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Real Estate SEO – 35 Tips to make Google fall-in-love with your website over and over again

Real estate seo is quite challenging because the real estate industry is really competitive coupled with the fact most real estate agents and professionals are extremely busy showing listings and hardly have the time to work on their website.

If your website is not ranking on first page of Google you are missing out of 82% of home buyers according to a report from national association of realtors 2015 records.

I am not here to bore you with meaningless talk so I will just hit the nail on the head straight away and show you how you can achieve top rankings on Google by doing the right seo for real estate.

How to rank your website on Google like a real estate SEO expert

Onsite-optimization is the key

If there is one thing you should pay more attention on your website, it is paying more attention to onsite optimization of your real estate website.

Onsite-optimization has never been so important since the advent of Google panda.

Most seo expert makes the erroneous mistake in pursuing increase in search ranking by focusing more on external optimization and neglecting internal optimization.

What is onsite-optimization? 

Onsite optimizations are those things you perform on your website to make it meet search engine standards, increase usability and engagement.

The reason why big brands like Zillow and realtor.com dominate local real estate searches is because they focused more on onsite optimization.

Key onsite optimization strategies

Website speed

Speed is now one of Google’s ranking factors and if your website takes too long to render, chances are you won’t do well on SERP.

So, the first onsite optimization you should perform on your website is to use Google speed tester and GTMetrics to see how fast it is.

Although, i highly recommend using Semalt free website analyzer to check your website speed. Semalt will not only show you how fast your website is, it will also show your website other onsite seo errors and weaknesses.

Semalt is one of the best seo services I have tested and it worked very well. Here is how to use semalt real estate SEO service to rank your website high on google.

If your website is very slow, then four things may be the cause;

Likely causes of slow website

  • Bad real estate hosting provider
  • Bad website coding
  • No caching or CDN
  • Bad or too much plugins installed in the case of WordPress website

How to diagnose and solve slow website

If in semalt site analyzer or Google page speed, you get an error message of slow server response time above 2 to 3 seconds, then it’s recommended to change your website host.

Web Server location

Having your website hosting server located close to your prospects will reduce the amount of time it takes for data to be transferred from your hosting server to your prospects browser.

E.g. If you run a vacation rental service in the UK and all the prospects searching for your services on Google are from the US.

It will be SEO wise to locate your hosting server in the US to reduce the amount of time it takes data to travel from your hosting server to your prospects browsers.

Every mini seconds increase in your website loading speed is a plus not only for search engines but also for usability.

Visitors normally abandon websites that takes too long to load for a faster website.

Reduce the size of images on your website

If you have a real estate wordpress website, reducing the size of images to make your website load faster is not a problem as there are many plugins that will help you achieve that.

I recommend using smushit wordpress plugin if you are a wordpress user.

Use caching and CDN

Caching and CDN helps reduce the load on your hosting web server must especially peak periods.

If you are using wordpress, you can easily install a plugin that will do the job like wp super cache.

Install Google webmasters tool and analytics on your website

Installing Google webmasters tool on your website will help you keep tabs on how Google views your website, errors and also to tell Google how you want to your pages to show up in Google SERP.

You can also use Google webmasters tool to keep tabs on your keywords rankings and performances on SERP.

Check for duplicate content and url and delete broken links and 404 error pages

Check for duplicate content and url. Redirect them to the main page or post. Delete every broken links and 404 error pages.

Check for errors in robot test

Errors in robot text could prevent google and other search engine spiders from crawling your website correctly.

Add site map

Site map when generated and submitted to search engines will help them crawle and index your site correctly.

Avoid using H1 tag more than once on a page

H1 tag is used to show google the title of a page. So, if you don’t want to confuse search engine spiders, avoid using this tag more than once on a page.

It should be used specifically to showcase the title of a page.

Add alt tag to images

Adding Alt tag to images on your website will help search engines understand your images and rank you on image search.

Its advisable to add your keywords on Alt tags.

Use search engine friendly IDX/MLS feeds

Some IDX/MLS feeds are not search engine friendly because they are rendered with iframes on your website which search engine bots can’t read.

So, using an IDX/MLS feed like the one provided by IDX plus is ideal if you run a wordpress website

Build effective site structure

Your site structure matters a lot in seo. The way your website is presented to users based on the devices they are using to access it is very vital to seo survival.

Now Google is giving more weight to responsive and engaging website higher rankings on SERP.

How to build an effective site structure

  • Use responsive website
  • Add seo optimized and valuable rich community and area pages to header and footer menu navigation.
  • Add user oriented and help guides to header and footer menu.
  • Add related post & listings.

After all that, let’s go to the contents of your pages and post.

Optimize your content for local seo

Google has gone local and what it means is it will show results based on location and keyword used in a query.

Tips to optimize your content for local seo

Write awesome local contents, videos and infographics

For you to out rank your competitors in the post panda era were user behavior is taken into account more than anything else.

You have to write awesome local real estate content that is unique and great. One that your visitors will keep coming back to read again and again and even shares it and link to it.

Like my friend Brian Dean of backlinko said follow the skyscraper technique when producing your local content, videos and infographics.

Only link out to high-value external links

The value of the content you link out to will end up destroying or increasing your search engine rankings.

If you link out to a great content that got your visitors engaged, you page will be seen as resourceful and given a boost on SERP according to a report here.

Link to your internal pages

Linking to internal pages will help keep your visitors engaged and browsing your website longer.

Internal linking also helps you distribute links juice to other internal pages and let Google know which of your post or pages targeting a particular keyword should be giving more weight on SERP.

