Real Estate SEO
Everything You Need To Know
What Is Real Estate SEO?
Real estate SEO is the process of optimizing a website in order to increase its position in search results for relevant real estate-related keywords. This includes optimizing website content like property listings, agent bios, and neighborhood information to make them more attractive to search engines, as well as getting links from other websites to increase the site's credibility.
Real Estate SEO: The Basics
In this section, we will cover the basics of SEO for real estate websites, including what SEO is, how it works, and why it’s good for real estate businesses.
What Is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It's the practice of making changes to your website so that it will rank higher with search engines like Google. The goal is to make it easier for people to find your website when they search for keywords related to your business or industry. Doing SEO includes things like making sure your website is easy to navigate, using relevant keywords in your content, and making sure your website is mobile-friendly.
The idea is that the higher your website ranks in search results, the more likely people are to click on it and visit your site. And search results aren't just one thing either, as there are other things like rich snippets, "People also ask" results, local search, and image searches that sites can compete for as well.
How SEO Works
Think of all the ways a brick-and-mortar business might drive visits to their location. Everything from making sure they are in the phone book, to being in an accessible location, having eye-catching signage, having a pleasant in-store experience, and of course, a product or service that people want.
SEO is similar in that it encompasses a wide variety of practices and techniques, ranging from the technical, to the aesthetic, to the social.
Whether you’re setting up a website or writing a blog post, if you’re doing it directly or indirectly to improve search ranking, then you’re doing SEO. In most cases this starts with at least a basic understanding of how or why search engines rank certain websites, pages, or content over others.
SEO used to be as simple as making sure a page was full of certain keywords and phrases, as search engines like Google would show a page to users based on a match between what the user typed and words found on the page. Since then, things have become more complicated, with Google introducing a range of ranking factors including:
- Page speed (with an emphasis on mobile performance)
- How many sites link to yours (backlinks)
- User engagement
Today, the precise factors that influence ranking and their relative weight are unknown, even to Google technicians, as the system now uses machine learning to make updates to itself everyday.
Occasionally there will be a large manual (core) update that will upset rankings and provide a bit more insight into what’s important and what’s not, but ultimately these are all intended to bring rankings in-line with Google’s guidelines.
In general, Google wants to promote and serve web content that is:
Google also develops a profile for each individual user and tailors the search results to be as relevant as possible to them. So, what ranks for you when you perform a Google search may not be the same for me!
You can do a dive into how Google ranks things, read up on EEAT, NORA, YMYL, but ultimately you should be trying to align your goals, wherever practical, with those of search engines like Google.
How to do that?
Well keep in mind what Google is trying to do: They offer a service, and their intent is to provide the users of that service with the most satisfying experience possible to keep them coming back. doing. As such, Google will try to display the websites and information that provide the most value to the people using it.
Real Estate SEO vs General SEO
One key difference between real estate SEO and general SEO is the focus on local search. Real estate is a highly location-based industry, so it is important for real estate agents to rank well for searches that include specific locations, such as "homes for sale in [city]."
Other factors in real estate SEO include:
- Trust - Real estate is potentially a high-risk endeavor for most people, so trust signals and verifiable information about who’s involved are important.
- Site performance - Real estate marketing often involves high-res images, videos, and pulling data from multiple sources. Making sure your site runs smoothly is paramount.
- Usefulness - People usually visit a real estate website because they want to do something specific. They have intent, whether that be to search for properties in a specific area or use a mortgage calculator. In each case, what is being offered should work and work well.
Why You Need Real Estate SEO
If you’re a real estate professional then you need SEO because an improved presence online and a higher search engine ranking will make it easier for potential customers to find you, leading to more leads and more sales.
This is becoming increasingly important as more people start and end their real estate journey online.
For example, according to a 2022 survey of home buyers by the National Association of REALTORS®:
- 47% of buyers began home buying process by searching online
- 96% used online tools at some point in the search process
Those stats make it clear that most real estate agents need a website to succeed in today’s industry. But that’s just the beginning…
Really the only time that you can be reasonably sure that your site will be seen is when a person searches for your business name specifically - and even then it’s not a sure thing.
In all other cases you’re competing with dozens of other sites, and for those it’s not enough for your site to simply be good, it has to be better than the rest.
If you’re not in the first 5 results, you’re unlikely to see very much traffic at all.
Is SEO Really That Good For Realtors®?
Real estate SEO is great for Realtors because it functions as a passive lead generation tool, saving time and resources on marketing in the long run. With some initial investment, real estate SEO can bring in more traffic to a real estate website, resulting in more leads and more deals closed.
Additionally, having a high ranking website can also boost credibility and trust among potential clients and customers. SEO can help real estate professionals establish their brand and authority in their local market, which can help them attract more business.
And finally, good SEO practices are often just good business practices. They involve being helpful, authoritative, and professional. And, in some cases, it's also the law.
Finding an SEO Expert For Real Estate
Real Estate SEO can be overwhelming, but it’s a make or break factor in the success of your website. Websites that do well see significant benefits to their lead generation, and to their business as a whole.
Why not take the guesswork out of it by hiring the best in real estate SEO?
Real Estate Webmasters has been an expert in the real estate SEO space since 2004, giving us unique and authoritative insight into what it takes for Realtors to succeed online.
If you’re hoping to increase your online presence and grow your real estate business, take a deeper look at our SEO services.
Next Section: Starting Your Real Estate Website