To my knowledge, this is the most comprehensive guide for Local SEO For Real Estate Agencies online!
In this guide I will explain:
- What local SEO is,
- how your real estate business can benefit,
- how to show up in the map pack (so-called “3-Pack”),
- how to correctly build NAP citations, and
- how acquire local backlinks.
If you have been wondering how you can build a long-term stream of leads coming your way with very little after the initial time investment, this is the right guide for you.
Let’s get started!
What is local SEO?
Local SEO for real estate agencies and agents means optimizing your website and all of your online presence in order to increase your visibility in google’s “Map Pack” and other localized organic search results. This will help buyers, sellers, renters and landlords to find your easily online. For instance, the map pack for New York City currently looks like this:
Why does local SEO matter for real estate agencies?
In 2019, Google reported that interest in “Local” + “Near Me” searches is 350 times higher than it was 10 years ago. Accordingly, Google is putting huge efforts in delivering a satisfying search experience to their users. Local searches typically involve the products and services of small and medium-sized business. Pair that with the facts that only 30% of small businesses have a strategy for SEO in place, and that roughly 90% of local search users pick a result from the first page, you clearly want to belong to those 30% with SEO strategy.
Not convinced yet? There is more:
- 97% of people learn more about a local company online than anywhere else
- 88% of searches for local businesses on mobile phones call the business within 24 hours
- Search result information will send 70% of consumers to a physical store
While “traditional SEO” and paid advertisement involve significant continuous investment, it is quite cost effective to get the basic pillars of local SEO right, making it a great, affordable way to generate quality leads almost on autopilot.
So, let’s have a closer look at our target:
Organic results and the “Map Pack”
The Map Pack (sometimes also called “The Local Pack”) is a group of 3 local business results plus a google map segment that helps the searcher navigate.
Each local business will be shown with:
- Company name
- Average rating
- Business category
- Phone number
The combination of Name, Address, and Phone number is often referred to as NAP and a very important aspect of local SEO. More on this later.
Then, depending on whether the user is on a mobile device or on a desktop, there will be either one button to call the business (on mobile devices), or 2 buttons (on desktops), linking to the company’s website and to open google navigation.
Organic traditional search results are just beneath the map pack. Organic, if you are not aware, is the term for all search results that are not paid for.
Depending on the search query, there might also be ads shown above the map pack. Varying by the ad formats, 14% to 25% of clicks will go to paid-for results. Meaning at least 3 of 4 clicks are going to the organic, non-paid positions.
Local searches are often conducted when users are outside, which subsequently means that many searches are performed on a mobile device. When a user is using their phone for a search, Google, if authorized on the device, uses the GPS to identify the user’s location. Thus, even when not adding “near me” or a location (e.g. “New York City real estate agency”, the search results will be local, to ensure the most relevant websites and companies are shown first.
Local SEO factors
Local SEO for Real Estate Websites is influenced by various factors. Google itself keeps all its algorithms strictly secret, but luckily there have been comprehsive in-depth studies on what goes into deciding which business and website will show at which position.
Moz for instance conducted a local SEO study in which they weighted the different factors by their impact. Here is what they found:
Localized organic search results are heavily impacted by Links and On-Page Factors, and moderately impacted by User Behavior and the Google My Business listing.
The Map Pack on the other hand is influenced the most by the Google My Business listing, but also strongly by Links, Reviews, On-Page signals, and Citations.
Here is what each of those refers to:
- Google My Business: proximity (queried or determined user location to business location), business categories aligning with query, keywords, etc.
- Links: anchor text, linking domain authority, linking domain quantity, etc.
- On-Page: Presence of NAP, keywords in titles, domain authority, etc.
- User Behavior: Click-through rate, mobile clicks to call, check-ins, etc.
- Reviews: Review quantity, review velocity, review diversity, etc.
- Citations: Yellow pages / directory NAP consistency, citation volume, etc.
Before planning and executing a marketing strategy, it is important to take a moment and think about who the persons are that you want to reach. Marketers draw the characteristics of a fictional person, who is representative of your common or ideal clients.
