Real Estate SEO: An Insider’s Tips for On-Page Optimization

Written by Posted On Thursday, 19 July 2018 09:59
Real Estate SEO: An Insider’s Tips for On-Page Optimization Becky's Log Cabin

Google processes over 40,000 search queries every second. This equates to over 3 billion Google searches a day!

Users rely on search engines for in-the-moment answers, information about businesses and products, and social connections. Taking advantage of such search engine traffic is an imperative for real estate marketers who want to stay competitive in the industry.

I’ve already written a few posts about ways to harness the digital marketing potential of your real estate website and blog. Now it’s time to discuss what is the ultimate future of digital advertising: Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

SEO gives all businesses an opportunity to dominate the prime real estate (pun definitely intended) that is the first page of Google search results. Given the fact that users are more likely to prioritize the top ten listings of this coveted page, effective SEO can ensure that your digital content gets the attention it deserves (and higher click-through rates while you’re at it).

The world of SEO can be complex, but it can also be relatively simple. I’m here to break down some real estate SEO principles so that you can take charge of your digital audience today.

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is primarily a digital marketing technique. Its aim is to direct more organic traffic to your site, boost your online visibility, and establish greater Google authority.

SEO optimizes your online content—namely the pages of your website—for specific keywords your ideal clients are likely to type into Google, Bing, or other search engines. Your real estate SEO campaign may, for example, involve optimizing a blog post for the trending keyword “best real estate agents" or "brokers in Minnesota."

Intelligent SEO campaigns can grant your content higher Google rankings, elevating your odds of earning a click from new visitors. The more visible your website is to visitors, the more likely you are to attract and retain clients.

SEO depends on a variety of factors, including the quality of your content, the keywords you select, and your site’s domain authority (which I’ll discuss a bit later in another post). Google assesses all of these factors via its algorithms in a matter of seconds.

Luckily, you do have control over some of these factors. While many real estate agents and companies hire professionals to tackle their SEO, you can launch an on-page optimization campaign entirely on your own terms.

Real Estate SEO: Insider’s Tips

This post is not meant to be comprehensive. I aim to offer the quickest, most actionable SEO tips for your independent agency or real estate company and will dive deeper into some of these principles in future posts.

Let’s talk on-page optimization.

  1. 1. Read Google’s Guidelines for SEO

It’s difficult to implement any campaign without first knowing the rules! Familiarize yourself with what Google looks for in SEO campaigns by reading its guidelines here.

Note that Google emphasizes, more than anything, what marketers should not do with SEO. Some marketers wonder what really is feasible with SEO in this regard.

Nonetheless, Google does issue both manual and algorithmic penalties to site owners that cross any of these rules, and penalties can tank your search engine rankings. Luckily, if you do receive a penalty, there are clear steps to take in order to recover.

While you’re hanging out in Google’s guidelines, take the time now to link your account to Google Search Console and Google Analytics. Both will prove useful for your SEO campaign right off the bat.

  1. 2. Get Your Website & Content in Solid Shape

At the top of its guidelines to a Google-friendly site, the search engine giant gives a shout out to high-value content. It urges site owners to create content that is likely to prove useful and relevant to all of your potential visitors.

In fact, generating great content has the double effect of maximizing your SEO efforts and establishing your agency as an authority in the industry. Clients are more likely to stick with your company if they feel compelled by the digital content you are producing.

Before implementing real estate SEO keywords, ensure that all of the content on your website is valuable, well-written, and concise. You may wish to hire a copywriter for these purposes.

  1. 3. Research Keywords

SEO involves far more than arbitrary keyword selection and optimization. The more effort you can put into your keyword research, the more intuitive and powerful your campaign is likely to be.

Start by identifying your ideal client. Then brainstorm some keywords this client is likely to search for in order to discover your services. Be creative here, trying to think outside the usual box of “real estate agency” or “mortgage broker.”

For example, if your site has a blog, consider optimizing blog posts for phrases tangentially related to real estate, like “sustainable homes” or “landscaping design.” Sometimes the best way to attract clients is by expanding your keyword purview in this regard.

Try some of your own organic Google searches for specific phrases. What comes up? Where do your competitors appear in results?

I also highly recommend using a keyword selection tool such as Google’s Keyword Planner (used for AdWords campaigns) or Ahref’s Keyword Explorer. Both can be immensely helpful in determining keywords that are likely to be high-value for your real estate content.

Choose a variety of keywords here. Your aim should be to optimize individual pages of content for distinct phrases or terms.

  1. 4. Optimize Content

Now it’s time to let those keywords shine! The aim should not be to “stuff” your content with the keywords you’ve so lovingly selected. In fact, Google’s web crawlers will quickly catch on to sites that over-stuff or over-optimize pages for keywords.

Keywords should slide into content naturally, such that readers don’t even notice them. You should include keywords in page titles, at least one secondary header, and page’s introductions and conclusions.

I always recommend using at least five keywords per about 500-700 words of content, but don’t worry too much about sticking to this rule.

You can also optimize video and media files, including images, for keywords. Simply reference keywords in image titles and ALT descriptions.

  1. 5. Track Performance

SEO is adaptive. Google is always changing up its algorithm game, and your ideal clients will likely change their preferences when it comes to keywords. For this reason, it’s important to closely monitor your campaign’s performance.

You can do this by spending time with Google Analytics, which can show you the key metrics associated with your SEO campaign. These include bounce rates—the number of single-page visits to your site—and data on organic traffic sources.

Google Search Console will also give site owners information about penalties, backlinks, and other technical issues related to your Google visibility.

I urge real estate marketers to check on their SEO “health” at least once a week.

Remember, once you choose a keyword, it’s not set in stone. If it’s not performing well for you, trade it out for a high-value one.

I understand that real estate SEO may seem a bit intimidating, especially if you do not have an in-house marketer to attend to all of its complexities. For this reason, I urge you to consider hiring an SEO expert or consultant.

I also recommend spending more time with your target audience. The more intimately you understand your ideal client, the more easily you’ll be able to craft compelling content and optimize it for powerful keywords.

Stay tuned for more insight into real estate SEO in future posts.

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Kate King

Kate King is a freelance writer, editor, and blogger. 

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