Ronak Kothari is the founder of RONKOT, a full-service digital marketing agency.
Without a strong local SEO foundation, keeping your real estate business on the top has increasingly become difficult today as you’d have to compete with ads first & then organic results.
Real estate is one of the fastest-growing and competitive markets both offline and online. Even if you are a solopreneur or a large real estate conglomerate, everyone is out there to grab more visibility and digital presence.
The competition gets fiercer day after day, and surviving in this cut-throat competitive market is becoming challenging. Depending on your location, the level of competition your real estate business has to face for local SEO optimization may vary.
But the question first needs to be answered is what is local SEO for real estate? Let’s find out:
What is Local SEO for Real Estate Agents?
Local SEO refers to strategies for local search optimization that help your real estate business show up on search engine result pages (SERPs) when users want to buy/sell a property.
Through these strategies, you can improve the credibility, authority, and trust among users and search engines to get better rankings. In addition to that, strategic local SEO implementation also helps your real estate business in many ways.
Let’s find out what SEO does and why it is needed:
Why Does Real Estate Need SEO?
As per a 2021 report, 43% of home buyers searched online for properties during the home buying process.
From this, it can be understood that a realtor who masters SEO & optimization tips, wins the game with a big profit margin.
Here are some other good reasons real estate owners should focus on local SEO:
- Local SEO optimization helps build online visibility and brand awareness.
- It also helps in driving traffic, inquiries, leads, and sales.
- A regional-based SEO is cost-effective and delivers a high ROI.
- And, of course, improved organic rankings of your website and business listings to convert potential leads into buyers.
However, doing so requires a thorough understanding of legit search engine optimization practices. Let’s find out how you can do so:
How Can You Improve Local SEO for Your Real Estate?
Every month, thousands of property searchers look for homes in their city or neighborhood area using just a small set of keywords. No matter the area and keywords used, there will always be competitors who can beat you ahead.
The only way to sustain in this ferocious competition is by implementing the best optimization tips and scraping the outdated ones. Additionally, you can also hire search engine optimization specialists to do the same for you.
Meanwhile, let’s glance over the local SEO optimization guide for your real estate business:
A Definitive Guide on Local SEO for Real Estate Agents to Improve Google Rankings
1. Audit and Analyze Your Competitors
SEO audit is not only necessary for your own website but also for analyzing where your competitors stand. It gives you an idea of how much effort you’d have to put into improving your real estate listings to get featured on the SERP.
Even though it can be a time-consuming process, it gives you a benchmark your competitors have set. Tools like Ahrefs can help you, audit competitors, for keyword optimization levels, backlink profiles, and many others.
Here are the key things to focus on while auditing competitors:
- Website Structure: Analyze the website architecture of your real estate competitors to measure how well-organized their internal pages, posts, and content are in relation to one another.
- Keywords & Content: Audit the content and keyword optimization level. This will help you form strategies for your own content marketing and discover the keywords your competitors rank for and possibly you’ll one day.
- Link Profile: Through Ahrefs and other web analytic tools, you can audit link profiles of your competitors and replicate the same for your real estate website to rank higher on SERP.
2. Optimize Your Real Estate Website & Listings for Local Search
After you’ve done the audit, it’s time to put all the findings to good use. A systematic way to go about it would ensure nothing is missed out.
Once you are done fixing the findings from your competitor analysis, optimize your real estate website and business listings. Here are a few things to consider when optimizing your listings:
- Build a Website & Claim Your Listings: Design & develop a website if you don’t already have one. Also, add or claim business listings on Google Business Profile, Yelp, Facebook, and other local directories.
- Optimize Keyword Usage: If done correctly, you’ll get free traffic to your website and listings. Use keywords from the competitor analysis you’ve done to optimize your website with them.
Further, do extensive keyword research to find location-specific, long-tail, and LSI keywords for your real estate niche.
Here are a few tools you can use:
- Google Keyword Planner
- Google Trends
- Answer the Public
- Google Search Bar for Long-Tail Keywords
Some keyword examples to optimize your website for:
- Real estate agent near me
- Realtor in Dallas
- 3 bed home in downtown austin
- Lakehouse on rent, etc…
- SEO-Friendly URLs: Never mess with your website’s URL structure. Doing so may lead to broken links, which can negatively hurt your local SEO for real estate. Log in to your Google Search Console and see if there are any broken links & resolve them.
Also, maintain a healthy and SEO-friendly URL format as seen below:
- Optimize Images: Adding images to your property listing website may seem a simple task, but a lot goes behind optimization. Each image should be relevant and have an Alt text, caption, title, and proper description to define what they convey.
