You may have heard of search engine optimization but most agents only have a vague idea of what it actually means. Even if you understand some SEO concepts, the metrics by which search engines populate search queries is constantly changing.
Search engine optimization isn’t something you do one time; it’s a constant process to ensure that you’re staying top-of-mind. It’s the nurturing and care that your website needs to be successful in generating leads and maintaining authority in your market.
Here are some important SEO features that you should consider for your real estate website:
First time homebuyers tend to fall in the 25 to 49 age demographic. More than 95% of homebuyers in that age range use Internet searches to find their first home. Over half are more inclined to select the link that shows up at the top of their search results. And nearly 70% of those homebuyers search based on a specific location.
That means that if you want your website to top that list, using keywords that include local terms is an often effective strategy, especially in the real estate market. Include specific keywords like “Vancouver Chinatown condos” or “Toronto homes for sale” throughout your website to yield better results in search engines– start local!
Optimize IDX searches
Every real estate website needs an IDX search box to allow users to refine their search by location, number of bedrooms, price range, etc. While IDX makes searching within your website easier for users, it will not improve your website’s ranking on internet search engines without additional optimization.
In order to optimize IDX searches so that you also increase your ranking on search engines, you must add relevant content to your property pages. For instance, if someone searches for homes in a particular neighborhood, when they are directed to that page, include information about the neighborhood, video, or snippets from a blog post about the property or area with a link to that post.
Target keywords & phrases
Search engine algorithms are constantly changing to improve search results for users. Initially using keywords was basically all that there was to effective SEO. Now that SEO techniques have become more sophisticated, using keywords and phrases to optimize online searches must too evolve.
One way to use keywords more effectively is to target them more specifically. In other words, in addition to targeting your locality, you can target your prospective buyers directly. Some of the rising search categories are for first time homebuyers, retirees, renters, and those searching for home loans. Target your age demographic by going beyond basic “homes for sale” keywords and phrases and use “new homebuyers” or “50+.”
Furthermore, long-tail search terms such as “mortgage options for new homebuyers” or “how to buy a home in Toronto” are most effective in gaining traction in the search engines, and often produce higher quality leads, as the visitor was looking for something very specific and actionable.
Write SEO-friendly blogs
The type of content on your website, if done correctly, can increase the effectiveness of your SEO strategy by more than 50%. That goes for your property descriptions, your Meta descriptions, and page tags. Even if your SEO techniques are solid, once a user clicks the link to your website, if your site is not full of helpful and interesting content, they will not linger there for long.
As effective as building a real estate website using advanced SEO concepts is, your search engine ranking is also based on your following. The more unique visitors to your website, the more popular your site becomes, and therefore the higher your rank. Write SEO-friendly blogs that spark interest and inform your visitors to make your website more useful and thereby more popular to improve your ranking.
Add keywords to photos & images
Effective SEO blog content is not the only way to improve your ranking on Internet search engines. If you add specific keywords to photos and images on your real estate website, those too will help to move your site to the top of real estate searches. That includes adding tags and using file names that follow the SEO concepts.
Instead of tagging a particular property photo with a generic “Four bedroom” or “Colonial” use the locality, i.e., “Vancouver Chinatown two bedroom Condo,” to appear higher on the list in local real estate searches. Including video content as well when visitors look at a photo of your properties can triple or even quadruple inbound links to your website.
Enhance mobile searches
According to Google, the best way to enhance mobile searches is to use a method called “responsive design.” Responsive design refers to how well your website responds to all devices. Google recommends using the same URL on all devices as opposed to building a website for mobile devices and a separate one for desktops.
This makes sharing your content easier and eliminates the need for users to be redirected to an external link. The key to building a successful real estate website is to make it most user-friendly and that includes making mobile searches easier.
Link to social media
Backlinks to your website is an effective way to increase your visibility on search engines. Building a robust social media site that links back to your real estate website can greatly improve your SEO ranking.
Add retweet buttons, use hashtags, and frequently post on Facebook to improve your ranking on search engines and produce more unique visits to your site.
Build your name brand with SEO
A simple yet overlooked aspect to building an effective real estate website involves building your name brand online. Especially for real estate agents and brokers who operate under their own name or as part of a brokerage, getting your name to climb to the top of search engine results will take more effort.
For just a small monetary investment, you can buy your own domain name and unique URL to improve your SEO capability. Exact matches and partial domain matches are higher if your website ends in ‘.com’. Instead of free sites that include their name, for instance “wordpress,” in your URL, buy that domain so that just [your name].com shows up in search engines.
Building a Top Performing Real Estate Website with SEO
Ubertor helps you craft a website that follows many of these concepts to improve the success of your site. Our Do-It-Yourself back end allows you to pick a responsive designed theme, drag and drop layout, and basic SEO tools to help you get started. If web design is not your specialty, we have our in-house professional designers to create a personalized website for you.
Contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via call at 1-604-800-2774, to get a free consultation to discuss your options! We look forward to helping you achieve all of your real estate marketing goals.