you need to incorporate SEO into your marketing plan. According to the National Association of Realtors, 44% of potential buyers will search online for a home listing before they look anywhere else. The higher you rank on a results page, the more likely a potential client will find you and use your services. SEO is also a key component in increasing your web traffic. The first five listings in a search receive 75% of all clicks. That means if you rank low on a page (or not on the first page at all), it’s highly unlikely any prospects will find your website.
In addition to search benefits, effectively using SEO for realtors also improves the user experience on your site. When you make your site user-friendly by reducing load time, making it easy to navigate, and optimizing it for mobile, you’re increasing SEO as well as ensuring users can easily find what they need. This makes for an overall better experience and will encourage prospects to stay on your page and learn more about your team and listings.
How Can Real Estate Agents Use SEO?
The goal of SEO for realtors is to show up in searches when prospects are looking for someone to help them buy or sell a home. It’s getting more and more difficult with ads, local maps, and instant answers (all paid search) to rank with only organic SEO. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still optimize your site and home listings. What it does mean is that enhancing organic SEO with real estate SEO services from a professional who can help you choose the best SEM options can get you to the top of search engine results. This can be a game-changer when it comes to new clients finding your agency and can lead to explosive growth.
What Are SEO Best Practices?
75% of those who search for products or services online will never go past the first page of results. That means effective SEO is a crucial part of your marketing plan. Use these SEO best practices to increase your chances of being found:
- Optimize your page speed. The slower your site loads, the lower it will rank in search, and the more frustrating it will be for your prospects. Use a free tool such as PageSpeed Insights to check page speed and another tool like GTMetrix for recommendations on improvement.
- Use internal linking. Link blogs to other blogs, link one internal page to another, etc. These internal links will boost SEO and keep viewers on your page longer. Simply optimizing internal links can often increase organic traffic by as much as 40%.
- Publish long-form content. Blogs that are over 1,000 words help your rank more than shorter-form pieces of content. To really up your SEO results, regularly publish content in the 2,000-3,000-word range.
- Make sure content aligns with search intent. Do your research and find out which keywords your target market is searching for, then include those words on your website and in blog copy.
- Optimize images. Picking the best file formats, compressing large images, and providing alt text for images are all best practices for increased SEO.
- Use compelling meta descriptions and title tags. The meta description is a brief summary of a page that appears in searches, and title tags are the clickable headlines that appear above them. Make sure each is written compellingly with the right keywords.
- Improve the layout and design of your site. When users can easily navigate and understand your site, you win on both SEO and user satisfaction levels. You can improve the layout by using subheadings and white space, choosing visually appealing content, and avoiding annoying pop-ups.
- Optimize your URL. The URL structure of your site matters when it comes to SEO. To optimize it, use short URLs that are packed with keywords and have few “stop” words such as “a”, “is” and “the.”
All of these are organic SEO options that will put you on the right path to search engine success. However, to really elevate your SEO, consider hiring a professional company that offers real estate SEO services and can help you develop a successful SEM strategy.