The real estate world has changed a lot over the years, and to ensure continued success, you need to keep up with the trends. According to the National Association of Realtors, 90% of people who want to buy a new home first search for properties online.
This means that to reach prospective clients, you need to have a strong online presence. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) therefore plays a crucial role for all real estate agents, and you need to ensure that you are well-positioned even before launching your site. This guide provides you with an updated website launch SEO checklist for real estate agents in 2021.
SEO checklist for real estate agents
Localize your SEO
In real estate, you won’t be targeting a general, worldwide, or even national audience. Rather, you will be aiming to reach a location-specific audience, looking for location-specific information. This means that you need to be smarter in your targeting and use localized keywords.
For a start, do some research to try and understand what your prospective clients would search for online. For example, they may search the name of a nearby city, not the specific county. If you operate in several regions, it’s advisable to have multiple pages for particular regions. Apart from that, you also need to understand how to play with words such as sell, buy, rent, or invest, depending on who you are looking for.
Optimize for mobile devices
More than half of the global internet traffic comes from mobile phones, and statistics state that 72% of buyers have used their mobile phones to search for a home. This means that you need to ensure that you have factored in mobile friendliness before you launch your website.
This has become even more important in recent years after Google made mobile-friendliness a key factor in their ranking. To boost your SEO, ensure that your website uses a responsive design and users can easily navigate using their mobile device. You can use a mobile-friendly test tool to check if your site passes the threshold.
Add your site to google my business & other relevant directories
Google’s business directory plays a huge role in Google searches and local citations, and the same applies to other relevant directories. To boost your SEO, go to Google business and add your agency, complete with the name, address, and phone number. Always ensure that you keep this information up to date.
Apart from Google, go ahead and add it to various other directories such as Realtor.com, Yellow Pages, Yahoo Homes, HomeSnap, and Local.com, among others. Make sure that the information you add matches all directories. For Google business, you may already have a profile that just needs to be claimed and updated.
Research the competition
Real estate is a very competitive area, and so apart from having a strategy on how to reach your clients, you also need to research the competition. Through such research, you can know how they do their stuff, why they are where they are, and what strategies work in the target area.
With this information, you can then analyze their strengths as well as their weaknesses. You can adapt some of the things that you like and maximize on their weaknesses. In terms of technical SEO, find out their site structure, site speed, hreflang, and mobile-friendliness. Apart from that, analyze their on-page and off-page SEO to find out content quality, keywords used, conversion strategy, backlinks, link building strategies, and backlink gaps.
Maximize on Social Media
Social media is a very powerful tool, and it can help you get a bigger reach as well as boost your SEO. Therefore, it is important to have channels across all popular social platforms, with all of them linking back to your website. When creating these pages, ensure that your information is consistent and that you fill in your contact information section. Google uses such to validate information found everywhere else about you.
Once you create a post, blog, or video, you can then share it on your social media. Remember to keep the channels act as the Google algorithm will trust you more if you have many social media activities.
Integrate Quality Video Content
Videos have become powerful tools for real estate agents. According to Bold Content Video statistics, real estate listings with videos receive nearly 400% more inquiries than those who don’t have a video sample. This is because a well-made real estate video showcases the property in more detail than a photo or textual description can.
This means that you need to ensure that you post well-made videos on your website and social media channels. This could be the last nudge a buyer needs, and it can show a seller that working with you will have their property showcased well.
Get quality client reviews
According to Search Engine Watch, 90% of customers read reviews online before making a purchase decision or visiting a business. And out of these, 72% will take action after reading a positive review. This means that you need to get reviews for clients to get a positive impression of your agency after seeing you on Google.
To do this, request clients that you have worked with to write a review for you. You should have reviews at least on Google, but reviews on other top sites like Yelp can also boost your SEO efforts. Ensure that you also feature testimonials on your website.
Opt for long-tail keywords
Due to the level of competition, you need to lean more towards long-tail keywords than head keywords. To differentiate the two, head keywords are typically short and general, while long-tail keywords consist of 4 or more words and are more specific.
Long-tail keywords will help you attract more qualified traffic, beat the competition, and ultimately have more conversions. This is mainly because users searching for long-tail keywords often know what they want. For example, a user searching for “real estate agent” may be looking for real estate jobs, information on how to become one, etc. A user searching “home for sale in Berkeley California” is probably a prospective home buyer in the city.
Create compelling headlines
You can invest in great content, but you will need compelling headlines to turn a browser into a reader. This is because 8 out of 10 people will read your headline, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest of the post. To create such a headline, you can focus on the value you are providing, use strong verbs, invoke the reader, use numbers, or ask a question, among other techniques.
Perform an SEO Audit
Finally, you will need to perform an SEO audit before you go online. If you have no SEO experience, this can be an overwhelming task, so you’ll probably need to involve an expert. They will review your site’s structure, the specifics of each page, and the content on the site. They will also check mobile-friendliness, speed, and various other factors that can affect your search engine ranking, then make recommendations.
SEO is a crucial part of the real estate business, and every agent should seek to maximize its power to reach potential clients and beat the competition. The above checklist provides essential tips that you can use to boost your online visibility. When properly applied to SEO, you will have a cost-effective online marketing approach that can help generate leads and grow your business.