As an estate agent, your website is one of the most important assets for generating awareness of the properties you have available. Potential clients are likely to be using search engines like Google as a tool for finding the best estate agents in their local area when seeking out property to buy or let.
If you don’t have an SEO strategy in place, you risk falling behind your local estate agent competitors who will place higher up in Google’s rankings for specific keywords. If you want to reach clients before your competitors, it’s important to implement an SEO strategy. Search engine optimisation comes with a host of benefits for your business, including helping you build awareness, drive leads and increase website traffic.
Here, we’ll provide you with an overall view of what SEO for real estate agents is, and tips for where to start when implementing a strategy for the first time. You'll learn:
Search engine optimisation is a key digital marketing strategy that helps your business position higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). Successful SEO comes down to lots of determining factors, including how user-friendly your website is, content quality and site speed. Google’s algorithm, which identifies which websites should be listed first, is often updated and changed. This, alongside market competition and search trends, is the reason why SEO is an ongoing process rather than a one-time event and something that takes time before you see its effectiveness.
Getting your agency on the first page of Google search results for your area is important- but it isn't easy. According to Search Engine Journal, while there are billions of searches made per day, 25% of searchers click on the first organic search result.
Competing amongst other estate agents on Google is a challenge regardless of your location, which is why having an SEO strategy in place is paramount.
Looking for help starting an SEO campaign? Chat to Bigg!
Are you finding it difficult to get enquiries? Are your local competitors overshadowing your agency? SEO is a strategy that can be used to increase your brand awareness because it helps your business to rank higher in search results for specific search terms.
Having an SEO strategy in place can help you to gain a competitive advantage over similar businesses, particularly locally.
Greater visibility in search results can help you to gain more traffic over your competitors because you can rank higher on Google. The higher you rank, the more likely you are to gain website clicks over other similar businesses.
For estate agents, the more traffic you generate, the more likely you are to receive enquiries about your property listings.
By increasing the likelihood of your website ranking higher in search results, you’ll be more visible to your clients. Which, in turn, can drive organic traffic to your website and increase inbound leads.
Think about you as a consumer. Do you prefer to see reviews of a business you are looking to use? Have you been put off by a business that has poorly written headlines or is too slow to load? All of these aspects can contribute to your brand trust.
Trust matters when it comes to making a significant decision in life such as buying a property. SEO isn’t just about reaching the top of Google search results, it’s also about being able to provide your customers with a positive experience that allows them to have trust in your agency.
User experience is one of the most important factors for reaching higher up in Google rankings. In August 2021, Google rolled out its ‘Page Experience’ update, which implemented signals to prioritise the experience of website users.
These signals included things like page loading speed, mobile friendliness and safe browsing. Since you need these factors to run a successful SEO strategy, you’re likely to put more importance on improving the functionality of your website.
SEO is an organic digital marketing strategy, making it a cost-effective way to get results. That being said, you need to implement the right strategies to get the very best out of your SEO.
Working with an expert agency can help you to get the best return on your investment in the long term.
SEO campaigns are trackable, so you can monitor how well your efforts are driving traffic to your website. From page bounce rates to link clicks, there’s plenty of metrics that will help you to identify your campaign successes and pitfalls.
Estate agencies operate in specific areas meaning you’ll want local clients to be able to find your properties quickly and easily. Local SEO strategies focus on reaching audiences in specific locations.
One of the best ways to start with SEO is to first ensure that your website provides a good user experience to visitors. Google likes to direct searchers to websites that they know will provide a good user experience, making them more trustworthy.
While there are many different ways to improve your user experience, here are a few important points to consider:
Page load speeds - Are some of your website pages slow to load? Are website visitors likely to get bored or click off your page before it loads? Page speed is an important factor for ranking in search results and for making conversions. Some statistics say that around 40% of people will abandon a website page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. There are many ways to improve your page speed, such as optimising image sizes, minimising the number of HTTP requests and reducing server response times.
Easy navigation - Are your properties listed in a way that makes it easy for users to navigate and find the information they need?
Provide information effectively - What information are you providing your website visitors about the properties you are listing? Make information easy to read by considering using bullet points. This will also help to make the information more readable for those accessing your website on a mobile device.
Well-written website content matters. This will not only help your website to come across as more professional and trustworthy, but it will also help to rank your business by providing searchers with the answers they are looking for.
Long-form blogs are a great place to start for providing information that your audience is searching for. For example, you could write a blog about the best places to buy in your local area.
Providing high-quality content can help to match the queries your audience are searching for so that Google can put your business in front of the eyes of the people that matter most. While implementing keywords throughout your site is important, it doesn’t outweigh the need for high-quality content.
Always ensure that when you’re writing blog posts, your core goal is to answer a question, and not to rank for a specific keyword.
Mobile-friendliness is key for reaching wider audiences. Statistics show that over half of worldwide traffic comes from mobile devices. That’s a huge percentage to miss out on if your website isn’t equipped for mobile users.
As well as ensuring that your website functions visually for a mobile device, you should also consider making your content mobile-friendly by making paragraphs short and digestible.
Checking your competitor’s SEO is a great place to start when creating your SEO strategy. It may help to give you some useful insights into what keywords to rank for and where to make changes to your website.
Start with searching Google for the keywords relevant to your business, and scope out the competitors that are ranking for those keywords. Perhaps your competitor’s website is particularly well designed, or maybe they are ranking for local keywords thanks to their downloadable content?
Keywords are still an important part of SEO strategies. Ultimately, they help Google to identify what each page offers searchers and whether it answers their query. That being said, using keywords incorrectly can be damaging to your business, particularly if they are used too frequently.
To choose the correct keywords, you first need to understand what searchers are looking for. What sort of terminology are they using to search for local estate listings? Are they seeking local lettings within a certain budget?
Here’s where keyword research and competitor analysis will come in handy.
After identifying the keywords that you want to rank for, you should look to include them naturally in your text, header tags, images, meta descriptions and URLs. This isn’t to say that you should overuse the keywords- think carefully about which are necessary and whether they will provide the page visitor with the information they need.
SEO can be complex, and there’s no one straightforward way of guaranteeing results. By working with a specialist SEO agency that has experience in implementing SEO campaigns, you’ll give your business a much better chance at driving leads and making conversions.
At Bigg, we specialise in helping businesses within the property industry to generate high-quality leads that convert.
We’ll help you to boost your search rankings and put you one step ahead of similar agencies by designing a campaign that benefits your business in the long term.
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