10 tips to improve your real estate website
No online business could exist without relying to some degree on search engines, especially Google.
The people you may consider as your potential audience or your viewers use search engines to look for information.
According to Search Engine Journal, 70% of the links search users click on are organic.
That means for you to stand out, you have to highlight what characterizes you and makes you unique, and ideally, don't hesitate to do what the other agencies did not do.
It’s impossible to make sales without traffic.
1 - Google My Business
For years now, Google has not just been a search engine.
It helps businesses optimize their presence on the Internet. Easy to access and completely free, the "google pack" can quickly optimize your visibility and improve your SEO.
Google My Business is a support tool that allows companies to have a geolocated and referenced showcase on Google. You'll be able to use Google Maps, the interactive location service that gives information about all businesses and public places. Indicate the address of your agency, your opening hours and your contact information (phone number or email address).
By searching for your business name on Google, people will have access to what you could call a mini identity card that will let them know more about you in a few clicks. Using Google My Business allows people to leave a note or comment about their experience with you as well.
They get the opportunity to share photos of properties, listings or their time at your business during a visit.
Image Credit: Google My Business
The most important part of Google My Business is to make sure your page looks professional and reliable...
The idea is to stand out against your competitors and the first thing that'll do that is a beautiful photo.
A picture paints a thousand words...
Professional photos of your business are the first thing that catches the attention of the viewer and gives automatic legitimacy to your agency. Think of it as Google's shop window.
Google My Business allows you to post several photos of what your business does or pictures of the business itself. In this case, you can post professional photos of some of your best listings.
2 - SEO: Search Engine Optimization
The #1 tool in generating organic traffic.
What is it? How does it work? How do you take advantage of it?
Basically what it is is a measurable, repeatable process that sends information to Google to show them your pages are worth showing in the top search results.
Google uses algorithms (like Penguin, Panda or Caffeine) to give a score to every website and every search people do on Google to figure out which website should rank best for what people are looking for. Here are the basics you need in order to use SEO to its fullest potential.
Keywords & Long-Tail Keywords
One of the most basic aspects of SEO is including keywords in your title and header tags, meta descriptions, and body copy.
These keywords are what tell search engines what your site and pages are about, and show them that your page is relevant when users search for those keywords.
Think about the words and phrases you could use that would strategically place your article or website at the top of the search bar (that's the ultimate principle you have to follow).
Why does this matter?
On average 50% of the organic traffic goes to the first result of a Google search...that's why it's vital for you to be there. The second page is not even an option.
For instance, if you use the word “real estate” as a keyword, it is obviously directing searchers to your site.
Think about how many real estate agents and agencies have used those same keywords.
You must think about standing out of the clutter. Long-tail keywords are something more like “Luxury real estate in Florida”.
Although there are going to be much fewer direct searches with this phrase...
It will match the actual search of the person looking for a luxury home in Florida. It allows for a better chance at ranking on the google scale and attracting the correct traffic.
The first 4 that appear are paid as you can see - Google has placed an 'Ad' indication on the side. However, the first to appear after the 4 is Sothebysrealty who have obviously worked very hard to end up in that prestigious spot.
In addition to including keywords that say that your site is specifically about, you should also include location-based keywords.
“Wake county real estate” shows more precisely what county it is rather than the city or state, which would usually be more difficult.
Google and other search engines have no way of knowing where your business is unless you tell them, so it’s important to include city and region names if you want your site to be shown to searchers in a particular area.
There are tons of SEO tools to find the perfect keywords. However, one of the best is definitely Ahrefs because it allows you to find efficient keywords & long-tail keywords easily.
Here's a 10-minute training video by Tim Soulo himself (Ahrefs CEO), after that, you'll know everything needed to know about finding keywords!
3- Content creation
Blogging. The second most important tool.
Creating dynamic high-quality content (articles, videos, webinars, infographics) could make your traffic and conversions skyrocket.
Blog articles are among the most popular types of content. They provide evidence of your knowledge, boost your credibility, and help bring in traffic from search engines especially when integrating your new-found knowledge of SEO.
Consistency and quality matter far more than quantity. You can publish 5 blog posts per day and never get more than a few clicks a month. Of course, creating more high-quality content on a regular basis will help you show up for lots of keywords on search engines.
Fresh Content on a Regular Basis
You need to feature fresh content on a regular basis...
So be sure to feature new blog posts there regularly.
Visitors who return to your site after reading something a few weeks earlier will expect new content. If you are not providing them with regular articles, market updates, and other compelling content, they’ll move on to find another website or agency that does.
Most importantly, search engines like Google prefer sites that are “fresh” or regularly updated.
Most web page owners assume they can create several pages and just let them sit for months, expecting their traffic to improve.
For those main pages on your website, there is no need to change them just for SEO purposes.
In this case...