- Add Schema Markups: Google recognizes certain schema elements such as number of reviews, price, star rating, phone, address, etc.
They are a way to present your website in a structured format to search engines and give users additional information on SERP before they visit.
3. Ensure Your Website is Accessible to Users and Search Engines
Your real estate website should be built keeping the accessibility of it in mind not only for users but also for search engines. Even when you build the greatest and shiniest website, if it has an accessibility issue, it affects your SERP rankings.
Here are a few things to keep in check for greater accessibility:
- Site Security: Ensure that your website has an SSL certificate installed on it. The URL should start with https and a lock symbol for visitors and bots to trust your website and access it safely anytime.
- XML Sitemaps: Sitemap ensures that Google bots can access all the content, pages, posts, and videos published on your site. It helps search engines to identify the most important pages and content on your real estate website that is rank worthy.
- Reduce Crawl Errors: As mentioned above, using GSC, you can thoroughly analyze your real estate website for its search performance, gather link data, and identify any technical SEO issues. Find if there are any crawl errors such as 404s and resolve them for better accessibility.
- Improve Page Speed: Slow & sluggish websites are a pain in the neck. Check your website’s page load speed on Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool and resolve any issues that hinder the speed.
4. Improve Page Experience for Higher Engagement
Prepare your website for a great page experience. This sends a positive signal to users and search engines that your site is worthy to be ranked higher. Excellent page experience also translates to more clicks and higher engagement from users.
Here are a few things that can help you offer a wonderful page experience on your real estate website:
- Improve Core Web Vitals: Core Web Vitals — an essential part of page experience update — are the primary facets that help Google ensure users get the intended experience. Understand what they are and keep them in check for your website.
- Optimize for Mobile: Mobile devices have taken over in terms of traffic source. Thus, it makes sense to optimize your real estate website for mobile. Also, it becomes necessary since the younger population is more likely to use mobile devices for home hunting.
You can test the mobile-friendliness of your real estate website with this tool.
- Limit any Intrusive Interstitials: Intrusive interstitials or simply known as unwanted popups hinder the page experience users get and can negatively impact your website’s ranking.
Ensure pop-ups take up a reasonable amount of space that doesn’t affect the user experience.
5. Acquire Links and Citations from Relevant Real Estate Sources
Acquiring links and citations from relevant real estate sources is equally important as implementing any other steps mentioned above. You don’t have to build thousands of links and citations from irrelevant and low-quality sources.
A reasonable number of links and citations from quality sources is more than enough. However, you don’t have to stop after that. You’ll have to keep building quality backlinks and citations from as many sources as possible.
Let’s see how you can do so:
- Get Quality Links: Quality backlinks are the pillar for your real estate local SEO. Apart from the competitor analysis, you must also research on your own to find relevant publishers, directories, and media houses to form link-building strategies.
Acquire as many quality links as possible for higher search traffic.
- Create Business Citations: Google Business Profile is one of the most important places to have your business listed to get found locally. Optimize your GBP and other business citations for higher SERP rankings.
- Build Social Presence: Social presence is also another way to get more traction for your real estate business. They are brand signals that search engines also factor in when ranking your web page or business listings.
6. Enhance Social Proof for Your Real Estate Business
Testimonials and reviews are a great medium to increase social proof and boost local SEO for your real estate business. They not only help build trust among your audience but also help your brand to achieve higher Google rankings.
Try to get more reviews and testimonials on your GBP, Yelp, and other business profiles. Apart from that, here’s what else you can do:
- Add Video Reviews: Not all realtors would be creating and using video reviews of their clients. And if you are the one doing so, it will definitely make you stand apart from the rest of the competition in your local market.
- Interview Local Business Owners: Conducting interviews with local business owners would assist you in presenting a unique perspective to your target market. You can demonstrate the potential of local neighborhoods to prospective home buyers.
Improve Local SEO to Take Your Real Estate to Notch Higher
Irrespective of the competition you are likely to face in your real estate market, there are plenty of opportunities for you to shine. By implementing the above-mentioned strategies, you can optimize your real estate website and business listings for local searches.
Doing so will help you rank higher on Google SERPs. If you find these to be overwhelming, we suggest taking help from SEO specialists like Ronkot. We are a team of search engine optimization experts and help small businesses like yours by implementing strategic local SEO to boost their web presence along with SERP rankings.
Get in touch with our team of experts for a detailed discussion on the same and get a cup of coffee to lighten your mood.