Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the greatest marketing tools we have available to us. Believe it or not, 57% of businesses still don't use SEO in their marketing strategies. While it's a shame for them, it's great news for you! It means there's less competition standing in your way. Real estate SEO is a great way to reduce your marketing expenses over time, diversify your traffic, and reduce your dependence on paid ads. However, you still have to know how to do it. Let's talk about some best practices for real estate agents using keywords in their SEO strategies!
Keywords are one of the foundational pillars of your SEO strategy. They are Google's only way of knowing how to match your content with the most relevant users. Finding the right mix of keywords to reach the right users is essential for your SEO strategy.
If you don't match the keywords with what users are actually searching for, nobody will find you. Conversely, if you don't use the keywords that likely homebuyers are searching for, then you won't get any business from your new website traffic. For these reasons, finding the right keywords is essential for SEO success.
Keyword research simply starts with some brainstorming. If you were a user, what would you search to find someone offering your services?
There are plenty of free keyword research tools online, and most of them have a limit to the amount you can use each day for free. However, the majority of them give you the same information, so start with one and switch to another if you run out! Just ensure that you can see the related keywords, estimated search volume, and estimated competition (high or low).
Once you've developed a shortlist of relevant keywords from these tools, keep them written down. If you want to prioritize them, compare them in Google Trends for a better idea of relative search volume.
From there, you can always look at the suggestions on Google search, input other related keywords into online tools, and research the competition. Your competitors have likely done a lot of the work for you, so scroll through their blog and plug their URLs into your keyword research tools.
Now that you know how keywords work in your SEO strategy and how to find them, let's talk about how to use them. Here's what you need to know about choosing the right keywords, strategizing, and implementing them on your website!
Understanding the different types of keywords and their role in your strategy is very important to success. The two most important types are short-tail and long-tail keywords.
Short-tail keywords are the obvious ones in each industry. As a real estate agent, these would be "homes for sale", "realtor", or "real estate agent". These have the highest search volume but also the most competition.
Long-tail keywords have significantly less search volume on average, but they are much easier to rank for. These are keywords like "victorian homes in Pennsylvania" or "rental property real estate agent near me". While they have less search volume, the traffic they drive will be far more valuable, relevant, and likely to convert.
Using both of these types of keywords in your strategy is crucial. Long-tail keywords are an excellent way to drive short-term results, and short-tail keywords are worth striving for in the long run!
You should also remember the old real estate mantra: "location, location, location". Apply this to your SEO keyword strategy as well. As a real estate agent, you rely on local traffic, so it's important to use location-specific keywords.
At least half of your long-tail keywords should end in phrases like "near me" or "in Portland, Maine." For example, "new homes near me" or "real estate agents in Seattle." These keywords will help you target your reach to those searching in your area.
Using too many keywords in your strategy will hurt your SEO efforts in the long run. This is a practice known as "keyword stuffing," and Google may penalize you for it.
So, how many keywords is too many? Honestly, it depends on the circumstances. Every post and page is different, so just follow general best practices.
First, you want to use them as organically as possible. When you reread the piece to yourself at the end, ask yourself if any of the keywords seem forced or if you would be able to tell as a reader that it wasn't natural. If so, get rid of it.
Second, use the few golden opportunities you have to add keywords to every post. No matter what the keywords are or what the post is about, you can always fit five into the page. Once in the title, one heading, your intro, conclusion, and meta description.
From there, you don't need to force it. If you have 5 instances of that keyword on the page, Google will catch on. Simply use your primary or secondary keywords whenever it's natural to do so.
Finally, SEO is an ongoing process that requires some upkeep. It's important to track your campaigns and see what's working by leveraging website data to see what works and what needs improvement.
Now that you know how to use keywords appropriately in your SEO strategy, why wait? SEO takes time to build, so it's important to get ahead as quickly as possible.
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