SEO for Real Estate Agents
Real Estate SEO is tough. But the rewards are HUGE.
By making some SEO changes to your real estate website, you can generate thousands of extra visitors each month. What would thousands of extra visitors each month do for your business? It would lead to more phones calls, a larger network database, and you would see an increase in your sales volume and commissions.
Today, I’m going to break down exactly what you can do to hack seo for real estate agents. Strategies and tips I’ve used for my own real estate agent website TeamFoy.com which helps us sell more real estate in Northern Indiana. (Shoot us a referral if you know someone buying here!)
Are you ready to show up in the Google searches?
SEO for Real Estate Agents 101: What is Search Engine Optimization?
To start off today’s massive guide on real estate SEO, we first need to explain what SEO stands for and what it is.
SEO is the acronym for Search Engine Optimization.
In simple terms, you are optimizing your website to perform well in Google’s search results. Making simple SEO changes to your website can help boost your real estate website’s visibility and ranking in the search results, which will lead to an increase in traffic to your website.
You don’t just want any traffic though. You want targeted traffic. In the case of a new real estate agent, you’d be targeting real estate leads. The type of traffic you’d want coming to your website would be buyer leads and seller leads who are ready to take action.
Not only do you want real estate buyer leads and real estate seller leads, but you want these real estate leads to be local buyers and sellers.
How do you target local buyer and seller leads?
You’ll use Local SEO strategies that we will be covering today in this guide. This includes building a list of keyword terms that someone local would be searching in Google. A local buyer would search your city name + “real estate agent” to try and find a local real estate agent to work with.
Example: If you live in Miami, a local person would type in “Top Miami Buyers Agent” or “Best Real Estate Agent in Miami”
Then Google would pull up 10 search results on the first page that are most relevant to this search phrase the local person typed into Google. Your goal is to show up #1 or #2 so that the searcher sees your website and clicks through to it. Not many people scroll down to results #9 and #10.
You won’t want to just stop after targeting this one phrase though. By ranking #1 and #2 for lots of different search phrases, you’ll generate lots of traffic to your website from the Google search engine. So create lots of different pages and blog posts on your website that target different real estate keywords on your list.
Are you ready to learn the best SEO Tips for Real Estate Agents that will help rank your real estate website?
I would love you to help you do that today. The following is a complete guide to local SEO for Realtors that you can follow to improve your real estate website’s SEO for 2017. This guide today will cover activities and strategies your office needs to consider in this years marketing plan.
Local SEO must be in your marketing mix this year. I hope this guide helps you dominate your searches and grow your production for years to come!
Real Estate SEO Guide for Realtors, Brokers, & Agents:
Real Estate SEO Guide Table of Contents:
- On Site Indicators for Real Estate SEO
- Internal Linking to Other Pages & Articles
- Building Backlinks from other Websites
- Social Media Strategies
- Client Reviews & Testimonials
- Mobile Friendly SEO Practices
Real Estate SEO Tips – On-site Indicators
Look, there are two ways that you tell Google what your website is about.
One method is through on-site indicators which includes things like words, headings, page titles, links, and other aspects. This is what this section will be covering first.
The second method is off-site indicators which includes links pointing to your website from other blogs and websites on the internet as well as social media factors, reviews in Google Business, Yelp, etc. and other off site indicators we will cover later below.
The better you do these two things; the more search visitors Google gives your website. Google wants to display the most relevant information to the searcher so that the searcher is satisfied. It’s annoying as a user when you have to refine your search several times until Google finally pulls up relevant websites related to what we are wanting to know.
Let’s get into the on-site indicators you want to master so that you build a solid SEO foundation for your website and help it rank better in Google.
1) Keyword Placement – Real Estate SEO Keywords
Keywords are simply the terms you want to show up for in searches. You should create a list of the real estate keywords you want to rank for and then make sure you have pages for all of them.
As a real estate agent, your job is to provide services to home buyers and sellers. Put yourself in their shoes for a moment and think of all the different questions and search terms they might type into Google to find solutions to their questions.
