Real Estate SEO Strategy for Agents and Brokerages

Struggling to figure out SEO for your real estate business? I’ve got you covered.

I wrote this no-BS guide for busy agents and team leads who need a clear and concise real estate SEO strategy.

I’ll give you actionable tips to improve your search engine rankings and learn how to generate organic traffic that converts to clients you love working with.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

What Does Real Estate SEO Mean?

Real estate search engine optimization (SEO for short) means ranking your website for the right keywords that buyers and sellers are searching for online.

The more relevant keywords you rank for, the more traffic you get, and the more clients you’ll close.

Keep in mind, SEO includes a lot of things:

  • Knowing what keywords to focus on
  • Creating the right webpage for each keyword
  • Optimizing each page to rank #1 on Google
  • Designing each page so it gets leads

All of this is easier said than done. There are over 200 variables Google uses to determine what websites should rank for each search term.

To make matters worse, each search term will vary in terms of how easy or difficult it will be for you to rank.

Take the following keywords for example:

  • Real estate agent NYC
  • Manhattan real estate market forecast 2023

“Real estate agent NYC” is an insanely competitive keyword and will take much more time, effort, and money to rank compared to “Manhattan real estate market forecast 2023”

Real Estate SEO: The Blueprint for Success

As a real estate agent, your digital presence is virtual real estate.

Your website, YouTube channel, and social media profiles are all digital properties where buyers and sellers might find you.

These properties are your first impression on potential clients, and they can be powerful sources of lead generation.

And guess what? Your online presence plays a major role in this decision-making process.

That’s where SEO comes into play.

Your goal is to appear #1 on Google when someone is searching for information about:

  • Neighborhoods you service
  • New developments you work with
  • The home buying and selling process
  • Market statistics in your area

So how do you start on the right path of real estate SEO? Begin by conducting a comprehensive SEO audit of your site. This will help identify any technical glitches that might be hindering your website’s brand awareness in search engine results.

Having IDX on your site is not SEO

The site audit is especially important if your site has an IDX feature that allows you to showcase MLS listings.

IDX plugins create many issues that you’ll want to address. That’s why an audit is the first step you’ll want to cover.

Here’s the thing:

A lot of agents have a simple broker-provided IDX website that doesn’t have any value in terms of SEO.

Showing real estate listings on your site is not what drives SEO traffic in most cases.

In fact, sometimes IDX hurts your site more than it helps if you don’t have a strong reason you’re using it. Many real estate websites have an IDX feature because everyone else does it, and they think it’s how all real estate websites should look.

To be clear, SEO is not just about IDX and fixing technical issues. It’s a holistic approach that involves multiple components:

  • On-page SEO
  • Off-page SEO
  • Local SEO
  • Creating high-quality content
  • Optimizing existing content

Each of these elements plays a critical role in boosting your visibility.

More importantly, it’s what attracts organic buyer and seller traffic to your site.

SEO Is Nothing More Than Best Practices

SEO is an art and a science. It can deliver a ton of real estate leads and massively increase your business, but it’s not guaranteed.

Ranking on Google knowing what tactics to use, how to build proper web pages, and which search terms to target.

But at the end of the day, it’s all just an educated guess as to what will drive the best results and what won’t.

SEO is about experimentation. To figure out what works best for your website in your market, you need to try many things.

What people think SEO looks like

So let’s dive into some of the best practices you’ll want to implement if you want to become a real estate SEO expert.

Keyword Research for Real Estate Websites

Keywords are the foundation of your SEO strategy. They are the phrases that buyers and sellers are searching for that might lead them to your website.

Real Estate Keywords to Rank For

In the context of real estate, you could target keywords like:

  • Homes for sale in [neighborhood]
  • Building in [new construction community]
  • Living in [neighborhood]
  • Selling my home in [neighborhood]
  • Moving to [city]
  • Pros and cons of [neighborhood]

Notice how these keywords contain the location you’re in. You’ll want to create articles and landing pages that are specific to the towns, neighborhoods, and suburbs where you do business.

The broader the keyword, the more search it will get.

As you get more specific to towns, neighborhoods, and subdivisions, you’ll get less monthly search traffic but more targeted traffic.

Remember, real estate is hyper-local. Make adjustments to these keywords depending on your target market. This is just a list to get you started.

Focus on Local Keywords over National Keywords

While you might be able to get a lot of traffic to your site by targeting the phrase “how to find a real estate agent,” how much of that search traffic is going to be people who live in your market? Probably not much.

Keyword research forms an integral part of a winning real estate SEO strategy.

Knowing which keywords are worth your time is just as important as how you target them.

It’s not just about finding the most popular keywords that will bring the most visitors to your site. Keyword research also involves identifying the long-tail and hyper-specific keywords that have less search volume but can drive highly targeted traffic to your site.

