As a real estate professional, your career revolves around finding clients the home of their dreams. Whether you focus on finding buyers for sellers or the other way around, your best work requires connecting with people in the market for a new home, and one of the ways to do that is through the internet.
There's plenty of ways to source potential clients online. Many of the same techniques and strategies that have worked for decades, like paid marketing, have grown and adapted to be effective ones in online spaces. But there's one other technique that, while perhaps not necessary, has excellent potential to support any marketing campaign - search engine optimization.
Search engine optimization - SEO for short - is a collection of techniques designed to make it easier for businesses and organizations to be found in search engine results. The more effective your SEO, the more likely you'll be close to the top on that all-important search results page - and the more likely your website will be clicked on by people searching for your products or services.
Millions of words have been written about SEO in the past, so we're not going to go over it again here. What we will say, though, is that there are certain types of SEO practices that can directly impact your online marketing efforts, driving prospective home buyers and house sellers to your real estate practice. In fact, there's one type of SEO - local search optimization - that's free, easy, and highly effective.
Local SEO, just one specific subset of search optimization, is fairly straightforward. It involves making sure that individuals using Google, Bing, and other search engines to find location-based services find you. This is especially important for real estate agents, as finding a realtor in their general location - or in the location of their prospective new house - is a primary goal for just about anyone entering the real estate market.
Optimizing your realty services for local searches is almost foolproof. Services like Google My Business provide free opportunities to list things like your company website and the name, address, and phone number of your business (your NAP) in a search engine's database. This means your company details will show up in searches for local realtors or real estate agents both in search engine results and in places like Google Maps.
There are some pitfalls to avoid when it comes to using local search optimization properly, though. Just a little diligence on your part - ensuring the details of your NAP and website address are accurate and uniform across every place they're listed, for example - will result in your real estate business being present in local search results.
While it's easy to avoid these pitfalls, it's crucial that you do. Inconsistent listings will rank your real estate agency lower than one that has its credentials listed properly, and that's not going to help you at all. Thankfully, listing your NAP and website on local business listings and in search engine databases is almost always free, making local SEO a cost-effective marketing strategy for anyone.
So is SEO really necessary if you're looking to promote your real estate business? Not technically - traditional or existing marketing efforts can and do work just fine. However, adding SEO - specifically local search optimization - to your marketing arsenal is a free, easy, and effective way to maximize your marketing and promotional efforts.