Real Estate SEO

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In today’s digital age, more and more people are looking online when deciding to move home, at least beginning their search there. With competition everywhere and the importance of connecting with these customers, it is crucial to be in the right place at the right time for them to see you or you will lose them.

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What is SEO?

SEO, as I have described, is a way of optimising your site so that you appear higher in Search Engine Results Pages, or SERPS. Unlike Search Engine Marketing, SEO is organic; it isn’t pay-per-click. Your site will appear naturally in the results without an ‘ad designation’, to show the customer it is an ad which can put people off clicking through. SEO uses a combination of factors to ensure that your site rises up the lists and is therefore seen and clicked by more people. In Real Estate this is particularly important as there is so much competition. Due to paid ads and the layout of the results, there is less space for organic listings in a high enough space. It is not enough to have a good site and appear in the results, it is necessary to be near the top of the results and to do this you need a good SEO strategy.

How does it work?

SEO works using a series of factors to rank your site and determine its placement in the SERPS. It is important that your site be secure, mobile-friendly (as more and more searches are done on phones instead of computers), and have quality content. Page speed and length are also factors, as is having quality back links to well established and trusted sites. Further, your site should be fully optimised with the right keywords and product descriptions to rise higher in the results. Longer, more specific phrases that match what the user is searching will gain you a higher rank. Instead of just using ‘homes for sale’, be more accurate with locations, types and also who you are targeting from first time buyers to retirees.

Making your site fast and mobile-friendly is key as many people now search for homes on the go and from their phone, or switching from laptop to phone and back as they move around. While clicking from page to page, most people will go back to their results page if the site takes too long to load, even more than a couple of seconds can be too long, and you will lose a potential customer.
Having quality backlinks shows the search engine that you are more trustworthy as well, and the same with quality content. Links to Social Media are also a great way to get a boost in the listings. Having a strong Social Media page linked to your site, with frequent posts, hashtags and retweets helps to improve your ranking and gain more unique visits to your site.
Keyword optimisation is a crucial aspect of SEO; what people search and what their intent is are important to consider when selecting keywords. You want to ensure that you are hitting the right volume of searches and also that your site is as related as possible to what it is they are looking for. There are tools available to help you find the right keywords, and ensure they are relevant to you. Adding these keywords to image titles, videos and photos will also give you a boost up the rankings, as will SEO-friendly blogs, product descriptions and Meta descriptions.

Disadvantages and alternatives

One disadvantage of SEO is that it doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time to work and be successful. If what you need is increased traffic immediately, you are better off going with SEM, Search Engine Marketing, with a paid ad that instantly will appear in a high position without the wait. It is also easier to test the impact of SEM ads, an important part of any marketing strategy, though generally SEM attracts fewer clicks than your organic listing would through SEO.

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Conclusion

While SEO may have some drawbacks, it is an absolutely crucial strategy to use within your Real Estate Marketing campaign. Today most people search on their phones or computers before making purchases, and in the competitive world of Real Estate, and with the importance of a high listing to gain traffic and clicks, an effective SEO strategy can make all the difference. Ensuring your site is fast, mobile-friendly and fully optimised raises your rank and places you higher on the Search Engine Results Pages, and is a cheaper and more effective strategy than pay-per-click ads. If you are worried that it takes time to set up you can utilise other strategies like SEM alongside SEO while getting established. Just remember, deciding on and implementing an SEO strategy isn’t enough. It must be continuously adapted, tested and updated to be truly effective. So, is Real Estate SEO the right strategy for you? Yes!

For more information or advice on SEO, SEM or anything discussed here, please contact us today.

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