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6 Steps to Building an SEO Strategy for Real Estate Agents

  • Best Practices & Trends
Published by Nicole Keller - September 29th, 2021
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Create a real estate SEO action plan to boost your real estate website and lead generation 

For many real estate companies, SEO offers the ability to be found by potential clients in a way that’s more affordable than any other form of advertising or real estate marketing. However, building an SEO strategy for your real estate agency is not a one-time job. It requires time and patience, as well as a plan to execute the process. 

Our last article provided an overview of four areas of basic SEO for realtors and real estate SEO tips. This article will outline six steps to building your own strategy to streamline SEO efforts for your real estate business. The goal is to help you understand what’s involved in setting up a sound, effective and measurable plan which can boost your search engine rankings and increase organic traffic to your website - while at the same time improving conversion rates.

Step 1: SEO and Website Audit 

Before implementing an SEO strategy, you need to take stock of your homepage and how it is viewed by search algorithms. A good place to start is by performing a full audit on your web pages (or hiring someone who can). 

There are plenty of excellent tools available online that provide valuable information about where your website stands. Some examples are: 

These tools vary in price from free or very low-cost options such as Neil Patel's Free SEO Checker, all the way up to paid tools like SEMrush with pricing plans ranging between €25-€200 per month. 

Your goal in this step is to identify areas of improvement, so it becomes easier to build and execute a targeted plan later on. 

Google Search Console (ENG)
Screenshot of a Google Search Console report showing four serious errors that need to be fixed. (Source: Google Search Console)

Step 2: Define Your Goals

After performing the initial audit of your site, you should have a better idea about what needs improvement. Now's the time to define goals. To do so, think about what you are aiming for, for example:

  • more visitors
  • increased average session duration
  • a higher conversion rate

Then, break down each goal and plan out what steps you can take to reach them. This way you'll be able to see which areas need more attention than others and focus on those first before moving on to other tasks. 

For example, improving page load speed might be a necessary sub-step to reducing the visitor bounce rate, i.e. visitors that leave immediately after clicking on your site. If however, there are more urgent technical issues that stop Google from correctly crawling and indexing your site, assign a lower priority to improving loading times and work on this issue later. Other examples for subgoals include: 

  • basic on-page seo changes such as using effective page titles, meta descriptions and alt text for images, 
  • optimising your Google My Business listing for an improved local SEO/local search, 
  • ensuring website design responsiveness for mobile devices, 
  • off page link building through setting up backlinks from other websites, 
  • using schema markup to have your real estate listing displayed directly in serps/snippets,
  • improving the overall user experience. 

If you are planning on working on your search engine optimisation strategy yourself, without the help of an external SEO agency, such clearly defined and attainable goals will also keep you from becoming overwhelmed. For example, you might determine one SEO issue each month that needs improvement and choose to dedicate a few hours each week to it.

Step 3: Identify Target Personas’ Needs 

Knowing your target audience will help you tailor the content of your website to their needs, especially by understanding specific types of potential clients, for example, home buyers vs. sellers. Think about the particular goals and pain points associated with each of their goals. Our article on real estate marketing provides more information and ideas on this subject. 

Then, use keyword research to identify what search terms these target personas look for online.  For example, if you want to target both sellers and renters on your website, then real estate keywords like "sell my home" or "rent a house", would be good starting points. Keyword research tools provide valuable information in this regard, as they show you what terms and phrases are the most popular ones in terms of search volume among Google searchers. 

Semrush (ENG)
One way of approaching keyword research is by looking at which search queries already generate the most traffic for your site in order to know where to dedicate your resources. Less competitive long-tail keywords may have a lower search volume, but your page has a much higher chance of reaching the first page of results. (Source: Semrush)

Also make sure that you take search intent into account. When someone uses specific keywords, what stage of decision-making are they most likely at? Scout platforms like Quora to find out commonly asked questions among your target group, and start mapping out your potential clients' journey. What kind, and depth, of information do they need at this point?

Step 4: Plan & Build Website Content

Equipped with knowledge about your target client and their search behaviour, you are now ready to map out an action and content plan. Consider using an editorial calendar such as the Airtable Content Calendar to produce high-quality content such as blog posts and articles for your website. 

As you are starting out, SEO expert and consultant Dominik Jedro recommends a content structure many of his clients use with great success. "Start with one long-form article, called a pillar article, on an often-searched topic. Then build shorter so-called cluster articles around it, discussing different aspects of your chosen subject in depth. Linking them among each other keeps visitors reading and impresses the Google algorithm as the additional backlinks strengthen the position of the original pillar article." In these articles, use the keywords you have researched, not just in the headlines but throughout, to keep both readers and the search algorithm interested. 

Content that encourages visitors to get in touch with you is especially effective in lead generation. For example, you might finish an article on an often-searched topic by repeating your contact information and inviting potential clients to give you a ring or drop you a line via email should they have further questions. Contact forms and other plug-ins are an invaluable tool in this regard, as they make it easy for both sides to start and continue a conversation. 

The PriceHubble Lead Generator takes it one step further by offering website visitors a direct benefit to leaving their contact info. It offers an approximate valuation to any address users put in, then prompts them to leave their email address to receive a detailed analysis. This creates a compelling opportunity for potential sellers to receive a first estimate, which you can then follow up on. 

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Lead Generator enables real estate professionals to implement a free property and rent valuation tool on their website and turn their visitors into leads.

Once you have a plan for content creation, you can start to coordinate promoting the articles across different social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. Digital tools like Later let you schedule posts in advance.       

Step 5: Measure Success & Adjust As Necessary 

As you optimise and grow your website, measure success with key performance indicators like your site's bounce rate, click-through rates on links within articles or conversion rates from visitors to leads. 

If you notice a trend that some pieces are performing better than others, analyse what makes them so successful and use that knowledge to repeat the steps above.

Step 6: Be Patient

As SEO experts’ numbers indicate, real estate SEO takes at least six months for success to kick in. As the average customer journey in the real estate industry can take nine to ten months prior to a decision, this will not be altogether surprising. It might still take some tenacity to not give up - the goals you set in step 2 will help you stay motivated. 

Summary 

These six steps will give you a head start in improving your ranking among organic search engine results. If you feel you need further help, external consultants can provide the SEO services that exceed your know-how or take up more time than you are willing to invest. 

SEO has become an integral part of any real estate marketing strategy. Once you dive in, you will find a whole ecosystem of digital tools that can help you reach your business goals. This includes easy to use, AI-powered valuation and lead generation tools by PriceHubble. Read on in our article Digital Tools for Real Estate Agents: 5 Smart Tech Tips for more ideas on how digital marketing tools can make your life easier. 


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