The category for real estate is highly competitive in the search engines, so it is of the utmost importance that you rank well in search. To stay competitive and get traffic to your website, you need to appear in one of the top 3 spots for local search. If you run a business in a major city, this may be more difficult than living in a smaller city with fewer competitors. So how do you make it into one of these elite positions? Local SEO can give you a major advantage over some other businesses that aren’t using it yet.
You’ve probably gotten advice from a dozen people telling you that you need to create an online presence. Why is everyone telling you that you need to have a website, a blog, and a post on social media? The answer is because blogs and social media are ways to promote your real estate business to people in groups that might be interested in what you do.
And local SEO can help boost your efforts in this area because people often search for businesses close to them rather than a general state search. If you use local SEO, you will have people finding your listings and calling you to book an appointment. If you are on social media, those people may tell their friends about you and leave reviews of your service online, boosting your sales. Here are the best 8 Local SEO tips to use for your real estate website in 2021.
What is Local SEO, and Why is it Relevant To You?
Local SEO is the process of optimizing your business for search in your immediate area. You can see how this works for yourself by typing in any business+city name and seeing what comes up. You’ll most likely be shown a box with 3 – 4 listings in Google Maps, which is referred to as the ”snack pack.” This is a much sought-after position because it generates 33% more clicks on the results page. But at the same time, you still want to show up in organic search because you’ll get traffic from there as well.
The first and most important tip is to claim your website on Google. It is frustrating when a user searches for a local business and finds a generic listing with no reviews or information.
1) Claim Your Business Listings
The first order of business is to check your listings and make sure they are complete and correct. You should check for all of your listings in Google My Business and make sure they show your business name, contact information and update or correct any errors. Remove any duplicate listings and make sure that everything is up-to-date. If you’re unsure how to find them, Moz local is a great tool that detects any listings associated with your business name. All you have to do is enter your business name exactly as it is on your website and hit search. You can then see any listings under your name and correct them. These listings are created automatically and, over time, can result in incomplete duplicates that need to be deleted.
2) Perform Local Keyword Research
The second tip is to research the words that users type into search engines to find your business. Once you have a general idea of the keywords people are using, you can then focus on words relevant to your location (city, state, etc.) like Real Estate Agent Las Vegas, Las Vegas Real Estate Broker, or any variation. You can also get an idea of your competitors’ keywords by typing their URL into the Google Keyword Planner Tool. This will tell you what words or phrases Google associates with this business so you can choose similar words for your own site.
Who is this an effective tactic? Because Google is trying to produce the best results tailored to what people are searching for. Most people will type “business type” + near me, which will give them a page of results close to their exact location by phone GPS.
How to Pick the Right Keywords?
Here is a 3-step process for choosing keywords related to your industry. The idea here is to identify commonly used phrases that people will use to search for your business.
Step 1. Identify Industry Keywords – make a list of words associated with your business. This means words like homes for sale, selling a home, realtor, real estate agent, real estate broker, property listings, etc.
Step 2. Add keyword Modifiers – a keyword modifier is a word or phrase related to your business that users may search for, such as “best real estate broker,” “real estate agent Las Vegas,” or something that your business does like “fast service” or “same-day delivery,” for example. A bakery might include words like “wedding cakes,” “birthday cakes,” or “pastries.”
Step 3. Search for Keywords Based on Location – this pertains to your physical location and the area you want to target most. This could be the location of your actual office and surrounding area within 5 miles of your target area. This is relevant because more people use their phones to search the web, and they will usually pick something within a 5-mile radius of their location.
3) Create High-Quality Content Optimized for Local Search
Part of your site’s ranking position comes from authority or the length of time our webpage has been online. If you have informative, valuable content on your site, it helps you stand out as a reputable site in Google’s eyes, and the better your reputation, the better you will rank. What type of content does Google term as “valuable” or high-quality?
- Offers users a solution to their problems
- Provides information a user might be searching for
- Offers valid reasons why a visitor should choose your company over another
- It should be easy for a user to navigate and find what they’re looking for
- Each page should offer something unique and valuable for the reader
- Should mention your geological location in your content
Content that meets these requirements is often found on the first page of search results in the top 10 listings. Articles on your website should be helpful and offer something of value, like answering a question or the solution to a problem, without any commitment to buy from you. Writing content for web readers is a little different than writing for print readers. Web readers scan pages and click on titles that pique their interest.
4) Make Sure Your Website is Optimized for Mobile Search
Statistics show that 52% of all Internet traffic comes from mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, and wearable devices. To satisfy this group of Internet searchers, make sure your website loads and displays correctly on mobile devices. You want to pay attention to load times and how your site displays on the screen. Can users navigate your site easily on a mobile device? Is it designed to be user-friendly? Do you have everything laid out where they can find the information they need or your contact information? The longer it takes them to find what they need, the more likely they are to hit the back button and keep searching.
5) Build Links With a Blog and Social Media
Links are essential for ranking your website and making sure you get found in search. How do you build quality links? One method is by creating location-specific content and sharing your posts on social media sites. It is a free link-building method, and if your content strikes a chord with your readers, it may go viral, sending tons of website traffic your way. Being active on social media helps you build an audience and gain followers that read your content. This is a form of free advertising and a great marketing strategy.
6) Create Shareable Content
Create more shareable and engaging content. Content is a way to build your brand awareness and get more exposure for you and your business. And it’s totally free. It allows you to tell your story, add images, video content, and more to reach your target audience. Creating great content that gets shared will help you rank higher in search because it shows that the content is valuable since so many people share it on their networks.
It was once thought that social media signals didn’t affect ranking, but according to Hootsuite’s experiment, there is a connection between social engagement and site ranking. The more shares, tweets, and pins your content receive, the better it will do in search.
7) Build High-Quality Links
There are good links and bad links. You want to avoid the bad ones or the ones with low domain authority. To benefit from links, they should be from high-domain authority websites related to your industry (relevant) and from trusted authorities such as those with .org, .net, .gov, or .edu domains.
8) Ask Your Customers for a Review
Word-of-mouth referrals are gold when it comes to driving traffic to your website. If you have had customers you know were thrilled with your service, ask them to write you a review. Reviews on sites like Zillow, Trulia, and Yelp carry a lot of weight with consumers because this is one place they search before spending any money. Several good reviews will help you get more customers and gain a trustworthy business reputation.
Real Estate may be a competitive business, but you can still rank well if you put in the time to build a reputation and brand yourself. Follow these SEO tips to earn a higher position in local searches and compete with the big fish. If you need more help with SEO, it pays to get help from a professional SEO business.
How to generate a horde of targeted traffic to your website! Download the Realtor’s Guide to Building Targeted Website Traffic Checklist here.