Today, we search for everything online – from goods to services – and that includes homes and real estate agents. If you want your business to stand out in an online search, you need to develop a search engine optimization (SEO) plan. SEO is a set of strategies that improve a website’s ranking in search engines, which in turn increases the amount of traffic to the site.
“Implementing SEO strategies in your business will help you position yourself and your brand in the best possible way to thrive,” said Brandon Obregon, KWRI digital marketing analyst. “Everyone uses search engines these days, so a solid SEO strategy is needed to appear at the top of searches, grow your web of inbound traffic, and stay ahead of your competition.”
Leading with SEO
It’s also a solid lead generation strategy. Just ask Matías Bulox of Tamborrel Real Estate of Houston, whose focus and investment in SEO tactics have improved the performance of his company’s two websites. https://www.tamborrel.com/ and https://www.woodlandsnewhomes.com/, which in turn generates quality leads for Bulox and his team. Last year, Bulox generated 704,409 organic visits. A lead that resulted from search traffic, he shares, eventually turned into a $1.3 million transaction. “The end of the game is lead generation,” says Bulox. So when content is created for his websites, that end goal always comes first.
While SEO strategies can be integrated into a website quite quickly, the results are a long game. According to a survey conducted by Ahrefs.com, the average age of a top ranking page is almost 950 days (more than two and a half years old). Since slow and steady wins the race, it’s best to start right away. Here are five real estate SEO best practices to implement today.
Five steps to stronger SEO
1) Create your own content. While the fastest route may be to copy content directly from other sites, that strategy will put an end to your SEO efforts before they’ve even left the gate. To gain credibility with the search engines, you need brand new content. “Generating new content is always a good way to stay top of mind with the algorithm,” says Bulox. “Every algorithm has a spin. That spider is basically going to scour the web and will always be looking to update content and find new content that wasn’t there before. So that spider is always hungry for new information because people keep asking questions and the spider is responsible within the algorithm for presenting that content,” he explains. In other words, novelty trumps web content, so be sure to update your website text regularly.
2) Know your keywords. By using and repeating certain keywords in your website’s content, search engines begin to associate your website with searches for those specific terms. The first step is figuring out what those keywords are. “Often there are certain keywords and phrases that your consumer may never think of,” says Obregon. “AN strategist must put themselves in the shoes of who they are trying to target. What do they think of when they look for a company that embodies you?” Then take those keywords and make them longer. Longtail keywords are strings of words that reduce specificity and make it more likely that search engines will rank your website. For example, it’s harder to compete for a top spot with the keyword “iPhone” as opposed to “iPhone-compatible chargers.”
3) Learn the jargon. To fully reap the benefits of SEO, your website needs more than carefully crafted keywords. “Meta elements” or “meta tags” are words that do not appear in the content itself, but in the HTML source code and provide another opportunity for search engines to notice your website. “Alt tags” or “alt text” are text-based descriptions of images used on your website and give search engines more relevant content to fetch from your site. “If you’re going to write about a certain area and your alt tags are empty or have information unrelated to the content, then that page is basically thrown away by the spider and then it’s not going anywhere,” Bulox says.
4) Lean locally. Just as you position yourself as a local expert, your website should also offer local expertise. Not only will your customers find this useful, but so will search engines. “What I don’t want are big nationwide portals competing with me,” says Bulox. “The only way I can compete with them is if I go local. They have the MLS properties, but they don’t have the local insight, the local information that I might get from a neighbor, or a local magazine or from a school.”
5) Accelerate your success through social media. It can take years for your site to reach the first page of search results, so if you need speed, use SEO strategies on social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok, which can deliver faster results. “Social media is different from search engines,” says Bulox. “It’s all about the action on the user side. It’s all about the likes and comments. About three years ago I started to understand the Instagram algorithm and in just two months I went from 100 followers to almost 47,000 followers. The TikTok algorithm makes it so easy to generate content and get a lot of views and followers, and get a lot of action and traction on that content. It’s a more playful approach – the information, the images, the videos, the community.”
SEO and you
Does SEO play a role in your online presence strategy? Are you going to focus more on it in the future? Let us know in the comments.