Here is an article I wrote giving you lots of ideas: 75 Real Estate SEO Keywords
But if you want a quick cheat sheet of example real estate SEO keyword terms here is a list:
- Homes for sale in (City Name)
- Best real estate agent in (City Name)
- How to find a Realtor
- How to find a real estate agent
- Selling a home
- Sell a home fast
- Home selling tips
- Cost of selling your home
- Marketing your home
- Ways to sell your home
- House staging tips
- Property for sale by owner
- For sale by owner listings
- Tips for selling your home
- Best improvements for home valuation
- Process for selling a home
- Tips to sell your _____ home
- Tips to sell in under a month
- Do open houses sell houses
- Best Realtor in [neighborhood]
- Top rated Realtor in [area]
- House for sale on [area]
- Home buying process
You need to create a list of the real estate keywords you want to rank for and then make sure you have pages for all of them.
Real Estate Keyword Locations:
On the page you want to rank for, it’s important to place the keyword in five areas:
- Page Title
- Several Times On The Page
- Title Of Images
- Image Alt Tag
Here’s an example for the real estate keyword phrase, “Miami Real Estate Agent.”
The following elements would look as follows:
– URL: – http://asknickfoy.com/miami-real-estate-agent
– Page Title: – The Best Miami Real Estate Agent
– Keyword Density – You’ll want to include the same keyword or phrase on the page around 1-2% of the time. So if you have 1000 words on your page, you’ll want to say the phrase 10-20 times. This is known as keyword density and can be checked using a tool like SEO Book Keyword Density Checker or a plugin like SEO Yoast
– Title of Images – Miami_real_estate_agent.jpg
– Image Alt Tag – When you are uploading images with WordPress, you can set the alternative text. Be sure to set this with some version of your keyword.
2) Keyword Percentage
As mentioned above, you want to use the keyword multiple times in your article to help Google understand what your article is about. A good keyword density is between 1% to 2%. Be careful about going above and beyond this because it becomes keyword stuffing and Google will penalize you for doing it. Articles lose their natural reading flow when you force the keyword a bunch of times into the article.
Realistically, you should just write naturally without paying attention to keywords. Once you’re done, check the keyword density and if it’s low, then add the word in a few times where appropriate to maintain the natural flow of the article in the eyes of the reader.
3) Keyword Synonyms and Similar Phrasing
Google is getting smarter about how it shows websites. The search engine used to only show pages with the exact keyword used in it. Now, it is showing words that are not exactly the same but answer the question the person had.
For example, Google now sees “Home” and “Houses” as the same thing. If someone types in “Houses for Sale in Miami Florida” it will show the same results as someone typing in “Homes for Sale Miami”
Google’s getting smart. If your article answers a question or need very well, you’ll be on your way to getting SEO traffic to your real estate website.
4) Real Estate Long-tail Keywords
As you’ll see below, long-tail keywords make up nearly 70% of the keywords which means you have lots of opportunity to rank for these compared to short-tail keywords.
Short Tail Keyword Example: Miami Real Estate
Long Tail Keyword Example: Best Miami Real Estate Agent
We all want to show up for popular keywords like: “Miami Real Estate.” But the truth is, you’ll generate lots of traffic by ranking for lots of long-tail keywords and face far less competition in doing so.
For example, a popular short keyword may get 2,000 searches per month but you’d never rank for it because the competition is strong. Your traffic would be a big fat goose egg “0” whereas you could easily rank for 10 different low competition long-tail keywords that get roughly 200 searches each per month. You’d get lots of traffic combined as a result of ranking for multiple phrases.
Here’s a diagram that breaks down how you can easily get SEO traffic from other less popular search terms:
5) Local Address Schema – Put A Map On It:
Does your website have an embedded Google Map on it? You should have one. These maps help Google determine where your business is located. It also helps Google confirm that your website is legitimate. You can also use schema to help search engines confirm your address and location.
If your real estate agency website is built using WordPress, you can find plenty of free and paid plugins to put the correct meta language into your website. My favorite on that does this is Local SEO for WordPress by Yoast. This one isn’t free, but it’s powerful and will work.
6) Proper Phone Number Format
Finally, you need to make sure your phone number is consistent throughout the web. This is important for two reasons:
1) Google is basically in the business of giving internet users good information. They use the phone number on your webpage to verify all the various listings your business has across the web.
2) Make sure your phone number uses a dash or parentheses format like the ones lists below! This enables web browsers to one click dial your phone number.
How your phone number should be formatted:
– (123) 456-7890
Internal Linking – Real Estate Website SEO
Internal linking is important for website SEO and could be the most important part for real estate SEO. Every page on your website should link to at least 5 other pages or blog posts.
