Setting up your website is often one of the most exciting parts of launching your real estate business. It’s your digital business card, and, in these days of fully remote work, it’s even your office. And along with your CRM, it’s a critical part of your growth strategy.
But websites aren’t like a field of dreams: they won’t come just because you built it.
SEO is about answering the questions your prospects are asking
Search engine optimization is a blend of art and science. It’s about understanding how people use the internet as well as best practices in design and development. And even though you’re a real estate professional, not a web developer or digital marketing, we want to empower you with the right information so you can set yourself up for success.
First, here are some common terms:
Landing page: this is any page on your website where people can ‘enter’ and get started. It’s not the same as your Home page! In fact, people will probably hit your landing pages before they find your Home page.
CTA: this acronym stands for Call to Action. What do you want people to DO when they are on your web site? Make sure it’s clear and easy to find.
SERP: this acronym stands for Search Engine Results Page or the page in Google or Bing where results are shown for a search query.
Long tail search term: this is when people type in a phrase rather than a single word. It lets them narrow down their results upfront. Instead of just ‘single-family homes,’ a long tail search term could be ‘single-family homes with inground pools near me.’
Authority: This is possibly the most important factor in search nowadays. The Google search algorithm wants to deliver results that offer the highest ‘authority’ on a topic, ensuring users get the information they need as easily as possible, with a few clicks.
Five factors are considered in an authority ranking:
- How old is the page?
- Page’s traffic trends
- Are there backlinks?
- Quality of page content
- Technical SEO (site speed, schema, etc)
Real Geeks offers highly optimized, easy-to-use websites with the technical SEO aspects built it. We’re custom-built to help you establish authority in your market, with easy-to-use tools that take your site from a static, purely information site, to a power tool that delivers conversions.
Establish authority with a robust area page strategy
Real estate agents are local experts. And your website can help demonstrate that local expertise by capturing search traffic about your area.
Bob McCranie is a Brokerage Associate and Team Owner at Texas Pride Realty Group – HomeSmart Stars. And he leverages SEO best practices to be a top result for anyone looking for real estate in his market. He is purposeful with his site pages, building them to anticipate needs rather than respond to them.
“I don’t have a box on my website that says, ‘Find a house.’ That’s just not going to work. I love to have the searches pre-defined on my site.”
McCranie’s site is an IDX optimized size from Real Geeks — and he’s definitely a power user.
“I use Real Geeks because of the programmable URL feature,” he said. “I can input city name, county name, number of bedrooms, and have that as part of my URL. If I can’t do that with a site, that site is dead to me.”
The use case for this is very clear when you hear him describe his strategy.
“I have very specific searches for what people might need at that time in their lives: corner lots, mother-in-law suites, three-car garages, large houses, tiny houses, pools, price points… my site lets people go right to what they want. And better yet, Google looks at every one of those. So when someone types in a long tail search term, Google is more likely to send them to me because I have it already laid out on my site.”
Savvy SEO means anticipating needs and building your site to answer those needs. Prospective buyers don’t search for real estate in the main city. They look for a suburb or even a neighborhood, a school district, or near an employer.
That’s why you create area pages for each suburb of the market you’re covering. Each page gets a call to action that takes the reader to the actual area page on your website.
McCranie explores every possible search parameter to help prospective buyers find the home they need for their lifestyle. “For example, I took the Dallas-Fort Worth Rail System map and made a link for every stop, so you can find homes within walk distance of the stop.”