Today, marketing any business – including your own professional real estate business – means doing so online. Internet marketing takes many different forms, such as email campaigns, running targeted paid advertising on social media platforms, and much more. Yet one of the most effective types of online marketing has been and continues to be organic SEO results, with quality content for your blog post.
This is where search engine optimization comes in. SEO involves making your company’s website attractive to potential customers in ways that attract lots of attention with the intention of converting prospects into clients. There are dozens of different strategies and tactics you can use to promote good SEO for your website, but they’re not all created equal, especially because search engines update their ranking criteria all the time. Here are some of the best real estate SEO practices for 2022 and beyond.
So what is SEO exactly? Our simple definition above, that it attracts visitors to your website, is just the tip of the iceberg. Search engine optimization, especially real estate SEO, can be quite complex, but no matter how complicated it is in practice the goal is still the same: to make it easier for people to find you. In the case of real estate SEO, you want people searching for properties or realtors in your area to find your website at the top of Google’s search engine results page. That’s exactly what good SEO similar to the ones at search engine optimization’s Damon Burton can do for your real estate business.
Search engines like Google rank search results in order of relevance. In 2022, Google uses advanced AI and machine learning algorithms to decide which sites end up at the top of that list outside your typical paid ad. The AI is constantly revised to provide the best results possible, and over the years SEO practices have had to evolve repeatedly to keep up with these changes. Back in the early days of the internet, for example, using the right combination of keywords enough times was often enough for the content to rank well and give you a decent profile on Google. Today, though, it's much more complex – and that means SEO practices have grown in complexity as well.
Good real estate SEO is a major feather in your cap, as it has a great return on investment due to its low costs. In fact, you often don’t have to pay anything to optimize your website, as there are strategies for doing by creating content on your site in specific ways. Similarly, though, good SEO isn’t a magic bullet. That’s because competitors can invest in paid search ads that place their sites first artificially on any list of search engine results. Therefore, you may see SEO referred to as “organic”, as you’re not paying to have your site placed above competitors that have chosen to build their search rankings more naturally.
Even as companies like Google allow you to pay a premium to jump the line, as it were, they have also doubled down on their support for a solid organic marketing strategy approach through natural search engine results. Google’s search ranking algorithms now focus on awarding higher rank to pages that provide original information, reporting, research, or analysis of topics in substantial, complete, or comprehensive ways. This includes referencing trusted sources, proper spelling, and grammar, and is optimized for mobile devices.
Since SEO has become so complex and nuanced today, it’s easier to highlight concrete examples of how you can institute good real estate SEO instead of discussing abstractions. That’s why we’ve gathered some great ideas here along with guidelines for implementing them to better support your own organic SEO rankings.
While it’s not the most important aspect of good SEO, choosing the right keywords for your online content is always going to be one of the most crucial steps you’ll need to take, especially to gain local search results. Any word or phrase that users type into a search bar is a keyword, so choosing the right ones to emphasize in your content will result in that content being more relevant for users searching for them. If you think this sounds like a lot of work, it can be – especially if you’re looking to reach specific target audiences!
Yet researching which keywords you should use in your content doesn’t have to be an exhaustive task. Yes, you need to identify which search terms show up in large volumes so that you can target those terms, but there are tools that you can use to conduct some of that research – and many of them are free. The Google Keyword Planner is the most well-known one, but there are dozens of others. If you’re serious about your keyword research, using a paid site for the most incisive analysis is always an option as well.
Originally known as the Google My Business tool, the Google Business Profile is a free tool that supports your search engine ranking by providing Google with as much detailed information about your business as possible. Filling out your Google Business Profile allows users to understand vital details about your business in a flash, either in Google Search or in Google Maps, in the form of operating hours, contact numbers, physical addresses, and even any images you choose to add to your profile.
The most helpful aspect of a Google Business Profile is the integrated user feedback and review system. Instead of having to navigate to an external site like Yelp, Google users can see the overall rating of a business and read user reviews and testimonials natively in the Google environment. With so many consumers trusting customer feedback when it comes to making decisions about which businesses they want to purchase from, even a handful of helpful reviews can make the difference between being contacted by a prospect or being passed over for a competitor. Not availing yourself of this free tool to market your real estate business is akin to shooting yourself in the foot!
SEO is more than just keyword optimization and consumer ratings. Presenting your online content in ways that the Google algorithm will be attracted to also involves choosing the right format, and in 2022 content that can be viewed easily on mobile devices is prioritized over those that aren’t. In fact, Google even released their own assessment tool for you to check if your site is mobile-friendly or not.
Yet mobile-friendly content is more than just ensuring your website is easily viewed on phones and tablets, however. Thanks to the ubiquitous nature of social media, search algorithms also prioritize content with image and video content over those that don’t have any. This means that any real estate website needs, at the very least, to have professional, high-quality images for users to view. Video content is even more valued as well, so don’t neglect this important facet of modern SEO.
The real estate industry is driven by geographic location. Every realtor has their preferred neighborhood that they specialize in, and this means you have to target audiences in that neighborhood if you want to successfully market your business. Thankfully, there are many ways that you can use SEO practices to increase your search rankings in the local markets you’re targeting.
Pushing local SEO is often a combination of several strategies, many of which we’ve discussed already. Filling out a Google Business Profile is one of the most effective, as when a user searches for “realtors near me” or a similar keyword, a properly configured profile will result in you being flagged as a local business. Additionally, building content relevant to your targeted locale that features well-researched local keywords will also help support good local SEO. You want prospects looking in your backyard for realtors, so make sure you’re targeting them!
As a busy real estate professional, you may not have the time or resources to fully devote yourself to learning the intricate complexities of SEO and still be an effective real estate agent at the same time. Yet there’s no denying the simple fact that good SEO will help you build your brand and convert more prospects into clients. You need to ensure that you get it right, or you could end up doing your online presence more harm than good.
This leads us to the one real estate SEO strategy that simply can’t be ignored: ensuring you make use of a search engine optimization expert. If you have the budget for it, hiring an SEO expert that has experience in local SEO for real estate marketing purposes is often the most cost-effective solution for improving your own website’s organic search rankings. There’s no shame in not being able to do it all yourself. You wouldn’t expect your clients to try to buy or sell a home on their own without your expertise, so why would you try to build your own SEO strategy without the aid of your own expert?
Search engine optimization practices are constantly changing. This means that while this guide is accurate as of this year, things are constantly in flux. Just as you wouldn’t use a guide from last year to meet today’s needs, this one can just as easily go out of date. Be sure to always use the most recently updated guidance whenever you want to improve the SEO for your online professional presence for the best results – and when in doubt, always turn to the experts.