When real estate pros first start their forays into online marketing, one of the first terms they hear is “SEO.” You might have heard this acronym and connected it with the phrase “search engine optimization,” but what does that mean — and can it help you get more clients?
Search engine optimization helps the crawler bots from Google and other search engines to see your real estate website as high-quality, authoritative, and relevant to searchers’ interests. Using it correctly can absolutely help you get more clients.
With good SEO, you rank higher in search results. More buyers and sellers will see you as someone who knows real estate. Your website gets more traffic, which promises a better chance of attracting new business.
In this article, you’ll learn techniques you can use to optimize your website, now. You’ll find out about traditional and local real estate SEO, why they matter, and how you can keep your site fresh so it keeps getting great results.
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Why real estate SEO is crucial to your marketing strategy
Real estate professionals have to be online. The National Association of Realtors reports that 93% of real estate buyers search for homes online, and 44% look online for properties before they do anything else.
SEO helps people to find you when they search for properties or real estate services in your area. It’s a critical part of your digital marketing strategy because it puts your name in front of people who have never heard of you before — people who don’t get your emails and might not see your social media posts.
Using SEO can be complicated if you really get into the details, but it’s easy to get started with beginner-level tweaks. Constant Contact has user-friendly SEO tools to help you with the rest.
How to implement real estate SEO on your website
The first step in real estate SEO is gauging how well you’re doing already. Pretend you’re a potential client and browse your site. As you look around, ask yourself questions like:
- Does the site load fast or is there a frustrating waiting period before the content finally shows up?
- Do all the links work or do they lead to error messages?
- Does every page have a clear, concise, and relevant title?
Make sure your site looks just as good on desktop as it does on mobile. More people search on smartphones than desktop computers, so Google prioritizes sites that look good on mobile screens. Plus, ranking highly on mobile gets you more clicks than you’ll get from high desktop rankings.
You’ll also need to identify the keywords that you want to rank for. This may sound like an extremely technical process, but all it means is that you must figure out what search terms people use to find real estate professionals like you.
The best real estate keywords
To choose the right keywords for your SEO, think about what you offer. Do you work with buyers or sellers? Maybe you want to highlight what neighborhoods your properties are in. Brainstorm a list of phrases that people might enter to find services like yours. For example:
- Seller’s agent in Chicago
- Manhattan real estate agents
- Real estate agents near me
Think about people who are ready to choose an agent as well as people who are just starting the home buying or selling process. Remember the 44% of home buyers who look online first? If you attract their attention and give them the help they need, they could easily wind up sticking with your services.
People who are in those early stages of the process might have more general questions and search terms, such as:
- Properties for sale in Phoenix
- Selling a home in Denver
- Buying a condo in Boston
Most of these are geographically specific. That’s the nature of real estate — and it’s why you need to do some local SEO in addition to your traditional SEO.
One thing to keep in mind when searching for keywords is the volume of individuals searching for those keywords. Lots of volume for a general set of keywords also means lots of competition. So, think about choosing keywords and phrases that are specific to your real estate niche.
The power of local SEO
Local SEO is just regular SEO with a few extra steps to emphasize your location. Here are some important local SEO tips to keep in mind:
- Include your name, business address, and phone number in the footer of your website. This is one of the biggest ranking factors when it comes to local SEO.
- Claim your listing on Google My Business, Bing Places, and Apple Maps, and make sure the website listed there is correct.
- Add your location keywords to your website. Include it in the primary heading on your homepage and in the text of your website. Don’t overdo it. Sprinkle it in where it makes sense.
- Include your main location keyword to the title tag of your website — the title that shows up in blue in the image below — and meta description or the introductory text under the URL.
What content marketing can do for your business
There will be some online searches that aren’t some version of “I need an agent in [city].” These are searches that people may conduct when they’re thinking about the process of buying or selling, like:
- How do I prep my home for sale?
- What is curb appeal?
- What should I do before buying a house?
If you can be there for those people, they’ll think of you when they’re ready to find an agent. This is where content marketing comes in.
Content marketing’s function is to deliver helpful information to people who may become clients. It costs 62% less than traditional forms of marketing and brings in three times as many leads. It also boosts your SEO because it gives search engine crawlers new material to index, so your listing gets updated regularly.
The best way to get started is with a blog that you host on your website. Below is a good example of this from Seven Hills Properties.
To come up with your blog post ideas, think about the kinds of questions that people ask you. Create posts that answer those questions. Share tips about buying and selling, such as:
- How to price your home
- How to get great photos for listings
- When you’re ready to buy a home
Help people connect with you by linking your posts to other relevant pages from your website. Also, make sure that your main blog page has a link for people to subscribe or sign up for your newsletter, as in the example above. That way, you can stay in touch with visitors who don’t reach out immediately.
How to get started with a comprehensive marketing plan
Now that you’ve learned how real estate SEO works and how to get it started on your site, you’re ready to make your first tweaks.
If you don’t have a website yet, try Constant Contact’s AI-powered Website Builder. Just answer a few questions and the intuitive tool will give you a mobile-optimized site that’s customized to your brand.
If you do have a website, a thorough audit is the best place to start. Don’t be scared — one of Constant Contact’s SEO tools is a comprehensive site scan that will tell you where you’re doing well and where you can improve.
Once you start seeing more website traffic, you may wonder why you waited so long to focus on digital marketing in the first place. Want to learn more? Check out Constant Contact’s The Download, a free online marketing guide with more tips and tricks explained specifically for real estate professionals like you.