We get the same call every month: a frustrated real estate professional wants to know if we can help them get their website to rank higher for key terms on engine engines like Google. They have a decent website, they are advertising their vacancies on Craigslist and through internet listing services (multiple listing service) but they’ve not been able to generate traffic from the search engines.
Our short answer is, of course, ‘we’d love to help.’ But, then we ask the important question, how much are you willing to commit (time, effort and money) to implementing an SEO strategy?
What many real estate professionals don’t realize is that effective SEO takes time. There is a delay from when you implement optimization tactics to your website to when your website will start to see new traffic from search results. This delay depends on many factors such as the age of the domain, the amount of content that can be indexed, as well as the technical structure of your site (such as, can spiders crawl your web pages?).
This is why we recommend that before making the decision to spend any money on SEO that you be prepared to commit to a minimum of six months of consistent SEO activity. The good news is that if done effectively, optimizing your website can pay dividends well into the future – making your website your most productive lead source.
Where Should You Start?
Keyword Research – First, start by determining which keywords or phrases to target with our SEO efforts. This is the process of researching which terms or phrases your customers are actually using to search. Next, you will want to determine how competitive the terms are. This is a relative measure of how many other websites are competing for traffic. Generally, the shorter and the more it is searched the more competitive it is. Long-tail key words (three or more words in the search phrase) can be a good place to start focusing your effort because they are generally less competitive. Finally, you’ll want to keep your list to 5-10 phrases that you will focus your SEO activities on – trying to rank for too many phrases only dilutes your efforts.
Re-structure Your Site Using Results From Keyword Research – Now you will need to re-structure your website (both on-page content as well as off-page variables). This ensures that search engines understand what type of visitor to suggest to your real estate website. How does this work? Search engines will measure the ways keywords are used on your pages to help them determine the “relevance” of your site to a specific query. Therefore it’s critical that your website is “optimized” to ensure that keywords are prominently used in titles, text, as well as meta data.
Add New Content – After you’ve updated your website you will want to begin adding new content. This typically is done through blogging. You will want to pick topics that are focused around your keywords, but be careful not to “stuff” your content with too many because Google has gotten very good at determining if the content is “natural” or merely a tactic to try to cheat their algorithm. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself, “is this something that my prospects or residents would be interested in reading?” Another strategy would be to add a feedback or review section to your website. This could help to improve your ranking with search results as Google loves sites that have high levels of interactions among its visitors.
Back-link To Your Website – Finally, you can increase the relevancy of your website by finding other websites that can link back to your site. This can be a time consuming and difficult step, but having links to your site from high quality third party websites can really improve your ranking. Of course, you’ll want to use some of your keyword phrases as anchor text so that search engines will correlate those terms with your site.
By now you may be realizing just how much work goes into optimizing a website for search engines and why hiring a real estate marketing agency can be so expensive. We hope you found this helpful and if you have further questions please give us a call – we would love to hear from you.
DIRECT to TENANT specializes in a wide range of real estate marketing services that makes it easy for our clients to engage their audience with unique, informative, and helpful content.