You create a blog, even if you only post once a week. Search engines' favorite sites are maintained and updated regularly.
Quality over Quantity
What do I mean by this?
When creating pages on your site, it’s important that you have substantial content.
How long should your content be?
You don’t need to write a chapter of a book, but you should definitely provide real-time information with highly thought out opinions or information. Google’s tendency to rank longer content higher is unmistakable.
Creating Your Own Content
Standing out from the overcrowded web isn’t that easy, especially when it comes to blogging.
Every business searching for traffic (everyone), has picked up blogging as their main tool. This means that a lot of subjects have already been covered by thousands of blogs or more.
So, how do you create fresh, new, interesting content for your readers?
Well, most people go online to find the answer to questions they may have.
But how do you know what kind of answers they want? Have you heard of the website Quora?
You may have asked or searched for an answer to your question on there before. The popularity of Quora makes it a great asset for marketers and content creators. You can make use of user questions and leverage them in your keyword research. You can search for questions that are asked frequently, answer them in a blog post and providing them with loads of answers to their question.
Make sure to research thoroughly before posting and be sure to have the most correct answer, unless it's based on opinion.
Guest blogging is simply a process of creating content and publishing it on another high-quality website that accepts guest posts.
By posting content on other websites, you open up a door to a new road of traffic for your site as well. It also helps build your brand reputation.
Although you’re literally giving away your good content for free, there is a hefty return.
Not only will you receive a large amount of traffic on your website and blog, but you will also increase your blog’s rankings in the search engine as the results of the link that you’ve dropped.
The bigger and more influence a site has, the more benefits you can get!
It works both ways. Not only can you guest blog on other websites but you can also ask others to write guest posts for your own blog as well.
You should only agree to the articles if they’re original, unique and SEO optimized. You should send targeted visitors to your site, and through guest blogging, your own blog can have a wider presence on the Internet.
4 - Social Networks
We are fortunate today to have such a tech-driven society.
It means the majority of consumers use some type of social network, whether it being Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn or Youtube.
Social networks play a vital role in communication.
They are a simple, effective and free way to show your ads and make users want to turn to your agency rather than another.
Impossible to ignore, today Facebook has almost 2 billion users worldwide and 214 million in the U.S. alone, an important audience you can't forget. According to the Pew Research Center, 68% of adults in the U.S. are on Facebook - an extremely large percentage of potential clients. Millennials have an even larger percentage, and they're your future clients. In order to use Facebook correctly for your business, create a "page" for your agency and complete the section "about" with your contact information, the services offered and your location.
There are an estimated 500 million Instagram users worldwide and 77.5 million in the U.S. with a forecast of growth to 116 million by 2020. A huge market. It's a mainly visual medium, a gallery that reinforces your image.
Creating an account for your agency will help reach a younger target and enhance your real estate through photos and videos.
The use of "Hashtags" is a big thing on Instagram. By making sure you choose the appropriate keywords to caption your photo (#RealEstate), hashtags will help users find your posts more easily, and increase your SEO in the same way.
Note that the use of hashtags is also possible on Facebook and Twitter.
On Twitter, you can share statuses of up to 140 characters. It's an easy and quick way to say the essentials in a few words. Using Twitter can be useful for showing news, interesting articles and relaying your real estate ads.
Yet another highly used platform, Linkedin has also passed the 110 million mark in the U.S. Research by Hubspot in 2012 found that LinkedIn referral traffic had the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate among social networking sites; higher even than Facebook or Twitter.
They found that LinkedIn had average conversion rates of 2.74%, compared to Facebook’s 77% and Twitter’s 69%.
This fun platform offers loads of different possibilities to basically anyone who owns a camera and editing software. Presentations of the agency, guided tours, diaries, advertising of all kinds: Youtube is undoubtedly a real asset in building a virtual reputation worthy of your brand.
By regularly posting videos related to the services offered by your agency, you may not become the most popular YouTube channel of the decade, but let your community judge for themselves whether the services you propose are up to their expectations.
More than an image, video attracts and marks the essence of your work. This is an interesting idea to give your potential customer the desire to continue the process, and the best-case scenario leads to planning a visit.
5 - Customers Reviews
Some 88% of consumers read online reviews and trust them as much as a personal recommendation.
If you want to improve your real estate website traffic, make sure testimonials and reviews are visible components of your site.
These could include written reviews and testimonials from your clients, case studies of those clients, and even video interviews.
Directly on your website by big clients:
It’s complete nonsense if you think that the world will discover your blog on its own.
In just a few simple steps, you can double your organic traffic. The traffic doesn't just magically appear, so you have to work for it in order for it to get running!
Remember, Google is your friend and blogging is always a good idea.
Today, our world is consumed by the internet, so get your clients and potential customers to believe in you, trust you and buy from you! Now it's your turn to turn your agency into the number 1 searched agency on Google!