There are over 2 million real estate licenses registered with the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials. With so much competition, it’s essential to stand out, especially on the web. This is where SEO for realtors comes into play, driving more traffic and conversions. However, what most of you may not know is that real estate search engine optimization is never easy and requires a lot of work. Today, we’re going to provide some SEO real estate tips that will help you excel in your efforts to grow more traffic and sales.
1. Avoid Thin Content; Write in-depth
With over 74% of homebuyers utilizing the internet to find a home, and over 29% using it just to find a realtor, it is understandable that someone might want to target as many people and keywords as possible when it comes to SEO for realtors. One way to go about doing this would be to create what Google refers to as “doorway pages,” or landing pages that are specifically created for the purpose of ranking for a particular keyword. For example, you may want to target the following keywords:
Best realtor Ohio
Best realtors Ohio
Best real estate agent Ohio
Now, you could simply optimize one page to target all of these keywords. After all, they’re fairly similar, but some may decide that they want to create a new page for each of these, as a single page can only effectively target so many keywords. However, when it comes to web content, you never want to create content without any real substance or purpose. Remember that Google’s goal is to retrieve quality results for its users, so you can’t expect your keyword spam to rank if there’s no substance behind it. Moreover, you run the risk of being a victim of Google’s Panda algorithm if your website is filled with thin content.
When it comes to SEO real estate, the content you write should be unique, useful and informative. If your website already has a lot of content, and you are concerned about the quality (or perhaps you suspect a Panda update has already impacted you), you can always revisit your content and improve it as needed. This can involve updating old, outdated articles, or merging smaller, similar articles into one large, definitive one. We suggest reading this Moz Blog post on Content Auditing for more information on this process.
Always remember that in modern real estate search engine optimization, Google’s goal is to reward high quality content with higher rankings.
Quick Tip: You should always ask yourself the following when setting out to create a new page on your blog or website:
Is it useful?
Is it thorough?
Is it unique? (I.e. I don’t already have another article that covers the same topic)
… and lastly:
Am I just trying to rank for a new keyword, or do I have something to say?
If you answer no to any of the above, then the page probably isn’t worth reading, and therefore, it probably isn’t worth creating.
2. Find Out What Others in Your Industry Are Doing
When it comes to SEO for realtors, you always want to avoid the “checking boxes” approach. In other words, don’t settle for a cookie-cutter “one size fits all” SEO campaign and simply go through the motions. You are unique, and the demands of your industry and customers are unique. Rather than opting for a cookie cutter solution, do some research into how others within your industry are marketing themselves online. Look for publications, blogs and directories they’re listed in that you feel may benefit your real estate search engine optimization as well. Aside from doing a little Google research to see what you can find, you can also use a tool like Moz’s Open Site Explorer or Ahrefs.com to analyze the links they are receiving from other websites.
You can even setup Google Alerts for your competitors’ names, which will send notifications to your inbox for whenever they are mentioned on the web.
Quick Tip: Never hesitate to ask for ideas and feedback on Google’s Webmaster Central Help forums. In addition to being frequently visited by actual Google employees, many of the top contributors there are more than willing to offer helpful advice and analysis to help you excel and make informed choices in SEO real estate.
3. Avoid Duplicate Content as Much as Possible
One of the biggest challenges in real estate search engine optimization is avoiding duplicate content. Most real estate websites utilize MLS listings that syndicate images and content for real estate properties. This is a very convenient solution to help realtors maintain up-to-date listings for the dozens, hundreds or thousands of homes and condos, but there is a price in that the content being added to your website is the exact same content that appears on every other realtor’s site that features the same MLS listings.
Again, remember that Google wants to deliver unique, authoritative and high quality content. If your website’s content is duplicated from other sources, then it is tarnished in that regard.
While we won’t dissuade you from utilizing MLS listings for the sake of SEO real estate, we do strongly recommend that you have a chat with the provider of your MLS listings and ask them what you can customize and make unique. Perhaps you can add unique alt text to the listings’ photos, tweak the descriptions to provide more information, or add additional content elsewhere on the page. You should be able to create unique, optimized meta titles and descriptions for each of the listings, which is a start.
If you find that you can’t customize your MLS listings as much as you’d like, then you should try and fill up the rest of your website with as much unique and useful quality content as you can. There are countless real estate websites on the web, so Google is understanding to an extent about duplicate content and MLS listings, but you really want to make sure that you’re giving Google enough unique, high quality content to work with if you want them to index you and rank you toward the top of their search results.
Quick Tip: Create a blog on the same domain of your website (avoid hosting it externally on 3rd party platforms). Update the blog regularly with unique content that informs readers about the latest developments or provide insights into the real estate in your city. Maintaining a blog is a great way to continuously add fresh, new content to your website. It can also help you improve your real estate search engine optimization by using new posts to strategically link to other landing pages on your website.
SEO for realtors is never a fast or easy process, but it’s not impossible to reach your goals either. Focus on unique, quality content and pay attention to what others within your industry are doing to successfully market themselves and you too can soar with real estate SEO.