The real estate industry is one of the most competitive niches that you can find today, both online and offline. If you search on the internet, you will find thousands of small, medium, and large real estate companies struggling and competing for their share in the market. In the recent years, real estate business has exploded all over the internet. This has made a company’s presence on the Internet a major factor for retaining the market share. Real estate companies have created business websites that help customers to view the properties online and even select the one that they like.
However, the competition in the online real estate business is getting tough day by day. This is caused by the increasing number of reals estate business websites and multiplying number of internet users. Thus, real estate businesses have turned their focus on to SEO, to get their business websites rank well in the search engine results. Real estate SEO is tough, but once it’s done the right way, it is rewarding.
According to a study by Contractually, it was found that 80% of all the home buyers search for the properties online, and more than 83% of them view online pictures of the property. These figures provide an insight into how people use the internet to buy properties. Also, this stat is a reminder about the importance of SEO for real estate businesses. The best way to make your real estate business stand out among the competitors is by optimizing your website for the local search.
Here are 9 SEO tips that can help you reach the top positions in local search:
1. Keyword research and placement
Keywords are a collection of words or phrases that you want your website to show up in the results of search engines. This is the most inevitable phase in any SEO strategy. You need to make sure that you find a list of keywords that you want your business website to rank for and also make sure that you have web pages for all the keywords.
Once you find the keywords that you want to rank for, you need to place the keywords properly. You need to make sure that your keywords are present in the URL, page title, alt texts of the images, title of the images, and various times in the page (without stuffing them unnecessarily). You need to make sure that you don’t overdo it since it can adversely affect your SEO strategies.
2. Run an SEO audit
Conducting an SEO audit is the best way to kick-start your SEO task. In fact, audits are very important if you want to optimize your business website for local search listings. While an SEO audit is a huge topic, there are some important areas that you need to take care of, such as:
• Website structure – robots.txt, XML sitemap, redirects
• Structure of the page – URLs, title, H1-H6 tags, ALT tags, meta descriptions
• Content – text, visual elements, links, canonical tags, proper redirects
• Links – inbound and outbound links, interlinking, broken links
• Usability – site speed, mobile friendliness
3. Optimize the website
Once you have found the errors in your website, you need to find solutions to fix them. It is very important that you have a properly optimized website, so that it can show up in the local search results. These are some of the essential things that you need to take care of, to get a properly optimized website:
• Keywords research, analysis, and placement in the website.
• URLs that are SEO friendly and contain the keywords.
• Optimizing all the tags and meta descriptions present in the website.
• Proper placement of the inbound and outbound links.
• Images optimization.
• Removal of broken links or replacing them with valid link
• Optimizing speed of the website
• Optimization of the content present on the website.
• XML sitemaps
• W3C validation
• SSL certificate
If you are new to SEO and have no or very little knowledge about the things provided above, it’s better to hire a professional SEO services provider who can do the required optimization for your website.
4. Local address schema
Does your real estate website have a Google Map embedded in it? If not, you should consider implementing it on priority. Google map helps the search engine in determining where your business is located. It also acts as a factor that helps the search engine in determining that your website is legitimate.
It is recommended that you use schema to reinforce the search engines about your business location and its exact address. It’s very easy to include a map in your website. If you have a WordPress website, you can find various free and paid plugins that can help you place the map where you want.
5. Provide your contact details with complete address
Once you add the map, it’s imperative that you also add your complete address including the phone number in a proper format in the contact page of your website. Also, you need to make sure that phone number and address you mention are consistently valid throughout the web. This is because search engines focus on satisfying the users with best and authentic information, and for that they search every page that contains your information and see if they are same.
6. Ask for reviews
Reviews on your website, social media page, or any third-party website is very essential, since it can contain the link back to your real estate website. This helps in creating an authority for your business in a local community. Also, more the number of positive reviews, higher the chances of you getting more customers. In fact, search engines also tend to rank the websites in top positions if they have better reviews.
7. Publish the reviews
Posting the reviews on your own website is as important as getting them from social media, or any other sources. These are important because, they get indexed by the search engines, especially if you have a sitemap, where you organize testimonials and reviews in a separate webpage. Also, better reviews help in bringing traffic and getting you leads. In fact, a study shows that more than 85% of people read online reviews before buying any property.
8. Be social
Social media can help your local SEO efforts in more ways that surpasses our normal notion. While it may not improve your organic traffic and organic rankings, it still plays a very important role. Here’s how social media helps your local SEO needs:
• It connects you to the target audience
• Builds your brand awareness among people
• Provides you exposure
• Helps you to convert traffic into leads
• Helps you pass a message easily to your customers
Today, with hundreds of social media platforms active on the internet, real estate businesses have a great opportunity to make their brand known among potential customers, and also influence them to buy properties.
9. Try linking with other local businesses
Finally, it’s essential that you make your website a part of the local community, by linking with other local businesses. You can link your website to the local mortgage broker, or the banks that provide home loans to the people. You can link with the local restaurants and others that people can find useful. This also helps you get backlinks, which are very important in getting higher in the search rankings.
There you go, these are some of the best ways how you can make your real estate business website come up in the local SEO searches. Although, there is no magical formula that can get you leads online, creating a well-optimized website can help your business in a great way.