Detailing your buyer persona – and sticking with it for the duration of your marketing campaign – provides you guidlines for your SEO and Content Marketing strategy.
With your buyer persona in mind, you can create content tailored specifically to this ideal customer, deliver your message with the right voice and with consistency. This way, you can educate them about your local market, address their problems, and earn their trust.
If you didn’t just open shop, you probably already have a good idea of your typical client. When creating a buyer persona, think about customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, goals, and problems or fears.
HubSpot has a nice, handy tool for creating such a buyer persona step by step. If you feel any of the questions are not relevant for your strategy you can skip them.
Keywords For Real Estate Agencies
Researching keywords is the foundation of every local SEO strategy. If you turn wrong here, you might end up being the top results for searches that barely anyone conducts, or – equally bad – you’ll receive inquiries that you cannot profit from because they don’t match what you can offer. Thus, keywords need to align with your company and with searchers behavior.
Once you know the keywords your customers are searching for, you can create targeted content such as:
- Relevant Pages
- Blog Posts
- Property Listings optimized for keywords
- Home Valuation Landing Pages
- Google My Business Posts, etc.
Searching and finding keywords for real estate
In general, real estate keywords in the context of local SEO can have three kinds of markers – generic, local and hyperlocal.
As you move from generic to hyperlocal, the intent to buy becomes stronger.
Your first batch of generic keywords should be the services that your real estate agency offers. Next, you mix them up with the different types of properties you handle, using the terms that people in your area commonly use of course. Then, think about the problems a searcher is trying to solve when searching for a realtor, and adopt the perspective of home buyer/seller/landlord/tenant.
A list of 20-40 generic keywords and phrases would be ideal. Here are some examples:
Real Estate | Houses for Sale | Homes for Sale | Condos | Realtors | Real Estate Agents | Real Estate Agencies | Sell House – etc. pp.
Words (adjectives, adverbs) that people add to their search in order to get more relevant and specific results. For example, “Real Estate” is a very broad keyword. For Google, it will not be clear which intention lies behind this query, so without any location information, it will only return quite generic results, such as the Wikipedia page about real estate, Zillow, and almost comically, a link to Real Estate- The Band.
By adding modifiers to the search, such as “spacious” and “in New York City” it becomes more precise, and the intent is clearer. Thus, better results are delivered, dropping wikipedia and the music band.
Finding long-term keywords with Google
Now so far, input came mostly from your side. Sure, you know your business, the market, and you interact with home buyers and sellers frequently. However, we definitely need to make sure that these are actually terms that people are searching for.
One of the easiest way to do so, is to open up google, and let them make suggestions. As you start typing (slowly, not too fast), google will offer commonly used search queries. Those that line up with your offers are obviously what we are looking for. If google stopped showing more suggestions, you can try to trigger more by adding a space at the end of your search term.
At the bottom of the first page of results, Google also has a separate area, titled “People Also Ask” or “Searches related to…”. Anything in there that sounds relevant to your business? Write it down.
Finding even more real estate keywords
SEMRush is an advanced toolkit for SEO research and analytics. Some of their functions can be used free of charge, and among them, their “Keyword Magic Tool” with 10 requests per day. So, head over there, enter your keyword, pick your location, and hit ‘search’. As you are likely not a power user, just come back the next day once your 10 free requests are used out for today.
SEMRush also shows you the monthly volume of searches for each term, the trend thereof, the difficulty to rank for it (KD%), the estimated cost if you were to bid on it in Google Ads, and other data. If you happen to find a word with a relatively high search volume, that is relevant to your business, and has low difficulty to rank for: you found a winner.
On the left you can filter by categories, and on top, you can switch to keywords depending on how closely they match your initial keyword.
A list of frequent questions that include your keyword can also be found by clicking on “Questions”.
Google My Business
OK, now that we have done some research and brainstorming regarding our audience (the “buyer persona”) and search terms, let’s get a bit more practical and have a look at one of the most important puzzle pieces in local SEO: Google My Business – the most important factor for the Map Pack.
What is “Google My Business”?
Google My Business (GMB) is a free, easy-to-use extended business directory.
