There has been a transformational change in the real estate industry in recent years due to the impact of digital technology and the changing expectations of homebuyers. It is evident that the marketing plans and strategies of real estate agencies too must respond accordingly. According to studies, as much as 86% of potential homebuyers consider online real estate resources as the most important source of information. As many as 44% of them kickoff their home search by going online. The changing habits of homebuyers mean that now you must have a vibrant presence online so that when a homebuyer does go online to search for attractive properties, your website should be among the most visible in his search results page. With the competition intense, this will only happen if you have taken the trouble to optimize your website for improved online visibility.
Why Is SEO Important for Real Estate Agencies?
Search engine optimization or SEO, as it is commonly referred to, is the method of tweaking the on-page and off-page elements of your website so that it achieves a better search engine ranking for target keywords. The importance of SEO is highlighted when you consider that 95% of all web traffic generated is from organic search. The lower your rank, the more you lose out on the number of clicks, and ultimately conversions to the competition. While there are hundreds of factors taken into account by Google search for ranking of websites, some of the most vital ones that should find a place in your SEO strategy are:
Make the Website Mobile Friendly and Fast
With more than half of the current online traffic already being generated by users on mobile devices, real estate agencies must also be ready with a mobile-friendly website to cater to the needs of homebuyers conducting online searches from their mobile phones and tabs. The inclination of users to conduct online searches has been recognized by Google with its mobile-first technology that places a premium on mobile-friendly websites. This means that if you have not optimized your website for mobiles, your competition is very likely to have beaten you hollow in generating traffic and sales leads.
The other demand by all mobile users is that the site must load very fast as otherwise they will abandon it and visit some other site. According to forbes.com, when the loading time increases from one second to three seconds, conversions fall by as much as 50%.
Optimize the Content for the Keywords Right for the Real Estate Sector
Studies reveal that as many as 53% of home buyers start their search for a property on the internet, typically on a search engine. It is also established that 55% of the people conducting searches restrict their clicks to only the top three ranked sites so if you are not among the top three, the chances of attracting traffic decrease dramatically. If you are not even among the first 10, you might as well not be on the web. One of the most important elements that contribute to high rank is keywords, however, as will be evident, all keywords are not equal, and how effective they keywords are in driving your SEO depends on both its relevance and the volume of competition for the keyword from other sites. Using online analytics tools will help in optimizing your website by discovering the best keywords in your industry that have a low enough competition that will ensure a high rank in searches.
Focus On Local SEO to Increase Conversions
When most of the actual home buying is happening in the proximity of your business location, it makes more sense to pump in your SEO effort into getting better local search rankings, which means getting included in Google’s local search 3-pack. Some of the actions you can take are ensuring that your contact details like name, address, phone number, or NAP data are accurate and consistent across all customer touchpoints like your website, listings in Google My Business, local directories, social media accounts, etc. Identify all local directories and Yellow Pages and ensure that your business has a listing on them with accurate NAP data. Customer reviews are extremely important for local SEO, which is why you should always solicit reviews from your customers; make it a point not to leave out the ones that may not be positive, otherwise, people will start doubting the authenticity of the reviews.
Make sure that you include as much as possible of local content so that you emerge as the expert in the real estate business in every neighborhood you operate in. Make liberal use of maps; include neighborhood profile and data so that potential customers can get to know the locality better. Get the local business schema implemented by your website developer to provide search engines better local information about your business.
Go the Whole Hog on Blogs and Social Media
Apart from the website, you can also raise your online visibility among your target audience by investing in content marketing vehicles like blogs, social media, and 360-degree guides. Instead of restricting your content to the website, you should try to become an authority in real estate issues by authoring detailed guides and how-to pieces for first-time homebuyers as well as experienced customers. Use social media to create an impact with high-quality photos and videos that not only showcase the properties you are selling but also customer testimonials and interviews of industry experts on a variety of issues. Get a comprehensive database in place of potential customers and reach out to them using email, text messages, DMs regularly.
As a smart realtor, you will not only want to reach out to potential homebuyers but also want them to contact you when they have any requirements. This, in today’s context, means that you should have very high visibility online across all the channels that customers frequent. As long as you focus on being discovered easily and then on addressing the customers’ requirements promptly and in a friendly manner, you can be sure that your sales will shoot through the roof.