It's no secret that the real estate industry is competitive.
Realtors are fighting for leads against huge companies like Zillow.
So how can realtors level the playing field and use their own websites to get cheaper real estate leads?
In this article, we'll discuss how SEO can help you get more leads and how to get started.
If you are interested the techniques I have used to help a short term rental realtor to reach $158MM in 2021, make sure you read till the end!
- ARPAD BALOGH
What is Realtor SEO?
Realtor SEO stands for Real Estate Search Engine Optimization.
It is the process of optimizing your real estate website to rank higher in search engine results.
You can do this by creating compelling content, having an issue free website and building backlinks.
When people search for keywords like "homes for sale" or "realtor near me", you can show up on the first page of Google.
Why is Real Estate SEO Important?
SEO is important for realtors because it is a great way to get more leads without spending a ton of money.
It is cheaper than buying ads and it allows you to target people who are already interested in finding a real estate agent or agency.
Unlike Ads, SEO doesn't stop working if you stop investing. It is not something we recommend doing, but you will still rank if you decide to stop.
Content Marketing for Realtors
Buying a home is a big decision and most people want to learn as much as they can before they make a purchase.
This is where content marketing comes in.
Content marketing is creating helpful content that answers your audience's questions.
It could be a blog post, an infographic or even a video.
The goal of content marketing is to attract potential customers to your real estate website and build trust with them.
If you can provide helpful information, they are more likely to do business with you when they are ready to buy or sell a home.
You can also offer a lead magnet to encourage people to sign up for your email list.
A lead magnet is a free piece of content that you offer in exchange for an email address.
It could be an ebook, a checklist or even a video course.
You can then nurture these leads with email marketing until they are ready to buy or sell a home.
Make sure you publish real estate blog posts regularly as Google favors websites that are growing!
Do You Want More Customers?
If you are looking to generate more customers, check out this guide and learn how.
You'll find 5 steps that will help fix the most important things on your website today!
Realtor SEO Keyword Research
Finding what your audience is searching for is an important step in creating the perfect Real Estate SEO strategy for real estate websites.
With the right process, you can uncover low competition keywords that you can rank for quickly.
First, start by brainstorming a list of potential keywords.
Think about what your audience might be searching for when they are looking to buy or sell a home.
Once you have a list of potential keywords, it's time to choose a tool.
Step 1: Choosing a Tool
A keyword research tool allows you to see how many people are searching for a particular keyword and how difficult it will be to rank for that realtor keyword.
For example, you can see how many people are searching for a realtor in florida or available homes in new york.
There are a lot of different keyword research tools out there that you can take advantage of as a realtor.
There are free and paid tools.
We recommend starting with a free tool then moving to a paid tool when you are ready to scale your real estate business.
A few popular free keyword research tools are:
- Google Keyword Planner
- Answer the Public
A few popular paid keyword research tools are:
- Moz Pro
Step 2: Writing Up Your Local Areas
The second step is to come up with a list of local areas that you want to rank for.
For example, if you are a realtor in Florida, you might want to target keywords like "realtor in Miami" or "realtor in Orlando".
You know your market areas and the ones where you want to sell or buy homes, so make a list of these areas.
Be as granular as you can!
Target hyperlocal areas, like streets or even ZIP codes as the deeper you go, the less real estate agents you will have to compete with.
Step 3: Generate Keyword Data
The third step is to generate keyword data for your list of local areas.
To do this, you will have to put the keywords and local areas together, so they become like:
"homes for sale miami"
You will have to do this for all your keywords and add them to the keyword research tool of your choice.
Step 4: Finding Informational Keywords
Not all your keywords are going to be targeting people who are ready to buy. Some of them will be informational keywords.
Informational keywords are phrases that people type into search engines when they are looking to get tips on buying or selling a home.
They are not ready to buy, but they are looking for information.
For example, an informational keyword might be: "how to prepare your home for sale"
You want to target these keywords as well because they will help you attract more website visitors.
