These days, most new clients for any business will come from online searches.
"Real Estate is no different"
Search engines are everywhere now. They are part of everyday life and reaching for Google, Bing or others to answer questions is such a natural habit, you may not even think about using them for your own business.
But navigating and mastering SEO is one-way localized businesses, like real estate brokerages and agents, can differentiate themselves.
Search Engine Optimization may sound scary, but really it is just about increasing traffic to your website without paying for ads.
Sounds good, right?
Traffic without paying for ads. Nice if you can pull it off.
Getting search engines to work for you is a great starting point. They work as detectives to search out endless content, then compare different factors to provide the best answer to prospective clients’ search queries.
When it comes to real estate, localized SEO can increase your business revenue and site traffic.
But, how to begin?
The aim of the game is to have your local business show up as one of the top for your geographic area when prospective clients search. This is where adding localized keywords to your website content is essential.
Localized keywords are often forgotten about when creating your site. But it makes total sense to use them. Of course, you know your client base best: their age, location, purchase requirements, and living needs.
You wouldn’t spend time and effort writing about the hiking trails nearest to your area if the local population is more interested in the best bars. Being hyper-local with your content is the way to strategically target your market.
How do I know which Keywords to use?
Your keyword list should be as specific to you, your site, and your business as possible. A list of keywords are just suggestions unless you utilize them. Yes, there are obvious keywords to use for your business, but these are likely overused by your competitors.
Knowing the searches you want to target with keywords depends largely on your business goals. If you are starting out, or revamping your website, you may want to begin by targeting low-competition, high site-relevant keywords as a starting point to establish some domain authority.
You need to find your niche.
When focusing on high relevancy/specialized keywords you will have less competition from other brokers and produce a more targeted impact on site visitors, but you need to be sure they are getting enough hits to make it worth-while.
Tips for researching Localized Keywords:
1) It’s not just Google out there!
Yes, it is probably the best known, but not everyone will be using it. There is everything from Bing to ask.com. Doing a quick check of keywords through all of these will give you a cross-section of popular local keywords.
2) Make a ‘Seed List’ of Categories
A seed list is 6 keyword categories which will capture all the specific words you can easily incorporate into your content. Think about phrases or topics that you want to be associated with. Below is a short example of what your Seed List could look like:
⚈ Real Estate
⚈ Public Schools
⚈ City Information
⚈ New Property
⚈ Downtown Apartment
If you’d like to learn more about keyword research, check out this great primer from Moz at https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo/keyword-research
3) Check your Competitors.
If you search “Real estate agent in… [Bucktown, Chicago]”, look at who is appearing on page 1 of the searches. Of course, Redfin, Trulio, and Zillow may show up. But who are the individual brokers who are on that top page.
You can check out how they are using keywords for real estate to gain traction for their site. There are a few ways to do this.
--> If you are a computer whiz, you can access the HTML source of your competitor’s page to locate their keywords. This is not recommended if you aren’t comfortable deciphering The Matrix!
* Log in to AdWords and access the “Google Keyword Planner” tool.
* Select “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category”.
* click on the text field under “Your landing page” and enter your competitor’s URL, and then click “Get ideas”.
Google then generates a list of keywords linked to both the website and the specific page URL you input. Once this is produced, click the “Keyword ideas” tab below the graph to see your list of competitor keywords.
Once you have this ammo, you can begin to climb the search page ladder. Getting seen is the next step.
--> Remember: What you do with your keywords matters. Don’t try to add in every suggested term that gets listed but be aware of them. After all, they can inform your other social media advertising.
Combining Keywords with other SEO options to increase your ranking
There are two different levels of content that Search Engine Result Pages (SERPS) contain – paid results, or ‘organic’ results. Paid results are pretty self-explanatory – advertisers have paid for that place on the SERP and can appear in different formats across the results page.
‘Organic’ results are ones that have been picked up by the search engine algorithm thanks to their keyword utilization. Though it pays for your business to rank in both the organic and paid results, a quick and free way to appear on the local SERPS is by adding your company to the Google My Listings page.