High-Search Volume Keywords

High-search volume keywords are usually shorter phrases that are searched by hundreds or thousands of people.

They are typically 1-3 words in length, broad, and highly competitive. For example, in the real estate world, terms like ‘real estate,’ ‘homes for sale,’ or ‘hiring a realtor’ can be considered high-search-volume keywords.

The advantage of targeting high-search volume keywords is that they can drive a large amount of traffic to your site.

However, due to the high level of competition, ranking for these terms is not easy. They also don’t convert as well in terms of lead generation.

High Volume Keywords vs Long Tail Keywords

That’s why you’ll want to balance your strategy with a mix of high-search volume and long-tail keywords. Most of your effort should go towards long-tail keywords.

Low-Search Long-Tail Keywords

Contrary to high-search volume keywords, long-tail keywords are:

  • More specific
  • Less searched
  • Bring hyper-targeted traffic to your site
  • Convert at higher rates due to their specificity

For example, a potential home buyer searching for ‘3 bedroom house for sale in Beverly Hills’ is likely to be further along in the buying process compared to someone searching for ‘Beverly Hills, CA’

Take a look at the following keyword: New construction homes in Wentzville, MO.

Keyword new construction homes in wentzville mo

This is a super specific, low-competition keyword that is easy to rank for. Although Ahrefs only estimates 40 searches per month, think about how relevant those 40 searches are if they are all buyers looking for a new home.

Most of your SEO effort should go towards these long-tail keywords.

Tools for Keyword Research

Once we understand the importance of keyword research in SEO, the next step is to identify the right tools to conduct effective keyword research. There are several tools available, ranging from free to premium, that can help you uncover valuable keywords for your real estate website.

Some popular keyword research tools include:

  • SEMRush: This tool provides comprehensive keyword data, including search volume and competition level.

  • Ahrefs: This tool also provides comprehensive keyword data, including search volume, competition level, and more.

Using these tools can help you find the best keywords for your localized real estate content.

Now Ahrefs and SEMRush can be notoriously expensive if you’re just getting started in SEO.

If you’re on a budget, free tools like Ubersuggest, AlsoAsked, and Google Trends can provide valuable insights into keyword trends and help you identify potential keyword opportunities.

Real Estate Content: Quality and Relevance

Though keywords constitute the backbone of SEO, content remains its life force.

Content marketing is all about:

  • Creating relevant content
  • Attracting the right traffic to your site
  • Designing your content & site to convert leads

In the realm of real estate, content manifests in numerous forms, ranging from blog posts and articles to videos and infographics. Regardless of the format, the key to successful content marketing is quality and relevance. Your content should provide value to your audience, answer their questions, solve their problems, or entertain them.

Visual content, in particular, plays a crucial role in real estate marketing. Listings with visual content get more inquiries, showing how important it is to grab potential clients’ attention and boost SEO with more inquiries.

SEO Articles for Real Estate

When it comes to content marketing in real estate, SEO articles can be a powerful tool to reach your audience. An SEO-optimized article includes important details like contact email, phone number, relevant keywords, and is structured to provide a positive user experience. To achieve this, consider implementing some real estate SEO tips in your content strategy.

However, merely incorporating target keywords in your articles isn’t enough. The placement of these keywords also matters. Ideally, you should include keywords in your page titles, meta descriptions, and the beginning of your body content to improve the visibility of your articles in search results.

Visual Content: A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words

In the real estate industry, a picture can indeed speak a thousand words. High-quality images, virtual tours, and well-staged properties can capture the attention of potential buyers and leave a lasting impression in the competitive real estate business.

Not just images, video content is also making waves in real estate marketing. Videos can provide a comprehensive view of the property and give potential buyers a feel of the space, thereby enhancing their decision-making process.

However, it’s not just about creating visual content; optimizing this content for SEO is equally important. From choosing the right file format and compressing your images for faster loading times to writing descriptive alt texts, various steps can be taken to ensure your visual content is SEO-friendly.

On-Page SEO for Real Estate

On-page SEO revolves around optimizing individual pages and articles on your site.

Some important on-page fixes you’ll want to make are:

  • Keyword-rich headings and subheadings
  • Accurate meta descriptions and image alt text
  • Internal links to relevant articles
  • External links to authoritative websites

One of the most crucial aspects of on-page SEO is optimizing your title tags and headlines.

Why? Because Google and other search engines look at the page title first to determine what the page is all about.

Now let’s talk about meta descriptions.

These are brief summaries of your page’s content and serve as the first interaction point between potential clients and your website. Crafting effective meta descriptions that include your target keywords can significantly enhance your page’s click-through rate.

Also remember the importance of keywords.

