Real Estate SEO: The Ultimate Guide for 2023
August 2, 2023
Lead Generation, Lead Nurturing, News, Real Estate CRM, Real Estate Marketing
Real Estate SEO: The Ultimate Guide for 2023 (11 Tips for Enhanced Optimization)
Real Estate search engine optimization (SEO) is not a finely-tuned science but an art to be learned, practiced, and continually evolved. Investing in your search engine rankings will not create overnight success, but real estate SEO is an incredibly effective long-term marketing and lead-generation strategy.
By investing a little time and effort—and utilizing the right support system—implementing a few SEO strategies will allow you to outrank your competition, drive more qualified traffic to your site, and ultimately increase your bottom line.
What is Real Estate SEO?
Real estate SEO is the process of optimizing real estate websites and pages to improve their visibility in search engine results and attract targeted traffic. It involves implementing strategies and techniques such as keyword research, content optimization, link building, and local SEO to enhance your online presence, capture a more expansive search volume, and attract high-quality leads.
How Can SEO Benefit Real Estate Agents?
Increased Online Visibility: Optimizing your content with SEO best practices allows search engines to easily index, crawl, and, ultimately, rank your site higher, placing you in front of that many more potential clients.
Targeted Traffic and Quality Leads: Not only will SEO increase your visibility, but it will target relevant search queries and generate higher quality leads. Across industries, SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate. Compare that to leads generated from outbound sources, which have only a 1.7% close rate, and you can see the effectiveness of SEO.
Establishing Authority and Trust: Ranking on Google is no longer a game of stuffing keywords into your content. Search engines have become more sophisticated and seek to promote genuine expertise in each industry. Establishing yourself as an expert will both build your brand and increase the effectiveness of your real estate SEO strategy.
Cost-Effective Marketing Strategies: There are SEO experts and services worth investing in (a highly optimized website, for one). But so much of the work of SEO—adding alt text, strategically titling your blog posts, and keeping your business listings up-to-date—can be done on your own. A few fees are associated with keyword generation, but many resources are free. So with a bit of time, research, and elbow grease, you can create a strong ROI on your digital marketing strategy.
Competitive Advantage: Realtors are perfectly poised to own local SEO rankings, but most don’t take the time to do it. But with 97% of homebuyers searching online for properties and real estate agents, giving yourself the competitive advantage and showing up first in response to their search queries is worthwhile.
11 Real Estate SEO Tips and Strategies
1. Analyze key SEO competitors
With SEO, it can often feel overwhelming to know where to start. But the best first step is to look at those already owning the search engine rankings.
Notice whether articles or video content are ranking for specific SEO keywords. Look at how competitors have structured their websites and landing pages, which keywords, search terms, and topics they’ve built content around, and how they have generated backlinks. Analyze what has worked and consider how you could improve your website, add your expertise and tailor it to fit your niche market.
2. Conduct thorough keyword research
The goal is to identify relevant real estate keywords with high search volume and moderate competition. To discover keywords, analyze your competitors, conduct your own Google searches and utilize terms from Google’s related searches section. You can also pay for SEO tools like Ahrehs to help conduct targeted research.
Once you’ve identified your SEO keywords, strategically incorporate them into your website, content, metadata, URLs, and heads for improved visibility.
3. Create a quality content strategy
The foundation of your SEO strategy must be to create high-quality content that adds genuine value. Develop informative, engaging, and relevant content tailored to your target audience’s needs and interests.
With real estate content, you do not have to reinvent the wheel. Commit to regularly updating your website with fresh blog posts, property descriptions, and local market insights, and then repurpose that content across all social media and real estate marketing channels.
4. Be sure to prioritize link building
High-quality backlinks are the gold standard of any effective SEO strategy. When real estate magazines, established blogs, and local and national newspapers name you as a resource, it builds your credibility.
It works like the high school lunch table—the more popular the kid who invites you to eat with him, the more people will notice. The higher the quality of the publication that mentions and links to your website, the more Google will trust your expertise.
Do a little PR work to increase your backlinks. Seek guest blogging opportunities, partnerships, and collaborations to acquire valuable inbound links and improve your search engine results page (SERP) ranking.
5. Dominate your on-page SEO
Websites have several vital places where adding targeted keywords matters. These are your title tags, meta descriptions, headers (H1, H2, and H3), and image alt tags. Strategically incorporate your keywords into each section, but make sure not to overdo it. Google bots can sniff out the fluff.
It’s also critical to consider your website as a whole when working to improve on-page SEO. Ensure your website has a clear structure with user-friendly navigation and optimized URLs. Spending time on your UX design makes your website better for your clients and easier for search engines to index and crawl it.
6. Conduct a thorough technical audit of your website
Your website should be in full working order. Regularly run SEO audits to fix technical issues like broken links, duplicate content, and crawl errors. Ensure your images and videos are correctly sized, and your overall page weight is optimized. This improves page-loading speed and mobile responsiveness.
To make your website easier for search engines to crawl, you’ll want to create a sitemap that details every page and how they fit together. Then submit the sitemap to each search engine. You’ll also want to make a Robot.txt file so the bots know which web pages to ignore because they aren’t publicly displayed. It can be helpful to work with a professional—or use a website platform with the needed features automatically built in.
7. Optimize for Google My Business
Google Business Profile is how Google indexes local businesses on Google Maps. Having an active and up-to-date Google Business Profile is critical for real estate professionals as home buying and selling are inherently location-specific.
