If you are a business owner, whether you’re building a startup from scratch, or head of an established organisation, you all have one thing in common. You want to be found and for potential customers to know you exist.
Almost everything is done online; when you are trying to find a product or service, you most likely search for it on the internet, rather than browsing through the Yellow Pages. This is where SEO takes centre stage.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It is the process of achieving organic traffic to your website (consumers to your site). Good SEO for your Estate Agent business could put you at a competitive advantage.
Seeing as plenty of people search through Google to find what they are looking for, it will be beneficial to your company to try and optimise your content and rank as high as possible to get displayed at the top of search engine results pages, or ‘SERPs’. The higher up the page you are shown, the more likely someone will click on the link.
From January 2022, Google picked up over 3.5 billion searches every day. That’s a lot of competition!
Good SEO techniques are an ongoing test that will help drive traffic to your website, in both the short term and the long term.
We have put together a detailed guide to SEO specific to estate agencies, why you need SEO, common mistakes made, and some possible ideas relevant to your target audience.
How does SEO Benefit Estate Agents?
As an Estate Agent, you will need to resonate with your audience to stand a chance of cutting through and being relevant to your consumers’ needs. Have you got a niche you can hone in on compared to your competitors? What’s your USP (Unique Selling Point)?
We only ask because your business sits within a very competitive industry, and good SEO – paired with a good selling point! – could set you apart from your competitors. In addition, if you meet the needs of your consumers better with top quality content, you could find yourself ranking higher.
Most vendors and landlords will likely search online first when looking for an estate agent. Making your company more attractive on SERPs is not just about website traffic. It is essential to consider other avenues that will give you a more robust ranking, such as social media, content marketing, digital PR and anything that could boost your brand awareness, so ensure you’re consistent with your messaging and try your best to be relevant to your users.
Good SEO does not only have the potential to bring traffic to your website, but it could increase leads and client acquisition. In other words, it will increase the potential buyers that could discover your services, and acquire new customers or clients for your estate agent company.
How Estate Agents can Get Started with SEO
An excellent place to start would be to plan an SEO strategy to maximise leads and beat your competition.
To give you a better idea of what your customers are looking for, ensure you undertake keyword research. There are a lot of free keyword planning tools. A couple of our recommendations are Ubersuggest and Answer The Public. They will suggest keywords or phrases people are looking for and show the search volume for that phrase. Ubersuggest will also offer “SD” (SEO difficulty) to give you insight into how difficult it is to rank with those keywords. “The lower the number, the better” – but not too low, of course! You want to aim for specific, niche keywords, but obviously, still keywords that people search when looking for your product or service.
Also, evaluate what content could resonate with your users and optimise with the keywords your users are searching for.
Results will not occur overnight. It is an ongoing marketing practice which reaps long-term benefits. It can take up to 6 months to start being able to see visible results. Below are some pointers that could help the SEO ranking of your estate agency.
Make Google certain that your website is a “home sweet home” (pardon the pun!), full of relevant, optimised content. Be specific. Search engines are automated bots that scan the content on every one of your pages. It will determine what it is about, which is known as crawling.
Free tools that could help you to source keywords are Ubersuggest and Answer The Public, and as mentioned above, MOZ, and Keyword Planner. These will help you to find relevant keywords that will most likely appeal to your audience. We can also send you an email if you sign up to our email list; here, we will send you SEO and other marketing tips to help you attract new clients and customers.
Maximise keyword visibility by including them in the title and description tags, headings and subheadings, within the page content, and the URL.
These are a part of your on-page SEO. On-page SEO is where you optimise your website the best you can with the time and resources you have spare to work on it. User experience is critical. How do you as a user navigate your website? Would your siblings, parents or grandparents be able to use it? If it takes forever to load, people will leave before they engage with a page on your site; this can also happen if there isn’t anything relevant to them (this is your bounce rate). But more on this later!
Other on-page SEO could also include:
- Blog posts
- Internal links
- Good quality organic content
- Meta descriptions
- Optimising images
There are currently over 1.9 billion websites worldwide, so how does Google choose which earns pride of place at the top?
