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If you’re a realtor or in the real estate business, you know that lead generation is everything for your brand. And if you want to generate leads online, you need to make sure your website is optimized for search engine visibility.
Unfortunately, many real estate professionals think that pay-per-click (PPC) ads are enough to get them the visitors they are looking for. But using only PPC for lead generation is a short-term solution—and instead should weave into your larger search engine strategy.
In order to bring potential customers to your website consistently and in the long term, you need to incorporate search engine optimization (SEO) into your digital marketing strategy.
What is SEO?
SEO is the practice of optimizing a website to increase its rank in the search engine results pages (SERPs) for certain targeted keywords. The goal of SEO is to improve organic traffic to your site by improving its visibility in the SERPs on Google, Bing, and other search engines.
This can be achieved through on-page optimization, which refers to the optimization of individual web pages so as to make them more effective at ranking for relevant keywords and off-page optimization. “Off-page” refers to tactics like link-building and social media engagement that improve your domain authority and trustworthiness in Google’s eyes.
Let’s be honest, most of us use Google for our search needs. For the purpose of this article, we focus on Google best practices. Though, generally, these apply to Bing and others, too.
[New to SEO? Get up to speed with our simple SEO term dictionary.]
Why is SEO important?
A strong SEO strategy is essential for any business that wants to succeed online. This is because organic traffic is a key indicator that you are ranking for keywords specific to your brand on SERPs. Not to mention, organic traffic—by definition—requires no direct budget
In other words, if you want people to visit your site and spend money there (in the most cost-effective strategy to do that), then you need to ensure that your real estate website appears as close to the top of Google’s SERPs as possible.
Studies have shown that the higher your SERP results, the more likely you are to receive clicks from users. Moreover, a recent study by Chitika showed that organic traffic accounts for around 64% of all web traffic worldwide. Conversely, paid ads account for just 36%.
Now, it feels important to note that PPC is also a key marketing channel that absolutely gets people to your website. However, smart brands know they need to have a cohesive SEO and PPC marketing strategy to consistently rake in quality traffic from Google.
[Related: PPC vs SEO: Which Channel is Better For My Brand?]
How can I improve my real estate site’s SEO?
Here are 8 ways to maximize profit from your real estate website:
1) Use keyword-rich titles and meta descriptions
The title tags and meta descriptions of each page on your site should be crafted so as to include relevant keywords that you want to rank for. This will help Google understand what each page is about and increase the chances of your site appearing in relevant searches.
2) Publish high-quality content
In order for your real estate site to rank highly in Google’s SERPs, you need to publish regular content. Your content should be relevant and helpful to your target audience and include keywords in an organic way. Keyword stuffing is only going to hurt your efforts.
Content can include blog posts, articles, white papers, infographics, product pages, product descriptions, and more. Essentially, writing content that is useful for people searching for information on buying or selling a home would be considered high-quality content.
3) Optimize your images and media
Whenever you upload an image to your site, make sure to include keywords in the file name and fill out the alternate text field with a brief description of what is happening in the image. Alt descriptions will help Google index your images properly, increase the chances of them appearing in the image search section, and help improve your SERPs ranking.
4) Build better links
Link building is one of the most effective off-page SEO techniques and involves getting other websites to link back to yours. This signals to Google that your site is trustworthy and authoritative and will help boost your rankings accordingly.
However, it’s important not to engage in link buying/selling or other black hat SEO practices as this could lead to severe penalties from Google. Like keyword stuffing, link buying can put you in Google’s doghouse and lead to penalties in the form of reduced organic results on SERPs. Instead, use this approach for link outreach.
5) Promote your content on social media
Get social and connect with clients! Social media can be a great way to increase traffic to your real estate site; every time you publish new content on your blog or website, make sure to share it on social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram—even TikTok—to broaden its reach and drive more users to your site.
6) Monitor your progress
Is your SEO strategy working as intended? Many brands simply don’t have an answer to this question. In reality, the only way to know is by measuring your efforts.
Implementing a well-planned SEO strategy is the first step but you also need to monitor its progress. If you currently take the piñata approach and don’t know how to measure your data, our pre-vetted SEO specialists help remove the blindfold. Then, you can swing away—in total confidence.
To do this effectively, you need access to two things: accurate data and analytics tools such as Google Analytics. Focus on monitoring key metrics such as organic traffic levels, conversion rates, and bounce rates. These will give you a good idea of how well your strategy is performing and whether any changes need To be made.
[Go beyond Google Analytics with the 10 Best SEO Tools to streamline your SEO strategy.]
7) Think like a client
Another vital focus when optimizing your real estate website’s SEO is to think like your clients. Consider what would a potential customer want to see on your website.
- Make sure your site includes comprehensive listings of all the properties you have for sale. And all with clear and compelling descriptions of each one.
- You should also include high-quality photos and videos, as well as virtual tours if possible. High-quality photos, infographics, and videos help draw visitors in and keep them there, so don’t skimp on these elements.
- Customers should also be able to easily find contact information for you and your team, and they should feel confident that you are a reliable and trustworthy source of information. Client reviews should also be front and center.
8) Stay On Google’s Good Side
Last but not least, Google has strict rules around collecting, storing, and using personal data. One of the most important things to remember for your real estate website is Google’s strict rules around personal data.
Starting in 2018, Google implemented the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The new policy requires companies to get explicit consent from users before collecting, using or sharing their personal data. For real estate websites, you should use contact forms or lead capture forms that ensure compliance with GDPR.
Claim Your Digital Real Estate To Improve Your Lead Generation
The fact is that your website is the first impression most clients have of your real estate business. And when it comes to first impressions, you only get one of so you need to make it count. Especially in an industry as competitive as real estate!
By following these tips, you can be sure that your real estate website is SEO friendly. Because if you want to improve your website’s lead generation, you need to make sure that it’s optimized for search engine visibility—through a complementary and balanced approach of PPC and SEO.
Keep in mind that SEO takes time—there are no quick fixes. But now you have a clear idea of what you need to to do get started on the right track!