You’re helping funnel your traffic to other content on your website so they can get more helpful information relevant to the current page they are reading. If you didn’t link out to more pages, then they would read your webpage and be at a dead end causing them to leave your website.
It also gives search engines the opportunity to find your older blog posts. Deep linking is very important otherwise your old content would become irrelevant and never get found or read.
Google has spider robots that crawl your website and index pages they comes across so by linking to these old posts and pages, Google will easily find them. You can also submit a sitemap to Google which is a directory of all your website’s pages. Google XML Sitemap is a plugin I recommend installing if you have a WordPress website.
Internal Linking Success Tip: You don’t just want to link random text. You want to use the keywords that the post you are linking to is about when you link. So if your post is about Miami Real Estate, then you want to link to that post on all your other posts with the text “Miami Real Estate” so that you tell Google what that post is about that you are linking to. Google bots scan the link text to learn what the linked page must be about.
Dominate Local Real Estate SEO With Neighborhood Posts And Pages
Neighborhood blog posts (or pages) are going to be your bread and butter.
Create a page for each neighborhood community in your city that you target in your real estate business or marketing plan. These pages or blog posts can be an ultimate guide style page that lists all kinds of information about the neighborhood and community. Here is an example: Realtors Guide Granger Indiana Real Estate
Then you’ll want to link to these neighborhood pages from all of your blog posts. Use the same text when linking to this page so that Google clearly knows what this webpage is about and doesn’t get confused. If you used different text every time you linked to this page, it could confuse Google.
In Miami, Florida there are several neighborhood communities within Miami (Pinecrest, Wynwood, Coral Gables, Brickell) so you would want to create a page for each of these neighborhoods. These pages will be your staple pages that you don’t change throughout the years. As you write new articles, you’ll link to these neighborhood pages using the same text every time. If writing an article relevant to Coral Gables, then you’d use link text “Coral Gables Neighboorhood Information” in every article and page where you want to link to the Coral Gables neighborhood page.
Key Takeaway: The purpose of these posts is to make you the expert on these neighborhoods. That means they should be long and have as much text as you can muster. The Realtor’s Guide to Granger Real Estate is over 2,000 words long. Consider everything from nearby stores, restaurants, parks as well as commute time to major transportation systems, work, and other activities people will want to go do. Write 1,500-2,000 words per neighborhood. Then you can use internal links to these pages to show Google how important they are to your website and its readers.
Build Backlinks to Boost Your SEO
Backlinks are honestly the most important part of SEO. A backlink is generated when another website links to your website, whether it be the home page or a specific article on your blog.
You need other websites to link to your website. The more quality backlinks you have, the better.
A quality backlink is one that comes from an authoritative website like Forbes, Wikipedia, and other large well known websites. Getting links from these big time websites, shows Google your website must be important too if they are linking to you.
There are two types of backlinks.
Dofollow links allow google (all search engines) to follow them and reach our website. Giving us link juice and a backlink. If a webmaster is linking back to you with this link both Search Engine and Humans will be able to follow you.
Nofollow links don’t allow Google to follow the link back to your website. Therefore only humans will see the link and click it, taking them to your website. Nofollow links won’t count as a backlink but are still okay because they still bring traffic to your website.
Sites like Facebook and Twitter are nofollow links. This makes sense or else people could tweet their website link every day and build thousands of backlinks from one source. This brings up my next point.
Google wants to see a variety of websites linking to you. Therefore, having just one website link to you 50 times may not be as effective as having 50 different websites linking to you.
In the end, if you have more backlinks and from a variety of websites compared to your competitor, then Google will probably rank your website higher than your competitors in the search results.
Here are a few places you can secure natural backlinks that will help improve your local SEO:
1) Have Local Websites Link To Your Real Estate Website
You can get quite a few backlinks from simply building relationships with local businesses and other individuals in your community. Try to build relationships with at least 5 new people each week.
2) Local Reporters Link to Your Real Estate Website
Creating new content everyday is a challenging task for writers and reporters. Make some new relationships with local reporters who publish stories in the newspaper and online. Share articles with them that they can link to in their stories that will help boost the quality of their article. This is a good way to build lots of backlinks and get lots of traffic from local people.
