Search Engine Optimization 2016-11-19T02:06:07+00:00

What is Real Estate Search Engine Optimization?

“Search Engine Optimization, or “SEO”, refers to the process of enhancing a website’s performance in the search engines. This is accomplished through increased numbers of qualified organic visitors via an increased search audience. Ideally, one needs to build the site with the user and Search Engine Optimization in mind; you have to create the site for both the user and the search engines.

Specifically, real estate Search Engine Optimization typically caters to specific real estate niches; sometimes niches revolve around a specific type of client (like relocations or first-time buyers) but real estate Search Engine Optimization always centers on a geographic region, including your market’s cities, zip codes, areas of town, and even neighborhoods.

Excellent Search Engine Optimization has 3 Layers:

This is the coding used to build the site and each page.  It includes things like meta, alt tags, links, overall site structure, and hierarchy.  Even though you can’t see the HTML coding when you look at a website, HTML is all that Google sees.  That’s why it’s important for your site’s HTML to be fantastic; it uses Google’s language to tell it what kind of traffic to bring you.
Content is the text, images, and videos on your site. It’s probably the most important part of your website, and therefore arguably the most important part of any Search Engine Optimization strategy. Well written content will also inspire other quality websites to naturally link to your pages. Search spiders love new content, especially when it’s useful. On-page content and metadata optimization should always be one of the first steps when optimizing a website.
Things like backlinks, content syndication, and even social sharing all play into what’s come to be called ‘off-site SEO’, and it’s called that because it’s still SEO, but it traditionally involves things that you have little or no control over. Off-site SEO is how Google measures how GOOD your site is. If it’s good enough that people are sharing it, linking to it, referring to it, and quoting it then Google takes those cues as proof that it should recommend your site to more searchers.

Real Estate Search Engine Optimization Benefits

  • You can use Search Engine Optimization to drive organic traffic to your real estate IDX website, thereby generating more leads with a MUCH lower cost than advertising.
  • For real estate, Search Engine Optimization is one of the top 5 highest converting lead sources available. A better ROI and a higher conversion rate? YEP!
  • Much like the benefits of content marketing, Search Engine Optimization is sure to establish you as an authority on the topics you are ranked for.
  • Search engine rankings are difficult to get and can be easy to lose if you don’t have a strategy in place. The lack of SEO knowledge in the real estate industry means fewer of your competitors are doing it, which will put you in front of more potential clients.
  • Real Estate Search Engine Optimization is one of the best ways to ensure that you have a sellable business, if you choose to sell your business in the future. Because a great website is expensive, and getting ranking for that site is time consuming, a well-performing and high-ranking site is an asset that can be sold like any other.

What About Keyword Research?

Before any of the above Search Engine Optimization layers can be applied, the most important step in the process is the research.  Even though I’ve created plenty of real estate websites and built tons of real estate search engine optimization plans, I’ve learned enough to know that each and every market is different.  Each market has its own search patterns, different neighborhoods or parts of town, and some even have unique phrasing!

The keyword research that I do for real estate Search Engine Optimization is some of the most useful data you’ll ever receive in regards to your real estate digital marketing efforts.  Building a site or an optimization strategy without it would be like trying to climb a tree with a blindfold on: even if you manage to get ahold of the next branch, you don’t know how you got there, you don’t know how high up you are, and you don’t know how to stabilize yourself so you don’t fall.  Keyword research gives us all the knowledge we need to conquer competitors.

Where Do I Start With Keyword Research?

The keywords should be relevant. Specifically, the keywords that you wish to utilize need to be the same, or similar, to the actual search terms your intended audience is looking for. Additionally, the number of results and competitiveness has to be taken into account. If the keyword is too difficult to rank for within an industry, it may be a waste of time to attempt to optimize for it.

Keyword research should also be performed using a credible source. Many people use the Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends, but the changes made to those two tools in 2014 were enough for me to purchase a monthly software that gives me equally accurate data, paired with data from third-party sources that are also useful to my keyword research.  What’s important is to be able to find useful keywords, their associated search volumes, and general competitiveness.

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