Analyzing a Competitor's Real Estate SEO Strategy

Wes Martin
Posted by Wes Martin
Updated on
Published in SEO

For Realtors®, Companies, & Websites

Simply put, the real estate industry is not immune from transformation. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a critical part of any successful real estate business's online strategy. It's not just about making sure your website appears first when someone searches for real estate in your area - it's about staying ahead of your competition. That's why understanding and analyzing your competitor's SEO efforts can provide invaluable insights to inform and improve your strategy.

Whether you're:

  • A real estate agent trying to increase your personal brand's visibility
  • A company aiming to improve your property listing's search engine rankings
  • Or, a real estate website looking to attract more visitors

The process of competitive SEO analysis remains the same. The ability to assess what your competitors are doing right, and perhaps more importantly, what they're doing wrong, gives you a distinct advantage in the highly competitive real estate market.

In this blog, we'll guide you step-by-step on how to analyze your competition's SEO efforts, equipping you with the knowledge and tools to stand out in search engine results - let's get started.

Identifying Your Competitors

Identifying your SEO competitors is more than just pinpointing other real estate agents or companies in your area - it's about finding businesses or websites that rank high in the search engine results for keywords relevant to your industry.

Here's a bit more content on how to do this:

  • Define Your Keywords: Start by defining the real estate SEO keywords or phrases you believe are more important to your business. Say for example, if you're a real estate agent in Chicago, your keywords would include "Chicago real estate", "homes for sale in Chicago", or "Chicago, IL real estate agent."
  • Run a Search: Use a search engine to look up these keywords, and the businesses that appear on the first page, but mainly the businesses ranked #1-#5 are your main competitors.
  • Broaden Your Search: Use a wide array of keywords to identify more competitors in your specific industry.
  • Don't Be Afraid to Use Tools: Investing in a subscription to Ahrefs or SEMRush will help you get a more detailed view of your online competitors in a clean, straightforward dashboard.

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Ahrefs and SEMRush also provide additional valuable insights like backlink analysis, site audits, and competitor research, making them comprehensive solutions. The more organized and streamlined your keyword research is, the more effectively you can use those insights to shape your content strategy and improve your website's search engine performance. 

Now you've set the stage for in-depth analysis - let's now dissect their tactics, uncover their strategies, and start laying the groundwork for your improve SEO plan.

Analyzing A Competitor's Keywords

Once you've identified who your competitors are, it's time to delve deeper into their real estate SEO keyword strategy. The keywords they rank for can provide significant insights into their SEO strategy, as well as offering opportunities for your own.

  • Keyword Overview: As mentioned above, using a tool like Ahrefs, or Moz can help you build an overview of the keywords your competition rank for.
  • High-Value Keywords: Look for high-volume, low-competition keywords that your competitors are ranking for - this is where opportunities lie.

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Understand that you'll eventually find keywords that are high-volume with high-competition, and that you shouldn't shy away from trying to rank for these keywords, however, it'll take a more concerted effort and time to do so.

  • Long-Tail Keywords: Pay attention to the long-tail keywords your competitors are using. These are often less competitive and will take less time and effort to begin ranking well.
  • Keyword Placement: Notice where the keywords are placed on their website, including headers, meta descriptions, and URLs - if keywords are missing from these places, that would be an opportunity for you to take advantage of.


By doing the work above, you gain valuable insight into the keywords that work in your specific real estate industry. Remember that the ultimate goal is to capitalize on what's working for your competitors, and to learn and take advantage of what's not working.

Investigating Competitor's On-Page SEO Tactics

On-Page SEO refers to the optimization of individual web pages on a site to rank higher in search engines - Below are a few things to consider:

  • Title Tags and Meta Descriptions: See how your competitors are using their keywords in their title tags and meta descriptions - these are foundational for SEO and click-through rates.
  • URL Structure: Examine the structure of your competitor's URL's. Good SEO practice often includes using direct, easy-to-read URLs with keywords included.

