As an estate agent, one of your biggest assets of your sales team is your website. A website that performs well online and gives the user what they want is sure to win employee of the month more than once. Your website is available to anyone to access anywhere at any time, allowing users to search for properties when they want. The bad news? Your competitors’ website will be acting the same way. In the property marketing industry, competition is fierce and you need to do everything you can to be sure that your estate agency website is levels above the rest. But exactly how do you outperform your competitors? Search engine optimisation is key to being found online. It’s a minefield and an ever-changing thing, so keeping on top of it can be difficult. We’re going to go back to basics and talk about SEO for estate agents, offering tips and advice on how to get your website more organic traffic.
What is SEO for Estate Agents
To understand how SEO affects estate agency websites, we must first look at the meaning of search engine optimisation. By following Google’s guidelines and best practices, you have more chance of your business being found in SERP’s (Search Engine Results Pages). Reports show that more than 67% of all clicks on SERP’s go to the top five listings with those listed on the first page receiving around 95% of web traffic. This leaves only 5% for the remaining pages. This just goes to show how important it is to aim to be on the first page, but it isn’t always easy getting there.
To be on the first page of Google in the real estate industry, you’ve got to know about SEO for estate agents. Webmasters who focus on the property market look to improve organic performance in a multitude of ways. Some key areas of SEO that estate agents need to be doing are:
- Ensuring they have a technically sound website
- Making sure search engines are able to discover their website
- Focusing on relevant keywords that they’re really going to rank for
- Creating high-quality and optimised content
- Building links to gain a higher trust score and domain authority
How SEO Will Benefit Estate Agents
SEO is carried out as a way to increase and improve the overall performance of your website from an organic point of view. PPC and social media advertising are great ways to see quick wins and gain leads or sales quickly, but you do have to pay for your efforts. When it comes to SEO, it’s a long-term investment and can take a while to see positive results. However, over time, you should see a steady increase in organic web traffic. It’s important to remember that you won’t see big changes overnight, and it’s very unlikely that you’ll jump from position 50 to Google’s top spot within a week.
Some of the main benefits of SEO for estate agents are:
- You’ll have people land on your website who have specifically searched for a query you’re targetting
- You’re able to build a reputable estate agency
- You’ll receive more leads without paying for advertising
- You’ll notice your website upgrade over time as you work to please your users
- You’ll come across as more professional and trustworthy
Why Estate Agents Need SEO
Estate agents can’t turn their back on SEO. It’s clear that with a well-thought-out SEO strategy, you’re able to improve your business. If you’re not optimising your website but your competitors are, they’ll overshadow you online which means your chances of being found organically will dramatically decrease. Without SEO, potential leads are less likely to visit your website as your competition is ranking above you.
SEO Tips & Tricks for Estate Agents
As we’ve previously mentioned, SEO is a vast and complex thing to get right. If your website has technical issues or a lack of keyword-focussed content, it’s not a quick fix and can take time and effort to resolve – but we promise you it will be worth it in the long run. There are so many things we could go in-depth about, but we’ve taken the common problems that estate agents face online and decided to look at how some SEO tweaks can help.
Having a Technically Sound Website
When it comes to technical SEO, it’s often seen as an option – but it’s actually a necessity. People often think they’ll be able to climb up the rankings by just producing a lot of content. However, at the heart of any good website is a system that runs technically sound. A website that doesn’t work well on a technical level will struggle to get found online organically. Some technical essentials to be getting right are:
- Website speed
- Robots.txt rules
- XML sitemap
- Site structure
- Internal linking
- URL structure
- Duplicate pages/content
Crawling, Indexing, Ranking
You need to have an understanding of how search engines work if you want to succeed online. Search engines crawl, index and then rank your content – which is why it’s essential that you get the technical things right first. Google will scour the internet looking for content before reading it, understanding it and then presenting it to a user. In order for this to work effectively, you need to give search engines a helping hand and make it clear to them what pages you want to be shown.
Picking Relevant Keywords
Keyword research should form the basis of your content strategy. You can’t just go in blind and hope you’ll rank for any keyword or search term you want. One of the first things you should look at is how much search intent there is. If there’s no one really searching for it, do you really want to be targetting it? You may end up ranking well for that search term, but it may not be bringing in any traffic.
You also want to look at what the competition is for that term. If the competition is high, you may find it difficult to appear for that phrase. However, the lower the competition is, the easier it should be to rank.
The relevancy of the keywords you use is also essential. There’s no point trying to target a keyword just because it has a high search volume and low competition if it’s not 100% relevant to what you’re offering. Even if it’s slightly related to the estate agency industry, you want to avoid stuffing in any keyword just because you may rank for it. If a user searches for that phrase and lands on your website but then can’t find the information they want straight away, they’re going to head to the search results a find a website that can provide them with what they want.
Quality Over Quantity
Once upon a time, search engines loved you if you loved creating content. The more content you produced, the more likely you’d appear in SERP’s. Although this is still true, the key to remember is that the quality of that content matters most. You don’t want to keep producing content that your readers have seen time and time again. You also want to be making sure that you’re publishing content that your audience is actually going to be interested in.
When it comes to creating blog posts for example, you want to serve your customers and meet their needs. What do you think will be better: 10 badly written articles with no focus or one high-quality piece that offers lots of information? Let’s not forget though that quantity still matters! You can’t just write one well-written blog post every few months and hope for the best. Research shows that publishing more will lead to an increase in your inbound traffic.
How much content is in the blog posts also plays a factor. Long-form content tends to outperform short-form content because it will typically solve a user’s problem much quicker. Google wants to present searchers with content that answers their queries so blog posts with a higher word count tend to rank above similar articles with less information in.
It’s all about getting the balance right.
Having a decent backlink profile is important for SEO. Taking things back to the blog articles you write, long-form posts have a much higher chance of generating backlinks. Longer articles lead to more links which then results in an even better ranking.
What’s important to remember when it comes to backlinks is that the profile you build isn’t toxic or unnatural. What we mean by this is that as an estate agency, you’re going to be writing about the property industry so it’s going to unnatural if a website selling dog toys and coats links back to you.
Any links you gain should be from trustworthy sources with a high domain authority. Anything that appears as toxic and that could be harming that your website should be added to a disavow file.
Fixing Your SEO Problems
If you’re struggling with SEO and need help with being found online, Property Webmasters can help. We’ve assisted many estate agencies from around the world increase their organic performance, helping them to gain more relevant leads and additional exposure. To simply discuss your needs or if you have any questions about SEO for estate agents, do not hesitate to get in contact with us today!