The key difference between Google My Business profiles and other directories is that your Google business listing can be very detailed, and information from GMB can be output by Google into a variety of very important places with high online visibility, especially Google Search and Google Maps. When you search for a business name, chances are high that you will see a “knowledge panel”, which is the card-like box that displays contact information about local businesses – this info is pulled from the Google My Business directory.
For desktop searches, it’s displayed to the right of the organic and paid search results:
On mobile searches, it’s normally the top result before the organic results.
Why Google My Business is Important
By signing up and providing your data to Google My Business, you can
- quickly increase your visibility in local search results,
- contribute to a better search experience when people search for your business name
- and subsequently generate more inquiries, calls, and visits to your website.
The more Google knows about your business and website,the more opportunity there is for your information to be shown. GMB let’s you tell Google:
- who you are,
- what your business is about,
- where it is located,
- how to contact you, and
- what your website is.
Getting Started with Google My Business
Signing up for GMB is very straight-forward. Go to Google My Business and click “Manage Now”. The process is really self-explaining, but here are some important pointers:
- When you enter your agency name right at the first step, make sure to fill it in exactly as registered with your local authorities. If you are working independently, fill in your name, followed by your business type, e.g. “John Smith Real Estate Agent & Real Estate Investment Advisor”.
- When you add other information, especially phone number and address, use the information as it is already visible at other websites, e.g. directories. Consistency is very important and will be rewarded with better local rankings.
The final step of signing up is requesting a verification postcard. Don’t skip this step, otherwise your listing will never go live.
Complete Your Google My Business Listing
The postcard might take up to 14 days to arrive. Once it’s there, follow the instructions and go through your profile to make sure it’s fully completed. Google favors fully completed Google My Business profiles when determining the its rankings.
The minimum information you should provide:
- logo and cover photo,
- opening hours,
- Some business photos,
- and a description
When filling out your Google My Business listing remember to incorporate keywords that are relevant to real estate.
Include descriptions of the services you offer, make sure to mention the areas and property types you specialize in, and in general: provide answers to any questions Google asks about your business.
Photos for Google My Business Listing
Google says “businesses with photos are more likely to receive requests for driving directions to their location, as well as clicks through to their websites, than businesses that don’t have photos.” So you are well advised to add them. As a real estate agent, you really should not lack high quality pictures. These photos can show your office, listings, happy customers (if they agreed), and photos of your real estate team.
“Posts” for GMB Real Estate Agents
“Posts” in the context of Google My Business are barely different from posts on social media. By frequently sharing news via GMB posts, you can keep your listing updated and increase its visibility. For example, you can write posts about exclusive listings, new real estate developments, successful deals, market trends, local news, and more. As a real estate agent you really should not run out of material to share. There are 4 different post formats for content:
- 1) What’s New – a post with text, image(s) and button.
- 2) Product – for showing a specific product or service
- 3) Offer – likely more suitable for eCommerce, this post type is for special sale activities
- 4) Event – for events. They can have an image, text, title, start/end dates, and a CTA Button. Typical case would be an open house.
Question & Answers
Google My Business lets you communicate with prospective customers via “Questions and Answers.” Quite simply, customers ask, and you answer, visible for other listing visitors as well.
Citations play an important role in local SEO for real estate agencies and agents, particularly for the Map Pack. ‘Citation’ refers to any mention of your “NAP” (Name, Address, Phone Number) online. Citations can appear on local business directories, on websites, and on social media platforms. If you have too many variations of your NAP spread around the internet, it makes it hard difficult for customers to identify the right set of information, even more so if some citations are outdated. So, if Google comes across different variations, it might negatively impact your local search ranking.
According to Search Engine Land, inconsistent citations are the #1 reason for lower than expected local search performance.
Citation (NAP) Consistency
When leaving citations around the internet, make sure that your NAP are exactly the same, and exactly as they are on GMB.
Local citations help Google locate your real estate agency based on the number of local citations that show the correct NAP information.
The more consistent local citations Google sees, the more it’s going to trust your business information.
