Are you ready to create a steady stream of seller and buyer leads in your market niche? Would you like your website to rank more highly on Google? If so, check out the 10 nuggets below from Placester’s new white paper, “How to Dominate SEO for Realtors.”
What does Google love and rank most highly? Based on four months of intensive research, here are 10 simple ways you can help your website, posts and videos rank higher on Google.
1. Is your city, state and ZIP code on the front page of your website?
Check your website right now. Do you have the city, state and ZIP code where you work on the front page of your site? A huge proportion of Realtors do not.
The biggest omission Realtors make is leaving off the state where they work. To illustrate this point, did you know that in the U.S. there are 18 cities and unincorporated areas named “Paris”? Your website visitors need to know they have the right city in the right state.
Second, according to Oodle, which powers major classified advertising websites for companies like AOL, the New York Post and Walmart, the three most popular real estate search terms are “street name,” “city” and “ZIP code.”
Pro tip No. 1: Make sure you include your city, state and ZIP code on the front page of your website. To make sure your contact information appears accurately on over 100 different platforms, visit Yext.com.
2. Make sure your Google profile is complete and up to date
Google maps often appear on the first page of many searches, sometimes even ahead of the organic or paid search results. To increase the probability your site and business address will appear, make sure your Google profile is complete and up to date and that your website has great local content and videos.
Pro tip No. 2: Google uses your profile to determine which mapping results it displays. Placester recommends checking the following to make sure your Google profile is complete:
- Exact location on the map
- Opening hours
- Website URL
- Telephone number
- Business description
- Categories of real estate you serve (residential, investment, commercial)
3. Niche market: take advantage of the long tail
Long-tail search strategies are nothing new. In their classic book Marketing Warfare, authors Al Ries and Jack Trout explain that big competitors lack the resources to compete for small slivers of the market. Consequently, the old-fashioned notion of farming 500 to 1,000 homes still works today— you just need to apply it to your website.
Pro tip No. 3: Choose a specific market niche, whether it’s geographical, military, condos, seniors, estates or something else. To use a long-tail search strategy, create a separate page for your niche with its own URL. For example:
These pages can be stand-alone websites, or they can be added as an additional landing page on your current site.
4. Is your website mobile friendly?
Is your website responsive? In other words, does the page size automatically adjust to fit the width of the device where it is displayed? If not, your search results will appear below other sites that are mobile friendly.
Pro tip No. 4: To determine whether Google views your website as being mobile friendly, enter your website URL here.
5. How fast does your website load?
Even the biggest names in the real estate industry did poorly on this test. Very fast loads are 90 or above. Coldwell Banker, Zillow, Redfin and eXp Realty ranked between 30-35. The other top brands scored 13 or less.
Pro tip No. 5: Try PageSpeed Insights. If your website scores as a slow-loading site, check with your web provider to see what steps it can take to improve how quickly your site loads.
6. The quickest way to build SEO with no shortcuts? Become a trustworthy source
According to Placester, “To improve your SEO without taking shortcuts, there is one tactic that won’t steer you wrong: create interesting, informative, helpful content on your site to help educate and entice potential customers. This will not only build a solid foundation for strategic link building, but also help make your brand a trustworthy source for real estate expertise.”
Pro tip No. 6: Use special reports (like, “10 ways to save money on your next mortgage”); provide current market data, information about upcoming community events, interviews with local business owners and more; and post them to your site. Google loves up-to-date, current content because it’s what users search for.
7. Write a great headline
According to CoSchedule, five times as many people read your headlines as read the body of your post. When people scan a headline, they tend to read the first three and the last three words. Consequently, six-word headlines with 55 characters usually garner the most clicks.
Pro tip No. 7: To determine how good your headlines are, Placester recommends two different sources.
- The American Marketing Institute’s Headline Analyzer evaluates your headline based on its emotional appeal. Scores of 25-50 are what you would expect if you hired a professional copywriter. Any headline above 50 is golden and should generate a lot of clicks.
- CoSchedule evaluates the SEO strength of your headline. Scores of 70 and above should help you obtain a higher search ranking as compared to lower-ranking headlines. Be sure to check out its list of “power and emotion words” that “drive traffic, shares and search results.” It also suggests using this simple headline formula that “promises a solution:” “How To (blank) That Will Help You (blank).”
8. Use video testimonials
We know Google owns YouTube and also scans LinkedIn for testimonials. Consequently, obtain as many video testimonials as possible, and post them on both your website and on LinkedIn.
Pro tip No. 8: Consumers search for reviews. Make it easy for your website visitors to find them by posting them on the first page of your site. It also helps your Google ranking as well.
9. Featured snippets
According to Google, “Featured snippets” provide a quick answer or summary with a content snippet from a relevant website. They are most likely to show up when your search is in the form of a question. Featured snippets include:
- Information quoted from a third-party website
- A link to the page
- The page title
- The URL of the page
The quoted content in featured snippets can be a paragraph, a list or set of steps, or a table as you can see in the screen capture below:
Pro tip No. 9: To utilize this approach in your business, tailor the following suggestions to fit your local area. For example:
- What is the fastest way to save for a down payment in Denver Colorado?
- 10 ways Austin homeowners can reduce their property taxes.
You can also look for other highly searched topics and then customize your answers to fit your local area.
10. Put your tagging on steroids
Most agents are aware of how tagging works on social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram. It’s important that you also tag your videos and other posts based on what keywords produce the best search results. Coming up with keywords, however, is a chore.
Pro tip No. 10: Keywords Everywhere is a Chrome extension that generates a list of relevant keywords for any post or video you’re making.
As you can see below, Keywords Everywhere gives you how many searches take place (volume) for each set of keywords. All you have to do is take the keywords with the highest volume from this list and use them to tag your post or video.
Most of the tips above will help you generate more page views for your posts, videos and websites with little or no cost. More page views translates into more leads and commissions for your business.
Bernice Ross, President and CEO of BrokerageUP and RealEstateC