Off-page SEO is work you do to increase the exposure to your website through other mediums. Examples of Off-page SEO could be back-links/link building, citations, brand marketing (being consistent and building the strength of your brand), and activity on social media. Good off-page SEO will help your page authority and credibility, and position you better among your estate agent competitors.
Back-links are links on other sites that send traffic (people) to your website. Further up in this article, you will have seen links to places like Answer The Public, which is a back-link from our website to their website.
Suppose other sites link to your website – this tells Google that you are a credible and trustworthy place for information. Do not be tempted to pay for links to dodgy third parties or make multiple dummy sites just linking to your site, as this will likely be spotted eventually, and Google penalises sites for doing this. Always go for good quality. People sometimes try to cheat the algorithm, but in the long run, it is always best to work with it and use it in the way it was designed every time, with no shortcuts.
Easy places to start achieving back-links to your estate agents are:
- Google My Business
- Social media accounts
- Review websites such as Trustpilot.
People are likely to be searching for an estate agent that’s local to them. Local SEO could help your estate agent business increase visibility and help you to get discovered. Register yourself on Google and make yourself a free business profile and make yourself discoverable on Google Maps.
This could improve your local ranking, so you’re not competing with the entire country. Once you set up your profile, be sure to keep on top of maintaining it as you would on your website, share your blog and news updates, and respond to reviews (including the negative ones!) as they are one of the most significant factors that affect your rank in Google map listings. Consider how you can have a good quality positive post-service for your customers.
Technical SEO is primarily considered to be one of the most important, but it can be tricky to get your head around.
To put it simply: is your website optimised the best it can be to please google algorithms? Have a scan of Google’s guidelines and see how you can better meet them.
It is a good idea to follow Google when they announce updates to the algorithm and what changes it might mean for your SEO practices. We go into great detail on their most recent updates (2022) here.
Technical SEO dives into the deeper side of your website housekeeping. For example, your site speed: what can you do to make your website load quicker than 2.5 seconds? Any longer, and people are more likely to lose patience and leave, contributing to your bounce rate. The higher your bounce rate, the more Google will think your site isn’t helpful or relevant to consumers. An excellent place to start is to reduce your image sizes; they are a common factor in making your site slow to load if they are all large. Drop them in the free tool Squoosh to reduce the file size as much as you can before it loses quality or pixelates.
Furthermore, is your site mobile friendly? Over 54% of global website traffic comes from mobile phones. Design your site so everything works well on mobile phones (do not neglect tablets either). Some developers even design for mobile-first and then move on to the desktop.
Good housekeeping could be to make sure your site is easy to use. If you were not there to walk someone through or give context, would consumers be able to navigate and easily find what they are trying to find? Is it clear and easy to see contact information?
Make sure your estate agent website has a self-explanatory navigation bar/menu where there are clear links to pages (for example, Home, Services, About, Blog, Contact Us).
Common SEO Mistakes
1. Not using long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are longer and more specific than short-tail keywords. They may have less search volume than short-tail, but they have a better chance of being used by users closer to the point of purchase.
Short-tail keyword: Estate agents
Long-tail keyword: Estate agents in Stratford Upon Avon
2. Low-quality content. Put yourself through the eyes of the consumer. Will they have a pleasant experience engaging with your content?
3. No dedicated landing pages. Have links that land on intentional pages with all the most critical information and any call-to-actions you have to offer.
4. Trying to cheat the algorithm. For example, some companies use cheap 3rd parties to create back-links to your site. Always go for the best way to meet the needs of your consumer.
Why Work With a Digital Marketing Agency?
We understand that being an estate agent means that you are constantly busy and do not always have the time or resources to spend excessive time on SEO or marketing. You have pressing things to do – like finding your clients somewhere to live!
At Social Chameleon, this is our bread and butter. We can do all the leg work, so you don’t have to. We have worked on hundreds of accounts spanning many industries, from law, to yoga wellness, to agriculture.
Whatever your marketing problem is, please enquire with us to talk through how to set you apart from your competitors.