Checking for NAP Inconsistencies
If you are not just starting out, you probably want to check your existing citations for NAP consistency. If you are located in the USA, UK, or Canada, you can use Moz Local. Moz Local checks across 11 citation sources in these countries for incomplete, inconsistent, or duplicate information.
If you are located elsewhere, you will need to use a search engine like Google, and search for your name and phone or name and address. Find all inconsistencies on pages websites where you can influence the content.
How Many Citations Do Real Estate Agencies Need to Rank?
Bright local did a report on citations for real estate agencies, but it seems very US focused. So if that’s not your market, take these number with a ton of salt. According to the report, real estate agents have 79 citations on average, with the median number of citations at 111. Agencies ranking on the first 3 positions had 89 citations on average.
The number foir your business will depend on location and how competitve other agencies in your local market are about SEO.
Where to Build Citations For Real Estate Agencies
The best places to build citations are those that are related to your industry and/or location. Local business directories, regional and national real estate portals are gold. Broad directories are good if they are well managed, such as yellow pages or yelp.
If you are in the US, UK, Canada, or Australia, head over to WhiteSpark, where they collected the 10 best locations for various industries.
When filling out the information, remember: for Name, Address, Phone Number consistency is key. If you are asked to provide a business description, make it unique each time.
User Behavior as a Ranking Factor
Google and others have become very advanced at judging the quality of a website. Google’s “RankBrain” is responsible for evaluating user experience and behavior when determining the ranking of websites.
There are three main aspects that you should be aware of:
- Dwell Time
- Organic click-through-rate (CTR)
You might have heard some SEOs also talking about Bounce Rate in this context, but the bounce rate is much harder for Google to interpret and thus less relevant for our purpose.
Bounce Rate is the percentage of single-engagement visits to your site, i.e. it expresses how many people do not look at a second page of your website, but leave after the first page. It doesn’t say anything about the time a visitor has spent on this page. A high bounce rate can mean the website is of low quality, OR an answer was already provided on this first page. Thus, Bounce Rate by itself is not a suitable ranking signal.
Dwell Time For Real Estate Agency Websites
Google analyzes at how visitors interact with your website. If they spend a lot of time on your website (“Dwell Time”), this is a good signal for Google that the website offered something of value in context of the search query. If it has a longer Dwell Time on average than competitors, this will impact your rankings in a positive way.
If you are wondering how Google possibly could know how much time people spend on your website, that’s easy. It’s NOT through Google Analytics if you were suspecting that. There very, very likely is no data exchange between Search and Analytics when it comes to determining the rankings. The answer is …
What Is Pogo Sticking?
When a search engine user goes from search result to search result trying to find a good result for their query, this is called Pogo Sticking. When a user clicks on the first result for his search query, but for some reason goes back to Google, clicks on the second result, rinse & repeat, Google takes this as an indicator that the first websites clicked were not good the best suggestions. If it happens frequently, it will impact the ranking.
Organic Click-Through Rate (CTR)
What is the Organic Click-Through-Rate?
Organic Click-Through Rate (CTR) is the percentage of searchers that click on a search result. If there are 50 searches for a term, and 10 times your result is clicked on, your CTR is 20%.
While your position on the search result page plays the biggest role, the CTR is also impacted by a the title, meta description, and URL. As a general rule, the closer these match the search query – while keeping the language as natural as possible, the higher your CTR will be.
Optimizing for Dwell-Time, CTR and Pogo-Sticking
If you are wondering what’s the best approach to optimize for dwell-time, click-through-rate and Pogo-sticking, the answer again is simple: Think about a user’s intent behind a query. Understanding User Intent is very important to succeed with local SEO.
By understanding what people are really searching for, and answering the underlying question, you can create content that fulfills the user’s intent, making it a win-win-win situation for the user, for Google, and for you. In general, there are 4 categories of user intent: Informational – Navigational – Commercial – Transactional.
When considering a real estate transaction, potential clients will go through different phases. During the initial research phase, they will look for information, for example: How to sell a house? How to hire a real estate agent? How to estimate my property’s value? What are the best neighborhoods to live in New York City? etc.
