A real estate SEO strategy is vital for real estate professionals looking to leverage the power of marketing on the internet. Why? Because “SEO is essentially a way to ensure that your business organically ranks higher on a search engine results page for relevant industry keywords you wish to target, and thus gets seen by a larger group of prospective clients and customers.” Entrepreneur.com
In other words, SEO helps your business become visible to your target audience online.
Covid-19 is changing the way people purchase property
The covid-19 pandemic is transforming the way homebuyers are looking for and purchasing real estate. “First-time buyers have the tech-smarts and now the tools to do all or part of their purchase online, sometimes even before seeing their new houses in person.” New York Times
In fact, according to the same NYT article, “nearly half of millennial home shoppers were planning to buy a home sooner than expected because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The increased pressure on the market has been coupled with widespread adoption of tech tools that allow buyers to not just browse real estate but also apply for loans, finalize deals and even have documents notarized, all while social distancing from their sofas.”
It’s clear that real estate professionals need to strengthen their online presence to properly promote their property listings where their buyers are at. And where they’re at, is on the internet. In this article, we’ll look at 6 real estate SEO best practices that real estate businesses should be implementing for their websites to attract and engage visitors, generate leads and boost sales.
Table of Contents
- Search (user) intent
- Real estate SEO and optimising images
- Title tag and meta description for SEO
- Page load speed
- Internal linking for SEO
- Real estate SEO and user experience
1. Search (user) intent
A vital real estate SEO best practice is for your content to align with what people are searching for on the internet. Key to making this happen is understanding the intent behind what someone is seeking. There are 4 common types of search intent behaviours:
- Informational: this is when someone is looking for specific information. In real estate, this could be “neighbourhoods with best schools” or “safest neighbourhood to live in”.
- Navigational: the searcher in this instance is looking for an app or website. Examples include “Airbnb”, “Realtor”, “Zillow”, “RightMove”, etc.
- Commercial: in this instance, the searcher is looking for a particular product but hasn’t finalised their decision. In real estate, this type of a search may include phrases or keywords like “best neighbourhood in Seattle” or “top schools in London”, etc.
- Transactional: at this point, the searcher is ready to commit to making a purchase and looks for something specific to buy. This includes, “4-bedroom apartment in SoHo” or “3-bedroom house in Chelsea”, etc.
With these 4 behaviours in mind, you are better able to produce and serve content that aligns with the search intent of your audience.
2. Real estate SEO and optimising images
In the world of real estate SEO, top quality images of your property listings are a critical selling point. In terms of SEO, you want to be sure that those images are properly optimised. So, what do you need to mindful of?
- Choose the best file format, be this JPEG or PNG. Each format makes use of different compression techniques so file sizes will differ. Keep in mind that page speed is affected by the size of your images. Too big results in slower speeds, negatively impacting search engine ranking.
- Compress your images before uploading them to your site so that page speed isn’t hindered.
- Use alt-text so that the search engines better understand the images on your website. “When writing alt text for images, be concise in your description, and avoid stuffing your target keywords.” Semrush
The take-away? Ensure the images of your real estate are compressed and of optimal size before adding them to your website.
3. Title tag and meta description for SEO
“A title tag is an HTML element that specifies the title of a web page. Title tags are displayed on search engine results pages (SERPs) as the clickable headline for a given result, and are important for usability, SEO, and social sharing.” Moz
When creating your title tags, it’s best to:
- use target keywords
- avoid keyword stuffing or duplicate titles
- ensure title and search intent align
- keep the title descriptive but short
“A meta description is a brief summary of a page in SERPs it displayed below the title tag.” Semrush
Meta descriptions should be under 160 characters and inform users what a page is about. They need to assure the user that the information they seek will be found on this page. Meta descriptions should also be unique to each webpage, be action-oriented, make use of target keywords, and align with user intent.
4. Page load speed
“Page load speed is the time it takes for a web page to load on a browser and is a major Google ranking factor.” Increasily
According to recent stats, “approximately 47% of users expect a page to load in 2 seconds or less.” If your site isn’t loading quickly enough, visitors will simply move on to another website, resulting in lost traffic and sales. So, what are some of the ways that you can improve page load speed?
- Compress your images
- Optimise videos
- Enable caching
- Update plugins
- Minify CSS, HTML and JS files
- Think mobile responsive
5. Internal linking for SEO
“An internal link is any link from one page on your website to another page on your website. Both your users and search engines use links to find content on your website. Search engines also use links to navigate your site. They won’t find a page if there are no links to it.” Yoast
But what added value do internal links provide?
- Improve user experience by making a website easier to navigate
- They boost page views and rankings
- Keeps visitors on your site for longer and reduces bounce rates
- Optimises crawl and indexing
6. Real Estate SEO and user experience
The experience a visitor to your site has is closely monitored by Google and other search engines. So, what can you do to improve user experience so you can rank well? Semrush says to try these:
- Use subheadings to help Google understand your content better and makes your text more accessible to readers.
- Make your content visually appealing using relevant images, videos, and screenshots to illustrate your points.
- Use popups sparingly as they’re not just bad from an SEO perspective, but they also end up annoying your visitors.
- Use white space to make your content more legible and grab user attention.
At Qobrix, we build websites that boost the visibility of your real estate business online, generate and convert leads, highlight your property listings, and help you close more deals. Discover more of our work here.