There are a lot of long tail keywords that will be much easier to rank for as well, so you will want to go for those.
More website visitors means more potential leads.
It's important to have a technically sound website because it will help you rank higher in the search results and get more traffic.
There are a few key things you need to do to make sure your real estate website is technically sound:
Importance of Website Speed
One important factor that Google looks at is website speed.
Your real estate website needs to be fast if you want to rank high in the search results of Google and other search engines.
People are impatient and they will not wait around for a slow website to load.
You need to do everything you can to make sure your website loads fast on desktop and on mobile devices.
Having a Good Core Quality
If you have a lot of technical issues on your website, your core quality will suffer and it will be harder to rank.
Huge real estate websites, like Zillow or Realtor.com have thousands of issues on their website, still, they are ranking for a lot of real estate keywords.
Why is that? It is because they have a huge authority in Google and a ton of pages. Google lets it slide.
You as a smaller real estate business unfortunately can't get away with having a website full of issues. Even smaller issues, if you have a lot of them, can cause issues.
Make sure your real estate website is issue free by doing an On Page SEO audit on it.
Another important factor that Google looks at is website crawlability.
This means that your website needs to be easy for Google's bots to crawl and index.
If your website is not crawlable, it will be hard to rank.
You need to make sure your website is crawlable by doing things like:
- Creating a sitemap
- Adding your website to Google Search Console
- Having a proper internal linking structure
Use Internal Links
Search engines and website visitors both like internal links.
Internal links help improve the user experience by making it easy for website visitors to find what they are looking for.
They also help improve your website's SEO because they give search engine bots an easy way to crawl your website.
Have a Good Site Architecture
Your website's architecture plays a big role in your website's SEO.
A good site architecture will help improve your website's crawlability and it will help your users to navigate.
Using a silo structure is a great way to improve your website's architecture.
A silo structure is when you group similar topics together and link them internally.
This means having your blogs in categories, and having your local pages under services, like:
Optimized Robots.txt file
Your robots.txt file is a file that tells search engine bots what they should and should crawl on your website.
With the robots.txt file you can block certain pages so Google won't spend crawl budget on them.
Instead, you can let it focus on pages that are more important.
Structured Data (Schema)
Structured data is machine-readable code that you can add to your website that helps search engines understand your content.
It's a way of giving search engines more information about your website.
There are several types of Schema, but the most used ones are:
- Local business (Real Estate Agent)
Link building is the process of getting other websites to link to your website.
The more high quality links you have, the higher you will rank in the search results.
There are a few ways to get links:
- Guest blogging
- Broken link building
- Resource page link building
- Infographic link building
- Creating Linkable assets, like calculators and statistics
It's important to get links from related website as well. For example, if you received a link from a pool cleaning website that wouldn't make too much sense.
But if you received one from a contractor website, which could be your partner, then it is on topic and makes sense for Google and users as well.
Choosing a CRM
A CRM is where you store all your leads and the information about them. You can specify what stage your leads are in and send them nurturing campaigns.
Although it's not an SEO factor, getting a good CRM will help you organize your leads and turn them into clients.
Local Real Estate SEO
Local SEO is a bit different from regular Real Estate SEO.
With local SEO, you are targeting people in your city or town who are looking for homes for sale or for a realtor to sell their home.
You can do local SEO on your website and use Google My Business to reach local customers.
Google My Business
Google My Business is a free listing that Google offers to businesses.
It's a great way to increase your visibility in the search results.
If you do your optimization right, you can get into the map pack, which is the top 3 result that appears for most local keywords.
To get started, you need to create a listing and verify it with Google.
Once your listing is verified, you can start optimizing it.
Here are a few things you can do to optimize your GMB listing:
- Choose the right category
- Have a good description
- Get Reviews
- Have keywords in your reviews
- Get Local Citations
- Post Local Posts Regularly
You can check how many reviews your competitors have, how often they post and then mimic what they do.
