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In case you didn’t know, SEO is one of the most important online metrics to follow when seeking more real estate clients and a stronger digital presence. According to research from Contactually, about 80 percent of all homebuyers look online, and 42 percent of homebuyers actually start their search online.
Despite the number of people using online resources in their searches, not all realtors take full advantage of the platform. Many still don’t have a website, while some don’t focus on search engine optimization for promoting their services and gaining clientele.
“A social media presence will be key in the coming year to successfully reach the up-and-coming millennial market, but also key to keep up with the growing number of people looking online,” writes Katharina Cavano of Contactually.
“Plus, with the market shifting towards more affordability in buying rather than renting, there will be more people out there looking to buy with a big boost in first time home buyers who had been long time renters.”
If you’re a real estate agent trying to gain more leads and tap into a new market, focusing on SEO is a vital first step. Here are some tips to get you going:
1. Focus on Local SEO
Location-based SEO is essential for realtors. As a Texas realtor, you don’t want to rank in search engines for New York real estate. Your keywords, reviews, visuals, content, links, and social media interactions should all come from local sources to make your agency an authority in the niche.
As you work to create more localized SEO for your website, you should focus on some of the following metrics:
- Local neighborhood pages that discuss news and events in the area
- Content that’s focused on local occurrences
- Blog posts based on your area of practice
- Long-tail keywords that point to “real estate in Texas” or something similar
- Visuals with local tags
- Title tags and meta descriptions using local keywords
Building a strong local SEO presence may take some time, but it will drive search traffic quickly and accurately.
2. Use Social Media
Social media is a very powerful marketing tool, but it’s largely under-utilized in real estate. While 91 percent of realtors report using social media in some way, only about nine percent of realtors use it to openly market their listings, according to Contactually.
“Very few landlords have tapped into the full potential of social media in the real estate industry,” says an article from Green Residential, property managers and realtors in Houston.
“However, those who are using it properly have found tremendous success. You can use Facebook to create highly targeted advertisements, or simply ask friends to share properties on their profiles.”
It’s a real shame that more people don’t use social media, particularly Facebook, to connect with homebuyers on a more personal level. You can make deeper connections, market your listings, and increase your online presence – all while building trust.
3. Make Your Site Responsive
Research from The Digital House Hunt report clearly shows that mobile access, when it comes to your website, is a huge priority among homebuyers. Their findings revealed that 89 percent of new home searchers use a mobile device, and about 68 percent use mobile applications to aid their search. These numbers will continue to rise as the mobile-centric millennial generation becomes more interested in becoming homeowners.
Today, making your website responsive is a fairly simple task. Most website builders and templates have a mobile option readily available so it can be viewed on multiple screens. All you have to do is choose a responsive template and make sure the mobile-first feature is activated.
4. List Your Site in Directories
Trulia, Homes.com, RedFin, and Zillow are among the most popular directories for home listings, and they receive a lot of traffic. Trulia gets more than 277 million pageviews each month and Zillow almost doubles that number at 498 million monthly pageviews.
Posting a link to your website through these listing services gives you access to that traffic. As buyers visit your site through the posted links, you’ll get more points in the Google algorithm, raising your rankings.
5. Create Excellent Content
Content is easily one of the most important aspects of search engine optimization. According to Neil Patel of Kissmetrics, “SEO demands content…SEO makes demands. Content marketing fulfills those demands…There is no such thing as SEO without content. You need words, articles, substance, keywords, verbiage.” It’s these features that allow Google to categorize your website and boost your search rankings.
Along with providing useful and often promotional information for your clients, content is the catalyst for backlinking. The more authoritative links you have to your homepage, the better off you’ll be.
“Your SEO campaign will fail unless you integrate content marketing,” Patel finishes.
“Clearly, content marketing is only going to be successful if it has SEO features. Look at it this way: Your content is going nowhere unless people search and find. In order to make it found, you need SEO. Bring these two together. Alone, they are impotent. Together, they are dynamite.”