Internal links include links located on the side bar widget, header menu, footer menu and editorial links (links on content of a page/post).

Laws of effective internal linking for seo

Link to internal pages/post

Always link to your most important seo pages and post in the body of your content using your target keywords.

Categories your pages or post for internal linking based its SEO importance

When linking to your internal pages and post, don’t focus on linking to all your post and pages.

e.g. if you have three pages A, B and C on your website talking about your town best place to live in your town and with target keyword “best place to live in your town”

How do you implement an internal linking strategy that works with the three pages?

Answer: out of the three pages, choose one that is most valuable and important.

Let’s say page A is the most important, what you do is to link to page A from page B and C and any other post or page you will produce in the feature that will target that keyword or talking about best place to live in your town.

Always use variations and synonyms in your internal linking anchor test

Although I don’t know if Google is against using the same keyword over and over again in all your editorial internal links for one page.

But to be on the save side it’s better to use variations and synonyms in your internal anchor test as that will look natural and you won’t run the risk of a penalty in the feature if Google decides to start penalizing sites that do so.

Keyword research

Doing the right keyword research will help you discover the right traffic generating keywords to target on your content.

How to do an effective keyword research

Head over to Google keyword planner here. You will be asked to login or register to a Google account if you don’t have any.

Input any buyer keyword into the search bar like your town real estate homes sale or your niche real estate sale.

Google will present you a list of traffic generating keywords and monthly searches you can target on your pages and post.

How to pick your keywords

Not every keyword is good to target. When choosing a keyword, choose the one with commercial intent in it.

How to find a keyword with commercial intent

  • When you type the keyword into Google, if many advertisers are bidding for that keyword, that means that keyword converts really well.
  • Another way to pick out commercial keyword is to look for commercial intent in them like someone searching for your town real estate or name may not be looking to buy but someone searching for your town real estate condo for sale has a very strong intention to buy.

After picking all the commercial intent keyword, the next step is to look for that keyword variations and synonyms buyers are using.

To do so I recommend free too like semrush. When you add the keyword on semrush, it will show you all variance and synonyms buyers are using for that keyword term.

Another way to discover variance and synonyms is to use Google suggests. When you type the keyword on Google search, Google will show you a list of related keywords.

When you scroll down after inputting the keyword on Google at the end of the result, you will see a list of related keyword suggestions by Google.

Those keywords will make up your secondary keywords.

Note: make sure the keyword is in line with your content.

How to add keywords to your content

  • Add your main keyword on the title of your content
  • Add your main keyword on the first hundred words of your content
  • spread your secondary keywords and variations on your H2, H3, and H4 tags
  • spread your secondary keywords throughout your content (make sure you keep the density low)
  • Add your primary keyword in three or four places on your content.

Write awesome content title and description

Website title and description tag is one of the most important on page seo element because if done right it will increase your click-through rate from potential buyers searching for homes to buy on google.

If your site doesn’t have a title description tag that will compel searchers to click on it, you will lose many business opportunities to your competitors and if it continues Google will see your page as irrelevant and push it further down.

Laws of writing effective title and description tag

Use clear call to action

Using clear call to action to tell the searcher that your page has or is what he is looking for will help increase your click-through rate.

Use your main keyword to write a clear call to action title and description tag

Don’t deceive searchers

if searchers who clicked to your site from search result did not find what they are looking they will quickly hit the back button and go back to Google search result.

That won’t be good for your page reputation as Google will view it irrelevant and down rank it.

Make it specific and relevant

Be specific and short in the choice of the words in your title and description tag.

Make it relevant to the content of your page.

Keep it within industry standard

Keep your title tag within industry standard of 70 words and 155 words for description tag.

After all the on-page seo is done, the next step is to perform off-site seo which is link building on niche related web resources.

I have written an article on how to generate leads through link building.

3 laws of effective real estate link building for seo

  1. 50% of anchor test should be without keywords (e.g click here, read more)
  2. 40% of the anchor test should be the keywords you are targeting
  3. 10% should be your brand name (e.g. url, agent name and page title)

How to build links to your site

Building PBN networks

The easiest way to build links is to build PBN (private blog network) to link to your website.

Guest post

Guest post is another way to not only build links but to also showcase yourself as an authority in your niche.

The best guest post opportunity is the one that has lots of local readers which should drive traffic to your site.

Other link building opportunities are:

  • Broken link building
  • Reaching out to influencers to link to your website

Conclusion

Effective link building together with the right on-site optimization is what will gradually take you there.

Like I said, SEO for real estate is a journey not a destination. You have to constantly keep doing seo and keeping abreast and adjusting to the latest seo strategies to remain relevant on search engine result pages (SERP).

What do you say? Please leave your comment below.

2 Comments
  1. Reply
    Alina Herman July 5, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    Great post! I would also recomend avoid IDX providers that create the same property pages for your and all other agents. This usually result in duplicate content and gives benefit to the first site that was indexed.

  2. Reply
    Appocollege July 6, 2016 at 10:01 pm

    Great post but it seems sort of general. I wouldn’t say that it specifically helps in regards to real estate content specifically. When looking to build back links who would be your main focus. A general thought would be other real estate blogs but most real estate blogs are run by smaller real estate agencies or larger companies. As you stated real estate agents themselves tend to not have as much time to update their websites. Add to that many are hesitant to link out due to constant misunderstanding with what google will and will penalize. While they are open to accepting links a standard cop-out to not link back is to share through social media.

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