Let’s be straightforward: Zillow and a small number of digital brokerages are hammering real estate agents and making it nearly impossible to compete. According to Statista, Zillow owns a little over 27% of the total digital market share of the real estate space. This doesn’t account for the number of people who visit Zillow directly or through their mobile app. Zillow is also household name. And Zillow is not your only competition – Realtor, Trulia, and Redfin own a combined 23% of total website clicks for real estate searches. Don’t believe us, just search for a home in any market in the US and see what the first results are:
Zillow is also infamous for purchasing MLS listings from real estate agents and reselling it back to them at a higher price. Ouch!
When compared with the vast resources of these companies and their real estate SEO expertise, many brokerages and property management firms are drowning in their own markets organically.
For this reason, many companies simply give up on organic lead generation and instead choose to focus solely on advertisements and syndicated platforms.
But this doesn’t mean there are not opportunities to compete:
- 49% of digital market share in real estate is not owned by a single brand.
- 87% of home buyers use an online resource at some point during a purchase.
- Word-of-mouth referrals are still the number one tactic for effective lead generation.
This last point is especially important. With a strategic local SEO strategy and omnichannel blitz, real estate companies can increase their lead count and boost their revenue significantly.
SEO for real estate agents is an extremely competitive field. Working with real estate companies across multiple markets, we’ve developed proven tactics to help brokerages, property management groups, and small agents boost their organic presence and acquire new leads across multiple channels.
To prove it, we’ve developed this quick guide on real estate SEO to help you get started in taking back your local market.
Establishing a Local Presence: Getting Started
- If your real estate brokerage has a website, then you need to execute referral strategies that will lead home seekers and sellers to your website. The easiest way to start is by acquiring some low hanging fruit:
- Create a Google My Business Page for your website
- Register your business for local directories and your agency for MLS listings
- Reclaim citations over the web that mention your business or brand
- Implement local Schema Markup on your website and embed Google Maps so that you can be indexed and discovered locally
- Ensure that all name, address, and phone number (NAP) information about your business is consistent across the web
Our suggestion: don’t limit yourself to online. Consider executing offline and print strategies that help spread the word about your business.
You can also enroll in referral marketing programs available for real estate brokerages.
Find Opportunities in Keywords
To acquire leads on organic search channels, you’ll need to target long-tail keywords that have less competition then broad tail phrases. For example, do a search of houses for sale in any city, we did New Haven, and you’ll find a lot of long-tail variants with opportunities to target:
But this is not your only strategy for acquiring visibility for your brand. How about some keywords for content that can serve as a first point of contact:
- Things to do in new haven (1k-10k sv)
- new haven connecticut points of interest (100-1k sv)
- new haven activities (100-1k sv)
- best restaurants in new haven (1k-10k sv)
Are you starting to get the idea? You can also target keywords for specific neighborhoods and districts in New Haven to compete for small unclaimed traffic.
Use your website to become a local expert with a dynamic local content strategy and link building plan for promotion and rank.
Boost Rankings with Content
Content marketing is one of the most important ranking factors for virtually any search query- national or local.
To come up with ideas for topics, leverage the following resources:
Competitor analysis: what is driving traffic to your competitors website?
Keywords: what are home buyers and sellers searching for?
Individual buyers and sellers: Get it straight from the horse’s mouth.
There are a number of tools to assist you in this, including:
- Google AdWords- keyword generation
- SEMrush keyword gap- keyword generation and competitor analysis
- Ahrefs content gap- competitor analysis, including links
- Buzzsumo- trending topic generation
- AskthePublic- keyword generation
- Google search bars- keyword generation
In terms of creating content, remember to follow the best practices and experiment with different mediums, such as infographics and video for more views and longer dwell times.
One of the best pieces of content you can publish is a regional market report. This can include home buying trends that can inform buyers and sellers on how trends in the market will affect their investments.
Creating content around individual listings and neighborhoods also gives you a chance to promote a specific property and display your local authority. Be sure to leverage visuals and even technology, such as video or AR to really make a sale.
But simply producing content is not enough. You need to share it on the appropriate channels.
Consider the following strategies:
- Paid promotion through Facebook or Instagram
- Organic sharing on Facebook or Instagram
- Content syndication on guest blogs and real estate platforms
To truly boost your rankings and get some much needed traffic to your website, you need to commit to link building.
Acquire Links from Prominent Websites in Your Area
Backlinks remain one of Google and Bing’s primary ranking factors, even for local searches.
But backlinks from prominent bloggers and publications in your area can be more fruitful than just acquiring a link. It also provides a source of referral traffic and added brand visibility.
This is why we encourage clients to guest post on local blogs and we conduct manual reach out to prominent bloggers and influencers in the area to score some much needed visibility.
Think of it like relationship building. By contributing content or even sponsoring someone else in your area, you are not only generating organic visibility and moving the needle on keywords, you are also increasing your word-of-mouth referrals.
Refining Your Internal Linking Structure
Now, all of this information is useless without implementing a proper internal linking structure. This is the most important part of SEO for realtors and it’s the number one mistake we see real estate companies run into.
This becomes especially confusing because your neighborhoods page, listings, and even some blog content will leverage similar keywords. Fleshing this out from a top-down approach- and implementing redirects if necessary- is the first step to fixing a website that is suffering in rankings.
Use internal links in your content to deep link to other web pages, such as neighborhood pages and other blog posts, to spread authority amongst your site and provide CTA’s for visitors to engage further.
Use keyword rich anchor text to communicate with search engines and users the topic of that page. This can inadvertently help with rankings if done appropriately.
Execute an Omnichannel Marketing Blitz
One advantage that local businesses have over all others is the ability to communicate with users face-to-face. To reinforce many of the strategies we’ve stated before, you should commit to multiple marketing strategies for the most success
- Advertising on Facebook for leads
- Nurturing leads with content
- Nurturing leads with emails, face-to-face meetings, or calls
- Remarketing to leads with email offers and personalized content
- Moving a listing for a specific neighborhood above the established brands in your market is not too opportune.
- Instead focus on increasing your organic visibility in your local area with content to familiarize people with your brand and remarket to them over advertising channels and email.
At LSEO, we offer real estate SEO services that get results and earn our customers leads.
While the real estate field can be intimidating, forgoing organic lead generation is not an option. Let the real estate SEO experts at LSEO guide help you grow your business through cost-effective strategies that are guaranteed to improve your brand’s visibility and earn you quality leads.