Claim and verify your Google Business Profile listing and provide accurate information about your real estate business. Encourage past clients to leave positive reviews and respond to each one you receive. Keep your Google Business Profile active by regularly posting new photos and listings. This will signal to Google that you are a trustworthy and engaged resource.
8. Use Real Estate Agent Schema Markup
Real estate schema markup is adding specific code or structured data to the back end of your property listing pages. The structured data communicates what your page says, the different elements it includes, and how it is all displayed in a language the search engine bot can understand.
By adding real estate schema markup to your property listings, agent profiles, reviews, and contact information, search engine bots will be able to:
- Understand your property listings better
- Effectively display photos and pricing information in rich snippets
- Rank you higher in response to real estate search queries
9. Define Your Real Estate SEO KPIs
As with any business strategy, knowing your goals and benchmarks is essential. Some common SEO KPIs you might want to consider are:
- Increasing the number of relevant keywords used throughout your website
- Increasing the amount of organic traffic visiting your website
- Increasing your conversion rates
- Increasing your number of high-quality backlinks
- Increasing your number of return visitors
- Improving your number of impressions and organic clicks
- Improving your overall position on SERPs
Once you’ve named your KPIs, track your metrics over several months to see how your SEO strategies work.
10. Optimize Your Real Estate Website for Mobile Search
Having a beautifully-designed website that can’t be easily viewed on a mobile device does you no good. Optimize your page speed, design, and functionality with smartphones in mind. Creating a responsive and mobile-friendly website will improve both the user experience and your search rankings.
11. Obtain Local Backlinks to Your Website
As a place-based business, focusing on your local market is critical. Keep your information current on all local directories and real estate associations. Build connections with influencers, companies, and brands in your local community to earn valuable backlinks to your website.
Anatomy of a Well-Optimized Real Estate SEO Page
Many of these SEO strategies can be completed on your own, such as building relationships with local publications and including keywords in your blog post titles. But it gets more complicated when needing to write code or properly structure your website.
It can be incredibly valuable to work with professionals who have created real estate websites with SEO capabilities and best practices built-in. Using one of Sierra Interactive’s websites allows you to be fully optimized out of the box.
- On-Page Optimization from Top to Bottom: Sierra Interactive gives you complete control over your site’s meta tags, URL structure, navigation, breadcrumbs, page keyword content, and how the site pages are interlinked. All of this built-in structure is aligned with Google’s best practices and layers in SEO strategies on both the macro and micro levels. You can rest assured that everything from how your website is structured to the nitty gritty details of alt text and metadata is SEO optimized.
- Long-Tail Keyword Targeting: The best competitive advantage you have is your expertise in your local market. That’s why targeting and owning long-tail keywords as a real estate agent is so key. Sierra Interactive’s CMS makes creating and targeting content around long-tail keywords easy, strengthening your online presence where national sites like Zillow & Redfin are weakest.
- Extremely Flexible Internal Linking Structure: The flexibility of the internal linking structure makes it so that search engines can readily find targeted content. This, in turn, helps more of your pages rank highly and increases site visitors’ pages per visit and time on site.
- Differentiated Property Detail Pages: Property detail pages are very competitive to rank but offer excellent long-tail opportunities for your site to outrank the national sites. Sierra Interactive improves each property page by optimizing the meta tags of each one separately. Even more, it automatically generates listing-specific content to differentiate each page further.
- Automatic Schema Markup: Sierra Interactive automatically bakes in the structured data to each property listing, agent profile, and contact information page. This makes the most essential elements of a page clearly readable for search engine bots—and ensures you aren’t spending precious time trying to figure out how to code.
Case Study: Generating High-Intent Real Estate Leads with SEO
Dustin Oldfather, CEO of the Oldfather Group, came to Sierra Interactive needing to increase their online reputation and website authority to meet increases in market demands and competition. Leveraging Sierra’s real estate IDX websites, they created unlimited content pages, integrated proprietary IDX features, and optimized URLs and meta tags.
By combining high-intent keywords, superior page speed, and performance, the Oldfather Group attracted targeted organic leads. And within two years, the Oldfather group experienced a remarkable 2,000% increase in website traffic.
Interested in learning more? For a comprehensive exploration of the Oldfather Group’s success story, delve into the full case study here.
Boost Your Real Estate SEO Efforts with Sierra Interactive’s Websites
- User-Friendly Website Design: SEO best practices are often at odds with UX design. But Sierra Interactive has found a solution that creates a beautiful, seamless user experience and doesn’t compromise SEO optimization.
- Customizable SEO features: Sierra Interactive’s websites allow you to customize each of the most important elements of SEO to target your specific keywords and tailor your SEO strategy efficiently.
- Mobile-Responsive Design: Never worry if your site will work well on mobile devices. Sierra Interactive has designed them to transition from one device to another seamlessly, no matter the size and processing capabilities.
- IDX Integration: Every Sierra Interactive website integrates IDX software to ensure best practices and policies are used when displaying information on real estate websites.
Lead Capture & Management: Sierra Interactive’s websites are built with lead generation and capture in mind. To capitalize on your strong SEO strategy, your business must have a website designed to capture new leads and funnel them into a comprehensive CRM software. Thankfully, Sierra Interactive lets you easily generate, capture, and manage your real estate leads—all in one convenient platform.
Matt Niehaus is the Senior Digital Marketer at Sierra Interactive.
Real Estate CRM
Real Estate CRM