A well-thought-out keyword strategy is the cornerstone of successful on-page SEO.

For every page on your website, you’ll want to use the primary keyword in the

  • Title tag
  • URL
  • H1
  • Meta description
  • First sentence
  • First H2
  • Last sentence

Whew, that’s a lot of places to use the same keyword. You can also use a close variation of that keyword so you’re not being overly repetitive throughout the article.

For example, here are some variations of the keyword “Real Estate Agents in Boston”

  • Boston real estate agents
  • Realtors in Boston
  • Boston realtors

Try to incorporate the main keyword in a natural-sounding way. You don’t want to use it in every single sentence because overusing keywords can do more harm than good.

Solid Off-Page SEO Framework

Building a solid off-page SEO framework

Off-page SEO is about improving elements outside your website that can affect your search engine rankings.

The key strategies for a robust off-page SEO framework include:

  • Acquiring backlinks
  • Leveraging social media
  • Managing online reputation

Backlinks are particularly crucial in off-page SEO.

They’re positive signals to Google from other websites in your market.

Think of them like social media “likes.”

The more likes your post gets, the better it performs… sometimes

The more high-quality backlinks you have, the more credible and authoritative your website appears to search engines, leading to better rankings.

Navigating the Local SEO Landscape

Local SEO, an influential tool in the real estate industry, focuses on enhancing your website to secure a higher position in local search results. By implementing search engine optimization strategies, this ensures that users see the most relevant property results based on their location, enhancing their engagement with your site.

Have you ever wondered how some real estate websites always appear in the top results when you search for properties in a specific location? That’s the magic of Google My Business. By claiming and optimizing your Google My Business listing and earning positive reviews, you can significantly improve your search rankings and visibility.

Technical SEO: The Behind-the-Scenes Hero

Unlike on-page and off-page SEO which primarily deal with content and backlink optimization, technical SEO is more about how your website is built and the plugins you’re using.

A key aspect of technical SEO is website speed. A slow website can lead to high bounce rates as users tend to leave a site that takes too long to load.

Google wants to rank fast websites at the top of the results, so your goal is to have a fast-loading site to outrank your competing brokerages.

To optimize your site’s speed, you can use tools like Google’s Page Speed Insights and Lighthouse that provide actionable tips to enhance site performance.

In addition to site speed, make sure your site:

  • Doesn’t have any broken links

  • All other links work as they should

  • Create a new sitemap in case of a site redesign

  • Ensure the site’s structure is search-engine friendly

After all, a well-structured and fast-loading site is a pleasure to navigate, both for users and search engine crawlers!

Link Building: Establishing Credibility and Authority

Link building, an SEO strategy, entails convincing other websites to provide backlinks to your site. Backlinks are seen as a vote of confidence in the eyes of search engines, and the more high-quality backlinks a website has, the more likely it is to rank higher in search results.

Within the real estate sector, link-building can boost your website’s credibility and authority. This can result in more visibility, more traffic, and ultimately, more leads for your business.

However, not all links are created equal. The quality of the links matters more than the quantity. Links from reputable websites in the real estate industry will carry more weight than links from low-quality or unrelated websites.

Citations and Directories

Citations and directories are another way to build links and improve your website’s visibility. A citation is a mention of your business on another website, usually in the form of your business name, address, and phone number.

Local directories, on the other hand, are online listings of businesses within a specific locality. These directories can help boost your local SEO efforts and make your business more visible to potential clients in your area.

Here are some of the top directories for real estate websites:

  • Realtor.com
  • Yellowpages.com
  • Trulia.com
  • Homes.com
  • Zillow.com
  • Homegain.com
  • Angieslist.com
  • Yelp.com

You’ll want to create profiles on each of these platforms that contain your name, address, phone number, and website (NAP-W). It’s important to make sure the spelling and formatting is consistent across all your citations and Google My Business profile.

Remember, consistency is key when it comes to citations and directories. Make sure your business information is accurate and consistent across all platforms to enhance your search engine rankings.

Cultivating Relationships with Local Businesses

Establishing relationships with local businesses can provide a major boost to your link-building efforts. By collaborating with local businesses, you can gain valuable backlinks and improve your website’s visibility in local search results.

Moreover, these relationships can help you:

  • Establish a strong presence in your local community

  • Create opportunities for collaborations and partnerships

  • Enhance your brand’s reputation and credibility

  • Generate more leads and conversions.

Guest Posting: Sharing Expertise Across Platforms

Guest posting is another effective link-building strategy. By contributing high-quality articles to reputable websites in your industry, you can gain valuable backlinks and establish your brand as an authority in the real estate industry.

