Local real estate brokers understand the importance of being featured in online search engines and have for many years now. What most of them don’t understand, however, is how to get there. More importantly, a pretty website doesn’t get the job done, unless people can find it when they need it. With strategic, localized Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for real estate brokerages, you can increase the odds that it is your brokerage that is found when buyers and sellers are looking for a real estate partner.
What is Local SEO?
While Search Engine Optimization is the generally used term, local SEO focuses on competing with the websites of businesses in your area. Essentially, it’s a digital version of your town’s phone book or Yellow Pages, except that it makes your business far more accessible to more people. Here’s a couple of statistics to digest:
- 97% of people use the internet when searching for a local business.
- 98% of searchers choose a business that is on page 1 of search results.
- 80% of searches overall are done on Google, followed by Bing and Yahoo. (Statista)
- 93% of mobile searches are done on Google. (Statista)
- 96% of home shoppers used the internet to search for homes. (NAR 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers)
Making Local SEO Work for your Brokerage
Despite these promising statistics, it’s not enough to simply put a website online and wait for prospective homebuyers to walk through your door. This is where a solid online real estate marketing strategy comes into play, and knowing a few simple things can make a big difference in your visibility. And the good news is that there are tons of online resources that can teach you how to do any of the items below. Or, you can hire a local expert to help do this for you.
- Claim Your Google Business Profile: If you search for “real estate agent near me”, what comes up? Hopefully, a map listing which contains your office, but if not, you’ll want to address this right away. Your Google Maps profile must be claimed and optimized for your business by logging into your profile and getting Google to send you a postcard. Then optimize your profile with as much information as you can. This will put you on the map for local searches in your area!
- Keyword research: Keywords are essentially the phrases your customers are likely to type into Google that will likely to bring them to your business. For example, if you own a brokerage in Albany, New York, you would want to target keywords that relate to home for sale, foreclosed homes or buying a home in that town.
- Website audit and analysis: Before you implement your SEO strategy, you need to know where you stand and that means auditing your website. Analyze where your website is landing on Google for keywords you want to rank for to discover where your weak points are (ideally, you want to be on the first page of results) and set up a system to generate monthly reports to see where your strategy is delivering and where more effort is required.
- Website optimization: Once you know what your website is ranking for, you can optimize it to target areas where you are weaker or where your real target market is. Adding pages with relevant content based on your keywords, or including keywords in current website topics will help make your website more discoverable by Google. In addition to optimizing your written content, remember that images, video and other content can likewise receive the same treatment to add further authority to your ranking.
- Consistent content production: Google’s algorithms focus on active websites that are pushing out regular, up-to-date content. One great way to add this to your website is through a blog where you can post company news, exciting new listings, advice for homebuyers and so forth. By utilizing your targeted keywords in these blog posts, you’ll claim further SEO rewards. Similarly, they can be posted or linked to your different social media accounts to get more exposure and interest.
Time, Skills and Expert Execution Add Up to Optimal SEO for Real Estate Brokers
In this day and age, digital real estate marketing is key to being found where consumers are searching. However, it’s one more thing that Brokers’ need to stay on top of, along with sales, recruiting, marketing and running a business. When you are going it alone, it’s tough to keep up. That is where a partner like Weichert can be truly valuable. Contact us today at https://www.weichertfranchise.com/ to see what we can do for your business.