Tip: Try to avoid adding dates such as the year to blogs or pages in your URL structure. You can use dates in the title of the page, but by leaving it out of the URL, you can avoid having to change the structure and having to use a 301 redirect whenever you update the content.

  • Content Quality: Are they providing in-depth, valuable information? Or is the bulk of the content just fluff? Good quality, helpful content is essential for ranking.
  • Internal Linking: How are your competitors liking their pages together - if at all? This helps guide search engines and users through your website.
  • Images and Alt Text: Never overlook your images - this is another opportunity to include keywords and improve SEO. 

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When naming images with alt text, try your best to describe the image you're naming, as opposed to stuffing it with keywords. You're not trying to decorate the image with text but to give a clear and concise explanation of what the image is.

A thorough understanding of your competitor's on-page SEO can be a game-changer. The more you understand their strategy, the better equipped you'll be to create a compelling, search engine-friendly website that not only competes but thrives in your niche.

Analyzing Competitor's Content Marketing Strategy

Content is the driving force behind any successful SEO strategy - we've all heard the expression "content is king" at least 1,000 times.

Assessing your competitor's content marketing strategy can give you insights into what type of content resonates with your target audience.

Here are a few suggested steps to follow:

  • Review Their Blog: Check if your competitors have a blog page, and how frequently they update it. Review the topics they cover and the level of engagement each post receives. This process gives you a great place to start - take a successful blog, and rewrite it so it's easier to read, with additional context or helpful information.
  • Analyze Their Use of Multimedia: Look for the use of video, infographics, podcasts, or other forms of multimedia content. These can significantly increase engagement and are valuable to search engine rankings.

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Example of a video deck from

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For readers, multimedia can help break up chunks of text, making the content more digestible. It also adds value by providing a visual representation of complex information, making your content more understandable and memorable. Videos, in particular, can increase the time a visitor spends on your page, signaling to search engines that your content is valuable, which is also a ranking factor. To learn more, we've also written at length about real estate blogging.

  • Observe Their Content Lengths: Multiple studies show that longer, more in-depth content tends to rank better in search results.

Evaluating your competitor's content marketing strategies can provide a roadmap to follow, but ideally surpass. The goal is not to mimic their strategy but to develop your own unique, high-quality content marketing strategy that provides value to your audience and enhances your SEO efforts.

Reviewing Your Competitor's Social Media Influence

Although social media doesn't directly influence SEO, a strong social media presence can indirectly boost your SEO efforts.

Here's how we recommend you analyze your competitor's social media influence:

  • Assess Their Presence: Determine what platforms they're active on and how engaged their followers are.
  • Identify Shared Content: See what kind of content they are sharing on social media. Is it their own content or content from other sources?

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 In the realm of SEO, collaboration can be a powerful tool. Identifying opportunities to work with other content creators can help you tap into new audiences, gain backlinks, and add diverse perspectives to your content. Look for popular local bloggers, influencers, or industry experts who align with your real estate niche and consider guest posting, content collaboration, or setting up reciprocal link agreements.

  • Engagement Rate: Look at the likes, shares, comments, and other interactions on their posts. High authentic engagements often translate to more website traffic.

By understanding the influence your competitors hold on social media, you can better strategize your own social media efforts to drive traffic to your site. The key is to maintain a robust and engaging social media presence that complements your SEO efforts.

Interpreting the Data

Collecting data is only half the battle; understanding what it means is where the real work begins.

Here's how you can make sense of the data:

  • Look for Patterns: If multiple competitors are ranking for the same keywords, it might be worth considering these in your own strategy.
  • Spot Opportunities: Understand where your competitors are doing well, and where they're falling short. The data may reveal gaps in your competitor's strategy that you can take advantage of.

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An example of this would be looking for gaps in content - suppose you're a real estate agent specializing in historic homes, and your competitors are ranking for keywords related to "renovating historic homes," but none of them provide substantial content on this topic. This discrepancy presents a clear content gap - you can then create a comprehensive guide on renovating homes, featuring expert advice, potential pitfalls, and success stories.