Further down the path, their intent becomes more focused: “best real estate agency new york city“, “manhattan 1br apartments“, etc.
Finally, they might be ready to become active market participants: “hire a real estate agent“, “sell my house quick” – note the missing “how to”.
These queries will need a different kind of content to match user intent. Pages that answer “how to sell a house?” should outline the process, and mention that you are able to navigate the process on the visitor’s behalf. A page that is optimized for “sell my house quickly” should be written as a hard sell: Point out how YOU can sell the house fast, throw in your success stories and strengths.
Other Ways to Improve User Experience
Beyond content, there are other factors that can drastically improve user experience. Unfortunately, they require some technical knowledge to be addressed, but are definitely worth the effort.
With the ubiquity of powerful mobile devices and fast internet, having a website that adjusts to different screen sizes is a must. If your website doesn’t: 5 years ago was the time for a redesign. If your website is younger than 5 years, have a serious word with your web designer.
But even if your website is mobile friendly, there are some things you should look out for:
- Text that is too small or pictures that contain unreadable text without zooming or scrolling
- Buttons, links and navigation elements targets that are too small or too close to other elements
- Media formats that are not supported on mobile devices
You can use Google’s own mobile-friendly test to check out how your site is doing.
Improving your websites page loading speed
Since 2018, Google PageSpeed is a ranking signal for Google – the reason being that a fast website offers a better experience to users. Evidence can be found in various statistics, all indicating that longer page loading times increase bounce rates, decrease dwelling times, and strongly lowers your chances for conversions (inquiries, phone calls, etc.) Why? Because people are impatient.
As I work with real estate agencies from different countries, my favorite tool to check page speed is the website speed test by Dotcom Monitor, which lets you test speed from 25 different locations world-wide.
Another good tool is GTMetrix, scoring your page speed according to different metrics. As you cannot choose a server location, take the website loading time with a grain of salt, as your server might be very far away from their testing location.
How to speed up your real estate website
GTMetrix gives excellent, detailed pointers on everything that is wrong with your website in regards of speed optimization. If you feel overwhelmed though, I offer speed optimization service for WordPress websites, but can likely help if your website is based on a different framework.
The perfect website structure for real estate websites
Real estate websites are primed for a strategy known as siloing and hyper-local neighborhood pages. Broad terms like real estate, houses for sales are occupied by big players, such as real estate portals and agency chains with their own digital marketing departments. Reading this guide, you are likely working in a smaller agency or even running an ambitious solo business. To compete, you need to target hyper-local long-term keywords.
Create Silo’s Of Hyper-Local Neighborhood Pages
Siloing a website serves to clarify its subject relevance and lays the groundwork for high keyword rankings. It is a core building block for SEO, and allows you to create relevant, keyword optimized pages that naturally integrate into a logical site structure.
In terms of a real estate website, we ideally built it around the geographical hierarchy of your local market. We can start at the City level on top, which is divided into districts or neighborhoods. Below this you can structure by property type, and if applicable to your business, further distinguish by transaction type. This allows you to optimize your pages for a combination of property type and neighborhood, such as “Townhouses in Manhattan for Sale“.
Content for your hyper-local real estate pages
Each and every page of your website should provide valuable content. Thus, provide insights that are meaningful to buyer, sellers, and other customers.
This can range from neighborhood introductions and pictures or videos, access to public facilities, over to average rent and sale prices and market trends. And of course, display the listings that match the current area and category.
Internal Linking For Real Estate Websites
Internal links are links from one page of a website to another page of the same website. They help your users to navigate your website, and Google to discover content. If pages are not accessible through navigation or in-content links, neither users nor Google will be able to discover it.
Combine your content silos with internal linking
To help Google and your users, inter-link related pages. Make sure that a city page has links to all neighborhood pages that belong to this city, and link back from a neighborhood page to the parent city page. You can do this in form of a link list, or if possible, embed your links in actual content, giving the link more context. Contextual linking is always preferable, as it help Google understanding your site better.
Optimal Keyword Placement
Having the website structure and a rough idea about the content, it’s time to come back to our initial keyword research. Implementing keywords at the right spots in your website is important to achieve the best results. Good news, this is not rocket science, and easy to follow.
