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Real Estate Agents and Local SEO: What You Need to Know

By Ben Shepardson | September 11, 2018

If there's a single word that defines the real estate market, it's "competitive". Whether you're marketing your business offline or online, there is any number of realtors and agents doing the exact same thing that you are. That means you need to stand out any way that you can. One of the most effective ways to accomplish this is through digital marketing.

For real estate specifically, you need to focus your search engine optimization on producing local SEO results for your real estate business; with real estate being so dependent on geographical territories, it's the best way to ensure that you're found by home buyers looking for properties in your own neighborhood, not across the country. Here's what you need to know about local SEO as a real estate agent.

Local SEO is Easier than You Think

It's no longer the Dark Ages of the internet, where you needed a Ph.D. in information technology and a stack of programming books to navigate the labyrinthine passageways of SEO. Today, it's easier than ever to ensure your online business presence is optimized for search engines -- and local SEO is even easier than that. The trick is to harness the power of Google.

The pre-eminent search engine for a reason, Google provides great tools for businesses to get listed in local searches. Listing your real estate agency in Google My Business, for instance, helps folks find you first before other local competitors. Ensuring the same data (name, address, phone number, website) is listed on Google Maps as well as on Google Plus rounds out the Big Three.

Branch Out from Google

Getting listed on Google's Big Three is a great start, but it's just the first step. Local online listing sites like Yelp that provide opportunities for users to gather information about your business -- and for customers to leave detailed feedback -- are also helpful for building local authority. Search engines pick up on this as well, so you'll need to ensure the information on sites such as these accurately reflects the data you've shared with Google.

Additional recommendations include establishing a strong social media presence as well. Pick one or two major platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, and begin sharing fun and informative content that's relevant to home buyers in your neighborhood. Post frequently, get creative with your hashtags, and interact with your local community to build some human-centric goodwill as an authority on local real estate matters.

It's More than Just Your Online Listings

Now that you've established presences on Google, social media, and online business listings, the final step is to ensure your prospective clients have an attractive website to visit. You'll also need to ensure your real estate site is in good shape and that it's optimized for the current technological landscape. In this day and age, this means that your site needs to not just be search engine optimized but to be optimized for mobile viewers.

Google (and other search engines) have fully embraced a mobile-first paradigm when it comes to prioritizing search engine results. This means that a website that isn't optimized for viewing on mobile devices isn't going to be ranked as high as one that is. Talk to your web designer about making sure your site is in good shape when it comes to mobile optimization.

The Sky's the Limit

There's much more to local SEO than just these few guidelines, of course. Strategies like researchingthe best local keywords to include in your content will also play a positive role. However, this will get you started and well on your way to dominating the local search engine results for your real estate business.  Start your local SEO efforts today!

Ben Shepardson is a Realty Biz News Contributing Writer and has a long track record of success in online marketing and web development. While pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems, he worked doing enterprise-level SEO and started an online business offering web development services to small business customers.
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