I’m always looking for high quality content to publish to my blog here on AskNickFoy.com and would love to feature an article of yours on my website. If you want to become a guest writer for my website you can email me [email protected]
1) Facebook Business Page
Google uses social media as a trust factor and looks at the social media activity level so you’ll want to have a Facebook business page that you update regularly.
Post helpful articles from your blog to share with your Facebook fans. Find helpful articles from around the website you can share on your page.
If you share great content that is educational or entertaining, then you’ll build an engaged fan base and they’ll see you as a valuable resource to go to for information. Eventually this will turn into them contacting you for your services as a real estate agent when the time is right for them to buy or sell their home.
You can build your credibility by getting lots of page likes as well as having clients submit Facebook reviews to your business page. Social credibility is a huge decision factor many people rely on when deciding on a product or service.
When filling out the information on your Facebook page, be sure to link your website to your page so that Google can associate your Facebook page with your website. Also make sure to accurately and completely fill out the contact information section. Google will validate this information against the contact information that is everywhere else online about you.
Google doesn’t index Tweets yet. This means activity on Twitter doesn’t really impact SEO. But, you can get traffic to your website from Twitter. And this additional traffic will help qualify you for more SEO traffic. Google loves websites that are popular. So, getting popular on Twitter helps you grow the quantity of SEO traffic your website receives.
Twitter is also great for sharing blog posts and high quality content with your followers to build your brand authority and promote social shares. If you write viral blog posts, you can generate substantial traffic from your twitter account that clicks through to your real estate website.
Pinterest drives more traffic to websites than all the other social networks. It has become a very large player in the market and will continue to grow in the future. You’ll also see a backlink benefit from Pinterest. Pinterest boards rank very highly in Google searches. This means the more boards you get your pins on, the more people will find you.
They can search on Google, find Pinterest, and then find your website. This is a great tactic if you are just starting out and don’t have much authority built up to your website yet.
Secondly, pins live for a long time. This means Google can easily index and follow links on specific pins. This means you can build up the backlinks to your website by consistently making pins. These pins will get Google to your website more often and help it rank higher in search results.
Pinterest is a great tool that will pay many dividends in real estate. You can create boards and pins for very specific neighborhoods that you want to specialize in. There is also the possibility of creating DIY home fixing boards and beautiful home boards. You can also create boards that are specific for home buyer tips and home seller tips. I can’t recommend Pinterest enough for Realtors looking to boost their SEO.
Follow me on Pinterest to see how I use it for business.
People love videos, and there is such a shortage of local videos about neighborhoods. I recommend creating 1 new video per week and uploading it to your YouTube account. This social network is an incredibly powerful tool to get yourself found online.
YouTube videos are so powerful because Google ranks them very highly for searches without many articles. This means you can easily get on the first page with a useful video about a neighborhood. People also search directly on Youtube and there is hardly any content specifically on the local level meaning you’re likely to be found easily.
Types of Videos to Create:
- Q&A videos that answer common questions of home buyers and home sellers
- Video tours of homes you have listed for sale
- Drone videos to show off aerial footage of real estate
5 important tactics for using video:
1) Include Contact Information – You’ll want to mention all of your contact information in the video and in the description below the video. This information helps you get more action and leads out of each video you produce.
2) GeoTag Your Videos – When you are uploading videos to Youtube, you can GeoTag the videos for your location. This will help people searching near you and searching about your location find your videos. You should make as many videos about the area’s you are farming as possible. I typically recommend that you only make ‘evergreen’ videos and stay away from individual house videos. You’ll get more traffic out of videos that last for years.
3) Post Video to Google+ – You really want to enable automatic posting to Google+. Google+ is a great search engine not for people but for being found by Google. You won’t get much engagement here…but it is great for getting Google to index and remember your video faster.
4) Link to Your Website – You’ll want to add 2 links to your YouTube videos. 1) You’ll want to include a link to your website in the description section of your Youtube video. 2) You’ll want to annotate your video and link it to your homepage.
5) Shoot For 100 Views – Finally, get your videos seen by over 100 people. This seems to be the magic number! Google isn’t going to rank or promote your video until after you promote it. Take this video production to the next level and work to get all your videos viewed over 100 times.
Client Reviews – Important Real Estate SEO Strategy
Check out this 2016 survey by BrightLocal on consumers reading reviews
Reviews are very important to your real estate business. Consumers surfing the internet don’t know you so they will judge you based on the trust level of other individuals who have been past clients of yours. This is known as Social Proof.
