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Real Estate

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A Compelling Online Presence in Real Estate

Today's quickly changing, relentlessly competitive, and regionally complex housing market demonstrates more than ever the importance of effective SEO services and social media strategies. More than 50% of the internet traffic in the world is coming from mobile devices, and homebuyers expect to be able to easily find a house's agent on their phone when they pass it in the street, view virtual tours, and obtain authoritative and knowledgeable information about the area. 

 

However, there's a lot of competition. Local agents compete with national companies, large brokers and real estate franchises like Zillow and ReMax. Almost every agent has their own website, and in 2021, there were about 2 million active real estate licenses. With the right SEO and social media team, though, your agency or brokerage firm can stand out in a crowded market.

 

SEO Basics for Real Estate

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a process that drives more and better traffic from search engines like Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo to your website. Your ranking in search engines can be a make-or-break criterion for your success in the real estate marketplace. The Search Engine Journal reported that more than 25% of users click on the first result in a Google search, while the 10th result garnered only 2.5% of the clicks. Click-throughs drop off sharply on the second page.

 

Effective SEO in real estate focuses heavily on local SEO, long-tail keywords, and targeted short-tail keywords, as well as keyword-rich content and compelling, fast-loading visuals. Summarizing Kelsey Group results, the Association of Internet Research Specialists explains that 74% of internet users perform local searches. The importance of local SEO only increases in real estate, whether your focus is a single geographic region or you have nationwide concerns. 

 

Establishing your NAP (name, address, phone number) presence is crucial. Properly formatting your phone number enables one-click calling on Google search results, an indispensable tool when 82% of local searchers follow up with a phone call, store visit, or purchase (TMP / comScore).

 

Balancing Compelling Visuals and Loading Time

Every realtor knows they need to wow homebuyers with the look of a property, so it's clear that your company's online presence needs to feature detailed, rich visuals of your properties. As a realtor, you know about appropriate staging and lighting for your property photos, but did you know a lot more goes on under the hood that affects SEO? Google's Core Web Vitals update released in mid-2021 implements many changes to the algorithm that mean slower or erratically loading pages rank lower and intrinsically create higher bounce rates. To optimize your visuals for SEO, you need to look at both the images or videos themselves and how you place, describe, and name them.

 

When taking and editing your photos, combine appropriate image compression and intelligent use of backgrounds and color fields. Blurred backgrounds or backgrounds that are primary one flat color, such as an accent wall, produce smaller file sizes, especially when compressed with a format like JPEG. Write descriptions and alt text that use three keywords per image, such as the house's style and property location. 

 

Finally, using descriptive, appropriate filenames and file paths is an often neglected aspect of optimizing images for SEO. Structure your folders based on regions and property types and name the images with relevant keywords to encourage higher search engine rankings.

 

You're An Expert on the Area, So Write Like One

Companies with blogs get 97% more traffic, and 70% of customers prefer getting to know a realtor through articles compared to advertising. Homebuyers expect you to be an expert on the area and the home-buying process, so providing articles on local housing trends and issues is a great way to build rapport with homebuyers. 

 

The time to start is now. The average age of #1 search results is 2-4 years, and most top articles are between 1,900 and 2,000 words. These articles typically link to a minimum of 5 other websites to encourage backlinks. These backlinks make your real estate SEO 2-5 times more effective. Keep in mind the National Association of Realtors' policies on online advertising and the fair housing restrictions on advertising. With SEO, you can start writing to draw in customers right away, but don't forget to use a keyword in the page title (H1 only)!

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