Why SEO is important for your real estate marketing and why the time to start is now.
Most real estate agents have heard about SEO and understand it’s an important part of their marketing strategy. However, the majority of agents don’t take the time to learn more about SEO and how to use it and find they are falling behind in online searches because of it. If you haven’t started using SEO in your marketing, here is what you need to know to get started.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization and is the process of improving the amount of traffic your website gets from search engines like Google. Improving your SEO means not only increasing the quantity of traffic to your site, but it also involves improving the quality of that traffic and increasing the organic results that are not the product of ads.
Many real estate agents know what SEO is, but they’re unsure of how it works. Search engines such as Google have crawlers that gather information from the web to create an index. That index is then matched up against an algorithm that matches data with queries put through that search engine. Factors that make up the algorithms include domain-level keyword usage, page-level link features, offline usage and mention of the brand, quantity of links to the domain, and content relevance. When you write content for your site, you need to guess what content your ideal client will be searching for and put that content on your site so it matches queries and helps your site rank higher.
When Should You Start SEO?
SEO is multi-faceted with numerous benefits to your business, but mastering it takes time and practice. Once you build your SEO, you can passively benefit from it with minor tweaks and maintenance as opposed to other marketing strategies like relying on referrals and running paid ad campaigns that continue to cost time and money no matter how much you build on them.
Do you ever wish you’d invested in Tesla or Apple when they first came on the scene? Think about how much money you’d have now even if you’d invested only a few thousand dollars. SEO is a similar concept. When you put in the work (and money) up front, you will start to reap the ROI down the line. As time goes on, this ROI increases, building on itself. At some point, you will consistently generate leads without having to pay for them, increase your profit margins, and reduce your overall marketing costs.
When and How to Build Your SEO
The sooner you start building your SEO, the better your results will be. Here are some tips to get you started building a keyword and content strategy that will serve you well into the future:
Conduct market research. It’s important to do some research to find out what keywords and phrases your ideal client is searching for when it comes to real estate. Common phrases will differ depending on the type of clients you want to work with. For example, good key phrases for one realtor may include “luxury homes in New York” or “Manhattan condos for sale” while another realtor will better with phrases like “first home in New York” or “co-ops for sale in the Bronx”.
Use tools to help determine keywords and phrases. Keyword planners from Google and other sources can be a good starting point to help you determine what your target market is searching for.
Once you’ve identified a list of keywords and phrases, develop a strategy to utilize them on your site. Build your web content around these terms, but use them sparingly so your site content is still easy to read and understand. The best way to use keywords and phrases is to work them into your blogs. You can publish several blogs to your site each month (or even each week), all packed with useful information as well as the keywords and phrases that will improve your SEO.
Use links. Outbound links to trusted sources like realtor.com or NewYorkTimes.com help your SEO, as do inbound links to other pages on your own website. Build both into your blogs and use inbound links liberally throughout your website for added SEO and to make your site easier to navigate for users.
Create a positive user experience and short loading time. SEO is not just about using the right words, it’s also about creating a user-friendly website that loads quickly, has quick page speed, and is easy to navigate. All these will play into your overall SEO ranking.
Create content that is share-worthy and relevant to your client’s needs. Think about what pain points your ideal client is googling, then try to address those points in your content.
Optimize titles, URLs, image descriptions, and snippets to take your SEO to the next level.
Do everything above board. At one time, “black hat SEO” was a popular method of increasing search results through disapproved practices repeating unrelated phrases and keyword stuffing. Using these techniques now is likely to hurt your results more than it will ever help them, so stick to best practices when it comes to utilizing SEO.
The Importance of Working with an Expert
Does all this information on SEO make your head spin? Realtors are experts at what they do, and what they do is buy and sell real estate. Taking the time to learn about SEO and properly use it on your website takes time and energy that most agents can’t spare. That’s where working with a pro comes into the picture. When you partner with an agency like Luxury Presence that specializes in helping real estate agents take their marketing to the next level, you can concentrate on what you do best and leave your SEO to the experts.
If you haven’t yet started to use SEO to increase the visibility of your site, now is the time to start. Need help? Reach out to the pros at Luxury Presence for assistance. We’d love to help you crush your competition.