Here are the facts:
46% of all Google searches are local.
56% of local retailers have not claimed their Google My Business listing.
Claiming and optimizing your Google My Business listing is a quick and important part of local SEO. You can also do this for Bing and Apple Maps, but as Google is the leader in terms of search, we’re focusing there.
Below is a quick step guide to creating your listing:
1. Go to Google My Business
2. Type your Business Name
3. If it doesn’t appear in the dropdown, select “Create Business with this name.”
4. Add your address. If your site was recognised by Google, check the details are correct. If you do not have a physical office, leave this blank
5. Choose a category best suited to your business e.g. Real Estate Broker
6. Enter contact details
7. Verify your business
This will be done via phone or mail. Follow the instructions on the page
8. Optimize your Business Listing
a) List your opening hours
b) List specific services you offer
c) Add any additional information that can contain keywords you want to be found by
But, be careful! Don’t shoe-horn the keywords in. If you can make it organic, then go for it!
The points below are great check-ins for business visibility when future clients are searching:
✔️ Make sure your website is cell phone friendly – the majority of searches are conducted on a mobile device. Clients are more likely to contact a local business if it can be used easily on a smartphone.
✔️ Successful keyword targeting requires constant monitoring and tweaking.
✔️ Having content that shows you know the local scene inside and out – local retailers, seasonal and holiday events, all about the schools and amenities in the neighborhood will give you an advantage when people search for those subjects.
✔️ Having an up-to-date and responsive website will show that you’re on top of market trends in the area even as they’re changing. For example, maybe there is increasing interest from young couples looking to trade up from apartments.
Knowing what the trends are in design, what prospective buyers will be looking for in terms of finishes, etc. can help sellers get ready. Showing you understand these dynamics and will provide your clients with solid advice will set you apart from competition.
Research local, top real estate and home design keywords and incorporate them into your listing posts.
✔️ Make sure your site includes more than just listings! Let your personality shine through. Personalizing your business will appeal to clients and show them they are working with a real person, not merely a salesperson looking to collect a commission.
One of the easiest ways to do all the above is with blogging. And one of the best ways to do this with blogging is to start with more generic real estate topics but re-craft them to be specific to your neighborhood.
For example, you could write about macro housing trends in your area or FAQs for first-time buyers, lists of local businesses and holiday celebrations, to gardening tips to increase curb appeal for sellers. With a bit of effort, you can make it into the top of the Google results.
People will see you first when searching for agents in your specific neighborhood and zip code.
Blogging isn’t just a one-off journal entry. To make sure your website is staying up to date, regularity is key. Knowing what to write about, and when, is just as important to SEO as keywords, and consistent new content will keep your site active in search engines.
Here at GrumpyText, we have a lot of information and experience with crafting relevant and engaging content for real estate brokers like you.
If you’d like to stay in the loop and receive regular advice about blogging and SEO best practices, please subscribe to our blog below.
If you think this sounds like a lot of work, don’t be put off!
These tools are powerful when used properly.
It is true that nearly 75% of real estate brokers have websites, but only 11% have blogs. And maybe 5% total are using their blogs to rank in Google searches.
What that means for you is that there is tremendous opportunity to rise above the competition, to have prospective clients coming to you rather than you chasing after them.
What would it be like to have a consistent pipeline of new potential clients on a regular basis? How good would it feel to have more and more listings and contracts?
Are you willing to do what it takes to get there?
We know what you need to achieve top real estate search results. And we can help.
We have real estate blogging services that will get you seen. Our dedicated team of writers and SEO experts are on hand to create the content you need to become top of the charts.
As a first step, we provide:
A free content calendar that will guide you through a full 52 weeks of content suggestions for your blog posts. We use this same calendar in-house with our clients.
For those of you who prefer the DIY method, we update our blog regularly to provide articles specifically on how to use the content calendar and make it work for you.
We are on-hand to have telephone consultations if you’d like to learn more.