Fighting the Big Guys, Like Zillow, Realtor
It's not a secret that Zillow and Realtor are the most prominent real estate websites when searching for any keyword that has "homes for sale" or "realtor" in it.
They have a lot of authority and they are pretty good at ranking in the search results.
But, they can't cover all areas equally, so you still have the chance to brake into smaller areas with Local SEO.
You can also rank in the Map Pack with your GMB, which these big companies can't do.
For you to rank locally, you need your NAP (Name, Address, Phone) to appear on as many local directories as possible.
These are called local citations.
The more citations you have, the better your chances of ranking in the Local SEO.
Reviews are very important for Local SEO.
The more reviews you have, the better your chances of ranking in the search results.
You can ask your clients to leave you a review on your Google My Business profile.
Ask your clients to include a variation of your keyword or something similar in their review.
Make sure you respond to all your reviews, both positive and negative.
How to Structure Your Realtor Website?
To make it easier for Google to understand your website and for your users to navigate easier, you need an optimized structure.
If you are looking for listing leads you will need a structure that is targeting realtor keywords, like:
These pages can list the real estate agents that you have in your team (or just you) and some copy about your real estate agency.
If you are looking for buyer leads, you will need a structure that is targeting homes for sale keywords, like:
These pages will have your real estate listings, displayed by the CRM of your choice.
In both cases, you will need to branch out to the local areas you want to target, like:
Of course, this is not the only structure that makes sense, but with this you will be able to target both buyers and sellers in a very specific area.
Tracking SEO Results for Realtors
When you start your Real Estate SEO campaign, you need to track the results so you can adjust your strategy.
There are a few things you need to track:
Rankings - Track your rankings in the SERPs for the keywords you are targeting.
Traffic - Track the organic traffic you are getting to your website.
Conversions - Track the number of leads or clients you are getting from your SEO campaign.
There are a few tools that can help you track these things, like Google Analytics, Google Search Console and Ahrefs.
Google Analytics will show you the traffic you are getting to your website.
From there, you can set up goals and conversions so you can see how many leads or clients you are getting from your SEO campaign.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console will show you the keywords you are ranking for and the average position in the SERPs.
It will also show you the click-through rate (CTR) and how many impressions your website is getting.
Keyword Ranking Tracking Tools
There are a few keyword ranking tracking tools that can help you track your search engine rankings in the SERPs.
These tools will show you where you are ranking for a certain keyword and how your ranking has changed over time.
The best way to track the leads or clients you are getting from your SEO campaign is to set up goals in Google Analytics.
For example, if you have a contact form on your website, you can set up a goal for when someone fills out the form.
This way, you will be able to see how many leads or clients you are getting from your SEO campaign.
Real Estate SEO Services
There are a lot of SEO Agencies that offer Real Estate SEO services that have a lot of experience in ranking real estate websites.
These agencies will help you with keyword research, local citations, link building, content marketing, and tracking your results.
The pricing of these services can vary depending on the agency and the services you are looking for.
Generally, we recommend going with an SEO Agency that offers a custom strategy, rather than a pre-packaged service.
This way, you can be sure that the agency is taking your specific needs into account and not just trying to sell you a service that may not be right for you.
A good Real Estate SEO Agency will also offer monthly reporting so you can see the results of their work and track your progress.
When to hire Real Estate SEO Experts?
If you don't have a lot of time to do SEO yourself or would like to have someone qualified to do it, it might be a good time to hire a real estate SEO expert.
Real Estate SEO can be a great way to get more leads and clients for your business.
By optimizing your website for search engines and targeting the right keywords, you can bring in organic traffic that is interested in what you have to offer.
Then with the right landing pages or call to action, can convert this traffic into leads or clients.
We hope these real estate SEO tips were useful!
Do you have any questions about Real Estate SEO? Let us know in the comments below!