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Imagine living the estate agent’s dream: qualified local leads coming to you, day after day, keeping your client pipeline full to bursting. Instead of constantly pounding the pavement to find new clients, you can spend your time doing what you do best: serving prospective buyers and sellers.
Why is SEO for estate agents so important in this field? Primarily, it’s because more people than ever are turning to the web when searching for real estate. According to this 2019 report on real estate in the digital age, at least 44 per cent of home buyers start their search online.
You’re also competing with some of the larger agencies in this space: your Right Moves, Connells, Chancellors. That’s why you have to bring out the big guns. Ultimately, if enough of your agency’s content appears in one of the top 3 positions on the search engine results page (SERP), then your dream of automatic leads could become a reality.
Here’s our guide to SEO for estate agents with the tactics you need to succeed online.
Tip 1: Create Optimised Property Listings
Compared to a lot of other professional businesses, the estate agency has a unique tool in its toolbox: property listings.
Google’s algorithm prioritises fresh content, so in addition to posting regular blogs and news updates about your agency, you can get a lot of love out of Google with new property listings right on your website. Just make sure these posts are locally optimised for your town or city.
This is one of your greatest opportunities, because people who search for a certain type of property in your area are usually highly motivated. For example, someone who types the term “flats for sale in Oxford” or “estate agent Oxford” into Google is probably a prospective buyer – especially if they locate your listing organically, read through it, and then contact you to request more information or set up a showing.
These property listings are a huge part of getting new clients to come to you. So, how do you optimise a listing?
- Find and target long tail keywords based on location
- Use a clean URL structure that includes road and postcodes
- Incorporate focus keyword and slight variations into your listing’s title tag, headers, meta description, image alt text, and page content
- Submit your new listing to Google Search Console before posting it on portals like Rightmove to avoid duplicate content penalties
- Once a property listing has expired, either set up a 301 redirect from these links to your main property page or keep it live but change the focus to properties we have sold in your location and provide alternative properties to view
Keep in mind that paid ads don’t tend to convert as well as organic in real estate. People want to buy the home they’re interested in, but they don’t want to “be sold.”
One more tip: don’t just copy and paste copy from one listing to another. Google isn’t going to rank duplicate content, so be sure to create unique content for every listing.
Tip 2: Maintain Google My Business for Estate Agents
Estate agents and agencies are closely tied to their locality. That’s why local SEO is one of the most important tactics for estate agents trying to get found online.
Local SEO involves claiming citations, managing client reviews, and establishing a Google My Business (GMB) page. But we should take a closer look at what it takes to optimise your GMB, because what shows up at the top of the SERP in a local search is actually Google My Business listings.
To get listed there, your GMB listing needs the following:
- A matching name, address, and phone number (NAP) with the information on your website and other online profiles like Facebook
- Make sure your category is Estate Agent
- At least 5 to 10 reviews as a starting point (and shoot to have more overall reviews than what the top business listing has)
- Consider whether you can post your listings maybe just the featured or any open days to GMB Posts maximise exposure
Good local SEO for estate agents is essential. If you can get one of these three spots on the GMB listings for relevant keywords, you’ll enjoy a consistent source of new targeted traffic.
To an extent, Google has turned ranking into a popularity contest. But unlike primary school, the web does a pretty good job of sorting out who should rank based on merit, through the use of backlinks.
Backlinks are just what you’ve come to expect on the web – a hyperlink from one website to another. And if you want your real estate content to rank on Google, you need a decent volume of quality backlinks.
Now, how do you do that?
Here at Common Ground, we utilise a lot of different strategies for building backlinks, but here’s one surefire way to start: look up your high-ranking competitors with a tool like aHrefs. To identify those competitors, do a search for the keywords you want to rank for in Google. Then, take note of who’s dominating the search results, enter their domain or URL in Link Explorer, and figure out all of the other sites linking to your competitors’ website.
This is helpful because it pinpoints what’s already working. You’re not just wondering if links from these websites could help – you have proof that they help your competitors rank, and they could help your content rise to the top as well.
In terms of link building and SEO for estate agents, here are a few other great ways to get valuable links:
- Sponsor local businesses, sports clubs, or events
- Claim citations in local directories
- Provide guest posts to related or complementary blogs
- Seek press in local, national newspapers or media sites
- Get published in local university documents related to housing
At the same time, the telltale sign of an estate agent with bad SEO is a poor backlink profile filled with spam links, poor quality directories,
SEO for Estate Agents Conclusion
For estate agents, the name of the game is local SEO. Fortunately, all of the SEO tactics shared in this post should help you break away from the pack in your niche and reach more prospective clients on automatic.
When it comes to SEO for estate agents in particular, the competition online is stiff. One reason is because there’s a huge difference between ranking number one and number two – or number three versus number four.
SEO is a huge opportunity for your business, but it requires you to put your best foot forward, because everyone wants the coveted top spots for their agencies and property listings. The higher you rank for different keywords, the easier it will be to bring on new clients. Good SEO translates into thousands of pounds of commissions each year.
Here at Common Ground, our SEO agency team has experts in everything from SEO audits to local SEO campaigns. We get results for our estate agent clients, and we’re standing by to help you build the estate agency that you’ve always dreamed of having.
Interested in learning more? Contact us today!