SEO has been an important buzzword for online marketers. With the changes in the digital landscape, there is a paradigm shift when it comes to marketing techniques. Businesses – big and small – now understand the importance SEO marketing plays on their success.
In the realm of real estate, SEO serves as an important channel for brand awareness and client acquisition.
Did you know that 90 percent of buyers browse the web when house hunting? In a report by Google and the National Association of Realtors regarding consumer trends in real estate, 53 percent of buyers start their house hunting search online.
Potential buyers also go online to connect with realtors. The 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers states that 86 percent of buyers look at real estate websites as their most useful sources when searching for a home.
Given these numbers, it is obvious what first step real estate businesses should take to help their business: reach customers online.
What is real estate SEO?
Simply put, real estate SEO involves the application of search engine optimization techniques on real estate property websites. Online marketing giants in this category include Realtor.com, Trulia, and Zillow — all of which employ competitive digital strategies for real estate brands to win localized search traffic.
It isn’t entirely impossible to go head-to-head with these websites as long as you create a strong online marketing framework of your own. You can get started with these tips:
1. Focus on local keyword phrases.
Survey shows that 69 percent of people shopping for homes start their search using local keyword phrases. While most realtors target multiple regions and cities, you can start using geo-targeted keywords to build your presence in your local area. Identify a main city and expand your online presence to other areas gradually.
When creating content, build your website as a resource page. Home shoppers consider property websites as an important source of information, so provide data and insights on what potential buyers usually search for, such as public transport and neighborhood background.
2. Be smart with your keywords.
Do a search using “Makati homes” and “Makati real estate”, and Google will show you hundreds of results. Starting local is a good strategy, but you also have to put effort on keywords that you churn. Remember: quality is as important as quantity in the world of real estate and SEO. Sticking to generic phrases will make it hard for you to rank — much less attract local buyers.
Apply micro targeting on your keywords. For example, use home models and neighborhoods to tap niches that aren’t saturated with content. You can also choose long-tail keywords, which are commonly used by most of today’s searchers.
3. Think of IDX integration.
Real estate SEO usually use IDX integration to add indexed listings to their website. This is especially helpful if you want to create authority and lead generation for your brand. This feature might not be effective if you don’t have a good SEO strategy. In the end, indexable listings are still incapable of creating searches on its own for your website.
You can use WordPress plugins to integrate IDX. One of these is Optima Express + MarketBoost IDX plugin. This plugin allows you to add IDX/MLS search with shortcodes and quick search widgets, as well as basic and advanced search forms. This also provides your WordPress site with listing-based CTAs, user registration prompts, interactive map search, and many more features to make your real estate website stand out.
4. Use social wisely.
A strong social media presence can complement your SEO strategy. Social channels like Facebook and Twitter are valuable when optimizing a real estate website because it provides you with effective channels that reach a wider range of audience. This helps in pushing your content (and your brand) to followers. Pinterest and LinkedIn social content can be particularly useful for real estate SEO.
5. Don’t forget about online listings.
I did mention before that sites like Zillow are some of your biggest competitors if you’re doing real estate SEO. But, does this mean that you should cross them out of your strategy entirely? Definitely not.
Consider adding your listings to these platforms. Why? Searches on real estate probably do not start on a broker’s sites, but on listing sites that offer information like neighborhood demographics and other important figures. Leaving out these sites means you’ll be missing out on a lot of potential buyers.
Don’t be afraid to experiment when it comes to real estate SEO — there is no such thing as a foolproof solution. You’ll have to test, combine, and drop online marketing tactics to see which works best for your brand. Real estate SEO may be a world of its own, but you can also borrow strategies to make your SEO framework unique and customized for your needs.