Optimize your marketing strategy
7 SEO tips for real estate agents
It’s one thing to build a beautiful website, but if it merely exists online, it’s not a business generator. Rather, it’s an online brochure.
Turning your website from an online brochure to a business generator means engaging in practices that help boost your website to the top when people search for real estate agents, homes or listings in a particular area. Collectively, those practices are called search engine optimization, or SEO.
Why should real estate agents bother with SEO strategies? It’s hard to ignore the internet’s power when it comes to online searches for not only real estate agents but also properties. Nearly 45% of recent buyers indicated that the first thing they did before purchasing homes was search online for properties for sale. That’s compared with17% who first contacted a real estate agent, according to the
National Association of REALTORS® 2016 Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers
.
The challenge for busy agents, however, is successful SEO takes commitment, having a strategy and putting in almost daily time and effort. These 7 SEO tips should help real estate agents garner near top spots on local searches with Yahoo!, Google and other search engines.
Cardnuff’s Bonus tip:
Continue to use those broad key terms, including “real estate” and your city. Include longer phrases, called long-tail keywords, to create niches for things that define your business but may not be searched as much. Think locally, by registering with local search engines and focusing on sharing local content.
Enhance your social media presence
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What would you type into the computer, onto your tablet or phone if you were looking for properties in Miami, Fla.? Answering that question is an important first step in developing a successful SEO strategy. Your answer might be: “Houses for sale in Miami.” Variations could include houses for sale in a certain zip code or price range or county.
Real estate agents who come up with the key phrases potential clients would use and include those in in their websites, content and more stand to boost their search engine rankings, according to a Feb. 17, 2017, article “
3 SEO Tips for Real Estate Agents
,” on BusinessOpportunities.Biz.
Focus on the right key phrases
Tip #1
Agents’ activities on social media—from Facebook and Twitter to YouTube and Instagram—can increase SEO rankings, as well as build relationships with potential new clients. Professional social communities, such as LinkedIn, can help drive rankings for agents that have particular strengths in the profession, according to BusinessOpportunities.Biz.
Remember to aim for consistency in the messages you send on your website and social media. That way, what you do works collectively to enhance search engine rankings. For example, digital marketing expert Sam Hurley said on
PieSync.com
that you name, address and phone number should be consistent, regardless of the online platform. This includes third-party listings and mentions. To verify a name, address and phone are consistent, you can do an advanced Google search on your own company names, locations and zip codes, according to Hurley.
Connect socially
Tip #2
Listings on real estate agent directories can work to an agent’s SEO advantage. Zillow is among the major real estate websites to allow agents to link back to their websites and some social media profiles, according to BusinessOpportunities.Biz.
Spread the word through listings
Tip #3
Online reviews matter. One
survey
suggested 84% of customers equally trust online reviews and personal recommendations. One option is to build a
Google My Business
presence for local results, which with staying on top of reviews and using analytics. Hurley said a local SEO plan should include sharing a continuous stream of positive reviews.
While telling people what to write isn’t ethical, according to the search engines, you can consistently send the important messages to those who write the reviews. For example, a review mentioning a real estate agent by name and how that person has expertise in a certain location can further help to drive up SEO when people use those search phrases.
Use reviews to your SEO advantage
Tip #4
The more an agent can spread the online word about his expertise through listings, reviews, images, content and more, the better for SEO.
Writing content that’s so informative that others want to share it is key. According to Hurley, agents can research content from their competitors and create content that’s longer, more valuable and better.
Build content worthy of sharing
Tip #5
Hurley recommended on PieSync.com that agents consider hiring an SEO expert to help with improving rankings—rather than tackle the entire task on their own.
Have realistic expectations
Tip #6
There are SEO challenges that agents will encounter, according to an article by Brent Carnduff, written Dec. 12, 2016 on
BrentCarnduff.com
.
Searching for a broad term, such as “real estate” combined with a city name will reveal that the big names in the industry, including Zillow and realtor.com have top rankings, according to Carnduff. That’s not to mention other competitors, including Yelp and big real estate brands, such as Century 21, he wrote.
There isn’t much room for an individual agent on a local results search. But with diligence, agents can work their ways up in the rankings. The keys are diligence and using the right strategies, he wrote.
Think big … and small
Tip #7
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