  • Evaluate Trends: This is why re-evaluating your competitor's strategy over time is so important. SEO strategies should be continually changing, and if you're seeing a consistent change in your competitors' strategy, there might be a reason why.

Understanding and interpreting the data you gather from your competitor analysis can fuel your strategic SEO decision-making.

It allows you to identify and capitalize on emerging market trends, exploit gaps in your competitor's strategies, and refine your own SEO tactics for optimal performance.

Always remember, the data you collect serves as the compass guiding you through the ever-changing landscape of SEO in the real estate industry.

Benchmarking Real Estate SEO Strategy

Benchmarking your SEO against your competitors is essential to understand how well you're doing and where improvements are needed.

How's how this can be achieved:

  • Ranking Comparison: Using SEO tools like Ahrefs, or SEMRush to compare your keyword rankings with those of your competitors. Each platform will give you a clear dashboard of exactly where you stand in the rankings compared to your competitors in real time.
  • Backlink Analysis: Compare the number of quality backlinks you have with those of your competitors. This can give you insights into your link-building strategy. 
  • Speed and Mobile Optimization: Compare your website's loading speed and mobile optimization with tools like PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix. Page speed matters, and it has a significant influence on SEO ranking factors. 


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Note that optimizing these elements can be complex and technical. It often involves tasks like reducing server response times, optimizing images, minifying code, and implementing a responsive design for mobile devices. While many guides are available online, these tasks can be time-consuming and may require a robust understanding of web development - don't be afraid to enlist professional help.

Benchmarking allows you to understand your current position in the SEO landscape compared to your competitors. It's not about beating yourself up over where you fall short, but about identifying areas of improvement and creating an action plan to enhance your SEO efforts.

Turning Analysis into Action

Analyzing your competition's SEO efforts is not just about understanding their strategy - it's also about leveraging that knowledge to bolster your own real estate business. Put another way, it's about finding gaps in their SEO efforts and identifying opportunities in your own. SEO is not a one-size-fits-all approach, especially in the ever-changing landscape of real estate. By taking a keen interest in your competitor's strategies, you equip yourself with the insights needed to adapt, innovate, and stand out in a crowded online space.

To develop these insights, joining Real Estate Webmasters' SEO forum is a fantastic place to start.

Remember, the goal is not to replicate your competitors but to outshine them.

SEO Competitive Analysis FAQ

Why is it important to analyze a competitor's SEO strategy in real estate?

Analyzing a competitor's SEO strategy allows you to understand what tactics they're using to rank high in search results. This can offer valuable insights into effective keywords, content strategies, backlink tactics, and more in your specific real estate niche.

How can I identify who my SEO competitors are?

Your SEO competitors may not always be the same as your direct business competitors. They're the ones who rank high in search results for the keywords relevant to your real estate business. You can identify your SEO competitors by performing a search of these keywords and seeing which websites appear in top results consistently.

What tools can I use to analyze my competitor's SEO strategy?

Several tools can aid in competitor SEO analysis. Ahrefs, SEMRush, Moz, and SpyFu are popular choices that provide comprehensive data, including keyword rankings, backlinks, site audits, and more.

What are some key elements to look at when analyzing a competitor's SEO strategy?

Key elements to analyze include their keyword strategy (What keywords they're ranking for), their on-page SEO (how they structure their content, their use of title tags, meta descriptions, etc.), their backlink profile (what sites are linking to them), and their content strategy (what topics they cover, the quality and format of their content).

Once I've analyzed my competitor's SEO strategy, what should my next steps be?

After your analysis, use the insights gained to inform your own SEO strategy. This may involve targeting new keywords, modifying your on-page SEO, adjusting your content strategy, or striving to earn high-quality backlinks. It's important to remember that the goal is not to copy your competitor's strategy but to learn from it and build a strategy that outperforms it.

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