It’s a Friday night, and you want to have some pizza while enjoying your favorite TV series. Because you want to try something new, you get your smartphone and key in “pizza near me” in the search engine. The results list a variety of pizza places nearby. In this article, you can see how these pizzerias take advantage of local SEO.
According to Google, “where to buy” + “near me” mobile queries have grown to over 200% since 2019. Whether people are looking for local shops selling flowers, fruits, or anything else they need, their main source is online.
So, how important is local SEO for real estate? A survey done by Statista shows that one-third of U.S. consumers rely on the Internet to search for local businesses. And they do this daily. Social Media Today also reports that 76% of people who searched for a specific item within the area visited a business on the same day. Then, 28% of them purchased that item they had searched for.
See how local search engine marketing can play an important role in your business? Get more SEO tips for real estate by reading more here.
Local SEO, Defined
Local SEO is a digital marketing strategy wherein you optimize your business to be more visible in a search engine’s local search results. This means that when people close to your physical location perform an online search, they must be able to see your business in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
Local SEO is typically focused on attracting potential customers within smaller towns, cities, or areas. This strategy is usually practiced by businesses that target people to visit their physical store or to develop a business in the said service area.
There are different benefits local SEO can give to your business:
- Improved online visibility
- More foot traffic
- More service customers
- More sales
- Improved relevance
- Increased trust in your business
How is Local SEO Used in Real Estate?
Real estate agents sell properties in a certain city, neighborhood, or community. That is why applying local SEO is a great help to improve the visibility of a real estate company’s website in local SERPs. In fact, the joint study of Google and the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) reveals that 69% of individuals who want to buy a property begin their research by typing in local search terms online.
Here are some local real estate SEO tips you can follow:
Optimize for the Google 3-Pack
The Google 3-Pack is simply the top three local SERP results. The results vary upon the location of the user. For example, when a person searches for “hospitals near me,” the Google 3-Pack will then show the top three hospitals near the current location of the user. These top three results are in the sweet spot since most users will not navigate to further results if they have found that these are helpful enough.
To make sure you’re in the Google 3-Pack, register your real estate business to a Google My Business profile. Business profiles include the business name, location, and category. If there’s no duplicate for the profile, Google then confirms that profile specific for the business. Just make sure that your website is regularly updated and SEO configured so that when residents search for real estate agents, they’ll be able to find you in local SERPs.
Get Listed in Local and Online Business Directories
Search engines verify the legitimacy of your real estate business by checking for citations in local and online business directories. Make sure that your information in all these online directories is the same and accurate to avoid any discrepancies.
Sample online directories:
- Yellow Pages
- Merchant Circle
- Angie’s List
- Better Business Bureau
Work on Neighborhood Information and Statistics
People looking for homes will most likely search for information about that specific neighborhood where the property is situated. Is the place safe? Are there facilities or amenities around the area? What is the crime rate? It will be helpful if you have a blog so that they can get this information directly from you. Using the appropriate keywords in your blog will lead to more people finding your business.
Optimize Your Social Media Presence
Aside from having a blog, you should also take advantage of social media. After all, almost everyone already has an account online. Again, make sure that your information is correct. You can also add links to your current listings or feature content from your blog. This is where you can also apply local long-tail SEO keywords accordingly.
Optimize Your Images
Search engines can also search for images. They read the metadata used on these images. On your blog, look for the option “Alt Text” so you can add your targeted keywords to the image.
Ensure that Your Website Is Mobile-Friendly
Do you know that 30% of Google searches related to a location are done using smartphones? Because of this, you have to make sure that your website will run smoothly on mobile. Check if your page is mobile-friendly. If it’s not yet mobile-friendly, you need to integrate responsive web design into your site. This technique ensures that your website will adjust according to what unit an individual is currently using, resulting in a flawless browsing experience.
Don’t Take Customer Reviews for Granted
Reviews make an impact on the buying decision of people. 80% of consumers change their minds upon reading online feedback, be it positive or negative. You have to be responsive to reviews and be there when they need solutions. Furthermore, having a lot of reviews can be a big factor in itself, as this generates more online traffic.
Other Real Estate SEO Pillars You Should Know
SEO audit is the process of taking a look at your website and checking if it complies with the best SEO practices. Some of the factors SEO auditors check include:
- Site load speed
- Penalties from Google algorithm update
- Visibility in search results
- SEO-friendly URLs
- User-friendly navigation
- Technical SEO issues
- User experience issues
- Website structure issues
Any real estate website can thrive by adeptly using keywords. Using the right keywords can get your business in front of potential prospects and clients at the exact time they are searching for services you can provide. That is why you shouldn’t overlook keywords research as part of your digital marketing strategy.
Aside from knowing what terms people are searching for, you should also have an idea how often those terms are searched for. In real estate, long-tail keywords or keywords containing three or more words are better when you’re targeting local searches as they are more specific. Moreover, they provide more qualified traffic, lesser competition, and higher chances of conversions.
On-page SEO optimization refers to the practice of optimizing elements within a web page’s content. This includes a lot of factors, like keyword density, getting rid of “404 errors,” meta tags, content originality, and more. The main goal is to make sure that your real estate website provides valuable content that is not only relevant to users but that will also increase your ranking in SERPs.
Prospective clients go after sources that provide informative yet entertaining content with high-quality visual design. Content marketing is not just about content creation. It aims to be valuable and relevant, with the ultimate goal of driving profitable customer action. Leveraging content marketing in your real estate business can save your budget from paying for ads or media buys. It can also build up your business’s presence online, making you the customers’ choice when they plan to buy or sell a home.
Social Media Marketing
As per NAR’s 2019 report, the most popular social media platforms used by real estate agents are Facebook (97%), LinkedIn (59%), Instagram (39%), and Twitter (33%). Social media is a perfect way for real estate agents to connect to their clients, answer their queries, and respond to their demands immediately. Of course, it’s also an easy platform to advertise listings online.
Benefits of SEO in the Real Estate Industry
More traffic and conversions
A properly SEO-configured real estate website will, later on, result in higher SERP rankings. If your website is on the top, it will generate more clicks, allowing you to save money on paid advertisements. Additionally, your website then attracts potential clients who are more likely to contact you and buy from you.
Higher Return on Investment (ROI)
SEO is more profitable than click-through rates and conversions and other methods. Once more people discover your website, SEO will constantly generate more revenue for your agency. SEO is affordable, and its real-time effects will definitely build up your ROI.
Greater brand awareness
Being at the top of SERPs makes your business popular among searchers. As more people discover your website, they will surely follow you on social media, respond to email offers, and share your content with others. These factors make an impact on search engine algorithms. As a result, you increase consumer awareness of your real estate business.
Being an authority in the industry
Websites that appear in the top results are considered the most authoritative and valuable. If you continue producing quality content, your website may eventually be linked to other powerful, industry-related websites. This will not only drive more traffic but can also make your website a voice of authority.
The Bottom Line
Real estate businesses should make local SEO part of their marketing strategy. Most buyers use a local search online before landing on a property they want to buy, so you may want to take advantage of this trend.
There are also a lot of other real estate SEO tips you will need to apply, from keywords research and on-page optimization to putting effort into social media marketing. You can learn more about real estate SEO when you visit our website!
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