What realtors need to know about real estate SEO: 4 areas of search engine optimisation that can grow your real estate website and business
Imagine a homeowner in your area. She has been thinking about selling her house for a while. Now, she is ready to make her first move. She reaches for her phone and starts googling. Will your estate agency be among her search results?
In an increasingly digitalised world, many of your clients’ real estate journeys, whether they are looking to buy, sell, rent or let, will begin much like this example. For example, 86% of buyers stated online websites were the most useful information source in the buying process, according to a study by the National Association of Realtors. In the UK, a Zoopla report found that 26% of consumers bypassed both high-street offices and property portals and started their latest property search directly on Google. The numbers are clear: Search engines, and Google in particular, have the potential to make or break your real estate agency’s long-term success.
In this article, find out how you can use digital marketing to tailor your online presence to your target audience, and what SEO experts have to say on real estate SEO tips.
What is real estate SEO, and what are the benefits?
Simply put, search engine optimisation wants to make sure potential clients’ search queries lead to your website instead of your competitors’. Real estate SEO additionally takes the particular needs of the real estate industry into account.
An important distinction exists here between paid and organic traffic, i.e. visitors to your website. Dominik Jedro, a freelance SEO Consultant who has helped many clients in a variety of industries to improve their visibility and ranking, uses a simple image to explain the difference. “If you want apples, you have two options. You can go to the market and buy them. That’s inorganic traffic - you pay for it, for example through ppc (pay-per-click) or social media ads, and you see immediate results. But as soon as you stop buying, it dries up.”
“Your other option is to plant an apple tree in your backyard. It does take more time and patience, but has a significant advantage. It gives you access to potentially unlimited apples. While paid traffic has its place in SEO, the focus is to cultivate and harvest grown, organic search traffic that consistently and sustainably drives lead generation to grow your business.” In addition, while your smaller real estate business might be unable to out-budget Zillow-like real estate companies when it comes to paid traffic, you may well be able to organically push your business listing for your market niche through smart keyword research.
To that end, a well-balanced SEO strategy will employ a combination of on-page and off-page SEO efforts. On-page adjustments such as optimising loading times and providing quality content can directly lead to a more favourable appraisal by the Google search algorithm. Off-page measures, for example backlinks from other well-ranked sites or the purposeful use of social media, can redirect additional traffic your way.