You’ll want to set up a Yelp account and get on Google Places so that you come up in the local Google business results.
You’ll want to get in the habit of asking clients to leave you a review on these two main sites that consumers will come across via search engines and will use to judge you. Set up a system so that you don’t forget to ask and it’s automated. For example, you could have an email sent out to your clients once a transaction has closed that gives them the links to visit to leave the review.
1) Google Reviews
As you can imagine, Google Reviews play the largest part in getting ranked highly with local map searches. If you were to search for real estate agents in your city you would likely see a list of agents come up via Google Maps. Take this photo as your example:
There are two primary things that matter.
1) You need a high number of reviews
2) You want long reviews that are preferably over 300 words. These type of reviews help your Google places page rank highly.
The most important part of all of this is that a high number of reviews leads to social proof. The more people you have review your website; the more people that will do business with you.
Think about it from the consumer’s perspective. Are they going to select the real estate agent who has has 4 reviews or the real estate agent who has 90 reviews? Social proof is a huge influencer for online consumers with lots of real estate agents to choose from in your city.
How do you get your client to write a Google review?
It’s simple. Just send clients to your Google+ About page and ask them to click, “Write a Review.” You can even give them an instructional handout with images and the link to your Google+ page showing them step by step what to do. You can also email them these directions as well. Make it super easy for them to write the review and they’ll be more likely to do it.
Also, don’t be afraid to follow up and ask for the review again if you noticed they haven’t yet. People get busy and forget sometimes!
2) Zillow Reviews
Anytime a home buyer searches the term “homes for sale in _____” …. it’s almost guaranteed that Zillow will pop up as the first or second search result. Zillow is a huge search engine for finding homes for sale and for rent that more and more consumers are using today to find real estate.
This means it’s important for you to have an updated Zillow profile and lots of reviews so that you have social proof.
You might even go as far as purchasing a Zillow Premier Agent advertising package with Zillow, which places your profile photo and contact information next to local properties people are looking at on Zillow. You’ll be paired alongside other Zillow Premier Agents in your city so having social proof will be critical to being chosen by the consumer as the agent they want to contact about the property over the other agents you are competing with in the advertising space.
This is a real estate SEO strategy for optimizing your Zillow profile and will go a long way in bringing you new seller leads and buyer leads.
3) Yelp Reviews – Great for Real Estate SEO Optimization
Yelp reviews are hard to get, but they are worth their weight in gold. Yelp pages typically show up very highly in search results, and you will be rewarded for having a lot of reviews on this platform.
4) Testimonials on Your Website
As your website starts ranking on Google you’ll begin getting traffic. Consider this traffic as random strangers who don’t know you and are coming to your website to learn more about you. It’s important to have testimonials on different key pages of your website so that these new potential leads can build that trust factor with you by seeing the reviews and praises of past clients.
Mobile Friendly And Load Speed:
Every year there is a larger percentage of web users using mobile and it’s very close to overtaking desktop users. Google noticed this and has implemented new ranking factors that revolve around a website being mobile friendly. If your website isn’t mobile friendly then it will get knocked down in the search results.
As a real estate agent, you’ll want to make sure everything from your lead capture pages to your IDX is mobile friendly.
What does mobile friendly mean?
The main issue websites have is that their content was designed for desktop. So when someone tries to view it on a mobile device, the website doesn’t show things properly or things are missing.
A mobile friendly website is designed to automatically adjust the presentation of the website as the screen size shrinks. For example if you were on desktop right now, you could shrink down the screen size by dragging it and would notice the layout and appearance of your site changing as you shrink it.
A mobile friendly website also has a fast load speed. People on mobile expect quick load times and get frustrated when a website takes awhile to load. You can test your websites speed by using free tools that can be found by doing a quick Google search for them. Type in “Website speed check tool” and see what resources comes up for you.
Have you tried to do SEO? The best thing you can do to grow your blog traffic is create great content. Writing quality articles and publishing helpful YouTube videos is a surefire way for Google to place your content ahead of lesser quality content on the web.
I recommend writing articles that are at least 1,500 words in length and well-organized with headings to break them up into easy-to-read sections.
Also create a video related to your article that you can embed into the page as Google loves YouTube content in articles since it adds to the resourcefulness of the article by giving the reader visual content to learn from.
Let me know in the comments below what you’ve tried and what works for you in regards to real estate SEO.
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