- Target local keywords and update local citations to show up on search engine results pages for home buyers and sellers in your markets
- Publish high-quality content on your website to rank higher for long-tail keywords and increase backlinks organically
- Monitor search engine rankings over time to identify new opportunities to create and update content for search
The majority of home buyers today search online for their next home. According to the National Association of Realtors, 97% of buyers used the internet in their homes search in 2020. But when competition between agents is steep—and over three million people hold active real estate licenses in the United States—how can you ensure clients find you?
To attract home buyers and sellers to your real estate website, you need a strong search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. SEO is the practice of building website traffic by improving your ranking on search engine results pages (SERP), which is a great way for people to discover your real estate agency or business.
Below, learn how to improve SEO for real estate agents so you can boost your online presence, stand out from the crowd, and make your next sale.
6 ways to improve SEO for real estate agents
With billions of web searches happening every day, and search engines playing an increasingly large part in the home search, SEO is an important tool for real estate agents. The visibility you gain from this real estate marketing tactic can significantly boost traffic and help you achieve your marketing goals.
Use these seven real estate SEO tips to get in front of more potential clients.
1. Identify seed keywords to guide your keyword research
Keyword research is an ongoing process for many real estate firms. However, identifying seed keywords—short words or phrases that are relevant to your industry—can help you streamline the process.
Start by creating a list of relevant keywords, which may include terms like “real estate agent,” “realtor,” “home buyers,” “real estate market.” Then, plug these core search terms into free keyword research tools to build your keyword strategy and identify search queries with less competition that you can target in your future SEO efforts.
2. Improve on-page SEO with local keywords
To stand out in the saturated real estate industry, focus on your target market and reach relevant audiences quickly. A simple but effective method for this is optimizing on-page SEO—including homepage content, navigation, and web page titles—for local search.
To start, identify local SEO keywords relevant to your target market. These will often be more specific versions of your seed keywords from step one. For instance, “condos” might become “Maui condos,” while “real estate agent” might become “real estate agency in Columbus, Ohio.” Create a list of localized real estate keywords you can add to areas of your website, including:
- Headings and subheadings
- Meta descriptions, which appear below your web page titles on SERPs
- Alt text, which describes your images
Implementing local SEO strategies also allows your business to show up when people in your target market search for real estate agents on location-based platforms—even if they don’t add a local search term.
3. Keep your local citations consistent
Search engines commonly use off-page indicators—or factors other than your business website—to determine your rank. These indicators include brand information from external platforms, such as:
- Business profiles on social media apps like Facebook and LinkedIn
- Your Yelp Page
- Agent listings on Zillow, Redfin, and other real estate websites
- Listings on business directories like The Yellow Pages
When scanning these listings, search engine algorithms look for local citations—information such as your business name, address, and phone number (NAP)—and treat consistency as a key ranking factor. If your local citations are consistent across your website and a large number of trusted platforms, search engines identify you as a trusted agent.
To start updating your local citations, claim or add your business page on Yelp.
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4. Target long-tail keywords with a real estate blog
Long-tail keywords are highly specific search terms that give your site a better chance of appearing on the first page of SERPs. Typically three or more words long, these keywords are far less competitive than seed keywords but tend to drive more relevant visitors to your site. Long-tail keywords for real estate agents might include “are mortgage rates going down” and “first time home buyer tips.”
To target long-tail keywords more strategically, consider investing in content marketing, or high-quality content that directly answers searchers’ questions. Once you identify a long-tail keyword you want to target—using a tool like AnswerThePublic—consider the search intent behind the query. Why is your target audience searching for this keyword? What content is currently ranking for the search term?
For example, a home buyer searching for “best neighborhoods in the Bay Area” may be looking for a list of neighborhoods ranked on a set of factors, such as safety, housing costs, and public school ratings. Creating long-form content that meets these expectations can help you rank on the target SERP.
Remember to add internal links to other pages on your site, which drives engagement on your website and provides search engine algorithms with more information about your business and site architecture.
5. Generate high-quality backlinks through outreach
High-quality backlinks, or links from trusted sites to yours, can also establish you as a trusted source and help you rank higher on SERPs. Link-building—the process of accumulating backlinks and increasing citations—starts with outreach to other trusted site owners.
Before you begin any outreach, identify the best backlink opportunities using a tool like Moz’s Free Domain Authority Checker. Create a list of relevant websites with strong domain authority, such as news publications, local chambers of commerce, industry websites, and more.
Next, brainstorm innovative ways to get backlinks from each platform. For example, you can pitch guest blog ideas on their platform that would link back to your site, or you might offer your own expertise as an interview subject.
6. Monitor your search engine rankings over time
Search engine rankings are always changing. As your real estate business creates and updates content, your web page will rise and fall on SERPs. Monitoring the performance of your real estate website content over time is the best way to identify new ranking opportunities.
SEO tools like Ahrefs and Semrush can provide a wide range of insights, including keywords you rank for, the search volume of those keywords, and specific web page ranks. You can use this software to automatically track your performance on unpaid, organic search results.
Craft a next-level real estate SEO strategy
SEO is a crucial digital marketing strategy that can help real estate agents become leaders in their market and industry. Showing up on Bing, Yahoo, and other searches is an intentional process that can take months of investment before you see results.
However, you don’t need to be an SEO expert to score traffic and achieve your marketing goals. Effective SEO tactics, such as targeting long-tail keywords with blog posts and updating your NAP across business listings, can greatly boost your visibility—and even your bottom line. With these SEO lead generation tips, your SEO efforts can also directly influence your conversion rates—the percentage of visitors who become prospects.
Does SEO work for real estate agents?
SEO is an incredibly powerful tool for real estate agents. When you increase your brand’s visibility using real estate keywords, you can quickly boost brand awareness and become a leader in your market.
How is SEO used in real estate?
SEO helps real estate agents drive traffic to their websites, which can boost lead generation, increase the visibility of real estate listings, and fulfill other marketing goals. It’s also a powerful way to establish your firm as an industry leader through your content marketing and thought leadership efforts.
How can I improve my real estate SEO?
Improving real estate SEO requires a combination of on-page and off-page strategies, such as a real estate blog, targeting local search terms, updating local business listings, and generating high-quality backlinks. You can also boost search engine rankings with technical SEO strategies, such as decreasing load speed, fixing broken links, and improving the user experience on mobile devices.
Should I outsource SEO or keep it in house?
Outsourcing SEO saves time and effort, but it can get costly as your SEO efforts grow. Keeping SEO in house helps you minimize costs—and it’s feasible for a realtor or marketing manager.
The information above is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and may not be suitable for your circumstances. Unless stated otherwise, references to third-party links, services, or products do not constitute endorsement by Yelp.