Featured listings can be much more than a one-off blog post. With the right SEO, you can build an online identity.
What have you googled today? Every second there are over 40,000 search queries on Google, or 3.5 billion a day. A relative portion of these searches involves real estate — people typing in “homes for sale.” And we’ve only talked about Google so far.
Now, let’s talk about the featured listings you write for your real estate website. When’s the last time you thought about making them Google-friendly, or better yet, SEO-friendly? It’s easy to miss basic SEO elements — items search engines need to match your blog posts — mainly because it’s a foreign language.
Meta descriptions and title tags often throw people in a dizzy. But have no fear! We’ll explain what SEO is and how to add it to your featured listings.
The Basics to SEO
There are dozens of factors search engines take into account when ranking content (where they place it in search results pages). Even today, those variables are still evolving as companies like Google get smarter at predicting user intent. To keep things simple, let’s look at basic SEO elements you control while writing:
1. URL Structure
In this case, we’re talking about the last part of the URL – the stuff that comes after .com or /blog/. When you write a blog post, typically the URL slug will use the same words as your title. You can tweak this to fit more specific keywords. Google has an easier time reading a URL slug like this /best-homes-for-sale-in-charleston/ vs /9rf7ef?iHXId=23aj345hqqe7/. View the URL Slug in WordPress.
2. Content + Keyword Density
This is a hot potato. When I mention keywords, I don’t mean stuffing “real estate” or “homes for sale” in every sentence. Google can tell when you’re gaming the system. Keep the content natural, but when you see opportunities, use keywords. Here’s a pro tip: Look at synonyms for the keyword. Ex: Buying a home can be Purchasing a property.
3. Headers & Sub-Headers
Search engines like Google read articles by hierarchy and place stronger values on certain elements, such as headers. When writing, make sure to use headers above your paragraphs (or sections). Use keywords within them, as well. View example headers.
When possible, link to other webpages on your site. This could mean MLS listings, neighborhood articles, city guides, etc. If you’re linking to another website, make sure the link opens to a new tab. That way, they still have your webpage up and can come back to it.
5. Graphics + Alt Tags
When you add images to your Featured Listing posts, write something in the Alt Text field. This text will appear if the image doesn’t load. Again, use keywords. It doesn’t need to be a sentence. Keep it around 3-6 words. View where to find Alt Text.
6. Title Tag
In WordPress, you’ll often find this feature below the section where you write. A Title Tag refers to the blue text you see when you do a search. Normally, it will take the name of your blog post title. But you can edit this to be more keyword-centric. View Title Tag examples.
7. Meta Description
Paired with the Title Tag field, you can also add a description to your article. This is the small little paragraph you see under the blue titles on search results pages. Average length is 160 characters (usually around 2 sentences). View Meta-description examples.
Freebie: Meta-Data for Featured Listings
Here’s some template text you can use for your meta-data (on Featured Listing posts). Feel free to change up any way you want …
Street Address, City State Abbreviation | Company Name
Gorgeous [style] home for sale in [neighborhood]. Located within [adjective] [city]. Click here to see the photos and video tour!
4235 Coolidge Street, Charleston SC | Cobblestone Realty
Gorgeous colonial home for sale in Wagener Terrace. Located within historic Charleston. Click here to see the photos and video tour!
Strategy Idea: Link Featured Listings to a City Guide
99% of Featured Listing posts have less than 100 words. In terms of SEO, this isn’t a lot for search engines to read – to interpret and match with search queries. If you have time, I would suggest writing more. Aim for 300 words, if possible.
If your time is limited, you can try a different strategy. Write an awesome city guide and leave a spot where you can link to your Featured Listings (or Just Listed posts). This can be a simple rectangle image that says “View Our Featured Listings.”
Next, publish your Featured Listing posts under one category (see image). Grab the URL for that category and link it to the rectangle image in your city guide. This way, readers can see your most recent featured listings.
On the flip-side, make sure to include a blurb about the city (or neighborhood) in each Featured Listing post. Inter-linking all the content will help Google trace more of your website content.
Easy Tools for Creating Graphics
Real estate is highly visual. People want to see photos of homes. It’s a good idea to intermix content with images. Here are some free resources for creating visuals and editing pictures:
Canva (photo editor)
PicMonkey (photo design)
Pixlr App (simplified photoshop)
Free Stock Photos
SEO Does Matter for Social Media
When we mention SEO, it’s not all about search engines. Social media does have a role. Whenever you share new content, like Featured Listing posts, your meta-data pipes into it. So, having a clear title tag and meta-description is important. Google does index content from some channels, like Twitter. In other places, search engines use cues from social media (like favorites and likes) to know which content is best for readers.
Build an Online Identity
SEO is not a tactic to boost lead generation or improve website ranking. It’s business. Period. People don’t flip through the Yellow Pages anymore. They turn to search engines like Google to find a real estate agent near them. They turn to the internet to find homes for sale. Every step you take, make sure you’re using SEO best practices.