However, guest posting isn’t just about getting backlinks. It’s also an opportunity to reach a wider audience and share your expertise. The key to successful guest posting is creating high-quality, valuable content that resonates with your audience.

Mobile Optimization: Catering to the On-the-Go User

As more and more people resort to their mobile devices for property searches, it becomes imperative to optimize your real estate website for mobile usage. A mobile-friendly website not only improves the user experience but also enhances your website’s visibility in search results.

Furthermore, Google uses mobile-first indexing, which means it looks at the mobile version of your website for indexing and ranking. Therefore, having a fully optimized mobile website can significantly improve your search engine rankings.

Responsive Design: Adapting to Various Screens

A key aspect of mobile optimization is responsive design. A responsive website is designed to adjust its layout based on the screen size and orientation of the device it’s being viewed on. This ensures a consistent and seamless user experience across all devices.

In addition to improving the user experience, a responsive design also enhances your website’s search engine rankings. Google has stated that it prefers responsive design over mobile templates, making it a crucial factor in your SEO strategy.

Speed Optimization: Keeping Pace with User Expectations

Another critical aspect of mobile optimization is speed. A slow-loading website can lead to high bounce rates, as users are likely to leave the site if it takes too long to load. This can negatively impact your search engine rankings and harm your website’s visibility.

To optimize your website’s speed, you can use various tools and strategies, such as:

  • Compressing images

  • Minifying CSS and JavaScript files

  • Leveraging browser caching

  • Using a content delivery network (CDN)

Analytics and KPIs: Measuring SEO Success

You’ve put your SEO strategy into operation, but how can you ascertain its effectiveness? This is where analytics and key performance indicators (KPIs) come into play. By tracking these metrics, you can measure the success of your SEO efforts and make necessary adjustments to improve your performance.

Setting realistic SEO goals and tracking KPIs can help you understand what’s working and what’s not in your SEO strategy. This can provide valuable insights into your website’s performance and help you make data-driven decisions to enhance your SEO efforts.

Setting Realistic SEO Goals

Setting realistic SEO goals is crucial to the success of your SEO strategy. These goals should align with your overall business objectives and provide a clear direction for your SEO efforts.

However, setting SEO goals is not just about aiming for high search engine rankings. It’s also about understanding your target audience, their search behavior, and how you can provide value to them through your website.

Tracking and Analyzing Key Metrics

Tracking and analyzing key metrics is crucial to understanding your SEO performance. These metrics can provide valuable insights into how your website is performing in search results, how users are interacting with your website, and where there are opportunities for improvement.

Tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console can provide a wealth of data about your website’s performance, including:

  • Website traffic

  • Bounce rate

  • Conversion rate

  • Click-through rate

  • Average session duration

  • Pages per session

By regularly monitoring these metrics, you can make informed decisions to improve your SEO strategy.

SEO Myths Debunked: Avoiding Common Pitfalls

SEO is a constantly evolving field, with strategies that were effective a few years ago potentially being obsolete today. Unfortunately, this has led to several myths and misconceptions about SEO that can lead real estate businesses astray. In this section, we’ll debunk some of these myths and provide strategies to avoid common SEO pitfalls.

Rather than being a one-off effort, SEO is an ongoing process that necessitates consistent monitoring and adjustments. Using outdated tactics or falling for SEO misconceptions can hurt your website’s visibility and hinder your SEO performance. Therefore, it’s crucial to stay updated with the latest SEO practices and steer clear of outdated tactics.

Takeaways

To wrap up, SEO is a powerful tool that can significantly enhance the visibility and success of a real estate business. By implementing a comprehensive SEO strategy that includes on-page, off-page, local, and technical SEO, businesses can improve their search engine rankings, reach a wider audience, and drive more leads.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I optimize SEO for real estate?

To optimize SEO for real estate, start with an SEO audit and optimize for fast search and mobile devices. Also, focus on local keywords, high-value content, and building backlinks through social media and local directories.

What is SEO for realtors?

SEO for realtors is a way to optimize online content to attract people through organic search results, such as content on websites, social media platforms, and mobile apps, rather than paid online advertising like Google Ads. It helps realtors improve their online visibility and attract potential clients.

What are the top 5 SEO strategies?

Focus on keyword research, optimize on-page content, work on building high-quality backlinks, improve website loading speed, and utilize social media for promotion. These strategies will help improve your website’s SEO and drive organic traffic.

How can I conduct effective keyword research for my real estate website?

To conduct effective keyword research for your real estate website, use tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMRush, and Ahrefs to identify relevant and high-volume keywords that can drive traffic to your site.

What is the role of content marketing in SEO?

The role of content marketing in SEO is to create valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and engage a defined audience, which can help improve search engine rankings, drive traffic, and boost user engagement. So, it plays a crucial role in enhancing the overall SEO strategy.