Local Real Estate SEO: What It Is and How to Do It

Written by Posted On Saturday, 28 July 2018 10:15
Local Real Estate SEO: What It Is and How to Do It KGET.com

I recently wrote about the value of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for the real estate industry. Whether you are an agent, a broker, or a corporation, on-page optimization is essential for elevating your online visibility, particularly if you rely solely on digital platforms for attracting clients.

In that post, I addressed general SEO and insider’s tips for implementation. Agents and corporations seeking a further edge in their digital marketing strategies should additionally consider local Search Engine Optimization.

Local SEO is still SEO. Its singular difference lies in the audience it attempts to address. It is particularly valuable for agents who have a local presence or are desperate to establish a community-based reputation.

In this post, I’ll define and discuss local SEO and ways you can build it into your comprehensive optimization strategy.

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO is a form of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) that aims to attract local clients. Rather than addressing a generic market, local SEO has a specific community reach, relying on location-based keywords to make your content more visible geographically.

This type of optimization is most effective for brick-and-mortar institutions or providers who are operating in a single community, be it a city, town, or precinct. However, it is possible to use local SEO as a means of accessing certain parts of your target market.

A national real estate company may, for example, launch a local SEO campaign with the hopes of reaching prospective homebuyers in Santa Barbara—even if it is not based in Santa Barbara.

Local SEO relies on the same principles that guide general SEO, and marketers should still be sure to adhere to Google’s guidelines when implementing it.

Its foundation also lies in keywords. However, local SEO keywords segment searchers’ needs by region. Instead of optimizing content for “best inexpensive headphones,” for example, an audio technician may optimize one page of her site for “inexpensive headphones in Boise.” This keyword is aimed at customers living in Boise with a specific need for cost-effective headphones.

The real estate industry has the advantage of being a location-based industry. For this reason, it’s often easier for newbie SEO marketers to identify keywords relevant to their clients’ needs.

Local SEO isn’t just about keywords, however. It works in tandem with other, location-based digital marketing methods, particularly online reviews and citations. In fact, online reviews can leverage your local SEO campaign in a powerful way due to the simple fact that both serve to establish a specific, community-based reputation.

How to Implement Local SEO

I recommend building local SEO into your overall SEO strategy, particularly if you already have lots of rich content to work with. It’s best to optimize your online content for a healthy mix of location-based and generic SEO keywords, simply as a means of diversifying your digital reach.

1. Choose the Right Keywords

Speaking of those keywords, let’s chat about the local SEO keywords that will help your real estate content truly shine.

I always recommend (urge, in fact!) that intro-level SEO marketers perform extensive keyword research before implementing any search terms. This is especially true for competitive industries likely to consist of multiple, brick-and-mortar locations (like the real estate industry).

I’ve found immense help in Ahref’s Keyword Explorer. While it does cost to use this tool, this Explorer can give you specific insight into the kinds of keywords giving your competitors credit. This should be your go-to if you provide real estate services to a high-density population, particularly an urban area.

As with generic SEO, be sure to select keywords that go beyond town-specific searches. While it is important to optimize your content for “Boise mortgage brokers,” it’s equally essential to incorporate broader terms, such as “northwest U.S. agents” or “New England mortgage companies.” Local SEO primarily caters to searchers with an in-the-moment need. Identify what these needs are ahead of time.

2. Claim Your Google Listing

A Google listing enables your real estate company to appear more prominently in search results. Verified businesses will appear as blue cards to the right of search results; these cards detail relevant information, such as contact details, hours of operation, and specific services provided.

If you have not done so already, claim your Google listing on Google My Business. You will be able to verify your listing once you’ve received a verification code from Google, either via postcard or email.

When your listing is live, be sure to keep it regularly updated, and ensure that you have filled out all available information. I recommend using Google Posts, a feature that enables companies to provide time-sensitive updates to users, such as ads for events.

Lastly, a Google listing also permits users to leave reviews for your company. Enable these reviews to give your local SEO a chance—I’ll discuss why this is important to local SEO below.

3. Gather Additional Citations

In addition to your Google listing, claim citations on relevant review platforms, such as Yelp and Angie’s List. These platforms give businesses additional visibility, and not merely when it comes to establishing a viable reputation.

Over 90% of consumers consult reviews prior to making a purchase decision. A high ranking will appear automatically in search results, influencing client decisions immediately.

Online reviews also give marketers additional material to optimize. Respond to reviews in order to prove your commitment to client experience but also incorporate local SEO keywords when you do. Here’s an example response: “We are so glad that we could help you find your dream home in Alberta, Mikaela!”

Note the local SEO keyword: “dream home in Alberta.” These reviews and responses do appear in search results!

4. Use Keywords in Social Media

If you manage business profiles on various social media platforms, don’t forget to bring local SEO onboard here with your social content. Use local keywords in your posts, ideally in tandem with your on-page SEO efforts.

Remember that clients can search for businesses using Facebook’s or Twitter’s search tools, and matching content will appear for certain terms. Don’t overlook this powerful addition to your local SEO strategy.

As with all digital marketing efforts, I recommend staying diligent with your optimization campaigns. Don’t be disappointed if you do not see immediate results—the most effective SEO campaigns are the result of dedicated research, data analysis, and general commitment to a specific audience.

Stay tuned for additional posts on further digital marketing strategies to hone your online real estate presence.

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Kate King

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

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