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Every real estate agent wants to get high-quality local leads easily, with no need to spend a lot of time and effort on cold calls and meetings with unqualified prospects. However, achieving such a goal can be quite difficult. You need your web pages to rank high in search results so you must optimize your website for search engines. About 90% of home buyers search for real estate online, so agents who master SEO get more deals and more profit.
One of the best things about real estate SEO is that it works for you 24/7, generating leads so you don’t need to make calls or buy ads. When it comes to SEO optimization, content is crucial. You need content that will attract both readers and search engines. However, you should also structure your content in the right way. You should know what SEO is, what factors are important for search engines, and how they work. Some people only think about keywords, but SEO is about more than that.
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Real Estate SEO: What Is It?
Although there’s a lot of information on real estate SEO on the internet, the main principle is very simple: you should appear in search results when people look for someone who can help them buy or sell a property. Imagine that you want to buy a house or apartment. Perhaps, you already know where you want it to be and what kind of property you’re looking for. So, what should you do next?
According to statistics, 44% of home buyers immediately open Google and search for the necessary type of property in the chosen location. When using Google, people see the top results on the very first page, and they are less likely to check out the second, third, or fourth pages. In fact, people click on one of the top three results with a 60% probability.
At the same time, Google’s layout isn’t simple. There are paid ads at the top of search results, along with local map packs and instant answers. As a result, the visibility of organic rankings decreases, and getting noticed by Google users becomes a more and more difficult task. The competition for organic traffic constantly grows, and SEO becomes one of the main competitive factors for real estate agents, as well as for many other professionals.
Why Is SEO Important for Real Estate Agents?
Given that a lot of people start to search for real estate on Google, it’s very important to optimize your property listings to let Google see their local relevance. Just a few local keywords can make a big difference, bringing a lot of traffic from people who look for homes in a certain area. No matter what location you’re dealing with, the chances are that thousands or tens of thousands of prospects search for real estate in that area every month.
Ranking number one in Google enables you to get many visits because many people quickly check out the top results and make their choice. However, your local keywords won’t represent each and every buyer’s mindset. Some people might not be ready to make a purchase yet. For example, they might need more time to think of the financial and legal aspects. In this case, they will look for more information, being less sure about their next steps, and properly optimized content can help you persuade them to make the right decision.
You may think that SEO isn’t that important and simply focus on paid advertising, but you should keep in mind that paid advertising won’t bring you as many conversions as organic traffic. The average conversion rate for Google Ads across all industries is 3.48%, while conversions in the real estate industry don’t exceed 2.47%. Therefore, SEO enables you to maximize ROI, but it will only be possible to do if you know how SEO works and pay attention to many details. For instance, you should optimize not only the content itself but also meta descriptions.
When people search for something on Google, the first thing they see in search results is the title of your page, which is why optimizing title tags is also important. However, title tags only give you a general understanding of what your page is about, while the meta description provides more detailed information. It’s also longer so it enables you to use more keywords.
A meta description not only provides your target audience with some useful information but also is very important for SEO. if you don’t specify what you want Google to display in the meta description section, the search engine will simply select random content from your page, which is bad for conversions and your rankings. A meta description gives you an opportunity to explain why people should visit your page, and it also helps search engines better understand what this page is about.
Simply put, a meta description is a part of the HTML code. You can edit meta descriptions manually in HTML. Here’s what the code looks like:
<head> <meta name="description"
content="This is a meta description of your page that will be displayed in search results."></head>
You can also edit meta descriptions in your CMS. For example, it’s really easy to do in WordPress. However, you will need to install third-party plugins or themes because WordPress itself doesn’t work with meta descriptions. Fortunately, there are dozens of SEO plugins that have the necessary functionality.
Optimizing Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions are 160 characters long so you don’t need to make them longer. Major search engines never display more than 200 characters in search results, so you should keep things simple and clear. You should also be honest about the content of your page. Of course, you should do your best to pitch the page and communicate its value, but your meta description should also match the actual content.
The main purpose of a meta description is to persuade your target audience to visit your website. You can also use a meta description to reinforce your keywords, but we recommend that you focus on enticing clickthrough. To optimize your meta descriptions, include the exact keyword or keyphrase you want to rank for. However, we recommend that you only include it once. If you include your keyword more than once, it might actually hurt your rankings because Google will see that you’re trying too hard.
To determine the keywords you can rank for, type your main keyword in the search box, and look at the autocomplete suggestions. On the search results page, you can also get many keyword ideas from the “People also search for” section. At the bottom of the search results page, you can also check out searches related to your keywords. There are about eight suggestions that you can use in your content.
Obviously, you can also do keyword research in Google Ads. The keyword planner tool will help you not only find more relevant keywords but also evaluate the competition for each keyword and its cost. This tool will also help you see how often people search for every keyword. You can also use Google Search Console. Go to “Search Traffic” > “Search Analytics,” and you will find some keywords that might be useful for you.
A great practice is to approach writing a meta description as a sales pitch for a click. For instance, you can add a call to action, such as “learn more,” “contact us now,” or “get an offer.” Keep in mind that a meta description has a big influence on whether or not people will want to click on your page, so you can either win or lose a lead.
There is also such a thing as meta keywords. Simply put, these are legacy page tags that had been used by website owners in the past to tell search engines what they want to rank for, and search engines used to believe them, no matter whether or not the websites were relevant. Today, meta keywords have virtually no SEO value, and the only search engine that reads them is Yahoo. Even Yahoo, however, doesn’t consider them important when configuring search results.
Nevertheless, you can still use meta keywords to your advantage. For instance, you can use them for common misspellings of your target keywords, because people often make mistakes when using search engines. You can also include the most relevant keywords for each particular page. If you decide to configure your meta keywords, use up to three keywords, and separate them with commas.
You can edit meta keywords in the same way as meta descriptions. Here’s an example of meta keywords that you could use if you were selling sneakers:
<meta name=”description” content=”This is your meta description” />
<meta name=”keywords” content=”sneakers, shoes, shooes, sneakers, sneackers” />
Keep in mind that metadata on your website may or may not be editable, depending on your content management system. If you cannot edit the metadata, you might need to coordinate any changes with your web host provider. Besides, the effectiveness of metadata optimization depends on your understanding of SEO so we recommend that you hire professionals who are familiar with the specifics of the real estate industry. If you don’t have professional in-house SEO copywriters, you can always outsource them. For example, you can hire experienced SEO copywriters on various custom writing websites. Such companies often work with not only students but also business owners, as well. To choose reliable services, check out academic writing services reviews.
SEO is very important for real estate agents because organic traffic brings more conversions than paid advertising, and competition gets stronger all the time. Therefore, there’s no surprise that many real estate agents use various SEO tools and are looking for effective SEO practices that would help them rank higher in search results.
SEO is not only about optimizing the content of your pages but also about presenting these pages in the right way so that search engines can immediately determine what your pages are about, and your target audience can understand why they should click on them. Therefore, optimizing your meta descriptions is not an option but rather a necessity. We hope that our simple guide will help you properly optimize your metadata and boost your organic traffic.
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