Title Tag Optimization For Real Estate Websites
Title tags are the #1 part of on-page optimization. It appears in the browser title or tab title when visiting your website, but much more importantly, it’s the title search engines use when showing a page in their search results.
Here is what you need to know in regard of keyword placement in the title tag: Start with your main keyword term for the page. Optionally you can follow up with a secondary term that matches the site’s content. End the title tag with your company/website name. Additionally, there are some rules to follow:
- Limit the title tag to 60 characters to avoid them being truncated
1) Always describe the page’s content accurately. Choose a title that reads naturally and effectively communicate the topic of the page’s content.
2) Create unique titles for each page. This helps Google know how the page is distinct from the others on your site.
3) Use brief, but descriptive titles. Titles should be both short and informative. If it is too long or less relevant, Google may only show a portion of it or one that’s automatically generated in the Google search result.
4) Up to debate: Limit your title tag length to about 60 characters. Additional characters will be truncated (cut off) on desktop searches. On mobile phones this limit is a bit higher, at about 78 characters.
Why I say this is up to debate? Because you can actually use this rule to your advantage: Let Google cut off your title in way that creates a cliff hanger. This can result in curiosity and a higher CTR.
Writing keyword optimized meta descriptions
Meta Descriptions cannot influence your ranking, but have nonetheless a direct impact on your search engine performance, as they strongly influence the lick-through-rate, the percentage of searchers who will click on your page. The meta description shows up as a gray text beneath the page title.
The meta description for each page can be up to 160 characters long. If it contains any of the search terms, they will be emphasized within the meta description, helping your website to stand out among the others. Again, keyword stuffing is not the right approach, but use your main keyword term once, in a naturally worded description of the page.
Headings and Subheadings
Use headings and subheadings to structure your pages. Every page should have at least a heading, an h1 tag. Further subheadings, h2, h3, etc. help visitors and Google to understand the page structure and content, and let people quickly figure out where to find which content. Use your main keyword in the h1 tag, and secondary keywords in subheadings. It is important to follow the hierarchy of h1 > h2 > h3. Do not choose the tag according to the font size and style you would prefer your headline to have. You can change the styling of each element with inline CSS or via global rules if necessary.
Rich Snippets and Schema Markup for real estate websites
Rich snippets allows webmasters to mark up different types of content in a way that search engines can easily understand. It’s a cooperation effort of Google, Bing, Yahoo and Yandex. Documentation is available at schema.org
Schema Markup is not a ranking factor, but is beneficial for SEO nonetheless.
Schema markup helps Google to further understand your business and the content of your website. Information gained through Schema Markup is also used by Google for certain features such as Knowledge Cards, review display, answer boxes, and more.
Schema Markup for Real Estate Agents allows to clearly indicate the Business Type, Contact Information, a Company Logo, Office Addresses, Opening Hours, and more.
Unfortunately, Google does not have any rich snippets specific to real estate. But you can still appear in the following rich snippets:
- Local Business > Knowledge Card
- Events (such as Open Houses)
- Article (such as Guides or Market Reports)
How To Add Schema Markup To Your Real Estate Agency Website
You can add schema markup with the help of Google and a solution suitable for your website framework. If you are using WordPress, there are a number of Schema plugins that can help.
Map Usage on Real Estate Agency Sites
Embedding a Map on a page is a good way to let google know about the location of a specific place. Google Maps is easy to embed if all you want to do is display one location. Suitable pages for map embedding are the Contact and/or About pages, and all pages related to a specific location, such as property listings and neighborhood pages.
Let’s face it: In most places real estate agents don’t have a reputation that would grant them an immediate trust bonus. Communicating why YOU are a great choice is not easy without face to face contact and a real dialogue. But there are some important elements that you can add to your website that increase the likelihood of inquiries and leads.
Social proof is a psychological and social phenomenon wherein people copy the actions of others. In a commercial context, we are often more likely to purchase an item, if somebody we know has recommended it.
