For most businesses nowadays, having an online presence isn’t just an option but a necessity. If your real estate business is still stuck in traditional marketing strategies like print ads and commercials, then you’re missing out on a fair chunk of the market. Did you know that 9 out of 10 people use the internet as their primary source of real estate research? You probably understand just from that statistic how valuable it is for your real estate company to expand to the online space.
You may think social media is enough, but for a real estate company, you’ll need a more credible and professional way of presenting yourself; that’s why most would opt for a website. It costs more to set up and maintain, but the investment is well worth it if you know that 3 out of 4 people judge a company based on its website.
Once you have your website, you don’t just launch it out into the world and expect it’ll get significant traffic. There are 200 million active websites on the internet. How do you expect to stand out?
The secret is something called search engine optimization (SEO). This is a process done to boost a website’s ranking on search engines through various techniques. In case it’s not clear to you why this is necessary, picture the last time you did a Google search. Which websites do you tend to click on first? How often do you go to the second page? Or the third?
If you’ve reflected on those questions, your realizations are most likely the same as the behavior observed by researchers: a high number of people will only click on the highest-ranking pages, and less than 1% will even venture past the first page. Given this, if you want clients to even know your company exists, you’ll need to incorporate SEO for Realtors into your marketing strategy.
How to get started with SEO
Besides the aforementioned benefits of increased brand awareness and increased organic traffic, SEO boosts your company’s reputation because people tend to view websites hiring up the ranking as more reputable. On top of that, SEO is a low-cost marketing strategy, so you’ll be getting high returns for very little expense. You also get other benefits like a more user-friendly website, more backlinks, increased content quality, and so on.
SEO for Realtors may seem daunting, especially if you consider that Google alone supposedly has more than 200 factors they consider when ranking websites. However, don’t fret. You don’t need to hyperfocus on all 200 if you want guaranteed results. If you want to get started on SEO, here are the most important things you need to keep in mind.
Optimize your website
Just having a website isn’t enough. You’ll need a website that’s fully primed for a great user experience. Put yourself in the client’s shoes for a moment. When you browse your website, do you find it easy to navigate? Are you sometimes getting pages that load slowly? Did you encounter any broken or dead links? Are you getting strange pop-ups? Is the text easy to read? Open your website on your mobile phone. Is it displaying properly?
These are only some of the key questions that determine the overall user experience on your website. If the user can’t browse your site comfortably, you can’t expect them to stay for long. Work with professional web design services to ensure your site is fast, easy to navigate, secure, and friendly for all mobile devices. Arrange content logically and use a layout that’s structured and straightforward.
Additionally, ensure that your site contains all the information necessary for your clients. On top of listing the property’s location, size, and price, most clients claim to want to see:
- Neighborhood information
- Customer reviews
- Mortgage calculator
- FAQs on the buying and selling process
- Floor plans and detailed photographs of both interior and exterior
These are important because search engines judge your website based on user experience. A website can detect if users are leaving your site quickly, and they’ll interpret this as your site being low quality or non-user-friendly. However, if they notice that people tend to stick around, they’ll think it’s because your site gives a pleasant browsing experience.
Target the right search engine keywords
One of the difficulties you may encounter with SEO is getting that coveted #1 rank on Google. This will be challenging since the biggest industry players will most likely dominate the most competitive keywords related to your business. However, hope is not lost. You can still target localized, non-competitive keywords for a better shot at ranking high. Don’t go for “real estate company”. Instead, be more specific. If you are a real estate agency in New York, target “homes for sale in New York” or “apartment rental New York”. This is because longer search phrases are often less competitive. However, they are valuable because people who do precise searches such as this have a higher purchasing intent than those who do more general searches. Once you have your list of target keywords, include them in key elements of your website like blog titles, bodies, meta descriptions, tags, and so on.
Make relevant, high-quality content
Your website doesn’t have to just be a catalog for the properties you’re selling. You can also add blog posts or videos to create a more engaging experience for site visitors. Write helpful and timely articles like house buying tips or housing market predictions for the upcoming year. Giving your site visitors useful information increases the chance that they’ll come back for more.
SEO for Realtors isn’t difficult so long as you study the basics and understand the reason behind these principles. Don’t expect overnight success with SEO because it takes an average of 6 months before tangible results are felt. In the meantime, focus on improving your website and generating high-quality content. If all else fails, you can always hire an SEO company to help maintain and revise your strategy so you can focus on your business.