Real Estate SEO: Top 5 Tips To More Leads & Traffic
I have quite a few friends in real estate and I actually at one time considered entering the real estate market here in Naperville. I think it was the money and success that almost pulled me in, but at the end of the day SEO (search engine optimization) is my passion so I am sticking to this industry. I will just live the realtor life through my clients!
So now I am going to give you the secrets that I was going to use to build success if I ever became a realtor!
SEO for Realtors
So why is SEO so important to realtors these days. The big reason is that everyone looks to the Internet when finding a home. Yes, there is word of mouth, newspapers, open house signs and other marketing avenues, but why not maximize your potential online as well?
There are so many outlets online where you can advertise your business, your homes, your apartments, your condos, your open houses and whatever else. From free search, to paid search, to local listings, to videos and more.
In today's blog though, I wanted to give you some tips on what to do if you are looking to push your real estate business even more and want more visibility than your competitors for the cities and towns you are targeting.
#1 - The URL
Depending if you own your real estate business or are a realtor, the biggest thing is having your own website. Your own URL. Not www.realestate.com/johndoe or johndoe.realestate.com, you want www.johndoesrealestate.com, your very own URL. Now there may be guidelines and rules with the company you work for, so get those cleared up first. But having your own domain means you are in charge of your success and it is not tied to other realtors or the company you might work for at that time. All the work you do (below) will be tied to this one domain that you own.
- In 2017 three things you need to do if purchasing a domain and building a website. Make sure the entire site is https (see my blog post), fast and make sure it is responsive (looks good on mobile). We highly recommend using Squarespace or Wordpress.
- Once your site is live and finished, submit it to Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools. This allows you to get indexed in the search engines faster and can help show you if anything is wrong with your websites in the eyes of a search engine.
#2 - Your Content
The content on your website is very important. Ever heard of "Content is King"? You probably know your area, which is why you became a realtor, so you should be an expert on it! You need to build your content around local keyword terms. Let's say you built a website targeting Naperville, IL. You want to build pages and sections of your website around Naperville.
But how can you get that information. Use tools such as Google Keyword Planner (Free, you just need a gmail account), or better paid keyword tools like moz.com (my favorite, through $150 per month). Just use it for a month...the $150 is well worth it!
- Naperville Real Estate
- Naperville Realtor
- Naperville Homes for Sale
- Naperville Real Estate Agent
Or Keywords like this:
- Naperville <subdivison> homes
- North Naperville homes for sale
- Naperville homes in school district 203
There are so many different keyword groups you can build pages around. Figure out the users intent. Answer their question. Solve their problem. Make your website the resource for everything in your city. If someone is looking for a home, they probably also want to know about the schools, the shopping, the events etc. You should talk all about this. Try to get at least 500-800 words per page. Include lots of pictures. Of the city, of the homes you have sold, of the clients you have had. And I can guarantee, most of the big guys won't be doing this.
#2.5 - Blog Posts
Are you having an open house? Is there any amazing home you really want to show off? Do a blog post. These can be more targeted on specific topics or home sales and you have a good chance of ranking for anyone looking for a home in that area. Plus it makes it easy to share on your social networks. While these may be shorten in content, I would still recommend at least 500 words per blog post.
#2.75 - Testimonials
This is huge. Get tons of testimonials from clients. Get pictures with clients. If you sold a home in a certain subdivison, and you have a page on your website about that subdivison, put that testimonial there. Get their picture and put it there. Can you get a video testimonial? If so, put it there. In addition to this, you should always have a testimonials page as well. At a minimum get a picture and testimonial (with their permission) to put on the website.
#3 - Youtube
Did you know this is the 2nd most popular search engine next to Google. Yep! So much traffic goes through here. I would be doing videos on the homes you have for sale, testimonials from clients, topics in the industry. And don't forget to upload these same videos to Facebook (The guys at Listing Leaders do this well). There is no reason not to be doing a ton of videos. With our smart phones it makes it so easy. Just create a Gmail account and you are good to go.
- There are also ways to optimize your videos for better exposure. But this is a whole other blog post.
#4 - Advertising
There are so many places to advertise online, but these would be some of my favorites for really targeting your ideal client.
- Google Adwords - This is a pay per click system. They click your ad and you pay. The benefit of using paid search is you can start getting traffic right away...like the same day. And you can target keywords and locations. So some examples of what you could do if you were a real estate agent in Naperville:
- Anyone looking for a "real estate agent" in Naperville your ad would show. Anyone outside of Naperville wouldn't see your ad. Great for people within your town looking to stay in your town and buy a home.
- Anyone looking for "Naperville Real Estate Agent" in the entire USA could see your ad, but only those looking for "Naperville" real estate agents. This is important for the people moving into Naperville from anywhere around the USA or even world.
You can find a ton of $100 coupon codes online if you are a new advertiser. Contact me and I can help.
- Facebook - Facebook allows you to target demographically. Now I think there are some rules and guidelines for this, so look first, but here are some things you can do with Facebook advertising:
- Target by income
- Target by location
- Target by Single, Married, Kids (Family Status)
- Target by Age
- And a ton of other things. You can really get specific
I could go on forever with advertising, but these would be the two areas I would begin with.
#5 - Google Local
While this is #5, it is one of the most important things. Getting a verified local listing in Google is so important. If someone is looking for your type of business locally or in other city, local listings always show up first and are very visible. It's free to do. This is basically what happens:
- Sign in through your gmail account
- Set up all your business information through the steps it gives you
- They will send a post card to that location
- The post card arrives within 1-2 weeks with a code inside
- Log back into your account, enter the code, and you are will be live within 48 hours
Just doing that won't get you above your competitors though. Say there are 10 other realtors in your city listed there. How can you stand out and rank above?
- Get a verified local listing for each store front you have. This increases the chances of getting multiple listings.
- Make sure to fill out all the information including hours, events, the website, pictures of your realtors, homes you have sold, clients you have had.
- Make sure you have the correct category set in your account. Helps Google decide what you are.
- Don't make anything up. Don't make your company name "Naperville Real Estate" when it's really "Jeff's Realty". Stick to your actual company name. No spamming!
- Get your clients to submit testimonials through here. Make sure to request it from the happy ones! (I have some great ideas on how to easily gather these too through emails). There is no reason not to have a testimonial from every single client you have listed here.
- Bonus: Now Google also looks at the proximity to the city center. The closer your store front is to the city center, the better the chances of you showing higher. This is usually more important with big metro areas though such as Chicago.
See the example here from Miller & Miller
I really hope this helps get you on your way to dominating your local market. There is still much more I can write about, but that might have to be Part 2. If you have questions or want help with your real estate SEO, I would be happy to help. Just contact us here.