So in our case of real estate agents, the people we would like others to copy are those who have already worked with you, and ideally of course those that resulted in a successful transaction. On your website you can thus showcase reviews and testimonials from past clients, case studies of successful transactions (e.g. “How I sold this $700K house in 10 days“) – anything related to prove that other people had a great experience with you – work-related of course.
If you have gathered positive reviews on other sites such as yelp or Facebook: great. Showcase and link them from your website. Ideally, add schema markup so that your average rating can show up right in the search results of Google and co.
How to get online reviews for real estate agencies
First, I would recommend to stick with one review site, instead of following a strategy of spreading your reviews out over several 3rd party websites.
- Send follow-up emails, ask for a review and include a link.
- Ask clients personally whether they would like to leave a review and tell them how they can find your review profile, such as your GMB listing.
Make sure to comment on every review you get. Say thank you and maybe give a compliment back when you receive a positive review, or be empathetic when you receive a negative review, no matter whether the review is justified. Remember, all this is in the public sphere. If you receive an anonymous review, for example under an obviously fake name, or by a person that you honestly do not know, just call them out on it and report it to your platform of choice.
Real estate industry awards
If your real estate agency has recently received industry related awards, do not forget to mention them. Any and all 3rd party statements that show you as a great real estate agent or agency are helpful.
The persons behind the company
I mean, you are working as real estate agents. I probably do not need to tell you how important the personal level and interaction is. Even if you are part of a very reputable brand, I strongly recommend to dedicate at the very least one page to the persons that make the company what it is. Use professional and welcoming photos of staff members, write few sentences about their background, specializations, or motivation behind working in real estate.
Calls To Action
You’ll be amazed seeing the difference in results between websites with and without clear calls to action (CTA). Without actively communicating and directing your visitors towards a certain action (typically to contact you), many of them will fall into an informational mode, where they mostly digest what they read, but forget to reach out.
Typical CTAs are buttons that are easy to see and indicate the action that will be taken by clicking them: “Call John Now at +1 234 567 89” – “Click Here to Schedule a Call” – “Request your Free Valuation” etc.
Acquiring backlinks for your real estate agency will probably the hardest part of this whole endeavour. In Google’s eyes, other websites should link to your websites without any input from your side. This is rarely gonna happen.
To attract natural backlinks from other websites, you need to provide quotable content. Your best bet here will be statistics about your market or observations of trends.
Another natural source, even though you plant the link by yourself, are local and industry-related directories, as extensively talked about in the earlier Citations section.
Your next best bet is to actively reach out to other organizations with websites, particularly those in your area or industry. Links from websites that Google considers to be in the same context as yours will help you the most.
To acquire those, you could do:
- Interviews with local newspapers and blogs. As blogs and newspapers struggle to come up with new content ideas from time to time,this can be a good chance to present yourself as an authority AND to get a backlink.
- Partnerships with other businesses relevant to your customers. Pretty much those that your customers might you ask for in an offline setting as well: moving companies, mortgage brokers, interior designers, etc.
Social Media For Real Estate Agencies
Social Media has become a major channel for acquiring clients and selling homes. There are various platforms beside Facebook and YouTube and you need to carefully evaluate which platform aligns with your target demographics.
YouTube for real estate agencies and agents
During the last few years, many real estate agents have discovered YouTube to be a goldmine for real estate marketing. Video is the perfect medium to showcase a property, but also the real estate agent as a person. If you are outgoing and have a good voice on recordings, you can leverage the potential of YouTube. However, producing high quality videos requires time and money, and you will need to hire local professional for recording and post-production (visual polishing, cutting, effects, text elements, etc.)
Facebook for real estate agencies and agents
Facebook is a must-have in your social media mix, as its used throughout all demographics, and has excellent tools for business accounts. You can make use of their marketplace, use chat autoresponders, let your customers book appointments, and create advertisements with very clearly defined target groups.
Do you need help with local SEO for your real estate agency?
This has been a looong article, and unfortunately, not all topics can be covered in-depth, as local context plays an important role. If you are stuck with any of the above topics, no matter if still at the planning stage or if you are executing your digital marketing strategy already, you are more than welcome to leave a message.